Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Bachelor of Science in Nursing for Registered Nurses

Transfer up to
61 Credits
A median of 43 credits accepted
Receive 30 credits for prior education and successful completion of NCLEX-RN

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RN to BS in Nursing Online Program

Career Advancement for Registered Nurses

In this fully online Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, you’ll build on your prior learning and gain knowledge that will prepare you for graduate study and the pursuit of lifelong learning, which is essential for practice in the nursing profession.

The general education requirements ensure the student develops college-level competence in arts and sciences areas including humanities, social science/history, and natural sciences/math. Credits may be earned through courses, or transferred from accredited, degree-granting institutions or approved examination programs. The nursing component focuses on knowledge and professional competencies expected of graduates of bachelor’s programs. It emphasizes the integration of nursing and related arts and sciences knowledge in complex situations related to nursing care of individuals, families, aggregates, and communities. The nursing component requires outstanding critical thinking skills and nursing judgment as well as commitment to academic rigor.

Throughout your educational experience, you will have access to guided learning opportunities as well as to academic advisors who will help you with program planning and to nursing faculty who will answer your questions about courses.

Learn about the RN to BS in Nursing admissions requirements.

If you are an associate in nursing graduate looking to pursue your BS in Nursing while you prepare for the NCLEX, get a jumpstart with our Provisional Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing program.

Fast Facts:

The average median salary for a registered nurse with a BS is $70,000 (Source: BLS)

A typical Bachelor of Science graduate earns $1.19 million over their working lifetime –more than twice as much as a typical high school graduate (Source: The Hamilton Project)

Hospitals with a higher percentage of nurses with a BS in Nursing had both a higher standard of patient care and a lower incidence of patient post-surgical mortality (Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)


credit hours

Online BS in Nursing for RNs Program Details

Certain nursing certifications have been approved for elective credit. Refer to Nursing catalog for details.

121 credits are required for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Undergraduate general education component:

Cornerstone Course

Information Literacy

Written English Requirement


  • Humanities
  • Ethics Core

Social Sciences:

  • Social Sciences/History
  • Psychology Core Requirement
  • Sociology Core Requirement

Natural Sciences/Mathematics:

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology Core
  • Microbiology Core
  • Sciences Supportive of Nursing Core
  • Statistics Core
  • Natural Sciences/Mathematics

Arts and Sciences Electives

Nursing Credit for Prior Learning and Successful Completion of NCLEX-RN: 30 Credits

Phase I

The Profession of Nursing: Becoming Influential
This course explores the evolution of contemporary nursing through the development of reflective practice, professional standards, values and beliefs, ways of knowing and nursing knowledge, and inter-professional communication and collaboration. Emphasis is placed on the roles of the bachelor’s-prepared professional nurse, the processes guiding nursing practice, lifelong learning, and the influence nursing has in the changing health care environment and world. Through this course, the student develops a personalized toolbox with an array of skills necessary to become an influential professional nurse.

Introduction to Informatics for Nurses
This course provides knowledge about the roles and skills in information management and the application of technology to inform nursing practice. Emphasis is placed on technological supports for patient care interventions and the use of decision-support systems to gather evidence to guide practice. The use and understanding of standardized terminologies and the role of information technology in improving patient outcomes and creating a safe environment will be included.

Holistic Health Care Across the Life Span
This course focuses on applying concepts of health promotion, as well as illness, disease, and injury prevention to health assessment across the life span. The student integrates the core concepts (critical thinking, communication, research, role development, caring, and cultural competence) into a holistic approach while functioning in the professional nursing role. Health and physical assessment data are gathered, analyzed, and synthesized by the student to develop a personal health plan for a client that promotes health and prevents disease.

Leadership and Management in Nursing
This course analyzes the interrelated relationship between leadership and decision making, and examines how wisdom, research, personal values, and theory enhance leadership and decision-making skills.

Phase II

Research in Nursing
This course focuses on knowledge and skill acquisition related to research process. Evidence-based practice, critical thinking, critical reading, and the baccalaureate nurse’s role in the application of research to practice are emphasized. Course content examines the foundations of research, the research process, quantitative and qualitative research designs, as well as evaluation of a quantitative research study.

