How to Get a BSN: A Guide for Both Non-Nurses and Already-Working RNs

While not always a requirement, the bachelor’s degree is becoming a standard in the nursing field. Nearly 80 percent of healthcare employers today express a strong preference for hiring nurses with a Bachelor’s of Nursing (BSN) in hand. If you have decided to take the trek towards earning your BSN, rest assured you are making a meaningful decision for your nursing career. Sources say that nurses with a BSN often provide a higher quality and more informed level of patient care. BSN nurses also have the potential to earn more pay and apply for more advanced job opportunities within the healthcare field.

How to Get a BSN as an Already-Working Nurse
So, you’ve gone to nursing school once and taken the time to complete the educational requirements needed to become a nurse – you earned an associate degree in Nursing, and have your Registered Nurse (RN) license in hand. Right now, however, you might be looking to grow in your career or advance into a different role that requires a bachelor’s degree. The good news is, you are already very close!

Many nurses think that going back to school to earn a BSN degree is near-impossible: how can one balance full-time work as a nurse, alongside a college education? A flexible RN-to-BSN program is your answer. RN-to-BSN programs, as the name implies, allows licensed nurses to go back to school, pick up where they left off, and get a BSN degree in just a matter of months. At at various colleges, RNs can earn their BSN degree in just 16-months part-time, allowing them to still work while going to school. For added flexibility, the RN-to-BSN program is offered entirely online, meaning you can complete your classes and assignments in any environment (Wi-Fi provided), and on your own schedule.

How to Get a BSN if You’re Just Starting Out
If you are completely new to the nursing field and looking for a change-up in your career, your path towards getting a BSN can take a bit more time. However, there are flexible BSN programs available to you, depending on where you are at with your education and readiness to get started. If you have a bachelor’s degree in another field, and want to move from your 9 to 5 into a rewarding, exciting nursing career, know that a BSN is very attainable for you. And you can earn it in just 16-months full-time through an accelerated BSN program.

If you do not already have a bachelor’s degree and are looking to become a BSN-educated nurse, you can expect a longer educational path. Aspiring nurses must go to nursing school, complete clinical rotations, finish the required coursework, and earn a college degree before getting their RN license. The typical BSN program takes about four years to complete. The good news is, you do not need a BSN degree to get started as a nurse. Most states, like Connecticut, just require nurses to have their associate degree in Nursing and to pass the NCLEX-RN exam, to qualify for an RN license.

If you want to get into the nursing field fast, you can always earn your associate degree in Nursing (ADN), and then go back to school for your BSN once you land a job. That way, you can earn your BSN degree part-time, while earning money and gaining experience as a full-time Registered Nurse. The ADN program at Goodwin can be completed in 20-months part-time, after your general pre-requisite courses are complete. There are also no wait lists for enrollment, meaning you can get in and started right away!

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