Registered Nurses (RN) possessing a diploma or an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) have an opportunity to advance their career by enrolling for a BSN program. Recent studies from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the job market for RNs will increase annually by about 22 percent in the next 10 years. This unprecedented increase in demand for RNs is partially fueled by the chronic nursing shortages currently being experienced nationwide. Registered nurses who want to capitalize on the opportunities in the health care industry in terms of higher financial rewards, promotions and career growth possibilities can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) through enrolling for an online degree program.
Typically nurses are very busy people with families, friends, spouses, homes, not forgetting full time careers. Suggesting to add one more activity to an already jam-packed life can seem ridiculous and unnecessarily stressing. From this scenario it is evident that most nurses do not actually have the time to attend traditional RN to BSN programs in colleges, but are equally interested in furthering their education. Online RN to BSN programs were specifically designed to salvage nurses finding themselves in similar predicaments.
Currently there are only two paths for students who aspire to become registered nurses; enroll for an Associate of Sciences in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree program. Contrally to popular public opinion, the associate degree program is often referred to as an RN degree, but in truth, both the bachelor’s and associate’s degrees lead to the RN title. The associate’s degree takes about 18 to 24 months to complete, while the bachelor’s degree takes about 4 years, but might take longer depending on the curriculum and learning schedule adopted. On line degree programs in these two fields are offered for first time degree applicants and for those wishing to switch to online learning in order to complete their unfinished programs. Take for instance; Chamberlain College of Nursing has a specifically designed degree completion program for those serving as RNs but want to finalize with their degree programs.
In most cases, admission requirements and procedures for online nursing degree programs are identical to their counterparts, i.e. on-campus admission. Applicants are required to fill an online application form and attach transcripts from previous universities or colleges attended. In instances where the student intends to pursue the BSN degree in the same institution where he/she did her general course work; a separate application is often filled in duplicate, one for the nursing school and the other for the college.
Most online nursing programs require that the applicants to demonstrate a high level of scholarship from their previous education coursework transcripts and also to complete the prerequisite courses in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, anatomy, statistics and physiology or any other science related courses the particular institution finds necessary.
Benefits of Online RN to BSN Programs
As earlier pointed, most RNs who want to further their education through a BSN degree are usually on full-time jobs. In addition, most of them are married and have homes to run. In a nut shell, a full-time nurse may not have the privilege or time to take an on-campus BSN program. Fortunately, organizers and moderators of these online courses have taken into consideration the challenges faced by these students. This is by offering more flexible learning schedules that allow them to take the online courses at their convenient time.
More Focused and Student Centered Learning
Typical of other class settings students learn in different ways. For instance, a student intending to earn a BSN degree may experience challenges in concentrating and committing to a traditional classroom setting. Consequently, these students opt for online programs that grant them the freedom to learn when they are best suited. For them the distractions of traditional classroom environments are taken away thus allowing them to fully concentrate. In general, RN to BSN online program is best suited for the independent learner.
Provision of Flexible Class Schedules
Online RN to BSN programs offers the student the freedom to decide when to ‘attend to’ the courses. This in contrast to traditional classrooms which are inflexible and time bound. Technology has been deployed in education institutions to assist nurses who are willing to further their education but their schedules do not conform to traditional nursing programs. The flexibility of online nursing programs also comes in handy when nurses’ shifts change. Popular RN to BSN programs allows students to tune their course schedules depending on their work schedules.
Online RN to BSN programs are relatively cheaper when compared to traditional class room programs. This can be attributed to the fact that learning institutions do not have to bear the cost of maintaining class room infrastructure and other amenities found in campuses. In addition the student does not have to cope with traveling costs and other associated daily expenses of commuting to campus. All one needs is a quiet place and good internet connection. However, the student is expected to take responsibility to ensure that the learning environment is conducive.
In conclusion, if an RN decides to pursue a BSN degree, an online learning program should be seriously considered. An online program allows the nurse to enhance his/her education while still working full-time. In reality, the benefits outweigh the challenges as long as the student is committed to the program.