RN-BSN

RNs, we heard you.

We’ve made getting your BSN at Washington State University even more convenient.

The current RN-BSN curriculum replaces on-site, precepted clinical hours with practice experience hours gained by completing a community/population health project and a capstone project. You’ll complete the program mostly online, starting any semester. Only one attendance day per semester is required for interactive learning and meeting with your course instructors.

It gives the working nurse more flexibility and the chance to delve deeply into a topic of interest.

Admission Requirements

Application Deadlines

Fall & Summer Semesters

Priority Application Window:
Nov 15 – Jan 31

For applications after Jan 31 contact an RN-BSN advisor.

Spring Semester

Priority Application Window:
July 1 – Aug 20

For applications after Aug 20 contact an RN-BSN advisor.

Why earn your BSN?

As you are looking to build upon what you’ve learned in your associate nursing degree, consider that more than three-fourths of employers have a strong preference for hiring BSN-prepared nurses. Almost half of health care facilities in the United States require new hires to have a BSN. Having a bachelor’s degree can open more doors to leadership and management positions.

The WSU College of Nursing offers a degree-completion program 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. With 30 years of leadership in RN-BSN education, the WSU College of Nursing is recognized throughout the Pacific Northwest as a high-quality institution that produces exceptional graduates.

UCORE

What are the WSU College of Nursing prerequisites and University Common Requirements (UCORE)?

Students must complete the WSU College of Nursing prerequisites and UCORE. Please note, students with a DTA (Direct Transfer Agreement) degree or a bachelor’s degree in another field are not required to complete UCORE classes.

Note: Students planning to begin the program in Fall must complete all requirements by the end of their Spring term. Students planning to begin the program in Spring must complete all requirements by the end of the Fall Term. i.e. if you are applying for Fall 2023, requirements must be completed by the end of Spring 2023.

How do I know if my other courses will transfer?

Send an unofficial transcript to your nursing advisor for feedback if you want to determine whether courses will apply towards the U-CORE requirements. You can also reference the WSU Transfer Center website. The Transfer Center website is a tool that helps transfer students determine unofficial course equivalencies and request course evaluations. Students should note that official assessment of transfer course work is completed at the time of application to WSU.

Nursing Prerequisites

Below is the general list of the College of Nursing prerequisites for the RN-BSN program. For more detailed information of specific course equivalencies, please refer to the lists of common approved transfer institutions’ course work. If there are questions about course work not listed, please contact the Academic Advisor of the campus to which you are applying.

NOTE: If you are graduating with the nursing transfer degree (AN/DTA MRP) it will satisfy all prerequisite/UCORE requirements.

Course SubjectSemester Credits*Quarter Credits*Notes
Anatomy & Physiology810The entire series must be completed at the same institution to ensure full coverage of human anatomy and physiology.
General Chemistry45
Human Nutrition 34 Sports nutrition not acceptable.
Introduction to Sociology/Social Problems 34Only course work specifically designated as a Sociology course covering Introduction to Sociology or Social Problems will be accepted.
Introduction to Psychology 34 
Microbiology45 Must include lab.
Statistics34 Must include inferential and descriptive statistics.

*Minimum number of credits required.

Did you take nursing prerequisites or earn a degree from another institution?

Check out our RN-BSN Transfer Guide to see course equivalencies.

  • Have a current, unencumbered Washington state RN license or be eligible for licensure
  • Be at junior standing (60 semester hours/90 quarter hours), have a direct transferable associate degree, or have a bachelor’s degree
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in all college course work
  • Completed College of Nursing prerequisite courses and WSU’s University Common Requirements (UCORE) or equivalent course work; check with your RN-BSN advisor or compare your completed courses at the Transfer Credit Equivalencies website. If you are graduating with the nursing transfer degree (AN/DTA MRP) it will satisfy all prerequisite/UCORE requirements
  • Pass/satisfactory grades and CLEP scores may not be accepted. Contact your nursing advisor for further details.

Before Starting NursingCAS Application

  • Review the Application Requirements above to ensure you meet the requirements
  • Confirm that you are ready by consulting with an RN-BSN advisor at the primary campus where you plan to apply.
  • Review the application support documentation below and/or our tutorial videos.

