In response to the increased need for flexibility of today’s online student, Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) at Illinois State is proud to announce the launch of a spring entry point for the online RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program.

The program is designed for licensed registered nurses who have completed an associate’s degree or diploma in a nursing program and would like to earn their bachelor’s degree. Historically, entrance to MCN’s RN to B.S.N. program has only been offered in the fall semester.

Why earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing?

So why get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing? Whether you earn a B.S.N., Associate Degree in Nursing (A.D.N.), or diploma in nursing, you will be involved in direct patient care. However, earning your B.S.N. opens up doors to many more options, including jobs with more responsibility which equates to higher pay. Nurses with a B.S.N. can choose to be a nurse educator, a public health nurse, or specialize in specific age groups or disease types. Earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing also acts as a stepping-stone to more advanced nursing careers, including nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or clinical nurse leader.

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine released a report titled “The Future of Nursing” encouraging hospitals and health care providers to increase the number of B.S.N.-prepared nurses to 80 percent by 2020. Additionally, B.S.N. and higher ed prepared nurses are a focus of the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC) when granting Magnet status. Magnet status is an award given by the ANCC, part of the American Nurses Association, that recognizes health care organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in nursing practice.

Finally, nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing make more money. According to, B.S.N.-prepared nurses in Bloomington with one to four years of experience make an average salary of $62,000 per year. A.D.N.-prepared nurses make $59,000, and diploma-prepared nurses make $58,000.

One of the best online nursing programs

Faculty teaching in Illinois State University's Nursing Simulation Laboratory.

Faculty teaching in Illinois State University’s Nursing Simulation Laboratory.

Mennonite College of Nursing’s online RN to B.S.N. program is grounded in nearly 100 years of MCN tradition. Faculty works hard to provide the flexibility expected of an online program, while still providing the high-quality education that our traditional on-campus Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is renowned for. In fact, many of the program’s online classes are taught by the same tenured faculty that you might see strolling the halls of Edwards Hall on Illinois State’s campus.

And, unlike many online RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs, Mennonite College of Nursing caps online class sizes at 30 students.

“Many schools have online classes that are much, much larger. MCN has a long history of providing quality nursing education, and is committed to delivering the same value of program online as we do on campus. Our mission states that we aim to be a premier college of nursing—we don’t just mean on campus. We want to be one of the best online nursing programs out there,” said MCN Dean Judy Neubrander.

Quality-certified online nursing courses

That commitment to excellence is demonstrated by the fact that MCN’s online RN to B.S.N. course format is internationally, quality-certified through the nonprofit organization Quality Matters.

“Achieving the certification is a long, arduous process, but we believe it is important. Many of the students in this program are working adults. When someone makes the decision to invest this much in their education and career, we believe it is our job to do everything we can to make sure they get as much from the program as possible,” said Janeen Mollenhauer, associate dean for student support.

RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing online—spring 2018 admission

MCN’s RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offers both part- and full-time plans of study. Students are admitted on a rolling basis, and MCN no longer requires chemistry or statistics as prerequisites. Enrollment for spring 2018 is open, and applications will be accepted through December 18.

For more information, visit the Mennonite College of Nursing website.

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