What You Should Know: Earning Your RN to BSN Online

Person holding pen and writing on notebook

If you’re already working as a registered nurse, you’ve probably considered a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or BSN. The degree can open doors to roles in management and leadership, and it’s quickly becoming the gold standard for nursing education. Whether you’re established in your nursing career or just getting started, a bachelor’s degree in nursing can raise your earning power, expand your job options, and take you one step closer advanced nursing roles. Above all, a BSN will deepen your clinical knowledge and broaden your expertise, which benefits your patients.

An RN to BSN program is designed to fast-track your bachelor’s degree because it makes the most of your transfer credits while taking your nursing experience into account. Enrolling in an online RN to BSN comes with the added benefit of flexible, accelerated courses. Online classes are available 24/7, so you can fit your studies into your busy schedule. You can complete classes in as few as seven weeks, while traditional courses will take 10 to 16 weeks.

There’s a lot to think about as you explore your options. You may want to know more about the online experience, or you might be curious about job prospects, tuition and financial aid. Follow the links below to learn more.

What Is an RN to BSN Program?

The RN to BSN program is designed for licensed registered nurses who hold a nursing diploma or associate degree in nursing (ADN). As a bridge program, the RN to BSN maximizes your general education credits and moves you toward your bachelor’s degree as quickly as possible. Accelerated degree programs, like the online RN to BSN program at La Salle University, are tailored to working nurses who don’t wish to put their careers on hold while completing their bachelor’s degree. Ultimately, if you’re looking to hone your nursing skills, prepare for a promotion, or seek a new job, an online RN to BSN program is probably right for you.

Can I Get a BSN Without an RN?

While you must be an RN to enroll in an RN to BSN program, there are BSN degree programs designed for students without a nursing license. For example, the La Salle ACHIEVE program is a pre-licensure evening and weekend Bachelor of Science of Nursing program designed for working adults.


Of all 2018 BSN graduates earned the degree through an RN to BSN bridge program.

Source: Campaign for Action

What Will I Learn in an RN to BSN Program?

RN to BSN programs can broaden your nursing perspective and give you tools for navigating and implementing evidence-based practice. You’ll learn how to research and explore advanced safety strategies, and you’ll delve into pharmacology and health information systems. Academics, however, is only one aspect of your degree. The main focus is applying your studies for positive patient outcomes.


La Salle’s online RN to BSN program is centered on excellent patient care. Students at La Salle learn to employ advanced clinical judgment and decision-making skills to best serve patients and their families. Nurses also gain strategies for risk reduction, disease prevention, and health promotion.

RN to BSN Online FAQ Dr. Patricia Dillon

With healthcare changing, the BSN is essential. Nurses need to be at the table to be not only part of, but also lead those changes. Nurses need to define their role in the future of healthcare, and getting their BSN can afford them that opportunity.

—Dr. Patricia Dillon,
Chair of Graduate Nursing, RN-BSN and RN-MSN Programs at La Salle

What Courses Will I Take to Earn My Degree?

In addition to any general education courses required for an RN to BSN degree program, you’ll take a series of advanced nursing courses. Some offer related electives as well. While courses vary across universities, many RN to BSN programs cover advanced practices for patient care, assessment, safety and research.
The RN to BSN program at La Salle University includes seven core nursing courses, one nursing elective and one university approved elective (students select a course with their academic adviser). Each course is three credits, so the RN to BSN program is 27 credits altogether, not including required general education courses. Core courses are as follows:
  • Professional Nursing Practice and Health Information Systems
  • Developments and Controversies in Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
  • Nursing Research
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • International Public Health Nursing
  • Nursing Leadership, Management, and Organizational Dynamics
  • Safety Strategies for Healthcare Delivery Systems
All RN to BSN students at La Salle must also take a basic religion course, REL 100; other religion courses are not accepted for transfer at this time. Visit the La Salle RN to BSN program online for detailed descriptions of each course.

