RN to BSN/MSN Pathway

The College of Nursing has a special Online Pathway for Associate and Diploma prepared Registered Nurses to attain the Master of Science Degree in Nursing. All coursework is completely online and all clinical requirements can be completed in your home community.

Online classThe Online RN to BSN/MSN Pathway is designed especially for diploma and associate degree RNs who want to earn the MSN degree. Students in this program complete two degrees, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing during Phase One and the Master of Science in Nursing during Phase Two.

Phase One: BSN Degree

Phase One of the Online RN-BSN/MSN Pathway is the Undergraduate Phase. Students are classified as undergraduate students. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing curriculum consists of two separate components: RN to BSN Prerequisites and RN to BSN Professional Component. The RN to BSN Prerequisites consists of nineteen (19) courses, totaling 62 semester hours. The RN to BSN Professional Component consists of eight (8) nursing courses, totaling 31 credit hours.

RN to BSN Prerequisites

The RN to BSN Prerequisites consists of nineteen (19) courses, totaling 62 semester hours. These general education courses may be completed at any accredited institution. They must be successfully completed before admission to the Professional Component. It is the policy of the College of Nursing to average grades for all coursework repeated.

Written Communication

  • English Composition I 3 credit hours
  • English Composition II 3 credit hours

Humanities and Fine Arts

  • Fine Arts (Select from: Music, Drama, or Art) 3 credit hours
  • *Literature elective (Examples: American, British, or World) 3 credit hours
  • Humanities elective (See options below) 3 credit hours
  • Humanities elective (See options below) 3 credit hours
  • Electives: Literature, Philosophy, Foreign Language, Music, Art, Drama, Communications, or Religion

History/Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Introduction to Psychology or Psychology Elective 3 credit hours
  • *History elective (US, World or Western Civilization) 3 credit hours
  • History/Social/Behavioral Science elective (See options below) 3 credit hours
  • History/Social/Behavioral Science elective (See options below) 3 credit hours
  • Electives: Second History for a required sequence, Psychology, Sociology, Political
    Science, Geography, Criminal Justice, Economics, or Anthropology)

Natural Sciences

  • Biology with Lab 4 credit hours
  • College Algebra, Finite Math or Pre-calculus 3 credit hours
  • Chemistry with Lab 4 credit hours

Major Requirements

  • Microbiology with Lab 4 credit hours
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab 4 credit hours
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab 4 credit hours
  • Statistics 3 credit hours
  • Computer Elective 3 credit hours
  • Economics elective (Micro or Macro) 3 credit hours

Total Credits 62

*Required Sequence: All students must complete one History elective and one Literature elective. In addition, you must also complete a second History or second Literature to complete a two course sequence in either History or Literature. The topic for the courses in your sequence must be the same, for example: US History 1 & 2; World History 1 & 2; American Literature 1 & 2; British Literature 1 & 2.

Evaluation of a student’s transcripts by the College of Nursing for the Online RN-BSN/MSN Pathway is contingent upon the official transfer credit articulation of your complete academic history. This is done by the USA Registrar once you are admitted as a transfer student to the University.

Phase One: Professional Component for the RN-BSN/MSN Pathway

The Professional Component consists of eight (8) nursing courses, totaling 31 credit hours. All these courses must be completed at the University of South Alabama. Upper division nursing courses taken at another institution will not transfer or apply toward the 31 credit hours required to earn the BSN degree at USA.
Students proceed through the eight online nursing courses at their desired pace. The Professional Component may be completed in a minimum of three (3) semesters. The Professional Component must be completed within five (5) years of beginning the program

  • NU 410 Concepts of Professional Nursing 6 credit hours
  • NU 530 Accelerated MSN Advanced Health Assessment 4 credit hours
  • NU 531 Accelerated MSN Advanced Pathophysiology 4 credit hours
  • NU 404 Evidence Based Practice and Informatics* 3 credit hours
  • NU 422 Healthcare Leadership and Collaboration* 3 credit hours
  • CMN 411 Community Health* 4 credit hours
  • NU 415 Seminar in Issues and Trends 3 credit hours
  • NU 461 Integration of Professional Practice* 4 credit hours

Total Credits 31

*Practice Integrated Experiences: Learning activities incorporated within four nursing courses in the curriculum for the RN-BSN/MSN Pathway as practice-based assignments. Activities are directly linked to the particular course objectives. Instructors will provide specific directives to students regarding all practice integrated experiences. All practice integrated experiences are completed in your HOME community. Students are not required to come to main campus to complete this requirement.

BSN Graduation

Students must apply for graduation to be awarded the BSN degree. The application must be submitted by the deadline for the semester the student completes all degree requirements. The USA Graduation Application and posted application deadlines for each semester are located on the USA Registrar’s Website.

Phase Two: MSN Degree

Phase Two of the Online RN-BSN/MSN Pathway is the Graduate Phase. As the student nears completion of their BSN degree at USA, qualified students who plan to advance to Phase Two, are required to submit the College of Nursing Supplemental Application by the posted MSN application deadline. Please contact the Graduate Advisors at congradapp@southalabama.edu for additional information regarding this application process.

MSN Specialties

Students may pursue the following specialties: Informatics, Nursing Administration, Clinical Nurse Leader, or Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult/Gerontological Nursing. Students who wish to pursue nurse practitioner preparation must obtain a minimum of 2 years of clinical experience before beginning clinical nurse practitioner specialty courses and have a competitive overall undergraduate GPA to compete for a seat in the NP specialty they select. Courses for the specialty component of the curriculum are offered online. Clinical requirements are completed in faculty-facilitated preceptorships.

  • Nursing Informatics – 37 credit hours
  • Nursing Administration – 37 credit hours
  • Clinical Nurse Leader – 30 credit hours
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist-AG – 32 credit hours
  • Nurse Practitioner Programs – 39 credit hours
  • Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Geron Acute Care NP) –51 credit hours

To preview all the specialties for the MSN degree, please see the MSN Specialties webpage.

MSN Graduation

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree is awarded at the successful completion of Phase Two. Students MUST apply for graduation to be awarded their MSN degree at the end of Phase Two. Applications for Graduation are found on the Registrar’s website.

Contact Information

Dr. Pam Johnson - Program Coordinator 
Email: pamjohnson@southalabama.edu

Leigh Holland - RN-BSN Academic Advisor
Email: lholland@southalabama.edu