What Is a BSN Degree?

A BSN degree is designed for people who want to pursue a career in nursing. While other avenues exist to become a registered nurse, candidates with a BSN degree generally have greater opportunities available to them. This article discusses what a BSN degree is and the typical courses offered in the degree program. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

The BSN Degree

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program is a typical option for the student who wishes to become a registered nurse but who is new to the field. A basic BSN degree program takes four years to complete, and prepares you to take the NCLEX-RN licensing exam upon graduation. During the first year, you will typically complete prerequisites and introductory level nursing courses, though some programs have students begin clinical studies in their freshman year. The remaining three years will include the bulk of the clinical nursing courses. While you are enrolled in a BSN degree program, opportunities for hands-on learning experiences may be available at large hospitals.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

PrerequisitesHigh school diploma or GED, certain medical-related coursework
SpecializationsNot offered at the BSN level, graduate study is necessary
Online Availability Some schools offer this program primarily online; clinicals must be completed on site
Continuing Education Required to maintain RN licensure; specifics vary by state
Median Salary (2018) $71,730 (for all registered nurses

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Core Courses

In the first year of a BSN degree program, you may study psychology, anatomy and physiology. Physical education and fitness programs might also be are required. In the sophomore year, you'll likely study microbiology, statistics and nursing competencies. Third year studies may include pharmacology and therapeutic modalities, adult health and mental health. In the senior year, you'll focus on health care systems, professional foundations and nursing synthesis.

Accelerated BSN Second Degree

If you already have a bachelor's degree in another discipline, an accelerated BSN degree may be ideal. A typical accelerated BSN degree requires you to fulfill any missing prerequisites before beginning the accelerated program. Students in these accelerated programs are usually required to attend full-time.

Job Outlook

With a BSN degree, one career option is to become a registered nurse (RN). As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS), job opportunities for RNs are expected to be excellent. The BLS predicts that employment within the field will grow by 15% over the 2016-2026 decade, which is a much faster growth rate than the average for all occupations over that time period. The greatest number of opportunities for RNs may be available in home healthcare and outpatient facilities, according to the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Howard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available