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

Best Colleges BSN Programs 2024Expand 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.

Find out how your prerequisites transfer.

Before you begin the admissions process, you can submit copies of your unofficial transcript(s) to us for review, and an admissions counselor will advise you on your requirements for admission.

Do you currently attend a Maryland community college?

Visit our prerequisite course equivalencies page to identify equivalent courses that meet UMSON's prerequisite requirements.

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 interest area in Care Coordination with Health IT (the first of its kind in the nation) or Substance Use and Addictions; upon completion, the interest 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)
  • 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.

The RN-to-BSN curriculum is aligned with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education, which focus on competency-based education (CBE). CBE is a student-centered approach is a student-centered approach that focuses on demonstrating knowledge, skills, and attitudes as students progress through their education. It prepares students to provide equitable care to diverse patient populations by encouraging cultural competence, understanding of social determinants of health, and the importance of addressing health care disparities. It also:

  • fosters personal responsibility
  • promotes equity by accommodating diverse learners
  • provides individualized learning through focused feedback
  • clarifies faculty expectations and enhances relationships between faculty and student
  • connects curriculum to real-world scenarios
  • fosters collaboration with shared goals
  • ensures practice readiness for a seamless transition into the workforce
  • promotes personal growth through motivation, collaboration, and lifelong learning

This program requires at least 59 prerequisite credits:

  RN-to-BSN for Experienced Nurses Associate Degree in Nursing Students
for ... licensed RNs interested in earning a BSN Dual-Admission Partnership students coming from Maryland community colleges
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 and Fees View overview

In State Tuition: $4,783.50/semester
Out of State Tuition: $19,629.00/semester



Accreditation Read Details

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

More Information:

Courses You'll Take

The RN-to-BSN curriculum is aligned with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education, which focus on competency-based education (CBE). CBE is a student-centered approach that focuses on demonstrating knowledge, skills, and attitudes as students progress through their education.  

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.

  • 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.
  • For NURS 467, students must register during the relevant registration period to secure a clinical slot. Registration periods are indicated in the academic calendar.
  • The Nursing Electives (NELC 400-level) can be taken in any semester as long as you are meeting requirements for prerequisites for your other courses.
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 (90 Clinical Hours) 5
NELC 400-Level 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

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.

Before you begin the admissions process, you can submit copies of your unofficial transcript(s) to us for review, and an admissions counselor will advise you on your requirements for admission. Visit the Prerequisite Course Information Resources webpage to learn more about prerequisite requirement.

Prerequisite Courses

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


Prerequisite Course Credits Helpful 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

Microbiology* 4 • Must include lab
Human Growth and Development 3 • Must be a lifespan course covering conception
through death
• Child/adolescent psychology is not acceptable
Statistics 3 • Must be a 100-level or higher statistics course
Nutrition 3 • Must be a human nutrition course
English Composition I and II or Creative Writing/Literature 6 • 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 3 • Must be an anthropology or sociology course
Social Sciences 3 • Additional course(s) can be anthropology, criminal justice, economics, geography, history, political science, criminal justice, women’s studies, additional psychology, sociology
Arts and Humanities 9

• Courses must come from at least two of these disciplines: art history, classics, communications,dance, history, humanities, film and media studies, foreign language (to include American sign language), linguistics, literature, music studio/visual art, philosophy, religious studies, speech, theatre, women’s/cultural studies

General Electives 10 • Any additional courses, academic in nature, that are not below the 100 level
• English as a second language, orientation, and nursing 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.
  • All prerequisite courses must be complete prior to enrollment at UMSON. Final transcripts and scores must be submitted one week prior to classes starting.

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 Aid Award
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 50% scholarship: in-state tuition, fees, and books


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:


Fall 2024 Timeline
Deadline July 15, 2024
Completed applications received after the deadline are reviewed solely on a space-available basis. Only those who complete an application by this deadline will be eligible for consideration for merit scholarships (no additional application required) and the Conway Scholarship (additional application required). This deadline does not impact eligibility for federal financial aid.
Application Review Rolling basis beginning in Feb. 2024
Admissions Decisions Announced Rolling basis beginning in Feb. 2024


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.

All prerequisite courses must be complete prior to enrollment at UMSON. Applicants must submit final grades one week prior to classes starting.

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 not required to submit UMSON transcripts; we will upload a copy of your UMSON transcript to your application.

Please note that UMSON is listed two ways in the Academics area. Please make sure you choose one of the following:

  • Maryland Baltimore, Univ of
  • UMB- School of Nursing

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 2022 and Later

  • Integrate knowledge from the liberal arts and sciences to enrich nursing knowledge and practice.
  • Implement the nursing process to provide person-centered, holistic nursing care.
  • Advance equity in all health care settings using principles of social justice, advocacy, and collaboration, both intra- and interprofessionally.
  • Engage in scholarly inquiry to identify best evidence to deliver effective, innovative, and ethical nursing care.
  • Incorporate quality improvement principles to promote a culture of safety.
  • Coordinate care that anticipates and meets the needs of diverse populations, informed by an understanding of nursing practice, health policy, and social determinants of health.
  • Integrate information management and patient care technologies to provide equitable and safe care for individuals and communities.
  • Use self-reflection and feedback from others to promote personal well-being, leadership capacity, and lifelong professional development.
  • Develop a nursing identity guided by principles of ethics, legal responsibility, emotional intelligence, and social justice to ensure excellence in nursing practice.
  • Recognize and appreciate the unique aspects of being human within person-centered nursing practice with an emphasis on equity, cultural humility, and compassion.

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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