RN to BSN Online FAQ La Salle

Just get started, the work will be relevant to your practice, your peers will provide the motivation to continue and the faculty will support you in your quest for self-improvement with the goal of improved patient care.

Dr. Patricia Bicknell,

Adjunct Faculty, La Salle University

Do Many RNs Have a BSN?

Yes, the majority of RNs now have a BSN. The degree’s popularity has grown steadily for over 30 years. According to the American Journal of Medical Research, the percentage of registered nurses with a BSN doubled, from 25% to 50%, between 1980 and 2016. As of 2016, 66% of RNs held a bachelor’s or higher degree. That number will likely continue to increase.

Why Is a BSN Important for Nurses?

There are several factors that contribute to the importance of a BSN degree:
  • A landmark 2010 report issued by the Institute of Medicine (now known as the National Academy of Medicine) noted that healthcare, hospital operations and related technology have all become increasingly complex. The report also cited the expanding role of nurses in primary care as well as a growing demand for healthcare in general. Based on these circumstances, the report highlighted the importance of education, calling for 80% of nurses to complete their bachelor’s degree by 2020. While this percentage may be unlikely in the given time frame, healthcare operations have nevertheless shifted in favor of BSN nurses.
  • The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) echoes the IOM recommendations and goes a step further. Instead of calling for 80% of RNs to complete their bachelor’s, the AACN recommends a BSN as the baseline education for all registered nurses.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs, which is the largest employer of RNs in the United States, requires a BSN for all nursing positions above entry-level.
  • The Balance Careers reports that to practice as an active duty nurse, service members in the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force are required to hold a BSN.
  • All nurse managers and nurse leaders at hospitals seeking Magnet recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) must hold a BSN. Magnet is a title that acknowledges hospital safety and quality of care.
Given these factors, it’s clear the BSN is becoming a standard requirement for nursing practice.

What Is Magnet Recognition and Why Does It Matter?

Magnet recognition is a seal of approval issued by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC). Magnet hospitals foster continued education for nurses. They must also maintain a nursing committee that participates in organizational strategy and policy-making. To put it another way, nurses at Magnet hospitals take an active role in leadership, and they’re supported in their professional development. Hospitals with the Magnet designation must enforce consistent operational and policy procedures across departments as well. Thus, Magnet hospitals operate cohesively on an administrative level. According to research published in the Journal of Nursing Administration and studies conducted by ANCC, Magnet hospitals also have:
  • A greater emphasis on patient care
  • Lower nurse-to-patient ratios
  • Lower infection and mortality rates
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Lower rates of RN burnout and turnover
  • More opportunities for nursing career advancement
  • Higher RN job satisfaction than non-Magnet hospitals
If you’re interested in working at a Magnet hospital, you’ll likely need a bachelor’s degree. Magnet eligibility requires that 80% of nurses caring for patients have a BSN. If you’re a diploma- or ADN-prepared RN currently working as a nurse manager or leader at a hospital seeking Magnet recognition, your employer will probably ask you to complete an RN to BSN program or change roles. While it may be frustrating to earn a degree for a job you already have, Magnet recognition positively impacts both nurses and patients.

What Are the Benefits of a BSN?

While Magnet hospitals contribute to improved patient outcomes, several studies directly link those improvements to nursing education. Research published in the Journal of Nursing Administration found that hospitals with a higher percentage of RNs with a bachelor’s degree had lower rates of congestive heart failure mortality, lower failure to rescue rates, fewer cases of pressure injuries fewer occurrences of postoperative deep vein thrombosis and fewer cases of postoperative pulmonary embolism.

HealthLeaders magazine, citing a Medical Care study, also noted that patients who received at least 80% of their care from BSN RNs were 18.7% less likely to seek readmission. The same study found that increasing BSN-prepared staff by 10% resulted in a 10% drop in patient mortality.



Increasing BSN-prepared staff by 10% resulted in a 10% drop in patient mortality.

