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Checklist for Applying to an RN to BSN Program

By University Alliance
Checklist for Applying to an RN to BSN Program

As healthcare becomes more technical and complex, hospitals and health organizations are increasingly recruiting nurses who have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree over those with a two year associate’s degree. If you’ve decided it’s time to pursue your BSN, congratulations! You’ve taken the first step toward advancing your skills and improving your career opportunities. The next step is to choose and apply to an RN to BSN degree program.

Before you begin, review this checklist, which will tell you more about the documentation required and what to expect during the application process.

Gather the Documents Required by Your Program

Each RN to BSN program will have different application requirements. Review them carefully and gather together all the documentation the school requests. Required documentation may include:

Official Transcripts

  • You’ll need official transcripts from each college or university you have attended. Contact each school and request your official transcript. The school to which you are applying will review your transcript and determine which credits will be accepted for transfer.
  • Check your GPA, as well as your grades for nursing courses. Many schools have a minimum acceptable GPA, as well as minimum achievement level for all nursing courses.  
  • Review your degree or diploma, and make sure it is acceptable for admission. Most RN to BSN programs accept only degrees and diplomas from accredited programs. For example, Villanova University requires candidates to have graduated from NLNAC-accredited nursing programs; other colleges may have different accreditation requirements.

Personal Statement and Letters of Recommendation

Many RN to BSN programs require a personal statement, or an academic or professional letter of recommendation. Some require both. Your personal statement should describe your experience and career goals, while the letter of recommendation should speak to your clinical skills and aptitude for advanced studies. It’s a good idea to submit more than one letter of recommendation from a nursing supervisor or nursing educator.

RN License

RN to BSN programs require candidates to be licensed as registered nurses by a U.S. state. Some will offer admittance to recent graduates who are eligible for licensure. You’ll need to submit a copy of your current license with your application.

Be Sure You Meet Other Requirements

In addition to the documentation above, you’ll need to provide evidence of the following:

Physical Health - If your school requires it, complete a physical exam, including documentation of vaccinations or immunity to Rubella, Rubeola, Mumps, Chicken Pox and other communicable diseases. Have any necessary forms signed by the examiner, so you can submit them with your application.

Background Check - Depending on state laws, RN to BSN programs may require applicants to undergo background checks and drug screens. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, require students in clinical courses to obtain child abuse clearance, as well.

Malpractice Insurance and CPR - You may be required to submit proof of malpractice insurance and CPR certification.

Each RN to BSN program is different, due to policies set forth by their respective universities, as well as state laws and licensing protocols. Therefore, while programs generally share a number of standard application requirements, each school’s requirements will differ to some extent.

When you’re ready to apply to an RN to BSN program, first thoroughly review your school’s application, and then follow this checklist to be sure you have all required the documents. Being prepared will make your application process go much more smoothly.

Category: Nursing