RN-BSN Making an Informed Decision

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    Finding an RN-BSN program may be difficult but it is possible. Many organizations require ADN's to obtain their RN-BSN within a certain time frame. For many, due to life circumstances, this may be difficult to nearly impossible to finish. This article serves to inform the community how I made my decision and what impacted my decision.

    RN-BSN Making an Informed Decision

    Choosing an RN-BSN Program that Fits Your Lifestyle

    Choosing the best RN-BSN program can be really tough to do. We have lives, children, work, and more outside of school. What if I told you that looking for programs that fit your lifestyles are not really all that hard? What if I told you that there are options?

    Just like any school where you are investing the most of your money and time you need to be diligent in looking for a program. Some online programs may not be accredited in your state. Identify what is important to you in searching for a program. Make sure that the program is accredited in your state.

    • Tuition
    • Number of Classes Needed to Complete Program
    • Online or In Person
    • Convince to Schedule
    • Etc...

    I am an ER nurse, a full time mom to a 2 year old boy, and my fiancé is getting deployed in July. My job requires that in 5 years after employment we obtain a BSN. I searched and I mean searched for a program that would fit my lifestyle because I was just so busy. I compared the program to my state laws as far as accreditation. I found two programs in my area that are both inexpensive and are on the opposite ends of the spectrum.

    My Options

    Program 1: Major University in the Milwaukee area. (Name not mentioned to protect privacy of school)

    Pro: One program required self-study and to basically take multiple tests to pass the program. This program required you to sign up for your specific classes and you take them until you pass. The thing is if you signed up for 4 classes you were taking just those 4 classes and it would be simultaneously. Program was 2800 a semester and was NOT based on credit per hour. You chose your pace!!! PLUS PLUS PLUS!!!

    Con: You sign up for multiple classes and if you don't complete them they go into the next semester causing you another 2800. The classes do not generate and if you finish those classes mid semester you have to pay another 2800 for the next semester. I have test taking anxiety. I hate tests, I get palpitations and sweats. I honestly would start crying for no reason because my emotions are so high. Getting in contact with this school academic department was HORRIBLE. I do not agree with this, you have someone interested in YOUR program willing to pay the money. I want my questions answered if I am going to invest in your school. Even though 2800 is not a lot compared to other schools it is still my money and I would like to have some type of communication. I left multiple voicemails trying to get in contact with someone and did not hear back for a week. Trust me I know busy is busy I work in the ER. I can understand. But I Just would like to know about your program. I did hear this about this program prior to looking into it; I just did not want to give in to the gossip because there are numerous reasons why someone may talk bad about a school. One experience may not be the same as others. So playing the devil's advocate take each review with a grain of salt because you never know, your experience may differ from someone else's. This is just my experience attempting to get into this program. Another thing is that the application process was absolutely viscous. Attempting to sign up for the school was just terrible guys. I just can't even continue with this just know this program was not for me.

    Program 2: Capella University-Flex Path

    Pro: Program is assignment based and is self-study. Just like program 1 there is no dedicated time to finish. You finish at your own pace. Realize the longer you take the more money you spend for the program. It is 2700 for the semester which is also not based on credit per hour. This program is assignment based. No testing, it is just assignments that you take. They are research assignments and are a mix of papers and power points. You choose your pace!!!

    You do not have to sign up for all your classes that you want to finish in a semester. As you complete your assignments for your current class your next class would generate. This gives you a chance to focus on one class and still have the option to finish more classes. So if you're diligent with completing your assignments you have the potential to finish all your assignments in less than a year. Oh and they were super easy to get into contact with. I got a response right away and started the process right away. Their online system was easy to navigate and it allowed me to determine if this program was for me.

    Con: RESEARCH!!!! Guys this program is great but it requires a lot of research which is very important as you advance your career. The most important thing is that you're familiar with researching information because it can become overwhelming at times.

    My Choice


    Of course I choose the Capella Program because it was the right program for me. I finished the program in 6 months. GUYS 6 MONTHS!!!! 12 classes in 6 months. It took time and dedication but I finished. My first semester in the program, I completed 3 classes because I did not know how the program would go, so I was trying to be cautious about my time. I was also thinking about how it would fit into my personal life. My second semester I was like GIRRRRLLLLLL you got this. I spent the weekends off just knocking out homework and researching. Yes, yes, yes, it was a mess. It took a lot of time but I did it and you can get your RN-BSN degree too.

