RN to BSN Online

Use your professional experience as a registered nurse to streamline your path to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and advance your education.

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8 Weeks

8-week terms allow for start dates throughout the year

8 Months

Earn your RN to BSN in as few as 8 months at the Accelerated Plus program pace

Up to 90 Transfer Credits

WCU evaluates transfer credits for acceptance1

Online RN to BSN Program Highlights

Flexible Schedule

Online coursework designed for working nurses who want flexibility in their study schedules


Practical training in evidence-based practice with a focus on ethics, leadership, and community health

Hands-on application at a community health setting of the student’s choosing (a homeless shelter, food bank, etc.)

Your Success

Ongoing support from faculty, your Student Success advisor, our Career Services team, and more

Why Enroll in an Online RN to BSN Program?

If you’re a registered nurse who wants to advance your knowledge in clinical best practices, build your leadership skills, and expand your understanding of the latest trends and technologies in medicine, you may be interested in an RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.­

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, in 2022, 71.7% of employers expressed a strong preference for BSN program graduates, and 27.7% of hospitals and healthcare settings are requiring new hires to have a bachelor’s degree.2 A BSN can help prepare you for roles in leadership, basic health policy, evidence-based care, and quality improvement. It can also prepare you to pursue advanced nursing degrees.

The program requires 120 credit hours for completion, with a total of up to 90 transferable credits or equivalent, for students who qualify. At WCU, we focus on practical coursework and hands-on experience that can be carried over into real-life nursing situations throughout your career.

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  • Flexible online and campus programs
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  • Experienced faculty and staff

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Explore the RN to BSN program at WCU!

Overview: RN to BSN Program

Program Details:

We know you’re eager to get started… and get finished! Our programs are designed so that you have the ability to earn your degree at a quick pace. However, we know that students’ circumstances vary, and that’s why we also offer flexible paths of study for those who may need it. Choose a study timeline that matches your goals and life schedule!

The times-to-completion below are based on students transferring in a total of 90 transfer credits.

Accelerated Plus Pace

Distance Education/Online

120 Credits

8 Months

2 Trimesters

Accelerated Pace

Distance Education/Online

120 Credits

12 Months

3 Trimesters

Working Professional Pace

Distance Education/Online

120 Credits

20 Months

5 Trimesters


Applicants who have successfully completed a pre-licensure nursing program and who have an active, unencumbered license may be awarded up to 90 credit hours of transfer credit. The transfer credit is comprised of up to 51 credits awarded for lower-level nursing and an unencumbered license and up to 39 general education credits. Applicants who fail to demonstrate competencies through transcript review are required to complete equivalent course(s).

Students who request transfer credits for courses must submit sealed official transcripts to the Registrar’s Office from originating institutions prior to their first day of class. If students are unable to submit transcripts or transcripts are unavailable at admission, students may submit unofficial transcripts by the first day of the student’s first course.

Official transcripts must be received by the end of the first term in addition to official transcripts, copies of course descriptions, school catalogs, and course syllabi may be requested for evaluation purposes. All nursing transferred courses in which a grade of B or better was received will be evaluated for transfer credit. A grade of C- (1.7) or better is required in general education courses.

Course Number Course Name Total Credit Hours
Number Name Hours
BSNR 300 Principles of Leadership for Healthcare Organizations 3
BSNR 305 Pathophysiology 3
BSNR 310 Resiliency, Professionalism, & Career-Long Learning 3
BSNR 315 Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice 3
BSNR 400C Community & Public Health Nursing I 3
BSNR 405C Community & Public Health Nursing II 3
BSNR 410C Health Literacy & Nursing Capstone 3
BSNR 500 Nursing Roles in Policy, Ethics, & Finance 3
BSNR 510 Advanced Nursing Technologies & Collaborative Care 3
BSNR 515 Health Promotion and Disease Management 3
Total Credit Hours: 30

Credit Distribution

Required at WCU 30.0
Awarded for college-level, General Education courses 39.0
Awarded for Unencumbered RN Licensure and lower-level nursing courses 51.0
Degree Total 120.0

See the WCU catalog for information about our RN to BSN transfer credit and progression requirements

Tuition & Financial Aid

How Much Does the Online RN to BSN Program Cost?

We know school is a substantial commitment. At WCU, we want to equip you with all the information you need to make the right decision for your future.

