(Effective Fall 2018)

This unique completion major is specifically designed for the registered nurse who wishes to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, on a full- or part-time basis, for professional development, advancement, or job mobility. Designed for the working RN, the curriculum builds on the knowledge and skills possessed by RNs who have graduated from diploma- and associate-degree nursing programs. Offered in an online accelerated format, this major allows the RN to satisfy the bachelor-degree requirements within 12-18 months, depending on transfer credits and seat availability.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree major prepares licensed registered nurses to contribute to the provision of quality nursing care in a rapidly changing health care environment. This major enables nurses to build upon their knowledge base and assume positions with increased responsibility in a variety of health care settings, from promoting health and facilitating adaptation to increasingly complex health care problems/needs. The curriculum offers a required core of nursing and general education courses with elective course options based on student educational and career goals.

Career Opportunities

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree can lead to advanced clinical and administrative positions in the traditional in-patient setting, as well as opportunities in other patient care settings which include but are not limited to: home health nursing, public health nursing, nursing education, the armed services, and case management. A nurse with a BSN degree is desired at regional and nation-wide hospital systems who have or are seeking Magnet nursing status. The Magnet nursing designation has driven many local institutions to seek BSN prepared graduates or require completion of a BSN degree upon hire.

Special Admissions Requirements

  • Current valid RN license in any state with eligibility for licensure in Pennsylvania.
  • Graduate of an accredited associate's degree and/or diploma program and meeting one of the following criteria:
    • graduated from an accredited associate's degree and/or diploma nursing curricula within the last three years.
    • practiced a minimum of 1,000 hours in nursing in the last three years;
    • other applicants, including those who graduated from nursing programs more than three years ago will be reviewed on an individual basis by nursing program administration.

 Junior-level status may be achieved by meeting the College's requirements of completing a minimum of 60 college credits. In addition, a 2.0 GPA in nursing is required.

Special Equipment Needs

This is a strictly on-line major, thus students must have access to a computer and software. See technical requirements for complete list.  Please refer to the information technology services site for more details.

Technical Requirements

Operating Systems:
PLATO is a web-based system that is fully certified to work with Windows and MAC Operating Systems.

The fully supported browsers for PLATO are: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Safari

Desktop or Laptop Computer (Windows 7 or higher, MAC OSX 10.4 or higher recommended) 
Internet Connection (cable or DSL heavily recommended)
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
Headset with Microphone suggested
Additional plug-ins may be required (Information Technology Services - Student Help Desk available for assistance)

Remediation Strategies

All transfer students entering the RN to BSN completion major without prior college-level English and mathematical classes will be tested for deficiencies, and will be required to remediate the deficiencies prior to acceptance. Any reading deficiency also must be remediated prior to acceptance.

Transfer Procedures

All student transcripts will be evaluated by Admissions. All general education/liberal arts courses that meet core College requirements for baccalaureate degrees will be eligible for transfer according to College policy. The transfer of nursing credits is evaluated on an individual basis according to the program's policy. Students must have a minimum grade of 'C' (2.00) in courses transferred into the BSN completion major. All Penn College associate-degree requirements will apply toward bachelor-degree requirements. A block of 38 nursing credits will be transferred from an accredited associate-degree or diploma nursing curricula. Students must complete 36 credits at Penn College for coursework prescribed in the final four semester of a student's profile including required summer courses within of following the final four semesters. 

International health credentials/licensure, sciences courses, and most math courses will not be accepted to satisfy requirements of this major. Please see additional information for international students applying to Health Sciences majors.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:
  • engage as a generalist, synthesizing knowledge from nursing, liberal arts, and sciences to provide consumer-centered care that is evidence-based, theory-guided, holistic and culturally competent (Consumer-centered Care & Evidenced-based Practice).
  • facilitate the teaching-learning process to promote health and prevent disease in populations across the lifespan (Teaching and Learning).
  • use therapeutic communication to partner with and advocate for the health care needs of clients of all ages, families, and communities in a variety of health care settings (Communication).
  • utilize informatics to analyze research findings and identify research problems related to the nursing care of diverse consumers (Informatics).
  • apply leadership and management skills in developing collaborative, professional relationships with multidisciplinary health care providers to improve the delivery of health care (Professional Behaviors).
  • establish ethical, political, and legal accountability and take responsibility for one's own practice, professional growth, life-long learning, and the development of the profession in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding (Professional Behaviors).
  • direct and facilitate the use of the nursing process to optimize patient outcomes throughout the lifespan and across the continuum of health care environments (Nursing Process).

Performance Standards

All students in the major are required to maintain a graduation grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 to remain in the nursing program. In addition, all students must earn a "C" (2.0) or higher in all NUR, HTH, BIO and CHM courses; if a lower grade is earned in any of these courses, the course must be repeated.


Pre. Program Credits
NUR304 Credentials Proven by License 38  
First Semester Credits
BIO115 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4  
ENL111 English Composition I 3  
PSY111 General Psychology 3  
MNA Math Elective (MTH124 or Higher) 3  
COR Liberal Arts Elective 3  
Second Semester Credits
SCL Science Elective with lab 4  
ENL121 English Composition II 3  
ENL201 Technical and Professional Communication 3  
PSY203 Developmental Psychology 3  
SOC111 Introduction to Sociology 3  
CSC124 Information, Technology, and Society 3  
Summer Session Credits
ETH Ethics Elective 3  
MTH153 Topics in Mathematics 3  
MTH160 Elementary Statistics with Computer Applications 4  
Third Semester Credits
NUR311 The Philosophy of Professional Nursing 3  
NUR001 Orientation for the BSN student  
NUR352 Teaching and Learning Concepts and Strategies 3  
NUR329 Community Health Nursing for the Practicing RN 4  Cultural Diversity Requirement
BSE Nursing Seminar Elective 1  
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1  
Fourth Semester Credits
NUR414 Evaluating Professional Nursing Practice 3  
BST Nursing Special Topics Elective 3  
NUR495 Research and Theory in Clinical Practice 4  Writing Enriched Requirement
ART Art Elective 3  
Summer Session Credits
NUR466 Leadership and Management for the Practicing RN 3  
BST Nursing Special Topics Elective 3  
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1  
Fifth Semester Credits
HTH310 Health Issues and Transitions 3  Writing Enriched Requirement &
Cultural Diversity Requirement &
Science, Technology and Society Requirement
SPC101 Fundamentals of Speech 3  
SPC102 Fundamentals of Small Group Communication 3  
SPC201 Interpersonal Communication 3  
OEA Open Elective 6  

Notice of Conviction

Child abuse clearance and criminal background checks are required by some agencies involved in clinical practice experiences. Agencies can bar students from their sites if a criminal record exists or a positive drug test is noted. By virtue of contract for Penn College students to be at a clinical sites, agencies have the right to ask for random drug testing. Inability to gain clinical or fieldwork or intern education experiences results in inability to meet program objectives and outcomes. For additional clarification, students can speak with their program director. The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing advises that a drug-related conviction and/or conviction of a felonious act or two misdemeanors might result in denial and/or revocation of a license to practice nursing. In accordance with The professional Nurse Law, Act of 1951, P.L. 317, No. 69, as amended, The Pennsylvania Board of Nursing shall not issue a license to an applicant who has been convicted of a felonious act prohibited by the Act known as “The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and cosmetic Act” or convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States or any other state, territory or country unless a least 10 years have elapsed from the date of the conviction. 


The Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing major is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). For further information, contact the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) at 3343 Peachtree Rd. NE, Suite 850, Atlanta GA 30326; 404-975-5000.