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RN to BSN Online: Common Questions

Common questions about online RN to BSN programs

The online RN to BSN program at the University of Texas at Arlington prepares RNs with associate degrees and those with nursing diplomas to take the next step in their nursing careers. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the College of Nursing and Health Innovation offers convenient five-week courses that allow students to complete the RN to BSN program at an accelerated pace.

"The online program does make it a lot easier for us working nurses, working mothers, because we can work in the middle of the night, do our homework in the middle of the night while our children are sleeping. This was a perfect opportunity to continue my education but not have to sit in another classroom."

-- Shanise McKelvey, RN to BSN graduate

RN to BSN graduate, Shanise McKelvey, says, "The online program does make it a lot easier for us working nurses, working mothers, because we can work in the middle of the night, do our homework in the middle of the night while our children are sleeping. This was a perfect opportunity to continue my education but not have to sit in another classroom."

What Will I Learn?

The online RN to BSN program at UTA builds on your nursing skills by providing courses that focus on evidenced-based practice, leadership, and interprofessional collaboration. The courses in this program will expand your nursing practice and provide you the credential you need to advance your career. You'll be able to offer your patients an even higher level of knowledge and expertise. These classes will also strengthen your critical thinking and decision-making skills.

Some nurses may wonder why they need to complete courses in liberal arts in order to obtain their BSN, which is understandable. "When am I going to use composition writing skills or a knowledge of art history on the job?" While you might not use those skills or that knowledge on daily basis, those classes will enhance your nursing practice. According to Edward J. Ray, President of Oregon State University, "There can be no doubt that they [liberal arts] play an essential part in providing a foundation for learning in every professional field." Liberal arts classes enhance your critical thinking skills and make you more adaptable to new positions, says Ray. Knowledge of liberal arts also provides a solid foundation for advanced education -- perfect for nurses who may want to pursue a graduate degree down the road.

Liberal arts can help nurses build a foundation for graduate school

What Courses Will I Take?

The RN to BSN program at UTA covers subjects not typically taught at the associate or diploma levels. These courses prepare you to improve patient outcomes using evidence-based research, while also preparing you for leadership roles. The BSN degree also provides a stepping stone to a graduate degree in nursing.

Here are a few examples of the courses in the curriculum:

Holistic Health Assessment Across the Lifespan -- This course covers the theory and practice of holistic health assessment for people across the lifespan. Holistic health assessments go beyond a quick physical exam and take mental, spiritual and emotional health into account. You will be required to apply what you've learned in a clinical setting, which you can complete at your workplace.

RN to BSN Promoting Healthy Lifestyles -- This course explores the ways nurses can promote health through education and other means. Disease prevention is also an important part of this course.

Health Policy and Legal Aspects of Professional Nursing -- This course explores health policy and associated legislative and political concerns. You'll also study the nurse practice act and ethical aspects that impact nursing practice.

Nursing Research -- You'll learn the research process, from concept to application. The course also covers the role of research in decision-making and clinical practice.

Nursing Leadership & Management -- This course covers organizational strategies and leadership theories. It also explores the societal trends that influence healthcare. You'll be required to apply what you've learned in a clinical setting, which you can do at work.

And those are just a few of the nursing courses offered. Here are some others:

  • Holistic Care of Older Adults.
  • Role Transition to Professional Nursing.
  • Care of Vulnerable Populations Across the Lifespan.
  • Cooperative Nursing Work Experience -- Applications Course.
  • Legacy of the Family.

UTA's online RN to BSN program doesn't require supervised clincials

What Type of Clinical Experiences Will I Complete in the RN to BSN Program at UTA?

You may wonder why you need to have clinical experiences since you are a licensed, practicing RN. UTA doesn't require traditional supervised clinical experiences. Students in the RN to BSN program will have a variety of opportunities to take the knowledge and skills they are learning in the classroom -- evidence-based practice or holistic assessments, for example -- and apply it in their workplace or community. Students may write a report or complete a project that they will share with their faculty and fellow students allowing for rich feedback and discussion.

Because the clinical experiences in the RN to BSN program are completed in this manner, you will not need to identify a specific preceptor for your coursework

What Are the General Education Requirements?

All universities have core requirements for bachelor's degrees, regardless of the major. Schools offering associate degrees or nursing diplomas do not have the same requirements, so RN to BSN students must meet these general education requirements to graduate. For example, if the state requires two history courses, but the student has only taken one, they'll need to take another history course to graduate with a BSN. Students must complete these core courses before their final nursing class. UTA offers all of these classes online.

The only prerequisites for the RN to BSN program at UTA are English Composition I and II. You will also need Technical Writing, but you can take that course concurrently with your first nursing course.

What Classes Will Transfer to UTA?

UTA accepts many course credits from most colleges. You can double-check its equivalency chart for transferability. Many prospective students have been out of school for a while and want to know if there is an expiration date on the courses they've taken in the past. No, there is not. Though some schools require more current science classes, UTA does not have a time stipulation for those either.


The College of Nursing and Health Innovation at the University of Texas at Arlington holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. "Moving Ahead with Your Nursing Education: Why Accreditation Matters" published in Newsweek reports, "According to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, a national advocacy group for academic quality, accreditation means that a program or institution has gone through a rigorous review and evaluation process by experts in the field."

There are several drawbacks to programs that lack accreditation. These programs are not approved for federal financial aid, and many graduate schools do not accept applicants from these colleges. A degree from a non-accredited school can also hinder your employment options. The UTA program provides the quality instruction necessary for optimal patient care, prepares nursing students for graduate school, and provides more financial aid opportunities.

Faculty at UTA

Experienced nurse educators who have worked in both the clinical setting and at the university level teach UTA's RN to BSN courses, and online students have the same instructors as their on-campus peers. Get to know some of the nursing faculty.

Benefits of an Online RN to BSN Program

The online RN to BSN program at UTA is perfect for working RNs. It allows nursing students to keep working at their current jobs, where they can apply what they learn daily. Because you can do your assignments when it is most convenient, you also have to time to spend with family and friends as well as time to handle any other responsibilities. The accelerated program also helps you earn your BSN sooner.

The RN to BSN program at UTA is offered completely online and led by the same faculty as the on-campus version. The CCNE-accredited College of Nursing and Health Innovation provides top-notch instruction and exceptional student support. This program is ideal for working nurses who want to improve their nursing practice. Earning a BSN also enables nurses to pursue a graduate degree, should they later decide on a career path that requires it.

Learn more about the UTA online RN to BSN program.

Related Articles:

Learn more about our RN to BSN Online program and how to succeed as an online nursing student.

UTA: RN to BSN or RN to MSN: How to Decided Which Degree Is Right for You

UTA: If Time Is an Issue, Consider an Online RN to BSN Program

UTA: Tips for Staying Focused in a BSN Online Program

UTA: Study Tips for Online RN to BSN Students


Find out what our graduates are saying.

UTA: Iris Andrade Revitalizes Nursing Skills With RN to BSN Online

UTA: Kimilee Steinmiller Endures Tragedy, Stays in Online RN to BSN Program

UTA: UTA Online RN to BSN Program Aces for Rebecca Ventura


The Huffington Post: The Value of a Liberal Arts Education in Today's Global Marketplace

Newsweek: Moving Ahead With Your Nursing Education — Why Accreditation Matters

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