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CU College of Nursing - RN to Nursing BS Program, Denver, Colorado

College of Nursing

RN to BS in Nursing

Program Info

RN-BS Program

The RN to BS program is an educational pathway, available for registered nurses who desire career mobility and professional development, based on the Colorado Nursing Articulation Model. The availability of online courses supports the unique need for flexibility and access to adult learners who want to complete their bachelor of science degree while working. Educational technology, such as web-based courses, help to accommodate work schedules and other life commitments for our students.

Program Plan

The online program consists of 30 credits. It is designed to be efficiently completed in four terms, or 16 months. Working RNs will find that the program aligns with scheduling needs and agency tuition reimbursement policies.

Below are the current program plans for fall admission and spring admission for 2015 and 2014. Curriculum is subject to revision. We have updated the courses for the program to help prepare students for the next level in their nursing career.

RN-BS Spring 2015 Admission Program of Study

RN-BS Fall 2015 Admission Program of Study

RN-BS Fall 2014 Admission Program of Study

RN-BS Spring 2014 Admission Program of Study

Total 30 credit hours


Expected Student Learning Outcomes / Competencies

  1. Patient-Centered Care:  Provides quality, safe and ethical care that is person-centered, rooted in partnership, and is mutually beneficial for individuals and families in all care settings across the life span.
  2. Evidence-Based Practice: Integrates clinical practice evidence to improve the health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.
  3. Safety:  Promotes safe health care environments, systems and initiatives to minimize risk of harm to individuals, families, communities, and providers.
  4. Teamwork and Collaboration: Promotes respectful communication and working relationships among intra-and inter-professional teams to deliver evidence-based, safe, quality, and person-centered care
  5. Informatics: Uses patient care technologies and clinical information systems to facilitate decision-making necessary for delivery of evidence-based, safe, quality, and person-centered care
  6. Quality: Engages in quality improvement through leadership skills, clinical reasoning, and use of evidence
  7. Leadership: As a transformational nurse clinician, will model professional communication, responsibility and accountability to promote self-awareness, life-long learning, and civic professionalism in the health care environment and other complex systems

Course Descriptions

Listed below are the undergraduate courses in the College of Nursing RN to BS program. To view the description of the course, click on the course title.
2015 Cohorts​

 NURS 4823: Transitions in Nursing Practice – 4 cr.

This course builds on knowledge of historical, philosophical, theoretical foundations, professional issues/trends, and legal parameters influencing professional nursing practice and role development.  Examines application of ethical theory, reflective deliberation, decision-making frameworks, and accountability within ethical and legal dimensions of healthcare.​​


 NURS 4800: Evidence-Based Nursing Practice and Research for the RN - 4 cr.

This course introduces research processes and application in EBP. RN students learn to critically evaluate research findings for application in safe, quality nursing practice. Nursing theories and ways of knowing are explored regarding their impact on development of nursing science.​​


 NURS 4877: Population-based Nursing – 6 cr.

This course focuses on the professional nursing role in population-focused health promotion, disease prevention and the continuum of care. Theories, concepts and social determinants of health inherent in population-based nursing and transitions of care are explored through coursework and practicum.​​


 NURS 4860: Quality, Safety and Innovative Nursing Practice – 4 cr.

Understand and apply QSEN knowledge, skills, and attitudes to improve and evaluate care delivery within a health care microsystem. Concepts and processes of quality improvement based on evidence are identified. Teamwork/communication /collaboration and transitions of care are explored.​​


 NURS XXXX: Introduction to Informatics – 3 cr.


 NURS 4887: Nursing Leadership in Complex Organizations I – 4 cr.

This course provides the foundation needed to provide oversight and accountability for care delivery across a variety of settings; continuing development as a leader/innovator in improving patient care; and a solid understanding of health care policy, economics and complex organizations.​​


 NURS 4897: Nursing Leadership in Complex Organizations II – 5 cr.

This course explores nursing leadership roles in promoting positive patient outcomes.  Uses evidence-based practice to facilitate clinical reasoning/inquiry in providing safe, quality, person-centered care.  Professional development is promoted through transformational leadership and management competencies. Includes a capstone quality improvement project.​


​​​2014 Cohorts 

NURS 4807 Nursing Research - online - 5 cr.
NURS 4813 Professional Nursing Concepts, Role and Accountability - online - 3 cr.
NURS 4837 Nursing Case Management - online - 6 cr.
NURS 4847 Public Health Nursing- online - 8 cr. 
NURS 4857 Leadership - online - 8 cr. 


The faculty at the College of Nursing is dedicated to educating graduates using evidence-based best practices in all areas of nursing.Our distinguished faculty members have made significant contributions to a wide variety of areas in nursing, including school-based health care, nursing informatics, setting standards in pain management, rural health as well as pediatric nursing. 

As we look to the future, we continue to expand our areas of influence including public health, health care of children, and chronic illness care. Our clinical faculty practice in many settings, providing a wide variety of specialty care and working with varying populations. An education at the University of Colorado provides opportunities to be educated by some of the nation’s leading nursing clinicians and nurse science researchers.

For more information about our renowned faculty and research interests, visit and review the College of Nursing faculty pages and bios.


A bachelor of science degree in nursing provides a variety of career choices. Upon successful completion of the BS nursing program and the national licensure examination (NCLEX), baccalaureate-prepared nurses are able to choose from a wide variety of practice settings. Additionally, unlike graduates prepared with an associate degree in nursing, baccalaureate-prepared nurses are able to pursue advanced degrees in nursing, including programs that prepare them for careers as adult or pediatric nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives or certified nurse anesthetists. Doctorate level education is also possible for bachelors prepared nurses who wish to pursue a PhD or DNP (doctorate in nursing practice).
Examples of potential practice areas include:
  • Providing patient care in the hospital settings (the most popular choice of nursing graduates).      
  • Caring for patients in community based settings.
  • Providing nursing leadership through nursing management positions.
  • Pursuing a nursing career at magnet designated hospital facilities.
  • Providing nursing care to individuals, families and communities internationally.
  • Working in clinical research by coordinating human subject studies.
  • Helping shape future nursing clinicians through teaching opportunities.
For more information on the variety of career options available to BS in nursing graduates, please visit the Johnson and Johnson Discovering Nursing website.

Continuum of Care Practicum Project (Practicum Experience for 2014 Cohort)

Practicum experiences flexibly focus on your learning needs and interests.  A practicum project across the continuum of care provides opportunity to develop an evidence-based project on a topic of your choice, relevant to acute care, public/community health and case management.


The College of Nursing puts an emphasis on application of knowledge, skills, and attitudes through practicum hours and project development as opposed to traditional scheduled shifts.


You will have the opportunity to identify an area of interest relevant to professional nursing roles and practice. Examples of focused areas of interest may be related to leadership and management, IOM/QSEN competencies (patient-centered care, teamwork and collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality, safety, and nursing informatics), clinical best practice, cost/quality improvement initiative, or aspect of institutional strategic plan.


Course faculty, in collaboration with RN-BS academic advisor and/or mentor/preceptors, approve, facilitate, and provide oversight for practicum and project development. Some of the project requirements are as follows:


- Focus may align with strategic initiatives or performance plans/career ladder at your place of



- Prioritizes ability for you to schedule flexibly to complete practicum project


- Conclusion may take form of a paper, poster, presentation, staff development or patient

  education, component of unit/organization initiative, or other demonstration of significant and

  successful endeavor in the area of your interest across courses and practicum experiences.