RN to BSN Online Degree from WGU

Why We LOVE to Recommend the Western Governors University (WGU) Online Nursing Programs

Featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams in their “What Works” segment, WGU is the recipient of the USDLA 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning for 2011, awarded in recognition of their success in expanding access to higher education.

  • Award Winning—WGU has won the USDLA 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning in 2011, as well as in years past. When it comes to standards online learning WGU is recognized for its methods of online teaching.
  • Affordable and Nonprofit—Tuition is less than half the cost of other reputable online universities. Your tuition goes toward your education, not to shareholders.
  • CCNE Accredited—WGU nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington DC 20036, 202-887-6791). WGU is also regionally and nationally accredited.
  • Challenging—The ideal student is a motivated self-starter who can commit at least 15 to 20 hours per week to their studies.
  • Competency-based—An innovative learning model, designed for adult learners like you, that measures learning, not time spent in class.
  • Respected—Your degree coursework is relevant and up-to-date because it’s designed and developed in collaboration with industry experts.
  • Flexible and Online—With no set class times, you can log in and learn anytime, anywhere.

The B.S. in Nursing (RN to BSN) is designed for RNs with associate’s degrees or diplomas in nursing who are seeking a bachelor’s degree to ascend the ranks. This challenging program expands student knowledge and skills beyond the clinical aspects of nursing to give background in evidence-based practice, patient safety, and technology integration, as well as healthcare systems and policies. Along with the rigorous online curriculum, this program requires a minimum of 90 hours of mentor-guided clinical experience in a qualified community health services setting.

Note: Applicants must hold an unencumbered RN license and currently be working in a healthcare-related field.

WGU's online RN to BSN program will enhance your personal status, boost your salary, and increase your job security while helping your hospital achieve “magnet” status. The B.S. in Nursing expands your knowledge and skills beyond the clinical aspects of nursing to give you background in patient education, health promotion, and technology integration, as well as healthcare systems and policies. You will become a more accomplished nurse ready to ascend the ranks.


WGU's Nursing programs are CCNE accredited. Western Governors University is the only university to have received simultaneous accreditation by four regional accrediting commissions. Currently, WGU's “home” accrediting commission is the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the same organization that accredits such leading institutions as the University of Washington, University of Oregon, University of Utah, Brigham Young University, and other public and private colleges. WGU is also nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The WGU Teachers College is the only exclusively online university to receive NCATE accreditation for its degree programs that lead to teacher licensure from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). WGU's Health Informatics program is now accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

Important Facts about Western Governors University and its Nursing Programs

Institutional Accrediting Agency:

Northwest Association of Schools and of Colleges and Universities, Commission on Colleges and Universities

Institution Type:

Private, not-for-profit, Higher Education

Calendar Type:

WGU programs are based on six-month terms (not traditional semesters). New students may begin their program on the first day of any month.

Average Cost per Credit:

Currently, tuition for most degree programs at WGU is $2,890 per six-month term. WGU's MBA and Nursing programs' tuition is currently $3,250 per six-month term.

Credit-earning Options:

If you have competencies in your degree program due to prior academic or work experience, you may be able to complete the required assessments more quickly. Transfer students with an AA/AS degree may generally enroll as an upper-division BA/BS student.

Delivery Format:

As a WGU student, you will prepare for your assessments by accessing online learning resources, studying independently, or using other alternative methods of learning.

Carnegie Classification:

Baccalaureate College—General

Technical Requirements:

Minimum: Windows–Pentium II 266 MHz with 64MB RAM, 800×600 monitor with 256 colors, 56Kb TCP/IP Internet connection, Microsoft Windows 98, 98 SE, ME; Macintosh–PowerPC with 32MB RAM, Mac OS 8.1 or later, 56Kb (or better) TCP/IP Internet connection.

Geographic Restrictions:

WGU only accepts inquiries and applications from individuals living in the U.S., Guam, and from U.S. military personnel and their spouses at overseas installations.

On-Campus Requirement:

Programs are delivered online and there are no on-campus requirements. However, students in teacher certification programs must complete their teaching practicum in a real K-12 classroom in their geographic area, working with real students.

