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Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): RN to BSN Degree Overview

RN to BSN programs are for nurses who have already achieved RN status and want to earn a BSN degree in order to improve their opportunities for better pay and advancement to management positions.

Essential Information

Licensed nurses who want to earn a bachelor's degree in the field of nursing can enroll in an RN to BSN program. These programs can be completed in as little as one year, and some schools feature online courses for working nurses. These degree programs also require students to participate in clinical experiences as part of the coursework.

All program entrants should have completed high school as well as previous RN training and licensing. Programs that qualify students for RN licensure typically include either a diploma or associate degree in nursing. Applicants need to have completed prerequisite coursework in college-level mathematics, humanities and the sciences.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing: RN-BSN Option

Studies include microbiology, nutrition, health assessment, health policy and nurse leadership. Students commonly take courses such as:

  • Physiology and anatomy
  • Nursing statistics
  • Research design and methods
  • Health assessment
  • Nursing theory and practice
  • Healthcare management

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

A 16% increase in employment for RNs is expected from 2014 to 2024, and job opportunities should be excellent, especially for those with bachelor's degrees, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Inner cities and rural areas, which may lack quality healthcare, will provide some of the best employment opportunities. The BLS reported that the median annual salary for RNs was $67,490 in 2015.

Continuing Education Information

A registered nurse who has completed a BSN degree program may enter a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program. Completing an MSN degree program can provide professional nurses with opportunities to enter academic careers, where they can become nurse educators or advanced practice nurses, including clinical nurse specialists or nurse practitioners. Each career option includes different continuing education requirements for continued licensure, as well as potential certification for maximum career benefits and advancement. Additional income, career satisfaction and greater responsibilities may result when nurses pursue advanced education degrees.

For experienced RNs who want to take their careers to the next level, an RN to BSN program can help them increase their medical expertise and improve their clinical skills. Graduates with this degree are more attractive to potential employers, and they are eligible to enroll in MSN programs.


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