Are you looking to make a change in your nursing career—a different setting, more flexible schedule or a role in management? Now is the time to consider turning your associate degree in nursing (ADN) into a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
Nursing occupations are expected to experience the largest growth of all jobs, with about 203,200 jobs for registered nurses expected to open over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. RNs were also listed No. 1 on the Top 25 High-Paying In-Demand Jobs list from Indeed.com.
A BSN can help you maximize your earning potential and job opportunities. According to Indeed.com, many healthcare organizations prefer to hire nurses with a BSN, and those nurses are more likely to earn promotions and receive greater responsibility throughout their careers. You can also work in almost any area of the country – rural or urban, nurses are in need everywhere.
While pursuing a BSN seems like a smart choice, you may still have plenty of questions about the process. Here are answers to some of the questions we hear most often about the online UW-Milwaukee RN to BSN program offered through the UW Flexible Option.
What will a BSN do for my career potential?
Depending on your current job situation, the benefits of earning your BSN can range from improved job security, career advancement and higher earning potential.
Abigail Sincoular, who is working on her BSN through UW Flexible Option, enjoys the nursing field because of the flexibility it offers. “If you want to try something else, you can do that,” she says. “I’ve known so many nurses who have moved and worked in a variety of areas.” Once she finishes her degree, Abigail hopes to pursue a graduate degree to become a nurse practitioner and teach nursing.
By earning your BSN, you’re more likely to qualify for managerial roles in a variety of healthcare settings such as:
- Nurse manager
- Nurse educator
- Head nurse
- Department chief
- Administrative manager
- Clinical nurse manager
Get a UW Flexible Option Degree Guide
Download an introductory guide (PDF) to the self-paced, competency-based UW Flexible Option programs, including details about costs, admission requirements, and more.
How will holding a BSN benefit my patients?
According to an American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) report, healthcare organizations that employ a higher ratio of BSN-holding professionals report lower mortality rates, shorter hospital stays, and higher levels of patient satisfaction overall. Some nurses also say their education gave them a renewed perspective on their patients’ needs. Abigail notes that she benefited from the BSN program through UW Flexible Option because she learned about genetics, palliative care, and end-of-life care in her courses.
Is an RN to BSN program worth it financially?
Yes! Salary profile database Payscale reports that nurses with a BSN can make an average base salary of $92,000 annually, compared with an average base salary of $75,000 for nurses with an ADN. While registered nurses with either an ADN or BSN may have similar starting salaries, the potential for advancement and higher pay is greater for those with a BSN.
Registered nurses are projected to experience 10% in job growth from 2023 to 2033 nationally, according to Lightcast. The median annual wage for registered nurses nationally in 2021 was $77,605, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What are the goals of the UW Flexible Option RN to BSN program?
The program provides licensed nurses with the skills and knowledge to deliver premium care in the ever-changing healthcare system. Led by the top-ranking University of Milwaukee School of Nursing, the program equips graduates with a deep understanding of biological and social sciences, community nursing, care management, leadership and management in nursing, healthcare technology, and research and evidence-based practice. The program curriculum is built upon competency-based education to promote professional development in communication, critical thinking skills, cultural awareness, and leadership. The final course fosters competency in a capstone experience, where students apply what they’ve learned within their nursing practice and employment settings.
The curriculum is built upon competency-based education to promote professional development in communication, critical thinking skills, cultural awareness, and leadership. The final course fosters competency in a capstone experience, where students apply learning within their nursing practice and employment settings.
Do I qualify for the UW Flexible Option RN to BSN program?
The UW Flexible Option is especially designed for self-motivated, nontraditional students who want to leverage their previous schooling, work skills, and knowledge to advance more quickly toward their degree. This self-paced online nursing degree is ideal for students who:
- Have an active unencumbered RN license OR currently enrolled in the last year of an ADN program (or prelicensured ADN student in last year)
- Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher and graduated from an associate degree program in nursing or diploma program in nursing
- Are motivated, disciplined self-starters who can work independently.
How much does the degree cost?
UW Flexible Option offers working adults a more affordable way to earn their BSN. Pay a flat rate for a subscription period of your choice.
A subscription period is a three-month span of time during which you are able to access learning materials, complete assessments, and receive academic support. You can choose from two subscription options.
- All-You-Can-Learn Option: Choosing this option allows you to enroll in two or more competency (skill) courses. You may enroll in as many competency sets as you can successfully master within a three-month period.
Single Competency Set Option: If you would like to study at a slower pace during a three-month subscription period, you may enroll in a single competency course.
|Competency courses you can complete
2 or more
Tuition covers assessments and mentoring, but excludes the cost of books and other special materials that may be required for your program.
How long is the program?
Like most other RN to BSN programs, the UW Flexible Option degree totals 120 credits consisting of:
- Approximately 60 lower-division undergraduate courses (typically acquired through an associate degree)
- 30 upper-division nursing courses
- 30 credits derived from practical/clinical training and equivalency exams
For most traditional programs, this course load typically takes approximately two years to complete. In UW Flexible Option, your timeline is up to you, and you may be able to earn your degree sooner than you think. Click here to read about one UW Flexible Option graduate who earned her BSN in under a year!
Can I pursue an RN to BSN while still working?
Going back to school for your bachelor’s degree in nursing can seem daunting, especially if you’re working hectic schedules and filling in for others due to staff shortages. But rest assured that the UW Flexible Option offers you the flexibility to complete your education when it’s convenient for you. You can also pause your subscription to the program when you need a break, or like Abigail, to enjoy major milestones like getting married or buying a home. The UW Flexible Option program fits into your life – not the other way around. If you have an ADN, keep in mind that credits transfer in and count toward part of your bachelor’s degree, literally lightening your credit load!
If you think the UW Flexible Option RN to BSN program might be the right choice for your career, download the program guide now!
To find out more about UW Flexible Option, contact an enrollment adviser at 1-608-800-6762 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For a list of degree and certificate programs offered in the online Flexible Option format, please see the programs page.