RN to BSN

Robin Passantino Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

The RN to BSN program at the University of Virginia embraces the importance of life-long learning in a curriculum designed specifically for licensed registered nurses who are graduates of community colleges and hospital schools of nursing. The program is completed part-time in 21 months to encourage a balanced, healthy lifestyle where depth and enjoyment of learning can be accomplished. Classes meet in person just one day a week to allow students to work full time while earning their BSN and to allow students to effectively engage with their peers and faculty. The program provides a foundation for professional practice and for further education, such as graduate study for advanced practice, teaching, research, and new emerging roles in the nursing profession.

Students enroll in 30 credits at UVA, and upon completion of Foundations of Professional Nursing, receive 41 credits for prior learning as an RN. Courses in the program include graduate level classes in nursing theory and evidence-based practice, health policy, and epidemiology. Students must meet prerequisite general education requirements prior to admission, thus completing a grand total of 120 semester hours for the baccalaureate degree. Once admitted, students work with a faculty advisor to to best meet their academic and professional goals.

Note: RNs with an undergraduate degree in another subject (non-nursing area) may apply for the Clinical Nurse Leader program; this program awards a MSN degree after the completion of 41 credits.

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VCCS Guaranteed Admission Agreement

If you are a registered nurse who completed all required nursing courses within the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), you may be eligible to apply to our RN to BSN program through the Guaranteed Admission Agreement. Potential candidates include those who have passed the NCLEX examination within the five-year period preceding matriculation to the University. For more information, please visit the following site: VCCS Guaranteed Admission Agreement.

Transfer of Credit

On presentation of a school transcript, students accepted for transfer to the School of Nursing will be granted transfer credit for academic course work taken at an accredited institution if the grade earned was a C or higher, and if the courses correspond to ones offered at the University. Questions regarding acceptability of specific courses for transfer should be referred to Lynn Coyner in Admissions. Prospective applicants are encouraged to meet with the School of Nursing Admissions Counselor to discuss how their prior credits would apply to the University’s general education requirements.

Clinical Practicum

There is one practicum that is a part of the RN to BSN curriculum, which occurs in the fall semester of the second year of the program. Practicum experiences can be met in a variety of settings for this course; the School has a number of existing clinical contracts with facilities in Virginia.

Prerequisites

Pharmacology, Health Assessment, Human Anatomy & Physiology, Lifespan Development or Developmental Psychology and statistics are all required for admission to the program. Please see the FAQs for more information about these course equivalencies.

Most of these prerequisite courses can be satisfied at local community colleges. Below is a list of the suggested courses at Virginia community colleges that meet our requirements. This list is not exhaustive. If you have any questions, please contact Lynn Coyner at lc6be@virginia.edu.

Lifespan Development or Developmental Psychology

Virginia Community College System PSY 230 or PSY 231 + 232
University of Virginia NUIP 2240
Virginia Commonwealth University PSYC 304
James Madison University GPSYC 160
Virginia Tech HD 1004 + 2004 or PSYC 2034

Health Assessment

Virginia Community College System NUR 226
University of Virginia NUCO 2230 (offered only in summer)

Pharmacology

Virginia Community College System NUR 230 and HLT 250
Southside Regional Medical Center N310
Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing NUR 210 + 211

Human Anatomy & Physiology

Virginia Community College System BIO 141 + 142, BIO 231 + 232 or NAS 161 + 162
University of Virginia NUIP 2060 + 2070

Statistics *

Virginia Community College System MTH 157, MTH 240, MTH 241 or MTH 241 + 242
University of Virginia NUIP 4430, STAT 1120, STAT 2020 or SOC 3130

* Statistics must be completed within the past 5 years with a grade of a B or better.

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General Education Requirements

Students are required to satisfactorily complete 49 credits in the following general education courses prior to enrollment:

English Composition - 3 credits - required for students except for those who are exempt. You are exempt if you scored 750 or higher on the SAT II Subject Test in Writing or 5 on the English AP test. (Students who are exempt from English Composition must take an additional 3 credit elective.) If you are attending a college with a two-semester composition course, you must complete both semesters to satisfy this requirement.  For example, in the Virginia Community College System, we require ENG 111 and ENG 112.  UVA also has a second writing requirement. This requirement is fulfilled within the RN to BSN curriculum.   

Natural Science and Math - 12 credits - Anatomy and Physiology and statistics are required. Other acceptable courses include mathematics, chemistry, physics, genetics, environmental science, geology, and ecology. Statistics must be completed before enrolling in the RN to BSN program.  

Social Science and History - 9 credits - acceptable courses include history, government, psychology, sociology, economics, western civilization, political science, and anthropology. Special note: while you are required to take lifespan development, it cannot count towards your social science credits, because it is part of the 41 credits awarded for your previous nursing courses.

Humanities and Fine Arts - 9 credits - acceptable courses include philosophy, ethics, art, religion, music, drama, and foreign languages.

Electives - 16 or more credits to total 49 credits. Note: two courses (up to 5 credits) in skills courses such as studio art or music performance may be counted toward these elective credit requirements. Only 2 Physical Education (PE) credits can be accepted for elective transfer credit.

Advanced Standing

Forty-one credits of advanced standing will be awarded to students for prior nursing courses and experience, including the required lifespan, pharmacology, and assessment credits. These 41 credit hours will be awarded after the completion of all required courses and successful evaluation of a portfolio of validating assignments developed during the program of study.

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Admission Requirements

Admission to the School of Nursing is competitive and based on evaluation of all portions of the application. Applications for admission will be considered through the University of Virginia undergraduate admission process with initial review in the School of Nursing.

To be considered for admission to this program, applicants must submit a completed application and:

  • Have an associate degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited school of nursing.
  • Have completed all 49 credits towards the prerequisite general education courses by the start of the academic year.
  • Have completed the five required prerequisite courses by the start of the academic year.
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on all college/university courses completed prior to admission.
  • Possess an unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in the United States by the start of the academic year. If you are a current RN, please submit a copy of your current nursing license with your application.
  • Submit official transcripts from all universities/colleges attended to the UVA Office of Undergraduate Admission.
  • Submit one satisfactory academic or professional recommendation (no form needed, just a letter).
  • All supporting documents (recommendation, transcripts, etc.) should be mailed directly to the UVA Office of Undergraduate Admission, P.O. Box 400160, Charlottesville, VA 22904.
  • Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to have their transcripts unofficially reviewed by the Admissions Counselor, Lynn Coyner. Ms. Coyner can be reached via email at lc6be@virginia.edu or 434-924-0067.

The deadline for submitting applications is March 1 for fall entry.


Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid as the School of Nursing has a strong alumni base generous in scholarship support. Applicants should submit the FAFSA and the CSS/Profile to the University of Virginia Financial Aid Office. You will be emailed the School of Nursing financial aid application after students have been admitted.

For additional information on admission to and programs of study at the UVA School of Nursing, please complete the inquiry form or contact the School of Nursing Office of Admissions and Student Services at (434) 924-0141 / (888) 283-8703.

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