Our goal is to give you a clear understanding of RN to BSN online tuition costs so you can be well-informed as you navigate the application and enrollment process. To assist you in your decision, we provide a breakdown below of the online RN to BSN costs at West Coast University.

We offer several financial aid options — including scholarships, grants, and loan access — to help support you through your studies. We also offer reduced tuition rates for military personnel and their spouses. For more information about your financial support options, visit our financial aid page.

RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Tuition and Fees 

Accelerated Plus*

Degree Type Bachelor of Science (Enrolling prior to April 1, 2024) Bachelor of Science (Enrolling after April 1, 2024) 
Total Program Credits 1201 1201
Program Length(full time) 2 trimesters 2 trimesters 
General Education Courses2 $495 $495 
Core Courses $495 $495 
Total Tuition Cost $14,850 $14,850 
STRF3 $40 $0
Technology Fee4 $1,000 $1,000 
Estimate for Program Supply Fees ($50 per Trimester)5 $100 $100
Estimated Total Program Costs (Non-California Resident) $15,950 $15,950
Estimated Total Program Costs (California Resident) $15,990 $15,950 


Degree Type Bachelor of Science (Enrolling prior to April 1, 2024) Bachelor of Science (Enrolling after April 1, 2024) 
Total Program Credits 1201 1201
Program Length(full time) 3 trimesters 3 trimesters
General Education Courses2 $495 $495 
Core Courses $495 $495 
Total Tuition Cost $14,850 $14,850 
STRF3 $42.50 $0
Technology Fee4 $1,500 $1,500 
Estimate for Program Supply Fees ($50 per Trimester)5 $150 $150
Estimated Total Program Costs (Non-California Residents) $16,500 $16,500
Estimated Total Program Costs (California Residents) $16,542.50 $16,500 

Working Professional*

Degree Type Bachelor of Science (Enrolling prior to April 1, 2024) Bachelor of Science (Enrolling after April 1, 2024) 
Total Program Credits 1201 1201
Program Length(full time) 5 trimesters 5 trimesters 
General Education Courses2 $495 $495 
Core Courses $495 $495
Total Tuition Cost $14,850 $14,850 
STRF3 $45 $0 
Technology Fee4 $2,500 $2,500 
Estimate for Program Supply Fees ($50 per Trimester)5 $250 $250 
Estimated Total Program Costs (Non-California Residents) $17,600 $17,600 
Estimated Total Program Costs (California Residents) $17,645 $17,600 


Indirect Costs

8 Month Academic Year6    
  Prior to Fall I 2024 Starting Fall I 2024 
with parents off campus with parents off campus
Federal Student Loan Fees  $100  $100  $100  $100 
Living Expenses (Food & Housing) $2,384 $7,936 $2,496  $8,328 
Transportation $1,648 $1,648 $1,728  $1,728 
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $5,392 $5,392 $5,656  $5,656 
Total $9,524 $15,076 $9,980  $15,812 

* Upon enrollment, students select Accelerated Plus, Accelerated or Working Professional, which will determine the pace at which students complete their degree. In most cases, students that select Accelerated Plus will attempt two to three courses per term, Accelerated will attempt one to two courses per term, and students that select Working Professional will attempt one course a term.  General Education courses that are not applied as transfer credit is not included in the Estimated Time to Completion.  

1 Includes 51 credits for active unencumbered RN License and lower-level nursing, and assumes 39 transfer credits for General Education courses, and the remaining 30 credits are required to be taken at WCU.

2 Students that do not receive the 39 transfer credits for General Education courses will need to schedule the courses at WCU. The cost of these General Education courses is not included in the Estimated Total Program Costs.

3 Effective April 1, 2024, the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) assessment rate will be zero dollars and zero cents ($0.00) per one thousand dollars ($1,000) of institutional charges.

The State of California established the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) to relieve or mitigate economic loss suffered by a student in an educational program at a qualifying institution, who is or was a California resident while enrolled, or was enrolled in a residency program, if the student enrolled in the institution, prepaid tuition, and suffered an economic loss. Unless relieved of the obligation to do so, you must pay the state-imposed assessment for the STRF, or it must be paid on your behalf, if you are a student in an educational program, who is a California resident, or are enrolled in a residency program, and prepay all or part of your tuition.

You are not eligible for protection from the STRF and you are not required to pay the STRF assessment, if you are not a California resident, or are not enrolled in a residency program.

