Bachelor of Science in Nursing – BSN Programs
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree could open up lots of doors for you. Bachelor’s-level nurses can work in many different specialties. If you’re ready to spend four years on your nursing education and want to focus on taking care of patients, check out our list of bachelor’s-level nursing programs. Contact schools in your city and nearby communities to find out what it takes to become a nurse.
If you’re an RN looking to get your BSN (Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing) degree, check out featured RN-BSN programs and request information to begin your search to find the top undergraduate nursing schools.
If you are just starting to look into your schooling options for your nursing degree, we hope that you will find the information and resources on our site helpful. On this page you will find information about becoming a prepared nurse by earning your BSN, as well as a list of the best BSN nursing schools from all over the United States.
Most BSN programs take about four years to complete and offer a foundational base of nursing knowledge. You will complete general education requirements along with your nursing courses. There are also nursing clinical requirements, where you will work directly with patients to develop your nursing skills alongside getting your 4 year nursing degree.
What Are the Admissions Requirements for a BSN Program?
In order to be accepted into a Bachelor’s level nursing program, you must meet basic education and admissions requirements. You must apply for admission to the college you choose, as well as to the Nursing Department itself. The best undergraduate nursing schools can be highly competitive, so be sure to make your application stand out.
Admissions requirements for a 4 year nursing degree at any U.S. nursing school can include any or all of the items listed below:
- High school diploma or GED
- High school transcripts or past college transcripts
- GPA (Grade Point Average) for previous education
- Personal essay demonstrating your English proficiency
- Involvement in extracurricular activities such as clubs and career organizations
- Shadowing and internship experience
- Civic, religious and community based volunteer activities
- Healthcare work experience
- CPR and/or BLS (Basic Life Saving) certification
- Certified Nursing Aide license or courses
Many nursing schools look at both academic and non-academic qualifications as part of the admissions process, especially in highly competitive programs.
Tips For Getting in to the Best BSN Programs
Enrollment in a Bachelor’s in Nursing program usually requires a separate application to the School or Department of Nursing. This is in addition to applying to the college you want to attend. This process can seem a bit daunting at first, but if you begin early and get organized, it can be quite manageable. Keep in mind that the top undergraduate nursing schools have hundreds of applicants each term, so you need to go above and beyond if you want to apply to the best BSN programs in your area.
Though each nursing department will have its own specific application requirements, there are common things you will need to obtain and/or document in order to apply.
You should be prepared to submit the following items when applying to nursing school:
- A list of at least three personal and three professional/academic references
- A copy of your immunization record and/or documentation of blood titers for certain diseases
- A personal statement or essay, detailing your interest in nursing
- A resume or curriculum vitae
- A health assessment and physical examination
- A drug screen & criminal background check
- Your current Basic Cardiac Life Support/CPR card
- Nursing school application fee
Bachelor’s in Nursing Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
In order to graduate with your Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, you will need to complete anywhere from 100-140 credits of coursework. You can also expect to complete several hours of nursing clinicals along the way.
The best way to determine the requirements for earning your BSN is to contact the schools you are interested in to request program details.
Nursing programs that are accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and/or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (formerly NLNAC) have standardized requirements. Some of the common components of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree are outlined below.
Nursing Prerequisites may include:
- Introduction to Statistics
- Chemistry, Biology & Microbiology
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Human Growth and Development, Psychology &Sociology
- Literature & English Composition
- Elective Courses such as Foreign Languages, Art and/or Speech
BSN Curriculum at the best undergraduate nursing schools should include:
- Fundamentals/Core Concepts in Nursing
- Nursing Theory and Theorists
- Nursing Assessment
- Clinical Nursing Concepts I-IV
- Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice
- Ethical & Legal Issues in Nursing
- Community/Population Based Health Concepts
- Professional Development in Nursing
Nursing Clinical Components of the best BSN programs should include:
- Concepts of Medical Surgical Nursing
- Concepts of Pediatric Nursing
- Women’s Health/Obstetrics &Gynecological Nursing
- Nursing Management of Acute & Chronic Illness
- Nursing in the Community
- Capstone Project/Nursing Internship
Becoming a nurse can be a very rewarding career choice, and finding the right educational institution to meet your needs can help you succeed. Contact the BSN nursing schools that you see on our site to get program details before you apply.
I Finished My BSN…Now What?
At the end of your BSN program you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam, which is the national licensing exam for Registered Nurses, and to look for employment as a nurse. Once you successfully pass the NCLEX-RN, you can apply for your Registered Nursing license through your State Board of Nursing. You will likely complete another background check, including a review of your criminal record, if applicable. You will need to visit your State Board’s website to obtain the application itself, along with information and instructions.
