If you’re serious about a career in nursing, then a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree will provide you with the skills and credentials you’ll need succeed. A bachelor’s degree in nursing provides students with a strong platform to launch and advanced their career in nursing. In addition, earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing, from an accredited nursing program, will prepare you to earn a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctorate Degree in Nursing.
The bachelor’s degree in nursing is the degree of choice among employers. This degree will qualify you to work a variety of medical and health care settings including:
- Healthcare facilities
- Medical clinics
- Nursing care facilities
- Home health services
- Physicians’ offices
- Assisted living centers
- Community health facilities
Relative to nurses who hold an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree, nurses with a BSN degree typically hold more advanced nursing positions in hospitals and other health care facilities. Many BSN holders even work in supervisory or management roles.
The traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree typically takes four years to complete. The first two years of the program are filled with general education courses. The last two years of the program focus almost exclusively on the science of nursing and principles of nursing practice to prepare students for the NCLEX-RN exam and their future career.
Types of Bachelor’s Degrees in Nursing
- BSN – This is a 4-year bachelor’s degree in nursing. It is the industry standard degree and preferred by most employers. It is also required for those who want to pursue a graduate nursing degree in teaching, research or want to qualify for position in advanced practice nursing such as nurse practitioner (NP), clinical nurse specialist (CNS),certified nurse midwive (CNMs) and certified nurse anesthetist.
- LPN-to-BSN – This bachelor’s degree program is designed for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) who want to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing in less time than a tradition BSN program. LPN-to-BSN programs allows LPNs and LVNs to increase their career options while maintaining their nursing career.
- RN-to-BSN – The RN-to-BSN degree program is a specially designed for registered nurses who have already earned an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing. The RN-to-BSN provides working nurses the opportunity to earn an advanced degree while they continue to practice nursing. Most RN-to-BSN programs offer flexible schedules, with night classes, weekend classes and/or online classes.
- Second Degree BSN – This is a type of accelerated BSN program for adult professionals who want to make a career change from a non-related field into nursing. The second degree BSN provides credit to qualifying adults for having completed their liberal arts requirements, whereby shortening the amount time required to earn their BSN degree. These programs can be completed in two years or less.
- Accelerated BSN – Like the Second Degree BSN, the Accelerated BSN also provides credit for having completed liberal arts requirements if the student has already earned a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field. This degree program also moves at an accelerated pace and allows students to earn their degree in 1 to 2 years.
A bachelor’s degree in nursing qualifies you to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam, which is required in order to receive a nursing license. However, an associate’s degree in nursing will also qualify you to sit for this exam.
While a BSN degree isn’t absolutely necessary in order to have a successful career nursing, it sure will give you step up on the competition.
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