Kaplan University RN to BSN Review

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+ Click for Program & Admissions Information from Kaplan University’s RN to BSN Program

Kaplan UniversityThe Kaplan University universe is huge.  If you run a quick google search regarding RN, BSN, Nursing, or the like, you will find something regarding Kaplan near the top of the search results.  Search for the term Kaplan and the top ten results are all different Kaplan owned websites, except for the entry from Wikipedia.  If you are a nurse or nursing student, then you have most likely heard of Kaplan books or Kaplan Test Prep.  Kaplan offers an array of educational opportunities from Kaplan University and Kaplan College.  But for us, we only need to truly understand the RN to BSN program.

Kaplan University is a very large university system that serves more than 66,000 students across the US.  In addition to online programs, Kaplan University is based in Iowa and offers on-campus education in Iowa, Nebraska, Maryland, and Wisconsin.

It is only logical that Kaplan Incorporated (my made up term) is in the RN to BSN business.  And with Kaplan’s solid reputation they are poised to offer a competitive program.

Before we get into the review, click on the link if you want to know how much the Kaplan University RN to BSN is going to cost or how to apply.

Kaplan University Online RN to BSN Review

Kaplan University, and indeed all Kaplan education offerings, is a for-profit institution.  Many Kaplan educational fields are provided online, and some are provided in traditional classroom settings.  The Kaplan RN to BSN transition program is 100% online.  (If you are not yet a Registered Nurse, but are thinking about getting your Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or BSN, then Kaplan offers a BSN only program that can be completed online or in one of their brick and mortar schools.)

Back to the review, Kaplan is a quarter credit system and requires 180 quarter credits for completion of the RN to BSN program.  If you already have an Associates Degree in Nursing, you may be able to transfer up to 120 quarter credits leaving only 60 credits to complete through Kaplan.  If you do not have an Associates Degree, but rather a diploma or  certificate in nursing, you will most likely only be able to transfer around 50 quarter credits leaving 130 credits left to take from Kaplan.  As you can imagine, there is a significant price difference for nurses with an Associates Degree pursuing their BSN versus a diploma or certificate RN pursuing a BSN.

Tuition Cost and Expected Program Length

The big factor for many students or Registered Nurses thinking about transitioning to a BSN program is cost.  Kaplan University ranks somewhere in the middle of the cost spectrum when compared with other RN to BSN programs.  At $315 per quarter credit, Kaplan University isn’t the most expensive option out there, but it is definitely not the cheapest RN to BSN option either.

According to their website, they calculate that a Registered Nurse with a previous Associates Degree can complete their Bachelor of Science of Nursing for $28,350.  A Registered Nurse with a diploma or certificate background might expect to pay around $43,477 but can greatly vary depending on how many credits you will have that transfer.

Kaplan University also offers significant tuition discounts for military, former military, and military spouses. According to the Kaplan website, current service members (includes the national guard and reserve) can expect to see a 55% per-credit reduction for undergrad programs and 17%-30% discounts on graduate programs.

Veterans could receive a 38% per-credit tuition reduction for undergrad and a 14% reduction for graduate programs. Kaplan even offers the spouses of service members a 10% per-credit reduction which an hopefully alleviate some of the associated tuition costs.

Kaplan also offers a couple of different scholarship programs that you might be able to qualify for. It’s important to take advantage of any available discounts or scholarships to make your tuition more affordable.

Expected Degree Completion Time

Each term, or quarter, is 10 weeks long.  This means that an Associates Degree Nurse that transfers the full 120 quarter credits would be able to finish the Kaplan RN to BSN program in approximately 18 months.  This a pretty standard time format when you compare it to other RN to BSN programs.  The actual time it may take to complete the program will ultimately depend on you and how many classes and credits you attempt and are able to pass during each term.  

Please remember to consult with a Kaplan student advisor to better understand course load and how many classes you should be taking.  Obviously, it makes no sense to try and finish the program in as short a time as possible by taking too many classes only to fail them.  This ends up being a waste of time and money.  Speak with a Kaplan student advisor and develop a reasonable plan that will help you achieve your BSN goals, but won’t kill you in the process.

You will also need to pay close attention to the available start dates for the academic calendar year. Different tracks will begin in different months and there can sometimes be a couple of weeks in between those tracks and when they end and start. If your degree completion is time crucial, you need to map out your expected course length and when your desired track starts and ends.

Is Kaplan University any good?

Because the Kaplan universe is so large, it has a lot to offer.  And it definitely has a lot to offer nurses and students considering their RN to BSN program.  Kaplan is a well-established and well-respected school by many in the healthcare industry.  It has been around for many decades and which should help provide confidence that it isn’t a fly-by-night operation that’s only looking to make a quick buck off of unsuspecting students and then disappear.

That being said Kaplan University is a for-profit institution and is looking to make money so it might not be the cheapest option out there. However, if you attend you should be well supported through the Kaplan network.  A BSN from Kaplan University is accredited by the CCNE and is therefore a legitimate degree in the eyes of employers.  This means that a BSN from Kaplan should not hinder you in the job hunt.  Disclaimer: Getting a BSN from Kaplan University does not guarantee a job, a job offer, or even an interview.  The final verdict is you can’t go wrong with a BSN from Kaplan University.  Your time and money will be well invested and will hopefully help you on your way to being the best nurse possible!

