American Journal of Nursing Research
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American Journal of Nursing Research. 2015, 3(2), 29-35
DOI: 10.12691/ajnr-3-2-1
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Looking Back: The Reflections of Registered Nurses on the Experience of Returning for the Baccalaureate Degree

Katrina Einhellig1,

1University of Northern Colorado, United States

Pub. Date: October 29, 2015

Cite this paper:
Katrina Einhellig. Looking Back: The Reflections of Registered Nurses on the Experience of Returning for the Baccalaureate Degree. American Journal of Nursing Research. 2015; 3(2):29-35. doi: 10.12691/ajnr-3-2-1


The purpose of this phenomenological research study was to understand the educational experiences of RN-BSN (Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing) graduates in order to more fully understand the future role of nursing curriculum in developing competent, confident healthcare professionals. Ten nurses who graduated from an online RN-BSN program in the prior two to three years agreed to participate and were interviewed. Six themes emerged from the data concerning associate degree nurses that return to academia for a baccalaureate degree: Connecting the Dots between Theory and Practice, Emotional Evolution, Seeing the “Big Picture”, Opening Doors to New Opportunities, The Workplace Push, and Perceptions of Professionalism. The findings of the study provide a glimpse into the perspectives of nurses that have returned to academia for their BSN. This research adds to the body of literature regarding RN-BSN education and how specific experiences within these particular programs impact the professional growth of nurses working in healthcare today.

undergraduate nursing curricula RN-BSN online programs professional development RN-BSN curriculum

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