Exploring the Curriculum: What to Expect in an Online RN to BSN Program

Online learning requires a new way of thinking and studying. RN to BSN students should look for programs that offer asynchronous courses to avoid scheduling conflicts and to provide flexibility. Participants reported financial burdens as barriers to returning to school for a BSN degree. Healthcare systems can help their employees overcome these obstacles by offering tuition reimbursement.

woman in white button up shirt and blue stethoscope

Introduction to Nursing

RN to BSN programs Massachusetts build on nurses’ knowledge and experience in the field to help them grow as critical thinkers and leaders. They also expand their research skills and gain knowledge about best practices and emerging trends in nursing. While an associate’s degree in nursing may be enough to get a job as a nurse, getting a bachelor’s degree allows you to move into higher-level positions like clinical director or nursing manager. Many nurses pursue an RN to BSN degree to advance their careers. Students in an online RN to BSN program complete their coursework from home, so they don’t have to worry about fitting classes into their busy schedules. This is especially beneficial for working nurses who can take the classes while they work and save on transportation costs. Additionally, online learners can use audio technology to record lectures and review their notes at their own pace. They can also create goals to motivate them during the rigorous educational process.


An online RN to BSN program allows nurses to pursue an undergraduate degree while maintaining their current employment and balancing life commitments. However, not all programs are the same, and accreditation is critical for nursing students as it ensures that the program meets high academic standards. One of the most common classes within an online RN to BSN program is pediatric pharmacology. This course covers the effects of different medications on the pediatric population and how to administer medication to young patients. Other pharmacology courses may explore the chemistry of drugs and how they interact with the human body. This is an essential discipline for all nurses because it helps them prescribe the right drug at the right time. This knowledge also allows nurses to use their existing skills and knowledge to improve patient outcomes.

Nursing Research

The RN to BSN program builds upon nurses’ knowledge and experience and helps them advance their careers. While the ADN level of education is well-suited for day-to-day nursing duties, advancing to a Bachelor’s degree provides additional opportunities to improve patient outcomes through critical thinking and leadership skills. Online learning is flexible, allowing students to work through classes around their schedules. Many students complete their classes while working full-time or raising a family. Students who attend an online RN to BSN program will also likely take courses focusing on data use in healthcare. This includes Applied Healthcare Statistics, which trains learners to use raw statistical data to inform nursing decisions. Another standard class is Human Growth and Development, which teaches students about human growth’s biological, emotional, and social aspects.

Leadership and Management

As an online RN to BSN student, you will learn how to lead and manage nurses in clinical settings. You will also study the various ways that nurses serve diverse communities. Nursing is an ethical profession, so you’ll explore many complex case studies and use the frameworks and principles you learn in your RN to BSN program to help you make decisions in real-life situations. Moreover, you’ll examine laws that influence patient care and how different cultures interact with healthcare. Most RN-to-BSN programs offer scholarships and grants to help with tuition costs. In addition, the cost of an online RN-to-BSN program may be partially or fully reimbursed by your employer.

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