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Best Online RN to BSN Programs: What to Look For
You’ve decided to advance your nursing education, and finally earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree through an RN to BSN program.
As you begin to explore your program options, you wonder where to find the best online RN to BSN programs. And what should you be focused on when assessing your options?
As a busy, working nurse, the criteria for finding the best online RN to BSN programs should take into account the quality of the program, as well as how the school supports your learning – and life.
To help, we put together the following information you’ll want to keep in mind as you search for the best RN to BSN online programs to fit your needs.
How to Find Top Rated RN to BSN Programs
As you search for the top RN to BSN online programs, you’ll want to evaluate each option for specific criteria. Some of the most important attributes of the best RN to BSN online programs include:
If you’re investing your money, time, and effort into earning a degree, you want your degree to show that you’ve achieved excellence. This is why it’s crucial to select an accredited college or university when considering any RN to BSN programs.
Finding an accredited university or program ensures that your degree meets the highest standards expected by the government, future employers and any other colleges or graduate schools you may want to apply to one day. If you happen to attend a program that lacks accreditation, it could impact your ability to get federal financial aid, limit your career options, or cause issues with getting licensed.
When it comes to educational accreditation, there are two factors to consider:
- Institutional accreditation
This type of accreditation is granted when an entire university—from programs to faculty to student success—has been assessed by an accreditation agency. The agency determines whether the overall institution meets the standards for higher education.
- Program accreditation
This type of accreditation is when a specific program at a university — like an online RN to BSN program—is rigorously reviewed by a third-party programmatic agency.
It’s best to learn as much as possible about accreditation when reviewing your options for the best RN to BSN programs.
Whether you’re working full-time or juggling multiple priorities, an online program is a great way to earn a degree on your schedule. Not all programs offer the same amount of flexibility – the best online RN to BSN programs will be designed for the busy, working nurse. A few things to consider when evaluating different programs:
- Do they provide ways to earn your degree at your own pace?
- Can you go full-time or part-time?
- Is the course 100% online?
- Are there courses that will be required for you to take before you enroll
- Does the program offer the tools you need to attend class anywhere?
A good rule of thumb is identifying the kind of flexibility you need and seeing which RN to BSN programs can accommodate.
Earning your degree can be a challenge. To help ease some of the stress, the best online RN to BSN programs will support you in a virtual learning environment. Some key support types to consider include:
- IT and technical support
This is a vital aspect of any online learning program. The last thing you want is for technical issues to cause problems with your education. A top priority should be to find programs that offer robust, round-the-clock IT and technical support.
- Faculty and academic support
Having professors and faculty available to answer questions and help guide you to the right resources can be critical to your success. Screen any prospective online RN to BSN programs to see if faculty and academic support is readily available to help you succeed.
- Advising support
Once you’re registered for your program, you’ll have to make many other decisions about your academic path. Which courses should you enroll in? Are you on track to achieving your career goals? Are there additional financial aid opportunities you might have missed? The best RN to BSN programs will offer advising support that can provide you with the guidance you need.
- Wellness support
Academic pursuits can be emotionally, mentally, and physically taxing. A university that offers wellness resources and tools can help you manage any turbulence you may encounter.
4. Experienced Faculty
Of course, the best online RN to BSN programs feature faculty who are experienced nurse educators. The real-world experience of faculty who can teach you practical, hospital-tested methods is invaluable. But when it comes to an online program, you also want instructors who are experienced in navigating a virtual environment.
The best RN to BSN online programs train their educators to be effective and engaging while teaching in a virtual environment. When the faculty is experienced and set up for success in an online format, you can trust that you will find support every step of the way.
School is one of the best places to build a community and network of lifelong colleagues and friends. You’ll want to spend your time in a program that fosters and encourages a strong sense of community. A few ways you can tell a university is focused on building communities is if they offer:
- Regular online events
- Online groups and forums
- Smaller class sizes
- Technology that encourages virtual interaction
Making the decision
So, now that you’ve nailed down the criteria needed to find the best RN to BSN programs, your next step is to start the research process. A few ways you can research the best online RN to BSN programs include:
- Checking out college websites
- Speaking with your colleagues about the programs they attended
- Calling the school and talking to their representatives and support staff
- Reading student and alumni stories
And while the research aspect can feel overwhelming, we’re here to help. The team here at Chamberlain is ready to chat with you and offer assistance as you evaluate your options. Request more information about or RN to BSN Option here.
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