RN to BSN Online Degree for Registered Nurses

RN to BSN Online Degree for Registered Nurses Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (BSN)

About the RN to BSN Online Degree at PennWest California

Advance your nursing education and expand your career path.

The PennWest California RN to BSN online degree program is designed for registered nurses who already have completed a diploma or associate degree in nursing. The bachelor's degree in nursing offers a solid foundation in the arts and sciences that prepares you for graduate studies and career advancement.  

The RN to BSN is a 100% online degree program that can be completed full time in three terms and part time in four terms when you apply to PennWest California as a transfer student

Increase competencies in the delivery of healthcare.

This online program enables experienced registered nurses to: 

  • Build upon professional strengths to become outstanding nurse leaders.
  • Develop a foundation for advanced nursing education and career

PennWest California's nursing degree program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

FOR SUMMER 2020 AND FALL 2020 ONLY: If you have earned a nursing diploma or associate degree in nursing but have been unable to take your licensing exam because of the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact our Admissions Office (admissions@pennwest.edu or 724-938-4404). You may be eligible for conditional admission to the RN-BSN program.


Accelerated: The 100% online program is available in an accelerated format: Students take one 16-week course and two 8-week courses each term.  New nursing student cohorts begin each fall and spring. 

Higher level: Other online nursing degrees just incorporate RNs into generic courses, often making the RNs repeat previous nursing knowledge. At PennWest California, RNs can expect to build upon and expand nursing knowledge at a higher level. Complete PennWest California's transfer application to receive credit for your previous nursing education.

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Ranking in Online U's 2016 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Nursing Programs.
16 %
Employment growth for registered nurses is projected through 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.

Degree Benefits

PennWest California's online nursing degree offers you exceptional benefits, including:

  • Opportunities for research in such courses as Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice.
  • Focus on the latest trends and issues in nursing and specialized areas such as family health, community health and nursing
  • Accreditation by CCNE.
  • Competitive tuition rates and fees, and availability of financial aid.
  • PennWest California partnerships with Community College of Allegheny County and Washington Health System School of Nursing to accelerate program completion.
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Graduate Outcomes

PennWest California's RN to BSN online degree program enables graduates to advance with their current employers or move on to a wide range of professional nursing roles in diverse healthcare environments. Here is a sampling of area employers who hire PennWest California BSN graduates:

  • Allegheny Health Network.
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
  • Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
  • Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Health.
  • Pennsylvania school districts.


Nursing RN BSN Online

Honors Society

PennWest California hosts Pi Rho, the local chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, the honor society for nursing. Students eligible for membership must rank in the upper 35% of the class with an average GPA of 3.0 or higher. Pi Rho promotes networking and continuing education.

online nursing degree

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job growth for registered nurses is increasing for a number of reasons: an increased emphasis on preventive care; growing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity; and demand for healthcare services from Baby Boomers as they live longer and more active lives.

rn bsn online

Graduate Study

PennWest California BSN students go on to many leading graduate nursing schools throughout the country, or they choose PennWest California's accelerated options to earn master's degrees in nursing in less time.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Nursing

Courses in the BSN curriculum prepare PennWest California nursing students for today's increasingly complex healthcare experiences and settings. They also serve as a prerequisite for admission to graduate programs in research, consulting, teaching, advanced practice or clinical specialization.


Course Credits
General Education Courses 40
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
  • ENG 101 English Composition I    
  • ENG 102  Composition II
Public Speaking
Any Public Speaking Course
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
Statistics Course (recommended: MAT 205, 215 or 225) 
Technological Literacy
Any Computer Science Course
Any Humanities Course
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
BIO 226  Basic Microbiology  OR  BIO 126  Introductory Microbiology  OR  BIO 326  General Microbiology
Social Sciences
Any Social Sciences Course
General Education by Entry-Level Portfolio
  • Natural Sciences Course
  • Ethics and Multicultural Awareness Emphasis Course
  • Communications Course
  • Health and Wellness Course
Required Major Courses 41
NUR 330  Philosophy of Professional Nursing  3
NUR 361  Nursing Research 3
NUR 375  Leadership and Change in Nursing 6
NUR 420  Nursing Informatics 3
NUR 430  Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing 3
NUR 450  Trends and Issues in Nursing 3
NUR 465  Nursing Assessment and Health Promotion of Individuals and Families 6
NUR 475  Community Health Nursing 6
BIO 230  Anatomy and Physiology I  OR  HSC 110  Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BIO 260  Anatomy and Physiology II  OR  HSC 120  Anatomy and Physiology II 4
Transfer Credits* 30
Free Electives 9
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): NUR 475 Community Health Nursing
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): NUR 375 Leadership and Change in Nursing AND NUR 465 Nursing Assessment and Health Promotion of Individuals and Families 
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): BIO 260 Anatomy and Physiology II OR HSC 120 Anatomy and Physiology II

* 30 transfer credits are allowed for lower-division nursing courses, and additional credits may transfer per University policy. 12 credits are awarded through a required entry-level portfolio evaluation.

Program Notes:

  • This professional BSN program is for RNs who are graduates of diploma or associate degree basic nursing programs. 
  • A pre-requisite of NUR 361 is required for NUR 430. 
  • A minimum grade of C is required for completion of each nursing course. Additionally, all of the University's graduation requirements apply to the RN-to-BSN program.

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Admission Requirements

Nursing Programs for Individuals Who Want to Become Registered Nurses

Educational Partnership Programs

Become an RN through one of our educational partnership programs and your credits will transfer easily to PennWest California's RN-to-BSN program.

Articulation Agreements

Additional Resources

Top 10 Reasons To Get A BSN Degree

Accredited RN To BSN Online Program

National Nursing Shortage = Career Opportunities

CCN Logo

PennWest University, including Clarion, California, and Edinboro campuses, will submit a self-study and host a site visit for our accrediting body, CCNE. The site visit will be on March 29-31, 2023.  This serves as formal notification of the upcoming visit and provides an opportunity for third-party comments concerning the program’s qualifications for accreditation.  

CCNE must receive written third-party comments regarding programs by no later than 21 days prior (February 27, 2022) to the first day of the scheduled on-site evaluation. CCNE accepts only signed comments. CCNE shares third-party comments with members of the evaluation team before the visit, but these comments are not shared with the program at any time during the review process. During its program review, the evaluation team considers third-party comments related to the accreditation standards. All third-party comments submitted to CCNE must be written in English, consistent with CCNE's policy on the Conduct of Business.

If you would like to submit a third-party comment for a program under review, please submit to thirdpartycomments@ccneaccreditation.org.

Or, if you prefer, mail comments to:

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

ATTN: Third-Party Comments

655 K Street, NW, Suite 750

Washington, DC 20001


RN to BSN Online Faculty

Dr. Nicole Evanick
Assistant Professor; Global Online Coordinator, MSN and MSN-MBA Programs


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Dr. Kathleen Morouse
Assistant Professor


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Suzanne M. Palko
Associate Professor


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Dr. Linda Pina


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Dr. Robin Weaver
Assistant Professor, Department Chair, Global Online RN-BSN Program Coordinator


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RN-BSN Program Orientation and Student Information