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Online RN to BSN programs allow nurses to advanceAs recognition grows for nurses and their many contributions, opportunities to develop a nursing career become more readily available. If you are a registered nurse who wants to advance your career, consider online RN to BSN programs. To qualify for these programs, you must have an associate's degree in nursing or received a diploma from a qualified school. You also need current registered nurse (RN) licensure and to be working in a clinical setting. 

Once accepted into a program, you'll work toward your bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN). You'll study a broad array of medical topics and will learn how to handle complex procedures. Upon graduation, you should benefit from having a four-year degree, hopefully earned in much less time. Most RN to BSN programs can be completed in two years or less, depending on your personal schedule. Because this is such a popular degree, there are many different online programs.

THE CAREER PATH

One of the great aspects of nursing, from a professional’s perspective, is that once you are licensed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) through the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), it is easy to advance your career in nursing at any point that is most convenient for you.

Earning an RN to BSN online degree will help you move forward in your career. If you are currently working at a hospital or physician's office, you may receive a pay increase just for having a BSN. In furthering your education to a bachelor’s degree, you will expand on your existing skills in providing high quality patient care. You may be given a more direct role in administering medications, educating other nurses, and assisting physicians during surgical procedures. Over time, you could move up into a leadership role as a clinical nurse manager or nursing director.

Common BSN job responsibilities are:

  • Directly communicating with patients and their families
  • Recording and reporting medical observations and patient information
  • Consulting and collaborating with doctors and other healthcare professionals
  • Operating and monitoring medical equipment


Now is a great time for the nursing profession. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 26% growth in employment opportunities through 2020. Pay should remain high for RNs and BSNs, as well. The BLS notes that nurses average $67,000 in annual wages. If you're in a management position, you should earn even more.

WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?

Nurses are the unsung heroes of our community. Nurses educate the members of our communities and their families to prevent and treat illnesses. Nurses are the middleman between the doctor and patient relationship that guarantee that patients receive compassionate and competent care.

Nurses come from all different backgrounds to help for totally different reasons. Nurses can choose to specialize in a demographic or type of healthcare that best suits their interests, which makes this career appealing to a diverse collection of individuals.

Nursing may be flexible, but it isn’t easy—students who aim to be nurses are usually hard workers, ready to learn a lot and gain experience. Nursing requires communication skills along with compassion and the ability to provide clear instructions. Nurses exemplify emotional stability when dealing with human suffering, emergencies, and a multitude of other stressors. Aspiring nurses must also have the physical stamina necessary to be comfortable performing tasks such as moving patients and standing for long periods of time.

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?

If you are currently working at a hospital or clinic, you may be able to tap into your company’s tuition assistance program. This way you can continue to work, but also earn an online BSN degree. Many of these programs are particularly sensitive to the fact that you're currently employed and will help you juggle both work and school. Look for an online RN to BSN program that is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Nurses will build the foundation of their knowledge during the basic education obtained in a nursing diploma or associate’s degree program. Program topics include community health and special issues in nursing, such as women's health, pediatrics and underserved populations. You may have to perform healthcare-related research, as well. According to the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), RN to BSN programs focus on three fundamental areas:

  1. Professional Development, through courses such as Nursing Leadership
  2. Skill Building, through courses such as Anatomy and Physiology, that allow nurses to broaden their practice and treat a wider range of patients
  3. Cultural Awareness, through courses such as Ethics in Nursing or Community Health Care and Development, so that nurses can have a core understanding of the racial, religious, and socioeconomic factors that influence the delivery of healthcare
     

Nurses that pursue a BSN also have the opportunity to specialize their education to best serve the demographic or medical arena that they are most interested in. The United States Department of Labor includes a list of specialties that nurses can shape their career for, including:

  • Addiction Nursing
  • Cardiovascular Nursing
  • Rehabilitation Nursing
  • Genetics Nursing
  • Critical-Care Nursing


Clinicals are a required part of an online RN to BSN program. These practicums will likely have to take place outside of your normal workplace.

COST

GetEducated’s rankings reveal the national average tuition for an online BSN program is $44,211. However, RN to BSN programs can cost as little as $19,715 or as much as $90,074! Remember that high tuition does not always equal high quality. The tuition costs you see below include total tuition and all fees, including online learning technology fees.

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List of Accredited Online Degrees

1
Grand Canyon University

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

If you are a registered nurse with an associate degree or diploma certificate in nursing, Grand Canyon University’s (GCU) Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program online can prepare you to take your career to the next level. Earn ...

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2
Capella University

BSN - RN-to-BSN Completion (CCNE-accredited)

Prepare yourself to meet the growing demand for bachelor's-prepared nurses. This RN-to-BSN online program incorporates the standards established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and is accredited by The Commission on ...

