Nursing RN to BSN program

Nursing, RN to BSN (Anschutz)

Offered by:
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

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Overview

Are you an active Registered Nurse who is ready for more autonomy and opportunity in your nursing career? Earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree online is a great way to reach your full potential and futureproof your career. Designed for working nurses, our online RN to BSN program supports your advancement and helps prepare you for the changing requirements of working in the modern health care workplace. It’s an affordable and flexible online Bachelor’s in Nursing program that allows you to earn your degree, live your life, and continue working at the same time.

During our fully online nursing program, you’ll learn from an exceptional faculty of experienced nursing professionals from the world-renowned College of Nursing at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. You’ll learn from instructors who are not just highly qualified and experienced nursing professionals – but are also great teachers. They are committed to helping you reach your goals and transform your nursing career. You’ll graduate with the real-world knowledge and practical skills necessary to take command of your career and your future as a nurse.

Choosing the CU Anschutz online RN-BSN program is a smart decision:

  • Quality – A BSN degree from the University of Colorado is a true sign of preparation and accomplishment recognized by employers across the health care industry.
  • Affordable – Featuring a total tuition of $12,000, with scholarship opportunities available to every student, this degree empowers your future success.
  • Fast – Designed for active working professionals, the RN to BSN can be completed in just four semesters (16 months).
  • Flexible – Transfer most previously completed prerequisite coursework from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Collaborative – Join a small cohort, beginning each fall and spring, for progression and connection within a group of fellow nurses.
  • Engaging – Benefit from practicum experiences designed to meet your personal goals. Focus on an individual area of interest and create a project that is meaningful and useful to you and your organization.

Program Details

At CU Anschutz College of Nursing, innovation defines education. Our skilled online educators and practicing nurses keep pace with the latest in research and technology, prepping our students for future success. Throughout the online RN to BSN program, you’ll be taught by nurse educators who understand the unique challenges of working full-time as a nursing professional while also taking courses. Our classes are offered entirely online and in a schedule that may be compatible with tuition reimbursement plans from your employer.

Upon successful completion of the online RN to BSN program and the National Licensure Examination (NCLEX), baccalaureate-prepared nurses are able to choose from a wide variety of practice settings. Additionally, nurses who earn a bachelor’s degree are able to pursue advanced degrees in nursing, including programs that prepare them for careers as adult or pediatric nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives or certified nurse anesthetists. Doctorate-level education is also possible for those with a BS in Nursing who wish to pursue a PhD or DNP.

Earning your RN to BSN from CU Online can help you:

  • Provide improved patient care in hospital settings (the most popular choice of nursing graduates)
  • Care for patients in community-based settings 
  • Provide nursing leadership through nursing management positions
  • Provide nursing care to individuals, families, and communities internationally
  • Work in clinical research by coordinating human subject studies
  • Help shape future nursing clinicians through teaching opportunities

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CCNE Accreditation

CCNE Accreditation 

The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice and post-graduate APRN certificate at the University of Colorado College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is the national accreditation agency that ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing by requiring strict standards of excellence to receive accreditation. When you graduate with a BSN degree from CU Anschutz, you’ll start your nursing career with confidence knowing that you received a high-quality degree from a university with a rich history of over 100 years of nursing education. 


Dual Enrollment ADN to BSN Program 

For students who are interested in earning their Bachelor of Science in Nursing but are not yet licensed RNs, we offer an online Dual Enrollment ADN in Nursing and BS Nursing program that is designed for students who are currently enrolled in an Associate Degree in Nursing program at a community college. Our Dual Enrollment ADN to BSN program allows you to continue taking courses toward your ADN at one of the community colleges listed below while also taking online courses that count toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing from CU Anschutz.

If you are currently accepted to or enrolled in an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program at:

  • Arapahoe Community College (ACC)
  • Front Range Community College (FRCC)
  • Pueblo Community College/Southwest Colorado Community College (PCC/SCCC)

Learn more about how you can dual enroll in the RN to BSN at CU Anschutz and earn your BSN online while simultaneously completing your ADN.


RN to BSN Curriculum Overview

As an RN to BSN online student, you’ll take courses that are created specifically for working nurses who want to provide better patient care, gain more control over their career, and autonomy in their daily nursing practice. Our RN to BSN coursework can be completed 100% online, though you will be required to complete in-person clinical hours. These clinical hours will allow you to get hands-on and practice what you’re learning in the coursework. It's an important part of the curriculum and you’ll gain valuable insight into the role of a BSN in an actual healthcare environment. Through your online nursing courses and clinical experience, you’ll develop skills that are immediately applicable to your nursing career and improve your understanding of what it takes to be an effective, caring, and knowledgeable healthcare provider.

