More and more students are choosing nursing degrees when they go to school. The employment and opportunities available in this field are expanding rapidly. However, as more people come into the field with the standard associate degree in nursing, expectations are increasing. As a result, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is becoming more common as job applicants seek to edge out the competition. In fact, many student nurses today are going straight to the BSN in order to save time and money later.

What Is the Focus of Study?

The bachelor degree in Nursing is built around the same applied science with which the associate degree begins. It continues the education by requiring more liberal arts courses just as any other bachelor degree would do. Student nurses and already registered nurses also add more foundational nursing courses to their degree as well as other courses.

Why Pursue a BSN?

Many student nurses are pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Nursing because they want to have an advantage over their peers when they enter the job market for nurses after graduation. However, even registered nurses that are already working find it worth their while to go back to school and acquire this more advanced degree. It gives them a deeper understanding of the work that they do. In addition, it gives them the opportunity to continue their studies later and possibly advance to become nurse practitioners with a doctoral degree in Nursing.

What Are the Required Courses?

Students seeking a BSN must take blocks of courses required with any bachelor degree. These include courses such as English, Math, electives and any required courses in diversity that a University may require. Then they have to meet the science and math prerequisites that are specific to the nursing field. After official entry into the Nursing program, BSN candidates study the same courses in Foundational Nursing that students seeking the associate degree study before becoming RNs. They reach qualification for the BSN when they complete a total of 30 units in Nursing, with additional studies in Gerontology, Leadership and plenty of clinical work.

Job Outlook for Graduates

While employment rates for RNs are already high, they are essentially at full employment for BSNs. The extra edge provided by this degree makes it very easy for these professionals to edge their way into even the toughest job markets. Furthermore, the average salary of a BSN with just one year of experience is $50,000. This pay scale may vary with geographic location and the specific medical center or hospital in which they work.

Online Opportunities to Achieve a BSN

Much of a nurse’s training is hands-on and cannot be accomplished online. However, there are many courses required of nurses in college which can be studied this way. For example, almost all of the general education requirements and many of the nursing pre-requisites are available in online forums. The only classes that must be taken on campus or elsewhere are those that require hands-on training or the student’s actual presence in a medical center.

How to Get Admitted to the Program?

Students are typically not eligible for entry into the BSN program until they have reached the second semester of the nursing program. Requirements vary from school to school but it is common for these institutions to request that applicants have GPAs of 3.0 or above. Students may enter the program during their third semester in nursing, before they have even completed courses for an associate degree in nursing. Some courses may be taken by students who do not hold their RN license yet.

Additionally, these students can transfer credits from other institutions. Each school may have its own restrictions on how many credits can be applied in such situations and whether or not credits from other nursing programs count.

Acquiring a Bachelor of Nursing online has never been easier. Even many major institutions are offering their core courses over the Internet in order to facilitate their student’s schedules. With so many courses available for an online BSN, students will be able to fit the required campus courses into their daily lives more easily. This is especially critical for RNs who are already working and trying to advance in their careers.