Jul 13, 2024  
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog 
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog

Nursing (RN-to-BSN), BSN

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham

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Department of Health and Community Studies, Woodring College of Education

48 credits


The RN-to-BSN program is a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN completion for graduates of an associate degree registered nursing (ADN) program. Students apply to Western and the program as transfer students in the final year of their associate degree or as licensed registered nurses. The program includes GUR courses and 48 upper division major credits allowing students to complete four quarters full-time of nursing program courses to earn their BSN. 

The RN-to-BSN program is specifically designed for registered nurses who have completed an Associate’s or Diploma nursing program (Nursing DTA/MRP preferred), currently have their RN licensure or are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam and become licensed as an RN before the start of quarter two of the program. The program is not able to admit students new to nursing or those with a pre-nursing degree.

The innovative program of study will prepare nurses with the professional competencies necessary for the increasing complexities of healthcare and has been guided by national standards for nursing.

  1. AACN Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (2008): www.aacn.nche.edu/education-resources/essential-series
  2. Quality and Safety Education in Nursing (QSEN) Competencies: www.qsen.org/
  3. QUAD Council Competencies for Public Health Nursing: quadcouncilphn.org
 Contact Information

Program Director
Dr. Sandra Branson
Miller Hall 416A

Program Coordinator
Rika Winquist
Miller Hall 415A

 Sample Careers

Community Health Nursing | Public Health Nursing | Outpatient Clinic Services | Leadership and Management | Pathway to graduate programs including Nurse Practitioner

 Major/Career Resources


Application Information

The RN-to-BSN Program uses a cohort model and admits students once a year in the fall. Students apply as transfer students to the university and the program in the same application. Students in the final year of their associate degree registered nursing program are welcome to apply as long as they can become licensed as an RN before the start of Winter quarter.

All students interested in Nursing at Western are encouraged to schedule an advising session with the program coordinator.

Admission Requirements

  • Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or diploma in nursing, Nursing DTA/MRP preferred.
  • Completion of at least 90 transferrable quarter-system credits including the following nursing prerequisite courses:
    • English Composition (5 credits)
    • Chemistry with lab (5 credits)
    • Anatomy & Physiology with lab (10 credits)
    • Microbiology (5 credits)
    • Introduction to Psychology (5 credits)
    • Life span psychology (5 credits)
    • Statistics (5 credits)
    • Humanities electives (12 credits)
  • Applicants must show evidence of good academic standing with a grade of 2.0 or higher for each RN-to-BSN program prerequisite and a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher. RN-to-BSN applicants with a GPA below 2.75 may contact the program to discuss the admissions exceptions policy. A personal interview will be required.
  • Successful completion of NCLEX-RN examination: www.ncsbn.org/nclex.htm.
  • NOTE: Prelicensure nursing students may apply if graduating before the RN-to-BSN program start date. New graduates may be offered provisional admission pending successful NCLEX examination and RN licensure. Successful completion of the NCLEX examination provides 30 upper-division credits and 15 lower-division elective credits awarded towards the BSN degree.
  • Verification of current licensure to practice as a registered nurse in Washington State.
  • Official transcript from all colleges and universities attended.
  • Nursing Program Application including goal statement questions, professional expectations, criminal history disclosure, and resume.
  • Academic and professional references (2)

Registration for Program Courses

After students are admitted to Western Washington University and the RN-to-BSN program and prior to registration for practice experience courses, students must meet RN licensure and practice experience agency placement requirements. No RN-to-BSN student will be allowed to register for subsequent quarters without being in full compliance with all practice experience agency requirements for placement.

Practice Experience Agency Placement Requirements include but may not be limited to the following:

  • WA state Registered Nurse license or compact state license
  • Background check, including self-disclosure showing no disqualifying crimes
  • Negative urine drug screen
  • American Heart Association (AHA) BLS Provider CPR or AHA ACLS certification
  • Personal Health Insurance
  • Malpractice/Liability Insurance
  • Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR)
  • COVID 19 vaccination
  • Hepatitis B
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis (Tdap)
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox)
  • Influenza (current flu season)
  • Annual tuberculosis (TB) screening 2-step PPD or IGRA blood test

More information about the current practice experience placement requirements is located in the Nursing Program Student Handbook. Applicants with questions about these requirements should contact the program.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C or better is required for a Nursing student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.

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