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The RN-BSN Program is a TOTALLY ONLINE program designed to specifically meet the needs of RNs who are completing the BSN degree.  Most students complete the degree in 1-2 years. 

Recognizing the barriers that RNs face in terms of employment demands, travel time, and family responsibilities, the program has been designed to allow full-time or part-time study, and flexibility in the sequencing of courses. 

While most students complete the degree in 1-2 years, some students in this program prefer to progress at their own rate.  Students can elect to finish in three years, and under special circumstances have up to five years from the start of their nursing courses to complete the degree requirements. Advisors develop an individual model plan of study to help students stay on track for completion of the degree.  Students are required to take a minimum of one class per academic year, and to begin their course of study the semester they are admitted to the program.  RNs may need to take some core courses before taking only nursing courses.  However, NURS 3010 must be taken as the first nursing course.  Understanding the unexpected demands sometimes experienced by RN’s, the SON does allow a one-time Application for Readmission if a student finds it necessary to interrupt their course of study. 

Required nursing courses for the RN-BSN consists of 5 non-clinical courses, 2 clinical courses and a Practicum. 

  • Students enrolled in courses with clinical components work with a preceptor who holds the qualifications required by the Georgia Board of Nursing.  Students are responsible for arranging their precepted experiences with guidance from the Clinical Services Manager. (The preceptor should be BSN prepared and have worked in an area of nursing where preceptorship occurs for one year.)
  • NURS 3200 Health Assessment has a 30 hour lab component. (Student will record and submit video as well as documentation of the history and exam.)
  • NURS 4400 Community Health may occur in facilities such as public health, school health, occupational health, correctional care, rural health, or migrant health care.
  • NURS 4900 Practicum is taken after all core and GSW requirements are completed. 
  • Testing is online and will be proctored using ProctorU.  (Information will be provided by the course faculty.)

RN-BSN graduates often continue on with GSW's Master of Science in Nursing degrees and certificates. Others have great success in getting into competitive graduate programs such as nurse anesthetist programs and nurse midwifery. 

The Nursing program has full approval of the Georgia Board of Nursing (237 Coliseum Drive, Macon, GA 31217-3858; 478-207-1300 or 1640.)  The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.,  (3343 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-975-5000.)

NOTE:  International students with F1 or J1 Visa Status may not enroll in the RN-BSN Program.  The RN-BSN Completion program would require students to enroll in courses not taught online according to federal regulations.  Applicants may obtain more information about regulations by contacting the Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) at the Office of the Registrar at GSW for information.

The first step is to apply to GSW as RN-BSN Track and be accepted by the university. Please see the Office of Admissions for more information.

All nursing classes in summer will run from May through July.

GSW Distance Education Programs

Each of the states has its own approval processes for out-of-state institutions offering distance education. While Georgia Southwestern State University endeavors to offer all of its programs to as wide an audience as possible, all Georgia Southwestern State University distance education programs may not be available in all states. States in which GSW is authorized to offer online programs may be found at

All theory (didactic/lecture) courses are offered online via GOVIEW online platform. Delivery will be both synchronous and asynchronous.

RN-BSN Program eligibility requirements

In order to meet eligibility requirements for full admission into the program, RN-BSN program applicants must:

  • Meet the requirements of the Georgia RN-BSN Articulation Model.  (The GSW School of Nursing supports the Georgia RN-BSN Articulation Model.  The purpose of this model is to facilitate the educational mobility of registered nurses who elect to pursue a baccalaureate degree in nursing.  RN-BSN students are awarded 33 nursing credit hours after successfully completing 6 semester hours of nursing credit.)
  • Provide proof of licensure as a registered nurse in Georgia
  • Have not been excluded from another nursing program for any reason, including (but not limited to) academic misconduct, disruptive behavior, or program failure.  A nursing course failure in another institution counts as a failure in this institution.

Additional responsibilities and information for the RN-BSN student:

  1. Curriculum guidelines:  Students complete approximately 61 hours of general education courses.  The junior and senior nursing courses total approximately 61 hours.
    • MATH 2204 Statistics is a pre-requisite for NURS 4800 Nursing Research.
    • All non-nursing course requirements must be completed before taking NURS 4900 Practicum in Nursing
    • Review the Curriculum sheet for RN-BSN Program track
  2. It is recommended that NURS 3010 Professional Nursing Practice be taken the first semester that the student takes nursing courses.
  3. Validation testing:  Completion of validation testing will be required of all associate degree or diploma graduates who graduated from non-NLNAC accredited schools outside the state of Georgia, who graduated more than four years ago, and who have less than 1,000 clinical practice hours.  Validation testing includes standardized exams and clinical competencies. 
  4. Proctored exams:  Students enrolled in online courses through the School of Nursing may be required to take one or more proctored exams per semester. You can go to for more information.  Students should be aware that they are responsible for ProctorU testing fees.  The projected cost for a two hour exam is $25.00.

Transfer students only

  • Upon applicant’s acceptance to GSW, a letter of acceptance and transcript evaluation will be available to the SON.  These documents must be on file in GSW office of admissions and are required before the Admission & Progression Committee can review the SON application.
  • If applicant is taking or in progression of courses at other institutions during the admission process, applicants must make note of what courses they are taking on their nursing application.
  • Applicant must submit an official transcript verifying final course grades to Registrars office and an unofficial transcript verifying final course grades to the School of Nursing Student Services Coordinators office ASAP after completion.

There are two types of admission in the School of Nursing

Conditional acceptance is conferred until completion of the following:

  • RN-BSN students must sometimes take core classes and while completing these courses are listed as “pre-nursing” RN-BSN students.  These courses can sometimes be taken at the same time as nursing courses.  Until any core is completed the student may be conditionally accepted.
  • RN-BSN students must return the Reservation Form along with required signed documents that they will receive in their SON acceptance packet by the indicated deadline.
  • RN-BSN students must purchase the CertifiedBackground package described in that packet and the required documents must be uploaded and approved by the indicated deadline.  RN students taking on-line courses are not exempt from this requirement.

(Failure to do any of the above will result in the conditional acceptance status being revoked and student will have to reapply for admission during another cycle.

Full acceptance is granted when all of the above requirements have been met. RNs seeking readmission to the SON:

  • RNs wishing to reapply to the School of Nursing may do so one time and should use the Application for Readmission.  
  • Former GSW students who have not been enrolled within one calendar year must apply for readmission to GSW Admissions Office.  Applicants applying for readmission who have attended other institutions since their last enrollment at GSW must submit an official transcript from those institutions.
Review of applications by the Admission Committee will take place shortly after the application deadline.  Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status approximately one month from the application deadline.

Application Deadlines

  • Summer Admission: March 15 preferred - April 15 final
  • Fall Admission: June 15 preferred - July 15 final
  • Spring Admission: October 15

All SON application materials should be sent together (including application form, sealed reference forms, and essay) by the application deadline. Incomplete application packets may delay review by the Admission & Progression Committee.

The SON application form and the required support documents must be received by the SON by the published application deadline via mail or personal delivery to:

School of Nursing
Student Services Coordinator
Georgia Southwestern State University
800 Georgia Southwestern State University Drive
Americus, GA 31709
Fax: 229-931-2288

Application Resources

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