Online RN-to-BSN: Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

U.S. News and World Report - Best Colleges - BSN badgeExpand your education and career opportunities with our online RN-to-BSN program, ranked among the top 10 BSN programs nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. 

Did you know?

of employers require new RN hires to hold a BSN

of employers prefer to hire RNs with a BSN

Interested in earning both your BSN and a master's degree? Check out our RN-to-MSN option.

Sharpen your critical thinking skills and strengthen your communication and leadership competencies while building relationships with other highly motivated students.

Why earn your BSN?

  • Position yourself to grow into a nurse leadership role.
  • Remain competitive by gaining the essential skills and knowledge necessary to thrive across practice settings.
  • Expand your career opportunities by being the BSN-prepared nurse that Magnet institutions are seeking.

Earn your BSN the way that works best for you:

  • fully online
  • full time or part time
  • beginning fall or spring semester
  • with an optional three-course focus area in Care Coordination with Health IT (the first of its kind in the nation) or Substance Use and Addictions; upon completion, the focus area will appear on your transcript

As a student in our online RN-to-BSN program, you will:

  • select three elective courses, allowing you to specialize in an area of your choice
  • complete a community/public health practicum (during your final semester) at a site that is convenient to you
  • learn from faculty who are leaders in their fields, scientists who are on the cutting edge of nursing research, and expert clinicians with decades of experience.

This program requires at least 59 prerequisite credits:

 RN-to-BSN for Experienced NursesDual-Admission Partnerships
for ... licensed RNs interested in earning a BSN Associate Degree in Nursing students
How It Works
  • You are required to complete 59 credits of prerequisite course work from an accredited institution (see Prerequisites below).
  • You'll receive 30 credits for your valid registered nursing license.
  • You'll work on earning your BSN while completing your ADN at one of our partner community colleges.
  • You'll seamlessly transfer 59 credits to UMSON, and earn an additional 30 credits when you become a licensed registered nurse.

Program Snapshot: RN-to-BSN


As little as 2 semesters


Full- or part-time

Tuition View overview

In State: $4,598/semester
Out of State: $18,869/semester



Accreditation Read Details

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
On the Cutting Edge of Undergraduate Nursing Education

UMSON is leading nursing schools nationwide to reconceptualize its BSN curriculum to meet the new American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education Essentials.

Learn more about the restructured curriculum and program outcomes for students entering in fall 2022 and beyond.

More Information:

Courses You'll Take

You'll work with your advisor to construct an individualized plan of study and, if applicable, to ensure you maintain the academic courseload necessary for scholarship requirements.

Course Title Credits
NURS 450 RN-to-BSN Transition: Implications for Practice, Policy, and the Profession 3
NURS 452 Nursing Research and Evidence-based Care for the Registered Nurse 3
NURS 454 Pathophysiologic Implications to Patient Assessment 5
NURS 460 Health Informatics for the Registered Nurse 3
NURS 462 Nursing Leadership and Management for the Registered Nurse 3
NURS 467 Public Health Nursing Essentials for the Registered Nurse** 5
NURS 418 Nursing Electives (3) 9
RN-to-BSN Program of Study Credits 31
General Education & Prerequisite Courses 59
Credits Awarded for Valid Nursing License 30
Total Credits for RN-to-BSN Option 120
  • Availability of classes may vary semester to semester.
  • NURS 450 and NURS 452 are prerequisites for NURS 460, NURS 462, and NURS 467. NURS 454 and NURS 460 may be taken with or before NURS 467.
  • The Nursing Electives (NURS 418) can be taken in any semester as long as you are meeting requirements for prerequisites for your other courses.

If you enrolled prior to Fall 2014:


Find out how your prerequisites transfer. 

If you have taken coursework in Maryland, the Articulation System for Maryland Colleges and Universities (ARTSYS) is an online evaluation system that can help you determine how courses taken at any two year college in Maryland transfer to UMSON.

Prerequisite Courses

The following lower-division, pre-professional courses may be completed at any accredited college or university. 

Prerequisite CourseCreditsHelpful Course Tips
General Chemistry 4 • Must include lab
• Must be general chemistry or higher (example: organic)
• Preparatory or introductory chemistry is not accepted
Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II 8 • Must include lab
• Must be human anatomy and physiology
Human Growth and Development 3 • Must be a lifespan course covering conception
through death
• Child/adolescent psychology is not acceptable
Microbiology 4 • Must include lab
Nutrition 3 • Must be a human nutrition course
Statistics 3 • Must be a 100-level or higher statistics course
Arts and Humanities 9 • Theory courses must come from at least two of these disciplines: art, music, theater, dance, communications, philosophy, literature, religious studies, language, speech,
or women’s studies
English Composition 6 • English courses must be taken in the U.S., U.K., or Canada
• Introductory-level English and one higher-level course fulfills this requirement
• English as a second language is not accepted
Psychology 3 • Any course from the psychology department
Social Sciences 6 • One course must be anthropology or sociology
• Additional coure(s) can be anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, criminal justice, women’s studies, additional psychology, sociology
General Electives 10 • Any additional courses, academic in nature, that are not below the 100 level
• English as a second language and orientation courses
are not accepted

Bold: Applicants who have already earned a bachelor’s degree are required to complete only these prerequisite courses.

