FAQs About Online RN to BSN Programs

Many nurses enter the health care field by completing an associate degree or a hospital diploma program, then passing the NCLEX to become an RN. While this is the quickest path to a career in registered nursing, it can also be the most limiting. Whether you are seeking a promotion or looking for a new job, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is often required for the best opportunities.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reports that 82% of hospitals and health care employers now prefer to hire BSN-prepared nurses. One reason is that BSN RNs have additional knowledge in areas such as research and evidence-based practice. They also bring skills in care planning and coordination to their role, and they understand how to adapt best practices to a wide range of health care settings.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reports that 82% of hospitals and health care employers now prefer to hire BSN-prepared nurses. One reason is that BSN RNs have additional knowledge in areas such as research and evidence-based practice. They also bring skills in care planning and coordination to their role, and they understand how to adapt best practices to a wide range of health care settings.

Online RN to BSN programs are designed to help busy nurses complete their degree while working full time. Courses are accelerated so students can move through material quickly, learn faster and still have time for patients, friends and family. Follow the links below to learn more about the RN to BSN degree and the benefits of earning it online.

What Is an RN to BSN Program?

The RN to BSN degree is designed for working nurses who want to further their education and achieve their career goals. It is a bridge program that allows ADN- and diploma-prepared RNs to complete a bachelor’s in two years or less, depending on their previous course credits.

RN to BSN programs build on the foundational knowledge that experienced nurses bring to patient care. Students develop their skills in research, critical thinking and analysis while gaining insight in new areas and aspects of nursing. According to AACN, RN to BSN programs also help nurses understand the cultural, political, economic and social issues that can affect heath and patient care.

Online programs tend to be an affordable option for earning a BSN, and the most flexible when it comes to scheduling. They can also save you time and money normally spent on commuting or finding childcare in order to study on campus.

St. Thomas University’s online RN to BSN program offers working nurses a convenient and affordable way to earn a bachelor’s degree. Study when and wherever it suits you, without disrupting your life in the process. Core nursing courses can be completed in as little as 12 months and for $6,750 total. You can also take most of the general education classes required for the degree online.

Why Should I Earn a BSN If I Already Have an ADN?

A BSN can increase your skills and expertise in nursing and benefit your career. Expanding your knowledge of nursing practice to include advanced concepts in care delivery and management can also help ensure the best results for your patients.

Studying evidence-based practice helps RNs understand the wide range of factors that contribute to acute and chronic disease, as well as short-term illness and overall health. You’ll also learn new strategies to promote wellness, improve communication and address nursing issues that can impact patient care.

A BSN can prepare you to take on many different leadership roles as well, or to work in specialized areas of nursing such as critical care or pediatrics.

The online RN to BSN program is a great opportunity for nurses that would like to advance their nursing education so that they can be better qualified, not only to care for their patients but also for professional growth and personal advancement.

Why Do Some Nursing Jobs Require a BSN?

Over the last decade, hospitals and other health care employers have started following nursing recommendations originally issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), now known as the National Academy of Medicine. The push for more BSN-prepared nurses began in 2010, in response to the IOM’s research report The Future of Nursing. The report argued that the rapid evolution of health care in the United States calls for a higher minimum standard in nursing education. It suggested that 80% of RNs should be BSN-prepared by 2020.

Although that goal has not been met, nurses are making progress. Data by the Campaign for Action shows that between 2009 and 2019, the total number of BSN graduates more than doubled from 66,727 to 143,294. Multiple research studies conducted since the initial IOM report have also demonstrated that having more BSN-prepared RNs on staff can lead to a range of positive outcomes. They include fewer hospital-acquired infections, lower mortality rates and decreased care costs due to shorter patient stays and fewer readmissions.

Do Magnet Hospitals Require a BSN?

Yes, for most nursing positions they do. BSN RNs are essential to hospitals and health care systems working toward Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. To earn Magnet status, institutions must strive to meet the IOM’s goal of 80% BSN-prepared RNs. All nurse leaders must have a BSN as well. There are over 500 Magnet health care organizations across the U.S., and more than 20 in Florida. Your BSN must also be accredited if you want to work for a Magnet hospital or system.