Navigate to NursingCAS to begin process

  • Select the ‘Apply Now!’ button at the bottom of this section and select the term that you are applying for (Spring 2023).  Click apply to set up your account. Check your junk mail and spam folder for the initial account confirmation to ensure that NursingCAS emails are safely going to your inbox. 
  • Select “Add a Program.” Search for “Washington State University.” Select “RN-BSN Spring 2023.” Depending on when you apply, there might be additional applications open for WSU, so it’s important you select the “RN-BSN Spring 2023” so your application goes to the right place.
    • Note: In NursingCAS, all WSU campuses are combined as Spokane/Tri-Cities/Vancouver/Yakima, WA. After you begin the application, you will be able to select the campus you want to apply for. The campus selection is a required question so you will have to answer it. Once you submit your application, your campus decision(s) cannot be changed.
  • Select the My Application tab to begin filling out your application

Personal Information

  • Fill out all 7 sections. Make sure you click “save and continue” at the bottom of each section.
  • Ensure that your contact info is accurate – your email is what we use to contact you for issues and info.

Academic History

  • Fill out all 4 sections
  • For Colleges Attended, click “add a college” and input every college you have ever attended. Complete the questions asked for each college you added.
  • You will need to order official transcripts for every college/university you have attended. We recommend ordering an electronic transcript if possible. If you school does not offer electronic transcripts through one of the 3 companies that NursingCAS uses, please follow the instructions for “Option 2: Order a Mailed Paper Transcript.”
  • For Transcript Entry, input every course exactly as it appears on that institution’s transcript. NursingCAS will reject an application if the transcript entry does not match the transcript.
  • We recommend pulling up an unofficial transcript so you can copy over the classes accurately
    • Note: We do not recommend using the Professional Transcript Entry (PTE) function as it takes far too long and may delay your admission.
    • Note: do your best with the course subject drop-down. It will not cover every option possible, and as long as it is close enough we will know what you are going for. It is the other components that are blank fields (grades/credits) that are the most important to us.
  • Once you have completed the transcript entry, choose to review and finalize your transcripts.
  • Ensure that you accurately indicate repeated classes. Type out exactly what is on your transcript.

Supporting Information

  • Fill out, or opt out, of all three sections. For the RN to BSN program we do not consider this as part of the review and opting out will not hurt your application strength. To opt out, click the “I am no adding any achievements, experiences, or licensure/certification” button at the bottom of each respective section.

Program Materials

  • Review the home tab first, then fill out the remaining 3 tabs (Questions, Documents, Prerequisites)
  • For Questions, thoroughly read through each and answer appropriately – if you answer yes to a question, and later it turns out you should have answered no, you risk ineligibility.
  • For Prerequisites, select the assign course button to match your courses to each specific prerequisite course. Use the prerequisite descriptions to make sure you are including all that you need to include.
    • Note: Use your best matching possible from what you have taken, but we will correct it after you submit your application. If you are unsure about whether or not a class will count as a prerequisite, reach out to the campus immediately as the course may not meet our prerequisite requirement.

Submitting Your Application

  • Navigate to “Submit Application” on the top of the page and pay application fee. Note that the deadline time is 11:59pm EST of that date
  • Wait – we will send updates via email.
  • Remember – Email us early on if you anticipate any issues. Triple-check the checklist as well, particularly the red sections that cause the most ineligibilities.

Tips for submitting your application

  • Select one campus (Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, or Yakima) you would like to attend. The campus you indicate on your application is where you will be expected to attend in-person classes.
  • Include an email address you check regularly. Most contact during the admissions process will be done via email. Failure to respond may jeopardize your chances for admission.
  • Make sure your official transcripts are received by NursingCAS. Please note that a copy of a transcript from every college and/or university you have attended will be required.
  • The College of Nursing does not review letters of recommendation or personal essays. Please do not send them to NursingCAS or to the College of Nursing.

After you submit your application

  • DO NOT apply to WSU at this time. If you are admitted to the nursing program, you will receive instructions to apply to the University.
  • Apply for financial aid. Deadline to apply is January 31 for the following academic year. WSU’s FAFSA code is 003800.

Ready to begin the process? Contact your advisor to get started!

Want a printable version of this?

General Application & Admissions Questions

  1. How often are students admitted?
    1. WSU College of Nursing admits students for the fall (beginning in August), spring (beginning in January), and summer (beginning in May) terms.
  2. When is the application deadline?
    1. We admit students twice per year for summer, fall, and spring terms. Contact an RN-BSN advisor at the campus location you plan to apply to for additional information and for assistance with the application process or visit our steps to apply page.
  3. What is the University Writing Portfolio?
    1. The University Writing Portfolio is a mid-career diagnostic to determine if students’ writing abilities have advanced in ways that can handle the writing demands of upper-division courses and courses in their majors. Specific submission guidelines and forms are online and available for download as pdfs. They include step-by-step instructions on how to complete the writing portfolio. Visit the University Writing Portfolio page for more information.
  4. Do all WSU students have to complete the writing portfolio?
    1. No. Students with a previous bachelor’s degree are excused from the writing portfolio.