– Economic Evaluation of the 80% Baccalaureate Nurse Workforce Recommendation

These improvements, and their connection to BSN-prepared nurses, may be attributed to the depth of training imparted by a four-year degree. BSN nurses expand their clinical practice with additional study in research, safety strategies and evidence-based practice. Patient outcomes aside, employers prefer BSN-prepared nurses. BSN nurses often command higher salaries than diploma and ADN nurses. They’re more likely to occupy leadership and management positions as well.

RN to BSN Online FAQ Dr. Patricia Dillon

As an associate degree nurse I was very centered and focused on my patient, and that was as far as I could see, the patients I cared for. After receiving my, BSN I was able to see the bigger picture, and how that affected my patient, and what I could do as a nurse to be an advocate for my patient and provide better care… That in itself is enough, but [the degree] will also open doors for you. It absolutely will open doors for you.

—Dr. Patricia Dillon,
Chair of Graduate Nursing, RN-BSN and RN-MSN Programs at La Salle

Why Do Employers Prefer BSN RNs?

There’s no question that healthcare employers prefer BSN-prepared nurses. A 2014 survey of RN job postings cited in the American Journal of Medical Research illustrates that this is a growing trend. At the time, roughly 33% of nursing employers required a BSN, but the percentage has jumped significantly. In a 2018 AACN survey, 45.6% of hospitals and other healthcare organizations required a BSN for new hires. The vast majority of employers without this requirement, 88.4%, strongly favored BSN graduates.
This preference is informed by multiple factors. Some healthcare employers follow the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine report. Some are interested in maintaining or seeking Magnet status. Others are motivated by improved patient outcomes associated with BSN nursing care and the financial benefit that results. HealthLeaders magazine explained that, by reducing patient readmission rates, a staff of at least 80% BSN nurses can reduce hospital costs by $5.6 million. The increased salaries of a BSN-majority staff, however, come to only $1.8 million.
Employers may be further motivated by New York State’s “BSN in 10” legislation, which passed in 2017. The “BSN in 10” law requires registered nurses to complete their BSN within 10 years of initial licensure. While licensed RNs and nursing students enrolled in a BSN program prior to the bill’s passage are exempt (or grandfathered in), employment practices have shifted in anticipation. That’s because “BSN in 10” legislation may be adopted in multiple states. Similar bills are already under consideration in New Jersey and Rhode Island.

Student Spotlight: Theresa Twegbe

“The RN to BSN program changed my direction. It changed my career,” says 2018 La Salle alumna Theresa Twegbe. “When I became an RN, I started putting out applications and I was not hearing from anybody.” After Twegbe enrolled, she added her pending BSN to her resume. “By the following week, I was getting calls” she says. A week after that, she was hired. “I loved the La Salle RN to BSN program. It met all my expectations as a registered nurse.… I feel like I’m going to go out there and do right by my patients. I’m equipped with the knowledge to provide safe care.” Twegbe likes to read, cook, watch movies and write poetry in her free time. She has lived in New Jersey for the last 13 years, and works at a Philadelphia-based urgent care facility for children. While she enjoys her new role, Twegbe is also continuing her education at La Salle University. She’s working on her master’s degree, and wants to become a Clinical Nurse Leader. “I got into nursing because I love to take care of people, so for me, it’s not a job,” she says. “I wake up every morning and go do what I love.”

What Jobs Can I Get With a BSN?

For entry level positions, a BSN-prepared nurse is eligible for any job available to a diploma- or ADN-prepared nurse. The BSN nurse, however, is more likely to be interviewed and hired. That means the BSN offers graduates a significant competitive edge in the job market.

If you plan to move into a management or leadership role, or into research and staff education, a BSN is almost always required. In some cases, an advanced degree, such as an MSN, may be required as well. The table below includes four such roles, and their average salaries.

