If you’re considering heading back to nursing school, you may wonder how long it takes to earn an online RN to BSN degree.
Registered nurses pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) often transfer 60 credits from their associate’s degree. RN to BSN programs generally take just two years to complete.
Some online colleges offer accelerated RN to BSN pathways for as little as 18 months. These timeframes are based on full-time enrollment though. RNs taking online classes part-time may need three to four years.
Most universities mandate that RN to BSN nursing education be completed in five years maximum. Making the time commitment can be challenging without disrupting your nursing career.
Below is everything you should know to determine if an online RN to BSN is right for you.
Typical Online RN to BSN Curriculum
Online RN to BSN programs are usually delivered asynchronously, which means students can log in and complete coursework anytime. Most will skip over general education courses you’ve already covered in your associate’s program.
Instruction in online RN to BSN degrees focuses on science, nursing skills, and clinical practice. You should expect courses on health assessment, nutrition, public health, nursing research, biochemistry, evidence-based practice, nursing leadership, ethics, and pathophysiology.
Field experience in online RN to BSN programs usually is arranged in each student’s hometown.
This degree completion program gives RNs the advanced proficiencies to specialize their practice. Specialty areas could be offered in pediatrics, geriatrics, emergency care, oncology, and more.
Reasons to Get Your BSN Online
There are numerous benefits of obtaining a BSN. New ACCN guidelines suggest that a bachelor’s degree should be the minimum requirement for registered nurses. Completing an RN to BSN program will open more job opportunities, especially in management. BSN holders enjoy better marketability in a growing field that’s getting more competitive.
Online RN to BSN degrees are flexible enough to continue working while pursuing personal enrichment. Online programs can save you money on tuition and commuting costs. Registered nurses with a BSN earn better pay than less educated colleagues.
Finishing an RN to BSN program can also give you the preparation for an MSN and advanced practice nursing roles.
Finding an Online RN to BSN Degree
According to the AACN, there are 679 accredited RN to BSN programs in the United States, including around 400 that are fully or partially online.
Finding an online RN to BSN program isn’t hard, but choosing the right one can be. First, make certain that the degree is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Also consider the online program’s curriculum, student-faculty ratio, applied learning opportunities, graduation rate, financial aid, career services, and educational technology.
Employment of registered nurses is expected to grow quickly by 16 percent through 2024, which will create around 439,300 new jobs. An increasing number of job openings are listed with the tagline “BSN preferred.” If you’ve already completed a diploma or associate’s degree and passed the NCLEX-RN exam, you can further your education with an RN to BSN. Online RN to BSN degree programs typically take just two years, but they can provide a lifetime advantage with more room for career advancement.
For help finding an affordable online RN to BSN see: 15 Most Affordable Best Online RN to BSN Nursing Degree Programs