That’s my daughter navigating her way through the rocky ascent of the Kaymoor Miners Trail, at the New River Gorge National Park, of West Virginia. Finding the right online RN to BSN degree program can be just as challenging as negotiating the rocks of this mountainside trail.
It all began with an internet search. In my case I used Google as my search engine. I typed in the search box “RN to BSN online programs without clinical” and about a quarter of the way down was a link titled 10 Best Online RN to BSN Degree Programs in 2015. Listed at number 10, was Anna Maria College, it wouldn’t be fair to say I chose them first. I mean they are located in the state of Massachusetts and at the time I lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. However, after extensive research Anna Maria was the best place for me.
Researching potential schools is well worth your valuable time. Understand that not all colleges or universities are created equal. I cannot stress it enough to first check for accreditation. There are a dime-a-dozen “online universities” offering RN to BSN programs, however their courses are not worth a dime if not accredited through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Why is ACEN accreditation important? Universities participating in the ACEN accreditation process are committed to periodic validation and evaluations of specific standards and criteria to provide quality nursing programs.1 Taking or graduating from a nursing course that is not accredited can end up hurting you in several ways. For example, you may not qualify for certain employment, or you may not able to continue your nursing education in another institution because the non-accredited credits cannot to be transferred.
On the topic of credit transfer, understand that some universities have placed time limits on certain core requirement credits. For instance, some have an eight year old limit to the credit that may be transferred. In other words, if you are like me, and this is your second or even third degree, the cost savings in researching schools that will allow for old accredited college credits to be transferred is a huge cost and time savings. AMC transferred the max number of credits for me having a seventeen year old biology degree and eight year old nursing associate’s degree. I even got credit for having an active nursing license! Your AMC advisor will guide you through the transfer credit process.
Also, AMC allowed me to pace my own education. I started in April of 2015 taking one 8-week session at a time. Sure it took a little longer to complete my degree, however I kept my sanity while maintaining full-time employment and completing my education on a part-time basis. I even took sixteen weeks off in the summer to move out of state.
Lastly, Anna Maria’s RN to BSN program is truly all online. There is NO need to ever fly, drive, or walk onto campus. I couldn’t tell you what the place looks like because I have never been there, honestly!
1 ACENursing.org. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.acenursing.org/faq/#Q2.