Brunette woman in blue Joyce University scrubs on a blue background. Overlay text says how to get your BSN degree.

How to Get Your BSN Degree

Staff Writer
Reviewed by Dr. Clancey Sollis
Mar 14, 2024

In today’s healthcare landscape, the significance of earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree cannot be overstated. The demand for BSN-educated nurses is on a steady rise, as many hospitals require a Registered Nurse (RN) to hold a BSN. Read on to discover the steps needed to secure your BSN, different ways to earn this degree, and benefits that come with holding this higher degree in the nursing world. Your journey towards nursing excellence starts here.

Considerations for Getting a BSN

Now that you’ve decided to obtain a BSN degree, where do you begin? At Joyce University, we’re here to guide you through the essential steps and offer valuable tips to make earning your BSN a smooth and successful one.

Research BSN Programs

  • Accreditation and Program Reputation
    The first step in your journey to a BSN is to research the nursing programs diligently. Start by considering the accreditation and reputation of the programs. Ensuring that your chosen program is accredited guarantees that you’ll receive a high-quality education that meets industry standards.
  • Consideration of Personal and Professional Goals
    Next, think about your personal and professional goals. Different BSN programs may align better with your aspirations, so choose one that suits your needs and career objectives.

Get to Know the Application Process

  • Admission Requirements
    Once you’ve narrowed down your options, delve into the application process. Each program may have specific admission requirements, so make sure you meet them. This may include prerequisites, such as previous coursework or certifications.
  • Application Deadlines
    Be mindful of application deadlines. Missing them could mean waiting for the next enrollment period. Create a schedule that ensures you submit your application on time.
  • Letters of Recommendation and Personal Statement
    Prepare your application materials meticulously. Most BSN programs require letters of recommendation and a personal statement. Reach out to individuals who can provide strong references while crafting a compelling personal statement that showcases your passion for nursing.

Consider Financial Aid Options

  • Tuition Costs and Financial Aid Options
    Finances play a crucial role in your BSN journey. Calculate the tuition costs and explore available financial aid options. Scholarships, grants, and loans can help ease the financial burden of obtaining a BSN degree.
  • Scholarships for Nursing Students
    Another way to avoid accumulating excessive student debt while funding your BSN education is to investigate scholarships specifically tailored for nursing students.

Think About Time Management

  • Balancing School, Work, and Personal Life
    As you embark on your BSN journey, it’s vital to master the art of time management. Balancing school, work, and personal life can be challenging, but it’s achievable with effective planning and organization.
  • Effective Study Strategies
    Learn effective study strategies that work for you and schedule focused study times. These will be essential for success as you are becoming a nurse through a BSN program.

Utilize Available Resources

  • Faculty Support and Networking Opportunities
    Don’t underestimate the importance of faculty support and networking opportunities. Your nursing professors can provide valuable guidance and networking can open doors to future career opportunities.
  • Clinical Placements and Hands-on Experience
    Lastly, take full advantage of clinical placements and the hands-on experience offered in a BSN program. These opportunities provide invaluable real-world learning experiences that will shape your nursing career.

Ways to Earn a BSN

The journey to obtaining your BSN can take a few routes, depending on your unique circumstances and career goals. From on-campus to online, the types of BSN programs differ.

Traditional BSN Programs

  • On-campus Programs
    Traditional BSN programs offer a classic educational experience on campus. You’ll attend classes in person and engage in hands-on learning opportunities. Consider factors like location, class schedules, and campus resources when choosing the right program for you.
  • Full-time vs. Part-time Options
    Traditional BSN degree programs can offer full-time and part-time enrollment options. Full-time programs typically have a faster completion timeline, while part-time options allow you to balance your studies with other commitments.
  • Accelerated BSN Programs
    For those eager to expedite their BSN journey, accelerated BSN (aBSN) programs are an attractive choice. These intensive programs are designed for individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field and wish to transition into nursing swiftly. Joyce University’s aBSN program is designed for career changers and can be completed in as little as 20 months.

Hybrid Online BSN Programs

  • Flexibility for Working Professionals
    Online BSN programs provide flexibility, making them ideal for working professionals. You can pursue your BSN while maintaining your current job and personal commitments.
  • Accredited Online Nursing Schools
    When choosing an online BSN program, prioritize accredited institutions. Accreditation ensures the program meets rigorous standards and delivers quality education.
  • Balancing Online Coursework and Clinicals
    Online BSN programs often incorporate clinical rotations. Familiarize yourself on how the program manages these hands-on experiences, ensuring they align with your location and schedule.

