Nurses make up the largest single group of health care professionals. There are four times as many nurses as physicians in the United States.
Registered nurses (RNs) work to promote health, prevent disease, and help patients come to terms with illness. They are advocates and health educators for patients, families, and communities. When providing direct patient care, they observe, assess, and record symptoms, reactions, and progress; assist physicians during treatments and examinations; administer medications; and assist in convalescence and rehabilitation. The RN is a license earned after passing the N-CLEX examination. This examination is only open to students who have graduated from an accredited nursing program at either the Associates or Bachelors (BSN) level. Any student interested in a nursing career is strongly encouraged to earn the BSN degree in order to be competitive and prepared for the demands of the workforce.
*Important Note: Colorado State University in Fort Collins does not offer a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree or any nursing degree. Health Professions advisors at CSU work with students interested in pursuing nursing to explore their options.
Students who have already matriculated at CSU who are interested in earning a BSN degree to enter the field of nursing have three options:
- Transfer to a BSN-granting institution
- Complete nursing pre-requisites at CSU and then apply to nursing clinical programs at BSN-granting institutions
- Earn a non-nursing bachelor’s degree while completing nursing pre-requisites, and then pursue an accelerated BSN program after graduation
Most traditional BSN programs require two years of coursework sciences, math, composition, writing, and social sciences before students are admitted to their clinical program. Additionally, some of CSU’s science courses are more rigorous than nursing programs require, and our courses do not always articulate easily with a nursing curriculum. Few nursing schools in Colorado admit large numbers of transfer students into their clinical programs (the last two years of the BSN), and prospective students should consider their options carefully and consult with an advisor before deciding to prepare for nursing school at a college or university that does not itself offer a nursing program. Accelerated programs are, as the name suggests, intensive and quick-paced programs ranging from 12 months to 20 month in which students will earn a second Bachelors Degree – this one in Nursing.