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The BSN is an undergraduate program that includes a blend of liberal arts courses and upper-level nursing courses. Each RN to BSN degree program includes courses in nursing theory, health assessment, and other topics important in the field of nursing. Completing a BSN degree prepares students to work as nurses in a variety of settings. Once a nurse has a bachelor’s degree, he or she may decide to pursue a master’s degree or to sit for one of several available certification exams.

University Degree Offerings

  • Adventist University of Health Sciences Bachelor of Science in Nursing

    The Adventist University of Health Sciences BSN program builds on a foundation of knowledge in science, humanities and related professional disciplines. Our coursework emphasizes critical thinking, health and human functioning, care and therapeutics, person/environment fit and health care resources. The BSN program is highly competitive, and demands rigorous academics combined with experiential learning.

  • University of San Francisco RN to MSN in Nursing

    The University of San Francisco RN to MSN program begins with undergraduate courses designed to build a foundation for future success in advanced nursing roles. Students then complete graduate-level courses based on their previous level of education. Our innovative curriculum aims to encourage critical thinking, enhance communication techniques, and address the managerial and technical competencies required by health care employers today.


To become an RN, there are several educational paths that can be taken. People often choose between getting an Associate’s degree in nursing ADN or they choose a BSN degree. Most ADN programs are two year programs at community or vocational colleges or they may be online. After receiving an ADN, it is possible to then apply for a RN license. This is one of the most common ways that people get their ADN primarily because of the shortness of the program and because it is less expensive than other options, such as getting a BSN.

A BSN degree is another common route for obtaining an RN. This program typically takes four years to complete as opposed to the two years to finish the ADN program. These programs are held at universities and there are also BSN online programs available. People who choose this route often do so because they feel that the training is more comprehensive. Another reason to pursue either campus or online BSN programs is that there are greater advancement opportunities for people with a BSN degree versus an ADN.

Why a RN to BSN Degree

Getting an ADN is a quick way to begin a nursing career and gain entry level nursing employment. It enables you to get your RN and seek meaningful employment while determining what your future goals are in terms of your nursing career. When this path is taken, a person can gain valuable experience while receiving a paycheck. While this may be a suitable route for some, it may be limiting for others who want to eventually seek out higher paying nursing jobs. By choosing RN to BSN online programs or in-class programs, a person with their RN can go back to nursing school without starting over again.

RN to BSN Courses & Areas of Study

Students enrolled in RN to BSN programs online must complete general education requirements before moving on to upper-level nursing courses. Most schools accept credits from other institutions, so a nurse who has completed an associate’s degree may be able to receive transfer credit and move directly into upper-level courses for their online BSN programs. For nurses who have not completed their associate’s degrees, most schools require basic coursework in sociology, English, psychology, communications, and other fields of study. Students enrolled in RN to BSN programs online may be required to complete a basic course in online learning before completing other courses online. The upper-division courses required for graduation vary by institution, but they may include issues in nursing, nursing research, health assessment, nursing informatics, and nursing leadership. Once a nurse completes one of the RN to BSN programs online, it is possible to enroll in a master’s of science in nursing MSN program.

RN to BSN Career Opportunities

The median annual salary for a BSN graduate with less than one year of experience is $48,226. Pay increases are directly related to educational level and work experience, with nurses who have more than 20 years of experience earning a median annual salary of $75,440. Experienced nurses who complete their BSN degrees may go on to become nurse anesthetists, head nurses, clinical nurse managers, department chiefs, or nurse practitioners. The BSN is required to enroll in a MSN program, so anyone who wants to enter advanced practice nursing must complete this degree before moving on to other higher education opportunities. Nurses are not limited to working in hospitals or clinics after graduation. They may become occupational health nurses or work as school nurses. With additional education, a nurse can also obtain employment in the nurse education field.

Online RN to BSN Degrees

Some students choose to enroll in online RN to BSN degree programs instead of traditional programs that require class attendance on campus. These online RN to BSN degree programs have several benefits. One is that they eliminate the need for students to drive or take public transportation to class each day. This reduces costs and makes taking courses more convenient for students who work or care for children full-time. Someone in an online RN to BSN degree program may work second or third shift, making it impossible to get up early and attend class. An online program allows students to complete their required coursework whenever they have time. If a night shift worker has to sleep during the day, it is possible to complete coursework in the afternoon or on days off from work. An online BSN degree may also be less expensive than a traditional BSN, as students do not have to pay many of the fees charged to students who use campus facilities. Some students prefer to work independently, so online programs also give them that benefit.

RN to BSN Education & Admission Requirements

The exact admission requirements for a BSN degree depend upon several factors. Some schools have more rigorous admission standards than others, so these schools might require incoming students to have high grade point averages or high standardized test scores. Foreign students may have to prove their English proficiency by taking the TOEFL Test of English as a Foreign Language. Some schools require incoming nursing students to complete a paid or volunteer health care experience before beginning upper-level nursing coursework. Applicants usually have to send in a completed application, authorization for a criminal background check, transcripts from all previous schools attended, a cover letter, and at least one letter of recommendation.

RN to BSN Accreditation

Accreditation is very important as it is a regulation system that ensure that the program you attend actually will prepare you for the workforce. BSN programs usually have two accreditation, one from an overall accreditation agency that is either regional or one of the five national accrediting organizations, which are the Distance Education and Training Council, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology, the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training, and the Council on Occupational Education and the nursing program is also accredited by either the National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Often, schools that are not fully accredited will state they are on their websites (most likely a diploma mill) or some schools are accredited by an agency that is not recognized by most states for licensure. Likewise, fully accredited schools may not have this information on their website. It is easy to check though, just visit both of the links above and check the status of the school you are interested in.

Top Ranked RN to BSN Degrees

When looking for a college or university to obtain your degree, take into consideration what top rank institutions have to offer. Top rank schools cost more but they also set a higher precedence for your education. By obtaining an Nursing degree from a top rank institution, your degree program is automatically validated as being of superior quality. Nursing programs are offered by several top ranking institutions in the country, as substantiated by the U.S. News and World Report for 2012. By choosing this degree from one of the high ranking schools, you can obtain a world class education to enhance your future.

RN to BSN Professional Organizations

Students who complete online RN to BSN degree programs have the opportunity to join several professional organizations dedicated to promoting the field of nursing. The major nursing organizations in the United States are the American Nursing Association and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. There are also organizations for nurses who specialize in one specific type of nursing. These organizations include the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, Dermatology Nurses’ Association, National Association of School Nurses, Emergency Nurses Association, and the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses.