Online vs. Traditional RN to BSN

Published by jesuito
Reading Time: 6 minutes

In 2022, within this faster than ever-changing healthcare environment, nursing shortage and the increasing need of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of BSN-prepared nurses have turned into crucial to remain on top of the game if you want to advance your career as a Registered Nurse. However, when moving onto the next step in your career path, you may have several questions regarding an RN to BSN Online program in Florida: Is it a good option for me? Is it a good alternative to get an online degree? 

In this post, find the main differences between each option, its advantages and disadvantages, so it only remains to make the right decision!

Online vs. Traditional education main differences  

To define the convenience between these two methodologies, we analyze some of their main differences: 

  • Asynchronous learning vs. synchronous learning. One of the most significant differences between face-to-face learning and online education is that face-to-face learning is synchronous or takes place at the same time. In other words, all students are present in the same space during face-to-face learning. Whereas with online learning, that is not necessary. Thanks to e-learning platforms, online instruction can be synchronous or asynchronous, thus enabling a wider scope and increased efficiency compared to traditional education.
  • Passing on knowledge versus facilitating learning. In face-to-face classes, teachers generally only teach knowledge. Thus, after understanding the information, a test is carried out that assesses the knowledge acquired among the students. On the other hand, in online learning, the teacher’s figure is closer to that of information facilitators. In this way, they help their students understand the topics through the online resources provided. In the case of online education, the student is the one who must assimilate the knowledge himself, while the teacher or tutor acts as an aid for this to happen.
  • Discipline and self-motivation. Some people may say that it is more challenging to succeed in online training since autonomy and motivation play an essential role in teaching. In online learning, the student must apply their study guidelines.
  • Lower dropout rates. Many studies have shown that dropout rates for online education are much lower than for traditional in-person students. Online learning increases accessibility and makes it more likely that a student will complete a course or program. Eliminating barriers such as spatial limitations, travel difficulties, lack of time and educational costs.

What are the differences between online and on-campus RN to BSN programs? 

The coursework is not distant from one another, given that all BSN-prepared nurses need the same set of developed skills, knowledge and experiential learning activities, no matter their chosen academic path. 

There are no significant differences between online and traditional coursework when pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. You will take various courses in different fields to offer increased knowledge required for leadership and management positions for both types of programs. 

However, the most critical question is whether there is a difference in finding jobs, or not, and the answer is: No! 

Employers and hospitals do not discriminate towards getting your BSN online or on-campus –your skills and knowledge are all that matter. 

Nexus University’s RN-to-BSN Degree Program is a uniquely designed curriculum that allows current licensed registered nurses (associate degree or diploma) to level up to a full Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in three (3) sequential semesters**. 

This online degree program is perfect for nurses who need to continue working while advancing their knowledge. In this unique program, you won’t need to retake any of the core nursing courses you have already completed. Instead, their RN-to-BSN curriculum focuses on teaching higher-level knowledge such as informatics, management, leadership, ethics and more. 

Should I choose an online RN to BSN program? 

Several types of learners may find these online nursing programs ideal, mainly because of the flexible schedule they offer: 

  • If you are a working professional, you will manage your work-life balance the smart way; the blended-distance format BSN program offers you a convenient and flexible schedule that you can organize around your job.   
  • Thanks to the program’s flexibility, you can be both a parent and a BSN learner simultaneously if you have children. This means you can manage your own time and at your own pace.
  • If you don’t have access to on-campus facilities in your area and want to get your bachelor’s degree, you can pursue online classes.
  • If you are a working nurse looking to further your education the fastest way without sacrificing your knowledge or taking any time off from work, an online RN-to-BSN program is the best alternative.

If you find yourself in one of the scenarios above, consider choosing an online BSN program that suits your needs and career goals. But if you want to have face-to-face time with instructors and the campus environment, an on-campus program may be the right choice for you. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Learning 

Virtual education has pros and cons to assess if it is the most suitable for you: 


  • There are no geographical barriers. The best educational institutions in the world are within reach by being able to access them from anywhere.
  • Hours are flexible. The contents are always available and can be accessed at any time. This makes it easy to study multiple subjects at the same time.
  • The costs are lower. Registration fees are cheaper by requiring, among other things, less infrastructure.
  • The contents are updated. All the materials are in digital format and that facilitates their constant renewal.


  • It requires organization and willpower. The idiosyncrasy of this type of education forces you to establish certain routines.
  • It reduces the chances of socializing. As there is no physical place to go, it becomes more difficult to establish personal relationships with other colleagues.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Traditional Learning 

In the case of face-to-face learning there are also some positive and negative aspects to assess: 


  • The possibility of socializing. By getting together with more people in a physical space, contacts and personal networking can be of help in the face of the labor market.
  • Discipline is a virtue. Having to comply with predetermined schedules instills discipline to avoid calls of attention from teachers.
  • Contact with the teaching staff might be closer. Students have direct access to teachers to ask questions or set up tutorials with them.


  • Costs are higher. The maintenance of the infrastructure —facilities, services or supplies— and travel make it more expensive.
  • Schedules are more rigid. People who want to reconcile their studies with a full or part-time job are a bit more complicated.
  • Contents take time to update. Teachers tend to rely on analog academic material whose updating is complex.

Currently, the viability of face-to-face learning is being reduced. Quite the opposite is happening with online education in the digital age, where most education programs and platforms can be customized, this being useful for people and organizations. 

In the future, institutions will personalize learning by tailoring lessons to different needs in the workplace and personally. Finally, online lessons will always be more affordable than face-to-face ones, allowing us to stay updated more easily over time. 




**Refers only to core nursing courses. Students need 120 total credit hours to graduate with a BSN. 35 credits are awarded for nursing courses from your nursing diploma or associate's degree studies and held in escrow until completion of the RN to BSN program. Successful completion of all 49 general education courses are required to obtain a BSN degree, and maybe transferred or taken at Nexus University. Completion of general education classes while enrolled in the RN to BSN program may prolong the total time it takes to earn your degree. 

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