Teaching and Learning in a Diverse Society
This course focuses on the role of the nurse as educator and the ability to teach a group of adult clients with a shared learning need. Theory and research-based evidence from nursing and other disciplines are integrated with concepts of caring and cultural competence, health promotion, behavioral change, and principles of teaching and learning. Application of the education process is emphasized. In partnership with clients, the student develops, implements, and evaluates a teaching plan designed to produce a desired change in behavior.

Community Health Nursing: Caring for the Public’s Health
This course integrates evidence, theory, standards, and knowledge from nursing, public health, and other disciplines to guide population-focused nursing practice. Importance is placed on the application of the core functions of public health: assessment, policy development, and the assurance of available and necessary health services for diverse populations. Emphasis is placed in identifying determinants of health, advocating for vulnerable populations, prioritizing primary prevention, and utilizing available resources to improve the health of populations. Population-focused nursing involves assessing the health care needs of a specific population and making health care decisions for the population as a whole rather than for individuals. This course includes practice experiences in the community.

Nursing Elective (upper level)
The 3-credit elective requirement could be met with a nursing certification (see catalog). Students should consult with your academic advisor before taking a course or examination for nursing elective credit. Graduates of Excelsior University’s associate degree nursing program waive this requirement.

Phase III

Nursing Capstone
This capstone course focuses on integration and synthesis of knowledge, skills, and competencies from nursing, other disciplines, and the arts and sciences. Application of specific concepts and theories, such as communication, critical thinking, and leadership, enables students to transform theory to practice within health care systems. This course includes practice experiences.

  • Apply principles of nursing scholarship to optimize health care outcomes.
  • Integrate equitable, person-centered care standards to improve care across diverse settings.
  • Employ ethical, fiscally sound strategies in the management of population health.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to optimize healthcare outcomes.
  • Assess strategies that create a culture of quality and safety
  • Apply information and healthcare technologies to manage the delivery of care.
  • Apply the role of the professional nurse leader in the empowerment of others to deliver quality care.
  • Apply effective written communication methods for diverse audiences to support decision-making.

Surveys are administered to our nursing program students upon graduation and at one year post-graduation. The survey results are available here.

View additional details about programs and courses:

Download the Nursing and Health Sciences Catalog

Common Careers with an
Online BS in Nursing for RNs

  • Case Manager
  • Nurse Entrepreneur
  • Nurse Manager
  • Public Health Nurse
  • Research Nurse
  • School Nurse
  • Quality Assurance Specialist

Explore Common Careers

Each time I went back for another degree the information was very relevant to what I was doing, and it was almost as though Excelsior was acting as my mentor/preceptor into the new role that I had stepped into. What I was learning in school, I was applying to day-to-day work and what I was learning in day-to-day work, I was applying in my degree program. You just can’t beat that.

Jennifer Gentry
Associate in Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing
2004, 2011, 2015

Recognitions & Accreditations

New York State Board of Regents – Recognized Programmatic Accreditation

Excelsior University’s associate-level nursing programs are programmatically accredited by the New York State (NYS) Board of Regents, State Education Department Office of the Professions (the Regents). The U.S. Department of Education has recognized the Regents as a state agency for the approval of nursing education programs since 1969. More information about the NYS Board of Regents’ Recognized Programmatic Accreditation may be helpful for students or graduates to present to a school they are attending or to an employer seeking more information about their Excelsior University nursing degree.

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing logo

ACEN Accreditation

The bachelor’s and master’s nursing programs at Excelsior University are accredited by the:

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400
Atlanta, GA 30326

These programs include Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing Leadership and Administration of Health Care Systems, Master of Science in Nursing Education, Master of Science in Nursing Informatics, RN to Master of Science in Nursing Leadership and Administration of Health Care Systems, RN to Master of Science in Nursing Education, and RN to Master of Science in Nursing Informatics.

The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the bachelor’s nursing program in March 2019 is Continuing Accreditation.

The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the master’s nursing programs in March 2019 is Continuing Accreditation.

View the public information disclosed by the ACEN regarding these programs at

Middle States Commission on Higher Education logo

Institutional Accreditation

Excelsior University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 1007 North Orange Street, 4th Floor, MB #166, Wilmington, DE 19801 (267-284-5011) The MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Phase: Accredited
Status: Accreditation Reaffirmed
Accreditation Granted: 1977
Last Reaffirmation: 2022
Next Self-Study Evaluation: 2029-2030

All of Excelsior University’s academic programs are registered (i.e., approved) by the New York State Education Department.