What is an RN to BSN Degree?

An RN to BSN degree program is designed to help registered nurses (RN) with previous work and education experience obtain a Bachelor’s of Science in nursing degree. Depending on the state, most of these programs will require an associate’s degree, but some will only require a high school diploma. Keep reading to learn the advantages of this unique educational program for RNs.

RN to BSN Programs

For RNs with a high school diploma, they will be required to complete four years of integrated general and nursing education classes. RNs with an associate’s degree will only be required to complete two years of nursing education classes. There are different reasons why RNs choose to join these programs. Many RNs are interested in accessing a higher earning potential and advanced career opportunities. Some may want to increase their leadership responsibilities while others will simply be interested in professional growth and development.

Either way, RNs will formally learn how to apply clinical skills, reasoning and assessment findings to improve care for patients and communities. They will learn how to use analytical techniques and scholarly skills to perform their evidence-based clinical duties. There will also be courses that will help RNs understand the principles of health care leadership, management and administration. Overall, the graduate will expand their skills and knowledge beyond clinical nursing aspects and into patient safety, quality care, technology integration and health care policies.

BSN Program Coursework

For RNs with limited education, BSN programs will cover mandatory science and health care topics, such as chemistry, biology physiology, psychology and human anatomy. Coursework will include microbiology, human development and an introduction to professional nursing practices. This key course introduces the professional practice framework of modern nursing. Students will learn critical thinking skills, clinical judgment techniques and professional ethics and values. Other classes may cover nursing research, statistics and evidence-based practices.

Resource: Top 30 Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs

Modern BSN programs include courses that teach students about cutting edge technologies. For example, nursing informatics is quickly becoming the IT standard of health care organizations. Nursing informatics is designed for tech savvy nurses to assist and improve in patient-centered health care management. Students will learn about data management automation and health care information systems. On the other hand, students may also learn abstract topics, such as theory-based nursing. This unique practice centers on the attitudes and behaviors necessary for holistic nursing care. This will include industry accepted theories related to human caring and professional development.

Beyond the BSN

Once an RN successfully finishes their BSN program, they should consider continuing their education. After graduation, some will be able to participate in developing and influencing health care policies and legislative. However, most RNs will simply want to choose to nursing specialization. The good news is that are plenty of interesting and challenging specializations. For example, there is ambulatory care nursing, which focuses on long-term patient care, and advanced practice registered nursing (APRN), which prepares graduates to work as a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist. Conversely, there is also case management nurse, which centers on coordinating long-term care, and critical care nursing, and deals with critically ill or injured patients.

In the long run, RNs who are interested in expanding their skills and career opportunities should consider obtaining a BSN degree. This can be conveniently and efficiently accomplished through an accredited RN to BSN program.