Online nursing programs have been designed to come to the aid of the already working Registered Nurse, Licensed Practice nurse or Certified Nurse Aide to complete a bachelors’ degree in nursing. For Registered Nurses who only have an associate of Science in nursing degree (ASN/ADN), enrolling for a Bachelors of Science in Nursing Degree (BSN) widens their knowledge in addition to giving a competitive employment edge.
Like other online nursing programs, online BSN programs are also fit for students who wish to take nursing as a second degree. In this case, students do not have to take four years to complete the BSN program, but rather, a crushed program that enables students to finish within two years. The third targets of online BSNs are direct entry students who are enrolling for nursing as a first degree. Although it is advisable for the former two, sharp and quick-to –learn fresh nursing students have also succeeded in these programs.
The Online BSN Degree
The online Bachelor of Science in nursing degree is a relatively new phenomenon. Prior to its existence, students had to enroll and attend physical classes and clinical sessions on-campus. The online BSN has changed that and students do not have to be on campus during study. Usually, students are able to take almost all their nursing lessons via online study mode.
However, it is worth noting that since nursing is an overly practical profession, student nurses are expected to take real-time clinical rounds. This enables them to interact with the real patients of people whom they will be serving. For this reason, there has not been completely online program for BSN. The normal arrangement for schools offering online nursing programs is to make a hybrid of the online learning and clinical sessions.
Online vs. On-Campus vs. BSN Hybrid
Since there can be no online BSN programs in totality, the hybrid of both online and on-campus is needed for successful completion of online nursing degrees. However, most of the study time is taken by students using the online mode. The hybrid is generated when students need to go for clinical sessions.
Many nursing schools that offer online programs liaise with community hospitals around the locality of the student. The students can also make special arrangements with neighboring hospitals so as to get a supervisor who can track their clinical practicum sessions. At one particular time, the nursing school offering your degree can send a university instructor to access your progress in the clinical classes.
Nursing Schools Offering Online BSN Programs
Although the program is relatively novel, there are schools that, over the years had a record of excellence in pioneering and propagating the concept of online BSN programs. Examples of top online accredited nursing schools are:
Walden University has a direct entry Bachelor of Science in nursing online program. Their online BSN has been accredited by the higher learning commission.
University of Phoenix is also famous for its fully recognized and accredited online Associate of Science in Nursing to BSN degree. The targeted students are already active RNs who want to earn a bachelor from an ASN.
Kaplan University has kept a clean record of offering a successful online learning mode for RNs. The target students are working RNs with ASNs who want to get a BSN and but still keep their day jobs.
Indiana State University: This university offers two online BSN degree approaches. The first is LPN to BSN and RN to BSN degree programs. The university allows student nurses to take online theory classes and finish the practical sessions at a local facility of their choice.
Chamberlain College of Nursing: the uniqueness of this school’s online BSN is that is an accelerated / fast-tracked program. RN Students who enroll for the BSN at chamberlain are able to finish their BSN in a record three semesters.
Grand Canyon University online BSN: offers an RN to BSN online degree that is well structured and recognized by relevant bodies.
Others accredited and approved online nursing schools offering either direct entry or RN to BSN programs include:
Kent State University
Western Governors University
Florida College of Health Sciences
University of Illinois at Chicago
Online nursing bachelor degree programs are ideal for the busy career woman who is already employed but wants to upgrade their education or a licensed practical nurse that wants to level up. Even if you are a nursing assistant or State Tested Nurse Assistant you can apply for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and use your experience to help with the beginning clinical work.
Choosing a School
Online Bachelor of Science in nursing degree programs (online BSN degree) require the regular liberal arts coursework to begin. There are several online correspondence courses but not all colleges are created the same. Be sure to check with your potential employer to confirm they will accept the online nursing degree you have chosen. Each school has different criteria for admittance, the clinical work, and the degree requirements. Of course, each school also charges differently and offers differing scholarships.
Online Nursing Bachelor Degree Program Requirements
Nursing schools turn down 40,000 applicants a year because of the coveted spaces in the classroom for a field that is growing more every day. Nursing schools look at several factors before choosing a student; if you are deficient in one area, try to make up for it in another section. For example, if you haven’t been to school in years, get some current work experience in the medical field as an aide or certified nursing assistant (CNA). Here are the areas for which you are evaluated:
grades. This includes your high school GPA, any college courses, the ACT, the SAT and a current NLN exam. The National League of Nursing administers a pre-testing exam for admission into nursing school. Each school has a threshold number for the final score. Students that make above that score are considered and those below are cut, regardless of the other experience, education, etc.
experience. This includes all your previous work experience and especially any medical experience in the field of nursing as an assistant (CNA) or licensed practical nurse (LPN).
prerequisites. The college for which you are applying will want you to have completed as many pre-requisites for the degree as possible. Some schools will accept you if have of the coursework has been completed. Some will not consider your application if all of the pre-requisites are not accomplished.
application. Complete your application thoroughly and legibly. Write clearly and give thoughtful, focused answers to all questions. Do not answer yes or no if an essay is expected.
presence. Apply in person to the nursing school of your choice and tour the facility. Meet as many faculty members as you can and try to make a good impression. Ask to audit a few classes so that you can discuss the class material with the professor. You want to let the school know who you are and that you are interested in them. They have hundreds and maybe thousands of applicants to choose from, you want to be memorable.
What To Expect from an Online BSN Program
You should expect your school to offer classroom instruction for all of the subject matter and a testing site near you at a college or university for your exams. Online universities work with local colleges to provide a place for your tests and final examinations to be supervised by a proctor. You will be required to furnish identification and meet on campus at least once a month for these exams.
You should also expect at least half of your instruction to be on site at a hospital or clinic. Online colleges provide the instruction for the classroom section, but nursing is a vocation and an academic degree. You need on-the-job training provided in real situations and settings. Your accredited online nursing bachelor degree program will have an arrangement with a local hospital for you to get your practical experience and be graded by their professional instructors.
After you graduate, you will be hired as a graduate nurse at a rate slightly higher than the current hourly wage for a licensed practical nurse. When you have completed your state licensing examinations for a registered nurse (RN), your salary will rise to the level of any one year graduate nurse, about $50,000 annually. You can expect the same raises and promotions as a graduate nurse of any accredited nursing school and Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduate with your online nursing bachelor degree program.