Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that you still need answered, or to find out more information, please email at RNtoBSN@smsu.edu or email Laurie Johansen, Director of Nursing, at Laurie.Johansen@smsu.edu.

Cost: Tuition is $292.50/credit. Calculating the cost of the nursing courses = $292.50 X 30 credits = $8,775

Pace of SMSU RN to BSN Program: Students choose the pace they desire to take courses. Students can take courses full time, one course at a time, or anywhere in-between. Students can take summer courses if they desire, or only take courses during the spring/fall semesters without summer courses. The program is truly flexible to meet the student’s work/family/personal needs.

Length of program: Students may complete the SMSU RN to BSN Program in less than year, or they can take more than five years to complete the program.

Application Process:

Application is “As Easy as 1-2-3” - once all of these steps have been completed, the eligibility of the applicant will be determined.

  1. Apply to Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU)
  2. Apply to SMSU RN to BSN Program (application code sent to student after acceptance to SMSU)
  3. Complete background study


Application Fee to SMSU:
The application fee for SMSU is $20…however, if applicants interested in nursing use the application code RN2BSN, they will not need to pay the $20 application fee. Once the student has been admitted to SMSU, there is no fee for the SMSU RN to BSN Program application.

Credit for prior learning: Once students are enrolled in the SMSU RN to BSN Program, they are granted credit for prior learning for having successfully completed a national exam (NCLEX-RN).

Nursing courses: The SMSU RN to BSN Program itself includes 30 credits in nursing courses (eleven courses).

Clinical opportunities: There is one clinical course in the SMSU RN to BSN Program, when the student spends 75 hours with a nurse in a community/public health type setting. The Department of Nursing works with the nursing students to arrange a clinical site near where the student lives.

Minnesota Public Health registration: With the above courses and clinical opportunities, the student completing the SMSU RN to BSN Program is eligible to register to be a public health nurse in Minnesota upon graduating from the program.

Additional courses required for the SMSU RN to BSN Program: Other course requirements for the SMSU RN to BSN Program include the completion of the student’s MnTC curriculum (goal courses) as well as one 3 credit LEP course (LEP 400). Students are no longer required to take statistics. To answer the question each student has about how many courses would they need to take to complete the SMSU RN to BSN Program, we really need to review each student's transcript with them to provide that information.

When does the SMSU RN to BSN Program enroll nursing students? Nursing students are admitted to the SMSU RN to BSN Program during fall and spring semesters. However, once they have been admitted to SMSU, they may take summer courses for general courses prior to starting the SMSU RN to BSN Program.

Is there a waiting list for the SMSU RN to BSN Program? Students are enrolled on a first come – first serve basis. Applications are taken until the maximum amounts of students have been accepted for each semester.

Acceptance into the SMSU RN to BSN Program without an RN license: Students in the last semester of their associate degree program are eligible to be accepted into the SMSU RN to BSN Program, prior to completing the NCLEX-RN exam. The student does, however, need to successfully meet the GPA requirement > 2.75 upon graduation, complete the NCLEX-RN exam, and have an RN license prior to the time they actually start taking nursing courses at SMSU.

On-campus opportunities: Students have the opportunity to come to campus about four times throughout the entire SMSU RN to BSN Program, for opportunities that include experiencing a complete orientation, completion of group work, opportunities to present at a research conference, etc.

Format of online courses: All the SMSU RN to BSN Program nursing courses are formatted similarly. Once a student takes the first nursing course, they feel at home in the remaining nursing course formats.

“The RN to BSN Program at Southwest Minnesota State University is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.”

Last Modified: 4/5/18 8:54 AM