It is important that you keep copies of your enrollment agreement, financial aid documents, receipts, or any other information that documents the amount paid to the school. Questions regarding the STRF may be directed to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, 1747 N. Market Blvd. Ste 225 Sacramento, CA 95834, (916) 431-6959 or (888) 370-7589.

To be eligible for STRF, you must be a California resident or enrolled in a residency program, prepaid tuition, paid or deemed to have paid the STRF assessment, and suffered an economic loss as a result of any of the following:

  1. The institution, a location of the institution, or an educational program offered by the institution was closed or discontinued, and you did not choose to participate in a teach-out plan approved by the Bureau or did not complete a chosen teach-out plan approved by the Bureau.
  2. You were enrolled at an institution or a location of the institution within the 120-day period before the closure of the institution or location of the institution or were enrolled in an educational program within the 120-day period before the program was discontinued.
  3. You were enrolled at an institution or a location of the institution more than 120 days before the closure of the institution or location of the institution, in an educational program offered by the institution as to which the Bureau determined there was a significant decline in the quality or value of the program more than 120 days before closure.
  4. The institution has been ordered to pay a refund by the Bureau but has failed to do so.
  5. The institution has failed to pay or reimburse loan proceeds under a federal student loan program as required by law or has failed to pay or reimburse proceeds received by the institution in excess of tuition and other costs.
  6. You have been awarded restitution, a refund, or other monetary award by an arbitrator or court, based on a violation of this chapter by an institution or representative of an institution, but have been unable to collect the award from the institution.
  7. You sought legal counsel that resulted in the cancellation of one or more of your student loans and have an invoice for services rendered and evidence of the cancellation of the student loan or loans.

To qualify for STRF reimbursement, the application must be received within four (4) years from the date of the action or event that made the student eligible for recovery from STRF.

A student whose loan is revived by a loan holder or debt collector after a period of noncollection may, at any time, file a written application for recovery from STRF for the debt that would have otherwise been eligible for recovery. If it has been more than four (4) years since the action or event that made the student eligible, the student must have filed a written application for recovery within the original four (4) year period, unless the period has been extended by another act of law.

However, no claim can be paid to any student without a social security number or a taxpayer identification number.

4 Technology Fee includes student technical support, Office 365, blended and online course delivery/learning management system, mobile app, student portal technology and access, and required electronic course materials/software.

5 Program supplies include WCU identification card and background check.  

6 The purpose of the Cost of Attendance (COA) is to provide students and families with an estimated cost to attend West Coast University. The COA includes both direct and indirect cost estimates. Direct costs are paid directly to West Coast University and are shown separately for each program. Indirect costs are not paid to West Coast University and are estimates students may use to budget expenses they may incur while attending school. While actual indirect costs may vary, West Coast University estimates these amounts based on the number of months in an academic year and whether students will live with parents or off campus.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the RN to BSN program in CA must meet the following standards:

  1. Completion of the application for admission.
  2. Complete all University admission requirements.
  3. Completion of an associate degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited collegiate institution with a 2.25 CGPA or better.
    1. Applicants can be conditionally admitted into the program by providing unofficial transcripts or a copy of the conferred nursing degree. Official transcripts which meet the requirements set forth must be received by the end of the add/drop period to be admitted to the program.
  4. Active unencumbered license as a registered nurse in any U.S. state or territory in which the student is licensed, including the State in which the student completes all assignments for the program.
    1. Military, federal, and foreign-educated nurses must meet this State requirement for nursing licensure.
    2. An active and unencumbered RN license(s) must be maintained throughout the program.
    3. A domestic or foreign medical degree is not equivalent to a nursing degree.
  5. Submit official transcripts from any of the programs below approved by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) (and any prior courses taken to be considered for transfer credit).
    1. Associate of Science in Nursing
    2. Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
    3. Diploma in Nursing
    4. State-approved nursing program with evidence of an earned RN license in the United States
    5. Foreign nursing equivalency with evidence of an earned RN license in the United States
    6. Associate of Science with evidence of an earned RN license
    7. Associate of Applied Science with evidence of an earned RN license
    8. Non-Nursing Bachelor’s Degree with evidence of an earned RN license*
    9. Foreign equivalency with evidence of an earned RN license in the United States*

* Applicants submitting non-U.S. or non-English transcripts should refer to the International Admissions section of the catalog.

