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Nurse’s Guide To Getting Your BSN

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Nurses of today’s generation face a number of challenges as the American population becomes older in age and more diverse in cultural and socioeconomic background.  The Institute of Medicine published The Future of Nursing report in response to the changing needs of the nursing profession and recommended increasing the number of nurses with baccalaureate degrees (BSNs) to 80% by 2020.  As of 2016, about 38% of NJ state nurses hold bachelor’s degrees while 40% have an associate’s degree and 20% hold a diploma. This is a huge number of nurses to account for when thinking about transitioning to a more baccalaureate prepared nursing population. For practicing nurses who already hold a diploma or associate degree in nursing, many wonder what the benefit is for obtaining a BSN.  Going back to school to advance one’s degree often includes a certain amount of financial burden and time requirement; however, the benefits of obtaining a BSN may prove to outweigh these obstacles.  Hospitals often offer financial incentives to nurses who hold their BSN. In addition, nurses with a BSN degree may be eligible for more job opportunities and also meet the minimum education requirement for graduate nursing programs.  New Jersey offers many RN to BSN programs but with so many to choose from it can be hard to narrow down which is a good fit.  If you are looking to advance your degree, here is a brief look at some of the RN to BSN programs in NJ that includes program characteristics that may fit your unique needs.

Flexible

Thomas Edison State University: This online program has open and rolling admissions, allowing students to enroll at any time of year.  With no time limit for degree completion, students can finish the degree at their own pace as long as they complete at least 3 credits in each 12-month period.  This self-paced program also includes 9 credits that can applied to the Master of Science in Nursing program at the university.

Fast Track

Rutgers University, Camden: For students looking to complete their BSN in a short time frame, Rutger’s RN to BSN program is the way to go.  Students have the option to attend the program full time and can complete the program in 12 months.  Classes are on campus or online with rolling admissions into the program.  Prospective students may apply during summer, fall, or spring semesters with no written essay needed. 

Cost-Saving

Rowan University: At $436 per credit hour, this RN to BSN program requires a combination of online and classroom work at its Glassboro, NJ campus.  Graduates of diploma or associate degree programs are awarded 30 nursing credits for pre-licensure nursing courses.  Rowan’s BSN program is part-time only, designed specifically for working professional nurses.

Personalized Education

The College of New Jersey: For students who prefer face-to-face education, TCNJ features mainly on campus coursework with few and select online classes.  Students gain additional hands-on experience in the college’s state of the art simulation lab, mimicking real life hospital patients.  This program is ideal for students who do best working with others and interacting in a classroom setting.

Making the choice to go back to school is a major decision for working nurses.  Having options in degree programs to fit each person’s lifestyle is essential for balancing work, school, family, and other priorities.  For a complete list of RN to BSN programs in New Jersey, visit https://www.rntobsn.org/states/new-jersey.

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