Nursing - Option for Registered Nurses, Bachelor of Science in Nursing


College of Health and Human Services

This degree was designed to provide a pathway for Registered Nurses (RNs) to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. 

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Northern Arizona University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

This plan will not be available to new students after Summer 2024

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally include a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All Northern Arizona University requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.

    The full policy can be viewed here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Highest Mathematics Required STA 270
Additional Admission Requirements Required
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link Not Available

Purpose Statement

The philosophy of the School of Nursing at Northern Arizona University is based on an ethic of caring that embraces students, faculty and staff, and the university community and the global community within which we live and work. We also believe that caring is a conscious, intentional discipline that is part of nursing’s unique body of knowledge and is practiced in interdisciplinary contexts. Caring includes the creation and nurturing of an environment that recognizes that students, staff and faculty have unique ways of viewing the world. This philosophy promotes excellence for nursing education and practice in an environment of constant change and emerging healthcare trends.

The faculty believes the transition to the role of competent professional nurse is a major developmental achievement. We believe that nursing is an art and science that is an integral component of health care. Applying the discipline of nursing to practice depends on a foundation of natural and human sciences, humanities and arts, the application of research, and the diverse backgrounds of learners. Societal influences in the evolving healthcare system challenge all involved in nursing education.

Education is a dynamic, life-long collaborative process by which an individual pursues life goals, broadens human potential, develops thinking and clarifies values. The faculty believes that learning is the intentional acquisition, application, and integration of knowledge, skills and attitudes. Learning is shaped by the environment and developmental level of the learner, and is ultimately the responsibility of the learner. Faculty plan, guide, and facilitate learning while supporting the learning needs of a diverse community of students. We believe that learning-centered experiences with rigorous expectations and actively-engaged students result in higher-level thinkers and graduates prepared for real world practice. We value incorporating rural and global healthcare into a variety of educational experiences. Thus education not only expands the thinking of the learner, but increases opportunities for application.

The faculty has developed a philosophy that values diverse persons, environment, health, and nursing, and their inter-relatedness. The following meta-paradigm concepts guide the implementation of the organizing framework for the curriculum.

If you’re a registered nurse who has graduated from a state or nationally accredited associate degree or diploma nursing program, the RN-BSN program is for you. The program builds on the knowledge and skills you have acquired through a diploma or associate degree nursing program. Courses for this program are delivered online, and clinical projects are completed in your local community, so you can complete the BSN degree in your hometown. Through NAU's Personalized Learning Program enables registered nurses to earn their bachelor of science in nursing degree through our fully accredited, competency based Personalized Learning online program. This innovative program allows students to set their own pace, and complete lessons according to their own timeline. With no deadlines and no set schedules, it's the ideal online degree program for busy RN's to advance their career.

Student Learning Outcomes

Outcomes align with Standards from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

  • Clinical Practice and Prevention: Integrates theory, evidence, professional perspectives, and patient preferences into clinical judgment to provide holistic patient-centered care across the lifespan and healthcare continuum, and in healthcare environments.
  • Communication: Incorporates effective communication into professional nursing practice.
  • Critical reasoning:
    • Synthesizes evidence and nursing knowledge to evaluate and modify clinical nursing practice, in order to provide holistic, safe, comprehensive, patient-centered care.
    • Integrates reliable evidence from multiple ways of knowing to inform practice and make clinical judgments.
  • Leadership: Integrates knowledge and skills in leadership, quality improvement, health care policy and patient safety into practice to provide high quality care.
  • Professionalism and Professional Values
    • Integrates professional values and their associated behaviors into the practice of nursing.
    • Incorporates ethical and legal principles and professional standards into nursing practice.
    • Integrates caring’s affective characteristics into patient-centered care and with other healthcare professionals.
  • Global Health
    • Global Engagement: Promotes safety and quality of health care outcomes for diverse populations incorporating principles of advocacy, leadership and collaboration.
    • Diversity Education: Advocates for health equity and social justice for vulnerable populations and the elimination of health disparities both locally and globally.
    • Environmental Sustainability: Participates in collaborative efforts to improve aspects of the environment that negatively impacts health both locally and globally.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

    • You must apply and be accepted to the School of Nursing's program in addition to being admitted to the university, as well as have a current nursing RN license, in good standing, within the state you reside live. “Good standing” means the license of a nurse is current, and the nurse is not presently subject to any disciplinary action, consent order, or settlement agreement as defined by the State Board of Nursing in the jurisdiction of the license. Students who have licenses not in good standing may contact an advisor for additional review.
    • Due to State Board of Nursing regulations and other legal requirements, we do not accept students into the program that live in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, or Washington, nor are we permitted to allow students to complete the program if they relocate to one of these states.
    • You are eligible for this option if you are a registered nurse who has graduated from a state, or nationally accredited, associate degree or diploma nursing program. Please note, if you are a diploma graduate, you need to contact an advisor to apply for 30 units of nursing credit.
    • We offer this as a web-based option to licensed registered nurses with the exceptions noted above. There is also a personalized learning option available. Contact your local Extended Campuses' office or the College of Health and Human Services Office of Student Services for information about admission and transcript evaluation.
Associate Degree Transfer Block
    • RNs who earned their degree from an Arizona Community College may transfer up to 90 units toward the B.S.N. Other RNs should consult with a distance-learning advisor to determine transfer credits. Students currently in an Arizona community college nursing program may also be eligible for admission in their second semester; please contact an advisor for recommended courses.
Major Requirements
  • This Option for Registered Nurses requires 60 to 63 units and for students to complete an Associate’s Degree at a Community College, where some of their preprofessional requirements are likely also completed.  Up to 90 units can be transferred in for this program.

    • Preprofessional Requirements: 30 to 33 units
    • Nursing Common Course Requirements: 30 units

    Course credit earned (30 units)

  • You may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your faculty mentor for details.

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.

    You may take these remaining courses from any of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

    We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.