School of Nursing
FAQs about the RN to BSN Online Program
Congratulations on taking the first step toward earning a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing and
creating greater opportunities for you as a nurse.
1. Why should I seek a BSN?
Nurses choose to return to school for a BSN for a variety of reasons. A BSN may be required for particular roles or
promotions. A BSN is a prerequisite for graduate study in preparation for advanced practice roles. A BSN from a
university provides a general educational background similar to those of other professions. And perhaps most importantly,
a baccalaureate degree is a matter of personal fulfillment for many nurses.
2. What are the criteria for admission to take the required NSG courses?
1. A current, unrestricted license to practice as an RN in NC (includes Compact states)
2. Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or more on all post-secondary courses
3. Official transcripts of coursework completed at all post-secondary institutions for the Nursing Major and Liberal
Studies course prerequisites with grades of C or better.
4. At least 60 semester hours of credit, not including Nursing courses. (3 quarter hrs=2 semester hours). *** If the
number of non-nursing transfer hours does not total 60 after students have satisfied all of the course requirements
following, additional general elective courses will need to be taken. ***
5. Basic computer proficiency. Admitted students are required to have basic word processing, e-mail, and Internet access
skills. ***Students may obtain computer knowledge by taking CIS 110 at their local community college***
6. Acceptance to WCU. To apply go to: http://cowee.wcu.edu/admissions/undergrad1.html
3. How can I meet WCU’s “Liberal Studies” requirements?
1. a previous baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university OR
2. an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science from a North Carolina Community College OR
3. the 44 hour “general education” core from a NC CC completed before WCU enrollment OR
4. after an initial review of your transcripts, completion of remaining specific WCU Liberal Studies equivalent courses at
your local community college plus a WCU upper-level Perspectives course outside of nursing. Or “…equivalent
courses, most of which are available at your local community college.”
4. Is there a time limit on transfer of credit to WCU?
No, a credit is a credit forever. Some credits, however, may not be transferable.
5. How many credits do I need for the BSN at WCU and how can I get them?
60 semester hours (not counting NUR courses) can be transferred from any accredited institution.
We suggest getting as many as possible from your convenient Community College.
32 hours of upper-division (300-400 level) credits must be earned from WCU.
In our program, 24 of these hours are required and 8 are electives.
30 hours of credit from your nursing knowledge are added on completion of NSG 399.
122 semester hours needed to graduate.
6. When can I begin the RN to BSN program?
Students may enter the program in either August or January. Deadlines to apply are April 10 th for Fall and September 10th
for Spring. All required courses are offered each semester, and a selection of electives is available online each semester and
in the summer.
7. Is this program available via distance education?
Yes, every required course and many electives are available online. You will need a home computer, and high-speed
internet access is recommended. Since orientation and evaluation sessions help build networks and explain course
requirements, we will meet twice a semester on the AB Tech Enka Campus, headquarters of the RN to BSN program.
Online activities may include some synchronous meetings.
8. How do I prepare for an online degree program? First, students need to have basic computer skills using Microsoft Word.
Students are encouraged to take CIS 110 at a North Carolina Community College to gain those skills and elective credit.
As a primer for online learning, students must complete WCU’s University Experience. This online learning tutorial is
offered two weeks prior to the start of the regular semester. The one-time course introduces you to online student services,
builds skills necessary for success in your distance learning program and creates a community of learners. You will receive
more information about the University Experience in acceptance packet. No fees or credit are associated with this course.
9. How quickly can I earn the BSN at Western Carolina University?
The program can be competed on a part-time basis within two years.You can finish the program in as few as 2 semesters
and a summer if given permission to assist on a full-time basis. You can stop out and re-enter at any time, but waiting too
long to return may subject you to new program requirements.
10. What are the required Nursing courses? (Each course within a block must be taken concurrently)
NSG 301, Professional Transitions in Nursing (3 sh)
NSG 398, APA Writing Skills and Format (1 sh)
NSG 399, Clinical Update for RNs (2 sh)
NSG 302, Community Health Nursing I: Theory (3 sh)
NSG 305, Community Health Nursing III: Intervention Project (2 sh)
NSG 384, Community Health Nursing II: Practicum (1 sh)
NSG 460, Nursing Leadership I: Theory (3 sh)
NSG 483, Nursing Leadership II: Practicum (2 sh)
NSG 484, Nursing Leadership III: Intervention Project (1 sh)
NSG 471, Nursing Research I: Research Design (2 sh)
NSG 472, Nursing Research II: Critical Reading (2 sh)
NSG 473, Nursing Research III: Clinical Application (2 sh)
11. How many electives will I need?
Unless you are pursuing your MSN, students are required to take 8 hours of upper division (300-400 level) courses at
WCU. Online electives are available year-round. Some students may be required to take an upper division Perspectives
elective as 3 of your 8 required elective hours. Your faculty advisor will assist you in determining if this requirement
applies to you.
12. What are the clinical requirements?
Students are required to complete two clinical courses included within Blocks Two and Three.
Clinical requirements for both courses can be satisified at sites available in most counties across western NC.
13. What days do NSG classes meet?
All classes are online and with a few exceptions asynchronous, so you can log on any day or time. Orientation and Wrap
Day are usually on Thursdays. Clinical times are flexible and arranged with local agencies and preceptors.
14. What are the costs?
The application fee is $45. All RN to BSN students are “distance learners” and pay about $85.04 for each hour of credit in-
state. Out-of-state residents pay about $341.79 per credit hour. Books for NSG courses will cost about $300 total. You
will need professional liability insurance now available through WCU for $15.75 per semester charged while enrolled in a
clinical course. Graduation expenses will be at least $30, plus your one trip to Cullowhee if you want to walk.
15. Is WCU my only option to get the BSN?
No. Almost every BSN program in North Carolina has an RN to BSN track. See
http://www.ncbon.com/content.aspx?id=400. See www.discovernursing.com for out-of-state programs. Explore carefully
the costs and success rates of for-profit programs—the University of Phoenix and Excelsior College have good reputations.
16. What if my plans include going on to graduate school?
Then you need to be exploring the specific programs that interest you at the specific schools that
offer them. See http://www.ncbon.com/content.aspx?id=402 and for http://www.ncbon.com/content.aspx?id=404
NC and out-of-state programs. You can then work with your advisor to be sure you are getting any prerequisites that fit
into your BSN program of study, like statistics. WCU now has an RN to MSN Fast Entry option, which allows you to
apply up to 8 hours of 500-level graduate courses to meet your upper-division electives requirement.
17. I’ve decided that I want to pursue my BSN with WCU. What is my next step?
The first step in determining your eligibility for enrollment is to contact:
Assistant Director of Student Services
828-670-8810, ext 246
Haynes Center, AB Tech Enka Campus
WCU Nursing Department
RN to BSN Program
1459 Sand Hill Road G33
Candler, NC 28715