A Nursing Bachelor's Degree (RN to BSN) Built for the Next Generation of RNs
This nursing bachelor's degree (RN to BSN or ADN to BSN program) is designed for current RNs who are ready to join the force of healthcare workers seeking to improve patient outcomes and community health. Enhance your résumé and increase your job security while helping your hospital achieve magnet status with a BSN degree. This online nursing degree is designed for working registered nurses who have an ADN or nursing diploma, and need an RN to BSN degree program that fits into their schedule so they can progress from RN to BSN. Apply today to enroll in our new, redeveloped version of this program. Your courses will have updated content that aligns with the 2021 AACN Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education.
In 2022 alone, over 7,000 students earned their RN to BSN degree from WGU. Armed with the crucial skills, this community of nurses is already improving the health of their communities. You can join this skilled workforce of nurses who are influencing patient outcomes around the country. Our online, CCNE-accredited RN to BSN program builds on your previous ADN or diploma nursing education and experience with a focus on the areas of research, theory, leadership, community concepts, healthcare policy, therapeutic interventions, and current trends in healthcare.
77% of RN to BSN graduates finish within
WGU lets you utilize your RN experience and move through material you already know. The result: You may finish faster than you think.
*WGU Internal Data
Tuition per six-month term is
Tuition charged per term—rather than per credit—helps RN to BSN nursing students control the ultimate cost of their nursing degrees. Finish faster, pay less!
Students can transfer up to
Students from an accredited program will receive 80 transfer credits at application and will have their transcript evaluated for up to 10 more transfer credits.
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Next Start Date: March 1
Start Dates the 1st of Every Month
Interprofessional Communication and Leadership in Healthcare is designed to help students prepare for success in the online environment at Western Governors University and beyond. Student success starts with the social support and self-reflective awareness that will prepare them to handle the challenges of all academic programs. In this course, students will participate in group activities and complete several individual assignments. The group activities are aimed at finding support and gaining insight from other students. The assignments are intended to give the student an opportunity to reflect on where they are and where they would like to be. The activities in each group meeting are designed to give students several tools they can use to achieve success. This course is designed as a four-part intensive learning experience. Students will attend six group meetings during the term. At each meeting, students will engage in activities that will help them understand their own educational journey and find support and inspiration in the journey of others. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Information Technology in Nursing Practice provides a basic overview of information technology as it relates to the baccalaureate-prepared nurse. It is a foundational overview of nursing informatics with an emphasis on developing basic competency. This course teaches students that nursing informatics synthesizes nursing science, information science, and computer science through health applications to support decision-making in a dynamic healthcare environment. All prior courses in the sequence for this program serve as prerequisites for this course.
Course Description Organizational Systems and Healthcare Transformation covers foundational knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward organizational leadership within healthcare systems that can help students be successful. This course focuses on the concepts of patient safety, improvement science, fiscal responsiveness, quality of care, value-based care, and patient-centered care. Additional topics of quality science and innovation, systems redesign, and interprofessional roles assist the student in building necessary skills for healthcare transformation. All prior courses in the sequence for this program serve as prerequisites for this course.
Comprehensive Health Assessment builds upon students’ existing knowledge of nursing assessment. The course presents current and innovative assessment techniques of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of patients. Use of assessment data and shared decision-making are discussed throughout the course. This course also outlines the concepts of a head-to-toe assessment, providing students with an understanding of how to critically think about the different aspects of the assessment and analyze patient cues to determine the implications of findings. Students will also analyze lifestyle and cultural implications of health. All prior courses in the sequence for this program serve as prerequisites for this course.
Healthcare Policy and Economics is a foundational course that introduces the concepts of value-based care and the role of the nurse. This course includes concepts related to financial responsiveness, shared decision-making, preference-sensitive care, leveraging data. In this course, students learn about cost and fee-for-service in terms of value to the client and patient rather than value to the healthcare system. All prior courses in the sequence for this program serve as prerequisites for this course.
Global and Population Health prepares students for the role of the nurse in preserving and promoting health among diverse populations. Additionally, basic principles of epidemiology, social determinants of health (SDOH), and resource allocation through value-based care are outlined. The course introduces planning, organization, and delivery of services for diverse populations in community settings, including illness prevention, disaster preparedness, and environmental health. All prior courses in the sequence for this program serve as prerequisites for this course.
Emerging Professional Practice presents a variety of professional nursing specialty areas. Students explore various practice specialties, including palliative care, genetics and genomics, and others. The course provides pathways to specialized nursing practice. All prior courses in the sequence for this program serve as prerequisites for this course.
