There are many reasons why you might be interested in getting your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Maybe you were hoping to advance your registered nurse career by finishing your bachelor’s degree. Maybe you are interested in getting your Master’s someday. Or maybe it is your lifelong goal to become a registered nurse with a Bachelor's degree. Regardless of your reasoning, there are lots of avenues you can take in order to achieve your goals.
Apply to Schools
The first step that you will want to take is to apply to a school with a nursing program. There are many schools that have nursing programs but not all programs are created equal. Some programs allow you to graduate as a registered nurse with an Associate’s degree. While other programs are specifically for Bachelor’s degrees.
If you are already a registered nurse with an Associate’s degree you have the option to go back to school to continue your education. There are many online accelerated BSN programs you can choose from. While searching for schools, be sure to look at the Nclex pass rates to get a good idea of how well students do in their program. That will help you decide if the program will meet your needs. Even some of the most well-known colleges have low Nclex pass rates.
Complete Gen Eds
The next step is to start working on your general education requirements. If you are still in high school consider taking post-secondary courses. Most high schools will offer to pay for gen ed classes if you take them. The sooner you can complete your gen-eds the sooner you will be able to start in the nursing program.
If you are entering college for the first time be sure to study well in your gen eds because most nursing schools will take that into consideration. You are less likely to be accepted into a nursing program if you are failing those classes. If possible try to pick courses you will enjoy studying for. This will make it easier to get good grades.
Apply for a Program
Applying for a nursing program can be very intimidating. Your grades from high school and from college courses will likely play a role in your application being approved. Some colleges will make you take a standardized test in order to assess your knowledge before they admit you into their program. Be aware that you might have to study for these exams.
Also, be prepared to submit references from previous professors or employers. Many colleges require you to be in good standing professionally and academically. You will be required to submit a background check and drug screening as well. If you have any criminal history, speak with advising to make sure it won’t become an issue further down the line.
Study Hard and Gain Experience
Last but not least, study extra hard and take every opportunity there is to gain more experience. During clinicals, volunteer anytime a nurse needs help. Use that time to learn from them and they might even let you test out the skills you learned in class. Once you graduate you are expected to be able to do everything perfectly. So study as if someone's life depends on it! Because one day it will!
Getting your bachelor’s degree is a great career move. There are generally more pros than cons. Most companies are only hiring nurses with a four-year degree. In addition, the pay is better, and you will always be able to find a job. There are plenty of different avenues you can take to get there. Just find the option that fits best for you.