RN-BSN Probational Admission Requirements

Applicants with a CGPA of 2.0-2.24 may be considered for probational admission after meeting the following conditional admissions requirements. Based on review of the applicant packet the Program Dean may request an interview in consideration for admission:

  1. The applicant must provide a letter of intent.
  2. The applicant must be approved for admission by the Program Dean/Director.
  3. The applicant must satisfy program prerequisites and achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on all coursework attempted over the first trimester (two terms).  Students failing to meet these requirements following the first trimester (two terms) will be administratively withdrawn from the university.

NCLEX Pending

Applicants may be conditionally admitted if they are waiting for their RN licensure to be issued if they meet all other admissions criteria. Proof of licensure must be received by the end of the first term of enrollment, or the student will be dismissed from the PLN program.

See the WCU catalog for language verification requirements.

Academic Calendar

New academic terms begin, on average, every eight weeks. The number of trimesters required for your program depends on the program pace you choose. For the most updated start-to-completion schedule, view the Academic Calendar.

Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, RN to BSN students will:

  1. Support professional nursing practice decisions with concepts and theories from the biological, physical, and social sciences
  2. Plan preventative and population-focused interventions with attention to effectiveness, efficiency, cost, and equity
  3. Support therapeutic nursing interventions for patients and families in a variety of healthcare and community settings using evidence-based practice
  4. Apply nursing process and critical thinking when providing holistic, patient-centered nursing care to diverse populations
  5. Design healthcare education for individuals, families, and communities
  6. Comply with the professional standards of moral, ethical, and legal conduct in practice
  7. Develop an effective communication style to interact with patients, families, and the interdisciplinary health team
  8. Model leadership when providing safe and quality nursing care, when coordinating the healthcare team, and when tasked with oversight and accountability for care delivery
  9. Use patient care technology and information systems when providing nursing care in a variety of settings

Community Experience Hours

Community Experience

Hands-On Experience in Your Community

At WCU, we give our RN to BSN students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the community settings they are most passionate about, whether that is a homeless shelter, food bank, WIC office, daycare center, or another setting that is population-focused. Instead of traditional clinical rotations, our RN to BSN students must complete a total of 135 community experience hours, which consists of 90 direct, supervised hours and 45 indirect hours that are completed through coursework.

While it is up to you as the student to find your own community health site and obtain that site’s approval, we have clinical coordinators who can help you explore your site options and complete your required documentation. We’re here to support you every step of the way!

Career Services

Career Support & Job Opportunities

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree could open the doors to a variety of career paths — and the West Coast University Career Services team can help you both prepare for and explore your career options. WCU Career Services offers career planning advice to leverage your BSN degree, assisting with everything from resume writing and interview preparation to job leads and more.3

Registered nurses work in a variety of healthcare settings. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an RN typically works alongside physicians and other healthcare specialists, and they may oversee licensed practical nurses, nursing assistants, and home health aides. RNs may even work with specific patient groups, such as when they work in the following areas of care:

  • Addiction treatment
  • Cardiovascular care
  • Critical care
  • Genetics
  • Neonatal care
  • Nephrology
  • Public health
  • Rehabilitation4

Featured Faculty

Dr. George Byron Peraza-Smith

Dr. George Byron Peraza-Smith, DNP, RN, AGPC-NP, GNP-BC, GS-C, CNE, FAANP

Dean/Director, DNP, RN to BSN, AGPC-NP & Graduate Specialty Programs

Dr. George Peraza-Smith is a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). He obtained his Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Case Western Reserve University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in nursing administration from the University of Texas Medical Branch. He has both a gerontological nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate from the University of South Florida and an adult nurse practitioner post-doctoral certificate from Brandman University.

Dr. Peraza-Smith is board-certified as an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP), a gerontological nurse practitioner, an APRN gerontological specialist, and a certified nurse educator. He is the immediate past president of the Florida Nurses Association and the immediate past inaugural president of the Gerontology Nursing Certification Commission (GNCC) for which he remains a trustee on the board. The GNCC offers an APRN gerontological specialist certification to distinguish APRNs who possess expert knowledge, experience, and skill in managing the complex health needs of older adults.

Dr. Peraza-Smith has been teaching in MSN and DNP online and hybrid programs for over 10 years. He has held academic leadership positions such as professor, program director, department chair, and associate dean. Dr. Peraza-Smith resides in Zephyrhills, Florida with his husband and two children.

