Choice among on-line RN-BSN programs

  1. I've been looking into the various on-line RN-BSN programs for a few weeks now. There are dozens of such programs but I've managed to narrow the candidates down to just two: Ohio Univer and UT-Arlington. These 2 schools make my shortlist because each is a brick & mortar school, their on-line programs are an extension of their traditional classroom programs, each school is generally recognized outside of their immediate geographical area and tuition at both is reasonable. I admit that these criteria are somewhat arbitrary but all of them are important to me for reasons that are a bit difficult to quantify (except of course for the last one).

    I've read through lots of posts on this site about RN-BSN on-line programs and while there are a couple of threads about both OU and UT-A, I would have expected more. Is there are reason that these 2 programs are not more popular? Are there any current or former students out there with opinions and advice about them? Am I overlooking other schools that meet the criteria I've set out?
    Last edit by chuckster on Feb 8, '11 : Reason: typo
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    About chuckster, ADN, BSN, RN, EMT-B

    Joined: Jun '10; Posts: 1,137; Likes: 1,002
    International Contracts Manager; from US


  3. by   NAURN
    Jacksonville Univ in FL also has a totally online RN-BSN that I am considering seriously. Video lectures is what caught my attn... I can see a lecture and pause it to tend to a screaming kid... kinda like being in a classroom in your own home. They are $425 a credit hour tho... not sure what your two colleges tuition rates are. It was important to me tho that if I was going to do it online, it was going to be TOTALLY online with no campus requirement
  4. by   mtsteelhorse
    I have applied to Ohio Univ. and I have had the same concerns. I chose Ohio because of less requirements as compared to UT Arlington. They had some specific history and polisci requirements if I'm not mistaken. I would think with their very reasonable tuition we would hear more about it. I'm going to take a chance with Univ of Ohio (after MUCH research). I'm still waiting for my transcripts review and official acceptance. I hope to be done in just over a year. Good luck. Feel free to email me if you have specific questions. I'm supposed to start March 28. Cost and ease of attendance are big factors to me.
  5. by   chuckster
    Thanks for the replies.

    I considered Jacksonville (and Kent State, Temple, Drexel and Cleveland State) - their program looks good and as with all of the schools mentioned, they are reasonably well-known nationally, have a good reputation in the nursing community and their on-line RN-BSN program is simply an extension of their traditional classroom programs, with all students receiving the same BSN degree. While Jacksonville not the most costly (at something over $600/credit, that dubious honor goes to Drexel) there are significantly more expensive than either UT-A or OU.

    Though tuition at both OU and UT-A is about the same, it looks like the classes I've already take satisfy more of the requirements at OU than at UT-A (is there anyone outside of the state who's ever taken a class in Texas history and government?). I'd be very interested in hearing how your evaluation by OU went mtsteelhorse and hope you don't mind if I PM you about that. I'm hoping for a reasonably generous transcript evaluation and think that I may be down to only one unfulfilled requirement (Child & Adolescent Psych - kind of frustrating since I've taken 4 Psych classes including Abnormal, Developmental and Physiological - just nothing Child/Adolescent specific).

    Will post updates on the OU experience if that is indeed where I wind up.
  6. by   HouTx
    Hey folks - you can't get a bachelor's degree from a state school in Texas without taking Texas History & Texas Government. That's just the way it is. But - on the bright side, you will have already completed some of your pre-req's for becoming a naturalized Texan if you choose to do so in the future.... just kidding.
  7. by   mtsteelhorse
    chuckster, I will let you know how the transcript eval goes. It may be they waive the psych class since you've had so many already. I'm going to give them a call today and see where they are with my evals. I also like the 5 week course idea...get through it and move on. Keep me posted on your decision.
  8. by   TheCommuter
    There are two online RN-to-BSN programs that I'm seriously considering: Oklahoma Wesleyan University and Thomas Edison State College.

    I particularly like the fact that Oklahoma Wesleyan does not require any statistics, chemistry, or foreign language classes. Their admissions requirements are straightforward. All you need is an RN license, an associates or diploma in nursing, a 2.5 grade point average in all previous college coursework attempted, and a computer with high-speed internet access.

