Frequently Asked Questions about the RN to B.S.N. Program
Why do I need a B.S.N. 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 B.S.N. program. Many healthcare facilities are requiring a B.S. for employment or promotion.
What will I learn that I do not already know?
- The program focuses on evidence based practice for individuals, families, and communities.
- You will 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.
Are there clinical requirements?
There are three courses with clinical activity related requirements: NURS 417 Family and Community Health, NURS 465 Health Concepts for Adults with Complex Health Care Needs, and NURS 475 Integrated Concepts in Nursing.
These are directed by the course instructor and may not require actual “clinical” time. An active nursing license is required to complete the clinical requirements.
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 one 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 electives have flexible schedule options.
Some general education courses meet 2 evenings per week, or have online options.
How long is the program?
The total program is 120 credits, however you will be credited with up to 33 nursing credits related to your previous nursing education and nursing license. To earn a Penn State degree, you must take 36 of your last 60 credits with us.
Most students will bring in at least 24 credits of nursing prerequisite course work. You may choose either full time or part time study. Most students take two courses per semester.
Will my previous college credits transfer to Penn State?
Yes, college credits earned at regionally accredited colleges or universities will transfer to Penn State. Credits earned at non-accredited technical schools typically do not transfer.
The grade must be a “C” or better and you supply an official transcript. Credits do not expire.
Is the RN to B.S.N. program accredited?
Yes, the program is accredited by CCNE.
The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program and post graduate APRN certificate program at The Pennsylvania State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791. View the CCNE Accreditation website for more information.
How much does the program cost?
To find the current cost per credit visit the Penn State tuition website – be sure to select the Shenango or Beaver campus as our tuition is lower than Penn State’s University Park campus.
If you work for one of our partnering healthcare systems and can prove your employment, you may qualify for a 20 percent discount on tuition.
We suggest that you fill out a FAFSA and consult with our student aid coordinator.
How do I get started?
If you have never attended Penn State, fill out the online application and contact the admissions office to request a $65 application fee waiver at 724-983-2803. Select “Nursing (for Registered Nurses)” as the major and Shenango as the campus.
If you have attended Penn State before, contact the Shenango registrar to see if you can simply re-enroll.
If you want to meet with an adviser, contact Advising to schedule an appointment.
If you have additional questions you would like answered, contact Program Coordinator Joan Humphrey.