Complete guide about rn to bsn program


There is a misconception that all nurses are the same, but every nurse has to take a specific pathway to reach a certain position in the nursing field. A licensed nurse (LN) is different from (RN), an RN is different from a bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN), and a BSN is different from a master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) both in education level and responsibilities. Whatever your career ambition, an RN to BSN program will give you a way to expand your knowledge, experience, and clinical skills.

A Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing qualifies you for more career opportunities and helps you advance your role in the nursing field. It also gives you an easy path to further advance your knowledge and do a master’s in nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommended that 80% of registered nurses have a bachelor’s degree by 2020. The Institute of medicine gives this recommendation to prepare the nurses to meet the demands of the increasing population.

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What is the rn to bsn program?

RN-to-BSN is a bridge program for registered nurses. It allows nurses to expand their clinical skills and education without disturbing the jobs. This bridge program uses previous knowledge of nurses and provides in-depth knowledge. RN-to-BSN program also emphasizes critical thinking, public health, treatment plans, management, and leadership to give nurses a wider understanding of problems in a healthcare setting. The typical bachelor’s program lasts for four years, but the rn to bsn bridge program completes in two years.

Do you have to get your RN before your BSN?

The RN to BSN program is designed for people who have already earned an associate degree in nursing and have RN Licence or have passed the NCLEX examination

Why should you pursue rn to bsn program?

There are way more career opportunities for a BSN than a registered nurse. You can work in-patient and outpatient settings, including hospitals, healthcare agencies, foundations, clinics, and advocacy groups. If you want to level up your nursing position after gaining a bachelor’s degree; you have the opportunity of doing a master’s in nursing. Many licensure boards also require a Master’s degree to become an advanced practice registered nurse.

It is possible to pursue a nursing career as a registered nurse, but gaining a bachelor’s degree will open several doors in a nursing career. This bridge program will enhance your knowledge, skills, and experience to level up your position in nursing. According to the Bureau of labor statistics, employers prefer nurses with advanced degrees like RN or BSN, and this number is increasing by 7%. A registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree will get an edge in this saturated nursing career.

The reason behind why employers prefer nurses with a higher degree is to improve quality of care and patient outcome. Apart from the in-depth knowledge, BSN also has more soft clinical skills than a registered nurse. BSN nursing role calls for workers with strong communication skills, full command of treatment skills, and the ability to support patients emotionally. If you want to continue your work and education, you can opt for an online RN-to-BSN program.

Educational requirements for RN to BSN program

Educational requirements for RN to BSN program

For the RN to BSN program, colleges and universities often require a diploma or degree. The candidate should possess an RN and an ADN degree to take admission in the RN-to-BSN bridge program. The required GPA is different for different universities, but most universities accept a 3.0 GPA because of increasing competition. You have to fulfill the requirement of mentioned courses that are mostly covered in the coursework of an Associate’s degree.

Candidates have to complete 30 hours of work per week or meet the equivalent exam. When the candidate is working as a registered nurse, this job will automatically fulfill the requirement. Still, if the candidate takes some time off from the clinical career, he should satisfy the requirement somehow. Before taking admission criminal background of every candidate will be checked, so one should have a Current updated certificate.

The common courses that are required by most of the universities are:

  • Statistics
  • Nutrition
  • Chemistry
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Anatomy
  • Pharmacology
  • PhysiologyMicrobiology
  • Sociology

RN-to-BSN classes and course hours

The programs like Licensed practical nurses (LPN) and an associate degree in nursing (ADN) include basic knowledge about the health, care, and support nurses provide to patients. Unlike these programs, RN-to-BSN does not contain the basic core knowledge; rather, it provides in-depth coverage of difficult and advanced subjects. These advanced-level courses consist of 30 credit hours for approximately 10 to 12 courses. This value also depends on the studies completed in the previous nursing programs.

