Registered nurses looking to go back to school to get their bachelor’s degree often wonder about the most affordable online RN to BSN programs. An online RN to BSN program provides working students with a flexible option to completing their bachelor’s degree. Many programs enable students to finish their degree in as few as three semesters. The online programs are often delivered asynchronously, meaning that students do not have to log in at a specific time to complete coursework. The programs help current nurses expand their professional knowledge in the nursing field. Courses commonly include health assessment, collaborative healthcare, community health nursing, nursing research, nursing informatics, and nursing ethics. Most programs also require liberal arts courses, such as economics, history, statistics, psychology, algebra, and English composition. Admission requirements vary, but students typically must be current registered nurses with valid RN licensure. Students are usually awarded proficiency credits from their previous nursing program. Online RN to BSN programs provide a variety of benefits such as improving nursing and critical thinking skills and advancing nursing careers. Graduates of these programs are also prepared to take on management and leadership roles in the nursing field as well as specialty positions. Registered nurses are also prepared to pursue graduate nursing programs.
Finding the Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Program
Online degree programs feature different costs and fees than traditional brick and mortar institutions. For traditional campus-based degree programs students have the costs of tuition and fees, living expenses, textbooks, and commuting to and from campus. While online degree programs do not require expenses related to living and traveling, some schools charge students to access the applications and tools needed to complete a course online. Also, many online schools charge out-of-state rates for students not living where the institution is based. The average cost of online RN to BSN programs ranges from as little as $25,000 to as high as $80,000. On the other hand, the average cost for campus-based programs, including tuition and fees, living expenses, transportation, and books and supplies is between $32,000 and more than $100,000 per year. Majority of schools that offer online RN to BSN programs offer the same types of financial aid as traditional degree programs. Students must complete the FAFSA and may qualify for federal assistance such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Federal Perkins Loan. Some employers offer tuition reimbursement for registered nurses going back to school. In general, employers pay a fixed dollar amount of tuition. There are also various scholarships available for nursing students, such as the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program and the Barbara Forfar Nursing Scholarship. Examples of the most affordable online RN to BSN programs include Lamar University, Liberty University, and the University of Massachusetts. Larmar University charges $150 per credit hour per semester for online programs. The cost per credit hour at Liberty University is $325 per credit for full-time students and $365 per credit for part-time students. The University of Massachusetts charges $330 per credit hour. The most affordable online RN to BSN programs provide registered nurses with various options for continuing their nursing education.