RN to BSN Program Outcomes:

As a graduate of the CU Anschutz online RN to BSN program you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate professional nursing leadership qualities to promote quality practice and safe care
  • Effectively communicate and collaborate in intra– and interdisciplinary teams across a variety of settings and functions
  • Provide diverse populations with socially just, ethical, and inclusive care across the healthcare continuum
  • Employ principles of healthcare informatics as a meaningful user of health information systems and technology
  • Utilize and draw on relevant theoretical frameworks to improve patient and population health outcomes across a range of settings
  • Integrate evidence-based practice into patient-centered care using the nursing process across a range of settings
  • Articulate how policy, advocacy, finance and regulatory environments influence healthcare delivery

Online RN to BSN Core Courses (30 Credits)

Courses taken online through CU Anschutz to complete BSN degree:

  • Professional Nursing Role Development (NURS 4824)
  • Evidence-Based Nursing Practice and Research for the RN (NURS 4800)
  • Population-Based Nursing (NURS 4877)
  • Quality, Safety, and Innovative Nursing Practice (NURS 4860)
  • Introduction to Informatics (NURS 4850)
  • Nursing Leadership in Complex Organizations 1 (NURS 4887)
  • Nursing Leadership in Complex Organization 2 (NURS 4897)

Clinical Requirements:

As a student in the online RN to BSN program at CU Anschutz you will complete one credit hour (60 practicum hours) in a clinical setting under the supervision of a nursing professional. This is an integral part of all online nursing programs and a vital part of our mission as a college to provide you with comprehensive nursing education. You will have a wide variety of clinical settings and nursing environments in which to complete your clinical hours.


RN to BSN Career Overview

Hospitals and healthcare practices around the world are in need of qualified and dedicated nurses, and earning your BS in Nursing gives you the credentials and the specialized skills you need to stay relevant. Nurses who complete our online RN to BSN program and the National Licensure Examination (NCLEX) are able to pursue a variety of challenging and rewarding career paths, including patient care, public health, nursing leadership, clinical research, and more. When you graduate with your online BSN degree, you’ll open the door to a wide range of nursing careers and educational opportunities that can help you make a meaningful impact in your community and our world.

Nurses are in high demand across all healthcare settings, including hospitals and out-patient facilities, primary care offices, military bases, schools and universities, and home healthcare programs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 12% growth for all registered nurse positions by 2028, with a projected total of more than 370,000 new RN jobs from 2018-2028.

In addition to the growing demand for RNs, an increasing number of hospitals and care facilities now require nurses to have a BSN, as this degree correlates to lower patient mortality rates, fewer medication errors, and increased positive outcomes, according to a study by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). A BSN degree is highly valued among healthcare professionals, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing can give you more control over your career and help you secure your future as a nurse.

An RN to BSN degree can enhance your nursing career by:

  • Qualifying you for a wider range of nursing roles in a variety of healthcare settings
  • Giving you more autonomy over your daily work and schedule
  • Increasing your earning potential and benefits
  • Improving your ability to provide thoughtful, effective patient care
  • Offering you the opportunity to move into advanced practice nursing or pursue a Master of Science in Nursing degree

I think pretty much everything we have touched on in the RN-BSN program has been applicable to my career in one way or another. It has helped me start to think about my role as a nurse and how I can make an impact in my unit/organization outside of bedside practice.

— Michael M. | Current RN to BSN Student

Tuition and Fees 

At CU Online, we strive to keep our tuition costs affordable so that you can get a world-class education that fits your budget. When you earn a degree, you’re not simply getting a diploma — you’re making a lifelong investment in yourself and empowering your future career. We know that affordability is an important factor, and that’s why we’re here to help you explore all of the options available to fund your education.

Our Enrollment Navigators can answer any of your questions about tuition and financial aid, help you take care of the paperwork, and make sure you’re able to focus on reaching your goals. From financial aid and scholarships to tuition assistance programs, we’ll work with you to find the best way to finance your degree.

  • Estimated total tuition (in state): $12,000*  
  • Estimated total tuition (out of state): $15,900 

*The tuition rates at the College of Nursing are designed to incentivize completion of the RN to BSN program (30 credit hours) in four consecutive semesters. This timeline grants both in-state and out-of-state students access to a $12,000 flat rate for total tuition (including academic fees).

Our Enrollment Navigators can answer any of your questions about tuition and financial aid, help you take care of the paperwork, and make sure you’re able to focus on reaching your goals.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available for eligible students to use toward paying educational costs while enrolled in a CU Online program. To determine your eligibility and apply for financial aid, you’ll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). When you submit your FAFSA, you will be considered for three types of aid: grants, work-study, and student loans. To be considered for federal financial aid, you will need to apply early and annually.