    Food For Thought


    One thing to remember is that this is my personal experience with choosing schools. This may not be the same for everyone. So when searching for schools does your research!!!! Determine if it's not going to be a fit for you. Make sure the school in your area is going to be accredited because that is your license and your money.

    Learning is different for everyone. Take all comments and reviews with a grain of salt, even my review because it's my personal experience. Understand that many reviews may be bias. Do not let reviews deter you from something that you're interested in. Just make sure to do your research about the program before applying.
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    22 Comments

  3. by   mso819
    Good job and congrads!!!
  4. by   hexsneaker
    Grats!!how much did you end up paying for 12 classes? If you don't mind me asking.
  5. by   broughden
    Call me skeptical.
    A stereotypical ADN program for nursing is generally at or around 72 credit hours of course work.
    A stereotypical BSN will require 120 credit hours of course work, an additional 50 hours of course work.
    So Im skeptical that Capella University and whomever has accredited their program, can claim that they are meeting this requirement and issuing a BSN actually worth something and doing so with in a time frame of 6 months.

    So does the author have a piece of paper with "BSN" on it, that satisfies her employment requirements? Im sure.
    Is it as academically rigorous as a traditional BSN and will it fully prepare her or others for a challenging graduate level program? I have my doubts.
  6. by   Kenmikeade
    Good job. Congratulations! And great info for BSN hopefuls like me.
  7. by   MunoRN
    Quote from broughden
    Call me skeptical.
    A stereotypical ADN program for nursing is generally at or around 72 credit hours of course work.
    A stereotypical BSN will require 120 credit hours of course work, an additional 50 hours of course work.
    So Im skeptical that Capella University and whomever has accredited their program, can claim that they are meeting this requirement and issuing a BSN actually worth something and doing so with in a time frame of 6 months.

    So does the author have a piece of paper with "BSN" on it, that satisfies her employment requirements? Im sure.
    Is it as academically rigorous as a traditional BSN and will it fully prepare her or others for a challenging graduate level program? I have my doubts.
    I'm not sure where you're getting those numbers from, but that's not really how the two compare.

    The "stereotypical" ADN core program is around 75-80 credits, compared to 85-90 for a BSN core program, an RN-to-BSN program is typically 30-45 credits, which means an ADN who's completed a BSN-to-RN program has had significantly more nursing program credit hours than a traditional BSN grad.
  8. by   broughden
    Quote from MunoRN
    I'm not sure where you're getting those numbers from, but that's not really how the two compare.

    The "stereotypical" ADN core program is around 75-80 credits, compared to 85-90 for a BSN core program, an RN-to-BSN program is typically 30-45 credits, which means an ADN who's completed a BSN-to-RN program has had significantly more nursing program credit hours than a traditional BSN grad.
    Try googling a state University BSN program. On average the BSN from an accredited public university will require approximately 120 credit hours.
    The credit hours for an ADN will vary by program. I have seen some as few as 69, some as much as 74. I've never seen a program require 80. If you can provide a link to one I'd be interested in seeing where you got that information from.
    Secondly, t's an "rn to BSN" program, not that other way around.
    Lastly, even if the rn to bsn program is 30 to 45 credit hours as you claim, there is no way possible to legitimately complete that number of credit hours in 6 months.
  9. by   MunoRN
    Quote from broughden
    Try googling a state University BSN program. On average the BSN from an accredited public university will require approximately 120 credit hours.
    The credit hours for an ADN will vary by program. I have seen some as few as 69, some as much as 74. I've never seen a program require 80. If you can provide a link to one I'd be interested in seeing where you got that information from.
    Secondly, t's an "rn to BSN" program, not that other way around.
    Lastly, even if the rn to bsn program is 30 to 45 credit hours as you claim, there is no way possible to legitimately complete that number of credit hours in 6 months.
    A quarter is typically 3 months, 15 credits is the typical full-time load, 6 months=30 credits.

    I've looked at a number of state university BSN programs and ADN programs, the programs themselves don't typically vary by more than 15 credits in a quarter based system. The degree has more of a credit difference; an ADN program typically has about 60-65 credits of pre-reqs and 75 credits of core program, about 135 credits in total. A BSN degree is about the same number of pre-reqs and program but with the addition of 1-2 quarters of general elective requirements.

