How to Earn Your Nursing Bachelors Degree

By: JoannaB1

Obtaining your Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a step that could add to your already productive career as a nurse. By taking your educational credentials to the next level, there will be more opportunities for advancement, either with your current employer or in a brand new setting. If you are curious about what is involved with earning your nursing bachelorís degree, below are a few tips you should keep in mind.

In many cases, the credits you have already accumulated in earning your associate degree will serve you well in obtaining your bachelorís degree. Many institutions will look over all the credits related to your previous degree and evaluate each one. All acceptable credits are then applied toward your bachelorís degree, a procedure that can help expedite both the learning process and the duration of your studies. Typically, you will need a minimum number of credits related to nursing, as well as the bulk of your general education courses, to meet the criteria in order to be accepted into the program.

Today, more options exist in terms of earning your degree than there were possible ten years ago. You can choose to attend school full time in a traditional setting, go to classes at night and on weekends, or utilize online learning technology to pursue your degree rarely having to leave your home. As distance learning has become more widely accepted, many institutions that offer traditional classes also provide online learning opportunities. For registered nurses that are working full time, the online path may be the best. Generally, there is a great deal of flexibility in when you have to virtually attend class, submit assignments, and take exams. This means that you can easily coordinate your educational efforts with your work schedule.

You may also want to consider an accelerated nursing program. These concentrated programs are designed to allow nurses to obtain a Bachelors degree in less time. Many of these programs are set up so that the coursework can be completed and the degree earned in one to two years. While this option tends to be a bit more demanding in terms of your schedule, the benefit is that you can get the degree in a shorter time frame than the traditional route. If you have a specific career goal in mind, it may be to your advantage to consider an accelerated program.

Once you have an idea of what type of learning environment would be best for you, you will need to investigate various nursing programs that you are interested in. Always verify that any program you are considering is properly accredited and will be recognized by the agency responsible for issuing licenses in your area. Graduating from an accredited program does make a difference and will open many more career paths for you, as opposed to a program that is not recognized and is not accredited.

Take the time to speak with representatives of each program that you are considering. Get a feel for what to expect in terms of instructors, and what types of financial aid- grants and loans might be available. Along with investigating finance options through your school, do not forget to approach your current employer. It is not unusual for medical institutions to have endowments or tuition programs that will help their nurses further their education. If this sort of support is available, find out what the qualifications are and apply for any programs where you meet the criteria.

Once you have settled on a specific school, prepare your application and any other documents that are required. Some institutions will ask applicants to include a thesis or other personal writing that deals with the reasons for wanting to enter the program. Make sure you understand what the school is looking for in the way of format and structure. Keep copies of everything you submit, in the event any questions should arise between the time of submission and your acceptance into the program.

Keep in mind that going back to school, especially if it has been several years since you earned your Associate degree, may bring about some adjustments to your lifestyle. Share your plans and goals with family and friends, letting them know in advance that your time will be limited and that you may need them to exercise patience with you occasionally. Also commit yourself to setting aside time for studying and any other out of class activities that may be required in order to complete your coursework. With a firm resolve and dedication to your task, you will earn your Bachelor of Science in nursing degree and be able to move closer to reaching your career goals.

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Joanna Brown is a freelance writer who writes about the nursing industry and products involved in nursing such as scrubs .

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