  • Developmental Issues and Health – 4 credit hours
  • Science and Technology of Nursing – 4 credit hours
  • Science and Tech of Nursing: Practicum – 3 credit hours
  • Mental Health Concepts – 3 credit hours
  • Health Concepts Across the Lifespan – 3 credit hours
  • Childbearing Families – 3 credit hours
  • Health Concepts Across the Lifespan: Practicum – 2 credit hours
  • Health Concepts Across the Lifespan II: Practicum – 2 credit hours
  • Contemporary Topics in Nursing – 1 credit hour
  • Childbearing Families: Practicum – 1 credit hour

How long does it take for the RN to BSN program?

According to the American Association of Colleges of nursing, there are 777 RN-to-BDN nursing programs offered by different colleges and universities in America. Among them, 600 programs are online-based.

Most RN-to-BSN bridge programs require one to two years of education, but it greatly depends on the admission courses and school. The length of this program also depends on the credit hours requirement set by every University, and it is mostly 30 credit hours as mentioned above. You can choose three types of programs to complete a bachelor’s of Science in nursing, including online, on-campus,  and hybrid.

On-campus RN-to-BSN bridge program length

Candidates have to regularly attend the classes on-campus throughout each academic semester. The on-campus RN to BSN program can be completed with nine months to 2 years. The length of the program depends on the course you choose and cover in previous nursing programs. On-campus nursing programs are now not popular because online and hybrid programs replace them. The candidate who wants to learn face to face prefers classwork, and group learning, then on-campus classes are made for him. Courses on campus also provide the advantage of structured education for candidates who thrive on routine.

Online RN-to-BSN bridge program length

Online RN to BSN programs are becoming popular increasingly because it provides student nurses an opportunity to advance their education without compromising the job. The length of the program ranges from 12 months to 23 months. The nurses who cannot attend on-campus classes can benefit from the flexibility of online programs. Some online program now also offers customized schedules according to the ease of students. These advances make the online RN to BS  program as little as nine months.

Hybrid RN-to-BSN program length

A hybrid program is a combination of on-campus and online programs. It is taken online but includes clinical rotations, face-to-face classes on campus, and other education requirements that are not a part of online learning. Hybrid programs allow the students to continue their jobs and connect with other batch students, so you do not feel alone in the class. One benefit of the hybrid program is that it gives you knowledge about clinic and allows you to practice in real-time, which polishes your skills.

RN to BSN online programs

  • Capella University: This program is ten weeks long and designed by nurses considering the ease and requirements of student nurses.
  • University of Oklahoma: The online program offered by this University is best for working nurses but requires two Saturday in-person orientation days per year. Students can choose on-campus classes, and the course is completed in as little as nine months.
  • Arizona State University: This University offers the RN to BSN program that completes in 15 to 18 months, longer than most other programs, and provides more innovation and quality education. Us repost, and world news recognizes the University as the world’s best innovative BSN program of 2019.
  • University of Cincinnati: This online program provides students with nine courses and additional capstone courses. Each class is completed in seven weeks, except for the capstone course, which takes fourteen weeks.
  • Chamberlain university: The courses provided by this University are completely customizable and best for working nurses. The BSN course is completely online, and students can finish this course at their peace.
  • George Washington University: This RN to BSN program completes in 36 credit hours and approximately 15 months. Candidates with associate degrees and Active RN licenses can apply for this course and easily level up their education.

Advantage of RN-to-BSN program

  • It is the best opportunity for registered nurses to advance their clinical skills, education, leadership, professional integration, and patient evaluation.
  • According to a survey of AACN’s 88% of employers now prefer nurses with bachelor’s degrees. It is also noted that chief nurse officers also prefer nurses with BSN degrees.
  • Higher and quality education is directly related to better patient recovery. Nurses with bachelor’s degrees are better prepared in evidence-based knowledge, making treatment plans, and reducing death rates.
  • It gives you a way to become a leader nurse in magnet hospitals. All magnet hospitals require nurses with at least a bachelor’s degree or higher degree.


Starting education again to level up your position, skills, and knowledge is overwhelming, especially while doing. job. Online programs for registered nurses to complete a bachelor of science in nursing make it easy and flexible. With online classes and a broad range of teaching strategies, the RN-to-BSN program has become very convenient. It takes nine months to two years to complete and makes you an advanced-level nurse.

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