Do I Need a BSN to Become an APRN?

If you hope to be an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) someday, you will definitely need the academic and clinical preparation a BSN provides. It’s the first step on the road to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), which is required to become a nurse practitioner, nurse educator, clinical nurse specialist or any other type of APRN.

It’s wise to earn your bachelor’s from an accredited nursing program if graduate school is part of your plans, since most MSN programs require an accredited BSN for admission.

What Will I Learn In an Online RN to BSN Program?

Online RN to BSN programs are designed to help nurses build on their core knowledge of patient care, develop their research skills and explore new ideas in the field. For example, when studying evidence-based practice you’ll rely on your clinical experience as you learn to gather information, make informed decisions and evaluate the results. Students also complete projects that address current issues in nursing, often in an actual health care setting.

Students in STU’s online RN to BSN program learn how to improve patient care using a variety of holistic assessment and support measures. Coursework highlights critical reasoning, collaboration and leadership, with a focus on strategic planning and innovation in nursing.

You can get your BSN at any age, but having that all-around education just makes you a well-rounded nurse, much more marketable, much more worldly, much more able to cope and to understand how to take care of a patient. Not only that, but you're prepared to be a leader. At STU that's our motto, ‘leaders for life,’ so that leadership component is very important that you learn at a BSN level.

What Kind of Courses Will I Take In an Online RN to BSN Program?

You will complete both nursing and general education courses to earn a bachelor’s degree. BSN core classes cover subjects such as nursing research and advanced patient evaluation, as well as analytics and administration. They also provide students with a broader perspective on cultural and community issues that can impact health. The number of gen ed courses required will vary by student, based on previous coursework and transfer credits.

St. Thomas University’s online RN to BSN program requires 30 credit hours in nursing, completed in nine courses:

  • Transition to Professional Nursing
  • Health Care System Issues
  • Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice
  • Aging and the End of Life
  • Health Assessment & Promotion
  • Nursing Leadership
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Nursing Practice in Multicultural Society
  • Nursing Informatics

In addition to the 24 general education credits required for the BSN, STU nursing students must take World Religions (3 hours) and Biomedical Ethics (3 hours) if they have not done so previously. Any classes not offered online at STU may be completed on campus, or through a local community college.

As a nursing student at STU online, you will be challenged to acquire the scientific knowledge base and critical thinking skills of the nursing discipline, incorporate professional nursing behaviors, develop technical and decision-making skills, embody ethics into your practice, and gain awareness of self and others’ value systems.

Are There Any BSN Prerequisites?

Some online RN to BSN programs do require nursing prerequisites, usually for courses such as evidence-based practice. The type and number of classes you might need will depend on your school’s policies and degree requirements. Check with programs you are considering to learn more.

STU’s online RN to BSN program does not require any nursing prerequisites. You can begin taking BSN classes as soon as you enroll.

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is an independent review process that helps guarantee colleges and universities meet high academic and operational standards. It also ensures that schools are providing students the right preparation for their degree field.

Accreditors may evaluate universities or specific degree programs. They may look at policies, curriculum, financials, professor qualifications, teaching methods, learning resources available to students, graduation rates and much more. Nursing program accreditors also consider student pass rates on the NCLEX and other RN licensure and certification exams.

Are Online RN to BSN Programs Accredited?

Most are, but not all. This is why it’s important to verify that your degree program is accredited before you apply. The U.S. Department of Education maintains a list of independent organizations that review nursing schools and the degrees they offer. You can also search the DOE Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.

Online RN to BSN programs are typically accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Once granted, accreditation must also be renewed every five years.

St. Thomas University’s online RN to BSN program is CCNE-accredited. STU is also regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Why Is Accreditation Important?

Accreditation helps ensure that schools and their degree programs operate responsibly and provide students with a quality education. Unaccredited schools do not always live up to these standards. Their graduates may also have limited job options in health care since most nursing employers expect BSN RNs to have an accredited degree. Magnet hospitals are among many employers that require one.

