RN to BSN?

  1. Hi everyone! I am trying to decide what to do for college and had some questions. Everywhere I look it says their nursing programs are RN to BSN. Is there a way to get your BSN without being a registered nurse? And if you have to be an RN then how long will it take to get both certifications? In still researching but thought it wouldn't hurt to ask. Thanks!
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    About krafsiga19

    Joined: Aug '17; Posts: 1


  3. by   not.done.yet
    You can have a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) without being an RN. It would mean you did not take or did not pass the licensing exam (and would be pretty worthless as far as degrees go. You have to have both a degree and the license to work as a nurse).

    The title of RN is a legally protected title that delineates someone who has passed the examination to be a registered nurse. There are multiple pathways to being a registered nurse, including not having a BSN, but rather having a diploma (rare anymore) or a two year nursing degree (ASN - Associate of Science in Nursing). So an RN without any further credentials generally indicates an individual who has a two year nursing degree and passed their licensing exam - an ASN, RN or sometimes just shown as RN (Sally Smith, RN). Someone whose name has BSN, RN after the end has a four year nursing degree and passed their licensing exam (Sally Smith, BSN, RN).

    The correct format for credentials is to list the highest degree level obtained, followed by the license and then any certifications earned at the end. One can have several nursing degrees but it is correct to only list the highest degree obtained. Therefore, if you have earned a two year nursing degree, then went on to earn a BSN and after that an MSN, you would not be Sally Smith, MSN, BSN, ASN, RN. You would be Sally Smith, MSN, RN.

    An ASN degree is called a two year degree, though three and a half years would be more accurate. A BSN is a four year degree plan. Passing the NCLEX (the licensing exam) usually takes place within a few weeks to a couple of months after graduation from school.

    A school that advertises its program as RN to BSN is intended for individuals who already have their two year nursing degree and have passed the licensing exam and now want to earn their four year degree. It is not meant for individuals who have no degree or license yet. The course work literally takes you from a two year degree (RN) to a four year degree (BSN). Thus the name RN to BSN.
    Last edit by not.done.yet on Aug 25, '17
  4. by   jetsy62
    You can go to a diploma program (there are still some out there), sit for your boards, pass and become an RN; you can get your associates degree, sit for your boards, pass and become an RN; or you can get a bachelor's degree, sit for your boards and become an RN. Your level of education is one element, your license is another. Your license makes you an RN, your education whether diploma, associates, or bachelors does not make you a nurse. If you are seeing schools that offer the RN to BSN, it is for people that have obtained their RN license through diploma or associates degrees, and want to now obtain their bachelors degree. Only my advice, but look for a nursing program that offers a bachelors degree (BSN). Good luck.