What Is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing? | All Nursing Schools

Home » BSN Learn what you can do with this in-demand degree .

If you ’ re thinking about becoming a breastfeed, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing ( BSN ) will provide you with the charge of education many employers expect their register nurses ( RNs ) to have. While you can work as an RN with an consociate degree, nurses with a BSN are typically given more responsibility, supervisory roles, and higher salaries. And they ’ re in need .
A BSN platform typically takes four years and includes liberal arts courses to fulfill general education requirements and classes specific to your major in nursing. It ’ s an excellent education for entry-level nurses who want to make a meaningful contribution toward better patient care in the ever-evolving field of nurse .
As of 2019, lone 56 % of U.S. nurses had a BSN or higher degree, according to the Campaign for Nursing ’ s Future, an first step of the Center to Champion Nursing in America. But demand for these highly educated RNs is much higher : According to a survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 82.1 % of employers “ expressed a potent predilection for a bachelor ’ s degree. ” Whether you ’ re an feel nanny considering a restitution to school or a first-time harbor scholar, we can help you determine whether a BSN is the right educational option for you. We ’ rhenium here to help you learn more about this degree, the educational formats available, and the professional opportunities it can help you achieve .

BSN Overview

A bachelor ’ sulfur in nursing provides cognition and experience that contribute to a rich initiation in patient-centered care, physical assessments, clinical judgment, leadership, and residential district, says Kathleen Poindexter, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, who is president-elect of the National League for Nursing ( NLN ), assistant dean of undergraduate programs and staff development at Michigan State University, and associate professor in the educate ’ s College of Nursing .
With a BSN, you can qualify for entry-level positions in affected role care that can lead to roles as a nurse director, blame nurse, or nurse drawing card as you gain feel. The academic degree besides gives you the initiation to pursue forte certificate or graduate-level nurse degrees .

Nurses work in an changing, building complex healthcare environment, so it makes smell that there ’ randomness growing demand for RNs with bachelor ’ sulfur degrees .

The gap between supply and demand for nurses with BSNs is expected to increase even more as the large pamper baby boomer population ages and the need for more advance healthcare services expands. According to AACN, many employers, including the military, the federal government, and Magnet-status hospitals ( which are recognized for excellence in nursing and patient outcomes ) immediately require a BSN for nurse managers and nurse leaders .
Nurses work in an increasingly complex healthcare environment, so it makes sense that there ’ second growing demand for RNs with bachelor ’ second degrees. Another reason for the necessitate is that research indicates that a college degree leads to better patient concern .
“ Today, nurses have much more responsibility for the patients, ” Poindexter says. “ They ’ rhenium pressured to deliver higher quality care, more patient-focused, based on best evidence. ”

Who Is this Degree Best For?

A BSN is intended as an entry-level degree for first-time college students. It ’ randomness besides for people who have a degree in another field but want to switch to a career in breastfeed. And it ’ s a beneficial choice for license RNs who completed a breastfeed diploma or associate degree to qualify for their initial license but now want to pursue a BSN to expand their career opportunities .

Degree Pathways

There are respective paths to a BSN, depending on a student ’ s previous department of education and have :

  • traditional four-year college degree
  • LPN-to-BSN
  • RN-to-BSN
  • Accelerated or direct entry

Students who are high school graduates with no previous college education or healthcare experience have to go the traditional four-year college path to earn a BSN .

Accelerated/Alternative Paths

however, students with previous nursing education and know can take a faster route with a “ bridge ” program. These programs allow you to avoid repeating coursework you ’ ve already taken and may not require as many hours of clinical trail, saving you time and money .

Students with previous nurse education and have can take a faster road with a BSN “ bridge ” platform .

Types of Bridge Programs
An RN-to-BSN bridge program is intended for an RN with an active license .
An LPN-to-BSN program allows students to simultaneously earn the credentials they need to qualify for an RN license and meet the criteria for a BSN .
many bridge programs offer “ credit by examination ” to determine your cognition in specific areas. Students typically receive a particular issue of credits for each examination, reducing the total of overall credits to earn a BSN .
Second-degree or direct-entry nursing programs, often called accelerated programs, are for students who have a knight bachelor ’ s degree in a non-nursing field. These programs allow you to use the liberal arts and background courses from your degree to meet non-nursing course requirements and begin BSN coursework faster .

