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Registered Nurse (RN) to BSN

RN-to-BSN Program

The RN-to-BSN program provides an option for RNs who have graduated from an accredited associate degree or diploma nursing program to obtain knowledge and skills for professional nursing practice and earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The program focuses on enhancing clinical reasoning and care delivery to improve patient safety and ensure high quality outcomes. Upon graduation from our online 12-month full-time, students earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Licensed RNs receive 30 hours of credit for previously completed nursing coursework. RNs who live in MS or AR but work in TN are eligible for in-state tuition.

BSN Program Outcomes 

The graduate of the BSN Program will be able to:

  1. Engage in clinical reasoning to make decisions regarding patient care.
  2. Deliver safe, evidence-based, compassionate, holistic patient and family-centered care across the health and illness continuum.
  3. Advocate for individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.
  4. Implement population-focused wellness promotion and illness prevention strategies that consider determinants of health and available resources.
  5. Use effective communication and collaborative skills for professional practice.
  6. Demonstrate accountability for personal and professional standards of moral, ethical, and legal conduct.
  7. Evaluate quality improvement processes to optimize safe health care outcomes for individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.
  8. Employ leadership principles to improve patient outcomes across healthcare systems.
  9. Exhibit a commitment to continuous self-evaluation and lifelong learning.
View RN-to-BSN Program Course Requirements

Full-Time 1st Term

Course ID Title Credits Didactic Lab Clinical Block 1 Block 2
NSG 441 Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan 3 3 - - 7 Weeks  
NSG 440 Professional Nursing Practice Concepts 3 3 - -   7 Weeks
NSG 443 Pharmacology Across the Lifespan 3 3 - - Full 14 Weeks
  1st Term Total 9 9 - -  

Full-Time 2nd Term

NSG 451 Social, Environmental, and Genomic Determinants of Health 3 3 - - 7 Weeks  
NSG 449 Evidence-Based Practice – Concepts of Scientific Inquiry and Evaluation 3 3 - -   7 Weeks
NSG 442 Health Assmt Across the Lifespan 3 2 1 - Full 14 Weeks
NSG 452 Population Health Nursing Concepts 3 2 - 1 Full 14 Weeks
  2nd Term Total 12 10 1 1  

Full-Time 3rd Term

NSG 455 Nursing Leadership and Management 4 4 - - 7 Weeks  
NSG 453 Care Coordination and Transition Management 3 3 - -   7 Weeks
NSG 456 Nursing Internship: Leadership and Management Practice 2 - - 2 Full 14 Weeks
  3rd Term Total 9 7 - 2  
  Program Total 30  26 1 3  


General Education Competencies

General education competencies for the BSN program are:

  • Critical Thinking
    Students will demonstrate their ability to solve problems, construct and present cogent arguments in support of their views, and understand and evaluate arguments presented by others. (NSG 414 Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice)
  • Communication
    Students will demonstrate appropriate skills in planning, preparing, and presenting effective oral and written presentations. (NSG 410 Professional Issues & NSG 415 Health of Populations)
  • Interprofessionalism
    Students will be able to explain interprofessional practice to patients, clients, families, and/or other professionals, describe the areas of practice of other health professions, and express professional pinions competently, confidently, and respectfully while avoiding discipline specific language. (NSG 419 Internship)

General education competencies will be measured via student performance on oral presentations written critiques of research papers, and papers written in capstone courses in the above italicized courses.

Technical and Performance Standards

All students admitted to the BSN program must meet the following core performance standards for admission and progression.

View Technical and Performance Standards
  1.  Critical thinking sufficient for clinical judgment.
  2. Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, groups, and populations from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
  3. Communication abilities sufficient for verbal and written interaction with others. Speak, write and comprehend the English language proficiently.
  4. Use computer to word process, email, and access the World Wide Web.
  5. Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room, walk in hallways, maneuver in small spaces, and the strength necessary to lift and transfer patients, including the ability to exert up to 50 lbs. occasionally and 25 lbs. of force frequently. Physical activities include climbing, pushing, standing, reaching, grasping, kneeling, stooping, and repetitive motion.
  6. Gross and fine motor abilities with good balance and coordination sufficient to provide safe and effective nursing care.
  7. Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs.
  8. Visual ability, with close visual acuity including color, depth perception, and field of vision sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in nursing care.
  9. Tactile ability and manual dexterity sufficient for physical assessment and to provide nursing intervention including manipulating equipment necessary for providing nursing care.
  10. Computer literacy and adequate computer skills are required.

If a student cannot fulfill these Technical and Performance Standards, with or without accommodations, at any time in the program, the student will be ineligible for admission or continued progression in the BSN Program.  In addition to assuring that students can meet the intellectual, emotional, and physical criteria for the BSN Program, it is of utmost importance that students have the ability to provide for the safety and welfare of their patients and others. Reasonable accommodations will be provided, when appropriate, to help students meet these Technical and Professional Standards. Determination of eligibility and recommendations of accommodations must be made by the UTHSC Office of Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion  Any student wishing accommodations must contact the university’s Office of Student Academic and Support Services and Inclusion at 901-448-5056 (email: 


The baccalaureate degree in nursing program at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791,

The BSN Program is accredited by CCNE through June 30, 2030, and approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing.


Program Documents

Partnership Enrollment Programs

Nurses at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and students at Southwest Tennessee, Northwest Mississippi,  Dyersburg State, LeMoyne-Owen,  Rhodes College or University of the South should click here to learn about our Partnership Enrollment


Earning Course Credit by Examination

St. Jude nurses in

RN to BSN program 

Three RN to BSN nurses

RN-to-BSN Concept-Based Curriculum 

Concept-based curriculum (CBC) and teaching facilitates the development of high level thinking skills such as clinical reasoning, which is essential to effective nursing practice and the growth of the profession. 

Concepts enable the joining together of isolated facts. A few examples of concepts include safety, ethics, caring, informatics/technology, professionalism, and leadership The concepts are taught through the use of exemplars, which are sample cases of the concept that the nurse may experience in practice.

The baccalaureate nursing program is organized around key concepts. These concepts are categorized in three domains:

  • Healthcare Recipient
  • Health and Illness
  • Professional Nursing and Healthcare

Last Published: Mar 12, 2021