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RN to Nursing BS

Online RN to BS in Nursing Program

Building on Your Expertise... Investing in Your Future

Open the door to greater career options within the nursing field by completing a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. The University of Colorado, College of Nursing Online RN to BS in Nursing program is completely online, allowing you to seek your BS degree, balance your life, and work at the same time. 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.

  • Apply if you are a licensed RN. Applications are not limited to Colorado residents.
  • Transfer most previously completed prerequisite coursework from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the program in four semesters (balanced to work with tuition reimbursements).
  • Enjoy the accessibility of online orientation and education.
  • Join a cohort, beginning each fall and spring, for progression and connection within a group.
  • Benefit from practicum experiences designed to meet your personal goals.
  • Focus on an individual area of interest (create a project meaningful and useful to you and your organization).
  • Take advantage of earning your BS in nursing from the CU College of Nursing.

RN to Nursing BS Program Plan

The online program consists of 30 credits. It is designed to be efficiently completed in four semesters, or 16 months. Working RNs will find the program aligns with scheduling needs and agency tuition reimbursement policies. Following is the current plan of study for the RN-BS pathway:

RN to Nursing BS Course Descriptions

Below are the course desriptions for this program. Curriculum is subject to revision. We have updated the courses to help prepare students for the next level in their nursing career.

  NURS 4824 Professional Nursing Role Development (4 Credits)

  NURS 4800: Evidence-Based Nursing Practice and Research for the RN (4 Credits)

  NURS 4877: Population-Based Nursing (6 Credits)

  NURS 4860: Quality, Safety and Innovative Nursing Practice (4 Credits)

  NURS 4850: Introduction to Informatics (3 Credits)

  NURS 4887: Nursing Leadership in Complex Organizations I (4 Credits)

  NURS 4897: Nursing Leadership in Complex Organizations II (5 Credits)


Expected Bachelor's Program Outcomes

  1. Display novice, professional nursing leadership qualities to promote quality and safe care.
  2. Engage in effective communication and collaboration in intra– and interdisciplinary teams across a variety of contexts.
  3. Provide socially just, ethical, and inclusive care to diverse populations across the continuum of care.
  4. Apply principles of healthcare informatics as a meaningful user of health information systems and technology.
  5. Reference relevant theoretical frameworks to improve patient and population health outcomes across a range of settings.
  6. Integrate evidence-based practice into patient-centered care using the nursing process across a range of settings.
  7. Articulate how policy, advocacy, finance and regulatory environments influence healthcare delivery.

​Clinical Practicum Experience

One component of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is clinical experiences.

As a student, you will complete one credit hour (30 practicum hours) in a clinical setting under the supervision of a nursing professional. This is an integral part of our mission as a college to provide you with comprehensive nursing education. You will have a wide variety of clinical settings and nursing environments in which to complete your clinical hours.


A Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in nursing provides a wide 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, bachelor's prepared nurses are able to pursue advanced degrees in nursing including careers as an adult or pediatric nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife or certified nurse anesthetist. Doctorate level education is also possible for bachelors prepared nurses who wish to pursue a PhD or DNP (doctor of nursing practice).

Examples of potential practice areas for a bachelor of science graduate 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.

Click here to view the 2016 College of Nursing Alumni Undergraduate Survey​ to see which positions and settings our undergraduate alumni move on to following graduation.

For more information on the wide variety of career options available to BS in nursing graduates, please visit the Johnson and Johnson Discovering Nursing website.​​