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Nursing Student

The RN to BS Nursing program helps prepare you to meet the many changes in the health care field by expanding and enhancing your nursing education. The program is open to registered nurses who have previously earned either an associate degree or a diploma in nursing.

In addition to upgrading your skills and broadening your knowledge base, the program prepares you for 21st Century nursing practice in a wide variety of settings or for graduate study in nursing.

The RN to BS program is designed to build on what you've already accomplished. Senate legislation 42-97 Credit by Portfolio Assessment enables students to receive credit for previous nursing course work. We award 33 advanced standing credits in nursing recognizing your previous basic nursing education. Previous college course work is also considered for transfer into the nursing program. To transfer college credits to Penn State, the student must have earned a C or better and provide an official transcript.

We offer a flexible schedule of courses to accommodate the working Registered Nurse. Using web-based coursework, small classes, independent study and individualized personal advising, we strive to help you meet your personal goals .

Part-time and full-time students with a registered nurse license may enroll in the major at University Park or at one of seven other Penn State locations (Altoona, Harrisburg, Erie, Fayette, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Shenango, and Worthington Scranton). Shenango campus is also offering nursing courses on-site at the Beaver campus.

Upon admission, students must meet agency clearance requirements such as criminal background and child abuse history clearances when enrolled in any clinical courses. Students also are responsible for their own transportation to clinical settings and may need the use of a car.  Please review the RN to BS Handbook for detailed program information, including course requirements.


The registered nurse student must enroll in the following nursing courses:

  • NURS 200W - Introduction to Nursing Research (3 cr)
  • NURS 251 - Health Assessment (3 cr)
  • NURS 357 - Introduction to Nursing Informatics (3 cr)
  • NURS 390 – Transition and the Professional Nursing Role (3 cr)
  • NURS 417(US;IL) - Family and Community Health Concepts (4 cr)
  • NURS 465 - Health Concepts for Adults with Complex Health Care Needs (3 cr)
  • NURS 475 - Integrated Concepts in Nursing Practice (3 cr)
  • NURS electives (6 cr)

Nursing Course Descriptions