Most nurses have very busy lives. Between working shifts, sometimes holding multiple jobs, caring for a family or loved ones, and taking care of themselves, it might seem unrealistic to consider adding one more responsibility to your full life. However, an increasing number of nurses are making time in their busy schedules to complete an online RN to BSN program — and for good reason.
BSN preparation opens up a number of career opportunities for nurses including advanced practice roles like a public health nurse, nurse educator, case manager, geriatric nurse, and pain management nurse, to name a few possibilities. Many of these positions offer higher pay and a way for nurses to transition away from shift work and into leadership and administrative positions.
A BSN is also a stepping stone required for advanced nursing practice specialties such as the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), which Brian Noonan is pursuing after completing Nevada State College's CCNE-accredited online RN to BSN program. As Noonan notes, advanced practice positions such as the CRNA can help with work and lifestyle balance. He adds that nursing "is one of the few careers where you could get that degree, and you don't have to be at the bedside. … You can go into administration, … teach at the university level, … be an entrepreneur, … [or] be a consultant. You could do whatever you want with it."
For nurses who find it difficult to alternate between day and night shifts or who would like to work regular hours during the day to be home with their family during evenings and weekends, a BSN can be the gateway to more personal freedom and professional opportunities.
Do Nurses With BSNs Earn More Money?
Nurses with BSNs typically earn more on average than RNs who lack the degree. PayScale places the average yearly salary for ADN RNs at $69,361, with BSN RNs averaging $84,894 – a 22% increase.
Is the RN to BSN Online Program Flexible?
The RN to BSN online program at Nevada State is flexible, allowing you to complete coursework as your busy schedule allows. Busy nurses like Kristen McGuinness have proven that completing an RN to BSN program is possible, even while traveling and working three jobs.
"The online program was very helpful for me because I could access my courses from anywhere," McGuinness said. "I could travel. I could spend time with family and work three jobs. I could make time on my terms and continue my education. The program had a lot of flexibility."
The ease of communication with the online program is another plus for students. Ashley Swarowski, another student in the RN to BSN online program, noted: "I also like the communication aspect. You don't have to worry about going to a professor's office. Typically, it's either a phone call or an email, so it's very accessible. I always felt like it fit into my life so easily."
Is the RN to BSN Online Program Affordable?
An RN to BSN online program is also extremely affordable for most nurses. Instead of quitting work or reducing work hours so you can go back to school, you can continue to work, earn an income, and gain valuable experience as a nurse while advancing your nursing education and expanding your career options.
"Nevada State has the same national accreditation as other schools," Noonan said. "Plus, the cost was a couple thousand dollars cheaper for the same accredited degree. It was kind of a no-brainer."
For many nurses, an RN to BSN online program is an attractive choice that allows them to keep earning an income and avoid a significant amount of student loan debt. They can "learn as they earn," which many nurses see as a smart option for advancing their education and career.
Learn more about Nevada State College's RN to BSN online program.
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