General Notes:

  • Applicants who have not earned a bachelor’s degree are required to complete all 59 prerequisite credits.
  • Courses may be taken online.
  • No course can be used to fulfill more than one requirement.
  • Prerequisite courses must be completed prior to enrollment at UMSON.

Scholarship Opportunities

Your nursing education is an important investment. Financial aid and scholarships can help make your goals a reality.

UMSON offers multiple opportunities to help you afford your undergraduate education.

Type of AidAward
Federal Financial Aid various award amounts
Merit Scholarships $2,500 per semester, or $10,000 total
(You are automatically considered for a merit scholarship upon submitting a completed application for enrollment in an UMSON academic program.)
Donor-Funded Scholarships $500-2,000 per semester
(offered during the fall and spring semesters)
Conway Scholarship full scholarship: tuition, fees, and books
(based on in-state tuition)


Learn More About Financial Aid and Scholarships

All students receiving funds through the University must:

  • be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) in a degree-seeking program
  • complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year by UMB's award priority deadline
    • FAFSA Submission period: Oct. 1 (of the previous year) through Feb. 28
    • FAFSA School code: 002104

The UMB Office of Student Financial Assistance & Education is available to guide prospective and current students through the FAFSA application process and the financial aid award package.

Contact Us:

UMSON Scholarships and Grants Office
410-706-0489 |

UMB Student Financial Assistance and Education Office
410-706-7347 |


Academic Partnerships

To help you get ahead, we've partnered with schools and hospitals in Maryland to offer academic pathways that will simplify your busy life.

Do you have a diploma in nursing or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)?
No Yes
Earn your BSN while completing your ADN at one of our partner community colleges. If you're employed at one of our 18 partnership hospitals, earn your RN-to-BSN online — and in just 31 credits — while receiving advising and other benefits on site.
Learn more: Dual Admission Partnerships Learn more: Academic-Hospital Partnerships

RN-to-BSN Admission Information

In this section:


Spring 2022
Deadline Dec. 15, 2021
Your online application and all supplemental materials must be received by this date.
Application Review August through mid-December
Admissions Decisions Announced August through mid-December

Competitive applicants will be offered admission first. Space is limited so applicants are encouraged to apply early.


Competitive candidates for admission typically exhibit an academic and professional background that includes the following.

  • an overall GPA of 2.5
  • a preferred science GPA of 2.75 (chemistry, anatomy and physiology I and II, microbiology)
  • experience in nursing

Prerequisite Coursework:

Applicants are required to complete 59 credits of prerequisite course work from an accredited institution.

Prior to applying, applicants must complete a minimum of:

  • two science prerequisite courses:
    chemistry with lab, anatomy and physiology I or II with lab, or microbiology with lab
  • one of the following prerequisite courses: 
    human growth and development, statistics, or nutrition

Additionally, applicants can have no more than four courses in progress at the time of application.

See more information on RN-to-BSN Prerequisite Requirements.

All prerequisite courses must be complete prior to enrollment at UMSON.

  • spring applicants must submit all final grades by Dec. 31
  • fall applicants must submit all final grades by July 31

Admissions Materials and Instructions:


Submission Guidelines

Online Application and non-refundable $75 application fee.

Start your application now via the Admissions Dashboard.

The Admissions Dashboard is where you will:

  • submit your online application and fee
  • submit/request any supplemental documents
  • check your application status.

You can save your progress and return to your application at a later date. We recommend that you continue to log in for regular updates.

One recommendation. Recommendation must come from a professional or academic source (e.g., an academic advisor, nursing program instructor, or nurse manager or supervisor). Only the first recommendation received will be considered.  Submit/request these materials via the Admissions Dashboard.    
Essay. Please submit a concise essay (no more than 300 words) that clearly describes how the completion of the RN to BSN option will influence your nursing practice. Your essay will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee so that we may learn more about you; it also serves as a writing sample. The Admissions Committee is looking for a well-articulated response.
Typed résumé or CV. Be sure to include your full name with your résumé submission.

Prerequisite Course List. Download and complete the Prerequisite Course List.

Prerequisite courses must be taken at regionally or nationally accredited schools. ACE credits are not accepted.

