RN to BSN and working FT


I am a newly registered nurse with my Associates degree, I am finding that when applying and interviewing that many hospitals want you to have your Bachelors degree. I have already begun looking into universities to pursue my bachelors degree. I have two prerequisite courses I need to complete before I can apply. I was wondering if anyone had or is working on their Bachelors degree while working full time and how difficult it is. I struggled greatly during my associates degree program and I am worried that getting my BSN will cause me the same trouble. Can anyone give me some input? Are you taking it in class or online?

Thank you,


Specializes in med-surg. Has 3+ years experience.

Hey Nicole,

Up until about 2 months ago I was working FT as a floor nurse (3 12 hour shifts a week - nights) and pursuing my BSN online @ Chamberlain College of Nursing. I love online learning! But, you definitely have to be determined or you can fall behind.

In the last 2 months I switched positions and work M - F 8-4pm, and still go to school online. I find the 8 hour days/5 days a week make it a little more challenging to keep up with school, but it's still definitely doable.

I have friends who also go to a brick and mortar school 1-2 days a week while working full time (I don't know how they do it!)

The hardest part of nursing is behind you! This is all just a formality. When I was previewing schools, a DNP who was direct of a prestigous nursing school out here in NJ, said "My diploma in nursing was the hardest thing I ever did. My bachelors was next, then my MSN, then my DNP." In other words, it gets easier as you go along :) So far, I'd have to agree. Easier doesn't mean less time consuming, it's just the content that you learn is all familiar. It's more like elaborating on what you already know..

Best of luck, you can do this!

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I completed my RN to BSN program online through ODU while working full time with 4 kids the whole time. I believe it is like anything else in life if you want it badly enough you will make it happen. It is all about doing it without thinking it is impossible.....at least that is how I operate:twocents:

MrChicagoRN, RN

2,589 Posts

Specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care. Has 30 years experience.

I completed both my BSN & my masters program while working FT.

However I did do them at a somewhat subdued pace, even then it was somewhat stressful at times. Are you talking one course at a time? Two? Half-time, full-time?

It all depends on how big a bite of the apple you plan to take at one time.


19 Posts

Has 1 years experience.


i feel your pain! i am currently a new grad working in a very busy l&d department while enrolled in full time school to obtain my msn degree. it is not without its challenges but will be worth it in the end. i get the occasional nasty comments from some of the seasoned nurses such as "you are crazy" and "why get your masters, you are only going to make 50 cents more an hour". nursing is in a state of transition much like you and i are as we struggle to obtain advanced degrees. just remember nursing isn't what it used to be and i say go all the way and try to look into a program that offers a adn-msn degree (usually only 2 years online). the advanced nursing degrees open many more doors and present you with far more opportunities than a adn degree can give you...i don't make the rules it's just our generation and the fact that the workforce is saturated with college degrees. the new hs diploma is a bachelors degree. good luck with your education and hang in there...2 years is nothing in the large scheme of thingsj

Specializes in Oncology, Psych, Corrections.

Hi Nicole! I am doing my BSN online while working FT. I work M-F 7-4. Like Her Own Catalyst RN said, the hardest part of nursing school is behind you. Learn to manage your time wisely and try to stay at least 2 weeks ahead of homework and you will be fine!! If you want it badly enough, you will do it :) Good luck!

ckh23, BSN, RN

1,446 Posts

Specializes in ER/ICU/STICU. Has 6 years experience.

I worked full time and then some. I did an online program because it is much more flexible as far as doing the work. Where as a traditional university may have you in class a few times a week and cause difficulty with your work schedule.


3 Posts

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. So it sounds like as long as I stay ahead and stay on track getting my BSN should not be difficult. My goal is to go full time, I still have to complete bioethics and a general chem class before entering a program. I am sending my transcripts to University of Maryland to have them evaluate them for me before applying to their program. I find it frustraing that after completing as ASN program you leave assuming you will get a job and when you go to interview, they tell you, you need to go back and get your BSN. I think they will eventually extinguish the ASN programs. I am going to keep looking into prgrams both in class and online and see which one will work best for me! Thanks :yeah:

BSNbeauty, BSN, RN

1 Article; 1,939 Posts

I plan on working FT while completing my BSN online. My university have six week courses so my goal is to do one class every six weeks. It'll be hard but totally worth it.

NicuGal, MSN, RN

2,743 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU. Has 30 years experience.

I did it, with kids too lol It was hard, I had to do a lot at night or in the AM before I went in (I worked eves). You can do it. I also just did one class at a time.

Specializes in Pediatrics, High-Risk L&D, Antepartum, L. Has 15 years experience.

I did my RN to BSN online through Chamblerlain while working 3 12 hour nights a week. I also had 4 kids at home and became pregnant with #5 while doing the program. He was born right around graduation. It was very doable.

I'm now doing my MSN/PNP. I started off with working 2 12s but now per diem.

The RN to BSN isn't bad...check out Chamblerlain. If you have your RN you may find you won't need a Chem and bioethics with them.

twinmommy+2, ADN, BSN, MSN

1 Article; 1,289 Posts

Specializes in ED. Has 18 years experience.

I have four children also, work full time nights, a PRN 2nd job since dh lost his job this year, and go to school full time online with AMU for RN-BSN. They have 8 week classes, so for full time I take 2 8 week classes at a time which helps to only have two classes to concentrate on at any time. My ultimate goal is to take advantage of an online masters program in-state to reduce tuition and then online DNP.

Just do it. Figure out a way you can arrange your schedule so you can maximize time studying and still be able to do your job well.