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Online RN-BSN Degree

Bachelor of Science in Nursing — Program Overview

Most health care organizations prefer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree to an Associate's. But if you're already a registered nurse, don't simply take the next step for job security — do it for yourself! 

Our online RN-to-BSN degree program is a great way to advance your career, maximize your earning potential and become better at what you do best: helping people. 

You already have experience in the field, so we won't bother repeating what you've already studied. Instead, our online RN-to-BSN degree program features compelling courses, tenured faculty and flexible acceptance of transfer credits.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the Master of Science in Nursing programs at Briar Cliff University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).


Explore our convenient and flexible online curriculum, taken at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home, and you'll finish every session with practical, real-world knowledge that can be put into practice the very next day! Of course, the learning doesn't all take place in front of a screen. You'll also serve a clinical component, done in your geographic location and at your convenience.


You may transfer up to 90 credit hours from other institutions to go toward the 124 credit hours needed for your online BSN degree, including 30 credits that are automatically accepted from your first nursing program. Contact an advisor for more information.

Apply for Online RN-to-BSN Program



Fall Term:
Aug. 22, 2016


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Core Online RN-BSN Degree Courses

BIOL 340 - Pathophysiology

An introduction to the biochemical, cellular, physiologic and biologic manifestations of disease. Includes alterations in normal function, disruptions in homeostatic mechanisms and adaptations of body systems to disease processes. Read more »

NURS 300 - Evidence-based Nursing Practice

Enhances the student's knowledge of evidence-based practice. The student is introduced to research and research utilization processes. Emphasis is on the knowledge and skills required to critically evaluate and apply qualitative and quantitative research to improve quality of care. Students have the opportunity to apply the knowledge/skills through the development of evidence-based practice changes. The student is exposed to process of grant writing. Prerequisite: NURS 335 (basic students), NURS 310 (RN-BSN students), MATH 200 Concurrent: NURS 330 & 340 (basic students) Read more »

NURS 310 - Theoretical Bases for Nursing Practice (RN-BSN only)

Designed as a bridge course to orient the registered nurse to Upper Division study. Nursing theories are evaluated in the context of the theory-practice relationship. Opportunity is provided for in-depth understanding of the nursing process. Specific concepts relevant to professional nursing practice are considered and applied in analysis of both practice and education issues. Students apply these theories as a framework to guide nursing care of client systems. Initial validation of skills and initial written and oral communication competencies are addressed. Prerequisite: RN licensure Read more »

NURS 311 - Professional Writing for Nurses

This course fosters the development of research and citation skills through the use and application of advanced research techniques. Read more »

NURS 320 - Health Assessment for Registered Nurses (RN-BSN only)

Provides opportunity for the student to expand upon current knowledge and skills applicable to the practice of health assessment in professional nursing. The emphasis of the course will be on the relationship between the nursing process and health assessment skills at various stages of life span development. Prerequisite: RN licensure Fees: Lab - $75 Read more »

NURS 429 - Community and Public Health Nursing Science I

The first course in the community and public health sequence synthesizes the concepts of nursing, human, and public health science and is integrated with the art of nursing. With an emphasis on the application of the nursing process with culturally diverse individuals and families within the community, the course provides for the exploration and utilization of all levels of prevention to foster the promotion, restoration, and maintenance of community health. Clinical experiences in a variety of community settings will provide an opportunity for students to investigate the physiological, psychological, developmental, sociocultural, spiritual, and ethical dimensions which affect the health of the community. Prerequisite: NURS 330 and 340 (basic students); NURS 310 and 320 (RN-BSN students) Concurrent: NURS 440 (basic students) Fees: Lab- $150 Read more »

NURS 435 - Nursing Leadership in the Health Care Delivery System

Explores theories and concepts of decision making, leadership, management and the change process in relationship to the application of the nursing process in various health care settings. Included is the connection of personal, professional, and organizational values and ethics to the identification of options and alternatives in leadership and management in the health care system. Health care policy is discussed and contemporary health care issues are critically evaluated as they relate to the health needs of the societal system and the practice of professional nursing. The clinical component provides an opportunity for students to experience (a) the role played by a nurse leader/manager and/or (b) engage in a leadership change project. Prerequisite: NURS 440, 455, and 410 (Basic); NURS 455 (RN-BSN) Concurrent: NURS 465, NURS 475 and 445 (Basic) Read more »

NURS 455 - Community and Public Health Nursing II

The second course in the community and public health sequence synthesizes the concepts of nursing, human, and public health science and is integrated with the art of nursing. Read more »

Additional Program Requirements

Upon admission to the nursing major, students must complete a criminal background check, basic CPR certification and documentation of physical health status, including a record of immunizations:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Annual Mantoux test
  • Second MMR (if born after 1957)
  • Proof of Varicella immunity if born after 1965 (either a positive titer or proof of a series of two immunizations)

A cumulative GPA of 2.75 must be maintained for admission, progression and graduation in the online BSN program.

The online BSN requires enough electives to meet 124 credit hours, including general education requirements and a nursing elective course not listed under "Core Courses". Previously earned academic credits may be applied, and validation of prior learning occurs through a meeting with the department chairperson and alignment with Iowa Articulation Plan for Nursing Education guidelines.