Bachelor of Science in Nursing—RN-to-BSN

The 🌐 icon appears in the title of traditional courses that are also available as a set of module courses.  

Description and Outcomes

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree prepares members of the nursing profession who are effective in the integration of evidence as a foundation for practice. The program emphasizes professional growth and lifelong learning by building upon a foundation of the arts, sciences, and humanities. Program outcomes promote leadership in a culturally diverse and global health care system that is rapidly changing. Graduates are prepared to provide direct and indirect care for individuals, families, communities, and populations.

The RN-to-BSN program option provides registered nurses with the education to enhance their skills, better meet the complex demands of health care, and pursue employment in numerous nursing management and practice specialties. Program outcomes align with professional nursing standards and guidelines. The core courses cover in-depth physical assessment, evidence-based practice, and chronicity throughout the lifespan, interprofessional collaboration, information technology, leadership, case management, and public health nursing. Near the end of the program, you will create a professional development plan, a curriculum vitae (CV), and an ePortfolio displaying your coursework, which can be shared with future employers. Finally, the program is designed as a foundation to support registered nurses interested in pursuing graduate nursing studies.

This program is available in ExcelTrack. Speak with your University representative for any limitations. For more information on ExcelTrack, see Learning Paths in the Approach to Learning section of the Catalog.

Tracks of Study

The RN-to-BSN program option features two tracks of study: the advanced start track and standard track. You will enroll in the track relevant to your previously completed nursing program. If you enroll in the standard track, you will be provided with an individualized plan of study that will allow you to complete required coursework intended to provide a solid foundation for the bachelor's degree curriculum.

Nursing Electives

You will complete nursing elective courses as part of your degree requirements, available in the following areas:

  • Case management across the continuum of care
  • Faith community nursing
  • Holistic professional nursing practice
  • Hospice and palliative care
  • Independent study
  • Primary care in the ambulatory setting
  • Transcultural nursing

Some of the nursing elective courses may also prepare you for certifications recognized by the Magnet Recognition Program®. Please see the Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams section for more information. You may also speak to your Student Advisor for more information on the nursing elective courses.

Clinical Practice Experiences

You will complete direct care clinical practice experiences designed for application of theoretical knowledge and preparation for baccalaureate level of practice while working with a designated, qualified preceptor.

You must complete these experiences in a setting that has been approved by the School of Nursing. You will serve as the best advocate for your clinical placement as you are most familiar with your local area and networking contacts. It is your responsibility to identify potential clinical sites and preceptors in your area that are appropriate for your clinical courses. The University will provide support and assistance to you in facilitation of your clinical or practicum placement. The following are requirements for the clinical practice experiences or practicum placement process and course progression:

  1. You must submit an application to begin the clinical or practicum placement process and complete an orientation to the process.
  2. In order to successfully complete the University’s placement process and be registered for courses with clinical practice experiences or a practicum, you must submit all required documentation according to School of Nursing requirements. The required documentation must be approved by the School of Nursing before you are granted permission to register for a clinical or practicum course. Incomplete or incorrect documentation may result in a delay of registration.
  3. You will receive the School of Nursing Handbook, which includes policies, guidelines, and requirements relevant to your successful completion of the placement process and registration for clinical courses. You are responsible for satisfying the requirements outlined in the handbook. Examples of requirements found in the handbook include, but are not limited to, health and safety documentation, liability insurance, background checks, and immunizations.
  4. All required health and safety documentation must remain current according to Purdue Global policy. Specific requirements are listed in the School of Nursing Handbook.
  5. You are responsible for arranging and paying for your own transportation, housing, and availability to attend the clinical or practicum experiences.
  6. Some facilities may require additional documentation, as necessary, to comply with specific federal and/or state requirements for nursing student candidates. Failure to submit appropriate documentation to participate in a clinical or practicum by the required date will result in you being unable to register for the course.
  7. You are expected to conduct yourself in a professional manner and maintain a safe environment. If a faculty member and/or agency consider you to be in violation of either one of these requirements, you may be removed from the facility or setting and may receive a failing grade for the course if the course outcomes are not met. Unprofessional and/or unsafe practices will be reviewed by the administrative staff as needed.
  8. You must receive a satisfactory final evaluation on the clinical or practicum components of your courses. Failure to successfully complete this portion of a course will result in failure of the entire course.

