Online RN-to-BSN Curriculum

Learn the skills you need to lead.

As an online student with Widener University, you’re learning with a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence, 2013–2022.

We’ve crafted our online RN-to-BSN curriculum according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials. These guidelines prepare you to stand out as an exceptional nursing candidate for facilities that are striving to obtain Magnet Recognition Status.

Our comprehensive online RN-to-BSN curriculum challenges you to upgrade your expertise through critical thinking and examining evidence-based practice, leadership, and population health as they affect future directions in nursing and health care delivery.

RN-to-BSN Credit Breakdown

  • 30 total credits online
  • 8 courses
  • You will also earn 59 credits for completing prerequisite courses and 33 credits just for possessing your RN license

The RN-to-BSN courses provide you with a swift, flexible path to achieving your BSN. You can earn credits for both prior coursework and your own nursing experience, which allows you to earn your degree in less than one year. With your active RN license, you will be granted an additional 33 credits automatically.

The prerequisites for our online RN-to-BSN program are flexible when compared to other schools. Call a program manager at 1-844-386-7321 to find out how your previous academic experience qualifies for credits, or request more information.

RN-to-BSN Program Outcomes:

By graduation, you will be prepared to:

  • Provide and support quality, evidence-based nursing care
  • Understand health care policy, finance, and regulatory environments
  • Make decisions with an awareness of local, national, and global trends
  • Perform developmentally and culturally appropriate patient and family assessments, including comprehensive appraisals of physical, behavioral, socioeconomic, and environmental parameters
  • Apply evidence-based practice (EBP) in patient care

The Online RN-to-BSN Core Curriculum at a Glance

Core Curriculum

This course focuses on the synthesis of leadership and management roles and theories. The course facilitates personal growth and professional practice for safe, evidence-based, quality, patient-centered care and clinical outcomes. Student support for professional practice occurs through exploration of competencies in leadership and management, interdisciplinary communication, collaboration, conflict management, teamwork, delegation, prioritization, change, resource management, and decision-making. A guided project provides an opportunity for the student to develop in the roles of leader, manager, and member of a profession. Students use evidence-based practice to design and plan a quality improvement project in an approved health care setting in order to demonstrate and apply knowledge, skills, and attitudes required in professional practice. This is a writing-enhanced course. Prerequisite: Registered nurse.

Course outcomes:

  • Discuss selected leadership and management roles and theories relevant to nursing leadership development.
  • Describe the organizational structure, culture, and behaviors that influence health care environments, professional development, and positive patient outcomes.
  • Apply concepts of team building, oral communication, and emotional intelligence that enhance the nurse leader role through self-reflective practice.
  • Design a theoretically grounded, evidence-based, personal leadership plan for leadership growth and development.
  • Apply concepts of critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making to address organizational quality improvement and management.
  • Use the nursing process, identify evidence-based best practices and incorporate technology to assess professional practice for safe, quality health care.
  • Develop a project plan based on the current literature that incorporates the concepts of leadership, collaboration, prioritization, timelines, and delegation to address an organizational problem in the provision of safe, ethical, and effective patient care.
  • Demonstrate achievement in disciplinary writing through self-efficacious practices commensurate with RN-BSN Program Completion Standards, and Baccalaureate Essentials (AACN), for writing competency in professional degree programs.

This course focuses on the economic, political, and social factors that influence and affect nursing care in the 21st century. Students examine the ethical, financial, legal, and social aspects of the health care delivery system and its functions. The course focuses on historical and current processes that shape health care policies, the impact of policy decisions, and how resources can be used effectively with the three main cornerstones of health care delivery: access, cost, and quality. Students discuss the role of information technology in managing health care and the impact on cultural and global trends. This course introduces the role of the nurse as advocate and change agent in influencing policy decisions that improve patient, provider, and system outcomes. It also focuses on strategies for shaping future health care policy and the needs of vulnerable and culturally diverse populations. Prerequisite: Registered nurse.

Course outcomes:

  • Discuss the social and political factors that influence and affect nursing care.
  • Examine the ethical, financial, social, and legal aspects of the health care delivery system and its function.
  • Discuss U.S. health care system issues facing health care providers, patients, and systems related to patient outcomes.
  • Relate the impact of cultural and global trends to local health issues.
  • Describe the health policy needs of vulnerable and culturally diverse populations.
  • Explain the processes that shape health policies for individuals, families, and communities at local, state, and federal levels.
  • Examine the historical implications of nursing advocacy for policy change in the health care arena today.
  • Explain how health care providers can use resources effectively utilizing the three main cornerstones of health care delivery — access, cost, and quality.
  • Analyze the economic implications of health planning and allocation of resources.
  • Discuss the role of information technology in managing health care and the role of health care professionals in managing the information.
  • Investigate the strategies that form multidisciplinary coalitions and networks within the health care delivery system.

This course provides an opportunity to explore professional nursing from the perspective of a baccalaureate education. The course is designed to increase the learner's knowledge of the history, philosophy, and conceptual basis of professional nursing. The impact on current trends in health care on the client, the nurse, and the profession are discussed. Prerequisite: Registered nurse.

Course outcomes:

  • Discuss the history and philosophy of professional nursing.
  • Describe your personal philosophy.
  • Utilize information technology to access and evaluate information on websites.
  • Examine nursing conceptual models and theories and their application to practice.
  • Identify health care concerns in one's own personal environment and family.
  • Analyze the impact of current trends in health care on the client, the nurse, and the profession and develop interventions and possible solutions.