A copy of your valid, unrestricted (current) RN license in the United States. For a current list of compact states, see the Maryland Board of Nursing website; if you hold an active Maryland RN license, send us a copy of your printable license verification, available on the Maryland Board of Nursing website.
Official transcripts. An official transcript from every institution previously attended or currently attending must be submitted in a sealed envelope, as prepared by the sending institution.
  • Official AP, CLEP and IB scores must be submitted if being used for prerequisite credit. To use AP scores you must have scored a 4 or higher.
  • If you have completed coursework outside of the U.S., you must have your official transcript evaluated.
Returning students are required to submit UMSON transcripts via the Office of the Registrar.Failure to list all schools attended on the application and to submit the corresponding transcript(s) may make you ineligible for admission.

Have each institution submit electronically to

Residency classification. Applicants who are claiming in-state (Maryland) residency MUST apply for in-state status.  Complete a residency application and submit it either by mail, e-mail, or fax to the Office of the Registrar using the instructions supplied at the bottom of the residency application. The completed application, signed and dated, should be submitted prior to the first day of enrollment for the term and program for which you are seeking admission.

Applicants without a High School Diploma or College Degree in the U.S:

  • If you do not have a degree from a U.S. high school, college, or university, you are required to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • If you have completed coursework outside of the U.S., you must have your transcripts evaluated.

More information.

This program is not eligible for F-1 or J-1 student visa sponsorship by the University of Maryland, Baltimore due to the amount of online courses.

If you have questions regarding the admissions requirements or process, contact the Office of Admissions and Student Scholarships to avoid errors that could delay the processing of your application.

Transfer of Credit by Examination

What credit by examinations do you accept?

The University of Maryland School of Nursing recognizes the following proficiency examination programs for credit:

  • Advanced Placement (AP)
  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • International Baccalaureate Exams (IB)

Required tests scores, credits, and transfer equivalency are determined by UMSON. Credits earned through AP, CLEP, or IB may be used to fulfill UMSON prerequisite coursework requirements.

How do I know if my score can be used, and how do I request a score?

Advanced Placement (AP) 

UMSON will award credit on the scores listed on the AP Transfer Equivalencies for UMSON Chart.

Request your score.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

UMSON will award credit on the scores listed on the CLEP Transfer Equivalencies for UMSON Chart.

Request your score.

International Baccalaureate Exams (IB)

UMSON will award credit on the scores listed on the IB Transfer Equivalencies for UMSON Chart.

Request your score.

Can I use a score that falls below the requirement?

No. Scores that fall below the listed requirements cannot be used towards credit.

My previous school accepted a score below your requirement so I did not have to take the course. Will UMSON?

No, if you did not meet UMSON’s minimum requirements you will need to take an appropriate course to satisfy the prerequisite.

My scores are listed on my transcript, do I still need to send an official AP, CLEP, or IB transcript?

Yes. Credit will not be awarded without an official AP, CLEP, or IB transcript.

How long does it take for an AP/CLEP/IB score to be received?

It often takes more than 10 business days. If your score is archived it takes much longer. It is best to make your request early.

Where do I submit my credit by exam transcript?

Official transcripts are required if requesting to use towards UMSON prerequisites. All AP, CLEP, or IB scores should be sent to:

University of Maryland School of Nursing
655 West Lombard St., Suite 102
Baltimore, MD 21202

I requested my official score be sent to UMSON a while ago but it still hasn’t arrived and now the deadline has passed. Can my application still be reviewed? 

No, we require all transcripts by the deadline. It is recommended you request your score early to avoid this.

Program Outcomes

Program Outcomes for Students Enrolled Fall 2014 and Later

  • Combine theoretical knowledge from the sciences, humanities, and nursing as a foundation to professional nursing practice that focuses on health promotion and prevention of disease for individuals, families, communities, and populations.
  • Use the nursing process to manage care for individuals, families, communities, and populations integrating physical, psychological, social, cultural, spiritual, and environmental considerations. Integrate competencies in leadership, quality improvement, and patient safety to improve health and promote interdisciplinary care.
  • Use the research process through translation of evidence-based findings to advance professional nursing and the delivery of health care.
  • Incorporate information management and patient care technology in the delivery of quality patient-centered care.
  • Integrate knowledge of health care policy from social, economic, political, legislative, and professional perspectives to influence the delivery of care to individuals, families, communities, and populations.
  • Employ interprofessional communication and collaboration to ensure safe, quality care across the lifespan.
  • Use principles of ethics, legal responsibility, and accountability to guide professional nursing practices across the lifespan and across the health care continuum.
  • Accept personal accountability for lifelong learning, professional growth, and commitment to the advancement of the profession.
Everything that I researched said that University of Maryland was ranked better than all of the other schools that I was looking at, so I felt like that was where I wanted to be. Christina Clark, BSN ’17
Everybody I spoke with in the field always made it very clear that the school to shoot for would always be University of Maryland, because they have the best professors, the most resources, one of the best hospitals in the states. Stephen Lee, BSN ’17
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