Job Title Average Annual Salary
Nursing Supervisor $75,845
Nursing Unit Manager $77,760
Nurse Manager $79,817
Clinical Nurse Educator $93,629

Source: ZipRecruiter, Indeed* (September 2019)

The BSN has also become increasingly common for specialized nursing roles. While the degree isn’t always required, it’s strongly preferred by employers. RNs are often asked to complete a BSN as a condition of employment for these jobs.
Job Title Average Annual Salary
Pediatric Nurse $76,295
ICU Nurse $85,209
Operating Room Nurse $90,131
Oncology Nurse $90,246

Source: ZipRecruiter, Indeed (September 2019)

Learn more about our RN to BSN online program!

La Salle University logo

Are Salaries for BSN Nurses Higher?

While your salary depends on your job title, location and years of experience, average salaries for BSN nurses outpace those for diploma and ADN nurses. PayScale (September 2019) cites the average salary of registered nurses with a BSN as $64,000, while the average salary for an RN with an ADN is $61,000. Please note that this is specifically for those with the title of “Registered Nurse,” nurses with different titles make different salaries. The BSN is also a stepping stone toward the MSN degree, which results in higher salaries; ZipRecruiter shows an average salary of $106,201 for RN, MSNs.

Reports on average salaries vary based on source and timeframe, but one thing remains constant: many BSN RNs are paid more than RNs with a hospital program diploma or an ADN.

How Do BSN Salaries Break Down By State?

For a more accurate assessment of average salaries, it’s a good idea to narrow your search by state. Wages are often influenced by local factors such as cost of living, industry size, population and labor market. The chart below considers wages for RNs in several northeastern states as reported by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which assumes a BSN-level education for RNs.
State Average BSN Salary
New York $85,610
New Jersey $82,750
Maryland $76,820
New Hampshire $72,760
Pennsylvania $70,390
Vermont $68,160

What Is the Career Outlook for BSN RNs?

While some career outlooks and projections for nurses don’t distinguish between levels of educational attainment, even the BLS acknowledges that BSN nurses have the best job prospects. Thus, BSN-prepared nurses will reap the most benefit from projected industry growth.


In fact, the BLS predicts that employment for nurses will increase at a rate of 12% through 2028. The average rate of growth across all industries is 5%. This means the number of nursing jobs could also increase 371,500 by 2028.


Projected percent change in employment for registered nurses through 2028

– Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

This growth is driven by an aging population, which impacts the nursing industry in two significant ways. The labor supply will dip as nurses retire, but the healthcare needs of older patients will simultaneously result in greater demand for nurses. Given these circumstances, job projections for nurses in long-term care are triple those for nurses overall. In a study authored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Workforce, and the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis, researchers projected that nursing jobs in long-term care will grow at a rate of 46%, from 438,600 in 2015 to an estimated 638,800 in 2030.

How Can I Make the Most of My BSN?

While future job projections are promising, nurses are already in high demand. Some regions are even in the midst of a nursing shortage. Employers have turned to generous signing bonuses, tuition reimbursement, relocation funding and other perks to attract new hires.


Another great way to make the most of your BSN is to continue your education. With a master’s degree, you can become a nurse practitioner, certified nurse-midwife, certified registered nurse anesthetist or clinical nurse specialist. Some MSN programs offer specializations in family practice or gerontology, and the latter is an especially good bet given industry projections.

Student Spotlight: Georgian Green

Four years after moving with her family from Jamaica, Georgian Green earned her associate degree in nursing from Community College of Philadelphia. She then went to work as a nursing assistant at the University of Pennsylvania Presbyterian Medical Center. While Green didn’t plan to earn her bachelor’s, she realized she needed the degree if she wanted to advance her career. “In order to work in acute care in a hospital in Philadelphia, you have to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing,” she explains. “In nursing everything is evidence-driven, so it’s good to know how to go about things. I still use everything I learned today.” Green, who completed her BSN in 2016, is the first person in her family to earn a four-year degree. Soon after graduation, she got married and took an RN position in the general medicine surgical unit for Hospital at Penn. Green works with cardiac patients every day, and she’s considering going back for her master’s. “I’m going to dream a little bit,” she says. “I’d like to have my own clinic.