NursingCAS FAQs – General

  1. How will I hear about decisions or issues with my application?
    1. All communication happens through the NursingCAS webadmit tool. Make sure you create an account with an email you check regularly, and check spam and junk emails regularly as well. Verify your information is accurate in the Personal Information section as well. Both WSU and NursingCAS can/will contact you through the email you provided when applying.
  2. What happens if I never get an email?
    1. Luckily for you, we also send you an email when you are fully reviewed! If you get an email saying that you have been reviewed, that means there were no errors in your application and you may rest easy until decisions go out.
  3. What happens if I get an email about issues I have?
    1. If the issues with your application are minimal and not duplicitous, we will reach out via email and give approximately 2 business days to update your application with fixed information. Again, for that reason, regularly check for emails from NursingCAS itself and in all folders.

      Replying to that email will put you in contact with your reviewer, so if you do not understand what you need to fix, or have fixed what you needed to, please let your reviewer know. This will continue the review process of your application. There is often something called an Academic Update needed, which can take time. Letting us know you’ve seen what you need to do and are working on it is good practice.
  4. How long does it take to get a decision?
    1. We aim to stick as closely to our timeline as possible.
  5. I was asked a question on how COVID impacted my life, why was this asked?
    1. That was a question included by NursingCAS itself. We will not use the answer in our admissions process, so you may opt out of answering that if you so wish.
  6. Why am I not able to submit my application?
    1. There could be a few issues. First, double check that everything is filled out (all 4 quadrant circles are green) to show you’ve completed everything. If that is the case and you still are not sure, contact your campus advisor who can look over it with you.
  7. How do I reach out to NursingCAS?
    1. If you look at your name on the application, there will be a “?” icon next to it. If you click that you will be connected with the CAS helpdesk as well as find their contact email.

NursingCAS FAQs – Academic History & Transcripts

  1. What if I took classes in high school, like Dual Enrollment classes?
    1. Those are technically college credits and will be included in your history as well. Make sure you list that institution and order transcripts from them as well.
  2. What if I did AP credit instead?
    1. You will also need to enter these so we know. It can be tricky as you combine them into one sum of units. For example, if you took AP U.S. History and AP English Literature, and you got 3 units of work for history and 4 units of work for English, you would list it as: “AP Credits” for 7 units total for your first term for the school that granted you the credit. For the grade you may put CR to indicate it is for credit.
  3. Do I really need to order official transcripts from everywhere I’ve been?
    1. Yes. We need CAS to verify your coursework before we can take a look as reviewers, and CAS only verifies once they have everything. We recommend ordering your transcripts as soon as you can to mitigate issues.
  4. How do I order my transcripts then?
    1. For 99% of institutions, you will be able to order them through the application on NursingCAS. If your college is not listed within CAS, please contact us.
  5. Where do my transcripts go to? What if there is a mail delay?
    1. You want to make sure your transcripts go to NursingCAS, and NOT to WSU. We are unable to pass them to CAS if you send them to us. Please make sure that transcripts are ordered at minimum 6 weeks before the start of the term as well.

      Additionally, we understand that life does happen, and tech issues may rarely occur. We recommend that you save ordering receipts for this reason. Further, you are able to submit your completed CAS application with pending transcripts if this does happen.

      Lastly, it can take a few days for CAS to process your transcripts. It is normal to get confirmation they were sent, then have a few days before CAS notes them as received on your account. If it has been more than a week between sending and receiving, please reach out, otherwise the timing is normal.
  6. Do I need high school transcripts too?
    1. Luckily no! CAS will ask you where you attended, but you do not need to provide proof or transcripts for that section.
  7. When I put in my classes, what do I pick for the status?
    1. You can do your best guess here. If you were taking it early on, it’s okay to put first year/freshman there. Same thing if it’s been about a year you can put sophomore. We do not look in detail at this section, so you do not need to worry about mistakes here.
  8. I took a random class, what do I put for the subject area?
    1. Subject is another part that doesn’t matter as much to us. Use your best guess as to what makes sense, and when in doubt you can pick the “Special Topics” option without issue.

If you have any other questions about the application email us!

What does it cost to attend the program?

Visit the WSU Student Financial Services website for information on tuition and expenses.

How much does it cost to apply?

Nursing CAS itself will cost $55. The WSU application is $70.

What support can I get with financial aid?

Please see our Financial Aid page for information on scholarships.