The BSNU capstone is a synthesis of previously acquired knowledge, skills, and attitudes and requires students to demonstrate competency in the program outcomes. Emphasis is placed on change facilitation in a healthcare setting, based in evidence and incorporating value-based care. This course provides students with an opportunity to engage in a project that is actionable, relevant, highly collaborative, and based on innovative thinking.
Advanced Standing for RN License
Intrapersonal Leadership and Professional Growth fosters the development of professional identity. Building on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained through nursing practice, students in this course will explore the relationship of theories, professional competencies, standards of leadership, education, and professionalism. The course content will cover development of a nurse as a leader who is proficient in asserting control, influence, and power in professional and personal contexts.
Scholarship in Nursing Practice teaches students how to design and conduct research to answer important questions about improving nursing practice and patient care delivery outcomes. This course introduces the basics of evidence-based practice, which students are expected to implement throughout their clinical experiences. Students of this course will graduate with more competence and confidence to become leaders in the healing environment.
Welcome to Composition I: Writing with a Strategy! In this course, you will focus on three main topics: writing strategies, writing style, format and grammar, and editing and revising text. This course consists of an introduction and five sections aligned to the three main topics. The sections address understanding purpose and audience, writing strategies and techniques, format, style, structure, and grammar, editing and revision strategies, and constructive feedback. Each section includes learning opportunities through readings, videos, audio, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities to check your learning, practice, and show how well you understand course content. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to gain proficiency in the five competencies that will be covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge or experience, you can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.
This is Anatomy and Physiology I, a six-section, 4 CU course that enables students to develop an understanding of the relationships between the structures and function of the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous and endocrine systems in the human body. This course will involve laboratory activities, simulated dissections, textbook material, models, and diagrams. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to, with the goal of demonstrating proficiency in the four competencies covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge of this material, you can expect to spend 40–60 hours on the course content.
This is a Global Arts and Humanities course that contains three modules with corresponding lessons. This course is an invitation to see the world through the humanities, examine the humanities during the Information Age, and explore the global origins of music—essentially questioning what makes us human, and how people are connected across culture and time. Each module includes learning opportunities through readings, videos, audio, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities to practice and check learning. With no prior knowledge or experience, a learner can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.
Pathophysiology is an overview of the pathology and treatment of diseases in the human body, tissues, glands and membranes, the integumentary system, the sensory system, skeletal and muscular systems, the digestive system, blood, vessels and circulation, lymphatic system, immunity and disease, heart and respiratory system, nervous, urinary and endocrine systems, and male and female reproductive systems. Prerequisites include all prior courses in this programmatic sequence.
Welcome to Introduction to Communication: Connecting with Others! It may seem like common knowledge that communication skills are important, and that communicating with others is inescapable in our everyday lives. While this may appear simplistic, the study of communication is actually complex, dynamic, and multifaceted. Strong communication skills are invaluable to strengthening a multitude of aspects of life. Specifically, this course will focus on communication in the professional setting, and present material from multiple vantage points, including communicating with others in a variety of contexts, across situations, and with diverse populations. Upon completion, you will have a deeper understanding of both your own and others’ communication behaviors, and a toolbox of effective behaviors to enhance your experience in the workplace.
Applied Healthcare Probability and Statistics is designed to help develop competence in the fundamental concepts of basic mathematics, introductory algebra, and statistics and probability. These concepts include basic arithmetic with fractions and signed numbers; introductory algebra and graphing; descriptive statistics; regression and correlation; and probability. Statistical data and probability are now commonplace in the healthcare field. This course will help candidates make informed decisions about which studies and results are valid, which are not, and how those results affect your decisions. This course will give candidates background in what constitutes sound research design and how to appropriately model phenomena using statistical data. Additionally, this course guides candidates in calculating simple probabilities based on events which occur in the healthcare profession. This course will prepare candidates for studies at WGU, as well as in the healthcare profession.
This is Anatomy and Physiology II, a six section, four CEU course that enables students to develop an understanding of the relationships between the structures and functions of the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, and lymphatic systems in the human body. This course will involve laboratory activities, simulated dissections, textbook material, models, and diagrams. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to, with the goal of demonstrating proficiency in the four competencies covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge of this material, you can expect to spend 40–60 hours on the course content.
