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Once you have completed your BSN degree, the next logical step in your education is to complete your MSN degree.
If you are interested in applying to
You can receive a packet of information with full admissions requirements upon request through South University Online's website.
If you are interested in breaking in to the nursing profession, becoming a nurse's aide may be for you. When you complete your nurse's aide course of study, usually after about a year, you can receive your CNA, or certified nurse's aide certificate. Generally, application requirements for nurse's aide programs are less stringent than for an LPN/LVN program or a RN program. Nurse's aide applicants must be at lest 16 years old, be in good health and have no criminal convictions, have the ability to lift and move patients, and have a good grasp of the English language. Nurse's aide applicants usually enjoy working with residents in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and psychiatric centers, as these are the kinds of jobs that nurse's aides are eligible for.
A good option for becoming a nurse without having to devote four years to a BSN degree is to become a LPN/LVN, a licensed practical or licensed vocational nurse. You can enter into a LPN/LVN program directly out of high school, or you can choose to go back to earn your license. Here are typical prerequisites for applicants to a LPN/LVN program:
• High school graduate or GED equivalency
• Prerequisite courses such as basic math and basic composition. You will usually need to complete these with a 2.0 GPA/4.0 or higher
• Transcripts from your high school or other colleges attended
• Any relevant assessment scores required by the school You can usually complete the LPN/LVN program in about a year, and then take your certification test and receive your license. Many programs are also flexible, allowing you to study at night or on weekends to allow you to keep working, if necessary.
Some nurses want to take the next step in their education and complete their MSN degrees. Who are good candidates for MSN degrees? Here are some guidelines. - You already have your BSN. MSN programs will usually require you to have already completed your BSN degree and have a valid nursing license. - You have a minimum GPA of 3.0. You will need to demonstrate that you were a good student as an undergraduate; most MSN programs will require their RN applicants to have at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. - You took college chemistry and statistics. You will need to have completed some specific courses as an undergraduate, such as chemistry and statistics. If you have not completed these classes, consider taking them at a community college before you apply. - You are motivated and want to advance in your career. Most MSN programs are geared towards nurses who want to move into management or education positions; you will usually need to demonstrate that you are motivated and interested in advancing in your career through an admissions essay.
You may think that if you've decide to become an RN, nurse's aide, or LPN/LVN, the biggest challenge is finding the right school and figuring out how you will have the time to devote to the program. Unfortunately, that may not be the biggest challenge you face. Even though there is a critical shortage of nurses in America, up to three-quarters of applicants to nursing programs in some schools are rejected. The reason is that most nursing schools have limited resources because of the nursing shortage; there are simply not enough nurses that want to be teachers.
One way to help you circumvent the selectivity of nursing programs is to slowly make your way up the nursing ladder – first becoming a certified nurse's aide, then a LPN/LVN, and then getting your associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing from there. Many schools will give preference to RN applicants who already have some sort of nursing training under their belts.
Nursing has been portrayed for a long time on television and in the movies; but are nurses portrayed in a positive and accurate light? Some advocates for nursing take issue with the way nurses are portrayed in the media, and have begun awareness campaigns to improve nurses' images.
For example, an advocacy group takes issue with the way nurses are portrayed on the popular television show “Grey's Anatomy,” saying that the physicians are the ones who do the “exciting” work that nurses actually do in real life. They also took issue with the way a nursing strike was portrayed on the show, and have started a letter-writing campaign to improve the image of nurses. The advocacy group also has taken issue with the way nurses are portrayed on the television show “ER,” in Johnson & Johnson commercials, and even in Las Vegas slot machines called “Nurse Follies.” If you are interested in voicing your opinion, you can write letters to the various television and media producers as a part of the campaigns.
Some nursing schools are now offering accelerated nursing programs, allowing RN applicants who have already earned bachelor's degrees to earn their BSN in about a year. However, these accelerated programs aren't for everyone; follow these guidelines to see if you are a good candidate for an accelerated nursing program.
- You already have a bachelor's degree. Most accelerated programs will require you to already have earned a bachelor's degree in some field; if it is not a science-related field, you may have to complete some prerequisites before you can start your nursing classes.
- You are highly motivated and a good student. Accelerated nursing programs are usually highly competitive, and you must demonstrate that you will be able to handle the demands of long days and difficult courses.
- You have the financial means. It is nearly impossible to work even a part-time job when you are enrolled in an accelerated nursing program; therefore, you must be able to devote all of your time to school and not have the need to work.
If you want to advance your career with a BSN degree but have a busy schedule, you may want to apply to
At South University Online, you can earn your BSN at your convenience and on your own schedule. You take all classes via the web, and interact with your fellow students through chat rooms and bulletin board systems. Technical support is available online and with e-mail.
The requirements for South University Online's RN to BSN degrees are the same as for traditional RN to BSN completion programs. An additional requirement, however, is that good candidates must be comfortable with using technology to study. You also must be self-motivated and able to organize your time well.