What is the Border Bill as it relates to WSU?

The State of Washington’s Border Bill is a program that allows Oregon residents who live in specified counties to attend WSU Vancouver and/or WSU Tri-Cities part-time (8 credits or less per semester) and pay resident tuition rates for the courses taken through these 2 WSU campuses ONLY. Contact an RN-BSN advisor for details.

Program Requirements

CourseTitleCreditsCourse Offered
NURS 360Contemporary Nursing3Offered 1st 8 weeks of the semester.
NURS 400Nursing Research & EBP3Offered 2nd 8 weeks of the semester.
NURS 405Nursing Leadership3Offered Fall – 1st 8 weeks of the semester.
NURS 406Nursing Management of the Healthcare Environment3Offered Spring – 1st 8 weeks of the semester.
NURS 413Healthcare Informatics3Offered 2nd 8 weeks of the semester.
NURS 440Population Health Theory3Offered 1st 8 weeks of the semester.
NURS 463Coordination of Care Across Complex Populations3Offered 1st 8 weeks of the semester.
NURS 465Application of Population Health Principles3Offered as 12-week course starts beginning of semester fall/spring.
NURS 495Advanced Practicum3Offered 2nd 8 weeks of the semester.
Electives3Offered 2nd 8 weeks of the semester.

RN-BSN Total Required Credits – 30

  1. Formulate nursing practice decisions using the foundation of a liberal education and evolving knowledge from nursing science, the biological and behavioral sciences, and the humanities.
  2. Apply leadership concepts, skills, and decision-making in the provision of high-quality nursing care, healthcare team coordination, and the oversight and accountability for safe care delivery in a variety of settings.
  3. Integrate reliable evidence from multiple credible sources of knowledge including basic and health sciences to inform practice and make clinical judgments.
  4. Demonstrate skills in using patient care technologies, information systems, and communication devices that support safety and quality nursing practice.
  5. Demonstrate basic understanding of the role of nurses in advocating for patients, communities and populations in discussions related to healthcare policy, finance, and regulations.
  6. Use inter-and intra-professional communication and collaborative skills to advocate for safe, evidence-based, high quality patient-centered care.
  7. Demonstrate basic understanding of the role of health promotion, and disease/injury prevention in improving population health across the lifespan.
  8. Demonstrate the values central to nursing practice including altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, advocacy, social justice, and life-long learning.
  9. Provide safe, competent, compassionate, ethical, culturally sensitive, and evidence-based nursing care to individuals, families, groups, communities and populations through promotion, maintenance and restoration of health; prevention of illness, and physical, emotional, and spiritual support throughout the life span.

OVERVIEW

Nursing education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of skills and professional attitudes and behaviors.

Specific essential abilities or technical standards have been identified by the College of Nursing in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the 2008 Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment (ADAAA). All courses in the curriculum must be completed successfully and competently to build on the student’s previous knowledge gained in an Associate Degree program. Candidates for the undergraduate RN-BSN degree in nursing must have abilities and skills in five areas:

  1. Observation/Sensory-Motor
  2. Conceptual-Integrative
  3. Communication
  4. Motor
  5. Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Self-Regulation

Technological accommodations can be made for some disabilities in certain of these areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner and exercise independent judgment. These technical standards pertain to all student conduct regardless of setting (e.g. classroom/didactic, on-campus visits, off-campus clinical practice experiences, email communication, etc.). Individuals interested in applying for admission to WSU College of Nursing RN-BSN program are encouraged to consider their possible need for reasonable accommodations as they review these Technical Standards to become familiar with the skills, abilities, and behavioral characteristics required to complete the program. Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. Further information can be found at the end of this document.

STANDARD I. OBSERVATION/SENSORY-MOTOR

General: Applicants and current students must be able to observe demonstrations and participate in didactic courses and learning opportunities. For clinical practice experience (e. g. community assessment and older adult assessment) the candidate/student must be able to observe the older adult, and observe members of a chosen community, accurately both at a distance and close at hand.  If a candidate’s ability to observe or acquire information is compromised, it will be the responsibility of the student to utilize alternative means to collect and convey essential information.

Example:

Use and accurately interpret information obtained from observations during windshield surveys, home assessment, and older-adult assessment

STANDARD II. COGNITIVE-INTEGRATIVE

General: Applicants and current students should have the intellectual abilities to meet curricular requirements in a timely fashion. These abilities may include, but are not limited to: measurement, calculation, reasoning, integration, analysis, and synthesis of data and information. The ability to acquire information, with or without accommodation, from a variety of sources including verbal communications, written documents, films, slides, videos, and other electronic media also is required.

