As the need for BSN prepared nurses increases, you may be thinking about moving from your RN license to a BSN degree. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report The Future of Nursing has a goal of 80% BSN prepared nurses by 2020. You may have hit a wall in your place of employment because you don’t have the education you need for the role you want to be in.
You have a Registered Nurse (RN) license, but you have decided that you want to pursue further education. What are your options for getting a Baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN)? You really have three options for continuing your formal education: a bricks-and-mortar school at a college or university, an online program, or a hybrid of these two.
What is a Campus RN-to-BSN Program?
A campus RN-to-BSN program is the most traditional model for nursing education. In this program, you enroll in a college or university and attend all classes on campus or at one of the affiliates of the campus. Often called a “bricks and mortar” program, the on campus option was the only option before the advent of computers and the internet.
What are the Prerequisites for a Campus RN-to-BSN program?
Although specific requirements will vary from school to school, all RN-to-BSN programs will require:
- Graduation from an accredited school of nursing in an ADN or diploma program,
- Successful completion of the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), and
- A current registered nurse license.
Depending on the program you select, you might also be required to have a minimum grade point average in your basic nursing program. Although most programs will accept an ADN or Diploma degree, you should always check the specific requirements for the programs you are interested in. Depending on the program, you may also be able to transfer credits you already have from your Diploma or ADN program. Some programs even offer testing programs that will allow you to show your competency by taking an examination to “test out” of some of the basic courses in the program.
Although a personal computer and internet connection are not required for a bricks and mortar education, almost any baccalaureate degree will require access to a computer. The advantage to being on campus is that you will be able to use computers on campus.
Is a Campus RN-to-BSN Program Right for Me?
A campus RN-to-BSN program will be perfect for you if you learn better in a face-to-face and hands on environment. Many students want and need the face-to-face interaction offered in the clinical setting. The campus option is a great option if you can take time off from your current job for didactic classroom teaching. If you do not like technology and using a computer is a chore for you, the bricks and mortar option might be perfect for you.
What Campus RN-to-BSN Programs are Available?
A great place to start when you are looking for an affordable RN-to-BSN program is with a college or university close to you that has an established nursing program. The advantages are many: you probably already have housing in the area, if there are different in-state and out-of-state fees, you will qualify for the lower amount, and it is very likely that the nursing program has established relationships with clinical practice sites in the area which may increase the likelihood that you can do at least part of your clinical work at your current work site.
The programs listed below are all accredited by one of the three major national accrediting organizations: the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). Be aware that the total tuition costs listed are approximate and subject to change. The costs will also vary depending on whether or not you can transfer credits into the program. Always check with the specific program to determine current costs. Some of these programs require licensure in the state where the program is so be sure to check with the Admissions department at the school. Of course, this list is not exhaustive; be sure to check with local colleges and universities. Use this list as a basis for comparison and to evaluate the comparative value of a program you find.
|Broward College||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Applicants must hold active FL RN license||In-state: $2,542
Out of state: $8,712
|California State University||Los Angeles, CA||Applicants must hold active CA RN license||In-state: $6,344
Out of state: $17,504
|California State University||Sacramento, CA||120 units of study||In-state: $6,628
Out of state: $17,788
|New Jersey City University||Jersey City, NJ||Student: Faculty ratio = 12:1||In-state: $10,653
Out of state: $19,065
|Rhode Island College||Providence, RI||Day or evening schedules available||In-state: $7,602
Out of state: $18,300
|Tennessee Technological University||Cookeville, TN||All clinicals are at off-site agencies||In-state: $7,063
Out of state: $22,063
|University of North Carolina Greensboro||Greensboro, NC||Applicants must hold an active NC RN license||In-state: $6,442
Out of state: $21,304
|University of Massachusetts||Amherst, MA||Apply February 1 or October 1||In-state: $13,443
Out of state: $28,159
|University of Texas Arlington||Arlington, TX||NA||In-state: $8,878
Out of state: $17,374
|Utah Valley University||Orem, UT||Applicants must hold active UT RN license||In-state: $5,086
Out of state: $14,256