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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN)

Majors Overview August 21, 2014

Receive information about a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Nursing and its educational requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education and licensure choices.

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

The training necessary to become registered nurses (RNs) are provided to current vocational and practical nurses enrolled in Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs. Students enrolled in these programs are typically provided some credit for completion of prior training as part of an LPN diploma or certificate program. LPNs typically require 2-4 years of study to complete BSN programs. Universities typically offer these programs. Given the previous experience of most students as an LPN before they are admitted to the program, they usually study advanced topic areas in nursing.

Educational Requirements

By definition of an LPN to BSN program, students enrolled therein must already be LPNs by virtue of having completed a 1-year postsecondary nursing program and through licensure; this requires the completion of the National Council State Boards of Nursing’s NCLEX-PN exam. Additionally, they would also need a year’s work experience as an LPN before they can begin coursework in a BSN program.


Coursework in LPN to BSN programs, which varies by school, combines laboratory and clinical experiences with scientific and medical courses. Core coursework may commonly include:

•Patient care
•Professional nursing practices
•Medical ethics
•Healthcare policy
•Nursing research
•Assessment of health
•Situational nursing

Job and Wage Outlook

The majority of LPN to BSN programs are devised to train students to gain qualification to take the RN examination. A job growth rate of 26% has been predicted for registered nurses over the 2010 – 2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). That would translate into over 3.4 million registered nursing jobs by the end of that period. In 2012, registered nurses brought in an average annual wage of $65,470 (BLS).

Continuing Education and Licensure Choices

Those who graduate from a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program may opt for continued education by earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program and choosing clinical or nursing education specializations within the nursing field. They can also take the NCLEX-RN to obtain licensure to practice as registered nurses. Continuing education is required to maintain such licensure.

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Quick Fact
In 2017, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma*.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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