Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at West Chester University provides the highest quality undergraduate nursing education to students from diverse populations. The BSN provides the foundations of entry into nursing practice, and is based on contemporary nursing science, organizational, political, cultural and economic principles. All graduates are prepared to provide evidence-based quality nursing care, to be professionals capable of assuming leadership in present and emerging health care roles, and to be contributing members of society who are committed to life-long learning and personal development.
In addition to meeting West Chester University entrance requirements, applicants for nursing must have completed work equal to a standard high school curriculum, consisting of a minimum of 16 units.
High school students who are interesting in applying to the nursing program are advised to take biology (including anatomy and physiology), chemistry, and psychology courses if they are available.
If you have questions about the admissions process please contact the Admissions office or call 610-436-3411.
- Be sure to read the Admissions Requirements and Procedures.
- WCU nursing does not require a pre-admission exam or interview.
Students wishing to enter WCU in the Fall of next year should have their applications submitted for admission to the Nursing major as early as you can.
The Admissions Department will screen applications and then extend offers to the most qualified applicants. If you are not offered admission to the Nursing major, but are offered admission to another major or undeclared major please be aware that transferring into the program later is unlikely to occur.
Interest in nursing is currently very high so admission to the major will be very competitive.
Students in the BSN program have a wide variety of clinical experiences including acute care, community health, day care centers, schools, retirement centers, nursing homes, and veterans hospitals. Individualized instruction is provided in the clinical setting with a 1:8 faculty/student ratio. A learning laboratory is available on campus to allow students to practice their psychomotor skills prior to actual contact with clients. BSN graduates have obtained jobs in many settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, community agencies, physicians' offices, etc. Most BSN graduates continue on with graduate study after a few years of experience as a professional nurse.
Please see the WCU Undergraduate Handbook for special requirements for clinical practica.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has more information about the occupational outlook for Registered Nurses.
The American Nurses Association has documents summarizing the Employment and Earnings of Registered Nurses as of 2010 and a discussion on the Nurse Hiring Outlook and Industry Trends .
RN to BSN
The RN to BSN curriculum is specially designed for licensed Registered Nurses to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. You must currently be a licensed Registered Nurse (or near graduation from an ADN program) to enroll in this program.
To earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, students must earn a minimum of 120 credits, 30 of which must be completed at WCU to satisfy our residency requirement.
Applications to the RN to BSN program are done as Transfers through the Admissions Department.
- Be sure to indicate you are applying to the RN to BSN program as your Major.
- Applicants must have a minimum Higher Education cumulative GPA of 2.75 (out of 4).
- No letters of recommendation are necessary.
- Traditional students must obtain an active Registered Nurse license by their beginning of their second semester. Concurrent students must obtain an active Registered Nurse license prior to enrollment in their final core nursing course.
We do offer a concurrent RN-BSN program through Delaware County Community College (DCCC). Students must be accepted into DCCC's nursing program before they may apply for the concurrent program at WCU. This program is an affordable option and allows students to complete a BSN in as little as 3.5 years. Students are required to attend classes during the fall, spring and summer sessions each year. For admission and program questions, please contact the DCCC Nursing program directly.
Academic passports are currently available for students who transfer from regional Community Colleges that include Community College of Philadelphia, Delaware County Community College, Montgomery County Community College and Bucks County Community College that aids with the transition into WCU's RN-BSN program. View the full list of PA participating Community Colleges.
If you have applied and have questions or concerns about the application process or the status of your application please contact the Admissions Department directly.
- Transfer Credit
Most students will be able to transfer credit in for 28 credits of nursing courses including the following courses: NSG 212, NSL 212, NSG 312, NSL 312, NSG 411, NSL 411
- Waiver of Courses
Includes content generally taught in nursing programs; Pathophysiology (BIO 307), Abnormal Psychology (PSY 375)
- General Education Requirements
Required by WCU for all students (48 credits)
Includes courses in English composition, mathematics, communication, a Diverse Communities course, an Interdisciplinary course, basic behavioral and social sciences, the arts and humanities, and free electives. Many of these may be transferred from previous educational experiences.
- CLEP Opportunities
Credit for life experience (CLEP) exams are accepted for many of the courses offered at West Chester University. Applicants must see Registrar page for accepted courses and where the exam can be taken.
- Pre-requisite to all RN-BSN core nursing coursework: Six credits of English or Writing.
- Pre-requisite to NSG 313: Math 121 or 125 (statistics).
- Required core nursing coursework at WCU (24 credits)
- NSG 330 Professional Nursing Communication Strategies
2 credits, offered fully online in 7 weeks
The course is designed for the RN-BSN student to foster beginning skills in scholarly inquiry, scientific writing, and professional communication strategies. The content of this course serves as a foundation for student success in subsequent coursework and must be taken upon admission to the program. This course may be taken concurrently with other nursing or general education coursework.
- NSG 313 Applied Nursing Research
3 credits, offered fully online in 10 weeks *MAT 121/125 is a pre-requisite to this course.
