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How To Transfer a Non-Nursing Degree to a Nursing BSN Program

Those who hold non-nursing degrees can transfer credits into a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at leading nursing schools across the nation. This type of arrangement is often referred to as an accelerated degree program.

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Can I Transfer a Non-Nursing Degree to a BSN Program?

Students who have the appropriate undergraduate course prerequisites may be able to enter the nursing field through accelerated bachelor's degree programs. Many colleges offer the option of a second degree BSN option, in addition to their regular nursing degree programs.

Accelerated Baccalaureate BSN Programs

Accelerated BSN programs are ideal for students who hold non-nursing degrees because they often lead to program completion in half the normal time. The regular BSN option takes 6-8 semesters to complete, while the accelerated BSN option can be completed in roughly four semesters. BSN students often attend school full-time with no breaks between semesters.

Clinical experience requirements are the same as those of 4-year BSN programs. Admission standards may be higher, with some schools requiring a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) for admission. The prescreening process is often more stringent than for conventional nursing programs.


Schools often accept 60 credit hours of a previous degree towards completion of the BSN degree program. However, some of the prerequisites must be taken at the school a student has chosen to attend, which can add to the overall degree completion time. These prerequisites may include healthcare coursework in chemistry, ethics, communications research and pharmacology.

Career Outlook Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that nurses with a BSN tend to have better job prospects than those with only a diploma or an associate's degree. The BLS predicted that employment for registered nurses will grow by 19% during the 2012-2022 decade - a growth rate that is faster than the average of 11% all occupations (

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