Degree Overview

Bachelor of Science Nursing (RN to BSN)

Our online RN to BSN program will enhance your personal status, boost your salary, and increase your job security while helping your hospital achieve “magnet” status. The B.S. in Nursing expands your knowledge and skills beyond the clinical aspects of nursing to give you background in evidence based practice, patient safety, and technology integration, as well as healthcare systems and policies. You will become a more accomplished nurse ready to ascend the ranks.

The program requires a minimum of 90 hours of mentor-guided clinical experience in a qualified community health services setting, such as a public health department or clinic.

What You'll Learn

Essential Knowledge and Skills

You’ll become an expert in all areas of study required by the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Key Subject Areas

These Courses Add to Your Credentials

  • Care of the Older Adult
  • Health Assessment
  • Nutrition for Contemporary Society
  • Professional Roles and Values
  • Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Applied Nursing Research
  • Organizational Systems and Quality Leadership
  • Leadership and Professional Image
  • Information Management and the Application of Technology

Core Subject Areas

Some of these course requirements may be cleared through transfer credit:

  • Foundations of College Mathematics
  • English Composition I
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Survey of United States Constitution and Government
  • Elements of Effective Communication
  • Introduction to Humanities
  • Introduction to Probability and Statistics
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Microbiology

Field Experience:

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program also requires the successful completion of a field experience. Your field experience is something to be proud of – it's the culmination of all your hard work. Your final project allows you to take what you've learned and apply it to a real-world situation, proposing a solution to an actual issue you face in your place of business. Go ahead, show everyone what you can do.

How It Works

A Degree Program That Fits Your Schedule

WGU is designed to let you go to school on your time, not according to a class schedule. Our online degree program is flexible and puts you at the center of your education: you choose when and where to complete your coursework. Once you demonstrate your competency in a subject area, you can move on to your next course.

Online learning is not easy.

You should expect to work hard and spend 20 hours or more per week on your studies. Still, your program will be flexible enough to fit into your schedule, not the other way around.

How Long Will It Take?

It Depends On You

The average time it takes to complete the RN to BSN online degree program at WGU is 18 months. That’s significantly less than at other online schools. What’s more, almost every student with a license as a registered nurse can clear on transfer 50 to 90 credit equivalents from a previous program. Combine that with WGU’s competency-based method, which allows you to advance with the skills and knowledge you already have, and you may be able to finish in even less time.

The program requires a total of 120 Competency Units (CUs), which are WGU credit equivalents. If you’ve taken courses or received a degree from another college or university, you may be able to clear some of these requirements through transfer credit.

Ultimately, the pace at which you complete your RN to BSN Nursing program depends on how rapidly you pass assessments.

It’s your program. It’s up to you. Move at your own speed.

"Our partnership with WGU enables our employees to advance their education affordably without interrupting their careers." John Steele,
Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Hospital Corporation of America

How Competency-Based Education Benefits You

Put Your Existing Knowledge to Work

Western Governors University was the first university in the country to employ a cutting edge, competency-based learning model that lets you use skills and knowledge you already have to accelerate your degree program.

In WGU’s online degree programs, students advance by demonstrating their competence in each subject area. You’ll be able to move quickly through material you already know so you can spend your time focusing on what you still need to learn.

  • You’ll work with your assigned Faculty Mentor on a personalized Degree Plan that establishes the pace at which you move through the program.
  • With few exceptions, you’ll be able to choose when and where you study.
  • You’ll complete as much work as YOU choose during each six-month term.
  • You’ll collaborate with your Faculty Mentor to determine the learning resources that will help you develop and demonstrate your competency in each subject area.
  • You’ll be required to complete at least 12 CUs per term for bachelor's degree programs and 8 CUs per term for graduate degree programs in order to make On Time Progress. If you choose to and are able, you can add courses and move more quickly through your program.

How Much Will It Cost?

Less Than You Think

We're committed to keeping tuition low and making sure our online education degree programs remain the very best value for hardworking students. WGU doesn't spend money on classrooms, research facilities, or football stadiums. Instead, we focus on keeping costs low. In fact, we haven’t increased tuition since 2008. And because we charge tuition at a flat rate each term, if you complete coursework ahead of schedule, you can save yourself money as well as time.

Cost of Earning a Degree

You’ll pay the same low tuition each 6-month term, regardless of how many courses you complete. If you accelerate your degree program, you’ll pay less for your degree.

Tuition and Fees

For this program, a full course load is 12 competency units (credit hours) per term – each course generally represents three or four competency units.

  • $3,250: Tuition per 6-Month Term
  • $145: Resource Fee per 6-Month Term
  • $350: One-Time Nursing Program Fee
  • $42: Criminal Background Check Fee

(Note: Residents of California are required to pay a one-time immunization tracking fee of $50.)

WGU Is Half The Cost

WGU’s RN to BSN degree program is typically about half the cost of other equally reputable nursing programs. A nursing degree program at a traditional university can cost as much as $40,000. A typical two-year nursing degree program at WGU is less than $15,000.

The Faster You Go, The More You Save

Because of WGU's competency-based approach, the faster you go, the more you save. Tuition is charged at a flat rate every six months and covers all coursework attempted in that time. If you complete your program in less time, you'll save both time and money.

As a registered nurse, you likely have skills and knowledge that will let you complete the program in even less time.

Learn more about tuition and fees.

Tuition Comparison: Bachelor of Science Nursing (RN to BSN)

WGU University of Phoenix
$3,250 per six month term.
If it takes two years = $13,000
120 credit hours x $452.50^ per credit =
$54,300

^$452.50/credit cost based on an average of $395 per credit for lower-division courses and $510 for upper-division courses.
*Note: This chart is for illustration only and reflects the tuition information made public by other institutions and WGU’s standard tuition of $2,890 per term as of February 1, 2015. Tuition for the MBA and nursing programs is higher at $3,250 per term. Actual rates will vary depending on the number of terms needed to complete the program. Check the website for the most current tuition information.

Compare WGU tuition to tuition at other schools

You pay for time—not credits

  • No matter how many courses you complete each term, your tuition stays the same.
  • The more courses you complete each term, the fewer terms you have until graduation.
  • Our competency-based model gives you the opportunity to accelerate your progress.
  • If you complete your program ahead of schedule, you'll save both time and money.

Financial Aid

You Can Afford to Earn a Degree

WGU’s financial aid experts are on hand to help you finance your education in the smartest way possible. 76% of WGU students receive some type of financial aid.

Federal Financial Aid is available to most students.

Respected, Recognized, and Accredited

CCNE Accredited

The bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs at WGU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202-887-6791).

Northwest Commission Accredited

Western Governors University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Northwest Commission is also responsible for the accreditation of other major universities in the West, including the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, Gonzaga University, and the University of Utah, among many others. Learn more about accreditation here.

CAHIIM Accredited

WGU’s Health Informatics program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). An independent accrediting organization, CAHIIM was created to evaluate the quality and integrity of health informatics and health informatics management programs. Program accreditation, which is granted after extensive reviews based on industry-developed standards, helps increase certification eligibility and job marketability for WGU graduates.

An online degree in healthcare from WGU tells employers that you're serious about success.

Take the next step into a prosperous future.

WGU Graduates Succeed

Become a Success Story

Our latest survey of leading employers speaks volumes about our ability to prepare grads to work in many industries:

86% of employers rate WGU nursing graduates as very good or excellent in "evidence-based practice."

93%

of employers rate the “soft skills” of WGU graduates as equal to or better than graduates from other institutions.

99%

of employers agreed that WGU graduates meet or exceed their expectations.

94%

of employers rated WGU graduates' job performance as good as or better than the job performance of graduates from other universities.

96%

of employers consider WGU graduates prepared for their jobs.

Note: 2014 Survey of 300 Employers by Harris Poll

You can learn more about how employers view WGU grads by exploring our Student Success and Performance Data.

"The big draw was the fact that it was online. I could work at my own pace." James Dye, WGU Alumnus

How a Course Works

Prove What You Know and Move Forward

You set your own pace by demonstrating your skills. In the online degree programs at WGU, you'll advance through each course by first mastering the course content, then completing and passing challenging assessments that measure your knowledge and skills in each subject area.

These rigorous assessments (tests, papers, assignments, and projects) let you demonstrate your competence in each subject area in order to pass the course and earn Competency Units (CUs), or credit equivalents.

WGU sets a high standard, and we want our students to succeed. You'll be given ample opportunity to master the subject matter and re-take assessments as needed in order to graduate.

Get Started

Enrollment is easy. View our Enrollment Checklist for the seven easy steps to getting started.

Applicants must possess an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing and have a current, unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license. Applicants must submit a resume and be working in a position that requires use of nursing knowledge and expertise at the time of application and enrollment.

See More about College of Health Professions Admission Requirements

Speak to an Enrollment Counselor and Apply Today

You'll be on your way to a successful career. A world of opportunity awaits.

Request Info Apply Now

Question and Answer

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Should I consider financial aid?

Using financial aid is a personal decision. When making this decision, you should know that a degree is a great investment in yourself that will pay for itself many times over. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn on average almost a million dollars more over the course their careers compared to those without one. A master’s degree typically has a similar impact on your wallet. You should definitely consider federal financial aid if it means the difference between getting your degree or not. Speak to an Enrollment Counselor to learn more.

Is WGU a good fit for you?

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