Nurses who study in unaccredited RN to BSN programs are not eligible for state or federal financial aid, and they can’t use military education benefits to pay for their degree. They also don’t qualify for federal loan consolidation, loan forgiveness or income-driven repayment programs after graduation.

For-profit colleges are more likely to be unaccredited than public or private universities. This may be one reason these institutions have higher rates of fraud and financial failure, as academic news site The Conversation points out. All things considered, there is really no benefit to earning your degree from an unaccredited nursing school.

Do Online RN to BSN Programs Have Clinicals or a Practicum?

Yes. Most online RN to BSN programs have a practice experience requirement, whether this educational component is known as clinicals, an internship or a practicum. You won’t repeat any elements of your original RN clinicals, however. The BSN version focuses more on research and evaluation, as well as other advanced concepts in nursing. Requirements differ by program, and each state also has its own standards for BSN preparation.

Students in STU’s online RN to BSN program complete their clinical requirements in two practicum courses: Nursing Leadership and Community Health Nursing. Each requires 54 clinical hours, divided between in-class learning and on-site application.

Clinical projects are tailored to each health care setting, with the goal of identifying issues and solving problems. Students also collaborate with nursing leaders, staff members and the local community, while working closely with professors and a preceptor.

Will I Choose My Own Clinical Site and Preceptor?

In most cases, yes. However, check with programs you are interested in for their policies. Online RN to BSN students usually pick a site for their clinical practicum and are responsible for finding their own preceptor. In each instance, your arrangement must be approved by the professor or RN to BSN program coordinator overseeing your placement.

This approach to clinicals makes it easier for RNs to fit the required hours around their weekly nursing schedule. You can also choose the best placement for your needs and interests, as well as your career ambitions. Some schools provide placement assistance if an RN is having difficulty finding the right fit, but it’s always best to confirm whether this is the case before enrolling.

St. Thomas University strongly encourages online RN to BSN students to secure their own site and preceptor. Help is also available if needed, with the caveat that limited placement options may require commuting within your geographic area. Visit the courses section of the program page to learn more.

Can I Do My Clinicals In My Current Unit, or With My Regular Supervisor?

Probably not. Most schools don’t offer this option because the point of BSN clinicals is to broaden your knowledge and skills. While completing clinical hours in your regular job setting may seem convenient, it’s not really the best way to get exposure to the new ideas, challenges and colleagues that can speed your professional development.

STU requires that online RN to BSN students complete their clinicals in a different setting than the one where they currently work, and under a preceptor who is not their current supervisor.

For the leadership practicum, you could do a nursing project in another unit of your hospital or at a separate facility in your health care network, for example. For the community health practicum, you will select a project site in your city or metro area, and address issues impacting local citizens. For instance, you might team up with a nonprofit serving a specific patient population or work with your municipal health department.

Student practicum activities must also take place outside of typical working hours. This separation of duties is important, because RNs cannot be paid for time spent meeting clinical requirements for the degree.

Spotlight: Community Nursing Projects Help Floridians Make Healthy Choices

BSN RNs have an important role to play in public health projects that address community needs. The Florida Department of Health oversees many of these efforts in the Sunshine State, such as the recent Healthy People 2020 campaign. It introduced a wide range of disease prevention and awareness activities, including a number of projects designed to address the issue of obesity.

Carrying extra weight can lead to premature death as well as conditions such as high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. Using evidence-based practice, BSN RNs can find the best strategies for helping citizens adopt healthy diet and exercise habits. They can also make a difference by participating in obesity outreach campaigns targeted to youth and adults.

According to the Department of Health, 65% of adult Floridians are overweight or obese. The state also predicts that 60% of Florida children will be obese by the time they graduate from high school. Some government agencies in the state are partnering with universities and health care providers to try and reverse these concerning trends by 2024. Here are two current projects:

  • Jackson County’s Community Health Improvement Plan has several key obesity-related initiatives. They include strategies to increase physical activity, encourage consumption of fruits and vegetables, and help reduce chronic disease rates linked to unhealthy weight.
  • In Miami-Dade County, the Florida Department of Health is working to ensure that WIC and SNAP recipients have access to healthy food options in their communities, while also helping residents of all ages reduce their weight and avoid poor health outcomes.

