RN to BSN Online Courses: What You Can Expect

female nurse next to healthcare symbols

If you are researching an RN to BSN online program, or any other Nursing classes online, you’ve probably seen a whole lineup of schools promoting ease, convenience and all the cake you can eat. (OK, we’re exaggerating on that last one.) But seriously, it can be difficult to make an informed decision in the giant buffet of online RN to BSN choices—so how can you know whether you’re making a solid decision?

One factor to weigh is the curriculum of the program itself. You’re already a nurse and know your way around a healthcare facility, so you want to invest in courses that will stretch your knowledge and help you develop into a stronger nurse. So which subjects can help you do just that?

We enlisted Rasmussen University Nursing Instructor Kari Luoma to highlight some of the top courses included in the Rasmussen University RN to BSN program. Keep reading to learn more about how they’ll help you in your career as a nurse.

5 RN to BSN online courses to look forward to

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the Rasmussen University RN to BSN curriculum to get a taste of the types of nursing courses that will help you round out your nursing knowledge and skills.

1. Practice Excellence Through Innovation

This course helps students develop the skills needed to be innovative in their nursing practice. This includes evaluating potential sources for innovation and how to harness new perspectives in order to improve.

“In this course, students will identify the traits of innovators and learn to create an innovative proposal,” Luoma elaborates.

This gives students a chance to take what they’ve learned about improving clinical practice and apply it by creating and presenting a professional proposal.

Why it matters: In healthcare, innovation is at the heart of improvement. This course equips students with the competencies they’ll need to identify opportunities and create an evidence-based plan to bring about positive change. This is an excellent opportunity for students to stretch their thinking and showcase their ability to take initiative.

2. Global Health

This course looks at the foundations of global health and how healthcare providers can combat the spread of communicable diseases. The curriculum provides students with an in-depth understanding of how illnesses spread, procedures for limiting their impact and how global health organizations go about monitoring areas of concern.

“High risk and vulnerable populations are at risk for global epidemics and disease surveillance is essential to control healthcare concerns,” Luoma says. This course exposes students to all of this and more.

Why it matters: We live in a globalized society, and that means the health issues of people across the world are often the health issues of our neighbors. This course explores the components of epidemiology, global disease surveillance processes and strategies for controlling emerging healthcare concerns.

3. Emerging Healthcare Technologies and Innovation

This course is dedicated to exploring the roles of a nurse informaticist—including the social, legal and ethical considerations that come into play with their work. Nursing students are provided with strategies for incorporating technology into their clinical decisions while balancing quality and safety considerations.

Why it matters: Electronic health records are a fact of life for healthcare professionals—and while some may bristle at the change, they also open a world of potential for improving healthcare delivery. This course helps nurses understand how electronic health records are used and how they can harnessed to improve their nursing practice.

4. Clinical Reasoning and Clinical Judgment

This course equips nurses with a framework for evaluating and thinking critically about information provided in a clinical setting.

“Students will learn to transform knowledge and skills that apply directly to nursing practice,” Luoma explains. “It is essential to develop an inquisitive process to transform clinical reasoning to clinical judgment and transform from knowing to doing.”

Why it matters: Part of being a BSN nurse is taking the step from knowing how to physically treat a patient to knowing why that treatment is the best course of action. Clinical reasoning skills are the key to this. Having a structured process for evaluating all of the factors that influence patient treatment is important. Very few ailments and patient scenarios are completely “by the book” and these skills help nurses adjust and adapt.

5. Professional Identity of the Nurse Leader

“This course will examine leadership and management principles that support data-driven decisions in healthcare,” Luoma says.

As a nurse, you may know plenty about treating patients, but leading and managing groups of people can be a different story. This course is designed to equip students with the leadership, management and advocacy competencies needed to successfully lead in nursing.

Why it matters: Nurses with Bachelor’s degrees are often expected to take on leadership roles—both formal and informal. This course prepares nurses to take that step forward in their careers by developing their leadership skills and showing how they can be applied in a healthcare setting.

Ready to take the next step?

Are you eager to make the move from ADN to BSN? Now that you know more about the courses that await you in our RN to BSN online program, there’s still more to consider.

One consideration that’s likely a top priority for you is determining how you’ll fit schoolwork into the busy schedule you have as a nurse. Fortunately, online learning means your education options have become much more flexible. Rasmussen University’s RN to BSN program is offered in an online competency-based format that provides you with greater control over how and when you complete your coursework—your only due date is the end of the course term. So what are you waiting for? Check out the RN to BSN degree page to learn more.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in 2016. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2020.

About the author

Will Erstad

Will is a Sr. Content Specialist at Collegis Education. He researches and writes student-focused articles on a variety of topics for Rasmussen University. He is passionate about learning and enjoys writing engaging content to help current and future students on their path to a rewarding education.


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