• Nursing (RN to BSN)

School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership

  • Nursing (RN to BSN) 

    MSU Moorhead's Nursing Department has been nationally accredited since 1981 and offers students an RN to BSN degree program. A BSN degree provides many advantages and increased opportunities in today's job market. To enter this program, students must already have their registered nursing (RN) license. 


    Registered nurses (RNs) constitute the largest healthcare occupation, with 2.6 million jobs. Individuals who complete a bachelor's degree receive additional training in areas such as communication, leadership and critical thinking, all of which are becoming more important as nursing practice becomes more complex. A bachelor's or graduate degree is often necessary for administrative positions, research, consulting and teaching. 

    Benefits of the Nursing Program

    • All nursing courses are conducted online with clinical experiences for several courses planned in your home region. Since classes are offered online, nursing faculty take extra care in connecting with and supporting students through regular communication via phone, email or webinar.
    • Students gain clinical experience through partnerships with area hospitals, clinics and public health agencies.
    • Class sizes are limited, which provides an optimal learning environment.
    • MSU Moorhead offers a Master of Science in Nursing, which prepares professional registered nurses for a specialty role as a nurse educator or a nursing administrator.


    Current Students

    If you are registered for any nursing coursework, make sure you have all of your information up to date to remain in compliance and be allowed to continue your coursework. These all need to be renewed annually and uploaded to the Nursing Student Records Database. For help on how to upload your documents, please watch this video.

    Admission Criteria

    Admission to nursing schools is highly competitive throughout the country. The following are required for admission to the program:

    • Acceptance to Minnesota State University Moorhead
    • Application to the RN to BSN Nursing Program, including an online essay
    • Two professional references completed online
    • Original transcripts sent to MSU Moorhead Admissions Office
    • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 for post-high school coursework
    • Active Registered Nursing license or scheduled to take the State Board Exam (provisional acceptance will be granted to qualified students who are waiting to take the NCLEX Exam or receive results)

    Admission Deadlines

    Fall Semester: March 15th
    Spring Semester: October 15th

    Previously admitted students who withdrew need to reapply to MSUM and to the School of Nursing. If you reapply to the School of Nursing the semester after withdrawing from the program, you must also reapply to MSUM unless you are enrolled in a non-nursing course. There is no fee for re-application. The form is available on the MSUM Records website. See the RN to BSN Student Handbook for policy information. 

    Application Procedure

    Two separate application processes must be completed:
    First apply to MSUM. Complete the application and mail the MSUM application to the Admissions Office. You must be accepted to MSUM before the School of Nursing application is processed. You will need to have an MSUM Dragon ID Number in order to electronically submit your RN to BSN application to the School of Nursing.
    Interested applicants apply to the RN to BSN program online

    Post-Admission Requirements

    • Copy of current RN license
    • Copy of current CPR card (healthcare provider or professional level)
    • Copy of yearly Mantoux Gold blood test, PPD skin test (two step), or chest X-ray
    • Evidence of Hepatitis B immunization (must have complete series of three injections)
    • Evidence of Tetanus/Tdap immunization
    • Evidence of Varicella immunization, titer, or disease (must come from medical provider)
    • Evidence of MMR immunization
    • Evidence of Influenza immunization (must be renewed annually between Oct. - March)
    • Evidence of MN background check (you will receive an e-mail from nursing@mnstate.edu on how to do this)
    • Evidence of a federal background check (you will receive an e-mail from nursing@mnstate.edu on how to do this) 

    International Student Policy: School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership

    The Homeland Security Act of 2002 fundamentally changed the requirements for the international students who wish to study in the United States. The major change that affects an online program is that no more than the equivalent of one online/distance education class or 3 credits per session may count towards the ‘full course of study’ requirement. A full copy of the NAFSA (Association of International Educators) Advisory Manual is available through the International Student Affairs Office [Chapter 3: F-1 Students; Section 3.20.7; Authority cite 8 C.F.R. SS 214.2(f) (6) (i) (G)]. Students are able to be admitted to this program if they have an active Work Visa. Students are unable to be admitted to this program if they have a Student Visa. 

    RN to BSN Orientation 

    Orientation to the online RN to BSN (RNB) program will be held prior to the first semester you begin for all newly admitted students. This one-day event takes place at MSUM and NHCC at the beginning of the first semester you enter the RNB program.

    This orientation is very important, especially for those new to web-based learning. The MSUM nursing program is discussed in detail, students learn how to navigate the library from home and registration procedures, are introduced to the instructional management system (Desire to Learn, D2L), and meet with their advisors. 

    RN to BSN Curriculum

    120 credits are required to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Most associate degree students transfer in at least 64 credits of lower division coursework, take 31 credits of upper division course work in the nursing major, and need 26 more credits of general studies (LASC) or electives. At least 40 credits must be upper division credits.

    • 64 cr lower division credits from associate degree
    • 31 cr upper division credits for the BSN major
    • 26 cr of Dragon Core/LASC or electives (10 cr must be upper division)
    • 120 cr for graduation

    View core requirements >

    Applicants with an Associate of Arts degree are considered to have the LASC completed, so in some instances, it may be more advantageous for an applicant to complete course requirements for an AA degree at a community college.

    After applying to MSUM for general admission, a transcript audit will be provided to identify which courses are accepted in transfer and what course work is still required. Review of transcripts are not provided prior to admission to MSUM.

    All of the nursing courses are 100% online with clinical experiences for four courses (N303L, N348L, N420L, N473) planned in your home region. An online course is not an independent course, however. Courses start and stop at the beginning and the ending of each semester and take as much time and effort as traditional courses. Students are advised to plan three hours of computer or preparation time for each credit of a course. A 3-credit course would equal nine hours of study/preparation per week.

    *NURS 301 must be taken the first semester a student is enrolled in the RN-BSN Track
    **NURS 473 Professional Pathways is the capstone course of the nursing major taken in the last semester of the student's course of study.