Online RN to BSN students at STU interested in public health have the opportunity to get this type of hands-on community nursing experience during their bachelor’s practicum. Obesity is just one challenge among many important health issues nursing students can choose to address in their city or region.

What Are the Admissions Requirements for Online RN to BSN Programs?

Most online RN to BSN programs have similar admission requirements, which include:

  • A valid RN license
  • An associate degree or diploma program certificate
  • Official transcripts from each school attended
  • A grade point average (GPA) that meets the minimum standard for admission

Applicants to St. Thomas University’s online RN to BSN program must have a valid and unencumbered RN license as well as official transcripts documenting their RN preparation. A cumulative GPA of 2.5 on previous coursework is also required for admission.

Will My Previous Course Credits Transfer?

Transfer credit guidelines will vary by school, but most online RN to BSN students receive a substantial block of course credit for passing the NCLEX exam and/or having an RN license. You may be able to transfer some general education credits from a previous school as well, depending on the type of courses you’ve taken. Check with individual nursing programs to verify their policies.

Online RN to BSN students at STU are awarded 60 course credits in nursing for having their RN license, which is half of the 120 credits required for the degree. Students must complete their 30 BSN credits in the online program but may transfer in some general education courses if desired. Contact an STU online RN to BSN admissions advisor at 855-215-4021 for further information.

Learn more about our online MSN – FNP program
STU Online Degree Programs

When Can I Enroll in an RN to BSN Program?

Traditional on-campus programs usually have one application date each spring and fall, but online programs are more flexible. You can apply online anytime, instead of waiting months for a new term to begin. Once you are accepted, you can also get started right away.

STU’s accelerated online RN to BSN program has six start dates a year, and new classes begin every eight weeks. This means you can pursue your degree soon as you’re ready.

What Is the Career Outlook for BSN RNs?

Job market analysis from Burning Glass Technologies (December 2020) projects that Florida will have high demand for BSN RNs in the decade ahead, with expected job growth of 21% through 2026. This is more than double the demand for all RNs, according to 2019 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

BLS predicts faster-than-average job growth for RNs across America through 2029, attributing this robust employment outlook to an increase in both preventive care and chronic disease rates. The number of Baby Boomers who are at or nearing retirement age is also a contributing factor, since this group’s life expectancy continues to grow.

Spotlight: Why BSN RNs Win More Nursing Jobs

Bachelor’s graduates have a competitive advantage in the health care job market. In fact, the nation’s largest nursing employer, the U.S. Veterans Administration, requires a BSN for all RNs who wish to move beyond an entry-level role. The following studies illustrate why the VA and other employers are investing in BSN RNs and promoting them to leadership positions.

  • A study published in the journal Teaching and Learning in Nursing (2020) found that nurses enrolled in RN to BSN programs show a significant improvement in all six areas of AACN’s Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice.
  • A comparative analysis of BSN and ADN graduates in 13 states and the District of Columbia published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety (2019) found that RNs with a bachelor’s degree were better prepared than those with an associate’s alone. In fact, researchers discovered that many ADN RNs had knowledge gaps in areas of quality and safety that BSN RNs did not.
  • A research review published in the Journal of Nursing and Healthcare (2018) cited specific benefits when BSN-prepared nurses care for acutely ill patients, including higher survival rates and lower incidence of thrombosis after surgery. Researchers also noted fewer hospital-acquired complications among facilities with high numbers of BSN RNs.

Simply put, employers know that nurses with a bachelor’s degree have professional skills that set them apart.

Will I Make More Money With a BSN?

According to the latest BLS data, the average salary for registered nurses is $73,300 annually. While pay can vary depending on your experience, region and job title, BSN RNs usually make more than nurses without a bachelor’s degree.

The table below features typical compensation rates for RNs in Florida. In many cities, BSN-prepared nurses earn at least $15,000 more annually. That’s an extra $105,000 in just seven years.

