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While you can become a registered nurse (RN) with an associate’s degree, practicing nurses who hold a Bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) are typically given more responsibility and higher salaries. Associate’s degrees require the completion of 60 credit hours and generally take two years to complete, while Bachelor degrees require the completion of 120 credit hours and generally take four years to complete. However, there are a number of variables that can increase or decrease the total time that it will take to finish your degree. A few variables that can affect the time it will take to complete your degree are:

  • Previous credits from other institutions or majors can transfer towards your BSN degree, cutting down the total time it will take to complete your degree. Credits that are from subject areas besides nursing can be transferred, as the completion of a Bachelor’s degree requires students to complete courses in the humanities as well.
  • Accelerated BSN programs allow students to take condensed course loads to earn their degree in as little as 11 to 18 months, depending on the program.
  • Online BSN programs are designed to give students maximum schedule flexibility, allowing BSN students to maintain employment as an RN throughout their studies. Students can choose to take classes part-time if their work schedule takes up a lot of their time, which will increase the amount of time it takes to earn their degree but will allow students to balance other obligations with their studies.

If you are looking for a BSN program that will allow you maximum schedule flexibility, you will want to consider an online BSN degree program as you will be able to complete tests and classwork wherever and whenever it is most convenient for you. For reference to some of the top options for online BSN programs, check out our list of the 30 Best Online Bachelors of Nursing Programs. Let’s take a closer look at Saint Louis University, which came in at number three on our list, and offers students a variety of ways to cut down the time it will take to earn their BSN degree.

Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University (SLU) is a private research university that was founded in 1818, and is located in St. Louis, Missouri. The university offers an online BSN in Nursing that allows students to individualize their curriculum plans, so that they can tailor their education to their professional and academic expectations. Saint Louis offers students to transfer in credits from previous majors or institutions, though 30 of the final 36 credit hours must be completed at SLU. The program allows students to work as full-time students, who take an average of 15 credits per semester, or part-time, for students who want to take less than 12 credits per semester. Passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) will grant students 38 credit hours of nursing coursework, which can greatly decrease the amount of time it will take to earn your BSN. The total tuition for the 2017-18 school year came out to $42,166, though 96% of students received some form of financial aid.


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