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Advance Your Education

RN to BSN Online

Use your professional experience as a registered nurse to streamline your path to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and advance your education.

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You must be a licensed registered nurse or have completed an associate degree of nursing to apply for the program.

You must be a licensed registered nurse and have completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree or a bachelor's degree in a closely related field to apply for this program.

You must be a licensed registered nurse and have completed a Master of Science in Nursing degree to apply for this program.

You must be a licensed registered nurse and have completed a Master of Science in Nursing degree or a master's degree in a healthcare related field.

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Online RN to BSN Program Highlights

<p>Online coursework designed for working nurses who want flexibility in their study schedules</p>

Online coursework designed for working nurses who want flexibility in their study schedules

<p>Practical training in evidence-based practice with a focus on ethics, leadership, and community health </p>

Practical training in evidence-based practice with a focus on ethics, leadership, and community health 

<p>A clinical team dedicated to helping you find a placement for your practicum hours in your local area</p>

A clinical team dedicated to helping you find a placement for your practicum hours in your local area

<p>Ongoing support from faculty, your Student Success advisor, our Career Services team, and more</p>

Ongoing support from faculty, your Student Success advisor, our Career Services team, and more

Why Enroll in an Online RN to BSN Program?

If you’re a registered nurse who wants to advance your knowledge in clinical best practices, build your leadership skills, and expand your understanding of the latest trends and technologies in medicine, you may be interested in an RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, in 2021, 77.4% of employers expressed a strong preference for BSN program graduates, and 40.6% of hospitals and healthcare settings are requiring new hires to have a bachelor’s degree.1  A BSN can help prepare you for roles in leadership, basic health policy, evidence-based care, and quality improvement. It can also prepare you to pursue advanced nursing degrees.

 At the Accelerated Plus pace, our online RN to BSN program can be completed in as little as 8 months, or two trimesters. The program requires 120 credit hours for completion, with a total up to 90 credits transferable credits or equivalent, for students who qualify.2  At WCU, we focus on practical coursework and hands-on experience that can be carried over into real-life nursing situations throughout your career.

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Overview: RN to BSN Program

Study on Your Schedule

We know you’re eager to get started… and get finished! WCU degrees are designed so that you have the ability to earn your degree at a quick pace. However, we know that students’ circumstances vary, and that’s why we also offer flexible paths of study for those who may need it. Choose a study schedule that matches your goals and life schedule!

Accelerated Plus Pace
(8 Months)

This is the fastest pace that we offer for our RN to BSN online program. By taking more courses per term, you can earn your online RN to BSN degree in as few as 8 months, or just two trimesters. This pace is ideal for experienced nurses who want to streamline their path to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

Accelerated Pace
(12 Months)

This pace is also a great option for working nurses who want to pursue their bachelor’s degree on a more aggressive timeline. At the Accelerated RN to BSN pace, a student can complete their degree in as few as 12 months.

Working Professional Pace
(20 Months)

Our syllabus is also tailored to consider more complicated schedules, so we designed a course of study to accommodate you. If you’re a parent or caretaker at home, or you have a work schedule that complicates your study schedule, this may be the best program pace to help you reach your educational goals.

Hands-On Experience

WCU's RN to BSN program requires 135 hours of practice experience (which includes 90 supervised hours) so you can learn to make assessments and recommendations for care and interact with patients and other practitioners. While your coursework can be completed remotely, in-person experience is also required through clinicals completed in your local area so you can continue your career with confidence

Online Study

Because you’re already a licensed RN, you’ll be able to complete your WCU degree almost entirely online. Additionally, mobile-friendly content is available to make it easier for you to study between shifts.

RN to BSN Curriculum

We recommend reviewing your prospective RN to BSN curriculum in detail so you know what to expect in your program:

Credit Distribution

Required at WCU 30.0
Awarded for college-level, General Education courses 39.0
Awarded for Unencumbered RN Licensure and lower-level nursing courses 51.0
Degree Total 120.0

Academic Calendar

New academic terms begin, on average, every eight weeks. The number of trimesters required for your program depends on the program pace you choose. For the most updated start-to-completion schedule, view the Academic Calendar.

