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Common Questions about Online RN to BSN Programs

When selecting an online RN to BSN program, it is important to research your options and consider what works best for you. Most accredited online RN to BSN programs have similar requirements for incoming students.

What do I need to qualify for enrollment in an RN to BSN program?

For most online RN to BSN programs, students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 or higher from their previous degree program. Some schools require certain prerequisite classes before enrolling in higher-level nursing courses. Other schools allow you to take these courses at the same time as your nursing courses, so you do not have to delay starting the RN to BSN program. Enrollment processes vary by school, so it is important to research each school's requirements so you can calculate the cost of the nursing program along with the cost of any prerequisite courses or general bachelor’s degree courses you may need to take.

In addition, students must have a current registered nurse license and have graduated from an accredited nursing school. Some schools have agreements with community colleges to allow students to enroll in an RN to BSN program while they are finishing their associate degree, allowing students a seamless transition from one degree to the next.

How much do online RN to BSN programs cost?

The cost of online RN to BSN programs varies widely, depending on the school you attend. For-profit schools tend to cost more than public universities. When calculating the cost of a program, make sure you know the total cost of the bachelor's degree program, including nursing and non-nursing courses. It is also helpful to know what fees you may be responsible for and the estimated cost of books and supplies that you will need. Knowing your total cost upfront can help you form a budget and know how much financial aid you need.

What types of courses will I take?

In a BSN program, nursing courses focus on areas such as critical thinking, developing research and leadership capabilities and learning cultural awareness, which helps in treating patients and improving practice environments.

Non-nursing courses may include courses in science, history, English, math and psychology. These courses vary by state, as general bachelor's degree requirements are determined by state boards of education.

Are there any clinical requirements?

Many RN to BSN online programs allow you to complete clinical requirements at your current place of employment. For those nurses who are unemployed, some schools offer special clinical courses you can enroll in to meet the clinical hour requirements.

How long will it take to earn my BSN?

The amount of time it takes for you to complete your degree depends on many factors, including the program length, previous degree obtained, transferrable courses, prerequisites already obtained and whether you enroll full or part time in the program.

What is accreditation and why is it important for RN to BSN programs?

Accreditation is one way to determine if a school is credible. Should you need to transfer schools before completing a degree, choosing accredited programs will help ease that transition. The easiest way to determine if an online RN to BSN program is credible is a simple check to see if it is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). They are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as national accreditation agencies.

Will having an online degree make me less attractive to employers?

Completing a degree from an accredited online RN to BSN program helps nurses advance because more employers are looking for BSN-prepared students. When you complete a degree from an online program, your diploma does not state whether you were an online or on-campus student. Some students choose to enroll in online programs from traditional, long-standing universities so they are assured of having a degree from a recognizable and respected university.

Can I continue to work while going to school?

In general, an online RN to BSN program can be ideal for working nurses wanting to advance. By completing coursework online, nurses eliminate travel to the campus and can progress through the coursework at convenient times while often juggling work and family obligations. The rigors of studying and completing coursework are the same, but an online RN to BSN program typically enables students to work at times convenient to them.

What are the technical requirements for an online RN to BSN program?

Once you have narrowed your options among the accredited online RN to BSN programs, you will need to verify that your computer, programs and internet connection are compatible with the coursework. Look for a test page on the school's website to determine if you have the basic technical capabilities needed.

Benefits of online RN to BSN programs are wide-ranging

Ultimately, students seeking an accredited online RN to BSN program have many options; a careful review of prerequisites, student feedback and course objectives can help narrow which degree program is right for you.

Learn more about the Columbus State online RN to BSN program.


Sources:

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2013/10/16/how-to-tell-if-an-online-program-is-accredited?int=9f6e08

http://www.rwjf.org/content/dam/farm/reports/issue_briefs/2013/rwjf407597


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