    For an RN-to-BSN you will also need to complete the required general elective credits, which leaves a difference of about 15-20 credits in core program difference. RN-to-BSN programs are typically 30-45 credits, which means RN-BSN programs receive more nursing education than traditional BSN grads.
  10. by   broughden
    Quote from MunoRN
    an ADN program typically has about 60-65 credits of pre-reqs and 75 credits of core program, about 135 credits in total.
    Typical regional ADN programs:
    1. St Johns River State College ADN 72 credit hours COMPLETE:
    http://sjrstate.edu/catalog/0208.pdf
    2. Santa Fe Community College ADN 75 credit hours COMPLETE:
    Associate in Applied Science in Nursing - Santa Fe Community College
    3. Nassau Community College ADN 64 credit hours COMPLETE:
    Nassau Community College - College Catalog - Nursing (A.S.)

    Please, please, show me a single ADN program for a public school that requires a total of 135 credit hours required between pre-requisites and the core program. Please find a SINGLE one.

    Im trying to be nice but its evident that you literally have no idea what you are talking about, or are incredibly confused.

    University of North Florida, BSN, 123 credit hours COMPLETE:
    Osprey Map
    Last edit by broughden on Apr 26
  11. by   MunoRN
    Quote from broughden
    Typical regional ADN programs:
    1. St Johns River State College ADN 72 credit hours COMPLETE:
    http://sjrstate.edu/catalog/0208.pdf
    2. Santa Fe Community College ADN 75 credit hours COMPLETE:
    Associate in Applied Science in Nursing - Santa Fe Community College
    3. Nassau Community College ADN 64 credit hours COMPLETE:
    Nassau Community College - College Catalog - Nursing (A.S.)

    Please, please, show me a single ADN program for a public school that requires a total of 135 credit hours required between pre-requisites and the core program. Please find a SINGLE one.

    Im trying to be nice but its evident that you literally have no idea what you are talking about, or are incredibly confused.

    University of North Florida, BSN, 123 credit hours COMPLETE:
    Osprey Map
    Here's one if that's all you want, although there's more if you're interested. nursing | North Seattle College

    You might look closer at your examples to see if they are semester credits or quarter credits, since they aren't the same. Typically to convert from semester credits to quarter credits you would multiply the semester credits by 1.5.
  12. by   broughden
    Quote from MunoRN
    Here's one if that's all you want, although there's more if you're interested. nursing | North Seattle College

    You might look closer at your examples to see if they are semester credits or quarter credits, since they aren't the same. Typically to convert from semester credits to quarter credits you would multiply the semester credits by 1.5.
    Munro,

    I see why we are having a disconnect. You are using quarter hours. I am taling semester hours. The program you linked to is 135 quarter hours. So we aren't comparing apples to apples.
    Frankly, I didnt think anyone was still using quarters any longer. At least no one in our region is.

    All of which is tangential to the fact I dont think a program can adequately convey the difference necessary education and training required to go from an ADN to BSN in six months in an academically rigorous manner.
    Last edit by broughden on Apr 26
  13. by   MunoRN
    Quote from broughden
    Munro,

    I see why we are having a disconnect. You are using quarter hours. I am taling semester hours.

    The program you linked to is 135 quarter hours. So we aren't comparing apples to apples.
    This was the context of the 135 hour course length you disagreed with:
    Quote from MunoRN
    ... the programs themselves don't typically vary by more than 15 credits in a quarter based system. The degree has more of a credit difference; an ADN program typically has about 60-65 credits of pre-reqs and 75 credits of core program, about 135 credits in total.
    In either quarter or semester based systems, an ADN plus RN-to-BSN total credits generally exceeds that of a traditional BSN.
  14. by   MunoRN
    Quote from broughden
    All of which is tangential to the fact I dont think a program can adequately convey the difference necessary education and training required to go from an ADN to BSN in six months in an academically rigorous manner.
    The difference is typically a 3 to 5 credit leadership class, a 3 to 5 credit public health class, and a statistics and/or nutrition class. You don't think 6 months is enough time to cover 15-20 quarter credits?

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