    To the OP: you probably see plenty of discussions about other RN-to-BSN programs such as Excelsior, Chamberlain, University of Phoenix, and Kaplan. It is because these schools are well-advertised and tend to have generous policies regarding transferability of previous college credits earned.
  9. by   llg
    Chuckster: I'm afraid I don't have any knowledge of the specific programs you are considering. However, I wanted to say that your criteria for picking a school seem excellent and relevant to me. You sound like you are going about this decision in a very good way. Good luck!
  10. by   mtsteelhorse
    I'm getting a bit concerned about Ohio Univ. I called to check on transcript evals. Now they tell me I might not know exactly what courses are required until after the first class starts. That sounds a bit weird to me. I'd like to know before I start what I have to take. Anyone else dealt with them???
  11. by   chuckster
    Quote from mtsteelhorse
    I'm getting a bit concerned about Ohio Univ. I called to check on transcript evals. Now they tell me I might not know exactly what courses are required until after the first class starts. That sounds a bit weird to me. I'd like to know before I start what I have to take. Anyone else dealt with them???
    Not exactly encouraging but it may be nothing more than the usually overload as the semester starts. I was able to speak to one of the counselors last week to ask some general questions and was encouraged by the response, which of course is "unofficial". Some of the questions (answers) below.
    1) With OU using quarter hours, how are classes from schools on the tradtional semester hour system evaluated? (by content with full qtr hr credit when substantially similiar - so for example Nutrition at 3 credits from a traditonal semester pgm will equate to the OU requirement and you will get 4 qtr hrs of credit - same for A&P at 4 s/hrs of credit each = to the OU reqt of 5 qtr//hr credit).
    2) How are the transfer credits for Fine Arts, Humanities & Lit and Cross-Cultural Perspectives courses determined - what are the criteria? (Fine Arts is generally anything related to the Arts, such as music appreciation, film studies, communcations, art history - Humanities&Lit generally any writing, history, philosophy, speech, journalism - higher level English & Speech will satisfy the "Junior Composition" reqt - Cross-Cultural are any Anthro, Soc, religion, communcations courses that examine other cultures, e. g., Cultural Anthro).
    3) Can the Philosophy reqt be satisfied by other than Philos courses (yes, courses in Humanities often are used for this - doesn't have to be "Philosophy" per se).
    4) Will any other Psych courses satisfy the Child Dev/Childhood & Adolesent Development requirement (yes, any Developmental or Lifespan Psych course will satisfy this).

    Understand that the responses I'm getting are designed to make OU attractive to prospective students, so they have the most postive spin possible on them. Still, I think, the answers are encouraging and I wouldn't sweat not having the evaluation in hand at the start of the semester. However, I would hedge my bet by taking just one class - assume they will let you let you register for the Transistions in Nursing class (NRSE 300) - and wait to see what the official eval provides. That way, you've started the program without investing too heavily in it (either in time or money) and if the eval is not what you expected, you can easily transition to another program elsewhere.

    I plan to get my application into OU in the next couple of weeks and will be interested to hear how you've fared. Keep in touch!
  12. by   mtsteelhorse
    Thanks for your encouraging reply. I'm still optimistic but I won't know for certain until everything is laid out officially. I can't find another program that has the basic ingredients of OU. I'm really surprised more people aren't attending from this forum. I've considered just completing a MSN (since I have a bachelor's in another field) but quite frankly I'm not particularly interested in the curricula. Still I continue to peruse this site and the internet in hopes of finding the perfect match just in case OU doesn't serve my purpose. I'd like to get my NP in psychiatric/mental health nursing. I wish there was a MSN program with that emphasis then I could move on to the NP portion as a post Masters certificate. Anyhow, keep in touch and good luck!
  13. by   chuckster
    Like you, I've also considered going directly for my MSN since my goal is to become a FNP.

    As you probably know, the second degree MSN programs for RNs require non-BSNs to complete a "bridge" program, typically 3 - 5 courses. Completing an RN-BSN program like the one at OU, should take only a little more time than the MSN bridge. The benefit is not only in getting the BSN (some schools award a BSN upon completing the bridge program but most do not) but that this route is also likely to be less expensive since you're paying undegrad tuition for the coursework. In addition, I'm hoping that having a BSN will open some doors to a nursing job (I've had no luck applying as an ADN-RN) and allow me to get some experience. I would anticipate that finding a job as FNP with no nursing experience beyond the required clinicals is very difficult.

    I share your surprise that there are not more folks on this site who are familiar with the OU program. The school is reasonably well-known and fairly well regarded (and they are one of the main rivals in the Mid America Conference for my undergrad alma mater, Temple). On a site like this with thousands of members and visitors, you'd certainly expect to find some folks to have been through the program. Perhaps this is because they do not advertise as much as some schools - come to think of it, I haven't actually seen an ad, they came up on a google search.

    Best of luck - will keep in touch.
  14. by   mtsteelhorse
    Great feedback. I have also just found the University of Southern Alabama. They have MSN program for ADN with a BA/BS in a non-nursing field. Apparently you're awarded the BSN and finally the MSN within your area of interest. They have Family Psychiatric NP program. Lots to think about. Their tuition was fairly reasonable but not as cheap as OU. I'll have to see what works out best. Keep me posted!