Transfer a Non-Nursing Degree to a BSN
Obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is possible for students who have already obtained a non-nursing-related degree. These degrees are typically designed to be completed at an accelerated rate, and students may have to meet higher admission requirements and complete some prerequisite coursework in order to enroll.
Students who have the appropriate undergraduate course prerequisites may be able to enter the nursing field through accelerated bachelor's degree programs. Many colleges offer the option of a second degree BSN option, in addition to their regular nursing degree programs.
Accelerated BSN Programs
Accelerated BSN programs are ideal for students who hold non-nursing degrees because they often lead to program completion in half the normal time. The regular BSN option takes 6-8 semesters to complete, while the accelerated BSN option can be completed in roughly four semesters. BSN students often attend school full time with no breaks between semesters.
Clinical experience requirements are the same as those of 4-year BSN programs. Admission standards may be higher, though, with some schools requiring a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) for admission. The pre-screening process is often more stringent than for conventional nursing programs.
Some of the prerequisites for an accelerated BSN must be taken at the school a student has chosen to attend regardless of previous credits and learning experience, which can add to the overall degree completion time. Students often have to complete this coursework with a grade of a C average or better. These prerequisites may include human anatomy and physiology I and II, chemistry with a lab component, statistics, nutrition, microbiology, and developmental psychology.
Career Outlook Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that nurses with a BSN tend to have better job prospects than those with only a diploma or an associate's degree. The BLS predicted that employment for registered nurses will grow by 16% during the 2014-2024 decade.
Non-nursing degree holders who are interested in returning to school to obtain a BSN degree will be able to find a number of programs available to them, though they will have to meet admission requirements and complete some prerequisite courses. Students who obtain a BSN degree face a favorable job outlook.