Microbiology with Lab: A Fundamental Approach explores the science that microorganisms are everywhere, and they have positive and negative effects on the community. The course examines the structure and function of microorganisms, disease transmission and progression, and immune responses and other interventions, and it identifies key global diseases. The course consists of an introduction and four major sections. Each section includes learning opportunities through readings, videos, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities for students to check their learning, practice, and show how well they understand course content. To assist students in developing an applied, evidence-based understanding of microbiology, this course integrates several lab experiments to help determine the specific characteristic of an unknown microbial sample and a treatment plan. Because the course is self-paced, students may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as needed to gain proficiency in the four competencies that will be covered in the final assessment. Students who have no prior knowledge of or experience with this topic can expect to spend 48–60 hours on the course content. There are no prerequisites for this course.
This is World History: Diverse Cultures and Global Connections. In this course, you will focus on three main topics—cultural and religious diversity; pandemics; and the relationship of empires and nation states—as well as the skills of identifying root causes, explaining causes and effects, and analyzing complex systems. This course consists of an introduction and four major sections. Each section includes learning opportunities through reading, images, videos, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities to practice and check how well you understand the content. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to, with the goal of demonstrating proficiency in the four competencies covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge of this material, you can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.
This is Human Growth and Development, a three-module course that examines the entire human lifetime, from conception to death. Presented chronologically, the course focuses on three key areas: physical, cognitive, and psychosocial growth, along with other important issues such as cultural influences, emotions, and resilience. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to, with the goal of demonstrating proficiency in the four competencies covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge of this material, you can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.
In this course, students will develop an understanding of psychology and how it helps them better understand others and themselves. Students will learn general theories about psychological development, the structure of the brain, and how psychologists study behavior. They will gain an understanding of both normal and disordered psychological behaviors, as well as general applications of the science of psychology in society (such as personality typing and counseling).
This course teaches students to think like sociologists, or, in other words, to see and understand the hidden rules, or norms, by which people live, and how they free or restrain behavior. Students will learn about socializing institutions, such as schools and families, as well as workplace organizations and governments. Participants will also learn how people deviate from the rules by challenging norms and how such behavior may result in social change, either on a large scale or within small groups.
Program consists of 23 courses
At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to help you show that you know your stuff.
Special requirements for this program
While most of your coursework will be completed online, your nursing program includes some requirements—including field experiences—that must be completed in a facility near you. And while most of your courses can be accelerated based on your prior knowledge and hard work, some nursing programs begin with a cohort-based course that must be completed via six scheduled webcam sessions with faculty and fellow students.
WGU tuition is charged per six-month term, not per credit. That means if you want to move faster through this online nursing degree program, you'll pay less.
On Your Schedule
Current RNs can continue working at their job, and keep up with their family responsibilities all while earning a degree. You don't have to take time off work or rearrange your shifts—at WGU you don't have to log in to classes at a certain time, and your assignments don't have deadlines. You can work any time, any where.
When you earn your RN to BSN degree from WGU you can take your existing knowledge and put it to use. You can move through your courses as quickly as you show mastery in the material. RNs also often transfer many credits into their WGU RN to BSN bachelor's degree program, helping them graduate faster.
One important measure of a degree’s value is the reputation of the university where it was earned. When employers, industry leaders, and academic experts hold your alma mater in high esteem, you reap the benefits of that respect. WGU is a pioneer in reinventing higher education for the 21st century, and our quality has been recognized.
A REDEVELOPED PROGRAM
Designed for the Future of Nursing
The key features of WGU's redeveloped BSN degree program include:
- Updated content to align with the 2021 AACN Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education
- A focus on resiliency in nursing, diversity, equity, and inclusivity, and value-based healthcare
- Increased transfer credit eligibility. Students can transfer up to 90 credits
- A focus on population and global health, along with integrating the global perspective into a student's own community
- A more personalized educational experience that allows students to earn 6 professional certificates
A Nursing Bachelor's Degree Is Within Reach
There is help available to make paying for school possible for you:
How We're Different: Competency-Based Programs That Put Working Nurses in the Driver’s Seat
Our unique approach to education allows you to move through your courses on your schedule, as quickly as you can show mastery of the material. Improve patient outcomes and influence communities with your knowledge of evidence-based practice, patient safety, technology integration, and healthcare systems and policies. Demonstrating mastery is how you pass a course, so learning what it takes to be outstanding in your career is at the heart of WGU’s RN to BSN curriculum.
Day shift, night shift, or on-call; flu season or the onslaught of summertime injuries; 5-minute coffee breaks where you’re still on your feet… A registered nurse’s schedule is never predictable—and not very forgiving. That’s why WGU's nursing programs focus on making the best use of your time and experience and why we maximize the real-world impact of what you’re learning—so your years as a nurse can help you graduate faster, and the hours of study time you squeeze in actually pay off at work.
