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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. Nursing and non-nursing education are recognized. 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 and five courses. It is designed to be efficiently completed in four terms, or 16 months. Working RN's 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. 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 Fall Admission Program of Study

RN-BS Spring 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.
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. 


In addition to providing state-of-the-art technology both inside and outside the classroom, CU College of Nursing is consistently ranked as one of the nation's top nursing programs. 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 (Clinical Experience)

Clinical 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 clinical exploration and practicum
- 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.