Location Average Annual Salary BSN RNs Average Annual Salary All RNs
Santa Rosa Beach $83,335 $67,535
West Palm Beach $82,301 $66,697
Miami $82,411 $66,786
Fort Lauderdale $81,920 $66,388
Jacksonville $81,111 $65,732
Tampa $80,657 $65,364
Orlando $80,252 $65,036
Fort Myers $79,410 $64,354
St. Petersburg $78,760 $63,827
Tallahassee $77,021 $62,418

Source: ZipRecruiter, December 2020

Which BSN RN Jobs Pay the Best?

In addition to building new knowledge, BSN courses prepare RNs to step into more complex nursing and leadership roles. If you’re currently a nursing manager, the degree can also give you the credential you need to get promoted or improve your salary.

Here are a few of the great-paying jobs you can explore as a BSN RN.

Position Average Annual Salary
Informatics Nurse $102,230
Critical Care RN $100,433
NICU Manager $100,395
ER Nurse Manager $97,105
Clinical Operations Manager $96,760
ICU Nurse $95,000
Transplant Coordinator $92,173
Operating Room RN $92,136

Source: ZipRecruiter, December 2020

At St. Thomas University, we are committed to preparing leaders, giving you the knowledge, the ethical background that you need so that you can be a true leader to your community.

Where Are BSN RNs In High Demand?

AACN’s 2020 nursing school survey found that 76% of BSN-prepared students across the country had a job offer by the time they finished their degree. Schools in the South led the nation in this respect, with employment offers for 84% of new BSNs by graduation.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has also noted high demand in Florida for BSN RNs. December 2020 data from Burning Glass Technologies confirms that these metro areas are recruiting the most BSN graduates in the state.

  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford
  • Jacksonville

Florida cities of all sizes are experiencing strong demand for BSN RNs, however. Employers in the areas below have the most difficulty recruiting qualified nurses, which means that new BSN graduates may find excellent opportunity there.

Metro Area Demand Percentage Above National Average
Sebring 170%
Gainesville Punta Gorda 120%
Port St. Lucie Homosassa Springs 90%
Ocala 70%
Tampa Orlando Melbourne Vero Beach 50%

Source: Burning Glass Technologies, December 2020

Nursing is a high-demand career in South Florida, and across the nation there is a shortage of nurses. St. Thomas University is stepping up to fill that void.

What Are Some Advantages of Working at a Magnet Hospital?

According to AACN, the Magnet designation is the gold standard in nursing. It recognizes health care institutions committed to excellence. Magnet hospitals promote best practices in management and patient care. They are also committed to RN training and development. Here are a few more reasons why working for one is a great career move.

  • Your current skills will be validated. Magnet facilities are among the most selective in hiring nursing staff, and their RNs are well-regarded professionally. They also tend to have higher employee satisfaction and lower turnover rates.
  • You’ll practice nursing in a setting focused on collaboration and quality of care. Research routinely links Magnet hospitals with better patient satisfaction and safety, as well as lower mortality rates and fewer pressure ulcers and falls.
  • Statistics show that RNs are often safer on the job at Magnet facilities. AACN notes that nurses experience fewer musculoskeletal issues, accidental needlesticks and other injuries.

Nurses hoping to join the staff at a Magnet hospital are in the best position to do so after earning a BSN. Some hospitals will also hire qualified ADN-prepared nurses enrolled in an RN to BSN program.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a BSN Online?

Online RN to BSN programs can be completed in as little as two years, because they build on each student’s experience and previous courses. Most programs award incoming students substantial course credit for passing the NCLEX and holding an RN license, so everything you’ve learned can also count toward your bachelor’s. Once you enroll, your pace will likely depend on your schedule, the amount of time you have to devote to school, and the total number of nursing and general ed credits required for the degree.

The nursing component of STU’s online RN to BSN program can be completed in just 12 months by taking two classes each term. This timeline is for BSN courses alone and does not include any general education requirements you may still need to meet.

How Many Hours Will I Need to Study a Week?

If you set aside nine to 12 hours of study time per class each week, you should be able to complete everything your professor has assigned. However, adjust this figure according to your study habits and give yourself more time whenever assignments or projects are due.