Accelerated Master of Science in Nursing Option

If you are interested in earning both a bachelor's and master's degree in nursing, consider the Accelerated Master of Science in Nursing option. Refer to the Progression Requirements section for details.

Program Length

The RN-to-BSN program option of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program consists of a minimum of 180 quarter credit hours including the requisite associate's degree, diploma, or certificate in nursing. In addition, you must also complete all prerequisites for the bachelor's degree courses. Thus, you may need to complete more than the minimum number of credits required for the bachelor's degree. Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

Program Outcomes

Discipline-Specific Outcomes

  1. Integrate theoretical and empirical knowledge from the arts, sciences, and humanities to support nursing practice.
  2. Apply organizational and systems leadership concepts in providing safe, cost-effective, and quality nursing care.
  3. Integrate evidence in planning, implementing, and evaluating outcomes of care.
  4. Implement safe and appropriate use of informatics and emerging health care technologies in the delivery of nursing care.
  5. Analyze the influence of power, politics, policy, finance, and regulatory guidelines on health systems and nursing practice.
  6. Employ interprofessional communication to lead collaborative teams in delivering patient centered care.
  7. Incorporate health promotion, prevention, and risk-reduction strategies to provide population-focused care.
  8. Demonstrate clinical reasoning that reflects ethical and professional nursing values.
  9. Deliver nursing care to individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations to achieve positive outcomes in a variety of health care settings.

General Education Literacies and Professional Competencies

In addition to the discipline-specific outcomes, general education literacies and professional competencies are integrated throughout your academic program. You can review the general education literacies and professional competencies associated with your academic program in the General Education and Professional Competency Requirements section of this Catalog.

Program Availability

For program availability, please refer to the U.S. State and Other Approvals section and Program Availability Information.


Admissions Requirements

You must meet the below admissions requirements in addition to Purdue Global's general requirements.

If you are an international applicant, you are not eligible to enroll in this program due to practice experience requirements.

If applying for admission, you must:

  1. Provide documentation of a current, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in at least one U.S. state or provide evidence of a nursing license comparable to a U.S. registered nurse license from the nation, province, or region where you are employed as a nurse. Proof of foreign licensure must be submitted at the time of enrollment. The University will verify the authenticity of all submitted foreign nursing licenses. If you are a recent graduate of an Associate of Science in Nursing program and have not yet passed the NCLEX-RN® exam, you may apply for admission through the prelicensure contingency enrollment procedures set forth below.
  2. Possess an associate's degree, diploma, or certificate in nursing with a minimum of 50 quarter credit hours of eligible credit with a focus in nursing.
  3. Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 (out of 4.0) reflected on the transcript for the applicant's nursing degree or apply for admission through the alternative admissions procedures set forth below.
  4. Pass a criminal background check.

Alternative Admissions Options

If you have a GPA between 2.0 and 2.5 from an accredited institution, you may apply for admission to the program by completing an Alternative Admissions Dean's Evaluation.

The Dean of the School of Nursing or a designee will review your work history, transcripts, and resume and determine whether admission is appropriate. If you have a cumulative GPA below 2.5 and have not completed an Alternative Admissions Dean's Evaluation, you will not be admitted to the program.

Prelicensure Contingency Enrollment

If you have graduated within the past 3 months from an Associate of Science in Nursing program, but have not yet taken or passed the NCLEX– RN exam, you may apply for admission to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program by completing a Contingency Enrollment Dean's Evaluation.