+ Click for Program & Admissions Information from Kaplan University’s RN to BSN Program

Estimated Cost Based On Your Current Level of Education

$315 per credit hour.  If you have a previous ADN, then you will probably need at least 60 credit hours from Kaplan University resulting in a tuition amount of around $19,000.  You will also want to verify that all books and course expenses are included in that cost. If you have a previous Diploma or Certificate in Nursing, you will need to take 130 credits resulting in a tuition amount around $41,000.

Additionally, there application fees and technology fees that could also be an added cost per term. You will want to try and estimate how many terms it will take for you to earn your degree to better understand these ancillary costs. You might also be expected to pay for a criminal background check that’s required for the program.

Other Notable Information

Start Date(s): You will typically see a start date occur most months but there could be exceptions.
Clinical Requirement: Yes
Accreditation: CCNE, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Prerequisites: If you are currently a Registered Nurse, then the only prerequisite is admission to the program.

Kaplan University Nursing Scholarships

Kaplan University offers a whole host of scholarships.  From scholarships designed and specifically for single-parents to military scholarships to traditional right out of High School Scholarships.  According to Kaplan, their scholarships, not including outside scholarships, can lower the price of a degree for you.  It can be a pretty substantial savings for from one single source.  If you are able to combine Kaplan Scholarships with other outside scholarships, you may be on your way to a very affordable education.

Specifically for those pursuing a nursing or healthcare degree, Kaplan University offers the College of Public Service Scholarships.  These scholarships are for students who are currently employed and have at least 1 year working at a government or non-profit organization, or as a volunteer fire or emergency service worker.  If you meet this minimum requirement, then check out the rest of the requirements.  Most of the scholarships are for $500 per term with a maximum of $4,500 per degree.  The scholarship award is slightly less for graduate programs.

The Kaplan University/American Freedom Foundation Scholarship Program

In thanks to our military families, The Kaplan University/American Freedom Foundation Scholarship Program sponsored by Kaplan University and American Freedom Foundation provides partial and full scholarship awards to assist spouses and dependent children of U.S. service personnel who choose to enroll in applicable Kaplan University online associate’s or bachelor’s degree programs. (Nursing candidates will require additional eligibility verification).

To be eligible, applicants must have received their high school diploma by the application deadline. Current and prior Kaplan University students are not eligible.  See this page to apply or learn more.  This year’s application deadline is October 3, 2014.  There are 250 scholarships available.

For more Scholarship info, go to the main Scholarships page.  We are always adding new Scholarships and opportunities.  Don’t let money or funding get in the way of your education.

Potential Career Paths

As we stated earlier, completing your RN to BSN program at Kaplan is no guarantee of a job, job interview, etc. We did want to name a couple of the nursing degree types you could potentially look at so you have a better idea of the opportunity that might be out there.

  • Charge Nurse: You’ve likely heard several different kinds of names for this position like nurse coordinator or a head nurse. In a nutshell, this position is one that typically oversees other staff members and handles ongoing education for their staff and keeping up with new healthcare practices.
  • Occupational Health Nurse: You might think of this as working with adults to do basic health screenings and other standard checkup type procedures.
  • Infection Control Nurse: A huge challenge faced by nurses in many hospitals and healthcare facilities are hospital born infections of patients. AS an infection control nurse, you will look at ways to help improve the spread of disease in a hospital setting and setup protocol to limit this from happening.

Different states will see different requirements for different career paths. You should look at your future desired field and insure that a Kaplan RN to BSN will help satisfy those needs. You should also take into account that years of work experience are also a requirement to the degree.

Other Kaplan Offerings

Kaplan Test Prep
The Kaplan universe is huge and its reach expands far beyond nursing.  Since 1938 when Stanley Kaplan began the Kaplan universe, it has been growing and expanding it all realms of higher education and career development.  For the purposes of healthcare and nursing, Kaplan University is the one for us to pay attention to.  However, Kaplan Test Prep does offer some excellent resources for those studying for NCLEX or other licensure certifications.  Kaplan Test Prep, or KapTest, provides comprehensive study resources or classes for test preparation.

In the end, you need to take all relevant factors into account: proper accreditation, tuition cost and length of program, and other available benefits like scholarships.  Kaplan University is the one you want for nursing and all things RN to BSN.  Kaplan Test Prep is super helpful for studying for NCLEX, taking practice exams, or finding study materials for any additional licensures or advanced certifications.  Definitely worth checking out if these types of tools help you.

If you are interested in Kaplan Test Prep materials, check out our Resources page.

Find more Online RN to BSN Programs here.

Have you taken a class or completed a program from Kaplan University?  Leave some feedback below and let us know.  Or visit our Contact page.

+ Click for Program & Admissions Information from Kaplan University’s RN to BSN Program