How Much Does an Online RN to BSN Degree Cost?

Tuition varies depending on the school and the length of the program. The cost of an RN to BSN degree also changes based on your transfer credits. You may save money if you complete your prerequisite and general education courses before you enroll in an RN to BSN program.

The difference between for-profit colleges and nonprofit colleges is also worth considering. As Forbes points out, for-profit colleges are sometimes the most expensive.

The chart below compares tuition and fees for the online RN to BSN at for-profit and nonprofit colleges:

University Nonprofit Cost Per Credit Hour
Chamberlain University No $590
West Coast University No $525
Strayer University No $488
Eastern University Yes $569
Drexel University Yes $465
La Salle University Yes $400

Credit hour rates taken from university websites

It’s also important to consider added fees that aren’t rolled into your tuition cost. Chamberlain University, for instance, charges online students an extra $260 in fees per semester and $50 per course. West Coast University adds a $1,500 eBook/Technology fee. La Salle’s online RN to BSN includes a one-time student fee of $175.

Can Online RN to BSN Students Apply for Financial Aid?

Yes. As long as your school is accredited and you maintain the minimum level of enrollment required (six credit hours per semester), you should be eligible to apply for federal financial aid. Visit the Federal Student Aid website to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After you’ve completed your FAFSA, you can send it to any accredited university you’re interested in. La Salle’s code for the FAFSA application is 00328700.
Be sure to ask whether your employer offers tuition reimbursement, as this could significantly lower your out-of-pocket costs. Scholarships and grants are another great source of funding, especially since they don’t need to be repaid. Nurse.org has an extensive list of scholarships that are specifically for nurses. Please note that La Salle University does not accept Employer Assisted Graduate Tuition Deferred Payment Plans. Learn more about La Salle’s specific payment policies. La Salle’s accelerated online RN to BSN program divides semesters into two, which means you only have to take one course at a time to meet the minimum enrollment required for federal financial aid. La Salle also offers scholarships, grants, alternative loans and tuition exchange. To contact the La Salle Office of Financial Aid, call 215-951-1070 or email [email protected].

Am I Eligible for Financial Aid If I Already Have Student Loans?

That depends on your current loan balance. The government places a cap on federal student loan debt, and it changes based on your circumstances. If your parents claim you as a dependent, the maximum federal loan debt is $31,000. If you’re an independent student, the cutoff is $57,500 for undergraduates.

Whether you’re seeking additional funding or not, all students who maintain the minimum enrollment of six credit hours per semester are eligible for deferment on federal loans. That means you won’t have to make payments on your existing loans while you’re in school and working on your BSN.

Can My Military Benefits Apply to Online Tuition?

Yes. Whether you plan to study online or on campus, many universities with accredited degree programs accept veteran’s education benefits. This is true for spousal benefits and dependent benefits as well. To make sure that your chosen college or university is eligible to receive military education funds, use the VA’s WEAMS Institution Search tool. To assist you in achieving your civilian career goals in a way that will lessen the burden on your family, La Salle University is a designated Military Friendly® School, which allows you to use your veteran’s education benefit. This designation from veteran’s organization VIQTORY is only awarded to universities with a proven commitment to active duty and veteran students. To learn more about La Salle’s services and benefits for military members, veterans, spouses or dependents, email [email protected].

When Do I Submit My Military Benefit Form to the School?

If you plan on using your veteran’s education benefit for payment of your tuition, all approved paperwork must be submitted no later than the due date of tuition.

How Do I Find Out Which Credits Will Transfer?

