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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

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

Statistics: the SMSU RN to BSN Program no longer requires statistics as part of their curriculum.  However, statisical literacy is a focus area of the nursing program.

Cost: Tuition is $316.25/credit.  Calculating the cost of the nursing courses = $316.25 X 30 credits = $9,487.50 total (note: this includes the online tuition rate and student fees).  This does not include the course fee for the pre-clinical course (NURS 410).

Application fees 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.

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, you will receive instructions from the Department of Nursing on how to complete the RN to BSN Program application.

Credit for prior learning: once students are enrolled in the SMSU RN to BSN Program, they are granted upper division credits for prior learning for having successfully completed the NCLEX-RN examination.  With these credits, there will be no additional upper division course requirements to complete.

Clinical opportunities: there is one clinical course in the SMSU RN to BSN Program.  The nursing student spends 75 hours with a BSN prepared nurse in a community/public health setting perferrably geographically near the student.

Minnesota Public Health registration: with the above clinical opportunity, the nursing student completing the SMSU RN to BSN Program is eligible to register to be a public health nurse in Minnesota.

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).  To answer the question each student has about how many courses they would need to take to complete the SMSU RN to BSN Program, SMSU needs to review each student's transcript with them to provide that information.

When does the SMSU RN to BSN Program admit nursing students? students start taking nursing courses in the fall or spring semester.  8-week course options are available.  New nursing students may start taking courses in August, October, January, or March.

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 number of students have been accepted.

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.

Length of program: students may complete the SMSU RN to BSN Program in as little as, or up to seven years from the first term the student enrolled in the RN to BSN program (a total of seven spring and seven fall semesters).  Students choose the pace they desire to take courses: taking courses full time, one course at a time, or anywhere in-between.  Summer courses are an option if desired.  The program is truly flexible to meet the student’s work/family/personal needs.

On-campus opportunities: our courses are completely online.  However, due to student request, we offer an RN to BSN Day at SMSU each semester – where students have the opportunity to 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.  Students appreciate the uniformity of the RN to BSN Program online courses.

“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: 9/27/21 11:59 AM | Website Feedback