RN to BSN Degree

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Accredited Nursing RN to BSN Degree

If you are a registered nurse with an associate degree or diploma certificate in nursing, Grand Canyon University’s (GCU) Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program online can prepare you for expanding professional roles in the health care system of tomorrow. Obtaining your RN to BSN degree will position you to broaden your understanding of best practices in nursing, prepare you for graduate study, and equip you for leadership positions in which increasing levels of education are expected.

GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Our university counselors provide an upfront time to completion, and our free cost estimator tools provide you with a general estimation of the cost of attendance.

If you are looking to become a BSN-prepared nurse, you could earn a scholarship of $330* per credit hour. Find out more about how you can get started today.

Why Earn Your RN to BSN at GCU?

Explore just a few of the many reasons to choose GCU’s accredited RN to BSN online program:

  • Transfer Up to 90 Credits: Our free Lopes Credit Evaluation can help you determine how many credits will transfer to GCU.
  • Earn a BSN in 12 Months: GCU’s 5-week courses help you earn your degree in as little as 12 months.1
  • Earn Your BSN and MSN in 2.5 Years: Speak with your university counselor about the RN to MSN fast-track option and earn both degrees in as few as 30 months.2

Advancing Your Nursing Career

There has never been a better time than now to enroll in an online RN to BSN program.

  • Improve Patient Outcomes: Study findings conducted by Linda Aiken in the 2011 article, “The Effects of Nurse Staffing and Nurse Education” actually indicate that the proportion of nurses with bachelor’s degrees is associated with better outcomes.3
  • Increase Your Opportunities to Work in Magnet Hospitals: Launched in the 1990’s by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the Magnet Recognition Program identifies hospitals committed to a higher level of care for both patients and nurses. Many Magnet hospitals seek BSN-prepared nurses to staff a majority of their nursing positions.

BSN Careers & Salaries

According to an article “Top 9 Advantages of a BSN Degree” from Nurse Journal, as a BSN-prepared nurse, you will:

  • Increase Your Job Opportunities: Of 187,000 nursing jobs posted during a three-month period, nurses with a BSN were eligible for 88 percent of the openings, while nurses with a diploma or associate degree were only eligible for 51 percent of positions.
  • With a BSN degree, there will be more doors opened to you: The knowledge that you gain in this program will prepare you for positions that include team leader, clinical manager, and unit supervisor. More and more clinical nursing positions require a BSN. Get ahead of the curve while opening doors to opportunities in different settings including hospitals, ambulatory care centers, case management, private homes and public health.
  • BSN-prepared nurses can work in many different settings: Depending on your area of interest, you will be prepared to work in hospitals, ambulatory care centers, health service organizations or rehabilitative settings. Ultimately, the knowledge you gain in an RN to BSN program will equip you to pursue a career you are passionate about.


The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and the master’s degree program in nursing at Grand Canyon University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org). Select states may have additional requirements to meet their standards; reference your enrollment agreement or contact GCU for more information. GCU’s accredited program is aligned to standards established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long does it take to complete the RN to BSN program?

The online RN to BSN program can be completed in as little as 12 months with our 5-week course offerings.5

What topics will be covered?

The clinical and healthcare principles you learn in a BSN program include:

  • Health promotion for the family, wellness education, and cultural diversity
  • Developmentally based physical assessment
  • Concepts of statistical analysis for health care including experimental design and sampling methods
  • Critical appraisal of the research literature and application of evidence in nursing practice
  • Nursing leadership and management, effective communication and interdisciplinary collaboration

What classes will I take in the BSN program?

In your BSN courses, you will receive instruction from practicing nurses and experts in the field who will share their knowledge and experience in the areas of clinical patient care, healthcare management, professional development in nursing practice and leadership. Some of the classes you will take include:

  • Family-Centered Health Promotion
  • Health Assessment
  • Concepts in Community and Public Health
  • Introduction to Nursing Research
  • Ethical and Spiritual Decision Making in Healthcare
  • Nursing Leadership and Management
  • Trends and Issues in Today’s Healthcare

Can I continue to work while I earn my BSN?

The RN to BSN program is designed to allow you to continue working as a nurse while you are enrolled in the program. This way, you can further your education without sacrificing your career.

In addition, if you have a busy work schedule, enrolling in an online program may be a great option for you. GCU’s online programs give you the convenience and flexibility needed to get ahead, while ensuring you receive a quality education.

*MOU 6471: This scholarship is only valid for those applicants who submit a complete application for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program beginning in April 2020. If you enroll in a BSN degree program through any of the College of Nursing’s online or evening campus offerings, GCU will award you a scholarship tuition rate of $330 per credit hour. (The scholarship rate of $330 is effective for all courses taken in 2020 and starting in 2021 it is subject to change based on the University’s standard annual tuition review.) In order to remain eligible for this tuition scholarship, you must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (minimum 2.5 GPA) throughout your program as indicated in the University Policy Handbook; and you must remain continuously enrolled in your program of study. Continuous enrollment is defined as no breaks greater than 14 days unless an approved leave of absence has been granted by Grand Canyon University.

