We live in a fast-paced world, with technology expanding access to higher education. Online learning has allowed students to speed through courses and earn degrees faster than ever before.
Why the Hurry?
Nursing is one field that is demanding workers with more education. The original goal set forth by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), now the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), was to have 80% of nurses earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree by 2020. As many in the nursing field know, the goal was not met — although progress was made.
With multiple RN to BSN strategies at the forefront for NAM, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), American Nurses Association (ANA), Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN), and many other organizations, RNs should be viewing their timeline to BSN as “when,” not “if.”
Accelerated RN to BSN Programs: Balancing Rapid Pace with Flexibility
There are hundreds of online RN to BSN programs across the United States, but not all of them offer an accelerated pace for program completion. Some require a full two years to graduate, even if nurses are considered full-time students. It could take three to four years if enrolled only part time.
For ambitious nurses with an associate degree in nursing (ADN), that may seem like ages. Fortunately, some programs allow for a more rapid pace. For example, the nursing core in the online RN to BSN program at the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) can be completed in as few as 14 months.
In addition, the program makes it convenient for nurses by featuring eight-week courses, with five starts each year. Multiple starts is especially advantageous for RNs who want to move quickly — as opposed to having to wait months for a fall or spring start.
The 14-month pace at ULM is dependent on taking two courses per term, with the flexibility of the online format making it feasible. However, students can also slow the pace down to fit their individual situation.
If You Want to Do More…
Having an ADN is, in its own right, a worthy achievement. Given the push for higher education, however, RNs who earn their BSN open up many more opportunities for themselves. As Aja Hallmark, graduate of ULM’s online RN to BSN program, states, “You should do more if you feel that you can offer more to your profession. There’s nothing wrong with an associate [degree], but you have to have a bachelor’s if you want to do more with nursing, period.”
Learn more about ULM’s online RN to BSN program.