As a Baccalaureate prepared nurse, you should be prepared to work in a variety of nursing practice settings including nursing homes, hospitals, clinic, managed care groups and community based settings. You be responsible to provide direct patient care, case management services, care coordination, as well as health and wellness education for individuals, families and communities.
With a BSN your available opportunities will likely be diverse, allowing for job options in a variety of healthcare sectors.
Many of your main responsibilities as a nurse will include caring for others, documentation, patient assessment and subsequent decision making regarding the best care giving options for your patient. As a nurse, you will need to be able to communicate effectively and must be able to work well in a team setting, and remain calm in stressful situations. A great way to learn more about what the life of a nurse is actually like is to job shadow an RN for a day. This can give you a glimpse into the realities of the profession, and may help you to decide upon a practice setting or educational focus in the future.
Take some time to request information from the Bachelor in Nursing colleges on this page, giving yourself a great start in the search for finding a nursing program today!
The easiest way to search our directory of undergraduate bachelor of science in nursing programs is to use the links below to check out the full list of programs in the state where you plan to study nursing.
Four Year 2017 BSN Career Outlook
There are many reasons why traditional four-year undergraduate nursing programs can be the best choice for students who want to work as nurses. You have likely heard about the high growth in the field of healthcare. Not to mention, the pay for nurses, even at the entry-level, is over $60,000 per year.
If you already have your associate in nursing, you can find programs that will let you apply your education towards your BSN degree in a bridge program.
For students who already have their bachelor’s in another area, consider an accelerated BSN program instead of a 4-year program. If you’re confused, don’t worry. We have many resources that can show you how nursing careers work, and ways to contact the best undergraduate nursing schools for all kinds of students.
BSN nursing schools are a good choice for several reasons, including:
- Employer preference
- Higher salary
- More career options
- Prepare for Masters in Nursing program
- Want to teach nursing
- Desire for a management role
- Improved patient and quality outcomes
When it comes to the 2017 job outlook for nurses, we look at his data from BLS to show you how much geography can affect pay. We can also look at the states that hire the most nurses to see how a competitive landscape does not always equal higher pay.
Top 5 states for nursing salaries 2017:
Top 5 states for nursing employment 2017:
These nursing job outlook lists can show you how important it is to look at your state’s job openings and speak with schools to get the best idea of what your salary potential can be. The best BSN programs will do everything they can to help students prepare for the local employment landscape once you complete your degree. Be sure to ask about NCLEX pass rates and new grad nursing resources when you talk to nursing schools. The more support they can offer, the better off you should be when it comes to finding a nursing job.
Nursing Job Growth And The Importance Of 4 Year Nursing Programs
If you want further incentive to compare colleges with bachelor’s in nursing programs, think about this: The current projected growth for all occupations through 2024 is expected to be around 7%. But, in the field of nursing, this number is anticipated to be around 16% – more than twice the national average.
The BLS also states, “Overall, job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to be good. However, the supply of new nurses entering the labor market has increased in recent years. This increase has resulted in competition for jobs in some areas of the country. Generally, registered nurses with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN) will have better job prospects than those without one.” -Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017
Four Year BSN Career Outcomes
RN’s who complete 4 year nursing programs can look for many types of job opportunities across the United States. There are many different RN roles that BSN nursing schools can prepare you for. Believe it or not, there are many other kinds of nursing roles beyond this list, some of which may require an additional certification or training. That’s another reason you should speak with every school on your list of colleges with Bachelor’s in Nursing.
Types of BSN career opportunities:
- Ambulatory Care Nurse
- Cardiac Care Nurse
- Case Management Nurse
- Clinical Nurse Leader
- Critical Care Nurse
- Dermatology Nurse
- Emergency Nurse
- Geriatric Nurse
- Home Care
- Informatics Nurse
- Legal Nurse Consultant
- Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse
- Nurse Educator
- Oncology Nurse
- Orthopedic Nurse
- Pediatric Nurse
- Psychiatric Nurse
- Public Health Nurse
- Reproductive Nurse
- Substance Abuse Nurse
A Day In The Life Of A Nurse With A BSN
Here are the common job duties that the best undergraduate nursing schools can prepare you to perform:
- Taking patient histories
- Creating care plans for patients and families
- Work directly with physicians to administer care or create treatment plans
- Performing tests and relaying results
- Work with families and loved ones to ensure patient care
- Operate medical equipment and apply treatment methods
- Communicate essential health education to patients and communities
When you speak with schools with undergraduate nursing programs, make sure you discuss the daily life of the nurse role you’re aiming for. Students in every area should have colleges with bachelors in nursing options to choose from.
No matter where you are in your nursing education or career, Best Nursing Degree has help for you.
You can also use our simple search tools to see the best BSN programs in your state right now.