Accelerated RN-BSN programs allow nurses who have already earned a RN licensure to obtain a bachelor’s degree without spending four more years in school. However, though many nurses benefit from this method of study; accelerated RN to BSN programs is not ideal for every nursing student. Below are five things potential Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) student should know about RN to BSN programs before applying.
Applicants must meet minimum requirements
Simply having an RN license is not enough to gain entry into most accelerated RN to BSN programs. Since these programs are more strenuous and require high levels of dedication, students must meet certain requirements before they can begin the program. Most programs require students to have at least a minimum GPA in previous nursing courses, and they must also show that they have completed certain prerequisite courses.
The program is rigorous
An accelerated RN to BSN program requires students to complete all of the coursework included in a four-year program in much less time. For this reason, the program is extremely rigorous and demanding. Students must have plenty of time to study and complete coursework, so only those students who believe they can fully commit to the program should apply.
Online options are available
Though an accelerated RN to BSN program can be challenging, most schools now offer options to help busy students participate in the program. For example, many schools are now offering online RN to BSN programs. By enrolling in one of these online programs, students can complete coursework on their own time. This flexible structure allows students to retain their jobs and continue with all of their other responsibilities, such as caring for family, while working toward an advanced degree.
The degrees are the same
Whether a nurse acquires his or her degree through a traditional four-year BSN program or an accelerated RN to BSN programs, the end result is the same. The BSN a nurse earns in an accelerated program carries the same weight as a standard degree. In fact, the dedication and focus an accelerated program requires may even impress potential employers.
Credit for prior knowledge is possible
In some programs, students can gain credits for their prior nursing study and experience. To earn these credits, nurses must typically achieve minimum scores on certain rigorous examinations. If students are able to earn these credits, the time it takes to complete the program may be lessened, or they may enjoy a less strenuous schedule. However, nurses should never accept credit for prior study unless they are sure that they have fully mastered all of the concepts included in the courses for which they are receiving credit.
Though an accelerated RN to BSN program is not the right path for every nursing professional seeking a higher degree, it allows certain qualified students with RN licensure to earn their BSN quickly. To make the best decision possible for the future, each nurse should consider his or her own professional goals, the time he or she has to devote to study and whether or not he or she is comfortable completing such a challenging program. With the right mindset and ample dedication, nurses can complete the RN to BSN program with success.