Graduation Cap

I loved West Coast University and still do. I like the camaraderie and atmosphere of West Coast. The teachers were always available to give any outside help. They offered tutoring, too. It was just helpful all the way around.”3

– Brittney A.
BSN, MSN-FNP, & DNP Graduate
West Coast University


Will I be able to complete my degree if I am working?

Our online nursing programs have been designed to give you the flexibility you need to earn your degree. While weekly due dates and assignments help keep you on track, you will have the ability to watch lectures and complete coursework when and where it’s convenient for you. You choose whether to study in the mornings, evenings, or weekends.

Can I complete my BSN in less than a year?

Yes, if you are a registered nurse, you have the option to complete your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 8 months, or two trimesters, when you choose the Accelerated Plus pace at WCU. This is possible because of your previous academic experience and licensure.

You can transfer up to 39 credits for previously completed general education courses and up to 51 credits for previously completed lower-level nursing courses as demonstrated by earning your RN license. Additionally, the Accelerated Plus pace makes it possible for you to take more courses per term, allowing you to complete your remaining credits in a shorter time frame.

How long does it take to complete the RN to BSN program?

In addition to our Accelerated Plus pace for our RN to BSN program (which only takes 8 months), we also offer an Accelerated pace and a Working Professional pace. The program takes 12 months to complete at the Accelerated Pace and 20 months to complete at the Working Professional pace. The Working Professional pace lets you take fewer classes per term, providing flexibility when you need it. Your advisor can help you find the pace that’s right for you.

Can you skip RN and get a BSN degree?

While it is possible to earn a BSN degree without having the registered nurse (RN) licensure, WCU’s RN to BSN online program is designed specifically for the RN with an associate degree nursing in nursing (ADN) or a diploma in nursing. Completing an RN with a BSN program expands your professional opportunities and may allow for more specialized nursing work.

Can I get an RN to BSN degree online?

Yes. The online RN to BSN program at WCU consists of online coursework as well as on-site experiential learning. We advise students to choose a local preceptor RN who serves as a guide in their clinicals.

Does the RN to BSN program require clinicals?

In place of traditional clinical rotations, our RN to BSN students gain hands-on practice through 135 community experience hours. They spend 90 of those hours in person (direct) at a community setting that is population-focused (such a food bank or a government resource office), and they complete the remaining 45 hours through coursework (indirect). This experience model is designed to help students advance their knowledge and expertise in a community area of practice.

What is the difference between a RN and BSN?

The key difference between an RN and BSN is that an RN is a state-granted license whereas a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a degree from an accredited institution. One must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to receive an RN license. A registered nurse may pursue a BSN degree so they can prepare for a future nursing specialization, or just open the door to new professional opportunities.

Is financial aid available?

You can receive financial aid, scholarships, and/or grants if you qualify. A few of the scholarships and grants available at WCU include the Alumni Pathway Grant (covers up to 20% of tuition), the WCU Health Services Partner Grant (covers up to 10% of tuition), and the WCU Performance Scholarship (covers up to 15% of tuition). For additional information and eligibility requirements, please visit the online division scholarships and grants page in our catalog.

How will WCU support me in my online studies?

No WCU student is ever alone. We provide a wealth of online support and resources, including 24/7 access to your coursework and our WCU library, as well as 24/7 tech support. Additionally, our faculty members are committed to responding to students’ questions within a 24-hour period through the Remind app. We also offer no-cost tutoring, faculty mentoring, a Student Success advisor, and more.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at West Coast University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 655 K Street, Suite 750, Washington DC 20001, (202) 877-6791 (www.ccneaccreditation.org).

The West Coast University Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing program holds initial accreditation from the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA), located at 2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20037.

1WCU evaluates transfer credits for acceptance. For the RN to BSN program, we may accept a total of up to 90 transfer credits (up to 39 credits for previously completed general education courses and up to 51 credits for previously completed lower-level nursing courses as demonstrated by earning your RN license).

2 American Association of Nurse Practitioners, “Employment of New Nurse Graduates and Employer Preferences for Baccalaureate-Prepared Nurses” October 2022

3 WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment.

4 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Registered Nurses, “What They Do,” Updated September 2022

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.

WCU Distance education programs are delivered out of the California and Texas campuses and may not be available to residents in all states.

Practice Experience is required in order to graduate from the RN to BSN, RN to MSN, MSN, DNP degree and Post-Master’s certificate programs.