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RN to BSN Online

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The RN to BSN program of study is designed to facilitate registered nurses (RNs) to complete the requirements for the Baccalaureate of Science Nursing Degree (BSN).

Students will expand their knowledge base in:

  • Leadership and management
  • Teaching and learning
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Critical thinking
  • Health promotion and wellness
  • Research
  • Evidence-based interventions
  • Informatics
  • Community/public health
  • Ethics
  • Professional issues

Program Description:

  • Offers nursing courses using online delivery method
  • Limited on-campus meetings
  • Allows students to challenge up to 3 nursing courses (9 credit hours)
  • Offers both part-time and full-time cohort options
  • Schedules clinical experiences in a flexible manner
  • Gives credit for previous nursing and general education courses

Program Accreditation:

The RN to BSN Program at Western Kentucky University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation).”

The minimum requirements for acceptance are as follows:

  • An Associate Degree in Nursing from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Application and Fee for both WKU and the School of Nursing RN to BSN program.
  • Official copy of Transcript(s) 
  • 2.5 GPA (on a 4.0 Scale) for all college level courses.

Application Process

1. Apply for admission 

  • Visit the WKU Online Admission Page for more information.
    • A Step By Step Guide for completing the application process: Application Tutorial
      • There is a $45 application fee.
  • Complete the WKU Domestic and International Undergraduate Application
    • Under Planned Course of Study Section, Choose:
      • Category of Study >>> Bachelor's Degree
      • Planned Course of Study >>> Nursing: (Pre-RN to BSN) from ASN Program - Seeking Admission
      • Primary Location >>> Web (online only)

2. Submit Required Materials:

  • Transfer or Readmit Student
    • Send your official transcripts from each college attended, other than WKU, to Undergraduate Admissions
      • You may request electronic transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse. This speeds up the admissions process considerably. If your school is not listed with the Clearinghouse, please contact them directly to see if they have another process in place for electronic submissions or request that an official copy be sent by mail.
  • For additional information on university admission requirements please visit WKU Admissions.

3. Apply to the School of Nursing

  • Each semester, two (2) cohorts of students will be admitted, a part-time and full-time cohort. When accepted for admission, students must choose which cohort they would like.
  • The students in each of these cohorts will progress through the curriculum as a group and must take courses as noted in planned schedule for the designated cohort.
  • The full-time cohort is reserved for students who have completed all general education and statistics requirements.
  • RN to BSN Application
    • Please type information requested, print, sign
    • Mail with one-time $30.00 Application Fee

Deadlines for Admission Applications & Transcripts

  • Fall Semester: February 15
  • Spring Semester: September 15

Required Core Courses (36 Hours)

Consists of upper (300 and 400) level nursing courses.

  • Nurs 300: Concepts of Disease Process (3 credits)
  • Nurs 309: Health Assessment (3 credits)
  • Nurs 315: Concepts of Pharmacology (3 credits)
  • Nurs 321: Transcultural Nursing (2 credits)
  • Nurs 323: Concepts/Professional Nursing (2 credits)
  • Nurs 339: Care of the High Acuity Patient (3 credits)
  • Nurs 340: Teaching and Health Promotion   (3 credits)
  • Nurs 400: Nursing Leadership/Management (3 credits)
  • Nurs 405: Nursing Informatics (2 credits)
  • Nurs 408: Professional Issues (3 credits)
  • Nurs 412: Nursing Research (3 credits)
  • Nurs 430: Concepts of Public Health Nursing (4 credits)
  • Nurs 431: Application/Public Health Concepts (2 credits)

Additional Courses (3 Hours)

Colonnade (39 Hours) or General Education CertificationIn addition to the program specific courses previously listed, students without an A.A. or A.S from a regionally accredited school must complete 39 additional hours as part of the Colonnade Program (formerly General Education). However, students who transfer to WKU with an earned associate degree from a regionally accredited school are considered General Education Certified and are not required to complete Colonnade requirements.
Please note the following as you plan your program of study:
  • A bachelor’s degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours. Remaining hours may be earned through completing a Minor Program of Study, an Undergraduate Certificate, additional electives or through a combination of these options.
  • CCNE accreditation requires that all nursing programs, even if offered online, must include at least some clinical practice hours. Our program meets this requirement by assisting students to schedule clinical experiences in their home area and with limited face to face meetings.



WKU offers this program at the Distance Learning Undergraduate Rate. Current rates are listed at HERE.

  • The Distance Learning rate is not subject to Kentucky residency. It remains consistent for all US domestic students.

Potential Funding Options

  • Financial Aid:
  • College Heights Foundation Nursing Scholarships:
    • Several small scholarships and a few larger ones are available for nursing students through the College Heights Foundation.
    • Students who wish to be considered for these WKU nursing scholarships must apply using the new TOPDollar Website.
    • Use of the TOPDollar website allows students to fill out one application form apply for all WKU scholarships for which you are eligible.
    • Information such as your major and your WKU GPA will be automatically added to the form. 
    • Deadlines apply for many of the scholarships, so in general you should apply as early as possible. 
    • Students will be reminded via email to update their information each year, so if something changes which makes you eligible for more scholarships, you should be sure to update regularly.
  • Hospital Based Scholarships:
    • There are also some scholarships for nursing students available from local hospitals.
    • The hospital is responsible for selecting the students for these awards, and the process varies from hospital to hospital. Most of these require a work commitment from the student after graduation, so if you know you want to work for a specific hospital, please check with that facility to see if any scholarships are available.
  • ROTC Scholarship:
    • 100% tuition and fee scholarships available for those students interested in serving as an Officer in the United States Army Nursing Corps. Upon completion of your BSN and ROTC, full time (Active Duty) or part-time (1 weekend per month) options are available.
    • Contact Mr. Brandon Smith for more information, and to see if you qualify, at 270-745-6054 or army.rotc@wku.edu.

Program Contact, Lori Alexander

DNP, RN Coordinator, RN to BSN Program
WKU Department of Nursing

Phone: (270) 745-4078

WKU Online, Nikki Roof

Phone: (270) 745-5173
Email: learn.online@wku.edu

For more information about the program, fill out the form below.

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 Last Modified 4/24/18