As a bridge program, the RN to BSN program is built to accommodate most college-level coursework you’ve already completed. Each university, however, sets its own transfer policies, and many will only accept transfer credits from accredited programs. If you have general education credits that won’t transfer, and/or you’re certain you’re prepared in a particular subject, some universities will allow you to test out of a given requirement. This method is known as credit by examination.  
The online RN to BSN program at La Salle University will consider credit by exam via College Board CLEP and Excelsior testing. The program additionally awards credits based on the knowledge students acquire with successful completion of the NCLEX. Aside from that, La Salle, like many universities, determines transfer credits on a case-by-case basis. The best way to determine your transfer eligibility is to fill out an RN to BSN online application. To complete the application, you will need to request official transcripts from all schools you’ve attended or are currently attending be sent to La Salle University for evaluation. After you’ve been accepted, an academic advisor will review your records, determine your transfer credits, and form a customized degree plan.

Do I Have to Finish My General Courses Before I Start My Nursing Program?

Once you’ve confirmed your program’s transfer policies and taken stock of your transfer credits, you’ll want to find out when you’re eligible to begin your nursing core courses.

Many RN to BSN programs will set a minimum requirement for transfer credits that you must meet before you can begin taking courses in your major. Some programs will allow you to work on general education and BSN core courses simultaneously, but your time and your focus will be split between both. Either way, the more credits you complete before enrollment, the lower your tuition costs for your RN to BSN program.

In general, you won’t have to finish all of your general education credits to begin nursing classes for La Salle’s online RN to BSN program.

Learn more about our RN to BSN online program!

La Salle University logo

What Prerequisites Do I Need to Take?

Prerequisites are courses that must be completed before you begin courses in your nursing major, and these vary from program to program. If you have an ADN, transfer credits, or you’ve earned credit by exam, you’ve probably already completed a significant portion of your prerequisites. At La Salle, the general education courses can be completed at the same time as your nursing course; these are considered co-requisite courses.

The La Salle RN to BSN online program requires a total of 70 credits of general education credits (remember that these can be transferred, taken online at La Salle or even completed through testing).

  • Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits)
  • Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits)
  • Microbiology (4 credits)
  • Chemistry (4 credits; may be waived with a passing grade in high-school chemistry)
  • Nutrition (3 credits)
  • Statistics (3 credits)
  • Developmental Psychology (3 credits)
  • Psychology (3 credits)
  • Sociology (3 credits)
  • Computer (3 credits)
  • College Writing I (3 credits)
  • College Writing II (3 credits)
  • Religion Matters (3 credits)
  • General Electives (27 credits)

What Are the Admission Requirements for RN to BSN Programs?

Whether online or on-campus, an RN to BSN program will require a valid RN license to enroll. Admissions boards typically require a minimum grade point average (GPA) as well. Beyond that, requirements change from college to college, and they sometimes change between degree programs at the same university. Aside from a valid RN license, La Salle’s online RN to BSN program requires official transcripts from each school you’ve attended or are attending and a 2.5 minimum GPA in a prior nursing program.

What Is Accreditation and Why Is It Important?

Accreditation means your university and degree program meets academic and professional standards. It also means that your program’s operations and educational content have been reviewed by an outside party. Thus, accreditation ensures that your degree is both valuable and valued. Choosing an unaccredited program can negatively impact your education and your career.
  • Course credits from an unaccredited school are less likely to transfer to an accredited college or university.
  • Students in unaccredited degree programs aren’t eligible for federal financial aid and military education benefits.
  • Employers are less likely to hire graduates of an unaccredited degree programs.
  • Graduate schools are less likely to accept students with a degree from an unaccredited college or university.
La Salle University’s RN to BSN program will not accept credits from unaccredited colleges and universities.

What’s the Difference Between Regional Accreditation and National Accreditation?