A BSN Opens Doors in Your Nursing Career
Once you have completed your Bachelor of Science Nursing degree program, you will have the knowledge and clinical experience to drive your nursing career in a number of rewarding directions. You'll be in demand, because you'll be prepared to preserve, promote, improve, and maintain the health and well-being of individuals and families in your community. And should you choose, you'll also be ready to continue on to earn an MSN degree—like WGU's programs in nursing informatics, nurse education, and nursing leadership and management—and add specialization to your résumé and career path.
This RN to BSN degree program helps you build on your knowledge and experience in the nursing field. As more hospitals move toward magnet status, a bachelor's degree in nursing can help you contribute to that goal, as well as give you increased credentials and skills to improve patient outcomes and the overall community. If you're a current RN with an ADN or diploma, this RN to BSN program could be for you. We need nurses like you to influence decisions and have a positive impact in healthcare.
WGU's BSN Grads are Working in Diverse, Fulfilling Roles
Our 20,000-plus Bachelor of Science Nursing alumni have great jobs and satisfying careers:
- Staff nurse
- Flight nurse
- Nurse case manager
- Public health nurse
- Forensic nurse
- Hospitals and medical centers
- Doctor’s offices and clinics
- U.S. military
- Public health departments
- Nonprofit organizations
- Intermountain Healthcare
- U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs
- Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
- Synergy Home Health
- HCA Healthcare
- Peace Health
WGU Grads Hold Positions With Top Employers
Hospitals and clinics around the country know the benefit of a bachelor's degree from WGU, so your nursing degree is valuable.
Admissions Requirements Unique to This Nursing Degree
To be considered for this program, you must:
- Possess an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited institution.
- Possess an active, unencumbered RN license:
1. In your state of residence, or
2. In your state of employment.
- Submit to a criminal background check through American Databank.
NOTE: RN licensure in your state of residence or employment is required to successfully complete clinical experiences. Compact licenses must be endorsed by your state of residence. For more information about compact licenses, click here.
Safety Notice: WGU and the Leavitt School of Health are committed to the health, safety, and well-being of all patients, community members, and key stakeholders that interact with WGU students at various clinical/host sites. Interactions might include direct patient interaction, observation experiences, laboratory experiences, project development, or conducting research. Standard compliance verification for students in applicable LSH programs is required to protect the public, meet LSH program expectations, reasonably assure compliance with state regulatory board requirements, meet WGU’s contractual and legal obligations with clinical partners, and support WGU’s mission to prepare students who will be qualified to enter their desired field. Compliance items may include, but are not limited to, background checks, immunizations, and drug screens as needed.
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Get Your Questions Answered
Talk to an WGU Enrollment Counselor.
More About the BSN Program at WGU
- General Program Questions
- Program Purpose
- Program Competencies
Frequently Asked Questions for this BSN Program
No, but you must have an unencumbered RN license, and your previous nursing experience will be valuable and could help you move through the program more quickly.
Yes! Almost every student with a license as a registered nurse can clear on transfer 50 to 90 credit equivalents from a previous program into this program. 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. You will need to provide WGU with your official transcripts for review.
WGU is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and, in order to uphold this accreditation, we must require our own background checks. A third-party company is used to provide this service and the information is proprietary; therefore, we are unable to access a background check completed for, or requested by, another entity.
The RN-to-BSN program will continue to have a field experience clinical with hours completed in a variety of community settings, identified by the student. More information is available in the course information listed in the program guide.
You will find that these courses are typically higher-level courses that are an integral part of our core BSN program and vital to your success. The good news is, because of your prior knowledge and experience with these subjects, you are likely to master the competencies easier and progress through the course faster. That's why competency-based education is so appealing!
Yes! Our BSN program is recognized by the board of nursing in all 50 states! This recognition is due to our esteemed accreditations, both regionally and through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Yes. The bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs at WGU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791).
An ADN to BSN program is for Associate Degree in Nursing graduates who want to progress to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. ADN to BSN programs help these nurses boost their résumé or assist in their hospital reaching magnet status by earning a bachelor's degree. ADN to BSN programs like WGU's RN to BSN program are for current nurses who have an associate degree or diploma and want to move forward in their education.
