A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is a four-year course of study that prepares the nursing student for the field of nursing. The BSN degree allows you to sit for the licensing exam to be a registered nurse, which is a highly desirable degree as employers prefer to hire RNs. It also means a boost in pay over nurses with less education or fewer credentials.
If you attend full-time, the program is four-years. Many people decide to get their associates degree, get a job as a LPN, and return to school part-time to get their BSN. This is definitely a viable option that allows you to earn as you learn. But it will obviously take longer to get your bachelor’s degree this way. Not all programs allow for part-time attendance, but many do. Many schools have responded to the trend for nurses to continue working as they go to school, and thus the number of distance and online programs has soared in recent years.
Some of the courses you must take in this degree plan are typical to all students pursuing a four-year degree, such as English, math, and humanities. But others are specific to nursing. To prepare yourself, come with a strong background in science and math. You should anticipate classes such as Human Physiology, Microbiology, Medical Ethics, Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacology, Research, and Nutrition and Health. If this sounds overwhelming, it definitely can be!
Tips to balance your life while getting your nursing degree
Make sure when you are pursuing your BSN to manage your time. If you do not use a calendar, start now. Be sure to schedule time to study and schedule time for rest and relaxation as well. Burning yourself out is not healthy.
Make sure your expectations are realistic. Your house is probably not going to look magazine ready while you’re in nursing school! Home cooked meals from scratch may not be an option either. Sit down with your family and friends and talk about the things that are going to change. Make sure everyone understands what you’re getting into. You may be surprised by how people step up to help you.
Lean on your fellow classmates. Nursing school students are all going through the process together. Make sure to find someone who can serve as your study buddy. The two of you can keep one another motivated and on track.
A BSN degree allows you to enter the workforce as a Registered Nurse, or to move up from the LPN certification to the RN certification. There are many options for nursing programs. Some are full-time, but many are part-time, distance, online, or limited on-campus presence programs. Nursing is an in-demand area and a rewarding career.