RN to BSN Careers

Registered nurses (RNs) treat and educate patients about their medical conditions, and provide advice and support to a patient’s family. Nurses record patients’ medical histories, symptoms and vital signs, perform tests and analyze results, operate medical equipment, administer medications, and help with patient treatment and rehabilitation. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a four-year degree that prepares nurses for graduate-level education. For the first two years in a BSN program, nursing students will mostly fulfill their general education requirements, spending the remaining time on nursing coursework.

Employment Opportunities

RN to BSN professionals may work in a variety of environments, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Private practice medical offices
  • Insurance companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Managed care organizations


RN to BSN professionals need a wide range of capabilities, including:

  • Patience and people skills
  • Tactfulness and empathy
  • A strong desire to help others
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Excellent communication skills

Industry Spotlight

There are three major educational paths to registered nursing—a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate degree in nursing (ADN), and a diploma. BSN programs, offered by colleges and universities, take about 4 years to complete. In 2006, 709 nursing programs offered degrees at the bachelor’s level. ADN programs, offered by community and junior colleges, take about 2 to 3 years to complete. About 850 RN programs granted associate degrees. Diploma programs, administered in hospitals, last about 3 years. Only about 70 programs offered diplomas. Generally, licensed graduates of any of the three types of educational programs qualify for entry-level positions.

- Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008