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If you are a Registered Nurse who has an associate's degree or have received a diploma from a school accredited by the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission, a RN to BSN degree may be for you. If you want to complete your bachelor's degree but don't have time to go back to school full-time, an online degree is probably your best choice.
Most RN to BSN degrees are designed for nurses who are already working in the field, but want to complete their degree. Schools that offer online RN to BSN degree programs understand that going back to school is a huge time commitment, one that can be prohibitive to most working professionals. Online degrees give you the opportunity to study on your own schedule, day or night, and complete courses when you can.
Also, most schools offering RN to BSN online degrees give you the opportunity to participate in an accelerated program, so you can earn your degree in less time. Some programs will also give you credit for work you have already done, further reducing your time commitment.
When looking at RN to BSN online degree programs, make sure to look at the courses you will be expected to take. Some types of courses you may find on the schedule:
• General education courses – these are general courses, such as history and English, that you must take to complete your degree
• Nursing Management courses – nursing management courses will help you with doctor's office and hospital administration work
• Community Health Nursing – focuses on community health issues
• Nursing Research – focuses on quantitative and qualitative research in the nursing profession
• Complimentary Therapies – focuses on nontraditional therapies and complementary therapies
When deciding to pursue your bachelor's degree, you have a few options. You can choose a traditional, on-campus completion program, or you can choose an RN to BSN online program. But what are the benefits of online programs?
• Work at your own pace. Most online programs will allow you too choose courses according to your schedule and to do your work whenever you can. This is a benefit if you are busy with your job or a family.
• Study from home. Online programs allow you to do your work from the comfort of your own home without having to commute to a college campus.
• Get familiar with technology. Most RN to BSN online programs use the most cutting-edge web technology to deliver course content to their students; by participating in one of these programs, you will be learning about technology at the same time as nursing.
• Improve your self-discipline and motivation. Since you will be working at your own pace and on your own schedule, you don't have traditional accountability as you would in a classroom setting. You will improve your self-discipline and motivation by working on an online degree.
When you study for your BSN at South University Online, you will take all your classes online via the web. There comes a time, though, when you need to put the classroom knowledge into use to practice your newfound skills; this is where the clinical component of your program comes in.
To complete your clinical requirement, you can work with
Different schools' RN to BSN online degrees will take different amounts of time to complete. Since RN to BSN online programs are for the busy working professional nurse, however, you can be sure that the programs are designed to be completed as quickly as possible.
If worked at continuously, most RN to BSN online degrees can be completed in about 1.5 years. The length of time for the degree could be quicker or slower, depending on how many credits you bring with you to the program and if you choose to study part-time or full-time.
Many RN to BSN online degree programs, unlike other kinds of programs, do not have a time limit on their classes. Whereas some MBA and other online courses will “expire” after a certain amount of time (usually about 5 years), most RN to BSN online programs will allow you to work as long as you need at your own pace.
Any degree program costs money, and RN to BSN online degrees are no different. Every school will have different tuition costs, so make sure you research to figure out which school is in your budget. Usually, RN to BSN online degrees are priced per credit hour, and most classes for semester programs are 3 credit hours. For state schools, residents usually pay less per credit hour than those students that reside out-of-state.
Credit hour costs can range anywhere from about $110 for an in-state resident of a state school to $400 for a private school. In addition, there are usually registration costs each semester (which can range anywhere from $7 to $20), and different costs associated with clinical courses. If the tuition for an RN to BSN degree sounds prohibitive, relax. Most programs offer scholarships and/or financial aid for qualified students; check to see if the program you're interested does, and what is required to be eligible.
If you are thinking of applying at South University Online, you will need to know what prerequisites are required. Here is a list of prerequisite considerations:
If English is not your first language, you can also expect to be required to take the TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language, to test your language proficiency.
Studying at your own pace from the comfort of your own home is a great benefit of an online degree program – that is, until you need help with something. In RN to BSN online degree programs, most schools offer an array of support options for their students.
Some have webcasts, where you can actually interact with professors. Others have bulletin board software, like BlackBoard or WebCT, that allows you to interact with other students through messages. Some schools have residency requirements which allow you to network with fellow students and professors every semester. And almost all schools have hotlines or e-mail support you can call or contact if you are experiencing technical problems.
In short, online degree programs do not have to be completely solitary endeavors; most schools make every effort to support their students.
