Can I Still Work While Attending an RN to BSN Program?
Yes! And not only can you work, but most schools require it!
Maintaining full-time employment as a registered nurse during the RN to BSN program is encouraged by most schools. Not only does this satisfy the 30 "clinical hours" requirement of many RN to BSN programs, but it allows for the nurse to take advantage of the employer's tuition reimbursement programs and qualify for certain nursing scholarships and grants.
Many online RN to BSN programs are flexible enough to allow for full-time employment hours without a lot of adjustment. If the course requires daily or 3-4 day a week participation log-in's, meaning participating in a chat room discussion or posting on a discussion board, this usually only takes 15-30 minutes maximum. This can be annoying after a long day at work at the bedside but it's definitely not enough of a time consumer to require quitting work. Besides, most bedside nurses work 3 twelve hour shifts a week. This allows for entire days of working on projects and assignments.
Never before have so many RN to BSN bridge programs been available. School's are offering so many options that the right program is available for every RN.
The BSN student can take those required 30 upper-level credit hours in a 5-7 week online courses from the comfort of the living room and be done in under a year all while continuing to work full-time as an RN. If that's not the best option, the student can choose a traditional classroom program and finish in a short amount of time while networking and learning with like-minded nurses in the field, also while working full-time at his or her current nursing job.
The shift to hire and promote Bachelor's degree educated nurses has been moving forward for years. Nursing students are on waitlists and have been flocking schools to become nurses. Healthcare facilities are able to be more selective because so many graduates are entering the workforce. For the working RN, this means more education is needed to stay competitive in the field.
Healthcare facilities prefer to hire Bachelor's degree educated nurses because research has shown improvements in inpatient mortality, patient outcomes, and nursing job satisfaction. With the overwhelming evidence demonstrating the benefits of hiring Bachelor's degree educated nurses it undeniable that every RN needs to heed the call and become a BSN.
Schools have never made it easier to become a BSN. Don't wait!
Amanda Bucceri Androus RN, BSN
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