How To Earn Your RN to BSN
- Obtain a Current Nursing License
- Research Program Requirements
- Choose a Specialty
- Make Connections
- Manage Your Schedule Wisely
Regardless of how long you’ve been a practicing nurse, it is never the wrong time to take the next steps toward earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or BSN, degree through an RN to BSN program.
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing not only gives you additional in-depth training and knowledge to make you a better nurse, but it opens up a multitude of new opportunities in any nursing field. Because so many nurses are busy juggling a career and family, many schools now offer an online RN to BSN bridge program to simplify the process. Below are five steps to take to get started on the path towards your Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
1. Obtain a Current Nursing License
Most people looking into enrolling in an RN to BSN program online already have an up-to-date nursing license because they are practicing nurses. However, if you have been out of the field, are a recent graduate or have moved to a different state, you must make sure that you have a current, unobstructed nursing license before you apply to any program.
2. Research Program Requirements
While many RN to BSN degree programs have a nearly identical list of general requirements, it’s important to keep track of any potential school’s individual prerequisites.
Some schools require you to have a particular number of practicing hours, and others require all incoming nurses to take special exams like the Elsevier’s HESI Admission Assessment prior to acceptance. You’ll want to be well-prepared ahead of time for any tests you’re required to take.
3. Choose a Specialty
If you haven’t already decided on a nursing specialty, now is the perfect time to research what field you would like to specialize in. You can obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing online without a specific field of nursing in mind, but knowing what you would like to specialize in beforehand brings better focus to your education.
Choosing a specialty can ultimately allow you to earn more money because of the niche knowledge certain fields require. If you’re stuck, you can always check the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Outlook Handbook for a list of fields and their potential growth.
4. Make Connections
Networking is an essential part of being successful in any career, but it is especially important when you’re earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing online. Normally, RN to BSN programs will have lots of opportunities for face-to-face interaction with peers and instructors, but in an online setting, this is often lacking.
You should be proactive about participating in forum discussions and emailing your instructors regularly for help and advice. If possible, you should also make an effort to meet with your instructors at least one or two times face-to-face during the semester to build a working relationship.
5. Manage Your Schedule Wisely
More often than not, people choose to complete their RN to BSN program online because everyday life is already so busy that classroom time just isn’t feasible. This is why it’s so important to stay on top of balancing your schedule. Get a planner and keep your schedule updated and clearly visible at all times. Whether you prefer paper or digital, you should also keep a task list and track important events so that you know exactly when you can set aside time to study and complete your coursework.
Earning your RN to BSN online won’t be easy, but the rewards will be worth the time and effort you put in. Follow these five steps, and you’ll be well on your way to completing your Bachelor of Science in Nursing in no time.