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How Long Does an Online RN to BSN Program Take?

The need for more nurses keeps growing. An aging patient population and retiring nurses are creating a shortage in the nursing workforce. In addition, many employers now prefer to hire registered nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). If you are an RN with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), it may be time to think about pursuing a BSN. An online RN to BSN program is ideal for nurses who want to complete a program at a pace that is comfortable for them.

What Is an Online RN to BSN Program?

An online RN to BSN is a bridge program for nurses who have already completed an ADN. The RN to BSN program builds on the preparation, knowledge and skills students acquire in their associate program and on the job.

In an online program, nurses gain competency in leadership, communication and critical-thinking skills so they can effectively collaborate with healthcare professionals and coworkers. They are prepared to deliver culturally sensitive care in a variety of healthcare settings to a diverse patient population.

Moreover, nurses explore the role of information technologies in healthcare and ways to use these technologies to make patient-care decisions and increase positive outcomes. Nurses also examine why professional development, lifelong learning and scholarship are important factors in advancing the nursing profession.

Why Is an Online RN to BSN Program a Good Choice for RNs?

Online programs are meant for working RNs who want to continue earning a paycheck while increasing their education. Most RN to BSN programs like the one offered by St. Thomas University are 100 percent online.

Nurse do not have to travel to a campus and sit in a classroom. Instead, they can access the online program anytime and anywhere. They can complete the clinical leadership project at their place of employment.

What Are the Advantages of Online RN to BSN Programs?

Online RN to BSN programs are designed for nurses who want to qualify for transformative leadership roles in nursing such as assistant director of nursing, assistant nurse manager or nurse supervisor. These are just a few of the advantages of an online RN to BSN program:

  • Affordability
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Multiple start dates for 7-week terms
  • No commuting

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online RN to BSN Program?

The time to complete a BSN online varies according to the program. Most online RN to BSN programs take about 18 to 24 months to complete.

At STU, students may graduate from the accelerated online RN to BSN program in as few as 12 months. The STU program includes nine core courses and two general education classes. To complete the program in a year, students need to take at least two courses for each of four terms and one class for the other three terms.

What Are the Reasons for Taking More Time To Complete the Program?

Online programs give nurses the flexibility to determine how quickly or slowly they want to complete the RN to BSN.

Some nurses may decide to take time off from nursing so they can concentrate only on coursework. Other students may need to take longer because they are working part time or full time and also have family obligations. Financial considerations may also affect how quickly they finish. Some nurses cannot afford to complete an online program within a year. They may need to spread the costs out beyond 12 months.

With employers following the 2015 recommendation of the Institute of Medicine (renamed the National Academy of Medicine) for increasing the proportion of BSN-prepared nurses in the workforce to 80 percent by 2020, nurses with an ADN need to consider obtaining a baccalaureate degree. Furthermore, a BSN may become the required entry-level degree for new nurses. RNs who are not near retirement age may need a BSN to move ahead in their career and receive a higher salary. An online RN to BSN program can help nurses achieve their goals and prepare them for more job opportunities.

Learn more about St. Thomas University's online RN to BSN program.


Sources:

RegisteredNursing.org: Accelerated Nursing Programs -- BSN & MSN

U.S. News & World Report: How to Choose an Online Nursing Bachelor's Program

National Academy of Medicine: The Future of Nursing: Leading Change Advancing Health

Best Master of Science in Nursing Degrees: How Long Does It Take to Earn an RN-BSN Degree?

Nursing.org: Online RN to BSN Programs

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