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RN-BSN Programs: An Overview
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RN-BSN Programs: An Overview


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The article "RN-BSN Programs – An Overview" provides an outline of RN-BSN programs in general, types of RN-BSN programs (online & on-campus), the advantages and the careers one should look forward to …

The article "RN-BSN Programs – An Overview" provides an outline of RN-BSN programs in general, types of RN-BSN programs (online & on-campus), the advantages and the careers one should look forward to with this advanced nursing degree. This article will illustrate why an RN-BSN program is the preferred way of advancing careers for registered nurses.

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  • 1. RN-BSN Programs: An OverviewIf you thought that an Associate degree in Nursing was the quickest route to a nursing career, you are notalone. The degree, which was introduced 50 years ago, has registered a phenomenal growth over time;so much so that it currently contributes about 60 percent of entry-level nursing graduates entering thefield each year.*The degree program provides a solid foundation in direct patient care, and some believe that registerednurses (RNs) who graduate from an ADN program are more proficient in the technical scope of nursingpractice.However, the important question you need to ask yourself is whether an associate’s degree is where youwant to stop your educational journey. Does the career that an ADN program can lead to satisfy yourprofessional goals and personal aspirations? Or does the fire to do more still rage inside your belly?After all, it’s no secret that an associate’s degree in nursing can limit your career opportunities. There arevarious roles within the nursing field that are only open to graduates who have a Bachelor’s of Science inNursing or a higher degree.Professional Growth with RN-BSN ProgramsThe good news is that professional growth is easier than you think, once you have entered the nursingworkforce. Registered nurses who want to go back to school for a Bachelor’s of Nursing degree haveseveral options in the form of RN-BSN programs.Available only to practicing registered nurses who have an ADN or a diploma in nursing; these programsallow them to earn their bachelor’s in less-than-normal completion time. RN-BSN programs usuallyinclude general education and nursing courses that are designed specifically for practicing RNs.Consequently, those who choose this program are expected to bring to the table (or classroom, rather)the skills and experience of hands-on nursing practice.Types of RN-BSN ProgramsThere are several types of RN-BSN programs that registered nurses can choose in their effort to advancetheir careers. Here’s a quick look at some of them:Campus-based RN-BSN programs: These are programs that are offered by four-year colleges anduniversities on campus, which means that students are required to sit in a classroom and follow a fixedschedule at school. But the level of interaction in this type of program far surpasses what other RN-BSNprograms have to offer.Online RN-BSN programs: Often preferred by practicing nurses, these programs are delivered onlineand provide RNs the flexibility to work full time even as they study. Since not everyone has the financialprowess to take a sabbatical from work to return to school, online RN-BSN programs can be the mostsuccessful road to graduation for many RNs.Accelerated RN-BSN programs: Although most RN-BSN programs are, by default, shorter in durationthan regular bachelor’s programs, accelerated RN-BSN degrees can be completed in even less time.However, it’s important to know that such degrees are extremely intensive, which may make it difficult forstudents to manage work and school together.
  • 2. Advantages of RN-BSN ProgramsAcademic focus: While the technical competencies provided by an ADN program can be quitecomprehensive, where it often lacks is in providing the theoretical knowledge necessary for graduates toassume complex nursing roles. An RN-BSN program can not only fill that gap, but can also help inculcatecritical thinking, analytical ability, and other such advanced skills because of its academic and intellectualfocus.Career opportunities: There are broader arrays of career opportunities for RNs who have a bachelor’sdegree as compared to those who have an associate’s degree in nursing. If you’re not content being astaff nurse for a good part of your career, the only way forward is usually an RN-BSN program.Educational advancement: An RN-BSN program is necessary if you’re interested in pursuing a graduatedegree. Roles like nurse educator, nurse manager, advanced practice nurse, researcher, etc. requirecandidates who have completed a master’s or a Ph.D. program.Higher pay: According to, RNs who have a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree canearn an average of up to $79,009 per year depending on experience, education, and location, whereasthose who have an associate’s degree in nursing may earn up to $74,487,** depending on experience,education, and location.Source:***