1 Transfer of 90 credits that apply to your degree, and continuous enrollment required

2 Transfer of 90 credits that apply to your degree, and continuous enrollment required

3 Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217062/

4 Retrieved from: https://nursejournal.org/bsn-degree/top-9-advantages-of-a-bsn-degree/

5 Must transfer 90 semester credits accepted toward the required 120 credits to complete the program in 12 months.

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Develop Skills With GCU’s RN to BSN

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Total Program Credits: 120
Online: 5 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Online: $470 per credit [More Info]

Course List

General Education Requirements:
6-8 credits
36 credits
Open Elective Credits:
76-78 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This course is a bridge course for the RN who is returning to formal education for the baccalaureate degree in nursing. The course focuses on differentiated nursing practice competencies, nursing conceptual models, professional accountability, integrating spirituality into practice, group dynamics, and critical thinking. The course also emphasizes writing and oral presentation skills.

Course Description

This course focuses on family theories, health promotion models, cultural diversity, and teaching learning principles. The course emphasizes the family as the client, family FHP health assessments, screenings across the lifespan, communication, community resources, and family education. Appropriate health promotion education is evaluated against evidence-based research and practice.

Course Description

This course focuses on methods of health history taking, physical examination skills, documentation, and health promotion strategies. The course emphasizes the individual as the client, health patterns across the lifespan, community resources, and the teaching learning process.

Course Description

This course focuses on the community as a large system of people of varying cultures, spiritual values, geographic norms, and economic conditions, all influenced by social-legal-political variables that impact individual and community health. Particular attention is paid to vulnerable subgroups in the community. Emphasis is placed on critical analysis, using epidemiological data and functional health pattern assessments to plan and intervene in areas of health promotion and disease prevention.

Course Description

This is an introductory course on concepts of statistics, emphasizing applications to health care professions. The course is designed to prepare students to understand concepts of statistics and the appropriateness of statistical methods used in published research papers and a variety of settings. Areas of emphasis include an introduction to the statistical analysis concepts of variable/reliability factors; P values; experimental design; descriptive statistics, including mean, median, and mode; sampling methods; and power analysis.

Course Description

This writing intensive course promotes the use of research findings as a basis for improving clinical practice. Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies are presented. Emphasis is on the critical review of research studies and their applications to clinical practice. An overview of evidence-based practice is provided. Prerequisite: HLT-362V.

Course Description

This course introduces a Christian foundation for spiritual assessment and care with specific emphasis on biomedical ethical principles and ethical decision-making within nursing practice. Students practice assessment and propose holistic interventions that take into account the dignity of the human person. These assessments and interventions contribute to the physical and spiritual well-being of individuals across the life span and the health-illness continuum.

Course Description

Registered nurses with current licensure have a basic understanding of the role of the professional nurse. This course emphasizes further development of the professional nurse role. Critical management and leadership values, styles, and skills are a major focus. Particular attention is given to the identification of personal leadership styles and values. Importance is placed on development of effective management and leadership skills, with emphasis on effective communication.

Course Description

This course is designed to enhance the working RN’s existing understanding of the pathophysiological processes of disease as they affect clients across the lifespan. The interrelationship of structural and functional reactions of cells and tissues to genetic alterations and injurious agents provide the foundation for comprehending clinical manifestations and treatment protocols. Critical thinking and nursing management are enhanced through the use of case studies that integrate nutritional and pharmacological concepts. The understanding of environmental and biological risk factors provides the nurse with the knowledge to provide health promotion and prevention education.

Course Description

This course explores the impact of numerous professional and societal forces on health care policy and practice. Content includes an analysis of current studies; nursing care policy and position statements; political, environmental, and cultural issues; and changing nursing roles. The study of these issues examines the impact on health care delivery systems in today’s society.

Course Description

This is a writing-intensive course. The course combines scholarly activities with clinical practice experiences designed to synthesize learning into the practice environment and impact health outcomes. Students participate in planned, clinical experiences that refine professional competencies at the baccalaureate level and enable students to integrate new knowledge and higher level skills to advance nursing practice. Clinical practice hours will be dedicated to learning objectives in leadership and in community health. The professional capstone project offers students the opportunity to propose a resolution to an issue or problem significant to nursing practice within a clinical environment. Students identify, design, and propose an evidence-based solution within a health care organization with guidance from faculty and a preceptor in the field. The proposal must reflect synthesis and integration of course content and professional practice. Development of the capstone project is guided by the baccalaureate program student learning outcomes. Clinical hours: 100. Combined ; 50 hours in leadership and 50 hours in community health. Prerequisites: NRS-430V, NRS-429VN, NRS-434VN, NRS-428VN, HLT-362V, NRS-433V, PHI-413V, NRS-451VN, NRS-410V, and NRS-440VN.

Program Locations

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.

Program Domains

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.

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