If you're currently an RN in Texas, there are many online degree programs that allow you to earn your BSN at an affordable price, without leaving your job. WGU is a top option for RN to BSN students because of its affordability and unique education model that lets you go through your RN to BSN program on your own schedule. You move through courses as quickly as you can master the material, with no set class times so you can continue to work as an RN while you're earning your degree.
RN to BSN programs typically take 18-24 months to complete. This is faster than a typical BSN because most of these programs accept extensive transfer credits from your nursing diploma or associate degree. In some programs, like WGU's nursing program, you are able to accelerate even more by using your experience to help you move through courses more quickly where you can prove mastery. At WGU most RN to BSN students finish in 18 months or less.
BSN stands for Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Someone who has a bachelor's of science in nursing has also become a registered nurse (RN). A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program is becoming more standard for the nursing industry as more hospitals are looking to reach Magnet status.
There are many options for earning a BSN in California, especially if you want to earn your RN to BSN degree online. WGU is a top option based on affordability and time. Their unique education model allows you to go through your RN to BSN degree program much faster than traditional degree programs. WGU RN to BSN programs are a great fit for current RNs in California who are looking to boost their résumé or help their hospital reach magnet status with a BSN degree.
Admissions requirements vary widely from program to program and from school to school. Nurse practitioner programs—including Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and post-MSN NP certificate programs—can be among the most competitive. One factor commonly considered for enrollment in post-graduate nursing programs is grade-point average (GPA) from previous college work. The nature of WGU’s competency-based model means WGU graduates do not have a GPA when they earn their degree.
However, other factors beyond GPA are considered by many programs across the country. WGU provides opportunities for students to demonstrate excellence beyond a GPA, including participation in nationally recognized honors programs, real-world projects that you complete as part of your program that you can showcase in your post-graduate applications, and letters of recommendation from WGU faculty or leadership.
For any aspiring graduate student, it is important to maximize your own qualities as well as do the research to understand the schools that offer the programs you seek to join.
You can start your research by reviewing this list of post-graduate programs that have admitted WGU alumni in the past. Look on LinkedIn for WGU nursing alumni who have gone on to become nurse practitioners, and check their profiles to see which schools they attended for the MSN or DNP program. Contact the school to ask whether they enroll students from competency-based programs like WGU’s. And talk to your WGU Enrollment Counselor. WGU can provide alumni with a letter they can share with graduate schools, explaining our competency-based model. This letter has helped WGU alumni be accepted into a variety of graduate programs in a number of fields and disciplines.
The RN to BSN degree builds on the foundation of previous nursing education at the associate degree or diploma levels. Initial licensure programs prepare graduates for RN licensure with courses in the biological and social sciences and nursing. The BSN degree for RNs expands knowledge in areas of research, theory, leadership, community concepts, healthcare policy, therapeutic interventions, and current trends in healthcare. Graduates are prepared to function in new roles as members of healthcare teams in many settings. BSN graduates are also prepared to enter MSN programs. All work in this degree program is online and at a distance. The WGU RN to BSN program is evidence-based and developed according to The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2021). In addition, it incorporates competencies and standards from other specialty organizations.
Safety: The graduate provides safe fiscally responsive quality care environment for individuals, families, communities, and multidisciplinary teams using established and emerging principles of safety science.
QA: The graduate collects, analyzes, and interprets data to improve patient outcomes and to provide value-based care to persons and populations at the local, regional, national, and global levels.
Scholarship: The graduate integrates best evidence into nursing practice incorporating individual values as well as clinical expertise from industry analyses to persons and populations at the local, regional, national, and global levels.
Innovation: The graduate innovates creative, agile responses to complex and evolving care environments through a systems-based approach to values-based care across the care continuum.
Personal, Professional, and Leadership Development: The graduate engages in self-reflection and other activities to foster personal health, resilience, well-being, and lifelong learning in a purposeful leadership practice.
Informatics/Technology: The graduate integrates informatics knowledge and skills to provide safe, high-quality care, incorporating best practices, industry and professional guidance, and regulatory standards.
Leadership/Professional: The graduate demonstrates leadership by identifying and prioritizing goals to achieve optimal outcomes for person-centered care and population health.
Ethical Competent Practice: The graduate formulates and cultivates a professional identity that includes accountability, collaborative disposition and ethical comportment reflective of the profession's characteristics, norms and values.
Professional Communication/Collaboration: The graduate effectively communicates and collaborates with interprofessional teams, persons, families, and communities to optimize care and improve health outcomes using a value-centered approach.
Compassionate Holistic Care: The graduate provides holistic and compassionate person-centered care that respects individual and community diversity while considering determinants of health.
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