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Touching Lives. Transforming Health Care.

RN to MSN Program Structure

The RN to MSN program is designed to be flexible and there is no single correct way to progress through the program. Below is a flowchart showing how to progress through the program. Please refer to your degree plan for your specific course requirements.

RN-MSN Program Flowchart
*General Courses can be taken before starting nursing courses or they can be taken concurrently with nursing courses.
 **Once the BSN degree is conferred and you do not enroll in MSN courses for more than one long semester, you will be required to apply separately to the MSN program and take an additional 6 credit hours to complete your MSN degree.

For the general courses it is up to the student to decide how to complete them. Some students will take all, or the majority of the general courses, before starting the nursing courses. Other students take the nursing and general courses concurrently together.

If you have not already read our overview of Schedule and Load, please do so. It is recommended that students follow the suggested course load. Please note that students are permitted to take two nursing courses concurrently (excluding NURSU 3345, NURSG 5327, NURSG 5366, and NURSU 4685). However, it is not recommended for most students.

Transition to MSN Coursework Requirements

When fewer than 12 credit hours remain in your RN to BSN degree you must submit a short transition form to your RN to BSN advisor. This form checks eligibility requirements for the MSN program and is an important component in the transitional process to graduate level studies.

At the 12 hour mark:

  • You must submit the Transition to MSN form.
  • An individualized degree plan will be developed for you. This degree plan must be followed exactly as you transition into the MSN program.
  • You may enroll in graduate level upper division nursing electives when you have 12 credit hours remaining in the RN to BSN program, to satisfy both the RN to BSN and MSN upper division elective requirements. 

Retention and Continuation Requirements

GPA Requirement: In order to remain in the RN to MSN program, you must complete the following indicator courses with an overall GPA at or above a 3.3 GPA. Students who fail to to maintain a 3.3 GPA in the following three courses will be automatically switched to the RN to BSN Program:

  • NURSU 3345 - Role Transition to Professional Nursing
  • NURSU 3315 - Holistic Health Assessment Across the Lifespan
  • NURSU 4325 - Nursing Research

RN-MSN Electives must be completed with a “B” or better to transition into the MSN program.

Enrollment Requirement: Once the BSN degree is conferred you must continue in your MSN coursework within one semester. If you wait longer than one semester without enrolling to continue your MSN coursework after earning your BSN, you will be dropped from the RN to MSN program and will be required to take an additional 6 credit hours to complete a regular MSN degree.

Example Scenarios

Given the following situation, Samantha Maverick can finish her program one of a few ways.

Situation: Samantha Maverick has 6 general courses (including Statistics and Technical Writing), the upper division elective, the nursing upper division elective, and the 8 RN to BSN courses to complete for graduation.

Scenario A: Sam only wants to take one course at a time.

Because the general and nursing courses are of different lengths and have different start dates it is difficult to alternate between general and nursing courses without overlap. It would be best for Sam to complete all her general courses first before starting her nursing courses.

Scenario A - One Class at a Time
Year Month Class
Months on this table correspond to start dates.
In this scenario, however, classes will not overlap.
Your situation will differ from this scenario which is presented as an example.
Year 1 January General Course
Year 1 March MATH 1308 Statistics
Year 1 June General Course
Year 1 August General Course
Year 1 October General Course
Year 2 January ENGL 2338 Technical Writing (5 weeks)
Year 2 March NURSU 3345 Professional Nursing (10 weeks)
Year 2 May NURSU 3315 Holistic Health Assessment
Year 2 July NURSU 4325 Nursing Research
Year 2 September 3xxx or 4xxx RN-MSN Nursing Course
Year 2 November 3xxx or 4xxx RN-MSN Nursing Course
Year 3 January 3xxx or 4xxx RN-MSN Nursing Course
Year 3 February 3xxx or 4xxx RN-MSN Nursing Course
--BELOW THIS LINE--
All Prerequisite Coursework must be completed
before enrolling in any graduate level course.
Year 3 April RN-MSN Graduate-level Elective
Year 3 May RN-MSN Graduate-level Elective
Year 3 July NURSU 4685 Capstone
Scenario B: Sam wants to complete the program quickly and does not mind overlapping classes.

This challenging scenario is nonetheless possible for students who have a mature academic discipline and time available to dedicate to their program.

Scenario B - Overlapping Classes
Year Month Class
Months on this table correspond to start dates.
In this scenario, classes will overlap.
Your situation will differ from this scenario which is presented as an example.
Year 1 January ENGL 2338 Technical Writing (5 weeks)
& NURSU 3345 Professional Nursing (10 weeks)
Year 1 March Math 1308 (prereq to Nursing Research)
Year 1 May NURSU 3315 Holistic Health Assessment Across the Lifespan
Year 1 June General Course
Year 1 July NURSU 4325 Nursing Research
Year 1 August 3xxx or 4xxx RN-MSN Nursing Course
& General Course
Year 1 September 3xxx or 4xxx RN-MSN Nursing Course
Year 1 October General Course
Year 1 November 4xxx RN-MSN Nursing Course
Year 2 January 4xxx RN-MSN Nursing Course
& General Course
--BELOW THIS LINE--
All Prerequisite Coursework must be completed
before enrolling in any graduate level course.
Year 2 February RN-MSN Graduate-level Elective
Year 2 April RN-MSN Graduate-level Elective
OR,
NURSU 4465 with NURSU 4685 Capstone