WGU Nursing Program: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

WGU Nursing Program Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Athina Hansen

Athina Hansen

Content Writer at Gradehacker

You’re ecstatic to earn your BSN degree as you know it will increase your job opportunities. However, there’s a minor detail…you have no idea which college’s nursing program to choose!

Your friend recently graduated from Western Governors University and assured you, “a WGU nursing program is a great option.” Those words are dancing around in your head, and you want to learn more about pursuing a BSN degree through a WGU nursing program.

You open up their  RN to BSN page and are instantly taken back because it is information OVERLOAD!

You wish there were just a simple explanation of this WGU nursing program.

Here at Gradehacker, our focus is on non-traditional students, who we help in many ways, such as with coursework or exams. In our years of experience, we have grown very familiar with WGU, having helped many students enrolled in a WGU nursing program.

Could you relate to the story above? Well, let go of your stress and anxiety because you’re in the right place. We will walk you through the WGU RN to BSN program, so you are left with a clear understanding and can decide if it is the right fit for you!

Official Program Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN degree)

Degree Level:


Learning Format:


Competency Units:

12 competency units (WGU’s equivalent of the credit hour) each 6-month term. Each course is typically 3 or 4 units.


$3,545 per 6 month term (includes resource and program fees)


Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

WGU RN to BSN Program Prerequisites

What, prerequisites? Can’t I just enter if I want to?

It would be great if the world worked that way, but unfortunately, there are prerequisites for this WGU nursing program.

Apart from  WGU’s general admission requirements, some requirements are specific to this program.

If you want to enroll in this WGU nursing program, you will have to:

  1. Have an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing
  2. Have a current, unencumbered RN license in your state of residence
  3. Submit a criminal background check through American Databank

Do you match these prerequisites? If so, it looks like you’re in the right place! Continue reading to learn more about this RN to BSN program.

WGU’s Unique Learning Approach

You might be thinking, hey, they made a mistake. They forgot to include the number of credits involved in this program.

And the truth is – we did it on purpose! All WGU nursing programs are structured around competency-based learning.

What exactly is competency-based learning? Well, unlike the traditional learning format, at WGU, you advance through your program when you demonstrate mastery in a set of competencies.

How does one demonstrate mastery? Through tests, papers, projects, and other assessments.

Through competency-based learning, you can take advantage of the knowledge your educational and professional background gave you. You can speed through subjects you know well and spend more time on those that you don’t know too well.

To keep it short and simple, competency-based learning measures skills instead of time. So, instead of having to wait until a semester ends to progress through your career, you can advance when you’ve demonstrated knowledge in the competency.

Learn more about competency-based education here.

WGU Logo

What does WGU's RN to BSN Program Consist of?

This RN to BSN program is designed to be extremely flexible. Don’t worry about having to log in to classes at a set time. Also, your assignments don’t have deadlines!

Okay, but who is this WGU nursing program aimed for? This RN to BSN program, as the name implies, is meant for RN’s who gained their license either through an ADN or nursing diploma.

This WGU nursing program expands on your prior knowledge gained through your unique educational and professional background.

Are you wondering what the pillars of this RN to BSN program are?

Well, this program is centered around the following areas:

  • Research
  • Theory
  • Leadership
  • Community concepts
  • Healthcare policy
  • Therapeutic interventions
  • Current trends in healthcare

This program aims to prepare you with the skills necessary to improve patient outcomes and your community’s health!

You might be thinking, okay, everything sounds good so far, but how long is this program? Well, there is not a set program length as it is competency-based, but 66% of this program’s graduates finish within only 18 months!

So if you’re worried about time, don’t be!

WGU RN to BSN Program Curriculum

Okay, now onto the interesting part, what will I be learning if I choose this program? What type of preparation will I receive?

Well, in total, this program has 24 courses. Each course is structured around a set of competencies. You will take the time you need to prove that you’ve learned each specific competency.

That is why this program is highly flexible and personalized!

This WGU nursing program is designed to focus on real-world skills, so as you progress through the program, you will find that you can apply what you’re learning at work!

You will work through the course at your own pace and finish quickly if you know the material. There is no limit on how many courses you can complete in a term!

Some key courses included in this program are:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Clinical Microbiology
  • Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing
  • Professional Roles and Values
  • Health Assessment
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Applied Nursing Research
  • Health and Wellness Through Nutritional Science
  • Care of the Older Adult
  • Leadership and Professional Image
  • Biochemistry

Click here to learn more about the program’s curriculum.

Nurse Drawing

Field Experiences

This RN to BSN program is an online program; however, it does include field experiences!

What do these field experiences revolve around? Well, the field experiences are directly related to the program’s coursework. They involve community assessments, simulations, and other activities.

How many hours are dedicated to field experiences? In total, 90 practice hours must be completed as part of the field experience.

Okay, but where exactly will I complete these field experiences? These will be completed in a facility that is close to you, and don’t worry, the university will assist you with that process.

Is WGU’s RN to BSN program right for me?

WGU’s RN-to-BSN program will suit you if:

  • Your time schedule demands a highly flexible educational environment.
  • Your professional and educational background has provided you with a lot of nursing knowledge.
  • You have already completed an associate’s degree or diploma.

WGU’s RN-to-BSN program will not suit you if:

  • You learn best in an on-campus environment.
  • You prefer a highly-structured educational environment.
  • You have no prior associate degree or diploma in nursing.

We understand how challenging it can be to decide which BSN program is right for you. Hopefully, after reading this article, you can make your decision!

Are you looking to gain clarity on the difference between an ADN and BSN degree? Check out our article on  ADN vs. a BSN Degree: What’s The Difference?

Would you like to learn more about evidence-based practice? Check out our article on What’s Evidence-Based Practice and Why It Matters So Much for Nurses?

Are you weary of choosing an online modality because you think it may be easier? Read our article on  Are Online Classes Easier than In-Person Classes?

Athina Hansen

Athina Hansen

Athina has worked with Gradehacker both as a content writer and a study consultant, where she assisted college students with nursing courses. Athina has a background of educating others and producing content, having tutored college students and produced articles for her school magazine. She brings her experience to her current role, where she writes content to empower and assist the non-traditional college student who is often overlooked. You can find her on LinkedIn

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