Online RN to BSN Degree Programs - Bachelor of Science in Nursing


Human rights activist Malcolm X famously said: “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” In the 21st century, access to the Internet has enabled working professionals to earn degrees while working in their current professions. Registered nurses (RNs) are a prime example of this. RNs wanting to expand their career opportunities in the field of nursing are choosing to pursue online bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degrees while employed. Earning a bachelor’s degree in the field of nursing allows RNs to specialize, gain access to more career opportunities, and earn higher salaries.

As the healthcare industry in the United States continues its rapid expansion, the demand for qualified nurses will continue to rise. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects the number of openings for RNs to grow by 15 percent between 2016 and 2026—a much faster rate than average compared to other professions.

While current RNs can be relatively confident in their job security, many are opting to earn BSN degrees to deepen their skills and widen their professional opportunities. Online RN to BSN degree programs are designed for working RNs to complete their degrees in 12 to 36 months while continuing to work full-time. Required core courses in RN to BSN programs typically include effective communication, information literacy, and ethical reasoning. Science courses in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and nutrition are also required. Electives can include psychology, sociology, economics, and languages.

With a BSN degree, students can look forward to opportunities in specialized areas of nursing. Programs comprise online coursework and clinical rotations completed at the RN’s place of employment or at an approved clinical facility. Graduates from RN to BSN programs go on to become pediatric nurses, critical care nurses, clinical nurse educators, and surgical nurses among others.

Read on to learn more about seven featured RN to BSN degree programs and three notable faculty members teaching in and leading these university programs.

Professors to Know in Online RN to BSN Programs

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    BETH HALL, PhD University of Oklahoma

    Dr. Beth Hall is an assistant professor and program director for the RN-BSN and LPN-BSN programs at the University of Oklahoma. She teaches health assessment, disability, and an advanced clinical class for the aforementioned programs.

    Dr. Hall enjoys the intersectionality of life sciences, helping people, and working together that the nursing profession draws upon. She’s optimistic about the new opportunities and responsibilities for nurses in the future.

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    MELINDA OBERLEITNER, DNS University of Louisiana Lafayette

    Dr. Melinda Oberleitner is the dean of the college of nursing and allied health professions and a professor in the Department of Nursing at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. She earned her doctorate of nursing science from Louisiana State University Medical Center and a master's of science in nursing from Texas Woman’s University.

    Professor Oberleitner holds an endowed chair professorship in nursing and became the first licensed oncology nurse in the state of Louisiana in 1986. She has received awards from the American Cancer Society and the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation. Dr. Oberleitner serves on the editorial board of the Oncology Nurse - APN/PA publication.

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    DEBRA WHITE-JEFFERSON, DNP University of Louisiana Lafayette

    Dr. Debra White-Jefferson is an instructor in the RN to BSN program in the Department of Nursing at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. She holds a doctorate in nursing practice from Case Western Reserve University and a master’s degree in nursing education from the University of South Alabama.
    Professor White-Jefferson is a ULearn-certified online teacher with more than 11 years of teaching experience in classroom and clinical settings; her nursing experience includes post-partum care, home health, and telemetry. Notably, Dr. White-Jefferson was the recipient of the Promise of Nursing for Louisiana Regional Faculty Fellowship in 2013 and 2014.

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