Examples:

Determine health disparities within a community based on primary and secondary data analysis

Evaluate home safety issues and evidence-based literature to develop and present a safety teaching plan

STANDARD III. COMMUNICATION

General: Applicants and current students must possess interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact appropriately and effectively with individuals, families, and groups from diverse backgrounds. They must be able to demonstrate written and spoken proficiency in the English language and communicate appropriately, effectively, and efficiently in oral and written form, as appropriate to the RN-BSN nursing program.

Examples:

Elicit accurate information from individuals (community key stakeholders, faculty, other students) necessary to evaluate an individual’s or community’s health status and formulate a care plan and/or intervention adequately and effectively

Effectively convey and deliberate analysis results related to a community assessment

Establish rapport with community members, patients, peers, and colleagues

STANDARD IV. MOTOR/PSYCHOMOTOR

General: Applicants and current students should have sufficient motor function such that they are able to reasonably execute movements that are required to perform their teaching, learning, and practice experience responsibilities, including the abilities to produce written assignments/reports and collect data for a community assessment as appropriate to the RN-BSN nursing program.

Examples:

  • Use and manage computer software or applications correctly and appropriately for their coursework and to collect data for community assessment analysis
  • Possess psychomotor skills necessary to administer various assessment tools with an older adult (e.g. Mini-cog, Geriatric depression scale, home safety assessment)

STANDARD V. SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL, BEHAVIORAL, AND SELF-REGULATION

General: Applicants and current students must possess the emotional stability and ability to manage the demands associated with the pursuit of professional activities, including the full use of intellectual ability and good judgment to independently, accurately, and effectively complete all responsibilities and meet all deadlines. Applicants and students must be able to develop mature, sensitive, non-judgmental, non-prejudiced, and effective relationships with faculty, peers, and other professionals in the academic and community setting. A willingness to accept and respond to constructive criticism given in any situation is critical.

Examples:

  • Demonstrate one’s composure in noisy, malodorous, or visually complex, emotionally charged, and intense situations to maintain a safe and therapeutic environment
  • Demonstrate self-care and personal hygiene routines
  • Demonstrate self-regulation in the context of receiving feedback regarding areas for improvement
  • Demonstrate awareness of, and attend and respond to the needs of others effectively, compassionately and respectfully in order to establish and maintain therapeutic relationships
  • Communicate professionally with peers, faculty, interprofessional team, and the general public
  • Demonstrate the flexibility and adaptability within dynamic clinical, professional, and academic contexts
  • Manage time effectively in order to complete professional and technical responsibilities within time constraints
  • Demonstrate personal and professional integrity as well as commitment to uphold professional ethics and codes of conduct that protect clients and the public

Candidates and current students who have questions regarding the technical standards or who believe they may need to request reasonable accommodation(s) in order to meet the standards are encouraged to contact Access Services in the Student Success Center as part of the Division of Student Affairs for WSU Health Sciences prior to applying to the College of Nursing.

Instructions on how students can apply for accommodations:

A printable version of the RN-BSN Technical Standards Policy can be found on our College of Nursing Policies and Procedures webpage.

FAQs

What would my schedule of courses look like?

Contact an RN-BSN advisor. There are options for full-time and part-time course work.

Where do I complete my experiential learning hours?

NURS 465 and NURS 495 courses include practice experiential learning hours under the supervision of the course instructor. These hours are completed doing a community assessment, older adult assessment, and a problem-based project. Students must complete specific portions of these experiences in the State of Washington. If you must move out of Washington state during the program or accept a travel nurse position, contact your RN-BSN advisor and the RN-BSN program director as soon as possible for a plan to complete these course experience hours.

What computer skills and technology are required?

  • Microsoft Office – Word and PowerPoint
  • Internet and email
  • Canvas software (WSU will provide instruction)
  • High-speed internet

Will I need to obtain a College of Nursing photo ID?

Yes, you will need to purchase a photo ID, and the cost will be $10. For further details, contact the advisor at your campus:

Where do I get my books?

Order your books from WSU’s Official Campus Bookstore.

  • Spokane & Yakima Students – select ‘Spokane’ Campus
  • Tri-Cities & Walla Walla Students – select ‘Tri-Cities’ Campus
  • Vancouver Students – select ‘Vancouver’ Campus
  • All Students – select ‘WSU online‘ for non-nursing electives available online.

Will I need to wear a uniform for my clinical courses?

No. School uniforms are not required. You will need to wear appropriate attire when out in the community and interviewing for your course projects. Consult your course faculty.