Scholarships 

Once you are admitted to the University of Colorado, you’ll have access to our internal scholarship portal where you can view and apply to many funding opportunities offered by the university. Scholarship opportunities typically require an application and may have specific eligibility requirements related to a student's academic merit, financial need, community service, work experience, and more. Unlike financial aid loans, scholarships are gift aid that does not have to be repaid. As a student, you will be able to apply for scholarships every semester.

Transfer Credits

If you are applying as a transfer student, your coursework from other colleges and universities could count toward your University of Colorado degree requirements. Transferring credits to your CU Online degree program may help you save on tuition costs and complete your degree sooner. Once you are admitted to the university, a transfer credit evaluation will be performed to determine how many transfer credits are eligible to apply to your degree.

Employer Tuition Benefits 

Many companies, including most healthcare organizations, offer tuition assistance benefits as part of their employee compensation program. Some will even incentivize earning your RN to BSN. Generally, these policies lay out a set number of credit hours per year that the company will pay for on behalf of the student/employee. Some policies place a cap on eligible tuition dollars and related expenses while others reimburse employees on a per-credit-hour basis. Get in touch with your organization's Human Resources department to learn more about your educational benefits.

Veteran & Military Student Benefits

CU Online is military-friendly and committed to providing service members and their families with a high-quality education that fits their distinct needs. As a CU Online student, you will have access to the Office of Veteran & Military Student Services (VMSS), which connects veteran, active duty, reservist, National Guard, and dependent students with fundamental support, services, and resources to ensure academic and professional success.  

Our veteran and military students may use both veterans benefits and financial aid to pay for their education. Military benefits with CU Online include: 

  • Waived application fee 
  • GI Bill benefits 
  • Potential to be awarded credit hours for military training and experience 
  • Free tutoring and academic support 

Connect with our Enrollment Navigators to learn more about the benefits and financial assistance available to military and veteran students.

Admissions

Our online RN to BSN program is designed for actively working nurses who are ready to learn more about providing excellent patient care, gain more autonomy as a healthcare provider, and qualify for new career opportunities. The CU Anschutz online RN to BSN program has three start dates per year, so we are always accepting applications for upcoming terms. The criteria for admissions decisions are outlined below. 

As you take the first step toward earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing, our team of Enrollment Navigators is available to guide you through the application process. We’re here to help answer your questions about admission requirements, application deadlines, start dates, financial aid, student support, university resources, and more. Complete the information form at the top of this page to be connected to an Enrollment Navigator.

Prerequisites

In order to apply for the online RN to BSN program, you need to be a currently licensed RN. You are not required to complete any prerequisite courses before applying to the online RN to BSN program, though you will need to complete all general education requirements prior to graduation. Many students choose to transfer general education credits from their community college.

Applicants with an unencumbered RN license may apply to the RN to BSN degree with:

  • Applicants with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher are preferred, but all transcripts submitted will be reviewed on an individual basis.
  • Clinical practice experiences of at least 1,000 hours within the past three years or successful completion of an RN re-entry course approved by the Colorado State Board of Nursing.
  • Registered nurses who have graduated within the past three years may apply for entry to the program without clinical practice experience.
  • An active, unencumbered RN license from our list of authorized states and graduation from an accredited program
  • Applicants must submit a one-page essay reflecting on one of three writing prompts. 
  • Your application should include two letters of recommendation. Ideally, one should be from an academic source and one should be from a professional source. 
  • Applicants must submit their most up-to-date resume or CV with their application. 
  • Applicants must submit official transcripts from every institute of higher education they have ever attended. 

Prerequisite Courses 

Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, and Statistics courses are all required as prerequisites to admission. Applicants with an existing bachelor’s degree must have successfully completed coursework in these four areas to be considered. Applicants without a bachelor’s degree must have completed (or be in the process of completing) at least 60 hours of related college-level coursework, including the four disciplines mentioned above. 

Recent Work or Educational Experience 

If an applicant applies more than three years after receiving their Associate Degree in Nursing, a minimum of 1,000 hours of nursing work experience is required within the last three years. Completion of a CCNE-approved RN refresher course is also sufficient.  

Learn more about the admissions process — or get started with your application — by filling out the form above or contacting an Enrollment Navigator

 

Application Deadlines

Term Application Open Application Close Program Start
Fall January 1 August 1 August
Spring July 1 December 1 January
Summer January 1 April 1 June

Apply Now

As you consider an online education, we understand that it’s important for you to know that you’re getting a high-quality, affordable, and flexible online education that helps you reach your goals. That’s why our team of Enrollment Navigators is available to offer guidance and answer any questions that you may have about our degree programs, financial aid options, transfer information, admissions requirements, and more.

Whether you want to talk through your degree plans, learn more about a specific program, or start your application, our Enrollment Navigators will provide friendly support as you decide if CU Online is the right fit for your future.

Ready to get started? Take the first step toward earning your online RN to BSN degree by calling us at 303-315-3000 or filling out the form above for more information.