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Any suggestions on how to determine if one online RN-BSN program is better than another?

Monday October 15, 2012
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Dear Donna,

I have an associate’s degree and would like to go for a BSN. I am struggling to find a good online RN-BSN program. Any suggestions on how to determine if one online program is better than another?

NJ Nurse

Dear Donna replies:

Dear NJ Nurse,

As long as the school is accredited by either the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (www.nlnac.org) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation/accredited-programs), it is acceptable. There are so many programs out there and one is not necessarily better or worse than the other.

When making a choice, compare things like cost per credit, number of credits needed to complete degree, online and phone support offered, ease of initial application process and how many credits will be accepted from your associate’s program. In other words, do what works best for you.

Also, you can ask around to see if other nurses you know have gone the online associate’s to BSN route. You can even post your question in the Nurse.com forums (http://forums.nurse.com/forum.php) and see what kind of feedback you get from those who have been there and done that.

Don't agonize too much over which school to pick. Investigate a few, choose one and move forward. The sooner you get started the sooner you'll finish.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.