RNs and LPNs: Get Your Four-Year BSN
Meet the Industry Standard in Nursing Degrees at ISU
The Indiana State University online RN to BSN degree program is designed as a standard baccalaureate completion program popular among nurses. The curriculum prepares professional RNs for entry-level leadership roles, as well as for graduate education, career mobility, better salaries, and expanded opportunities within the healthcare field. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is the preferred nursing degree; employers expect this level of nurse to have not only well developed patient skills, but to also have a modicum of critical thinking ability, as well as the confidence to make rational care decisions when necessary.
From Associates to BSN
Many RNs choose the Associates degree as their first avenue into nursing. These two-year programs-often earned at regional community colleges-prepare novice nurses with the necessary skills for general patient care. The largest volume of entry-level nurses goes to work in hospital settings, in units such as Critical Care, Medical-Surgical, Cardiac, Pediatrics, and Medical. At this stage they may begin to specialize or develop career plans that take them into various other specialties or to other types of healthcare facilities. The BSN completion is designed to provide the final two years, plus, of baccalaureate coursework. Because the BSN is a four-year degree, candidates are also required to include various general education courses that fulfill a traditional liberal arts education.
Requirements for RNs Finishing Their BSN
Applicants for the ISU RN-BSN degree must have a two-year nursing degree from an accredited nursing program. The only credits that ISU agrees to transfer are those in courses where candidates earned at least a C. A valid RN license is also required.
Working nurses must be highly motivated. There are no on-campus requirements and clinicals may be scheduled locally, but the program is intensive and the expectations are that participants will be actively engaged in the curriculum.
The length of the RN-BSN program is subjective, based on how many credits each student may transfer from their Associates degrees, but the nursing-specific curriculum is 36-credit hours. The coursework is a combination of nursing theory, expanded patient skills, and hands-on clinicals. General educational credits are required to satisfy the liberal arts degree.
Specific nursing courses cover topics such as: biostatistics, nursing pharmacology, community health nursing for specific populations, evidence-based research, advanced patient assessments, pathophysiology, and nursing theory.
The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission accredits ISU's nursing program.
Career Opportunities for BSNs
With a BSN, nurses have so many more career options immediately available. Baccalaureate nurses are prepared to assume roles that may lead to management and administration, and many begin immediately assimilating into such roles where needed. Nurses may choose to explore more granular nursing sub-specialties or challenge themselves with travel nursing, or with an advanced practice nursing degree.
While many RNs are confined to a hospital environment, BSNs have the flexibility to move their nursing career elsewhere, into community nursing, private offices, long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, mental health agencies, and outpatient clinics. And there are no shortages of jobs within these environments. Well-trained and educated nurses are in short supply and needed almost anywhere patient care takes place.
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