For any degree program, online or other, there are usually prerequisites you will need to meet to be considered for admission. RN to BSN online degree programs are no exception. Prerequisites vary according to school, but in general you can expect the following requirements:
• Transcripts from previous schools attended
• Letters of recommendation
• Application fee
• An application essay, stating your professional experience, goals, and objectives
• A copy of your state RN licensure
In addition, some programs will require proof of work experience for at least a year. If English is not your first language, you can also expect to be required to take the TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language, to test your proficiency in English.
Some programs have residency requirements for their RN to BSN online programs; such a requirement can work to your benefit or not, depending on what you're looking for in a program. Programs that have residency requirements usually have students come on campus when they are beginning their course of study, to meet professors and fellow students. They then may require students to come back every year or every semester, for on-campus seminars, socials, and meetings. If you are a social person who thrives on knowing other students and getting support in-person, a program with a residency requirement may be for you. If, however, you are already working and have other commitments that would make it difficult for you to meet a program's residency requirement, then consider a program with no requirement.
While you are enrolled in South University Online's RN to BSN online degree, you will take a variety of classes to enhance and expand your knowledge and skills. Some of the types of classes are:
When starting any degree program, it is wise to know what kind of courses you will be taking during your schooling. RN to BSN online degrees are no different. What kinds of topics will you study during your RN to BSN online degree program?
Of course, different schools' programs focus on different topics. But overall, you can expect to study topics like palliative care, complementary nursing and healthcare methods, multicultural nursing, management skills, nursing research basics, and global health and policy issues.
When choosing an online RN to BSN degree, check the course requirements and make sure they are of interest to you; different schools' programs may focus around different themes, so making sure the theme is of interest to you is essential.
Since the RN to BSN online program at South University Online is designed for the working professional nurse, you can be sure that the program is designed to be completed in as little time as possible.
For most candidates, South University RN to BSN online degree can be completed in around 2 years if worked on continuously.
South University Online's RN to BSN completion degree is designed with the busy professional nurse in mind. To minimize the time it will take you to earn your degree, you can earn credit for your work experience or prior courses you've taken at
You may also be eligible to earn transfer credit for previous classes you've taken at
If you are already an RN with an associate's degree or nursing diploma, the next step in your education is to earn your BSN degree from South University Online.
The South University RN to BSN completion program is designed for working nurses who want to complete their degree.
If you have decided to pursue your RN degree online at South University Online, you will want to know how much it is going to cost.
South University Online's RN to BSN program costs $280 per credit hour, so a four credit hour class will cost $1120. There is also a $50 application fee.
South University Online's RN to BSN completion program is flexible, because you can study at your own pace and on your own schedule from the comfort of your own home. But what happens when you need help?
For technical help,
South University Online makes every effort to support their students, making their online program a little less of a solitary endeavor.
Deciding to go back to school is a big decision, as is the decision about where to go. South University Online's RN to BSN program is flexible and convenient; look to these points to see if it's the right program for you.
When you start your RN to BSN completion program at South University Online, you may be interested in knowing what kinds of courses you'll be taking.
The RN to BSN completion program at South University Online focuses on expanding your professional nursing skills, allowing you to better care for your patients.
RN to BSN online degrees are designed with the busy professional nurse in mind. As such, many programs offer credit for your work experience or prior courses you've taken, which allows you to shorten your overall time commitment. Some programs offer various amounts of credit for previous RN work experience, allowing you to opt out of some of the required courses they offer.
This credit is useful if you have a fair amount of experience in one area, and a class in that area would be redundant. In addition, almost all programs offer transfer credit for previous classes you've taken. If you began a BSN program and didn't finish, or have taken other accredited classes, you can work with the admissions counselors at the school you've chosen to make sure you get credit for those classes.
There are many different RN to BSN online degrees available for registered nurses to complete their bachelor's degree. But which one is right for you? When trying to decide which programs to apply to, consider the following questions:
• Is there a residency requirement? Some programs require their students to stay on campus periodically, usually once a semester. Is that feasible for you?
• Are the courses of interest to you? Many programs have a “theme” that the upper level courses revolve around; is that theme something you're interested in learning about?
• Is there a clinical component? Many RN to BSN programs have a clinical component; some will allow you to set up your own clinical experience at a local hospital, or will tell you where to complete your clinical. Make sure if they require the latter, the clinical experience is feasible for you.
• How much does it cost? If you are on a budget, make sure you check the tuition, and if scholarships and financial aid is available.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|