Fast-track online RN to BSN programs are designed to help registered nurses earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in less time than most on-campus bachelor’s degree programs require.
What is an RN to BSN program?
An accelerated RN to BSN allows students with a hospital diploma or associate degree from an accredited program to use previously earned credit hours toward earning the BSN degree. The university will take the credits you earned during your previous degree program and apply those credits to replace some of the required courses needed for graduation, thus allowing you to earn a BSN degree more quickly.
How long does the program take?
Fast-track online RN to BSN programs give you the chance to graduate in as few as 12 months. The amount of time that you spend in one of these programs depends on how many college credits you previously earned, the requirements of the program in which you are enrolled, how many courses you enroll in at one time and if you take coursework consecutively. Some program offer shorter courses that last for six to eight weeks, while other programs use a traditional 16-week course format.
What courses do students take?
Students enrolled in an accelerated RN to BSN program will take upper-level nursing courses that cover a variety of topics, including nursing leadership, community health nursing and research courses that support evidence-based practice. Additionally, you will take a set of core non-nursing courses in order to fulfill state requirements for a four-year degree. These courses generally consist of biology, chemistry, English, history and math. Some non-nursing courses may not be offered online, or may have to be completed before you can enroll in the nursing core, so it is important to check with the university before enrolling.
What to look for in an online program
Not all online nursing programs are the same, but there are a few things that you should look for in an online program. First, make sure the university and nursing program both are accredited. This ensures you are earning a degree from a reputable university that will provide an education that will properly prepare you and enhance your nursing practice. Graduating from an accredited program and university also means you will be more likely to be able to enroll in a graduate program should you choose to do so in the future. You will also want to look at the opportunities for interaction with professors. A good online program will foster student-professor relationships and help you gain mentors that can further enhance your learning. You should also look at the average time to degree completion and the school’s graduation rates.
Fast-track online RN to BSN programs can be an excellent alternative to campus-based BSN programs for currently employed nurses who are motivated to expand their knowledge in a condensed, intensive study program. The fast pace of an online program can help nurses shorten the time it takes for career advancement.
Learn more about University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s online RN to BSN program.