Smart nurses know that they can earn more with a BSN than an RN, but they also know that they should look at the unexpected costs associated with an online RN to BSN program. An RN to BSN program lets you use some of the credits you earned in an RN program to earn your BSN in a shorter period of time. Though you may make more money once you complete your degree, you need to keep your eyes peeled for any unexpected costs.
Miscellaneous and Hidden Fees
Always look carefully at each program that interests you for any hidden fees or miscellaneous costs. While online students do not pay for a dorm room, a meal plan or some of the fees that other students do, they often face steep technology fees that are due each semester. Those fees allow you to use the college’s tech support department, its online resources and the system that you use for your classes. The school may charge a higher fee for any nursing or medical classes that you take too, especially those that include a lab component.
Even if you enroll in an online RN to BSN program, you must still do some fieldwork. This allows you to improve your training and gain more experience working with patients. While the college might find a hospital or facility suitable for your training, you’re the one responsible for getting to and from that facility. This might mean taking the bus or driving your own car. Not only will you pay for the gas to get to that facility, but you must also pay for routine maintenance on your car and any wear and tear that the driving does.
Equipment and Supplies
During your fieldwork experiences, you must dress appropriately, which often means wearing comfortable nonslip shoes and scrubs. Depending on where you do your fieldwork, the facility may require that you wear scrubs of a certain color or pattern. Some facilities require that all nurses and nursing students purchase scrubs from their own shops. You might encounter other unexpected costs associated with an online RN to BSN program, including a stethoscope, notebook and pens or pencils. Even if you take classes online, you must still purchase the textbooks required for all your courses.
Benefits of These Programs
After looking at some of the unexpected and hidden costs of earning a BSN online, you might wonder why you should choose an online program over a campus program. Online programs are much more flexible and give you plenty of time to spend working in your current job or with your loved ones. BSN holders also typically earn more money than RNs without their BSN. Other benefits of earning a BSN include helping you develop more clinical and practical skills and helping you advance faster and more easily through the nursing field.
Colleges that offer RN to BSN programs take some of the credits you already earned and apply those credits to the BSN program to help you graduate faster. Earning your BSN can help you develop better skills, qualify for better jobs and make more money. Some of the unexpected costs associated with an online RN to BSN program include paying for transportation, miscellaneous fees and covering the equipment and supplies that you need.