Capella University offers a wide range of degree completion options including a RN to BSN option and a combined RN to BSN/MSN option Capella strives in their messaging and course structure of the BSN program to keep things flexible enough to fit those already in the workforce. As it is pretty typical for students earning their RN to BSN to actually be employed while doing so was probably one of the drivers behind Capella’s flexible structure. Capella has also made it possible (depending on the state you reside in and their requirements) to actually apply previous education experience towards their RN to BSN degree requirements. It would be beneficial to research on how much of your prior education could be applied to their degree.
The Capella BSN program is CCNE accredited. For those not familiar with that accredidation, it’s a national agency that is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. We encourage everybody to review their individual state’s policies around BSN degrees to insure that proper requirements are met.
Tuition Cost and Course Length
Earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Capella offers flexibility but they do provide the program cost on their website. As of 2016, they’re showing the following average cost:
- Average Total Tuition: $22,902
- Cost Per Credit for 1000 – 2000 Level Credits: $336
- Cost Per Credit for 3000 – 4000 Level Credits: $360
- Cost Per Quarter: $2,500
It is important to note that since transfer credits can play a big role in how many classes you will need to take in order to gain a BSN from Capella, these numbers could potentially vary (some signficantly).
The course length of Capella is really driven by you – the student. Depending on the amount of transfer credits you’re able to bring into the program along with your course load will determine this. Capella does offer two different paths to navigate the program outlined on their website.
Pathway Option 1: Standard Online
This path is likely familiar to other online courses you have taken. There are weekly assignments and tests that have deadlines attached to them along with a more structured navigation through the course. You’re able to take up to three courses and could potentially earn your BSN degree within 18 months. It should be noted that the 18 months is simply a benchmark and you might find that you can’t take a full course load (especially for those that are “employed learners”).
Pathway Option 2: The Capella FlexPath
This option looks to place much more of the course navigation on the student. You’re able to go through courses and complete assignments at a pace that works for your lifestyle and schedule. While the courses are self-paced, you will see a flat tuition rate applied every 12 weeks. The idea is that those who might already have a strong knowledge base in certain parts of the BSN curriculum can move much faster through those sections. It also allows students to go as fast or as slow as their schedule allows.
It should be noted that those who struggle with self-motivation and need additional push might struggle in this path. Capella tries to offer a course structure for a variety of different kind of learners.
Common Job Outcomes
We want to remind everybody that each state is very different in the nursing industry. Different career roles can have different requirements from state to state which is why you always need to handle due diligence to understand your career options after completing an RN to BSN.
Graduates of the Capella RN to BSN program might see job roles like: registered nurses, home care nurses, elementary school or higher nurses, or even become instructors themselves (LPN instructors). You should also understand the different work environments you can expect in those different roles. Do you like working around kids and in schools? You should research into whether a Capella BSN degree can help you gain employment as a school nurse. Are hospitals your desired work environment? Consider the options a registered nurse might have.
RN to BSN Expected Program Curriculum
The Capella program is extensive and can be different for everybody depending on those transfer credits you bring with you. However, here are a couple of things you can likely expect to learn about:
- Nursing Theories: A good example of a common nursing theory is the Florence Nightingale Environmental Theory. It focuses around the idea that dirty or unsanitary conditions can lead to potential health threats and focuses around hospital environmental factors like lighting, temperature and more.
- Understanding Patient Care Technology: The amount of different medical devices used by nurses tends to grow each and every year along with the technology that powers them. You might learn how nurses are now using these various technologies in their everyday lives.
- Nurse to Patient Approaches: This is a pretty broad topic but you might learn about things like person-centered nursing. The curriculum could look at the idea behind this which is for nurses to center their care around a patients’ desires and health goals. The idea is that a nurse truly becomes an advocate for the patient.
Even with the various transfer credits you might bring with you, understanding the different theories, ideas, and technologies will help increase your healthcare knowledge. Completing that RN to BSN program can be instrumental in that knowledge growth.
Capella RN to BSN Faculty
You should also become familiar with the faculty of Capella as well. The current dean of the Capella Nursing School is Dr. Patrick Robinson. His experience comes from Indiana University and Loyola University Chicago. His previous experience at Orbis Education as the vice president of academics as well as working at Chamberlain have helped him head up health sciences at Capella.
Christy Davidson is the Associate Dean and Director of Nursing that has earned multiple awards in the nursing field while also doing speaking engagements on the healthcare industry. She actually serves on the Commision on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) as well.
Many of the nursing faculty biographies are available on the Capella website and can give you a better idea behind their experience (from leadership down to instructors).