The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) helps students with no prior experience obtain licensure and gives current RNs an opportunity to expand their careers.
Many RN positions, especially those with supervisory roles, require applicants to have a B.S.N. Students without nursing experience can complete the degree in four years, while RNs can get credit for previous education and experience, allowing them to finish their degree programs in less time.
In the first and second years, students complete general education requirements, including classes in the liberal arts and sciences. In their third and fourth years, students enroll in nursing courses and complete clinical work. Students receive practical training through the clinical component, which includes a set minimum number of hours working in a health-care facility.
The B.S.N. curriculum also gives students a broad knowledge of nursing theory and research, which lays the foundation for further study. Upon completion of the program, students who do not have a current RN license take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-PN).
To enter a B.S.N. program, a student should have a high school diploma, with a background in mathematics and science, and a satisfactory GPA. ACT or SAT scores may be required for some programs. RNs must have a current license and a diploma or associate degree in nursing from an accredited institution.
A few B.S.N. programs offer an accelerated option to highly qualified RN applicants, which lets students complete their degree in twelve to twenty months rather than in two or more years. Those with a non-nursing baccalaureate degree can also enroll in a B.S.N. program; some general education requirements may be satisfied by previous academic work. Specific admission criteria vary by program.
B.S.N. graduates can work in almost any setting, including in traditional health-care facilities such as clinics, nursing homes, and hospitals; in businesses such as book publishers, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and law firms; and in other places, such as schools, psychiatric units, and home-care agencies. The B.S.N. also prepares a student for graduate-level education.