How Long Does It Take to Get Your BSN? | Maryville Online (2024)

Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can be a great way to advance your career. The move from registered nurse (RN) to BSN helps put you on track for more opportunities, promotions, and, potentially, higher compensation.

Nurses who earn a BSN not only enrich their knowledge of advanced nursing techniques but are exposed to the latest trends and approaches to quality care. An online BSN programs can help make you a better, more well-rounded caregiver and healthcare practitioner — one who will likely be poised to tackle all the challenges ahead and meet future demand.

As more members of the baby boom generation reach retirement age and begin to require more medical care, the need for nurses increases. In addition to this rising need, some hospitals and other facilities (and even states) are beginning to require nurses to have a BSN. Furthering your nursing education is a strategic move and an investment in your future.

Once you’ve determined that a BSN program is the right path to achieving your career goals, your next step may be to ask yourself, “How long does it take to get to your BSN?” and, “What are the key advantages of earning a BSN?”

How Long Does It Take to Get Your BSN? | Maryville Online (1)

Advantages of Earning a BSN

RNs who earn a BSN degree gain numerous advantages. First, BSN graduates earn higher salaries than RNs with Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degrees. ASN degree-holders had a median salary of approximately $72,000 per year as of March 2022, while BSN degree-holders had a median salary of approximately $89,000 per year, according to PayScale. From a return on investment perspective, it pays to go to school longer to secure a higher degree.

Another advantage of a BSN degree is that it opens several career doors beyond the role of a registered nurse. There are many administrative and teaching positions in healthcare that require at least a BSN degree to apply.

Additionally, a BSN degree is a requirement for several graduate and nurse practitioner programs. It’s also a requirement to sit for certain healthcare certification exams. For example, a BSN degree is one of the requirements to sit for the informatics nursing certification (RN-BC) exam.

Last, a number of studies have shown that nurses with a BSN generally outperform those with an ASN in terms of patient outcomes and patient satisfaction, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reports. In fact, many hospitals and healthcare facilities have made a BSN degree the minimum educational requirement to join their staff of RNs.

Steps to Completing Your BSN Degree

A BSN can be pursued in several different ways, but they all share some universal steps.

Verify Program Status

Before choosing a BSN program, make sure it is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). BSN graduates who attended an accredited school generally fare better with employers and can pursue an MSN if they choose.

Also, be sure the program is approved by your state’s board of nursing or regulatory body (BON/RB). You will not be able to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam unless it is.

Enroll in and Complete a Program

A BSN degree program includes coursework that offers foundational knowledge, exposes students to current trends in nursing, and prepares them for the NCLEX-RN exam.

Pursue Licensure

Passing the NCLEX-RN exam is required to apply for licensure. However, the process for getting a nursing license may vary by state, so make sure you check with your state’s licensing board for the most current requirements. After obtaining licensure, graduates can begin working as registered nurses.

Completion Time for a Traditional BSN Degree

A traditional BSN degree usually takes up to four years to complete. The BSN curriculum includes liberal arts courses, which fulfill general education requirements, and higher-level classes that are specific to a major in nursing.

This four-year estimate does not include any prior degrees, such as an associate degree, which many RNs already have. Courses taken at the associate level usually are transferable but must be approved by the school ahead of time.

Accelerated BSN Programs Completion Time

Several schools, many with online coursework options, offer an accelerated program for current registered nurses. An accelerated RN to BSN online program can typically be accomplished in one to two years. Of course, this hinges on how much time you can commit to the program, as well as your previous education and work experience.

If you plan to work as an RN while you earn your BSN, you’re in good company. Nursing schools with online programs tailor the course schedules, making them as flexible as possible, so working nurses can schedule their time and coordinate their lives accordingly.

How Long Does It Take to Complete Maryville’s RN to BSN Program?

Maryville developed its RN to BSN online program to provide associate degree graduates and diploma-holding registered nurses with the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s in nursing. With three different start dates per year, Maryville’s 100% online curriculum is well-suited for today’s working nurse who needs options when it comes to completing coursework. By offering choices and support, Maryville gives RN to BSN students the opportunity to complete the program in as little as one year. Before getting started with your enrollment, make sure to check the RN to BSN program requirements for prospective students.