Loans Offered:

WGU was one of the first institutions selected by the U.S. Department of Education to offer federal financial aid to distance education students. Aid includes federal Pell Grants and both subsidized and unsubsidized federal Direct Student Loans.

Scholarships Offered:

A limited number of scholarships are available to qualified WGU students. The majority of these scholarships have been earmarked by their donors for K-12 teachers and prospective teachers in particular states or locations.

Registration Details:

Enrollment Counselors are available to answer questions and provide assistance with the application process. They may be reached by clicking the “Request Information” button and completing the Information Request form.

Who the program is for:

  • Registered nurses (RNs) who possess an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing, have a current, unencumbered RN license, and wish to advance their careers with a bachelor’s degree.

Your program will be flexible and largely self-paced. Click here to learn how your program works.

What You’ll Learn — Areas of Study:

In this online RN to BSN degree program, you’ll learn all the essential skills and knowledge needed. This program includes six domains of study and completion of a capstone project.

  • Nursing Science
  • Nursing Theory and Practice
  • Nursing-Related Science
  • Nursing Distribution (Social Science and Humanities)
  • Language and Communication Skills
  • Quantitative Literacy

The curriculum of WGU’s RN to BSN online program incorporates the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Total Program: 70 Competency Units (credit equivalents)
Less: any competency units waived through transfer of prior college credits.

Accredited and Credible

Accreditation is a key indicator of a university’s credibility among both academia and employers. WGU is:

  • CCNE accreditation — by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education.
  • Nationally accredited — by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
  • Regionally accredited — by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Northwest Commission is also responsible for the accreditation of other major universities such as the University of Washington, University of Oregon, and the University of Utah, to name a few.
  • Founded by 19 governors and supported by hospital partners — WGU was founded by the governors of 19 U.S. states. WGU and this BSN program are also supported by hospital partners across the nation, including Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Tenet Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, and Catholic Healthcare West.

BS in Nursing, Courses of Study/Assessments

WGU offers degrees, not classes. As a competency-based online university, progress through your degree program is determined by demonstrating your competence through carefully designed assessments and completion of a professional portfolio, capstone, or both. As a student in this program, you will complete the assessments (courses) listed below in order to graduate. These assessments are required, though you may be able to clear some of these requirements through a course-by-course transcript analysis. (Learn more about transferring credits.)

Each assessment has a course of study, which contains a study guide and recommended learning resources for you to use while completing said assessment. Your assigned mentor will help guide you through this process.

For ease of understanding, WGU has assigned competency units to each of its assessments as indicated below. A competency unit is equivalent to a semester credit hour of learning. WGU terms are six months in length. During a typical term, students will be expected to complete at least 12 to 13 competency units. Grades are assigned on a Pass/Fail basis; a “Pass” at WGU is equivalent to a letter grade of “B” or better.

Speak to an Enrollment Counselor for more information about these assessments and their courses of study.

Course Course of Study/Assessments Competency Units
EWOB Education Without Boundaries 1
LAC1 Language and Communication Part I: Foundations 2
LAE1 Language and Communication Part II: Essay 2
LAT1 Language and Communication Part III: Research 2
LUT1 Language and Communication Part IV: Presentation 2
HVC1 Literature, Arts and the Humanities 3
HVT1 Literature, Arts and the Humanities: Analysis and Interpretation 3
QLC1 Quantitative Literacy: College Algebra, Measurement, and Geometry 3
QMC1 Quantitative Literacy: Statistics, Probability, and Problem Solving 3
NUC1 Nutrition 3
CBT1 Biochemistry 4
BHO1 Behavioral Science Part I 6
BHT1 Behavioral Science Part II 3
ANC1 Anatomy and Physiology I 3
AOT1 Anatomy and Physiology II 3
ALT1 Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory 2
MBC1 Clinical Microbiology 3
MLT1 Clinical Microbiology Laboratory 1
NVT2 Professional Roles and Values 3
APT1 Advanced Pathophysiology and Nursing Care 3
CUC1 Community Health I 3
CUT1 Community Health II 3
NUT1 Nursing Informatics 2
EBT1 Evidence Based Practice and Applied Nursing Research 3
CVT1 Organizational Systems and Quality Leadership 4

Learn more about WGU's RN to BSN online degree.

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