RN-to-BSN Programs

  • Bridge Programs for Registered Nurses
    RNs can bridge their existing Associates of Nursing (ASN) knowledge and experience to earn a BSN through RN-to-BSN programs. Designed for working RNs, these programs build upon your nursing foundation, allowing you to further your education.
  • Credit Transfer and Prior Experience
    Find out about credit transfer policies and how your prior nursing experience may contribute to your BSN journey. These programs recognize your expertise and aim to streamline your path.
  • Advantages of Building on Existing Nursing Knowledge
    For RNs, pursuing a BSN degree can open doors to advanced nursing roles and career growth. Explore how building on your existing nursing knowledge can enhance your professional opportunities such as improved benefits and higher salary.

What BSN Students Study

The academic journey that lies ahead to becoming a BSN follows specific guidelines. Let’s delve into the details about what BSN students study, providing you with insights into the curriculum that awaits.

Core Curriculum

  • Nursing Theory and Practice
    The foundation of your BSN education is a deep dive into nursing theory and practice. You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the principles, skills, and ethics that underpin the nursing profession.
  • Health Assessment and Clinical Skills
    Mastering health assessment and clinical skills is paramount for BSN students. You’ll develop the ability to conduct thorough client assessments, ensuring accurate diagnoses and effective care.
  • Pharmacology and Medication Administration
    A crucial aspect of nursing education is pharmacology and medication administration. You’ll learn about various drugs, their effects, and safe practices for administering medications to clients.
  • Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice
    BSN students are equipped with the tools to engage in nursing research and apply evidence-based practice to improve client outcomes. This empowers you to make informed, data-driven decisions about client care.

Coursework in Diverse Patient Care Needs

  • Pediatric Nursing
    For those with a passion for caring for young clients, BSN curriculum offers a skill development in a diverse range of client scenarios including pediatric nursing. You’ll explore the unique healthcare needs of children and adolescents.
  • Adult and Geriatric Care
    Another specialization for nurses is adult and geriatric care, where you’ll focus on the healthcare needs of adults and older populations. This coursework equips you with the knowledge and skills to provide comprehensive care for a diverse and aging client demographic.
  • Mental Health Nursing
    Mental health nursing is a critical field within healthcare. BSN programs often include courses that prepare you to address the unique challenges of clients with mental health issues and promote overall client well-being.
  • Community Health Nursing
    Community health nursing emphasizes care beyond hospital walls. You’ll learn to work in diverse community settings, promoting health and preventing disease among populations.

The Benefits of a BSN

If you’re contemplating pursuing a BSN degree, you’re on the path to a career that comes with a multitude of advantages. Let’s explore some of the benefits that come with earning your BSN.

Career Opportunities

  • Expanded Job Prospects
    A BSN significantly broadens your horizons in the nursing field. It opens doors to a wider array of job prospects. A BSN allows you to explore various healthcare settings and specialties such as leadership positions, traveling nurse contracts, and management roles.
  • Leadership Roles and Advanced Practice
    With a BSN, you’ll be well-prepared to step into leadership roles within your organization. You can also pursue advanced practice roles, such as nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist, expanding your scope of practice and impact.
  • Opportunities in Specialized Nursing Fields
    While ASN nurses can specialize in various areas of nursing, BSN-prepared nurses have access to better roles and positions in specialized areas of nursing such as pediatrics, critical care, or oncology. These roles offer a unique focus and the chance to make a significant difference in clients’ lives.

Higher Earning Potential

  • The Correlation Between Education and Salary
    A strong correlation can be found between education and earning potential in the nursing profession. BSN-prepared nurses tend to command higher salaries, reflecting their advanced education and skills. According to research, the pay difference between nurses with and without a BSN was over $6,000 a year.
  • BSN-Prepared Nurses in High-Demand Areas
    In high-demand areas of nursing, such as critical care, emergency nursing, and nurse management, BSN-prepared nurses are highly sought after. Earning your BSN can make you a valuable asset in these specialized roles.

Enhanced Client and Patient Care

  • Improved Critical Thinking Skills
    A BSN education enhances your critical thinking skills, enabling you to assess complex client situations and make informed decisions quickly. This has been proven to lead to better client outcomes and higher quality care.
  • Ability to Provide Evidence-Based Care
    BSN-prepared nurses are equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide evidence-based care. This means you can integrate the latest research and best practices into your nursing practice, ensuring optimal patient and client care.
  • Better Understanding of Complex Health Issues
    A BSN program delves into complex health issues, equipping you with a deeper understanding of healthcare challenges. This knowledge empowers you to address the patient or client’s needs comprehensively and proactively.

Earning a BSN is not just an educational milestone; it’s a gateway to a world of career possibilities. It opens doors to enhanced career prospects, increased earning potential, and the ability to provide exceptional patient care. By joining Joyce’s community of BSN-educated nurses, you become a vital force in healthcare, making a meaningful impact on patients, clients, and communities alike.


Learn More


Learn More

Apply Now

Request Info