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Why earn your BSN?

More than three-fourths of employers have a strong preference for hiring BSN-prepared nurses, and almost half of hospitals and other health care facilities in the United States require new hires to have a BSN. For those who are already employed, having a bachelor’s degree can open more doors to leadership and management positions. And salaries for nurses with bachelor’s degrees are higher than those for RNs with an associate degree after 1-4 years of experience. The Institute of Medicine has called for 80 percent of nurses to have a bachelor’s degree by 2020.


The WSU College of Nursing offers a degree-completion course for RNs geared for the working professional. Whether you’re returning to school or are part of a direct-transfer community college program, courses are offered in a flexible, mostly online format that can be completed part-time or full-time. There is just one on-campus meeting per semester, offered at all five WSU College of Nursing sites statewide (Spokane, the Tri-Cities, Yakima, Vancouver, and Walla Walla). The WSU College of Nursing arranges clinical experiences at a variety of sites, unlike some other programs that require RNs to find their own clinical placements. And with nearly 50 years of leadership in nursing education, the WSU College of Nursing is recognized by health care entities throughout the Pacific Northwest as a high-quality institution that produces exceptional graduates.

Course Work

WSU awards 32 credits toward completion of your BSN degree for passing the NCLEX and maintaining an active RN license. The remaining 30 credits may be completed full-time or part-time, and students can start any semester. The program includes course work in assessment, research, informatics, leadership, management, ethics, mental health and community health.

Program Delivery & Scheduling

The program is flexible, with just one on-campus meeting per semester, on Tuesday of the third week of the term. This event brings together all students enrolled in all courses for dynamic, interactive learning. Online course work during the semester is managed via the Blackboard system. Full- and part-time enrollment, or individualized plans of study, are arranged with an RN-BSN advisor. Clinical experiences are completed at a variety of sites and coordinated by the College of Nursing. Clinical placement is primarily in the state of Washington and the Portland area. If you move outside this clinical area, you may need to commute back to complete clinical hours. Contact your nursing advisor for more details.

Pre-Application Requirements

Proof of a current Washington state RN license or eligibility for licensure is required. View pre-application requirements or contact an RN-BSN advisor at your college or at your anticipated campus site.

Get Started

Visit our Steps to Apply page for information on the application and admission process.


The BSN program qualifies nurses for practice in all health care settings including:

  • Acute Care
  • Critical Care
  • Outpatient Care
  • Public Health
  • Mental Health

Careers include:

Hospital nurse, including working in various departments:

  • Hospice nurse
  • Pediatrics
  • Med/surg
  • Oncology
  • Cardiology
  • Operating room
  • Emergency room
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse
  • Working in Skilled Living Facilities
  • Working in outpatient health care clinics
  • Home Health Nurse
  • Public Health Nurse
  • School Nurse
Washington State University