RN to BSN (Online) Admissions Requirements

Applicants to the program must meet the following standards:

  1. Provide proof of a current unobstructed Registered Nurse (RN) license from the United States.
    1. Students awaiting their licensure exam may be admitted if they meet all other admissions criteria but must show proof of licensure prior to entering the third trimester of the program.  
  2. Individuals with 15 or more college-level credits are required to have a 2.25 GPA in post-secondary education.  

    1. Applicants with 15 or more college-level credits and a GPA of 2.0-2.24 may be considered for probationary admission after meeting the following admissions requirements:
      1. The applicant must provide a letter of intent.  
      2. The applicant must be approved for admission following an interview with Program Dean/Director.  
      3. The applicant must satisfy program prerequisites and achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on all coursework attempted over the first trimester (two terms).  Students failing to meet these requirements following the first trimester (two terms) will be withdrawn from the university. 
  3. Submit official transcripts from a Board of Nursing licensed Associate Degree or Diploma in Nursing program;
    1. Applicants can be conditionally admitted into the first week of the program by providing unofficial transcripts or a copy of the conferred nursing degree.  Official transcripts which meet the requirements set forth must be received by the end of the add/drop period in order to be admitted in to the program.  
    2. Applicants with a valid license may be admitted with approved documentation of earned high school degree or equivalent pending receipt of official transcripts of nursing degree.  Official transcripts must be submitted to document program completion.  

*All students must have a current and unobstructed license in the United States prior to entering the third trimester of the program; an unobstructed license is required for degree completion and will be verified again prior to entering the practicum course.  Failure to present a valid RN license will result in dismissal from the university until such time license is current and unobstructed.  


Program Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, RN to BSN students will:

  1. Support professional nursing practice decisions with concepts and theories from the biological, physical, and social sciences
  2. Plan preventative and population-focused interventions with attention to effectiveness, efficiency, cost, and equity
  3. Support therapeutic nursing interventions for patients and families in a variety of healthcare and community settings using evidence-based practice
  4. Apply nursing process and critical thinking when providing holistic, patient-centered nursing care to diverse populations
  5. Design healthcare education for individuals, families, and communities
  6. Comply with the professional standards of moral, ethical, and legal conduct in practice
  7. Develop an effective communication style to interact with patients, families, and the interdisciplinary health team
  8. Model leadership when providing safe and quality nursing care, when coordinating the healthcare team, and when tasked with oversight and accountability for care delivery
  9. Use patient care technology and information systems when providing nursing care in a variety of settings

Career Services & Placement

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree could open the doors to a variety of career paths — and the West Coast University Career Services team can help you both prepare for and explore your career options. WCU Career Services offers career planning advice to leverage your BSN degree, assisting with everything from resume writing and interview preparation to job leads and more.3

Registered nurses work in a variety of healthcare settings. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an RN typically works alongside physicians and other healthcare specialists, and they may oversee licensed practical nurses, nursing assistants, and home health aides. RNs may even work with specific patient groups, such as when they work in the following areas of care:

  • Addiction treatment
  • Cardiovascular care
  • Critical care
  • Genetics
  • Neonatal care
  • Nephrology
  • Public health
  • Rehabilitation4

Clinical Placements

At WCU, we have a Clinical Placements team that is dedicated to supporting you throughout your clinical practicum journey, from your first course all the way to graduation. Whether you need resources to help you identify the right preceptor and clinical site that aligns with your goals, assistance getting your preceptor and clinical site approved, or guidance on how to make your practicum experience a success, our team is here to help.

You will have an assigned coordinator of clinical relations who can provide you with coaching calls, so you’ll never have to feel alone as you complete this critical component of your program requirements. West Coast University has partnerships with reputable healthcare organizations, which can be of great value when it comes to helping students with clinical practice placements

Featured Faculty

George Byron Peraza-Smith, DNP, RN, AGNP-C, GNP-BC, GS-C, CNE, FAANP

Dean/Director, DNP, RN to BSN, AGPC-NP & Graduate Specialty Programs

Dr. George Byron Peraza-Smith,

Dr. George Peraza-Smith is a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). He obtained his Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Case Western Reserve University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Mast of Science in Nursing (MSN) in nursing administration from the University of Texas Medical Branch. He has both a gerontological nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate from the University of South Florida and an adult nurse practitioner post-doctoral certificate from Brandman University.