Curriculum and Clinical Requirements

three students study in college library The course of study for a traditional BSN program combines general education courses and nursing courses with clinical coach. The degree requires about 120 credits, with slender variations by program .
While an ADN or diploma program emphasizes entry-level nursing skills, the BSN course of study goes beyond basic competencies and offers a more comprehensive examination educational experience. Anchored by a free arts effect, the BSN covers topics such as ethical and legal issues to prepare nurses to take an active function in decision-making, patient care, and management .
“ The physical judgment, statistics, nursing theory, research, and leadership–those will all be components of a bachelor ’ s degree that you don ’ thyroxine necessarily see in an associate degree program, ” Poindexter says .
specific general educational courses change by program but typically include a compass of liberal arts courses in the humanities, social sciences, and basic sciences that serve as prerequisites for nursing studies. Core course of study can include :

  • biota
  • psychology
  • chemistry
  • sociology
  • english constitution
  • Statistics
  • Ethics
  • engineering
  • nutriment

Core breastfeed classes include coursework that prepares you to work as a professional nurse renaissance man, able of providing care in a across-the-board range of healthcare settings. In many programs, students begin nursing courses after they complete general education requirements. These studies include :

  • master breastfeed
  • Health appraisal
  • family breastfeed
  • leadership
  • medical and surgical wish
  • harbor management
  • Public health
  • Psychosocial nurse

Students will get clinical experience in a diverseness of healthcare settings and with different affected role groups, such as children, women, and older adults. clinical requirements can total 700 to 800 hours, though they vary by program. Some BSN programs offer the minimum count of clinical hours to meet control panel of nursing license requirements in your department of state. Some require much more than that .
Students in bridge and accelerated/direct-entry programs can apply past education and know toward these course of study requirements, based on course of study criteria and individual experience .

Online Options

You may prefer a BSN on-line program if you work wax clock, have family responsibilities, or live in an area where classroom programs aren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate convenient. With an on-line program, you typically complete most of your theory-based education in a virtual environment while you fulfill clinical requirements in person at a local clinical locate .

Students who thrive on-line are organized and manage their prison term well .

on-line students have the tractability to learn at their convenience, but they still must meet milestones and assignment due dates. Students who thrive on-line are organized and manage their time well. If you have these skills and can prioritize the demands of baccalaureate-level coursework without the social organization of a campus-based classroom, an on-line broadcast might be right for you .

Is an Online Program Right for You?

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How Long Does It Take to Complete a BSN Program?

A traditional broadcast normally requires four years of full-time cogitation. part-time options are besides available on-line and on campus, though they will extend your clock in school. Some programs have limits on the time you ’ ra allowed to complete your coursework and clinical educate .
The prison term it takes to complete a bridge program will vary depending on your know and previous education. A typical LPN-to-BSN course of study takes two to three years of full-time study. An RN-to-BSN or ADN-to-BSN program can take about 18 to 24 months .
Accelerated/direct-entry programs typically survive between 11 and 18 months. part-time accelerated/direct-entry programs that offer evening and weekend classes can take about 22 months .
Some on-line programs offer the option of year-round education and allow you to progress through classes at your own pace to reduce the clock it takes to earn your degree .

What to Look for in a School

When comparing BSN programs, look for signs that tell you whether you ’ re probably to get your money ’ s worth from your education. Most schools publicize key student statistics on their websites .
These numbers typically include :

  • The pass rate for the National Council Licensure Exam for RNs ( NCLEX-RN ) for the most recent academic year
  • share of graduates from the most recent graduating class who have jobs as nurses
  • Student-to-faculty proportion
  • Ranking among BSN programs in their state

Don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be free-and-easy about choosing a school. Take time to find out if a school is a good fit .
“ Make certain that you talk to the schools, ” Poindexter says. “ Does the program fit your life style ? How is it delivered ? If it ’ randomness on-line and you don ’ thymine like to work on-line and that ’ s not the way that you prefer to study, then you need to look at a unlike program that offers more face-to-face clock in a traditional classroom. ”


