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Factors to Consider When Selecting a School that Offers BSN Degree Program

Higher Education Articles March 22, 2015

Students in Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degree programs will be ready for state and national exams to become registered nurses. This program may lead to higher levels of education, including Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) programs. Many colleges and schools in the U.S. offer BSN degree programs.

Selecting a School that offers BSN Degree Programs

Both aspiring and current nurses may seek enrollment in Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) programs that four-year universities commonly offer through their health services or nursing schools. In this article, we take a look at some important factors you must consider when you select a school that offers BSN programs:

Program Choices and Prerequisite Courses

A student’s prior experience may determine his or her path to completion of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program. Some schools offer programs aimed at licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or existing registered nurses (RNs) apart from those seeking advanced knowledge through continuing education. These are known as RN-to-BSN or LPN-to-BSN programs. Some schools award a BSN degree to previously trained nurses after completion of just one year of full-time coursework.

Some accelerated nursing programs that last 12 – 18 months may also be availed by students with bachelor’s degrees in non-nursing fields to be awarded a BSN after they complete the program. Students without prior training may not enroll in any school that offers BSN programs, although several do.

Schools typically require completion of three or four semesters’ worth of prerequisite courses by students without prior nursing experience before allowing them to begin core coursework in the nursing program.

Opportunities for Practical Experience

The amount of clinical experience offered as a component of nursing education varies by school. While most of the undergraduate experience in some schools is in simulated training settings, students in other programs spend most of their time in local hospitals or on-campus medical facilities. Some programs may require externships or internships.

Prospective students pursuing a BSN degree would benefit through research about the nature of medical facilities available at the school and the location of clinical study. Some schools aim to ensure lower teacher-to-student ratios and more hands-on and personal relationships with patients by maintaining very low acceptance rates.


Students should seek accredited nursing programs to be sure the course content meets national standards, and to ensure this, students must choose to enroll in nursing programs that hold accreditation by both the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the state’s nursing board.

Accelerated and Flexible Learning Choices

Both online and on-campus courses may be available. Credit hours may be contributed toward the degree requirements by both work experience and previous schooling.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) Programs

Two phases typically comprise a BSN program. During the initial three to four semesters, prerequisites such as math, psychology, biology, and chemistry are studied by students. The study of nursing occupies the remaining duration of the program. After students complete the national certification exam to work as a licensed nurse, employment opportunities may be availed by graduates in numerous health care facilities, including private practices and hospitals. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Mental health nursing
•Elderly care
•Health assessment
•Infant care

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