Dr. Peraza-Smith is board-certified as an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP), a gerontological nurse practitioner, an APRN gerontological specialist, and a certified nurse educator. He is the immediate past president of the Florida Nurses Association and the immediate past inaugural president of the Gerontology Nursing Certification Commission (GNCC) for which he remains a trustee on the board. The GNCC offers an APRN gerontological specialist certification to distinguish APRNs who possess expert knowledge, experience, and skill in managing the complex health needs of older adults.

Dr. Peraza-Smith has been teaching in MSN and DNP online and hybrid programs for over 10 years. He has held academic leadership positions such as Professor, Program Director, Department Chair, and Associate Dean. Dr. Peraza-Smith resides in Zephyrhills, Florida with his husband and two children.


Will I be able to complete my degree if I am working?

Our online nursing programs have been designed to give you the flexibility you need to earn your degree. While due dates and assignments help keep you on track, you will have the ability to watch lectures and complete coursework when and where it’s convenient for you. You choose whether to study in the mornings, evenings, or weekends.

Does the RN to BSN program require clinicals?

Our RN to BSN program requires 135 hours of clinical practicum, with 45 hours being indirect practicum and 90 hours being direct (or in-person) practicum. We have a clinical team that can help you find a local preceptor site where you can complete your practicum hours.

Can I get an RN to BSN degree online?

Yes. The online RN to BSN program at WCU consists of online coursework as well as on-site experiential learning. We advise students to choose a local preceptor RN who serves as a guide in their clinicals.

Can I complete my BSN in less than a year?

Yes, if you are a registered nurse, you have the option to complete your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in eight months, or two trimesters, when you choose the Accelerated Plus pace at WCU. This is possible because of your previous academic experience and licensure. You can transfer up to 39 credits for previously completed general education courses and up to 51 credits for previously completed lower-level nursing courses as demonstrated by earning your RN license. Additionally, the Accelerated Plus pace makes it possible for you to take more courses per trimester, allowing you to complete you remaining credits in a shorter time frame.

How long does it take to complete the RN to BSN program?

In addition to our Accelerated Plus pace for our RN to BSN program (which only takes eight months), we also offer an Accelerated pace and a Working Professional pace. The program takes 12 months to complete at the Accelerated Pace and 20 months to complete at the Working Professional pace. The Working Professional pace lets you take fewer classes per trimester, providing flexibility when you need it. Your advisor can help you find the pace that’s right for you.

Can you skip RN and get a BSN degree?

While it is possible to earn a BSN degree without having the registered nurse (RN) licensure, WCU's RN to BSN online program is designed specifically for the RN with an associate degree or diploma in nursing (ADN). Being an RN with a BSN expands your professional opportunities and may allow for more specialized nursing work.

What is the difference between a RN and BSN?

The key difference between an RN and BSN is that an RN is a state-granted license whereas a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a degree from an accredited institution. One must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to receive an RN license. A registered nurse may pursue a BSN degree to specialize in a particular area and can help open the door to new professional opportunities.

Is financial aid available?

You can receive financial aid, scholarships, and/or grants if you qualify. A few of the scholarships and grants available at WCU include the Alumni Pathway Grant (covers up to 20% of tuition), the WCU Health Services Partner Grant (covers up to 10% of tuition), and the WCU Performance Scholarship (covers up to 15% of tuition). For additional information and eligibility requirements, please visit the online division scholarships and grants page in our catalog.

How will WCU support me in my online studies?

No WCU student is ever alone. We provide a wealth of online support and resources, including 24/7 access to your coursework and our WCU library, as well as 24/7 tech support. Additionally, our faculty members are committed to responding to students’ questions within a 24-hour period through the Remind app. We also offer no-cost tutoring, faculty mentoring, a Student Success advisor, and more.

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at West Coast University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 655 K Street, Suite 750, Washington DC 20001, (202) 877-6791 (

Have Questions?

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More Info

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1 American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “Employment of New Nurse Graduates and Employer Preferences for Baccalaureate-Prepared Nurses,” October 2021

2 WCU evaluates transfer credits for acceptance. For the RN to BSN program, we may accept a total of up to 90 transfer credits (up to 39 credits for previously completed general education courses and up to 51 credits for previously completed lower-level nursing courses as demonstrated by earning your RN license).

3 WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment.

4 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Registered Nurses, Updated September 2022

 Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.