The demand for qualified registered nurses (RN) keeps rising. Nurses with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) are facing competition for jobs because many employers now prefer to hire and promote nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) also backs the BSN as the minimal preparation for the nursing practice. If you are considering pursuing a baccalaureate degree, you might want to consider an online RN to BSN program.
Are All Online Programs Alike?
The structure of online RN to BSN programs differs depending on the school as well as the number of credits required to complete a bachelor's degree. Typically, nursing students in an online baccalaureate program need to complete 120 to 126 credits. But many schools accept transfer credits, which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete the program. Sometimes students only need 30 to 45 credits to graduate.
Are Online RN to BSN Programs Affordable?
With online programs, you do not have to pay travel and living expenses. However, tuition may include fees for the application software and tools needed to complete courses online.
The cost of online RN to BSN programs varies depending on the college or university. Some schools charge different rates for residents and nonresidents. Other institutions offer the same tuition for all students. Here is the average tuition for online RN to BSN programs based on credits:
- $5,000 to $15,000 -- 30 to 45 credits
- $36,000 to $95, 000 -- 120 to 126 credits
How Much Does the Eastern Illinois University (EIU) RN to BSN Program Cost?
The 100-percent-online EIU RN to BSN program is 35 credit hours and can be completed in as few as 14 months. Tuition is the same for both in-state and out-of-state residents, but the school does provide a $1,000 discount to employees of affiliate partner healthcare facilities. The tuition rate is fixed for four years or 12 semesters so students can complete the program without an increase in cost. Students enrolled in the EIU online RN to BSN program can expect to pay the following:
- Non-partner healthcare facilities student -- $9,500
- Partner healthcare facilities student -- $8,500
How Do Students Pay for Online Programs?
Nursing students can pay for tuition out of pocket. They also can secure federal or private loans, or other forms of financial assistance. By completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), students can find out if they qualify for federal grants or loans.
Employers may extend tuition reimbursement for RNs practicing in their healthcare organizations. The NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program offers to repay 60 percent of nursing school debt in exchange for a two-year commitment to work in underserved areas throughout America. In addition, a variety of scholarships are available to nursing students. Examples of grants and scholarships include:
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- AfterCollege Nursing Student Scholarship
- Foundation of the National Student Nurses' Association (FNSNA) General Scholarship Program
The EIU online RN to BSN program is an ideal fit for ADN nurses who want to earn a bachelor's degree while continuing to work. Multiple start dates give nurses the freedom to begin the program at their convenience. A flexible course schedule allows busy nurses to study anytime no matter where they are located. This means they can balance a career, family and personal time all while completing an affordable online degree program.
Learn more about the EIU online RN to BSN program.
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