Most nurses today are opting to bridge their RN certification with a BSN nursing degree through an accredited RN to BSN course. RN-to-BSN programs are becoming increasingly popular over the past few years, providing streamlined, more affordable pathways for the typical nurse to complete her four-year degree.
The difference between an RN and BSN degree is that the RN must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree from an accredited university and obtain a minimum of 500 hours of community college. A BSN on the other hand must possess the equivalent of a bachelor's degree plus 300 hours of community college. BSN programs are available at many community colleges or trade schools and can also be taken online. A bachelor's degree in a technical field will prepare the nurse for the RN certification exam but will not help in gaining employment in this field.
In many cases, it is possible to receive credit for the BSN nursing program as well as the RN certificate course. If a student has completed the BSN coursework while working in a program offering a certificate in nursing, they may still be able to take courses to further their education. This is beneficial in that many employers prefer to see proof of a bachelor's degree from an accredited school in addition to an RN certification.
A BSN course is designed to provide a person with the knowledge, skills and knowledge that will be required of them upon graduation from a four year university or college. However, it is not enough to become a registered nurse just because a person has a BSN degree. Many employers expect and demand additional qualifications, including a passion for nursing and a strong desire to work in this field.
There are many different options available to BSN students upon graduation. Some of these include an internship program in a facility like the Mayo Clinic or a hospital, or a placement where the student works with patients while earning a certificate in nursing. An apprenticeship program may also be an option, especially for nurses who want to begin their career in the field immediately. After completing a BSN degree, the student may then choose to take part-time employment or full-time employment as a registered nurse in an experienced facility, working with patients as an apprentice.
As mentioned previously, it is also possible for a person to receive credits towards their RN certification after completing the BSN certificate course. They can take prerequisites courses at community colleges or state universities or colleges, but they are not permitted to apply for financial aid from the program to apply towards the RN certification exam. They may, however, be able to pay for their course costs through a work at home program. In many cases, the student will need to complete a practice test at a local clinic or medical center in order to prove their ability to work with patients.
Once the BSN student has proven to be an eligible candidate for an exam, she/he must pass the exam . . . . . . and be accepted into an accredited college or university to enroll in an approved BSN nursing program in order to be eligible to take the BSN test. The student will be required to take the prerequisites for a recognized program at an accredited college before being accepted into the program, and be accepted for a spot on the test. Once the BSN nurse passes the exam, she/he is certified as an RN and can sit for the actual test. The BSN certificate will be sent to the RN agency after the student has completed the prerequisites for the exam.
There are many options for those who want to get an RN certificate, including online BSN nursing programs that offer a fast-track way to completion. There are also BSN nursing programs that provide a more traditional approach to completing the program, while still allowing students to complete the required courses.