Earning your BSN online can be a great way to begin or further your nursing career while continuing to work a full-time or part-time job in the meantime.
Nurses are the backbones of just about every medical setting from doctors’ offices to emergency rooms, and they can make a positive difference in the lives of patients and their families each and every day. If you’re looking for a highly rewarding career in which you can help others, nursing just might be for you.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your nursing career, read on to find out more about earning your BSN online.
What is a BSN online degree?
A BSN online degree is a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing that is earned either entirely or partially online. It is a four-year degree, although if you are currently a registered nurse, you may be eligible for an RN to BSN online program, which may be completed in two years or less.
There are also special programs available for those who currently hold associate degrees in nursing, which may permit the application of already earned credits toward a BSN degree.
What can I do with a BSN online degree?
A BSN online degree will not only prepare you to be a registered nurse but also provide training in leadership, research, and nursing science and informatics. Accordingly, with a BSN, your career opportunities will be greatly increased than if you became a registered nurse without a bachelor’s degree.
Indeed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the nursing field to have excellent job growth throughout 2016; those who hold BSN degrees will find the most employment prospects open to them.
Specifically, a BSN may qualify you for nursing management and administrative positions and is especially useful if you think you may want to eventually pursue teaching or a master’s degree in nursing to become an advanced practical nurse (APN), i.e., clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or nurse practitioner. For all of the master’s degree programs, you will need a bachelor’s degree in nursing first.
Am I eligible for a BSN online program?
The eligibility requirements for a BSN online program are usually very similar to those for traditional university programs. Specifically, BSN applicants are often expected to have competitive SAT/ACT scores and GPA, four years of high school English and three years each of high school math and science, including geometry, algebra II, chemistry, and biology. Other math and science coursework is also helpful.
On a personal level, a nurse should be compassionate and emotionally stable and also be good at multitasking, communicating, and solving problems quickly and effectively while thinking on his or her feet. A strong interest in medicine and science, is, of course, highly recommended.
How do I know whether nursing is for me?
One of the best ways to find out whether you will enjoy and excel in a nursing career is to dive right in as a volunteer at a local hospital or other medical facility, where your tasks may include things like planning and engaging in activities with patients or delivering medicine. You may also consider becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA), another valuable member of health care teams responsible for much routine, basic patient care before jumping into nursing school.
You should also consider talking to current and former registered nurses about their jobs and educational experiences to get a better idea of what the profession actually entails.
What are BSN online programs like?
Nursing degrees online generally require coursework in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, psychology, and other behavioral sciences. A BSN program may also allow you specialize in particular health care areas such as cardiac, oncology, geriatric, obstetrics-gynecology, orthopedic, pediatric, and pain management.
Most BSN online programs also require clinical experience, hands-on practice in real nursing environments, in order to complete your degree; some online schools may also require at least partial residency, so be sure to read program descriptions carefully.
What are the advantages of earning a BSN online?
Some of the main advantages of earning a BSN online as opposed to in a traditional university setting include:
- Work full-time or part-time while taking courses.
- Work through courses at your own pace, studying and reviewing materials on your own schedule.
- Take as many or as few classes as you like, taking into account your available time and money.
- Save money, as online programs are less expensive than traditional university ones; you’ll also save on travel and book costs.
- The possibility of creating your own unique program tailored to your career aspirations.
- The opportunity to earn a nursing degree even for those not located near universities.
- Some online nursing schools may be more generous in their enrollment requirements than traditional nursing schools.