Can I Go to School and Work Full Time?

Yes. Online RN to BSN programs are tailored to working nurses and take their needs into consideration. You can study whenever it’s convenient, whether that’s on a lunch break, on your day off or at night after the kids are in bed. You can even listen to your professor’s lectures on the way to work or while stuck in traffic. Your virtual classroom is available wherever you go.

STU’s accelerated seven-week courses give students the flexibility to fit school around work or family obligations. While earning a BSN can be challenging, online study makes it possible for RNs to enjoy all the benefits that come with a bachelor’s degree.

How Much Does an Online RN to BSN Program Cost?

The cost of an online RN to BSN degree can differ for each student depending on a few factors. Where you live is sometimes most important because that may determine whether you’ll pay in-state or out-of-state tuition. Many online nursing programs charge all students the same tuition rate, but this is not always the case.

The number of courses you’ll need to take is the next consideration. Aside from your BSN classes in nursing, consider the general education credits you have left to complete. Check whether you have to fulfill some prerequisites as well. Once you know how many hours are required to finish your degree, you can figure your tuition cost. Don’t forget to add any fees that may apply also.

The table below features six popular online RN to BSN programs in Florida. These tuition and fee rates for BSN classes represent typical costs for the degree. Based on those figures, the average cost to complete all required nursing courses runs about $13,852.

Metro Area Demand Percentage Above National Average
Sebring 170%
Gainesville Punta Gorda 120%
Port St. Lucie Homosassa Springs 90%
Ocala 70%
Tampa Orlando Melbourne Vero Beach 50%

Source: Burning Glass Technologies, December 2020

Will My Employer Pay for My BSN?

A number of hospitals and health care systems provide tuition reimbursement for nurses as part of their standard employee benefit package. Sometimes it is also offered as an incentive for ADN and diploma-prepared nurses to further their education. Check with your employer, however, as these programs are not standard in every workplace.

If you are changing jobs and considering a BSN, be sure to ask potential employers whether tuition reimbursement is an option. Many hospitals competing for the best nurses are now including this benefit in their recruiting package, along with signing bonuses and other perks.

Are Online Students Eligible for Financial Aid?

Online students attending an accredited school or degree program can apply for federal student aid, including loans, grants and scholarships. Your eligibility will depend on your income, the cost of your degree and other criteria. The first step is to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by your online RN to BSN program’s established deadline.

The federal Nurse Corps Scholarship and Loan Repayment programs also provide assistance to RNs willing to make a service commitment after graduation and work in a high-need facility or geographic area. Nurse.org offers an extensive list of nursing scholarships online students can apply for as well.

Can I Use My Military Education Benefits for an Online RN to BSN Program?

Yes, as long as the degree program you choose is accredited. Funding programs available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs include the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty and Selective Reserve), and Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance.

St. Thomas University also participates in the VA’s Yellow Ribbon Program, which helps fill funding gaps for service members without enough coverage under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Are Online Courses Easier Than Courses On Campus?

No. Online courses require the same time commitment and hard work as classes held on campus.

The readings, assignments and grading policies will be similar in each version, and you’ll be learning the same skills and concepts. In fact, online nursing courses are often taught by the same professors you would study with on campus.

The main difference you’ll notice is that learning online makes it easier to balance professional and personal commitments while earning your degree.

How Do Online Courses Work?

Online courses are organized to help you move through lessons quickly and independently, even if you’ve never studied this way before. Each course features a syllabus, a schedule and a set of learning modules. You will find readings and assignments to complete, along with guidelines and due dates. Professor lectures are recorded on video, so you can watch them anytime. You’ll also take tests and submit papers in your online course.

Simply log in to your school’s learning management system (LMS) to find your classes and begin earning your degree. St. Thomas University’s Canvas LMS is user-friendly and easy to navigate, with courses, grades and helpful learning resources all located in one convenient place.

STU is a smaller community. ... We don't have large classes, so we can give individual attention if we need to. We know each student, we know their personalities, we work with them closely.

It is imperative that students dedicate the time to meet all their requirements. It is important to be engaged in the class and participate in discussions. It is essential to keep good communication with your instructor to facilitate your needs.