When considering university-wide accreditation, regional approval is more valuable than national approval. Simply put, regional accreditation holds schools to a higher standard. Many regionally accredited programs won’t accept transfer credits from nationally accredited programs because national standards are not as rigorous. For-profit colleges and vocational schools are more likely to have national accreditation, which is one reason their courses don’t always transfer to other colleges and universities. La Salle University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Schools awarded MSCHE accreditation must consistently demonstrate ethical operations, integrity, positive student learning outcomes, dedicated student support and effective administration. They must self-assess and improve their educational performance as well. MSCHE accreditation standards and supporting criteria are available here. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation also endorses six other regional accrediting organizations:
  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

How Are Nursing Programs Accredited?

Once you’ve found a regionally accredited university, make sure that the RN to BSN program is accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). These accreditations ensure that your education meets clinical standards. The online RN to BSN program at La Salle is CCNE accredited. Nursing programs that meet CCNE standards uphold effective educational practices, and they routinely develop and refine that practice. Read more about CCNE criteria.

La Salle Professor Dr. Kathleen Czekanski

We are committed to constantly refreshing our courses to make sure that as healthcare changes, so do we in response to that.

Dr. Kathleen Czekanski,
Dean of the La Salle University School of Nursing and Health Sciences

How Long Will It Take to Complete My RN to BSN Degree?

That depends on multiple factors. The more transfer credits you have, the less time it will take to complete your RN to BSN. The same is true for your course load. The more courses you can successfully complete each semester, the sooner you’ll reach graduation.


If you have earned all required general education course credits before enrollment, and you take three courses per semester (or one to two courses each half-semester), you can complete the online RN to BSN program at La Salle University in as few as 13 months. If you still have gen ed courses to complete, this can lengthen your completion time.


The online format is beneficial for students who are already RNs busy working full-time, raising families, dealing with family issues. The online format helps students achieve their goal of getting their BSN.

– Dr. Patricia Dillon, La Salle University Chair of Graduate Nursing, RN-BSN and RN-MSN Programs

Does an Online RN to BSN Degree Program Take Less Time Than an On-Campus Degree?

Online RN to BSN programs often take less time than on-campus programs. That’s because many online programs, like La Salle, offer accelerated courses. Semesters for online courses at La Salle are half as long as traditional courses, allowing students to move through the program much quicker.
It also takes less time to complete your degree online because courses are available 24/7, and you can fit them around work and family. In other words, you don’t have to worry about scheduling conflicts when you’re enrolled online. This flexibility will help you meet your goal of graduation as quickly as possible. Despite the ability to earn the degree quicker through an accelerated online format, the quality of the courses and content is not diminished. “Students are not getting a watered down program with online. The academic rigor is the same as a traditional degree.” — Dr. Patricia Dillon, La Salle University Chair of Graduate Nursing, RN-BSN and RN-MSN Programs

La Salle student Georgian Blake

I graduated with a 4.0. It was very difficult, but I can’t take all of the credit myself. It was having a great support system. My family and friends and my job were all very understanding that I had school. They helped out to make it much better.

Georgian Green, online RN to BSN graduate

How Do Online Courses Work?

Most universities use a web-based Learning Management System like Blackboard or Canvas for online courses. The LMS is a virtual classroom. When you login, you’ll find a link to each of your courses. Select your desired course and you’ll find links to class discussions, lectures and modules. You’ll also find a link to course materials, including class policies and the syllabus. The latter lays out a detailed schedule of course topics, assignments and deadlines. Like learning to navigate any new website, it may take a few minutes to get familiar with the layout, but after that you’ll know your way around. If you run into any technical issues, La Salle offers technical support at 215-951-1860 or [email protected].

How Many Hours a Week Do I Need to Study?

Plan to set aside nine to 12 hours per week for every three-credit course you take. This estimate includes about three hours of “in-class” time (which you’ll spend viewing video lectures, working through course modules, and participating in class forums or discussions). The remaining six to nine hours are for reading course materials, studying and completing assignments. Courses that are more challenging may take more time, while courses that are less challenging may take less time. Many online students recommend merging your personal calendar with your course deadlines. That way, you know when to set aside time to study, and you can always work ahead as needed.

