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Registered Nurses (RNs) are required to complete the minimum of an Associates of Nursing degree (ASN) or a Nursing Diploma program in order to qualify to take the NCLEX-RN exam, which is required to become a licensed RN in the United States and Canada. While an ASN will allow graduates to become fully employed RNs, most RNs are encouraged to earn their Bachelor’s of Nursing degree (BSN) which is why many colleges and universities offer RN-BSN degree programs. RN-BSN degree programs are designed to give practicing RNs the schedule flexibility to maintain their current employment while completing classwork for their BSN on their own time. The online format is especially helpful for nurses who work nighttime shifts or irregular hours, as they would not be able to attend classes on campus. We’ve dug into some of the top nursing programs in our 30 Best Online Bachelors of Nursing Programs.

Consider the benefits of earning your BSN instead of the minimum ASN:

  • Increased medical skills beyond the basics of clinical care, including communication, critical thinking and leadership skills
  • The American Association of the Colleges of Nursing has conducted research which indicates that nurses with BSNs offer better patient care than nurses with their ASN, including lower mortality rates and more accurate diagnosis abilities
  • BSN holders are eligible for more nursing positions than ASN holders, including positions as a Nurse Case Manager, Research Nurse, or Legal Consultancy Nurse
  • BSN holders can expect to earn a higher salary and have more job security, as hospitals and other medical facilities are increasingly emphasizing BSN candidates

Whether you are an undergraduate looking to major in nursing, or an RN who wants to earn their BSN, there are a wide variety of great nursing programs for you to choose from. For reference to some of the top options for BSN degree programs, check out our list of the 30 Best Online Bachelors of Nursing Programs. Let’s take a closer look at the BSN options that are offered by Saint Xavier University, which came in at number 5 in our ranking.

Saint Xavier University

Saint Xavier University is a private university that was established in 1846, and is located in Chicago, Illinois. The university’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences offers a variety of BSN options, which typically require the completion of 55 credits of nursing credits among the 120 credits that are required to earn a bachelor’s degree. In addition to the traditional on-campus BSN, undergraduate nursing students at Saint Xavier can enroll in the accelerated BSN program that takes only 15 months to complete. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and RNs can earn their BSN in a reduced time frame. The RN to BSN is offered in an online format to allow practicing nurses maximum schedule flexibility, as classes are 100% online, scheduled in seven-week blocks, and are completed one at a time, with two courses offered per semester. Tuition for the 2017-18 school year came out to $33,380, which is a good deal for a BSN.