Imagine this scenario: You feel inspired to go back to school and get your BSN, so you hop on the web to find out when classes start at the local college. Your enthusiasm immediately gets deflated when you discover you missed the application deadline by a week, so you’ll have to wait another six months to apply. Oh, and the dean notes they’re running a waitlist for the program due to a faculty shortage, so they’re advising candidates that not every applicant to the BSN completion program will be accepted. Maybe you’ll get in, maybe you won’t. But it will take half a year for you to find out – and delay your degree completion by at least that length of time.
On the other hand, an online BSN completion program is not subject to the whims of an arbitrary academic calendar. You can capitalize on your motivation right away by enrolling online and knowing you’ll be accepted to the program. The sooner you can get started, the more quickly you can complete your degree. Chances are you’ll already have finished your first semester by the time your friends find out if they’ve been accepted to that other program.
Flexible start dates represent just one of the ways an online RN to BSN program gives you some control over how long it takes you to complete your degree. The traditional time to complete a BSN runs about two years, but you may be able to shorten that timeline with these insider tips.
Decide for Yourself When to Graduate
It might surprise you to learn the main reason it usually takes two years to complete a traditional RN to BSN program has nothing to do with program quality. Instead, it’s just about the academic calendar.
Traditional programs run on a tight schedule that is pre-determined by the institution. They offer classes when it suits their overall academic calendar, not when it might best serve student needs. This type of program can sort of “guarantee” your graduation date (assuming you complete all the course work satisfactorily), but you can’t graduate any earlier than the pre-defined end date. Instead, you must progress in lockstep with your cohort through inflexible blocks of classes on a schedule dictated by the institution.
In contrast, the Madison School of Healthcare RN to BSN completion program allows you to work at your own pace – and that means you have some influence over how long it takes you to earn your degree. If you’re motivated, you might be able to work through the online courses rapidly. Then, instead of having to wait for finals week to finish your degree, you can decide to “graduate” by taking your last exam on a Wednesday at 11:00 p.m., if you want. Just be sure to throw some confetti to celebrate your accomplishment.
Use Transfer Credits to Shorten the RN to BSN Program Duration
Another way to work through a BSN completion program as rapidly as possible involves the use of transfer credits. Our full BSN completion curriculum includes 60 credit hours’ worth of courses, but you likely can reduce that number with transfer credits. When you apply, you’ll send us transcripts of your accredited course work for evaluation. Our enrollment advisors will award you the maximum amount of transfer credit, so that your path to the BSN is as short as possible – potentially consisting of as few as 30 credit hours.
Reducing the volume of courses you need to complete your BSN obviously shortens the length of time it will take to get that degree. But fewer required classes also provides you with more flexibility to fit the coursework into your lifestyle. Instead of being required by a traditional program to juggle three or four classes at a time in order to finish on schedule, you can choose how many online courses you want to tackle at once. Some students take just one at a time because it allows them to fully immerse themselves in the material. Then, when you feel prepared, you can decide when to take the test before moving on to the next class.
It’s Always a Good Time to Get Started
Many nurses recognize the value of holding a BSN degree, but they wonder how they’ll find time to go back to school. The beauty of an online program is the way it fits education into your lifestyle instead of the other way around. With no pre-set start dates, no academic calendar, and the flexibility to complete courses at your own pace, it’s always a good time to get started on your BSN completion program online.
The bottom line is that with the right program, your timeframe to BSN completion is entirely up to you. Learn more about the online RN to BSN program at the Madison School of Healthcare–Talk to an admissions advisor today!