The Increasing Popularity of Online RN to BSN Programs

Increasingly, registered nurses–the backbone of the healthcare profession–are being asked to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Doing so helps nurses not only solidify their current positions but also grow their nursing careers. Working RNs need flexibility when pursuing a bachelor's degree, and online RN to BSN programs give them just that. Unfortunately, the question of which program is most suitable often keeps nurses with associate degrees from moving forward into a bachelor’s degree program.

There are hundreds of online RN to BSN programs and the number is growing. The increasing number of programs mirrors the increased demand for nurses with bachelor's degrees. Employers are seeking nursing professionals with a broader range of clinical and management skills, and they are offering increased salaries to compensate nurses for those additional skills.

National nursing organizations are echoing the call for nurses to earn their BSN degrees, citing the growing need for professionals who can address complexities in healthcare best practices and new technologies associated with patient care and staff management. Through its Campaign for Action, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has called for 80 percent of registered nurses to have their bachelor’s degree by the year 2020. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has noted a 10.4 percent increase in RN to BSN program enrollment in 2014.

Earning a degree through an online RN to BSN program can be very flexible, which is a huge benefit to working professionals who choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree while maintaining a full-time job. Online education encourages students to develop advanced independent-study skills, hone their research methods, gain clinical experience and be self-motivated and proactive.

With a little of research, nurses can easily narrow down the options for online RN to BSN programs and decide which one is best for them. Online nursing programs are ideal for working nurses because they can be accessed from anywhere and they provide flexible scheduling. Online program goals include the development of communication skills, critical thinking and cultural awareness. Students can benefit from programs that offer student engagement, faculty with relevant credentials and training, and strong student services and technology.

Learn about the online RN to BSN program from CSUSM.


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