This course is designed to introduce the topic of evidence-based practice, which is the integration of existing scientific evidence, clinical judgment, patient preferences, and available resources as it is used in clinical decision making.
- NSG 332 Ethics and Health Policy in Nursing
3 credits, offered fully online in 7 weeks
This course is designed to explore the role of ethics in healthcare and public policy. This is an approved Writing Emphasis and Ethics designated course.
- NSG 334 Population and Environmental Health Nursing
3 credits, offered fully online in 7 weeks - *Must be taken concurrently with NSG 335
This course will allow students to explore and gain knowledge about the role of the community/public health nurse caring for individuals, families, communities, and populations.
- NSG 335 Population and Environmental Health Nursing Practicum
2 credits, offered fully online in 7 weeks - * Must be taken concurrently with NSG 334
This experiential learning experience will allow students to apply their knowledge of the role of the community/public health nurse when caring for individuals, families, communities, and populations.
- NSG 430 Physical and Health Assessments of Diverse Populations Across the Lifespan
3 credits, offered fully online in 7 weeks
In this course, students will build a foundation of knowledge and learn concepts and principles underlying assessment of the health status of individuals from culturally diverse backgrounds with emphasis placed on interviewing skills, health histories, and the physical and psychosocial findings in the well person across the lifespan.
- NSG 432 Health Information, Technology, and Quality Improvement
3 credits, offered fully online in 7 weeks
This course is designed to introduce the nursing student to informatics tools that are currently being utilized in healthcare to ensure safe and quality care. Electronic Health Records (EHR), telehealth, personal reference management software, Evidence-Based Practice (EBP), and HIPAA will be emphasized.
- NSG 434 Nursing Leadership & Management in Today’s Healthcare Environment
3 credits, offered fully online in 7 weeks - *Must be taken concurrently with NSG 435
This course prepares the BSN nurse for the challenges of nursing leadership and management with a concentration on issues that currently impact the healthcare environment.
- NSG 435 Nursing Leadership Practicum
2 credits, offered fully online in 7 weeks - *Must be taken concurrently with NSG 434
The practicum course has an emphasis on decision-making and advocacy for the bachelor's degree in nursing.
- Do I have to pass the NCLEX exam before being accepted into the program?
No, and students are expected to hold an active RN license prior to beginning their second semester of course work if they are considered a traditional RN-BSN student (earned ADN or nursing diploma). Students enrolled in concurrent coursework will become licensed during the course of the program. They must hold an active RN license prior to enrolling in their final core nursing course(s).
- What is the cost?
Tuition and fees information can be found here.
- How long is the program?
This varies among students and is based on prior coursework, and the ability to complete the program on a part-time or full-time basis. Core nursing coursework is often completed in three semesters (spring, summer, and fall). For those with a prior bachelor's degree who attend full time, they can complete the program in two semesters (Fall & Spring).
- Is the program on-line?
YES. The RN-BSN program is 100% online and asynchronous. Some courses require online check-ins with faculty and peers when working on group assignments.
- Can I take courses at another school?
Yes, but students must complete 30 credits at WCU to meet residency requirements for graduation. Students are advised to use the transfer credit course tool on the Registrar's website or speak with the program counselor prior to completing coursework at another institution. Diversity course requirements MUST be completed at WCU and cannot be transferred.
- What credits transfer?
ADN nursing coursework and general education requirements will transfer from partner schools. The registrar will review and determine transfer equivalencies and does not charge for transfer credits. To determine if courses taken at another college are considered equivalent to WCU courses, please visit the Registrar's webpage for more transfer credit information.
- Does WCU accept Excelsior/Correspondence Nursing credits?
NO, WCU does not accept these nursing credits.
Thank you for your interest of attending an internal transfer session. Sessions for Spring of 2022 will take place in person at the following dates/ times/ locations:
- 9/12/2022 at 2 pm in Old Library 003
- 9/20/2022 at 2 pm in Old Library 003
- 9/30/2022 at 12 pm in Old Library 003
All application materials must be submitted via the internal transfer application link by the specified date and time. Late applications will not be considered. No applications will be accepted via email, mail or in person.
***Please note, students must complete all NSG/NSL 212 prerequisite coursework prior to the application submission. A review of the applicants' degree progress report will be conducted by the internal transfer program coordinator to confirm coursework is complete and the minimum composite GPA has been obtained.
Applying to transfer from an outside institution? Please refer to WCU Undergraduate or External students wishing to transfer to Nursing
Transfer applications are accepted during the fall semester for spring admission into the traditional nursing program. Applicants must be a 2nd year student to apply. The application link will be active during the fall semester when seats are available. Typically, the deadline to apply is Nov. 1st of each year. Please see the internal transfer application link for specific submission date/time information.
On average, the Department on Nursing accepts between 0 - 3 students each year. Transfers will be limited annually to the number that the department can accommodate in a sound educational experience. This number will be determined by such factors as faculty available for clinical supervision, number of clinical assignments available to students, and attrition of nursing students in the nursing program. The department will select qualified applicants who can be accommodated in the upper division nursing courses. Decisions will be made based on the applicant's cumulative grade point average, grades in prerequisite courses, letters of reference, and quality of response on the essay.
