Transition to BSN with an Online Program

Nurses must meet the rapidly changing educational qualifications in nursing to stay competitive in the job market and to provide patients with safe and responsible care. An Online RN to BSN program is an effective and convenient way for nurses to gain a baccalaureate education. RNs with associate degrees can build on their nursing experience to develop stronger analytical and problem solving skills by obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

The Response for a Baccalaureate Education

In response to the call for nurses to obtain a BSN, enrollment numbers in RN to BSN programs have grown. For example, the enrollment rate from 2013 to 2014 rose 10.4 percent, which marks the 12th consecutive year for an increase in students entering RN to BSN programs.

Many healthcare employers prefer BSN-prepared nurses. Currently, over 79 percent of employers require or request that nursing candidates have a BSN. This trend is likely to affect nurses with associate degrees. They may discover there are fewer job opportunities available to them.

Why Complete an Online RN to BSN Program?

RNs with an associate degree can become a BSN-prepared nurse through an online bridge program. While it typically takes four years to earn a BSN on campus, an online RN to BSN program may take two years or less to complete. For example, the CSUSM online RN to BSN program can be completed in as few as 14 months. An online program is a good option for working nurses, especially if they have families.

An online program allows nurses flexibility in their schedules. They can decide when to take courses and how long they need to finish the program. In an online program, nurses will find courses such as:

  • Leadership.
  • Ethics.
  • Community Health.

CSUSM’s online RN to BSN program allows students to earn pre-nursing credits concurrently with nursing courses, which helps students gain knowledge and skills that can be used immediately and allows for faster program completion times.

BSN and Nursing Career

With a BSN, nurses improve their chances of securing employment and receiving a higher salary. reported that the average median salary for an RN with an associate degree was $57,908 in May 2016, while a nurse with a BSN earned an average median income of $59,978.

Nurses with a BSN may have more responsibilities than RNs with an associate degree, and are better positioned to move up to the role of nurse leader or manager.

Online RN to BSN Program Transitioning Courses

The CSUSM online RN to BSN program equips nurses with the skills they need to practice at a higher level. Two courses, the “Role Transition for the RN” and “Role Transition Seminar for the RN”, assist nurses with the changes in their nursing practice.

The Role Transition for RN course explores the theoretical foundations of nursing. Through the curriculum, students learn how to use these concepts to ease their transition from an RN to a BSN nurse. The coursework centers on the professional nurse as an advocate, educator, provider and coordinator of care.

In the Role Transition Seminar for RN course, students participate in coursework that applies, reviews and validates concepts and theories that focus on the areas of nursing that include medical-surgical, mental health, pediatrics and obstetrics. Seminar discussions relate to patient care and the application of these ideas in all healthcare settings.

BSN-prepared nurses accomplish more extensive coursework than a nurse with an associate degree, adding valuable skills to their nursing practice that benefit their patients and employers. The reality is nurses cannot ignore the trend toward a baccalaureate education. BSN-prepared nurses provide the best patient care and can achieve promotions more quickly than their ADN counterparts. An Online RN to BSN program is a great option for nurses who want to further their careers.

Learn more about the CSUSM online RN to BSN program.


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