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You may be working as a registered nurse (RN) and thinking about pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Perhaps you are wondering if it will be hard to complete a degree program while you are employed or if it might be too expensive. An online RN to BSN program is tailored to nurses with an associate degree (ADN) who want to earn a BSN and move ahead in their careers.

What Is a BSN Degree Program?

Typically, it takes nursing students four years at a college or university to complete a BSN program. Once nursing students graduate with a BSN degree, they must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to obtain a nursing license to become an RN.

Nurses with an associate degree can work toward a BSN through an RN to BSN program. Generally, nurses in an RN to BSN program earn a BSN degree within two years. Some schools, like Mississippi College (MC), offer a 100-percent-online RN to BSN program that students can complete in approximately 12 months.

What Will You Learn In an RN to BSN Degree Program?

The BSN program builds on the topics covered at the associate level and expands instruction on communication, observation and technical skills. Depending on the college or university, other coursework may include the following topics:

  • Anatomy and Physiology.
  • Community Health Nursing.
  • Ethics in Nursing.
  • Health Assessment.
  • Nursing Leadership and Management.
  • Research in Nursing.
  • Healthcare Informatics.

Who Benefits From an RN to BSN Degree Program?

RN to BSN programs are for nurses who have completed an associate degree and are employed as ADNs. By enrolling in an RN to BSN program, ADNs can complete a BSN while continuing to work. Many online RN to BSN programs are convenient and affordable.

The Mississippi College online RN to BSN program offers multiple start dates and pay-by-the-course tuition. MC may also award financial aid to qualifying students. By completing an RN to BSN program, nurses are prepared for a greater number of job opportunities with higher wages.

Why Should You Enroll in an RN to BSN Program?

The Institute of Medicine (IOM), renamed the National Academy of Medicine in 2015, released a report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health in 2010 to address the role of nurses in the workforce. One of the IOM’s recommendations was the need to increase the number of BSN-prepared nurses from 50 percent to 80 percent by 2020.

Many hospitals and other healthcare facilities are heeding the IOM’s call for more nurses with a baccalaureate degree. They prefer to hire nurses with a BSN, especially if the hospital is seeking Magnet status. This prestigious distinction shows that a hospital is known for nursing excellence and quality patient care. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awards the Magnet designation to hospitals that meet its criteria. One requirement is that hospitals have a highly educated nursing staff.

The 2013 study Baccalaureate Education in Nursing and Patient Outcomes revealed better patient outcomes at hospitals with a higher percentage of BSN-prepared nurses. This correlation has led many healthcare organizations to establish a BSN degree as the minimum educational requirement. Some healthcare organizations like the U.S. Military, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Public Health Service will only hire nurses who hold at least a BSN.

The rapid change in the healthcare system is partly due to a growing aging population with complex medical conditions. A BSN degree can prepare you to meet the evolving challenges in the delivery of patient care. Nurses with a BSN have an advantage over RNs with an associate degree because they are eligible for professional advancement. With a BSN, you may have the chance to accept managerial and leadership positions in all types of healthcare settings.

Learn more about the MC online RN to BSN program.


Nursing Link: ADN vs. BSN: Which Should You Choose?

Nurse Journal: Anatomy of a Nursing BSN Degree

Top RN to BSN: What Is a BSN Degree?

Journal of Nursing Administration: Baccalaureate Education in Nursing and Patient Outcomes Magnet status: What It Is, What It Is Not, and What It Could Be RN-to-BSN FAQs

Institute of Medicine: The Future of Nursing Leading Change, Advancing Health

Nurse Journal: Top 9 Advantages of a BSN Degree

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