Accreditation involves a review to show that your BSN education meets choice standards for a professional nursing education. Accreditation is awarded at both the institution and program levels .
The U.S. Department of Education recognizes six accredit agencies for postsecondary institutions. You can verify an initiation ’ s accreditation on a database maintained by the representation. Attending an accredited school is necessity to qualify for federal fiscal help and to ensure that your credits are accepted by other accredited institutions to meet prerequisites for advanced degrees .
A degree from an accredited platform meets requirements for state license applications and professional certifications. Two key professional nursing organizations award accreditation for BSN programs. You can check for your school ’ sulfur plan accreditation in databases maintained by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( CCNE ) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing ( ACEN ) .

Admission Requirements

entree requirements vary by school and degree format. A traditional BSN doesn ’ thymine ask prior breastfeed education or feel. Bridge programs typically require applicants to have the appropriate active breastfeed license. Some besides have have and prerequisite requirements .
It ’ south wise to consider applying to more than one BSN plan. A deficit of educate nurse educators has made admissions identical competitive at many nurse schools .
typical admission requirements include :

  • Proof of an active RN license for bridge programs
  • high school transcripts demonstrating a accumulative 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 plate
  • Postsecondary school transcripts demonstrating a 3.0 GPA for bridge programs
  • mathematics and skill prerequisites
  • Professional and/or academic recommendations
  • personal statement of determination
  • In-person interview
  • standardize scores for tests such as SAT or ACT for first-time college students
  • Passing score on HESI Admission Assessment ( A2 ) Exam
  • evidence of legal authorization to work for any employer in the United States

Job Placement and Career Counseling

female administrator giving presentation to team of nurses BSN programs vary in the character of job placement and career counseling resources they provide. Find out what ’ sulfur available when you ’ re compare schools. Career guidance can help you create an educational plan to achieve your professional goals .
Career guidance services besides can help you prepare for the positions you want and provide networking opportunities. Ask about the share of program graduates who have jobs within six months of gradation to find out what you can expect after you complete your degree .

Career guidance services can help you prepare for the positions you want and provide networking opportunities .

Tuition and Other Costs

The cost of a BSN degree varies based on considerations such as the type of educate and length of course of study. Since they take less fourth dimension to complete, bridge programs typically cost less than a traditional four-year degree at the lapp school .
According to the most holocene ( 2017 ) figures from the National Center for Education statistics, the modal annual cost of tutelage, fees, and room and dining table for a bachelor ’ s academic degree at a public institution is about $ 20,000, while earning a bachelor ’ s degree at a non-profit private school costs about $ 41,000. Most schools publish tuition fees on their websites for comparison .
When comparing costs, it ’ s crucial to understand that programs can price tutelage differently. You can typically find the most low-cost tutelage at public state-affiliated institutions, though you ’ ll normally pay more if you ’ re an out-of-state scholar .
Don ’ thyroxine forget to consider fees for background checks, fingerprint, equipment, supplies, and more to fulfill clinical requirements .

many BSN bridge programs are designed to accommodate the schedules of working nurses so you can continue earning money while you earn your degree .

You may besides find price variations between campus and online BSN programs. Some programs charge differently for on-campus and on-line coursework, and many on-line programs charge by credit hour quite than by semester. In addition, many state of matter schools charge in-state residents a lower tuition than students with non-resident condition, while others use the same tutelage for all on-line students .
many BSN bridge programs are designed to accommodate the schedules of working nurses so you can continue earning money while you earn your degree. And if you do continue to work, you may be eligible for employer tutelage reimbursement if your employer offers this profit .

