Transitioning from a Registered Nurse to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a major decision. It’s also a significant move in your career that can lead to numerous new opportunities. Earning a higher degree in nursing requires time, effort, and planning, though. Keep the following points in mind to help prepare you for the process and make it more successful.
Find A BSN Program
One of the first and most important steps in the transition is to find an RN to BSN completion program. Look for accredited schools that offer flexible schedules. You’ll also need to decide whether you want to complete a wholly online program, a traditional one, or one that combines the two. From there, choose a school that offers what you’re looking for.
Understand The Requirements And Prerequisites
Certain requirements and prerequisites may be in place as well. Those vary by school, but as a general rule, you’ll need to have an RN degree, proof of graduation, your college transcript, and an acceptable GPA on previous college courses. You may need character reference letters and certain clinical documents as well. Be sure to research the schools and programs you’re interested in to ensure you meet all their requirements.
Financial considerations also come into play. Be sure you understand how much the program will cost. That’ll help you plan ahead for those expenses and work them into your budget. Remember that scholarships, grants, and financial aid may be available to you. If you’re currently employed as an RN, ask about any financial assistance your employer may offer, like work-study programs or tuition reimbursement.
Balancing Work, Home, And School
Also, understand that balancing your life and education may be a challenge. That’s particularly true if you’re going to continue working while completing your RN to BSN program. If you have a family, maintaining a balance will be even more difficult. It’s well worth it, but it’s also important to be prepared for this in advance. It may be chaotic at first, but everything will fall into place.
Use Experience To Your Benefit
Your prior education and experience as an RN will be invaluable while earning your BSN. When applying to a BSN program, be sure to highlight your experience, achievements, specialized skills you’ve acquired while on the job, and other relevant factors on your application. Beyond the documented details, all the knowledge you’ve gained through hands-on experience will be helpful in your BSN courses. It’ll give you an upper hand.
Take Advantage Of Available Resources
Several resources may be available to you while completing an RN to BSN program. Your instructors are there to help you, and that extends beyond teaching courses. They can answer questions, work with you on concepts you don’t understand, or even extend project deadlines if necessary. Counselors are there to help keep your coursework on track and ensure you succeed. Even coworkers who’ve completed an RN to BSN program and fellow nursing students can provide support, advice, and academic help. Don’t hesitate to use those resources to your advantage.
Successfully Advancing Your Career
Advancing your career as a nurse requires thought, planning, and dedication. Keeping the points mentioned here will help you succeed. Though it may be difficult at times, plenty of resources are available to help you along the way. Earning your BSN will be well worth the time and effort you put into the process. It’ll give you an array of new opportunities as well as personal satisfaction.