BSN Programs: Embark on a Rewarding Nursing Career

Ready to start your career as a registered nurse? BSN programs provide an exciting pathway to a fulfilling and impactful career in nursing. Here are a few reasons why:

What to Do with a BSN Degree?

If you are undecided about pursuing a BSN, it may help to consider the many great career trajectories that will become available to you after earning one:

Staff Nurse

Care for a variety of patients and work closely with doctors and other nurses. Staff nurses work in hospitals, doctor's offices, clinics, and many other settings.

Nurse Midwife

Deliver babies and provide prenatal and postnatal care to both mothers and infants. The average annual salary for a nurse midwife is around $79,000.

Nurse Educator

Train and educate the next generation of nurses as a nurse educator. Nurse educators typically work for colleges, universities, and other schools.

Critical Care Nurse

Assist people who are in critical condition as a critical care nurse. These professionals typically work in emergency rooms and urgent care facilities.

Travel Nurse

Go wherever demand calls you as a travel nurse. Travel to facilities that have nurse shortages to enjoy superior compensation and other perks.

Nurse Practitioner

Provide primary and specialty care to people from many walks of life. In some states, nurse practitioners can own their own clinics.

Find BSN Programs by State

There are numerous accredited BSN programs around the country. To help you find one close to you, we've organized a database of such programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about BSN programs, we are here to help. We have rounded up answers to the most commonly asked questions below:

I have an associate degree in nursing, or ADN. Do I need a BSN?

Technically, you just need an ADN to be a registered nurse. However, if you want to eventually advance into more specialized areas, including administrative positions, you will need your bachelor’s degree. Additionally, many employers prefer nurses who have BSNs, as it means that they have received extensive training. Therefore, you would be able to command higher pay, better benefits, and better jobs by obtaining your BSN.

How long does it take to complete a BSN program?

If you are starting "from scratch" and don't have an associate degree, you can expect it to take about four years to earn your BSN. The first two years of most BSN programs consist of completing core liberal arts courses. The next two years focus exclusively on nursing, which involves completing many demanding higher-level courses. BSN programs also include lab work and clinical experiences at local healthcare facilities, where students can gain the experience that they need to become proficient in a variety of important nursing skills. If you already have an ADN, you may be able to obtain your BSN through an ADN-to-BSN bridge program. Because these programs take your work experience and educational experience into consideration, they can often be completed in two to three years instead of four.

Are online BSN programs available?

Many popular BSN programs have online components. However, no BSN program is conducted entirely online. This is because nursing students must complete clinical experiences and lab work during their training, and these requirements cannot be completed online. With that being said, many BSN programs allow you to complete much of your work online, which gives you a lot more flexibility. Look for asynchronous BSN programs that allow you to complete the work at your own pace and at your own schedule. That way, you can easily still hold down a job and take care of your other responsibilities while working toward your BSN.

What kinds of courses will I complete during my BSN training?

The first part of most BSN programs is completing a number of prerequisite liberal arts courses. Therefore, you can expect to take courses in math, English composition and literature, statistics, and similar subjects. When you move into the nursing component of your program, you can expect to take courses like anatomy and physiology, fundamentals of nursing, microbiology, human development, basic nutrition, and psychology. You will also be required to complete a certain number of credit hours of clinical training, which is typically carried out at local healthcare facilities like hospitals and nursing homes. Courses include lectures and labs, so you get extensive training that covers all of the bases.

When can I take the NCLEX-RN?

You can only take the NCLEX-RN after you have completed and passed an approved and accredited training program. Before enrolling in any BSN program, make sure that it has accreditation from the appropriate organizations. Find out exactly how the program is designed to help you pass the NCLEX-RN. Once you have passed the program, you will be eligible to sit for the licensing exam. You can take it at your earliest convenience, but many aspiring nurses take a little extra time to study for the exam prior to taking it. Practice exams are available online, and they can help to familiarize you with the exam so that you can pass it the first time.

Now that I have my BSN, what kinds of advancement opportunities am I eligible for?

Possessing a bachelor of science in nursing opens up many exciting doors. However, before you can take advantage of any of them, you should gain some consistent work experience. In general, employers won't be interested in helping you work in an area of specialization until you have established yourself a little more as an RN. Once you have some decent nursing experience under your belt, try working in different areas and different departments to see what you like best. You may then consider earning certifications in various areas of specialization. Later, you can move into even more advanced roles by going back to school and earning your master of science in nursing, or MSN.

How much does the typical BSN program cost?

The cost of the typical BSN program varies widely based on a variety of factors. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $40,000 to more than $200,000 for tuition, fees, books, and other expenses. Factors that affect the cost include the reputation of the program, where it is located, and whether it is a public or private institution. Programs that include room and board average $90,000 to more than $250,000 over the course of four years. Accelerated BSN programs, which take 11 to 18 months to complete, average between $17,000 and $90,000. Finally, ADN-to-BSN bridge programs, which usually take two to three years to complete, cost an average of $8,000 to more than $55,000. Please note that it also costs around $200 to take the NCLEX-RN and that licensing fees usually total around $75 to $200.

Now that I have my RN license, how do I find a job?

As the holder of a bachelor of science in nursing, you will be able to take your pick from a number of exciting jobs. In fact, you may feel pretty overwhelmed at first simply because there are so many options. To land a great job the first time around, begin by updating your resume to reflect the fact that you have a BSN. Include your nursing license information too. Check online job sites for RN openings in your area, and then start submitting resumes. It won't be long before you have lined up interviews and are on your way to becoming a full-time RN.

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