Frequently Asked Questions

What is an RN to BSN Program? How is it different than the traditional BSN degree?
In an RN to BSN Program, students must have an RN license to practice in the United States in order to enter the program.   Please see the RN to BSN Program Home Page for an explanation on the different degree options for Registered Nurses.

If I am an RN, how many credits will I have to take to get my BSN?
The RN to BSN Program includes 30 credits in nursing courses.  The transfer of credits varies among nursing students.  Students interested in our RN to BSN program may apply to SMSU and have an evaluation of previous coursework. Our staff and faculty will happy to discuss a future plan of study with the student in order to meet their specific needs following their transfer evaluation.

How long will it take to complete the program?
The RN to BSN Program is designed to allow students to take courses at the pace they feel works best to balance family, work, and school obligations.  The RN to BSN Program can be completed in two years or less at a full-time status or on a part-time basis (summers are considered a semester).  Please refer to the full or part-time examples in the Plan of Study to help understand student expectations at a full or part-time status.

How do I apply to SMSU’s RN to BSN Program?
Our application process has two steps.  First, you will need to apply to the college for general admission.  After you have completed the general admission application process, you will receive a letter from SMSU with their decision on admission to the general college.  Soon after admission to SMSU, you will also receive a letter from the Nursing Department with instructions on the nursing application process.  The nursing application process takes place online and must be completed in its entirety.  Applications are considered in the order they are received and when acceptance criteria are met completely.  Students will be notified by mail and email about the nursing application decision.

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

“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: 11/2/17 8:53 AM