Will I Have Classmates in Online RN to BSN Courses?

Yes. There are plenty of opportunities to interact with other students in your online courses. You can even work and study with your RN peers.

Discussion board conversations give students the chance to share experiences and hear different perspectives on nursing. Group projects and presentations allow RNs to collaborate and do research together. You can also communicate with classmates anytime via email, or chat with them online.

What Are the Technology Requirements for Online Courses?

Studying online isn’t nearly as complicated as it may sound. To get started, all you really need is a computer, internet access, word processing software and enough storage space for assignments and other files. If you already stream videos and chat online you’re probably ready to do the same in your classes. Submitting homework and papers is easy as well.

If your computer is older and you feel you need a technology update, it’s possible to get a new laptop or desktop system without breaking the bank. Your current setup may also be fine with a few upgrades. You can even use a smartphone or tablet as needed when posting to discussion boards, watching video lectures or talking to your professor.

Check with the nursing programs you are interested in to learn more about tech requirements for their LMS and online courses.

What Kinds of Support Services Are Available to Online Students?

Online students are eligible for many of the same services as on-campus students. The type of services available will vary by school, but remote library access and tech support are common forms of assistance.

STU offers extensive student services online. The University Library provides e-books and online databases, as well as research assistance via telephone or email seven days a week. You can even use the interlibrary loan service online, or get a book delivered if you live within 100 miles of campus. The Glenn Hubert Student Learning Center offers 24/7 writing support, and IT Help Desk services are also available around the clock.

STU Online Degree Programs
Learn more about the online RN to BSN program!


American Association of Colleges of Nursing:

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
American Academy of PAs: PAs & NPs: Similarities & Differences

American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP):

2017 National Nurse Practitioner Sample Survey Results
NP Certification Nurse Practitioner Role Grows to More Than 270,000
State Practice Environment
American Journal of Managed Care: Nurse Practitioners Play an Increasing Role in Primary Care
American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC): FNP Certification
Association of American Medical Colleges: New Findings Confirm Predictions on Physician Shortage
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Florida Department of Health: 2017 Physician Workforce Annual Report
Florida State Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program
Forbes: Nurse Practitioners Boost Presence By 43% in Rural America
HealthAffairs: Primary Care Workforce Data

Health Resources & Services Administration:

Health Professional Shortage Areas
National Health Service Corps
NHSC Rural Community LRP Award
Nurse Corps
Projecting the Supply and Demand for Primary Care Practitioners Through 2020
State-Level Projections of Supply and Demand for Primary Care Practitioners: 2013-2025
State Loan Repayment Program
Indian Health Service: Loan Repayment Program
Kaiser Family Foundation: Tapping Nurse Practitioners to Meet Rising Demand for Primary Care
Merritt Hawkins: 2017 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times
National Certification Corporation (NCC): Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner
National Conference of State Legislatures: Meeting the Primary Care Needs of Rural America
National Task Force on Quality Nurse Practitioner Education: Criteria for Evaluation of Nurse Practitioner Programs
NerdWallet: Cost of Living Calculator
New York Times: The Disappearing Doctor: How Mega-Mergers Are Changing the Business of Medical Care
Nurse.org: List of Nursing Scholarships
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Growing Retail Clinic Industry Employs, Empowers Nurse Practitioners
Scope of Practice Policy: Florida State Profile
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC): Accrediting Standards
UnitedHealth Group: Addressing the Nation's Primary Care Shortage

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Fastest Growing Occupations
Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives and Nurse Practitioners
Nurse Practitioners: Occupational Employment and Wages
Physician Assistants
Physician Assistants: Occupational Employment and Wages
U.S. Census Bureau: New Census Data Show Differences Between Urban and Rural Populations

U.S. Department of Education:

Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: HHS Awards $293 Million

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:

GI Bill Comparison Tool
VA Grants Full Practice Authority to Advance Practice Registered Nurses

U.S. News & World Report:

Can Nurse Practitioners Help Ease the Growing Physician Shortage?
Nurse Practitioner Overview