New Online RN to BSN Program in the Region

With a rising emphasis on continued education in the nursing field, many registered nurses (RNs) are returning to school to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. However, returning to school isn’t always a simple decision, especially if you already work full time as a nurse in a setting you enjoy.

It becomes even more complex if you live in a geographic area that doesn’t offer a BSN program. An added concern is cost, which prohibits some individuals from furthering their education. Many RN to BSN bridge programs are quite expensive, charging upward of $500 per credit hour, on top of increased tuition for out-of-state students as well as other miscellaneous fees.

However, the benefits of earning your BSN are plenty. If you are considering cost, commute and convenience, an online program may be the ideal solution. And now, RNs in over 30 U.S. states can enroll in the online RN to BSN program at Southern Utah University (SUU) with no out-of-state penalties. Check SUU’s Program Map to find out about eligibility in your state.

Benefits of the SUU Online Program

The RN to BSN program at SUU provides the flexibility that working RNs can appreciate and the option for an accelerated pace. Nurses with solid time management skills who want to earn their degree relatively quickly can complete the required 30 credit hours in as few as 10 months. SUU’s RN to BSN is also an affordable program, with a set per-credit-hour rate that includes all tuition and fees. Tuition can be paid by the course as you go, making it easier to accommodate changes to your life, family, work and financial situations.

Plus, being able to continue working while you earn your RN to BSN online can equate to substantial opportunity cost savings versus attending a traditional campus-based program, meaning you don’t have to quit your job, reduce your hours, lose income or miss out on career advancement opportunities. Additional benefits include access to the nursing librarian, online tutoring and the writing center. Online learning also offers the opportunity to optimize your learning experience in how, when and where you learn best.

Why Is a BSN so Important?

An increasing number of organizations support the BSN as the minimum level of preparation for nurses who wish to advance in the field. As the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) explains, “Nurse executives, federal agencies, the military, leading nursing organizations, healthcare foundations, Magnet hospitals, and minority nurse advocacy groups all recognize the unique value that baccalaureate-prepared nurses bring to health care.”

AACN highlights various nursing positions that require a BSN. Examples include nurse manager and nurse leader positions at Magnet hospitals, active-duty RN roles in several branches of the U.S. military and commissioned officers in the U.S. Public Health Service. In fact, the Veterans Administration (VA), the largest employer of nurses in the United States, now requires a baccalaureate degree for RNs to be promoted from entry-level positions.

A BSN is also becoming a basic qualification for nurses who hope to move into leadership, administrative and instructional roles, whether directly or by preparing nurses for graduate school.

Additional positions for RNs who complete the RN to BSN program at SUU include:

  • Travel nurse
  • Flight nurse
  • Correctional nurse
  • Public health nurse
  • Quality improvement coordinator
  • Nursing research assistant

Preparing for Future Challenges in Healthcare

The push for increasing the number of RNs with their BSN began decades ago, supported by numerous organizations and even legislative bodies. While the growth of the BSN-prepared nurse population slowed somewhat in recent years — in part due to overwhelming shortages of all nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic — more than 70% of RNs now have at least a BSN, according to the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Study. Given this, nurses pursuing sought-after nursing roles will need a BSN to compete in the increasingly educated job market.

Further, the U.S. population is aging quickly, meaning more patients with more complex healthcare needs and more demand for nurses who can meet those complex needs. RNs who embrace these challenges by earning their BSN may be better poised to fill lucrative positions now and well into the future.

Learn more about Southern Utah University’s online RN to BSN program.

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