How to Earn a BSN Degree: Step-by-Step Guide to Become an RN

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Mari Estefani Carvajal

Content Writer At Gradehacker

What do you need to do to earn a BSN Degree?

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If you have a passion for nursing and wish to elevate your career in the healthcare field, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree may be the right path for you.

A BSN degree provides a complete nursing program and clinical experiences to open up professional growth and advancement opportunities.

This undergraduate degree is dedicated to students who want to become a registered nurse with more integral education and preparation or for those with an ADN who want to improve their career path.

Here at Gradehacker, the number one most trusted resource for non-traditional students, we have a lot of experience helping nursing students. We have gathered all the information you need about the BSN and have a clear panorama of this amazing career.

What are the Steps to Becoming a BSN?

According to  Nurse Journal, to become a nurse, these are the steps that you need to follow:

It has four sections:

But what happens after finishing your admissions process and your professional nursing practice?

After passing the NCLEX-RN exam, you are ready to start working in hospitals and clinical settings, so the final step would be applying for jobs that, as a BSN, are really fast to find.

What are the BSN Admission Requirements?

The admissions requirements to be admitted into a nursing school vary depending on the college. However, most of them have the same criteria.

The typical educational requirements are:

On the other hand, if you want to transfer credits from another university, you need to keep in mind that some schools require a specific number of credits, but it’s always around 30-40 credits.

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Where Can I Study to be a BSN?

There are a lot of great colleges available to pursue a BSN degree, but we made a list based on the best learning approaches, student body diversity, accreditation, and modality of programs.

Before selecting a school, you must ensure that the  ACCN accredits the nursing program or an official board of nursing.

Here are the best five colleges with degrees in nursing:

The Purdue University BSN program is one of the best; it has helped students to enroll in their nursing programs, and when they graduate, they have no problem finding a job in a higher position. So it’s a great college experience.

Their nursing program includes:

The tuition cost is $28,350 for one year and a half, but you will have to check if they have an application fee. However, you can select and calculate the type of cost and tuition that best fits your needs with this calculator. Also, this is a great college option for adult students. 

The program is accredited by the  Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and it lasts 15-18 hours per week and is about ten weeks/180 quarters of credit hours.

Purdue BSN degree level accepts a maximum transfer credit of 135.

If you want more information,  you can read our blog, which has everything you need.

The Walden University BSN has an amazing online format that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The course length varies depending on whether you choose a course-based or tempo competency-based learning format. The tuition cost is:

With this program, you will learn nursing theory:

The academic program is the same for both course-based and tempo competency-based learning formats. Also, you should verify if they ask for prerequisite courses.

If you want to know more information about Walden University BSN,  read our blog or go to their website.


The WGU BSN is another good option to consider. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The tuition costs $4,685 per six months, and students can transfer up to 90 credits. And if you want to finish your degree faster, they have a program where you can complete it in only 24 months.

The program curriculum consists of:

If you want more information about the program, you can go to their website, where all the clinical courses are explained, or read our blog.

FIU Nursing’s Generic BSN program at the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences is a full-time, upper-level program comprised of didactic coursework and clinical practice enriched with simulation education activities in the  S.T.A.R. Center and opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations.

The program has five semesters and 70 credits. To know the tuition cost, you have to contact them through their website.

After you finish your application process with the Generic BSN, you will learn:

Also, they have an accelerated option to finish your BSN degree faster with only four semesters and 61 credits.

The Fort Hays State University BSN program offers a lot of programs and courses to support nursing career goals within a student-centered learning environment. It’s accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

In this program, you will:

Also, they have an  online format for those who don’t have too much time to go to classes. If you want to know the tuition cost, you have to contact them through their website.

Their academic program counts with:

If you want to know more about the classes and the prerequisite courses that you will be taking, enter their website, where they have all the information you need.

What Are You Going To Learn?

The academic program in nursing includes several classes related to science and humanity to learn how to deal with patients. Students have to complete some general courses, but the main focus is science-related classes,

The curriculum can change depending on the school you are in, but all of them cover the next nursing education subjects:

Contact them through their website if you want additional application information about professional studies.

BSN Clinical Hours

Regarding the practice, as a nurse student, you will have to complete clinical hours training. Students have to participate in clinicals with nurse practitioners and put into practice everything they learn in the classroom.

Usually, the amount of hours that you will need to have to complete the BSN program is between 300-700 hours. Even the programs offering online classes must complete the in-person clinical hours.

After you complete them, you will be able to work with a professional nurse and learn about common tasks like checking patients’ vital, administering medication, or helping patients with their needs.

What Are The BSN Responsabilities?

BSN nurses have the ability to work in various healthcare settings, including patient-centered care, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, outpatient centers, and schools and clinics in the community.

Obtaining a BSN degree provides registered nurses with more job opportunities, higher-paying positions, and the option to specialize or take on leadership roles.

With your BSN degree, your responsibilities as a registered nurse will be:

BSN Career Outlook

According to the  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, BSNs earn higher average salaries than RNs. Registered nurses earn a median salary of $81,200, although it’s important to consider that RN salaries can vary depending on factors like nursing specialty, years of experience, nursing education, facility type, and geographical location.

According to research conducted by  PayScale, BSN nurses earn an annual salary of $94,000 a year, which is more than $10,000 higher than the median earnings for RNs.

Although the payment can vary depending on the type of institution you are working with:

Also, with this degree, you have a wide range of job titles to consider:

Five Advantages of the BSN Program

A diploma in nursing offers numerous advantages for ambitious nurses.

For RNs seeking career advancement, obtaining a bachelor’s degree is a great path to achieving that goal, particularly for those intending to have a long-term presence in the healthcare industry.

So these are the five advantages of having a BSN degree:

1. No Limits for the Nursing Profession:

Employers prefer and sometimes require RN positions to have a BSN degree. This program will give you no limits when looking for a job because you will always stand out.

2. Better Salary:

With this college degree level, you will have a better salary.

BSNs have a better salary than RNs, with a projected 6% growth in employment between 2021 and 2031.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this growth is expected to result in an average of 203,200 new job opportunities per year.

3. Career Advancement:

With the BSN, you will be able to keep growing in your nursing career and can apply to take more advanced degrees like the Master Of Science in Nursing Degree that is required for many MSN programs. Without the BSN, it’s impossible to pursue this degree.

Also, you could pursue a Doctoral Degree in Nursing Practice.

4. Higher job position:

With the nursing diploma, you will be able to grow in your career and perform leadership roles that ADNs are not allowed to do.

5. Better level of education:

BSN graduates receive additional studies with a focus on public health, management, and other specialties.

Many healthcare organizations have a preference for hiring BSN-prepared nurses for leadership and managerial roles.

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The Value of Earning a BSN Degree

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree holds significant value for aspiring nurses. Not only does it provide an in-depth education and advanced clinical skills, but it also offers numerous advantages and opportunities for career growth.

You will be able to stand out to employers in an increasingly competitive job market. With the growing demand for registered nurses and the projected increase in job opportunities, having a BSN degree can give you a competitive edge and make you more attractive to employers.

Also, you will go beyond the basic certification requirements of an associate degree in nursing with critical thinking, leadership skills, research abilities, and a deeper understanding of healthcare.

We hope all this information is worth it for you, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any guidance or help with your BSN college life! 

And if you’re looking for more information to improve your experience, here are some blogs to help you out:

Picture of Mari Estefani Carvajal

Mari Estefani Carvajal

Mari Estefani Carvajal is a journalist passionate about writing, cinema, podcast, and multimedia production. She is a Content Writer at Gradehacker and helps non-traditional students life’s by creating creative content. You can find her on LinkedIn.