Profile of a BSN Online Nursing Degree Student

Why Get a BSN Online Nursing Degree?

Pat Newberry has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years, and there is nothing she would rather be doing. The Florida native obtained her associate’s degree in nursing in the 1970s, and she has had a varied career, moving from Florida to California, and working in hospitals, home health and occupational nursing settings. She has been a staff nurse, a charge nurse, a supervisor of nursing and an intensive care and cardiac nurse.

Why Make the Move to a BSN Online?

Newberry recently decided it was time to go back to school for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). “For the longest time I felt that I was able to climb successfully within the ladder of nursing with an associate’s degree in nursing. After 30 years in nursing, I’ve decided I want to start teaching nursing on some level. What I’m finding is that while I’m an RN, more and more jobs are requiring a full bachelor’s degree in nursing.”

Researching BSN Online Nursing Degrees

After doing some online research, she felt comfortable with South University’s BSN online bridge nursing program. The program is for nurses with associate’s degrees who want to obtain bachelor’s in nursing degrees.

“South University was in my region, and closer to Florida. It was also an accelerated program with shorter semesters that worked for me,” Newberry said. She loves the online format. “Online programs are not for everybody. It takes some personal discipline to do things at home. But it works very well for me, and I’m doing well in it.”

What are Online Courses Like?

Newberry has cut back to part-time hours, but she said that many of her classmates are able to manage working full-time and studying to get their BSN online nursing degree.

She said that although all of the nursing coursework is online, there are assignments that require students to engage with their local communities. “Parts of the assignments involve talking to the community. For example, yesterday one of my assignments was to interview a nurse practitioner. But for the most part it’s all online. There are online lectures in addition to the textbooks.”

She emphasized that BSN online programs for newbie nursing students is not possible. The hands-on, clinical training is a must. But, she added, “Theory courses could go online.”

Is a Nursing Career Right for You?

How did this veteran nurse know that nursing was the right career choice for her? “When I was in high school in Central Florida, I enjoyed the math and sciences. I chose nursing at that time simply because a nearby community college was offering it. It was accessible, and I knew that with a nursing degree I could go anywhere in the country and get a job, and I have.”

It was a decision she has never regretted. “I never knew I would like it as much as I do. It’s stimulating. I love working with people in this capacity. Even though it’s tough working with sick people, there’s a calling for that,” she said.

The Positive Aspects of Nursing

While the profession can be challenging, the positives are many. “You see how you can affect one life, which can affect the lives of an entire family,” Newberry explained.

Her advice to anyone interested in nursing is to start by getting a bachelor’s degree in nursing, even though it takes more time than an associate’s degree program. “It provides a broader education. The evolution of nursing is such that the bachelor’s is going to be required.” And BSN online degrees provide greater flexibility for the right nursing candidate.

Practical Nursing Experience is Valuable

And after graduating, she recommends that young nurses work in a hospital. “It’s the best thing I can advise any nurse to do to get their feet wet,” she said. After this initial immersion establishes a broad base of experiences and a good foundation, nurses have a plethora of options. “There are many different types of nursing positions and not all of them involve direct physical care,” she said. “Many are administrative level, and many are case management level jobs. But everyone should start in a hospital, where you learn the basics.”

The thing about nursing, Newberry concluded, is that you can take it anywhere and jobs will be available. “A lot of nurses have husbands or wives that get transferred. You can pick up with nursing and just take it with you.”

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