A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a four-year science degree offered through post-secondary colleges and other accredited schools with nursing programs. The BSN degree encompasses a larger curriculum and extensive mastery of patient care compared to an Associate of Science in Nursing. Many students choose to pursue a BSN after obtaining their ASN to gain more clinical and hospital experience, to qualify for the diversity of nursing-related positions or as a prerequisite for admission to graduate nursing programs.
Admission requirements for each BSN program vary for prospective students; read the criteria carefully to gain a sense of the program’s standards and your eligibility. Most accept a wide student base: traditional and nontraditional students, freshman and transfer students, licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses. Yet programs like Miami Dade College’s School of Nursing require students to be state licensed RNs who already possess an ASN degree. Other programs, such as the University of Phoenix, have both a RN to BSN program -- as well as a licensed practical nurse/LVN-to-BSN program.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees are typically structured with science and humanities overlapping to emphasize the social sciences. The comprehensive overlap of disciplines within these programs provides students with a solid understanding of health science from microbiology to bio-psychology. Moreover, students study critical thinking and oral/written communication to enhance their administration talents or further their academic pursuits.
Program prerequisites spotlight science courses like human anatomy and physiology in conjunction with chemistry and microbiology. These are then punctuated by a variety of courses: psychology, sociology, statistics and nutrition. Beyond the prerequisites, each program has an exclusive curriculum road map. Students can contact admission advisers regarding not only the admissions process but details regarding upper-division courses. Many of these courses have lab or practicum components covering children, adult, psychiatric and chronic care.
Graduates with a BSN degree qualify for an entry-level position as a staff nurse. This is also true for an associate degree or diploma from an accredited school, but BSN recipients have the opportunity to use their skill sets by taking up management, administration and leadership positions. The degree is also imperative for students interested in extending their scientific knowledge base with a Master of Science in Nursing to focus on research and teaching.
Jordan B Taylor is a professional writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He writes educational posts for Scripted.com, and was the editor for Mills College Writing Center Blog from 2010 to 2012. Taylor holds a Master of Fine Arts in English and creative writing from Mills College in Oakland, Calif.