To become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must earn a nursing degree from an accredited and state-approved nursing school. The nursing graduate must also pass the NCLEX-RN exam and adhere to all other state licensing requirements to practice.
However, not all educational paths to the RN profession are the same. Some nursing hopefuls enroll directly into an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program, pass their licensure, gain experience, and proceed to attend an RN-to-BSN program.
If you are a seasoned Registered Nurse, you may be seeking a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) program that can streamline your success. You may have a desire to advance your nursing credentials, job title, or even salary potential, and a BSN degree is the ticket to getting there. The most efficient pathway to obtaining this degree is through an RN-to-BSN program. This type of program offers a fast and flexible track towards earning your bachelor’s degree, and is designed specifically for already working RNs. Many RN-to-BSN programs can also be completed entirely online, for added convenience.
The Significance of Selecting an RN-to-BSN Program
With a BSN degree, nurses can help to elevate the patient experience, improve patient outcomes, and enhance the healthcare profession. In fact, according to studies recounted by The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), RNs who have earned their bachelor’s degree in nursing are better prepared in areas related to quality and safety. The AACN also informed that BSN-prepared nurses lower the prospect of patient mortality.
If you want to better your nursing skills and provide optimal patient outcomes, an RN-to-BSN degree program is a great next step. However, it is important to find a program that meets your needs, whether you are looking for part-time, full-time, accelerated, or online RN-to-BSN options. It is also important to find a program that is accredited.
Below, we explore four fundamental elements to look for when seeking the best online RN-to-BSN program for you.
What to Look for in an Online RN-to-BSN Program
1. Accredited Academics
When examining RN-to-BSN programs online, future BSN nurses should look for institutions with a well-respected reputation within the healthcare industry.
A nursing school’s accreditation status impacts students’ ability to receive financial aid, as well as their eligibility for licensure and employment. Beyond regional legitimacy, prospective nursing students should look for accreditation from either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Goodwin University’s online RN-to-BSN program, for instance, is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. As an added advantage, Goodwin is also a member of SARA and can offer its online program to residents of other SARA states.
2. A Comprehensive and Advanced Curriculum
In addition to being accredited, the RN-to-BSN curriculum and program outcomes are substantial to the potential knowledge and success of the nursing student.
Core BSN classes should be comprehensive and compelling — covering a range of healthcare content throughout the patient lifespan. It should build upon what you already have learned in your early nursing classes and your experience in the field.
As an example of a program’s far-reaching focus, Goodwin University’s RN-to-BSN students study some of the following courses:
- Ethics in Public Health
- Health and Social Issues in Aging
- Interpersonal Communications
- Introduction to Healthcare Policy and Advocacy
- Introduction to Nursing Research
- Leadership and Management in Nursing, and
- Public and Community Health Nursing
Upon completing the RN-to-BSN program, nurses are amply prepared to enter advanced nursing roles. After graduation, these nurses are able to apply nursing theory, practice, and research to the healthcare profession.
BSN graduates also leave with strengthened skills like cultural competency and care coordination for individuals, communities, and populations. With leadership and management proficiencies, BSN alums are efficient collaborators and effective communicators that value lifelong learning.
With self-awareness and the talent to advocate for patients, successful BSN nurses understand the political and regulatory impact on healthcare. As interdisciplinary team members, they strive to maximize patient wellness.
3. Flexibility and Format
Beyond an accredited, engaging curriculum, online RN-to-BSN programs should also be convenient, career-focused, and flexible — so students can meet the daily demands of registered nursing while obtaining their BSN on their schedule.
Whether online classes are offered synchronously or asynchronously, or in full-time or part-time formats — when it comes to fitting your nursing courses into your calendar, it makes a meaningful difference when institutions make the process as easy as possible.
Goodwin University’s RN-to-BSN program can be completed entirely online in as few as 12 months part-time. This means you can continue working while earning your BSN degree, taking classes whenever and wherever is convenient for you.
4. Comprehensive Student Support
Vast student support is significant for student success. For instance, student engagement keeps learners involved, academic tutors keep students on track, and career services teams assist with an alum’s future employability.
Additionally, students should seek BSN programs with plentiful healthcare partnerships. The knowledge and training from practicum experience are vital to nursing confidence and career efficacy. At Goodwin, our career services team can connect you with local healthcare employers and opportunities.
After achieving a BSN degree, you will be eligible to work in a wide array of career options and industry settings, including:
- Home healthcare services
- Nursing care facilities
- Outpatient centers
- Physician’s offices
- Primary and preventative care
- Schools, and more!
The Benefits of Being BSN-Prepared
Registered Nurses with their BSN degree are eligible for advanced career opportunities with higher earning potential. BSN nurses also learn transferrable skills applicable to many healthcare sectors. Between clinical practice, critical thinking, and healthcare prevention, policy, and promotion, a BSN nurse’s degree, experience, and expertise are in demand.
From 2021 to 2031, the Department of Labor predicts employment of Registered Nurses to grow six percent, with 203,200 new jobs opening each year over the decade. This means there are opportunities waiting for you—ones that can be achieved with just one more year in school.
Are you ready for a rewarding career helping patients with their well-being? Prepare to achieve your BSN and boost the RN profession with Goodwin!