Financial Aid and Scholarships

If you need help financing your degree, you can apply for fiscal aid. The first gradation is to determine your eligibility for need-based aid by completing the dislodge Application for Federal Student Aid ( FAFSA ). Schools and fiscal institutions use this information for awarding fiscal help and scholar loans .
You may qualify for nursing scholarships or fiscal awards based on academic deserve. Some potential sources include :

  • fiscal awards from your school or program
  • state nursing incentive programs
  • nontraditional student scholarships
  • National and local chapters of professional nurse associations
  • student loans
  • Employer tuition reimbursement
  • military or other government serve scholarships

Required Licenses and Available Certifications

If you don ’ thyroxine already have an RN license from a nurse diploma or associate degree, you can use a BSN to qualify to take the NCLEX-RN. Check your submit ’ s board of nursing web site to make sure your school is approved and meets all license requirements .
once you earn your license, you can work toward getting the have and education necessity for a specialization authentication. Having this type of certificate demonstrates that you have advanced cognition and skills in a specific area of nursing .
There are about 40 professional nursing boards or centers that offer specialization certificate examination. here are some for students with BSNs :

american english Nurses Credentialing Center ( ANCC ) –Registered Nurse Certifications

  • Nursing Case Management
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Pain Management
  • Medical-Surgical
  • Pediatric
  • Gerontological
  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Cardiac/Vascular
  • Informatics
  • Nursing Professional Development
  • Nurse Executive (NE-BC)
  • Nurse Executive Advanced (NEA-BC)

medical Surgical Nursing Certification Board ( MSNCB )

  • Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN®)
  • Certified in Care Coordination and Transition Management (CCCTM®)

orthopedic Nurses Certification Board

  • Orthopaedic Nurse Certification (ONC®)

Radiologic Nursing Certification Board ( RNCB )

  • Certified Radiology Nurse (CRN®)

rehabilitation Nursing Certification Board ( RNCB )

  • Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CRRN®)

Career Outlook and Options

A BSN can prepare you for a wide image of newly and evolving harbor positions, while giving you the level of education that many employers expect their nurses to have .
With a knight bachelor ’ second degree, you ’ ll be positioned to step up and assume more decision-making roles amid the nation ’ second breastfeed dearth. The american Nurses Association ( ANA ) predicts that there will be more than 100,000 breastfeed jobs available per year by 2022. The increased demand will be compounded by the loss of more than 500,000 career RNs who are likely to retire by that year .

A BSN can prepare you for a wide rate of new and evolving breastfeed positions, while giving you the flush of education that many employers expect of their nurses .

With some know, you can pursue roles in which you supervise other nurses as a charge nurse, oversee budgets and staffing as a nurse coach, or coordinate patient care as a nurse case director .
You may besides qualify for nursing positions in non-clinical roles in doctor offices, research laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, and government institutions. In many specialize nurse positions, such as legal nanny adviser or occupational health nurse, having a BSN is the norm. You ’ ll have plenty of options in a job commercialize for RNs that will grow by 16 % through 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( BLS ) .

Salary Potential

Salaries for positions that require a BSN change importantly based on geographic placement, put, employer, your charge of know, and demand for qualify nurses .
While it may feel daunting to head back to school or choose the four-year BSN over an entry-level ADN or nursing diploma, earning a BSN can have enormous payoffs. According to the BLS, the average wage for RNs in general is $ 77,460 .
Payscale breaks it down by education and says nurses with a BSN degree can earn salaries that average about 27 % more than with an education that qualifies you to be an RN. here are salaries from Payscale :

Mediab Salary

Registered Nurse ( RN )
$ 77,600
knight bachelor of Science in Nursing ( BSN ) Nurse ( General )
$ 84,000
nursing Manager
$ 89,990

With a BSN as a basis, you can begin working toward a master of Science in Nursing ( MSN ), which will allow you to pursue roles in leadership and advanced clinical caution that offer higher fiscal rewards .

Stay Informed

Whether you ’ re a first-time college scholar investigating a nurse career or an experience nurse planning to return to school, staying informed about current trends in nursing can help you plan naturalistic educational and master goals. scholar nurse organizations, general professional nurse organizations, and specialization organizations in your areas of matter to can provide enormous resources for prospective BSN students .
While membership in any professional constitution provides benefits for network, mentorship, and continuing education, you don ’ t have to join each group to access their cognition and professional insight. many organizations have active social media accounts that allow you to keep track of the hottest topics with fiddling campaign .
Staying in refer with nurse organizations can deliver valuable benefits and help you keep up with the trends that are changing the profession, Poindexter says : “ Stay in tune to what you have available to you locally or regionally or within your state, in addition to monitoring what ’ sulfur going on at a national level. ”

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