Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN TO BSN)

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN TO BSN)

The RN to BSN program is designed for nurses who hold an Associate’s Degree in Nursing to build leadership and management skills introduced in previous nursing programs, while expanding the art and science of nursing into the baccalaureate level. This program is grounded in a Caring Science model that teaches the theoretical and evidenced-based practice of nursing.

The RN to BSN program is offered online, and can be completed in one year (2 courses every 8 weeks). Students will complete one clinical experience that takes place with a focus on community health during NUR 379 Global Community Service Project Internship, and a second clinical experience with a focus on leadership during NUR 490 Capstone in Evidenced Based Professional Nursing Practice. California-licensed RNs will be eligible to apply for a Public Health Nurse Certificate from the BRN upon completion of the RN to BSN program. The program is capped by a project that allows the student to highlight their leadership and management skills for current or future professional advancement.

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Options for Entry:

There are two entry options for this degree program.  The first entry option is for the nursing student or registered nurse who wants to apply to the RN to BSN program but has not completed all of the prerequisites with an earned minimum grade of a C in each course.  Students admitted to the RN to BSN who are missing prerequisite courses will be admitted into the Pre-BSN option and will be moved into the next available cohort upon completion of the prerequisite courses, all admission requirements, and submission of a petition form.

The second entry option is for the nurse with an Associate Degree or Diploma in Nursing (must provide official transcripts) who is a registered nurse (or scheduled to take the NCLEX) and has completed all of the requirements for direct admission into the core nursing courses including all the prerequisites.  Applicants who have completed the pre-licensure component of an entry level Master of Science degree in Nursing and are licensed will be considered on an individual basis.


The College of Nursing at USU uses a holistic admission process to evaluate each applicant on their merits. A wide range of abilities, interests, background, life experiences, and other aspects that bring diversity to the academic environment are considered.

  • Complete and submit an application for admission through the NursingCAS website at  You must select United States University.  
  • Submit documentation of high school graduation or its equivalent
  • Complete an enrollment agreement (must be signed by a parent or guardian if the applicant is under 18 years of age)
  • Submit official transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities. (Foreign transcripts must be translated and evaluated by an acceptable agency)
  • Only credits from accredited institutions will be accepted in transfer (unless there is a specific agreement waiving this requirement with another educational institution).
  • Failure to report any previous academic work at another college or university is considered a violation of academic integrity
  • Have a valid unrestricted, unencumbered RN license in the United States, or date for NCLEX scheduled before the end of the first term in a core nursing course (unless there is a specific agreement waiving this requirement with another educational institution).
  • In addition, you must have an unencumbered California Registered Nurse (RN) license (may be temporary license), or date for NCLEX scheduled(unless there is a specific agreement waiving this requirement with another educational institution)
  • Have an Associate Degree in Nursing or diploma in nursing from an accredited institution or have completed the pre-licensure component of an entry-level Master of Science degree in Nursing and have an RN license (unless there is a specific agreement waiving this requirement with another educational institution).
  • Have a satisfactory criminal background check and drug screening
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in an Associate’s Degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited college or university (unless there is a specific agreement waiving this requirement with another educational institution).
  • Have obtained a minimum of a grade of “C” or better in all nursing courses.
  • Have obtained a minimum of a grade of “C” or better in all transferred general education courses and in math/science courses.
  • Complete the following prerequisite foundation courses or equivalent with an earned minimum grade of “C” in each course if being admitted directly into the nursing core:  
  1. Written communication (COM 204 “Argumentation” or equivalent for 3 credits)
  2. Introductory Chemistry with a lab (CHM 102 and CHM 102L or equivalent for 4 credits)
  3. Statistics (MAT 241 “Introduction to Statistics” or equivalent for 3 credits)
  4. Growth and Development Across the Lifespan (PSY 495” Lifespan Cycles” equivalent for 3 credits)
  • Completion of Weaver Reading Assessment Exam
  • Interview with Admissions Committee as needed

Students are required to have the following information current and uploaded into American DataBank and Complio:  (Students who do not have all data in Complio by the date or orientation will be administratively withdrawn from the program).

  • Background clearance (must be cleared before admitted)
  • Proof of negative drug screen (must be cleared before admission)
  • Current professional liability insurance
  • Current personal health insurance
  • CPR certification for Healthcare providers by American Heart Association
  • Proof of a negative Tuberculosis (TB) skin test or appropriate treatment
  • Proof of two doses of Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) or titer
  • Proof of Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (Tdap) immunization within the last 10 years
  • Proof of Varicella immunization or titer
  • Proof of Hepatitis vaccine series or titer
  • Proof of annual influenza vaccine
  • Active unencumbered RN license in California and the state where student resides (if appropriate)
  • Additional laboratory tests, immunizations and/or documentation may be required for clinical experiences.

Requires 120 total credits to complete the degree, of which at least 36 credits must be completed at United States University.  Students may take any missing prerequisites or additional credits at United States University.