This course focuses on clinical prevention and population health across the life span. Biological, psychological, sociocultural, environmental, political, ethical, and economic factors that influence population health and illness are explored, including the contribution of these factors to health disparities. Because the health of a population is contingent upon the health of the individuals, families, and groups that exist within it, both individual and population-focused, evidence-based interventions are discussed. Nursing interventions focus on primary and secondary levels of prevention within the context of social justice. This is a service-learning course. Prerequisite: Registered nurse.

Course outcomes:

  • Evaluate the impact of biological, psychological, socio-cultural, environmental, political, ethical, and economic factors that contribute to the health of a population.
  • Use information technologies to identify appropriate population assessment data and information about resources.
  • Analyze population assessment data to identify health needs of a selected population.
  • Use theoretical and empirical knowledge from nursing science and relevant disciplines in the development of a culturally appropriate, evidence-based nursing intervention project that focuses on clinical prevention and population-focused strategies.
  • Incorporate concepts of health literacy into the development of health education interventions.
  • Consult, communicate, and coordinate with appropriate agency personnel when developing interventions for a selected population.
  • Adhere to professional standards of community health nursing practice.

This course explores the relationship of genetics and genomics to physiology and pathophysiology. How genes, environmental, and lifestyle factors interact to influence health and illness is explored. The course examines the use of genetics and genomics in a comprehensive nursing health and physical assessment in order to identify factors that predispose clients to disease and affect their treatments and prognosis. The course discusses how nurses incorporate genetics and genomics into their practice to improve clients' health and increase their longevity. Resources to assist clients seeking genetics and genomics screening or services are explored. The ethical, legal, and social issues associated with genomic information are discussed. Prerequisite: Registered nurse.

Course outcomes:

  • Understand the genetic and genomic basis of health and/or illness.
  • Incorporate genetic and genomic technologies and information into nursing practice.
  • Identify clients who are at risk for genetic disorders.
  • Guide interventions for the prevention and/or treatment of those at risk or affected by genetic disorders.
  • Assess the clients' knowledge perceptions and responses to genetic and genomic information.
  • Identify ethical and legal issues related to genetic and genomic information and technologies.

This course promotes in students a knowledgeable and enthusiastic interest in research. The course provides a beginning foundation for the use of research through a synthesis of introductory research knowledge with emphasis on writing and scholarly exchange. The knowledge gained in this course enables students to understand the language of research and the scientific process. Topics include the language of research, the steps of the scientific research method, and articulating and translating research into practice. Ethical issues in research are discussed. This course focuses on enhancing the students' ability to read, comprehend, critically appraise, and apply the best evidence to the practice of nursing. Prerequisites: Registered nurse, PSY 381 (Statistics).

Course outcomes:

  • Identify the types of sources of knowledge and the theoretical foundations used in research.
  • Define the major steps of the scientific method and their function.
  • Compare and contrast the problem solving approach process, nursing process, and research process.
  • Discuss the various types of research designs, including their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Use electronic databases to find empirical evidence.
  • Describe basic statistical analyses necessary for research.
  • Discuss the ethical issues and human subject's protection principles used in research.
  • Demonstrate a beginning competency to read, interpret, and appraise empirical research.

This course promotes in students a knowledgeable and enthusiastic interest in evidence-based practice (EBP). The course provides a beginning foundation for the use of evidence-based practice through a synthesis of introductory research knowledge, with emphasis on evidence-based nursing practice, writing, and scholarly exchange. The course prepares students to understand the steps to implementing evidence-based practice. Topics include articulating clinical questions, using electronic databases to locate evidence, evaluating levels of evidence, and identifying EBP models used to translate evidence into practice. Ethical issues in evidence-based practice are discussed. The course focuses on enhancing the students' ability to read, comprehend, critically appraise, and apply the best evidence to the professional practice of nursing. Prerequisites: Registered nurse, NURS 446.

Course outcomes:

  • Define evidence-based nursing practice in terms of evidence, expertise, and patient values.
  • Describe the role of evidence-based practice (EBP) in professional nursing practice.
  • Formulate searchable, answerable questions from various clinical challenges or issues.
  • Utilize electronic databases to find the best evidence to answer the clinical questions through the search of existing health care databases and other sources of valid and reliable evidence.
  • Demonstrate a beginning competency to read, interpret, and critically appraise the evidence.
  • Evaluate the evidence using established criteria regarding scientific merit on a specific clinical topic.
  • Critically appraise the best evidence (can evaluate research methodologies for validity, reliability, and applicability) to answer selected clinical questions.
  • Integrate EBP Models and/or theory and outcomes for clinical decision-making.
  • Discuss ethical and legal considerations for the use of research into practice.
  • Discuss strategies to implement the best evidence into health care organizations.
  • Examine models of EBP in translating evidence into practice.

Because of the increasing number of older adults in the United States and the aging of immigrant and refugee populations, nursing professionals must address the health care needs of a diverse population of older adults. This course focuses on the physical, psychological, social, economic, and cultural forces that influence the health of this population.

A wide range of health care needs, from primary prevention to end-of-life, are explored. Evidenced-based strategies are discussed to help older adults improve and maintain their quality of life by maximizing their health, function, and independence. Ethical issues that affect this population are examined.

The emphasis is on healthy aging and the provision of safe, effective, and culturally appropriate care to older adults. Prerequisite: Registered nurse.

Course outcomes:

  • Discuss functional, physical, cognitive, psychological, and social changes associated with old age.
  • Evaluate valid and reliable tools to assess the functional, physical, cognitive, psychological, social, and spiritual status of older adults.
  • Discuss financial, ethical, and legal issues involved in care of older adults.
  • Develop evidence-based strategies in planning person-centered interventions that maximize functional status, independence, and wellness.
  • Explore older adults' personal beliefs and attitudes about aging.
  • Discuss aging within diverse populations.