RN to BSN Credit Breakdown

Maryville’s RN to BSN requires the completion of 89 credit hours, 64 of which are general education courses, and 25 of which are nursing-specific courses. This curriculum is designed to help prepare nurses with the skills and ability to provide advanced care to individuals, families, and communities.

General Education Courses (64 Credits): Liberal arts, psychology, and math courses strengthen students’ critical thinking and creative analysis skills.

Nursing Courses (25 Credits): RNs further develop their professional nursing skills with the following upper-level, nursing-specific courses:

  • NURS 307 Transition to Professional Nursing
  • NURS 309 Nursing Research
  • NURS 330 Individual Assessment
  • NURS 341 Family Assessment
  • NURS 342 Nursing Informatics
  • NURS 406 Leadership in Contemporary Healthcare
  • NURS 412 Nursing Care at End of Life
  • NURS 414 Genetics in Nursing

The program also requires each student to do research and collaborate with other students to complete a public health capstone project. Graduates should leave the program with newfound skills in leadership and research, as well as a refined ability to assess public and patient health.

Career Opportunities for BSN Degree-Holders

Many career opportunities are available for RNs with a BSN degree. BSN graduates can pursue careers in hospitals, home healthcare services, nursing care facilities, and physicians’ offices, just to name a few.

Some of the most popular positions for BSN degree-holders, besides registered nurse, are:

  • Nurse manager
  • Clinical nursing specialist
  • Nurse educator
  • Nursing informatics specialist
  • Geriatric nurse
  • Critical care nurse
  • Public health nurse

Some of these positions are nonclinical or administrative. The option to take on one of these roles is another benefit of a BSN degree.

Why Choose Maryville for Your Online Bachelor’s in Nursing?

Maryville nursing students receive personal attention and support to help outline, pursue, and achieve their nursing goals. The Maryville online bachelor’s in nursing program supports industry and workplace advancement with a practical focus that’s mindful of healthcare industry trends and each individual’s vision for the future. In other words, we understand nursing and healthcare work environments, and our program can realistically help prepare you to thrive and excel in them.

As you gain more experience and consider additional education, Maryville University is here to support you through each stage of your nursing career. Holding a BSN puts you one step closer to a master’s degree or doctorate if you decide you want to become an advanced-practice nurse.

Discover more information on Maryville’s online RN to BSN program.

Recommended Reading

A Guide to Transferring College and Keeping College Credits

How Nurses Impact Quality of Care

Leaders in Two Different Worlds: Business Degree vs. Nursing Degree


American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “Fact Sheet: The Impact of Education on Nursing Practice”

American Nurses Credentialing Center, Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC)

Chron, “Advantages of a BSN Degree in Nursing”

New York State Senate, Senate Bill S2145

PayScale, Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) Degree

PayScale, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree

How Long Does It Take to Get Your BSN? | Maryville Online (2024)


How Long Does It Take to Get Your BSN? | Maryville Online? ›

An accelerated RN to BSN online program can typically be accomplished in one to two years. Of course, this hinges on how much time you can commit to the program, as well as your previous education

Education is the transmission of knowledge, skills, and character traits. There are many debates about its precise definition, for example, about which aims it tries to achieve. A further issue is whether part of the meaning of education is that the change in the student is an improvement. › wiki › Education
and work experience. If you plan to work as an RN while you earn your BSN, you're in good company.

What is the quickest RN program? ›

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

If you are anxious to become a registered nurse and start caring for patients while earning a nurse's salary, an ADN degree is the fastest way to get there.

How long does it take to complete WGU BSN program? ›

Western Governors University* (WGU) Nursing offers two pathways to help students earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and start practicing as a registered nurse. Students with an RN can earn a BSN in as little as 24 months by completing 23 courses.

What would be one good reason to pursue an online BSN? ›

Your Education, Your Future, Your Freedom

But earning a BSN online degree will only increase your qualifications for your current job, improve your patients' experiences, and help you adapt to today's challenging health care environment.

Should I get my BSN first? ›

Earning your BSN degree sets you up to receive a higher income for the length of your nursing career. According to the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey, nurses with a bachelor's degree routinely made more per year than those with an associate degree.

