Comprehensive Guide to Online RN to BSN Degrees and Programs
OnlineRNtoBSN.com's sole purpose is to inform you on all you need to know about Online RN to BSN programs. With hundreds of RN-BSN programs in our database from hundreds of schools, colleges, and universities in the United States, you are sure to be able to find the best program for you.
Career as a Registered Nurse with a BSN
With a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurses have a number of different pathways they can travel. There are a number of different specialties in nursing, from working with kids (pediatrics), to cancer-specific (oncology), to working with the elderly (geriatrics). We have compiled different career options for RN's, and assembled them with data we've researched as well as a write-up of the skills, training, certifications, and degrees necessary.
Top BSN Specialties
Keep in Mind
RN's with a BSN tend to have higher wages, more career options, and different management or leadership opportunities. Find out more.
Not all Online RN to BSN Programs are created equal. Be sure your program is accredited. CCNE or ACEN accredited programs tend to be the best.
Check with your current employer for tuition repayment programs. Many hospitals and healthcare facilities have such programs to help RN's get their BSN and beyond.
Registered nurses with an associate degree often choose…Learn more >
Registered nurses are medical professionals who assist doctors…Learn more >
Oncology nurses work with cancer patients and help…Learn more >
Registered nursing is a rewarding and demanding career,…Learn more >
Cardiac nurses are registered nurses who work with…Learn more >
Perianesthesia nurses, also called recovery room nurses or…Learn more >
Travel nurses are registered nurses who travel around…Learn more >
Hospice nurses are a special type of nurse…Learn more >
Important Questions to Ask About Online RN to BSN Programs
Maybe you are an RN looking to return to college to earn your Bachelors Degree? Or maybe an LPN who wants to become an RN as quick as possible? Or maybe an RN who wants to earn your Masters Degree in Nursing? What ever your particular case if you are a registered nurse or looking to earn an advanced degree there are important questions you need to ask all the online nursing schools you are looking at prior to enrolling in their program.
The last thing anyone wants to do is spend time and money trying to earn a degree or complete a program and find out it is not everything you thought it would be. So who and what do you ask to make sure it is? As far as who you should ask goes a great place to start is former and current students of the programs your have an interest in taking. Another great place or people to ask are the instructors and your employer or potential employers.
Another really important question is “Is an Online Nursing Program Right For You?”. Online programs are great for some people, but not everyone. Are you disciplined enough to handle more freedom then sitting in front of an instructor? How about communication? Can you learn without having peers and teachers to speak in person with in a regular classroom setting?
Although a traditional campus based program is still extremely popular among working RNs and full time students, the newer alternative education methods of online and distance based learning are becoming more and more popular as are an accelerated nursing program as well. In the past not many of these types of degrees and completion programs were available unless you went to a campus setting. But with everyone’s life’s getting so much more complicated and busy those more traditional brick and mortar educational institutions do not offer the best solutions for many nurses seeking to advance their careers.
As a result it has become much more common today for professional nurses to return to college not by going to a local campus but instead sitting in front of their computer and working from home or other remote locations to earn a degree.
But before you put down your hard earned money on a degree program make sure the school is accredited and a well respected school. You see there may be some fly by night scams and programs out their just trying to get your money that may not provide you a real education. Some may be true scams where others may be just really poor programs that top employers do not want anything to do with. So before you break out your check book make sure the program has a great or at least good reputation.
Another area of importance to ask questions about is what, if any, credits can you transfer to the nursing degree program? Maybe you completed some CLEP courses or took classes from another University and do not want to repeat the class. It is possible the online school may accept some or all of those types of courses. But make sure to ask upfront and not just assume that that is the case.
Last but not least is the question or issue of money. How much is it going to cost you to earn that bsn online nursing degree or other degree? Also, how do online nursing schools compare to more traditional nursing schools with respect to the cost? How much money will you save or will it cost you more money to complete your nursing program online? What about financial aid or loans? Are loans and other types of financial aid available for online nursing school programs?
These are all important questions you need to really think about before committing to an online program. The online programs for nursing are great for many just make sure that is solution fits your personality and learning style.
Why Advance Your Career from an ADN to BSN Degree?
Registered nurses compose the largest vocation in the healthcare industry. RNs treat patients and their families to prevent sickness, promote health and assist ill patients. When working directly with patients, an RN observes and records patient symptoms, dispenses medication, and assists in surgery or treatment. Other registered nurses work in administration. They supervise nursing stations or work within the community training about healthy lifestyles.
The majority of registered nurses have jobs in hospitals. Hospital nurses execute medical treatments and help in bedside care. Some perform managerial roles. Typically, a nurse works in a specialized department, such as maternity, surgery, emergency room, or pediatrics. However, some will move among departments.
Nurses who have jobs in medical centers, clinics, or doctors offices are referred to as office nurses. They prepare patients for exams, assist the doctor during examinations, give medication, and uphold patient records. Some are responsible for laboratory work.
Nursing care facility nurses work in retirement or nursing homes. Administrative duties take up much of their time on the job. However, they also have supervisory responsibilities. Patient treatment plans are usually developed based on observations from a nurse. Some RNs specialize such as by working with patients who have Alzheimer's disease or who are stroke victims.
Home health nurses travel to a persons home. They work independently, sometimes supervising home health aides. They assist several different types of patients: those recovering from surgery, the elderly, childbirth patients, or cancer patients. The government and private organizations hire public health nurses. These nurses work within the community to counsel families and individuals on healthcare matters, such as diets, immunizations, childcare, or preventive care.
Occupational health nurses or industrial nurses, provide care at places of employment. They often provide emergency assistance and prepare accident reports and provide health exams for employees. Nurse supervisors and head nurses typically are employed in hospitals. They train new nurses, plan and prepare work schedules, and supervise the nurses on the job. Maintaining the equipment and ordering new supplies are also job requirements.
Nurse practitioners obtain licensure or certification for this advanced position and finish additional training. They are able to prescribe medications, along with, diagnose and treat common illnesses. Other advanced nursing positions are certified nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and certified registered nurse anesthetists.
Questions on Being a Registered Nurse
If you are looking or are interested in working in the medical or health care field as an RN (registered nurse) there are a few different paths that may work for you. These paths to becoming a registered nurse may vary based on your goals set for your career and/or your current educational and financial situation.
If you want to be an RN and want to start working as soon as possible, then you should research some schools and/or hospitals that offer RN diploma programs or an associate degree in nursing which would qualify you to be an RN after completion of required exams. These types of program can get you working more quickly then a four year BSN degree, but your career growth option could be limited. For example you may not be able to enter into a management role unless you later return to school in your career to complete an rn-bsn degree program for a university.
Another way to become an RN is the by going to a university and earning a BSN or Bachelor of Science in nursing degree for the University’s school of nursing. This type of a degree may typically take four years to complete and you would then likely have the needed education if you decide to apply for a management position later in your career.
Lastly is a nursing degree program geared towards people who already have a BS degree, but the degree in not in nursing. There are some bridge to BSN track programs from some universities that may be able to allow people an easier path to becoming a registered nurse that can be quicker then completing a more traditional nursing program.
What ever decision you are leaning towards you should make sure to do your due diligence and research multiple nursing school programs to compare the cost, length, and type of the programs. Also keep in mind if you decide on an associate degree in nursing or a nursing diploma program you can later complete an rn-bsn degree either online or off-line if you choose.