The RN to BSN: What to Expect

By Lauren Abraham

Nurses attending a patient

If you are a registered nurse (RN), earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can open many new doors for you. With an RN to BSN program, you can build on your nursing knowledge in order to improve your practice. Continue reading to learn about what to expect in an RN to BSN program.

Grow in Your Nursing Knowledge

An RN to BSN program is designed to meet the needs of the RN adult learner. As a working RN, you have valuable knowledge and experience when it comes to nursing. Therefore, this degree seeks to maximize the strengths you already possess. In the program, you are taught by practicing nurses and experts in the field. Grow in your knowledge of clinical patient care, healthcare management and professional nursing practice and leadership.

The BSN coursework enables you to improve your ability to care for patients. As a result, you can take on more responsibilities in hospitals and healthcare organizations. Additionally, you will be prepared to advance your education even further by earning a master’s degree in nursing.

Study Key Healthcare Topics

If you are considering an RN to BSN degree, you are most likely wondering what you will learn in the program. Here is a quick overview of some of the topics you will study:

  • Health promotion issues
  • Approaches to taking health history and documentation
  • Performing physical examinations and screenings
  • Applied statistics for healthcare
  • Critical review of research studies and how they apply to your practice
  • Leadership in nursing
  • Societal influences on healthcare

Expand Your Career Options

The education you receive in an RN to BSN program can give you greater options when it comes to your career. As a BSN-prepared nurse, you can become a leader in the nursing field. You will be prepared to take on roles such as nurse manager, division nurse, unit supervisor, charge nurse, division nurse leader, patient educator or director of nursing.

In addition to having the ability to take on various roles, BSN-prepared nurses can work in many different settings. Depending on your area of interest, you will be prepared to work in hospitals, ambulatory care centers, health service organizations or rehabilitative settings. Ultimately, the knowledge you gain in an RN to BSN program will equip you to pursue a career you are passionate about.

The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions at Grand Canyon University aims to help students connect classroom theories to working scenarios. To learn about GCU’s undergraduate healthcare degrees, visit our website or click on the Request More Information button at the top of the page.

Written by Lauren Abraham, a senior earning a communications degree at GCU.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.


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