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For a Wider Range of Roles: RN to BSN Programs in Indiana

You’re already credentialed… and successful. You won’t earn a new license by returning to school for your BSN. Yet many nurses are doing just that. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that enrollment in RN to BSN programs has risen for eight straight years. BSN nurses are, according to the AACN, prepared for a wider range of roles in the community as well as in hospital settings. The higher degree is therefore preferred by many employers.

BSN courses place nursing within a larger framework. One cornerstone class is physical assessment. You learn to thoroughly assess a patient’s condition and also to evaluate family needs. Another typical course offering is nursing theory. A lot of nurses find that their daily work activities become more meaningful -- and enjoyable -- when they are able to put them into a larger context.

Other classes teach community health nursing, nursing management, and research skills. Often there is an additional class where you get to examine current issues in the nursing field. Most programs are accredited by one of the two major accrediting bodies (the CCNE or the NLNAC) and follow similar requirements. Still there is some variability. Indiana State University, for example, has a class in managing family needs during periods of crisis. Some schools include classes in gerontology.

BSN Career Mobility in Indiana

Magnet hospitals are known for desirability and also for selectivity in hiring. Indiana has 13 magnet facilities, located in communities around the state.

Many hospitals value the BSN for bedside positions in wards like critical care or ICU. It can also prepare a person for broader roles, both in the hospital and in ambulatory settings. Positions like navigator ask a sophisticated mix of skills (including coordination, outreach, and education) and often require a BSN. Health education positions like diabetes educator may request a baccalaureate degree as well. Other positions for baccalaureate nurses include quality specialist, case manager, and care coordinator.

RN to BSN Program Considerations

There are numerous BSN completion options available in Indiana. Indeed some attract students from around the nation. Programs differ in some important ways, so you’ll probably want to request information from multiple schools. One important question to ask yourself is whether you want an online or traditional learning experience. Another (often related) question is whether you want to be granted advanced placement in a traditional BSN track or whether you want to be in a program where everyone is already a registered nurse. The average age is typically older in an RN to BSN program, and some working professionals feel more comfortable surrounded by their peers.

Academic policies will also influence your program choice. The amount of credit you receive may vary by institution. Your own level of expertise may also come into play. In some cases, you can challenge a few additional classes through a portfolio process.

Chances are that you completed many of the program prerequisites when you were enrolled in your initial degree program. There may be additional support classes like statistics and advanced composition skills. At some schools, you can take your non-nursing support courses either before or after your upper division nursing classes. Some schools allow you to use CLEP or other tests to shorten your program; you may receive credit for multiple general studies classes. Some schools also set up individualized plans to help you tailor the nursing curriculum to fit your own background and needs. This helps ensure that you get new and broadening experiences and don’t have to repeat concepts you already know.

There is a good deal of variation with regard to program length. Accelerated programs may be completed in as little as twelve months. What can you expect a program to cost you? As an RN to BSN student, your per-credit fees will generally be several hundred dollars. You may not, however, be the one shouldering the expense. Healthcare facilities like Marion General Hospital offer tuition reimbursement to their employees.

RN to BSN Programs in Indiana

Anderson University

Ball State University

Bethel College of Indiana

Goshen College

Huntington University

Indiana State University

Indiana University (multiple campuses)

Indiana Wesleyan University

Marian College - Indiana

Purdue University (multiple campuses)

University of Evansville

University of Indianapolis

University of Southern Indiana

Valparaiso University

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