Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

Nurses are a critical part of the healthcare workforce. For those looking to enter into the nursing field, there are several routes available to earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Your nursing program curriculum can provide you with a well-rounded foundation of healthcare knowledge, as well as the specific concepts, principles and skills needed to become a career-ready nursing professional.

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Benefits of Undergraduate Nursing Programs

Earning your bachelor’s degree in nursing may be the initial step you need to enter into the nursing field, or the next step you seek to help you position yourself to potentially bring your nursing career to the next level. There are several benefits to earning a BSN degree, such as:

  • Graduate-level educational opportunities: A BSN can prepare you for graduate-level degree opportunities, allowing you to specialize in an area that you’re passionate about and have a greater impact on the well-being of your community.
  • Improved health outcomes: Studies have shown that BSN-educated nurses have a correlation with improved health outcomes, fewer medication mistakes and lower mortality rates.1
  • Salary potential: In May 2023, registered nurses had a median annual wage of $86,070, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).2
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National median annual salary for registered nurses in 2023, according to the BLS2

Explore Nursing Bachelor’s Degrees at GCU

GCU offers a variety of different nursing options for those looking to earn their BSN. Whether you are already a registered nurse (RN), have a previous college background or have no college experience at all, GCU has a nursing program that is best suited for you.

Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs

Earning your pre-licensure nursing degree can be the first step to either entering or continuing your education into the nursing field. Explore our different BSN degree program options to find the one that may work best for you.


Undergraduate nursing student displaying lopes up

Undergraduate Nursing Coursework

While completing your pre-licensure BSN program, you will cover many subjects that are critical to becoming a well-rounded professional nurse. Some of the course topics you will be taught include:

  • Health assessment
  • Adult health
  • Mental health
  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics
  • Pharmacology
  • Informatics
  • Research
  • Ethics
  • Policy

Our pre-licensure BSN curriculum is designed to provide you with the education you need to prepare for the NCLEX-RN® exam. Once passing your exam, you will be able to practice as an RN.

GCU has been institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1968, reflecting our dedication to offering a quality education to all our students. We are proud to provide an education that has been reviewed and approved to meet the standards of our accreditor. For more information on the accreditation of nursing programs and other university approvals, please visit our nursing accreditation page.

To gain entry into our various nursing bachelor’s degree programs, you must meet certain admissions requirements established by GCU, as well as complete the required prerequisite courses for your program. To learn more about your eligibility and these requirements, fill out the form on this page to speak with a university counselor.

Related Nursing Bridge Pathways

For current RNs with a prior health-related degree who are looking to transition into graduate-level MSN studies, GCU offers various nursing pathways to help you get there. Bridge pathways can lead directly to earning an MSN program of your choice. Explore our various bridge pathway options and fill out the form on this page to discuss whether this could be the right choice for you.


GCU’s RN to BSN program offers a feasible option for current working nurses who do not yet have their BSN degree. In this program, you can complete your core nursing coursework online3 in 14 months.4 This program is designed for current RNs to utilize their prior knowledge of the nursing field and apply it to baccalaureate-level nursing studies.

RN to BSN nursing students talking

BSN Degree Program FAQs

If you’re considering beginning or continuing your nursing journey through earning a BSN degree, read through some of the most commonly asked questions to learn more.

A BSN degree is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. This pre-licensure BSN degree is a qualifying degree that can prepare aspiring nurses to take and pass the NCLEX-RN® exam to gain nursing licensure. This program aims to provide students with a comprehensive nursing education, seeking to prepare them to be workforce-ready nurses, as well as position them for the opportunity to pursue graduate-level nursing studies if they choose to do so.

The RN to BSN option is an opportunity for current nurses to earn their BSN degree online3 by applying their previous knowledge and experience as a nurse. This program can be completed in 14 months,4 and can help nurses position themselves for the potential opportunity of advancement and growth in their field.

The length of time it may take you to earn your BSN degree depends on several factors, such as your academic background and which BSN pathway you choose. For example, our accelerated pre-licensure BSN option for those with a previous non-nursing college education can be completed in as little as 16 months,5 while an RN to BSN program for current RNs can be completed in as few as 14 months.4 To discuss how long it may take you to earn your BSN, fill out the form on this page to speak with a university counselor.

You need to complete a qualifying nursing program and pass the licensure exam to become a nurse. Those with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or nursing diploma who have passed the necessary licensure examination are able to practice as RNs. However, there are many benefits to pursuing your BSN degree, such as the potential for higher salary, increased job opportunities, eligibility to enroll in graduate-level studies, the potential for advancement, and a broader all-around knowledge base in nursing and the healthcare field.1

A bachelor’s in nursing can provide you with the education and skills you need to make a difference as a nurse in your community. It also can help position you to be eligible to enroll in MSN-level programs, where you can choose to specialize in an area of your choice.

Bachelor’s in Nursing Career Opportunities

BSN degrees can prepare and qualify you to be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN® exam to become an RN. As an RN, you have opportunities to work in various healthcare settings, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Physicians’ offices
  • Community care settings
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Health service organizations
  • Public health
  • Schools

If you desire to further advance your education, you can also prepare to enter graduate nursing school, where you may choose to specialize or potentially pursue leadership positions in your field by earning an MSN degree.

Two GCU Nursing students talking in a hospital

Student Resources and Support

GCU offers various forms of support to all of our learners pursuing their nursing bachelor’s degree online3 or in person, including our online and on-campus resources. As a College of Nursing and Health Care Professions student, you also have access to additional resources that may help you as you pursue your BSN program.


1 Deering, M. (2023, Jan. 10). Top 10 advantages of a BSN degree. NurseJournal. Retrieved March 7, 2024.

2 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), Registered Nurses as of May 2023, retrieved on April 22, 2024. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 to 2023 may be atypical compared to prior years. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers nationwide with varying levels of education and experience. It does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as Registered nurses, nor does it reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country, or a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries. Your employability will be determined by numerous factors over which GCU has no control, such as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, the graduate’s experience level, individual characteristics, skills, etc. against a pool of candidates.

3 While all courses are completed online, you will need to attend clinical, practicum and immersion hours in person locally.

4 The entire program requires 120 credits.

5 Secondary Applicants must transfer a minimum of 60 of the required 123 credits or have completed a baccalaureate degree which includes nine prerequisite courses/labs and 10 general education courses prior to starting the core nursing courses, which can be completed in as few as 16 months. Direct Entry Applicants that do not transfer 60 credits but meet the minimum requirements can complete these credits through GCU prior to starting the core nursing courses. Depending on the state where student has enrolled or intends to complete the program, student may require additional courses. This may include, but is not limited to, additional general education courses, courses in the major, clinical courses, or a different course sequence. See University Policy Handbook.

If you are ready to begin your career in nursing, apply to one of GCU’s bachelor’s degrees in nursing.