State Board of Nursing criteria require that applicants for nursing must have completed work equal to a standard high school course including a minimum of 16 units: four units of English, three units of Social Studies, two units of Mathematics (one of which must be Algebra) and two units of science with a related laboratory or the equivalent.
Students who wish to transfer into the Nursing Department are encouraged to attend a transfer information session to begin the process. Information on the application process can be obtained at the transfer session or online.
Application packets will include the following materials:
- If you are an internal transfer student, it will be necessary for you to request an official transcript of all coursework
completed, at all institutions you attended. You may ask WCU's Registrar office to
send this information to the Nursing Department or have your official transcripts
sent from each institution you attended. Transcripts should be sent to:
Department of Nursing
Attn: Nancy Barker, RN, EdD
Internal Transfer Applicant.
155 University Ave; Room 312
West Chester, PA 19383
- Complete the following items found in the application:
- Internal Transfer Application
- Essay question responses
- Acknowledgement signature
- Unofficial WCU transcript
- Request one letter of reference from a faculty member at West Chester University. The letter must be in pdf format, addressed to Nancy Barker RN, EdD, Associate Professor and Assistant Chair, Department of Nursing and submitted with your application.
Prerequisite to NSG/NSL 212 students must:
Complete BIO 100, CHE 107, CRL 107, BIO 259, and BIO 269 with a minimum composite GPA of 2.75 in these courses.
*In addition to the above required coursework, the courses listed below are prerequisites to NSG/NSL 311 and 312. If most prerequisite coursework is not completed prior to the application submission, applicants may be denied entry into the nursing program due to the inability to ensure progression into the junior level nursing courses.
Prerequisite to NSG/NSL 311 or 312 students must:
Complete WRT 120; WRT 200, 204, 205, 206, 208 or 220; BIO 204; NSG 310, NTD 303, PSY 100, SOC 200, PSY 210 or HEA 206, and MAT 121 with a minimum of a C- in these courses.
Prior to junior year clinical placement (NSL 311 or NSL 312), the student will complete all required documentation (health physical, immunizations, drug screening, etc.) as required by the State Board of Nursing. Students will receive more information on this process during NSG/NSL 212. Failure to successfully complete all clearance processes will result in the removal of nursing courses from the student schedule.
All decisions will be communicated to applicants via email by the program coordinator. Accepted students will be asked to complete the Nursing Department agreement form and a change of major request must be submitted online via the Registrar's webpage. This process will formalize the student's transfer into the Nursing Department. Students should understand that the Department has a commitment only to the clinical year agreed upon. Therefore, student progression within nursing is contingent upon the student's ability to be successful in nursing courses. Students must successfully complete both the NSG and NSL portion of each course in order to move forward within the academic curriculum. Please see course progression as outlined in the BSN handbook .
- Will I graduate on time?
Some students graduate in 4 years as internal transfer students. The time it takes to complete the nursing program is dependent upon the coursework you completed prior to your internal transfer. It is also dependent upon your success with all nursing classes.
- Will I fall behind other students?
This depends on your success with nursing coursework. Not all students are successful with each nursing class and need to repeat a class. If this were to occur, you will be "out of sequence" in the progression plan and it will take longer to complete the nursing program.
- Must I complete the Pre-requisites before I can apply?
YES! You may not apply to the internal transfer program unless the following core science classes are complete and you earned a minimum composite GPA of 2.75 or higher in these courses. BIO 100, CHE 107, CRL 107, BIO 259, and BIO 269
- If enrolled in the last of the pre-requisites in the fall semester, will I be able
to apply for the spring semester?
YES, but you will not be accepted until final grades are posted in December. Please note, those who have completed the prerequisite core science classes will receive priority for this program.
- Can I transfer to WCU and then apply to the nursing program?
Yes, but this route is not advised or encouraged. This is a highly competitive application process and there is no guarantee that you will be accepted into our Nursing program once you become a WCU student. Students that enroll in WCU from high school and have made an earnest attempt in another major, but found nursing is their calling receive priority for this program. Applications from students that transfer into WCU with the sole purpose of applying to our nursing program will be reviewed, only after our established students (those beginning their academic career at WCU) have been accommodated. Please note, interest in this program has always been very high and we usually have 7 to 10 times the number of students applying to the program than what we can accommodate.
- Can I submit an internal transfer application if I am not a current WCU student?
NO, we only accept internal transfers into our program, therefore, you must be a WCU student to apply.
- Are there other options at WCU Nursing for me?
YES! If you are serious about Nursing, consider a two-year nursing program at a community college or diploma program. You can complete a RN program in 2 years, then transfer into WCU's RN-BSN program to complete the last two years of bachelor's course work. Many students go to the local community colleges first, and then transfer to WCU to complete their BSN degrees while working as an RN. Health care facilities often pay for the students to complete their BSN coursework, so not only are you working as an RN, your employer is also paying for two years of your college education. Please consider this an alternative route into Nursing!
The Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing programs at West Chester University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791. http://www.ccneaccreditation.org