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If you want to pursue a career that might involve helping others, solving difficult problems, and making decisions, you may want to look into nursing. Nurses typically ...

If you want to pursue a career that might involve helping others, solving difficult problems, and making decisions, you may want to look into nursing. Nurses typically work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, or other medical facilities.  Nurses may be responsible for work activities such as operating medical equipment or performing and analyzing diagnostic tests. Nurses also may give medicine and treatments to patients.  They might also use skills such as active listening or social perception.  If this sounds like you, then you might want to consider pursuing a nursing degree thourgh Online BSN Programs.  And, this degree program may be one way to prepare yourself for a career in the field.

What is a BSN Degree?

If you’re looking into earning a nursing degree online, you may come across the acronym “BSN” a lot. BSN stands for Bachelor of Science in Nursing. A program that grants this degree may be one of the more common ways to prepare to pursue a career in nursing.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the entry-level education for a career as a registered nurse (or RN) is a bachelors degree.  It may be possible to pursue a career in the field after earning an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a nursing diploma. 

Essentials of Bachelors of Science in Nursing Degree Programs

If you plan on looking into online BSN programs to prepare to pursue a career in nursing, you’ll probably want to know what you might study. Typically, earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an online BSN program might take about 4 years.v While ADN and diploma programs might typically take less time to complete, they generally offer less instruction than bachelor’s degree programs.  These programs may include coursework in broad topics. Including communications, leadership, critical thinking, or social sciences.v This might be in addition to the nursing-related topics that all programs may cover, which could include some of the following:v

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Chemistry
  • Nutrition
  • Psychology
  • Behavioral science

Nursing programs might also typically include supervised clinical experience, an aspect of the curriculum that may be stressed  in bachelor’s degree programs.v

Potential Coursework in Online BSN Programs

You may be curious as to what specific subjects could be covered while earning a Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree online. The exact courses and subjects may vary between schools and programs, but you may expect classes on some of the following topics:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Public health
  • Pharmacotherapeutics
  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics
  • Health informatics
  • Gerontology

Make sure you investigate a program to see what might be a part of its curriculum prior to enrolling. The coursework offered and the requirements for graduation could vary, so it’s important to understand what you might be getting into with online bsn programs. 

Nursing in Person

Although a program may be referred to as an online bachelor’s degree program in nursing, it may not be able to completed entirely over the Internet. Nursing careers may generally involve a lot of face-to-face interaction.  According to O*Net, 92% of registered nurses said their job involves constant contact with others.  So, it may not be surprising that some online nursing programs might have various requirements that must be completed in person, such as residencies, practicums, or meetings. Some programs, though, may have ways of simulating these personal interactions, with features like virtual labs. When looking into different online nursing degree programs, you should make sure to research what requirements need to be completed in person.

Why Earn a BSN degree through an Online BSN Program?

Thus, you may wonder why you should earn a bachelor of science in nursing if iyou can be a nurse with only an associate’s degree. While that’s true, some employers may actually require a bachelor’s degree for entry-level applicants.v This may be common for those looking to work in hospitals.v That’s a majority sector of the field, too, as 61% of all registered nurses in 2014 worked in hospitals.ii

Bachelor’s degrees, or even higher-level degrees, can be needed for nursing positions in administration, research, consulting, or teaching.v

Going from RN to BSN

If you’re already pursuing a nursing career after having earned an ADN or nursing diploma, you may be considering earning an online bachelor of science in nursing for some of the reasons stated above. If this is the case, you could consider enrolling in an online RN-to-BSN program, which may be specially designed for nurses looking to go back to school for their bachelor’s degree.v

Also, other alternative BSN degree options could include combined master’s and bachelor’s degree programs. Or, accelerated programs for those who’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field.v

After Earning an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

An important aspect of earning a BSN degree that you should remember is that graduating from one of these programs does not mean you can immediately pursue a career as a nurse. In fact, depending on your state, there could be a number of additional requirements.v In general, you may need a nursing license to pursue a career in the field. In addition to obtaining the appropriate education, this may involve passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).v Make sure you research the specific requirements for your state if you want to find out exactly what might be needed to pursue a career in nursing.

Possible Careers to Pursue after Completing Online BSN Programs

In 2014, there were over 2.75 million registered nurses in the United States, and the projected growth by 2014 was much faster than average.  Though the most common education for this occupation was an associate’s degree, 23% of those polled by O*Net did have a bachelor’s degree.  The median annual wages for this position in 2015 were $67,490.viii

For some other nursing professions, it may be more common to have earned a bachelor’s degree. According to O*Net, 39% of Acute Care Nurses have attained this level of education.  That number is even higher for Critical Care Nurses, at 45% of workers.

Beginning Your Research

So, if you’re interested in earning an online bachelor’s degree in nursing, you may want to get started right away. Luckily, you can begin right here on by checking out our sponsored listings of online BSN programs. Make sure to contact any school you’re interested in to request specific details and requirements of their program. Good luck!

[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] [vi] [vii] [viii] [ix] [x] [xi]


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