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Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs

Online BSN programs focus on what it means to provide effective and meaningful patient care. They might do that by combining science education with the practical healthcare

skills nurses use every day. And they may be offered at several levels, helping students on their terms.

How so? Some BSN online programs could support aspiring nurses just getting started. Others might be suitable for experienced nurses looking to expand their horizons. And in an online Bachelors degree in nursing program, that education could be flexible enough to fit your busy life.

What Is A BSN?

BSN stands for Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Online bachelors in nursing programs tend to be career-focused. Many online BSN programs aim to help nurses thrive in the current healthcare environment, in a variety of care settings.

As such, BSN programs online don’t only cover practical patient-care skills. They also focus on the mathematical and scientific knowledge related to nursing responsibilities. That could impact giving medication, understanding care plans, and more.

RN to BSN Online Programs

RN to BSN programs are a subset of online bachelors of science in nursing programs. Specifically, they aim to help professional nurses earn their BSN. Enrolled students might already have an associates in nursing or other professional qualification. They also generally have professional experience.

As such, programs tend to be designed to accommodate an ongoing nursing career. They might do that by providing accelerated program options, or flexible scheduling. Some programs may even allow students to apply prior education and experience against some of their required credits.

Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing Areas of Focus

Online bachelors in nursing programs don’t tend to offer formal concentration options. Instead, most programs survey a variety of care settings. They might also discuss how those differences might impact nursing roles and responsibilities. However, it’s possible you might be able to find a program that helps you learn more about a certain area of interest. Examples include pediatric nursing, intensive care nursing, psychiatric nursing, or even nursing leadership. If you are particularly looking for programs to learn about a certain type of nursing follow up with your selected programs.

Examples of Online BSN Programs Curriculum

Nursing is a fairly broad field. It encompasses a variety of responsibilities to help patients become and stay well. Each of those responsibilities requires specific knowledge and skills. As a result, an online bachelors in nursing curriculum could also be fairly broad.

Coursework might cover everything from the legality and ethics of patient care, to the science behind patient conditions. Classes may even discuss how to communicate with patients and families. And that’s just the start! Here are some examples of courses you might find in different programs.

  • Anatomy & Physiology: These types of courses aim to help nurses understand how the human body works. This knowledge could be essential to providing effective patient care.
  • Microbiology: This subject includes the basics--and beyond. It also might look at how it affects human health. In other words, these courses may look at how what microorganisms are, what kinds of diseases they cause, and how to prevent and treat those diseases.
  • Chemistry: Chemistry is a crucial aspect of medical development and administration. In a nursing program, chemistry courses might touch on how medications are formulated. They might also look at how different medications interact with one another, and how they interact with the human body.
  • Nutrition: This involves learning about what it means to be healthy, and the kind of nutrition people need to stay that way. It might also cover how to provide nutritional care to patients. For example, classes might discuss helping those who have trouble eating or swallowing. Courses might also touch on specific conditions that impact nutritional intake.

Concentrated Coursework

Depending on your intended concentration, you may take more specialized or focused courses such as the following.

  • Pediatric Nursing: Providing care to children and adolescents is a unique responsibility. In fact, some nurses make a whole career of it! That’s why some nursing programs look at what it means to be a pediatric nurse. Courses may cover the unique needs children at different ages might have, and how to adjust care-giving accordingly.
  • Adult Health: Similar to studying pediatric nursing, this course topic covers what it means to provide nursing care to adults. Courses might also focus on the aging process, and the unique health concerns faced by adults at different ages.
  • Maternal Healthcare: These courses examine the knowledge and skills you might need on a maternity ward. This could include helping pregnant mothers, and learning about the labor and delivery process. This might even discuss caring for newborn babies.
  • Biomedical Ethics: Ethics can be a complicated subject. That's the case even without taking into account the medical implications. Ethics courses in nursing may cover everything, even legal issues like HIPAA. They may also discuss moral and ethical quandaries faced by medical caregivers every day.
  • Psychology: Psychology courses in nursing may cover a wide range of topics. For example, some courses may focus on developmental psychology. Others may discuss identifying abnormal psychological behaviors and condition. Another course may look at how people are affected by traumatic situations.  
  • Language for Healthcare: This may not be present in every nursing program. However, some programs might include an elective like Medical Spanish. This kind of course shows students how to overcome language barriers to better communicate with patients and their families.

Keep in mind that individual curriculum elements may vary. The classes offered at your school may be different from the ones listed above. If you have specific questions or interests, get in touch with your selected online BSN programs for more information.

Online BSN Programs Field Experience

Some online bachelors in nursing programs might include requirements that can't be done on the computer. This could be in the form of field experience, like observations or guided field work. Some online programs might provide support or organize those opportunities on your behalf. However, others might allow students to organize that on their own. These requirements might vary in certain circumstances. For example, they might not be present in some RN to BSN online programs in which students are already working as nurses.

Additional Requirements of Online BSN Programs

In the United States, it is currently required to pass state licensing exams in order to practice as a nurse in the field. The specifics of those licensure requirements might vary by state. Follow up with your state nursing board for more information on how to become licensed and maintain it.

Did You Know?

Some nurses may also choose to become certified through professional organizations focused on specific practice areas, like pediatrics.i

BSN Potential Career Infoi

Earning a BSN through online BSN programs is one of three paths to working as a Registered Nurse. It is also possible to become an RN with an associates degree in nursing or a diploma. However, specific employers may have a preference for RN-BSN nurses over those without a bachelor’s degree. Registered nurses might work in a variety of care settings. These may include hospitals, outpatient facilities, residential facilities, physicians offices, and more. Some nurses might also specialize in certain types of care like pediatrics or emergency medicine.

In 2015, registered nurses made an average median salary of $67,490. That figure might vary by state and other factors, such as level of experience and the type of facility. Moreover, employment for registered nurses is projected to grow by 16% between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than is average for other careers.

Find Your Online Bachelors in Nursing Programs Today!

Are you ready to get started earning your BSN online? If so, start looking now and find online bachelors in nursing programs! Begin your search by reading about the sponsored program listings here. Then click on “Request Info” to find out more about the online BSN programs you may be interested in.


[i] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm#tab-1

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