If you are interested in applying to
Even though there is a critical shortage of nurses in
To be a good candidate for
If you are interested in applying for an MSN, here are some requirements you may need to meet as an RN applicant:
• Proof of high school graduation
• A BSN degree, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
• All transcripts from your post-high-school studies
• An acceptable score on the GRE (usually around 1000 on the verbal/quantitative and 4.5 on the analytic)
• Letters of reference
• A written or in-person interview
• Various prerequisite courses
• The accreditation of the school where you have recieved your nursing associates or diploma
• A valid nursing license in the state in which you want to study
Once you have found a MSN program that is good for you, check with the office of admissions to find out exactly what their requirements are. They will usually send you a packet of information, complete with a requirements checklist.
To apply to South University Online's RN to BSN program or MSN program, you must be comfortable with technology in order to be successful.
You must be comfortable using the internet, specifically the World Wide Web and all web browsing programs. You also must have access to a 56K or better internet connection, and a computer with a Pentium III CPU, Windows 2000 or XP, and 256 MB of RAM.
You can purchase your software through JourneyEd, or you can provide your own Microsoft Office and Norton Antivirus.
If you are applying for one of
For example, advocacy groups do not like the way nurses are portrayed on television shows like “Grey's Anatomy,” and “ER,” since nurses are generally portrayed as a “sidekick” to the physicians, who perform more “exciting” work. Groups also take issue with they way nurses are portrayed in other types of media, like television commercials and even on Las Vegas slot machines.
If you are applying the RN to BSN program or the MSN program at South University Online, you should be aware of some of the issues that advocates take with the portrayal of nurses in the media.
South University Online offers online degrees for those students who want to complete their BSN with an RN to BSN program, or for those who want to earn their MSN.
If you are considering an online degree at
If you are considering enrolling in one of South University Online's online RN programs, you may be interested in how students connect with each other while they study.
Technology support is available online as well as through e-mail to technical support. If you are comfortable with using communication technology, you will have no problem connecting to other students in South University Online's RN programs.
If you are considering
If you want to earn your BSN degree quickly, South University Online's accelerated RN to BSN degree may be a good option for you.
Many people interested in nursing or advancing their nursing careers may consider enrolling in an online degree program. Online degrees are usually available for those who want to complete their BSN with an RN to BSN program, or for those who want to earn their MSN. Some adult education programs offer associates degrees in nursing online, and LPN/LVN training online as well. If you are considering an online degree, you must ask yourself the following questions to see if you are a good candidate to be an online student:
• Are you comfortable with technology? You need to make sure that you are comfortable enough with technology, such as the Internet, chat, and word processing, to be able to complete your degree
• Are you self-motivated? Since online courses are done on your own time, they are flexible – but they also require a lot of motivation on your part. If you need deadlines and supervision to get work done, online courses may not be for you.
• Are you comfortable working solo? Even though online courses allow you to interact with other students and faculty via the web and other software, you may find yourself working on your own more than you would in a traditional program. Make sure that's okay with you.
One of the biggest questions that RN applicants may have before enrolling in an online program is: how do you connect with other students? Given that online courses eliminate the need to travel to campus for attending traditional classroom courses, your contact with other students in your program may be limited. That's why many online schools go to great lengths to help you to connect with other students in the program, so you can get the support you need. Some programs have residency requirements, meaning that the students must come to campus periodically to meet with other students and professors. While this reduces the flexibility of some programs, it helps certain students who really need to connect with their peers. Programs that do not have residency requirements usually enable students to interact through available technology, such as chat programs, chat rooms, and bulletin board systems. Some courses may even have requirements that you post messages and respond to other's messages in the class.
If you currently have an RN with an associate's degree but want to advance your career, you may be interested in a RN to BSN degree. If you need to keep working and can't afford to quit your job to dedicate yourself full-time to getting your BSN, a RN to BSN online degree may be right for you. Many schools now offer RN to BSN programs online, allowing you to study at your convenience and on your own schedule. The classes are delivered via the web, and students interact through chatrooms and bulletin board systems. If you have an associate's degree and an RN and are comfortable with technology, consider an RN to BSN online degree. The requirements for online RN to BSN degrees are usually the same as for traditional RN to BSN degrees, but RN applicants must be comfortable with using technology to study.
If you apply to South University Online's RN to BSN online program, you will study the following topics:
The RN to BSN program at South University Online is designed for applicants with an RN degree who want to advance to the next level in their nursing education.
If you already have an associate's degree in nursing and are a licensed RN, an excellent way to take your career to the next level is with an RN to BSN completion program from South University Online. Most hospitals will hire RNs with associate's degrees for jobs, but they may pass over associate degree nurses for nurses with BSNs when promoting.
If you have an associate's RN, your BSN degree is the next step in your education. If you have an active nurse's license are ready to advance your education, the RN to BSN at
If you already have an associate's degree in nursing and are a licensed RN, you may be wondering how to take your career to the next level. Although most hospitals will accept RNs with associate's degrees for jobs, they may be reluctant to let those nurses advance through the nursing ranks. If you find yourself in this position, earning your BSN degree is the next step. If you are a RN with an active nurse's license, are interested in advancing your career, and are dedicated to the schooling it will take to get there, then a RN to BSN program is probably for you. You will need to apply to the program with transcripts from your associate's degree, a copy of your nurse's license, letters of recommendation, and other criteria based on the school. RN applicants may also be required to complete some prerequisite course to fill in your knowledge of math, science, and logic.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.