No more than 72 Block Credits from Associate Degree in Nursing Program

Completion of the prerequisites foundation course credits:

  • Written communication (COM 204 “Argumentation”  or equivalent for 3 credits)
  • Introductory Chemistry with a lab (CHM 102 and CHM 102L or equivalent for 4 credits)
  • Statistics (MAT 241”Introduction to Statistics” or equivalent for 3 credits)
  • Growth and Development Across the Lifespan (PSY 495 “Lifespan Cycles” or equivalent for 3 credits)

Completion of the 36 Core Nursing Credits

Completion of any additional elective credits to satisfy the 120 undergraduate credits for the degree


3 semesters/12 months*

*Dependent on course load

Core Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
36 Credits
NUR 370: Transitions and Issues of the Professional Nursing Role (Formerly NUR 415)

This course focuses on the professional nursing role. Students will explore professional nursing practices and role transition. Advanced theoretical concepts will be examined using the nursing process as a framework. Students will examine advocacy, empowerment, lifelong learning and self-renewal in an evolving nursing role. Prerequisites Acceptance into the RN-BSN Program

NUR 371: Foundations of a Caring Science

This course offers a detailed examination of caring as an essential framework for nursing practice. The fundamental components of nursing theory development will be defined. The students will examine the meaning of caring in relation to the use of multiple ways and patterns of knowing. The humanities, arts and sciences, and other nursing theories will be examined and applied as the student develops a personal theoretical framework for nursing practice. Prerequisites NUR 370

NUR 372: Evidence Based Nursing Practice

This course explores the theories, concepts, values and behaviors required to transition to the professional nursing role. Included are historical, ethical, legal, legislative and political processes that impact the practice of professional nursing in the contemporary healthcare system. Introduced is the impact of culture on delivering nursing care to diverse clients, their families and communities. Prerequisites NUR 371

NUR 373: Healthcare Policy, Regulation and Finance

This course is designed to enable the learner to understand health care delivery systems. Students will explore the nursing role in the formulation of health care policy and political processes with a focus on the legislative and regulatory processes. The business of healthcare, including the internal and external environment, financing of health care, and resource management and utilization are reviewed. Prerequisites NUR 372

NUR 374: Managing System Change and Improving Patient Outcomes

This course focuses on the analysis and application of systems theory and skills needed to assess, plan and evaluate the care of populations within health systems. The evaluation of current outcome measures as well as the acquisition and management of outcome data will be studied. Systems change is discussed as it relates to effective outcomes of care. An emphasis is placed on clinical, functional, and financial outcomes as well as satisfaction indicators. Prerequisites NUR 373

NUR 375: Inter-Professional Communication and Collaboration for Improving Healthcare Outcomes (Formerly NUR 455)

This course explores the impact of inter-professional collaboration and communication on patient outcomes. Students will investigate barriers  that exist within and between disciplines that can obstruct a team-based care system. An emphasis is placed on methods and actions to foster a collaborative approach in clinical settings in order to jointly make decisions, coordinate patient treatment, combine resources, and develop common goals which may result in improved healthcare outcomes. Prerequisites NUR 374

NUR 376: Innovation in Patient Care Technology and Information Management (Formerly NUR 465)

Students in this course will explore the recent changes in health care technology including, electronic medical records, patient care, decision support, radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems, and workflow. Students will evaluate these technologies in terms of nursing practice and their impact on patient outcomes. Barriers and incentives to implementation will be examined. Emphasis will be placed on learning how to stay current in the area and use of information management and patient care technology and related health care technologies to improve the design, delivery, and evaluation of evidence-based, quality health care. Prerequisites NUR 375

NUR 377: Cultural Diversity, Spirituality and Ethics in Healthcare (Formerly NUR 425)

This course focuses on the fundamentals of an evidence-based approach to examining a range of cultural norms, religions, and alternative healthcare practices of varied racial and ethnic groups, and how these practices affect the definition, design and implementation of culturally competent, individualized health care. Variations in race, ethnic, age and gender groups, family structure and patient support will be explored. Emphasis will be placed on summarizing intercultural aspects and how the multicultural professional nursing workforce can collaborate to assess, plan, and manage care according to the cultural and spiritual needs of individual patients and populations. Prerequisites NUR 376

NUR 378: Global and Community Based Nursing (Formerly NUR 445)

This course explores the factors that impact the health of individuals, communities, and populations at the local, national, and global levels. Issues including public health, environmental health, emerging infectious diseases, and chronic illness will be explored, while incorporating societal and cultural issues. Prerequisites NUR 377

NUR 379: Global Community Service Project Internship

This course provides students the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge gained in their RN-BSN coursework and apply it in a variety of clinical settings at the local, national or global level. Service projects  may include but are not limited to, developing a plan for impacting health issues, evaluating and participating in community health initiatives at the local or national level, or participating in global health settings. The specific plan. Prerequisites NUR 378

NUR 380: Professional Nursing Leadership

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of leadership and management in nursing and the health environment. Emphasis is placed on understanding the health care system and social forces affecting care delivery, effective leadership, patient outcomes, project management, accounting principles, and entrepreneurship. Health care policies and their effects on professional practice are explored. Prerequisites NUR 379

NUR 490: Capstone in Evidenced Based Professional Nursing Practice (Formerly NUR 499)

This capstone course synthesizes program concepts through analysis of a documented health issue. Students use evidence-based resources, address health competencies and analyze the identified issue. Student will develop a plan of interventions that incorporated current evidence for management of the identified issue. Students will present their capstone work via a poster or podium presentation. Presentation forums may be on-campus, at a professional conference, or conducted virtually. Prerequisites NUR 380