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3
University of Saint Mary

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The CCNE-accredited online RN-BSN program at the University of Saint Mary (USM) offers registered nurses the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing while actively working. You'll build upon your existing knowledge and skills ...

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4
Widener University

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Gain the skills and experience you need to meet the demands of an increasingly complex health care environment with the online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-to-BSN) program from Widener University. The RN-to-BSN program buil...

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5
Utica College

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The online RN to BS in Nursing (RN to BSN) program prepares licensed registered nurses (RN) for an enhanced career in today's demanding healthcare environment. Graduates of this CCNE accredited program assume roles that demand excellent ...

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6
Benedictine University

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Through Benedictine University's RN to BSN program, you won't just meet the needs of the growing healthcare field. You will build on your current knowledge and experiences, using real-life situations and application of evidence-based ...

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7
Sacred Heart University

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

This undergraduate degree program provides you with the knowledge required in today’s nursing roles as well as the personal touch at the heart of the profession. The online RN to BSN program offered by Sacred Heart University is designed to ...

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8
Western Governors University

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

WGU’s online Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program adds theoretical and policy depth to the practical knowledge nurses who hold a current RN already possess. Designed in collaboration with healthcare’s foremost leaders, the BSN ...

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9
Frostburg State University

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Frostburg State University’s RN-BSN program prepares nurses to assume roles in leadership, complex clinical care coordination and community/public health, and serves as the academic foundation for graduate study. The program is designed so ...

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10
Colorado Christian University

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The goal of Colorado Christian University's RN to BSN degree-completion option is to develop compassionate and competent nurse leaders who will help transform health care through Christ-inspired nursing practices. The online RN to BSN ...

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11
Purdue University Global

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree could help registered nurses (RNs) seek broader professional responsibilities and career opportunities. If you are an RN and want to advance your career, Purdue University Global’s online Bachelor of ...

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12
Grantham University

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The online RN to BSN degree completion program from Grantham University is designed to build upon practicing nurses' associate degrees with current, evidence-based courses that expand students' nursing skills in the areas of leadership, ...

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13
University of South Dakota

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The online RN to BSN degree program from the University of South Dakota is designed for licensed RNs who have either an associate degree or diploma in nursing. USD offers several plans of study options for completing the program: ​Fast Track: 2 ...

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14
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth - College of Nursing - Undergraduate

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The College of Nursing offers registered nurses an online baccalaureate completion program that is individually planned for each student. Students are prepared for success in using online technology and digital skills in the introductory nursing cour...

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15
University of Massachusetts-Amherst - College of Nursing - Undergraduate

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The RN to BS Online and On-site Track meets the needs of registered nurses with other life responsibilities through a curriculum that combines web-based instruction with student-tailored practice. Designed for students with clearly defined career goa...

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16
American Public University System

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The online Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is open to registered nurses who have earned an associate degree in nursing and have a current, active, and unencumbered license. The mission of the program is to provide quality, affordable, and acces...

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17
University of Southern Indiana

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The online RN to BSN degree completion program from University of Southern Indiana offers registered nurses a solid professional foundation to excel in their nursing careers. The curriculum focuses on critial thinking and creative problem solving, as...

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18
University of the Cumberlands

Bachelors of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The online RN to BSN program is designed for nurses who want to advance careers and gain leadership and management roles. The program builds on seven core areas of nursing: Leadership Quality improvement Evidence-based nursing practice ...

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19
University of Toledo

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The consortium of The University of Toledo (UT) and Bowling Green State University (BGSU) provides an innovative and unique baccalaureate nursing program. Students choose the university (BGSU or UT) that best meets their needs for general education, ...

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20
University of West Georgia

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The online RN to BSN degree completion program from the University of West Georgia combines a rich and liberal foundation in the arts, sciences, and humanities with a unique nursing curriculum that emphasizes the art and science of nursing. Graduates...

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21
University of Wyoming

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The online RN to BSN degree completion program from the University of Wyoming provides registered nurses with the expanded knowledge and skills required to advance their careers and take on leadership roles in the field. Graduates of the program are ...

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22
Vermont Technical College

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The online RN to BSN degree completion program from Vermont Technical College is intended for current RNs who are ready to pursue the next level of their nursing education while working. The curriculum provides students with a greater knowledge of he...

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23
Virginia Commonwealth University

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The online RN to BSN degree completion program from Virginia Commonwealth University allows students to earn their bachelor's degree in nursing while working full-time. Program learning outcomes include: Integration of theories and concepts...

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24
Walden University

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The online RN to BSN degree completion program from Walden University is designed to provide practicing RNs with the advanced knowledge and skills required to excel in their careers and/or pursue graduate education. Graduates of this program are able...

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25
Webster University

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The online RN to BSN degree completion program from Webster University is designed for the registered nurse who wishes to advance his or her knowledge in nursing, the sciences, and the liberal arts. The curriculum focuses on holistic health promotion...

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