La Salle RN to BSN Melissa Altman Traub

For any online students, I think it is important to be organized. Keep track of exams and assignment due dates … Plan time to work on assignments and study each day if possible.

Melissa Altman-Traub,
Adjunct Instructor of Nutrition at La Salle University

Will I Need Any Special Software for My Online Courses?

All you really need for an online course is an internet connection, a computer and the standard software that comes with it. You can even access some LMS modules through your phone or tablet. Check with your program before classes begin however, since technology requirements can vary by university.

Will I Have to Repeat My Clinicals?

While you won’t have to repeat your clinicals, any nursing program accredited by either the CCNE or the ACEN will include some element of practical experience. For online students, this may take the form of a simulated scenario. For students employed in a clinical setting, practical experiences can sometimes be completed at your place of work. La Salle’s CCNE accreditation ensures that online students have an opportunity to put their newly acquired knowledge into practice. “Although students can bring a lot of good personal clinical experience to the courses … this work is in greater depth…. Their clinical practice will have a different dimension, but they will know they can make a difference in patient care.” — Dr. Joan Parker Frizzell, Associate Professor at La Salle University

Will My Professors Have Clinical Experience?

Yes, most professors in an RN to BSN program will have clinical experience. Nursing professors hold advanced degrees in their field, and those degrees often require clinical experience.

The online RN to BSN faculty at La Salle feature expert clinicians. They understand the demands of a nursing career, and they design their curriculum with working nurses in mind.

La Salle RN to BSN Online FAQ

I experienced many roles in my over 30 years of nursing. I was a manager, preceptor and transport nurse. I am presently a pediatric nurse practitioner along with a faculty member.

Dr. Francis Kinder,
La Salle University Assistant Professor and RN to BSN Alumna

How Do I Interact With Professors?

Online professors are available to students via phone, email, web conferencing and online chat. Depending on your university, professors typically respond to students within 24 to 48 hours. You can always schedule a remote meeting as well.

La Salle University’s online RN to BSN faculty has firsthand knowledge of the challenges that come with juggling work and school, which is why they typically respond to students within 24 hours.

Many of our faculty started with a diploma or an associate degree, moved through the RN to a BSN program and then the MSN to their doctorates, their DNPs, and so we understand what it’s like to have family, what it’s like to have other work obligations.

Dr. Jeannine Uribe, Assistant Professor at La Salle University

RN to BSN online FAQ

Which Support Services Are Available to Online Students?

Whether you attend online or on campus, student services change from university to university. La Salle University provides online students with library access, technical support, disability services and career services. Visit La Salle online to learn more about support services available to RN to BSN students.

Why La Salle University?

According to U.S. News & World Report, La Salle University has the fourth highest percentage of students who secure a job within three months of graduation. In 2016, Forbes named La Salle “worth the investment” on its “America’s Best Value Colleges” list. La Salle is also ranked #17 on U.S. News & World Report‘s list of Best Colleges for Veterans (2019) and #28 on the same publication’s list of Best Value Schools (2019).

While these accolades highlight the financial benefits of a La Salle degree, they don’t speak to the university’s focus on educating the whole person and preparing students to make a positive impact in their communities. La Salle’s values are centered on respect for all people, concern for those in need and a commitment to the common good.


If I had a family member in the hospital I’d be happy to have a La Salle RN to BSN graduate take care of them because I think they leave our program with a lot of strengths.

Dr. Jeannine Uribe,
Assistant Professor at La Salle University


How Do I Enroll?

Once you’re accepted, your university will review your transfer credits, degree plan and financial aid. You can enroll from there. Remember to look into your chosen program’s application and registration deadlines, and plan accordingly.

If you’re interested in completing your online RN to BSN program at La Salle, you can find application and registration deadlines here. Fill out an online application or speak with an enrollment specialist at 844-466-5587

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Learn more about our RN to BSN online program!