In addition to meeting the stated admissions requirements, the following documentation will be required at the time of application:

  1. A transcript indicating a completed associate's degree in nursing and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher from an accredited institution. Refer to the Admissions Requirements for additional information on prior degree submission.
  2. A letter of recommendation submitted directly from the Director of Nursing/Dean or equivalent at the previous institution verifying your aptitude to undertake the NCLEX-RN exam and enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing—RN-to-BSN program.

The Dean of the School of Nursing or a designee will determine if you may enroll.

If you are accepted under the terms of prelicensure contingency enrollment, you will be required to:

  1. Pass a criminal background check.
  2. Submit proof of a current, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in at least one U.S. state by the end of the second term. This will indicate that you have successfully passed the NCLEX-RN exam.

If the proof of RN licensure is not submitted by the end of the second term, you will be blocked from classes until such documentation is provided. If, for any reason, you do not furnish proof of RN licensure by the end of the second term, or if the documentation submitted is found to be false, you will be subject to immediate dismissal from the University and the University will take all other appropriate actions. If you furnish valid proof of RN licensure after your dismissal, and all other requirements are met, you may be fully accepted into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing—RN-to-BSN and will only then be able to receive credit for all coursework completed. You must re-enroll through the Office of Returning Students.

Requirements for Graduates of Foreign Nursing Programs

If you graduated from a foreign nursing program, you must submit an official course-by-course evaluation of your nursing program to a foreign credential evaluation service. The University will accept an unofficial copy of the foreign transcript evaluation submitted at the time of licensure in the U.S. or the equivalent educational verification that was required at the time of licensure in a foreign nation, province, or region. The official foreign credential evaluation must meet the Admissions Requirements for a prior degree.

The evaluation must be completed by an approved agency listed by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services at or by another service approved by the University.

Due to the variation in structure of foreign nursing programs, it is not always possible to identify equivalent nursing courses in U.S. certificate, diploma, or associate's degree programs. If, at the time of enrollment, you meet the following requirements, you may be approved for admission to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing—RN-to-BSN program:

  • You are licensed as a registered nurse in at least one U.S. state or in the U.S. military or provide evidence of a nursing license comparable to a U.S. registered nurse license from a foreign nation, province, or region
  • Your transcript evaluation reflects a minimum of 50 quarter credit hours of eligible credit with a focus in nursing

The School of Nursing will admit applicants on a case-by-case basis.

Progression Requirements

  1. You will follow the grade scales found in Academic Grades and Marks
  2. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing—RN-to-BSN program has an articulation plan that allows you to obtain higher education academic credit and reduce repetition of previous coursework. The articulation options are determined using your state of residency and original transcripts from the certificate, diploma, or degree-granting institution. Your transcripts will be evaluated in their entirety for possible transfer of prior academic credits.
  3. You are required to follow University Catalog and School of Nursing Handbook requirements in completion of your clinical practice experiences.

Accelerated Master of Science in Nursing Option

If you choose to complete the Accelerated Master of Science in Nursing option, you will have the opportunity to complete up to three graduate courses (listed below) in place of open elective requirements.

Code Title Credits
MN501🌐 Advanced Nursing Roles5
MN502🌐 Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Practice Nursing5
MN504🌐 Scientific and Analytic Approaches to Advanced Evidence-Based Practice5

Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams

Certain state certification and licensure boards have specific educational requirements for programs to lead to a license or certification that is a precondition for employment in a recognized occupation. Prospective and current students must review Purdue Global’s State Licensure and Certifications site to view program and state-specific licensure information.

Unless otherwise specified, Purdue Global's programs are not designed to meet any specific state’s licensure or certification requirements. Licensure-track programs may limit enrollment to students in certain states; please see Purdue Global’s Program Availability Information to determine enrollment eligibility.

You are responsible for understanding the requirements of optional certification exams. Such requirements may change during the course of your program. You are not automatically certified in any way upon program completion. Although certain programs are designed to prepare you to take various optional certification exams, Purdue Global cannot guarantee you will be eligible to take these exams or become certified. Your eligibility may depend on your work experience, completion of education and/or degree requirements, not having a criminal record, and meeting other certification requirements.