What is the hardest class in RN school? ›

Pharmacology, Microbiology, and Anatomy & Physiology each have a well-earned reputation for being difficult to pass. Some students may find Cardiology, Chemistry, or even Mental Health especially trying.

What type of RN is most in demand? ›

What type of RN is most in demand? All RNs are in demand more than other occupations. The BLS projects 6% job growth for all RNs between 2021 and2031, compared to 5% job growth for all occupations. Some specialties that are in especially high demand are neonatal nursing, surgical nursing, and critical care nursing.

Can you finish WGU in 1 year? ›

WGU's one-year* MBA allows you to finish your Master in Business Administration program in only 12 months for just $4,755 per six-month term. This accelerated online MBA program features: A course plan which will include the length of each course and a session schedule.

How long does it take to get your masters after your BSN? ›


These programs typically take between 18 months and two years of full-time study. Part-time programs can take much longer, depending on the student and how aggressively they can complete coursework. Some part-time students take as long as five years to finish a program.

How many years does it take to go from BSN to MSN? ›

You may be wondering how long such a specified program might take, and it is important to know that different programs will vary based on how many units you need to take. However, pursuing a BSN to MSN will usually take you about two years to complete.

Is it worth it to get a BSN in nursing? ›

A BSN may open more doors and opportunities to the nurse, as it shows the ability to handle increasingly complex nursing responsibilities. Additionally, BSN-prepared nurses typically earn more. Hospitals offer pay differentials and greater opportunities for advancement to registered nurses with BSN degrees.

How to succeed in online nursing school? ›

7 Tips for Online Nursing School Success
  1. Establish a regular daily routine. ...
  2. Create a working space. ...
  3. Don't skip the introductory material for your courses. ...
  4. Connect with fellow students. ...
  5. Connect with your instructors. ...
  6. Find varied learning strategies. ...
  7. Don't neglect self-care.
Sep 26, 2020

How can I be successful in a BSN program? ›

It also helps to consider these 10 nursing school tips for success.
  1. Get a Planner. ...
  2. Personalize Your Study Habits. ...
  3. Find Relatable Resources. ...
  4. Comprehension Over Memorization. ...
  5. Treat Nursing School Like a Full-Time Job. ...
  6. Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions. ...
  7. Practice Makes Perfect. ...
  8. Lean on Your Family and Friends.
Dec 7, 2022

Is BSN harder than MSN? ›

With an MSN Degree Comes Deeper Understanding

The reason is simple: MSN programs better prepare students to become RNs by offering a more rigorous curriculum — often covering advanced topics BSN programs only touch on.

What is higher than a BSN? ›

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

There are several types of master's degrees in nursing. Advanced practice registered nurse degrees prepare a registered nurse for an advanced clinical role. Other types of MSN degrees focus on preparing nurses for non-clinical roles such as public health or nursing informatics.

Why is MSN better than BSN? ›

The primary difference between the degrees is that an MSN provides nurses with more career options and opportunities to increase their annual salaries. While a BSN program teaches nurses how to provide quality patient care, registered nurses do not serve as primary care providers for patients.

Which nursing program is the shortest? ›

Licensed Practical Nurse

An LPN program prepares students to become practical nurses in as little as 54 weeks. After graduation and successful passing of the NCLEX-PN exam, students can enter the field and provide basic nursing care under the supervision of a registered nurse or doctor.

What state is the easiest to become an RN? ›

Easiest states to become a nurse – Length of licensing process
  • Maine: 1-2 weeks.
  • Maryland: 2-3 days.
  • Missouri: 2 weeks.
  • Nevada: 1-2 weeks.
  • North Carolina: 1-2 weeks.
  • North Dakota: 1-2 weeks.
  • Texas: 2 weeks.
  • Vermont: 3-5 business days.

What is the lowest RN degree? ›

To become an RN, you must earn either an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). After successfully graduating from either type of program, you must then take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam, not to be confused with the NCLEX-PN for practical nurses.

How to become a nurse at 40? ›

Thanks to accelerated programs, it is relatively easy to enter a nursing program even if you have a degree in another field. For example, the ABSN, or Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, is a quick way to enter the profession if you already completed an undergraduate degree.


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