Frequently Asked Questions about the RN to BSN Program

Why do I need a BSN degree?

The Institute of Medicine has set a goal to increase the number of registered nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020.  You can be one of those top-educated nurses by enrolling in our RN to BSN in nursing degree program.

Many healthcare facilities are requiring a BS for employment, or promotion.

What will I learn that I do not already know?

The program focuses on theories and evidence based practice for individuals, families and communities.

You will also learn the essentials of nursing informatics to prepare you for technology laden environments.

You will broaden your skill set, and be prepared for a variety of nursing career options.

You will be prepared to enter graduate school.

Are there clinical requirements?

There are three courses with clinical activity related requirements: Nurs 417, Nurs 465 and Nurs 475.

These are directed by the course instructor and completed on your own time. 

Does academic coursework count toward CE credits for license renewal?

Yes, every 3-credit academic nursing course you take counts as 15 hours toward nursing license renewal.  

Courses must be taken within the 2 year license renewal cycle. 

With thoughtful scheduling you could use these courses for 2 license renewals.

How are courses offered and where?

Nursing courses are offered at both the Shenango and Beaver campuses—you choose which campus you prefer.

Required nursing courses are offered in hybrid format—you come to campus 1 evening per week and complete course activities and assignments in the electronic course management system.  If you are unable to attend a course meeting, instructors provide materials for you in the course management system.

Nursing support courses are online.  Six credits are required in the program.

Some general education courses meet two evenings per week, or have online options. 

How long is the program?

The total program is 120 credits, however, you will be credited with 33 nursing credits related to your previous nursing education and nursing license, and college courses taken elsewhere will count toward the total as long as they fit into the nursing program. 

Most RNs enter with 55-60 credits already taken. 

You may choose either full time or part time study.

The advanced nursing courses and nursing electives total 28 credits.

To earn a Penn State degree you must take 36 of your last 60 credits with us.

Will my previous college credits transfer to Penn State?  

Yes, college credits earned at regionally accredited colleges or universities will transfer to Penn State. (You must supply an official transcript - Must be a C or better)

Credits do not expire.

Credits earned at non-accredited technical schools typically do not transfer. 

Is the RN to BSN program accredited?

Yes, the RN to BSN program is accredited by both ACEN (formerly NLNAC) and CCNE.

How much does the program cost?

To find the current cost per credit visit this website—be sure to select Shenango campus as our tuition is lower than other PSU campuses. http://tuition.psu.edu/tuitiondynamic/TuitionAndFees.aspx

If you work for one of our partnering healthcare systems and can prove your employment, you may qualify for a 20% discount on tuition. 

We suggest that you fill out a FAFSA and consult with our financial aid coordinator, Shawn O’Neill at 724-983-2804 or by email at swo3@psu.edu 

How do I get started?

If you have never attended PSU, fill out an application online at http://www.psu.edu/admission   and contact the admissions office to request a fee waiver—724-983-2803.  Select NURN as the major and Shenango as the campus (Beaver students should also select Shenango as this is where the program is based).

If you have attended PSU before, contact the Shenango registrar to see if you can simply re-enroll or if you need to complete an application—724-983-2856 or by email at mqg1@psu.edu

If you want to meet with an adviser, call Wilma White to schedule an appointment with the Program Coordinator, Joan Humphrey--724-983-2860

If you have additional questions you would like answered, contact Joan Humphrey at jth14@psu.edu