RN to BSN FAQs

Questions about applying

  • Q. How do I apply?
  • A. If you are a new student, apply here. If you have attended Northwestern in the past, reapply here.
  • Q. When can I start?
  • A. New RN to BSN students begin their coursework in August at the start of the fall term. You are encouraged to apply prior to May 1 as space is limited.
  • Q. Is acceptance to your program competitive?
  • A. We accept all qualified candidates until we have reached our program cap of 20. It is recommended that you apply and deposit in the spring to improve the likelihood of acceptance for the fall term.
  • Q. What is required for acceptance to the RN to BSN program?
  • A. The following criteria are required:
    • Valid RN license
    • Minimum GPA of 2.7
    • Completed application
    • No felonies on your record
    • Free of physical, psychological or social impairments that would prevent you from providing safe nursing care
    Once you have been accepted, you will be asked to hold your place with a deposit. You must provide proof of immunizations and professional liability insurance before your first course begins.
  • Q. What kind of financial aid is available?
  • A. We encourage you to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. The financial aid specialists at Northwestern will evaluate your FAFSA to determine your eligibility for federal student aid, including grants and loans. Check with your employer about other forms of assistance including tuition reimbursement and tuition assistance programs.
  • Q. What states are approved for Northwestern’s RN to BSN program?
  • A. Nurses from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota may apply. Northwestern cannot accept nurses outside of those states into the RN to BSN program at this time.

Questions about the program

  • Q. How long will it take to finish my degree?
  • A. You can expect to finish your degree in about 2 years. It may take more or less time, depending on how many credits you transfer in and how many classes you choose to take each semester.
  • Q. Will I ever need to come to campus?
  • A. The coursework in this program is offered 100% online. You will have a required clinical for public health that can be fulfilled at a location near your home or work. You will never be required to come to campus, though we would love to have you participate in our graduation ceremony!
  • Q. How much will it cost to complete my BSN?
  • A. Current tuition and fees for the RN to BSN program are posted on our website.
  • Q. Why are the courses only 8 weeks long?
  • A. Courses are 8 weeks long so you can focus on taking one course at a time, but still complete two courses each semester. Most students need to take 6 credit hours in a term (part-time status) to be eligible for financial aid. Our structure ensures you will remain eligible for financial aid but still be able to balance school with the rest of your life and responsibilties.
  • Q. Can I go faster than two courses per term so I can finish earlier?
  • A. The RN to BSN was developed as a part-time program. You are free to take more than two courses per term if we offer more than two that work in your program of study, but we cannot guarantee more than two courses per term will be offered.
  • Q. Where do I complete my clinicals?
  • A. The only course requiring a clinical that may likely be outside the scope of your current position is in public health. You may arrange your public health clinical at a location of your choosing near your home.
  • Q. What courses are required in this program?
  • A. See our program requirements for a list of required courses.
  • Q. Will I need to be online at specific times?
  • A. Generally no. Our coursework is intended to be asynchronous, which means it doesn’t happen at the same time. Your professors will create a discussion thread each week with a topic to discuss. You will be required to engage in that discussion a specific number of times during the week, but you are free to engage at whatever time of the day or night works for you. You will have assignments with deadlines, but you can work on them whenever you would like.
  • Q. Do I need a lot of biblical knowledge to be successful at Northwestern?
  • A. Northwestern is a Christian college, but our students have a wide range of biblical knowledge. When we talk about faith and learning at Northwestern, we’re describing how we will walk beside you in your personal faith journey. Expect to grow spiritually in ways that are meaningful to you.
  • Q. What is shalom?
  • A. Shalom is a word from the Bible that means completeness, wholeness, health, safety and peace. Shalom embodies the philosophy of our nursing program. Northwestern nursing graduates strive to provide Christ-like caring to patients, acknowledging the importance of healthy bodies, minds and souls.
  • Q. What kind of support do you offer to online students?
  • A. Tutoring is available online and on our campus. Library resources including online databases, interlibrary loans, writing and style guides, and digital librarian assistance. Technical support is provided online and by phone. Counselors in our Career Development Center are prepared to assist you in career planning online. The financial aid, business and registrar’s offices will work with you online and by phone.
  • Q. Is your program accredited?
  • A. Yes, Northwestern’s BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing. Northwestern College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Questions about transfer

  • Q. How many credits can I transfer in?
  • A. You may transfer in as many credits as you wish, but the last 30 credits of your program must be completed at Northwestern College.
  • Q. What if I already have a bachelor’s degree, but not in nursing?
  • A. If your bachelor’s degree is from Northwestern College, you will only need to take the nursing courses in this program. If your bachelor’s degree is from another institution, you must meet Northwestern’s general education requirements, and you will need to take at least 30 credits from Northwestern. General education requirements may be met through the courses you transfer. There are 21 nursing credits in our program, so you will need to take 9 additional credits from Northwestern to earn your BSN from Northwestern.
  • Q. How do I find out how my courses will transfer in?
  • A. Please send a copy of your college transcripts to online@nwciowa.edu to receive a transfer evaluation and tentative program of study.
  • Q. Can I transfer in as an LPN to earn my BSN?
  • A. At this time we only accept nurses with a valid RN license. Northwest Iowa Community College offers a hybrid LPN to RN program, as do other community and technical colleges. Consider pursuing an LPN to RN program and then transferring to Northwestern to complete your BSN.


CCNE
Northwestern College’s BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing.