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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that you still need answered, or to find out more information, please email at or email Stella Nwachukwu, Nursing Student Services Coordinator, at

Cost: Tuition is $307.25/credit. Calculating the cost of the nursing courses = $307.25 X 30 credits = $9,217.50

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:
Once the below steps have been completed, the eligibility of the applicant will be determined.

  1. Apply to Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) 
    Have your official college/university transcripts from non-MinnState schools sent to the SMSU Admission office.
  2. Apply to SMSU RN to BSN Program
    Once admitted to SMSU, the student will receive instructions from the Department of Nursing on how to complete the RN to BSN Program application.

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). 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 served 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: Our courses are completely online. However, due to student request, starting Fall 2020, we are offering one day at SMSU each semester– the RN to BSN Day at SMSU – where students have the opportunity to come to campus, meet their faculty and peers, and be surrounded by valuable resources that will help lead them to success.   

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: 12/3/20 11:57 AM