RN Completion, RN to BSN, RN to BS student working at laptop on BSN@Home, UW FLEX or UWM

The UW-Milwaukee RN to BSN program is designed for nurses looking to attain their Bachelor’s in Nursing. The program is intended for nurses with a diploma or associate degree and prelicensure ADN students (in final year of ADN program) looking for a flexible way to earn a baccalaureate degree.

The program supports educational mobility and strengthens professional growth and leadership competencies while building interprofessional relationships with healthcare professionals. Students may choose from two modalities to complete their BS in Nursing.

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What makes our program distinguished?

Our program consists of one curriculum delivered in two modes: online or the UW-FLEX Option. Students have the option to enroll full time or part time. Graduates of the Wisconsin Technical College System can earn a minimum of 60 credits applied toward their degree.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at UW-Milwaukee is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).  The program is also approved by the State of Wisconsin Board of Nursing.

Amy Walia, RN to BSN Alumni poses near the Nurse's Desk with a Theme Night Drawing for Trolls Night
UWM Alumna Amy Walia’s Story

The UW-Milwaukee School of Nursing offers a program that understands the needs of busy professionals. We provide two flexible learning modes for students to complete the RN to BSN program. This flexibility allows students to adapt their learning to their unique learning style and life needs. We offer online and competency-based assessments. Prelicensure Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) students in the final year of their ADN program can also request permission to enroll in courses as special students. Special students may take courses to satisfy the requirements for BSN completion.

Learn about both RN to BSN programs now by viewing the virtual information session recording.

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Earn your degree online through the UW-System Collaborative Nursing Programs: BSN@Home.

FLEX: UW Flexible Option

Students complete competency-based assessments in place of the traditional course structure to show mastery of a subject. Learn more about this kind of competency-based, self-paced learning option at flex.wisconsin.edu.

UWM and MATC Partnership

The UWM School of Nursing and MATC School of Health Sciences offer collaborative programs that lead to both an associate degree in nursing (ADN) and the baccalaureate degree in nursing (BS-Nursing). Options include ADN to BSN, 3+1, or direct admit programs. Additionally, prelicensure ADN students may enroll as special students.

Admission Requirements

  • ADN or Nursing Diploma
  • 2.5 College GPA (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Current unencumbered RN license in any state OR currently enrolled in an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program.

Enrolled or Planning to Enroll in an ADN Program?

Students who are currently pursuing their Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and in their final year of the ADN program are able to take courses as a special student to fulfill the general education and nursing courses for the RN to BSN degree (see below).

Course Requirements

The academic plan is tailored to you to fulfill 121 credits to degree completion including non-nursing courses, ADN courses, and advanced nursing courses.

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ADN courses or state credit for prior learning?

We provide an opportunity to award our RN to BSN students for work they have already completed within their ADN program and other advanced nursing courses. Students may be awarded up to 30 credits from their ADN nursing courses through our longstanding Wisconsin Technical System (WCTS) agreement. The WCTS Articulation Agreement applies to ADN graduates of May 1996 or later.

Special Students

RN to BSN special students are non-degree students who are:

Upon completion of your ADN, you will:

  • Take the NCLEX exam
  • Obtain an unencumbered nursing license
  • Apply and be admitted to the RN to BSN program

Course Requirements: 124 credits

Our advising team will meet with you to discuss a personally tailored academic plan based off of previous credits completed and additional required credits needing to be completed. Our team is able to provide you with an unofficial transcript review to determine which requirements you may need to complete.

Non-Nursing Courses52-61 Credits
English 1023 cr
Humanities3-6 cr
Arts0-3 cr
Social Sciences:
Sociology (3)
Psychology (3)
6 cr
Growth and Development3 cr
Natural Sciences:
Chemistry (3)
Biochemistry (or Pharmacology, Pathophysiology, Physics, Biology, Genetics, or Heredity) (3)
Anatomy & Physiology (6-8)
Microbiology (3)
Nutrition (2-3)
21 cr
Electives19-25 cr
Advanced Nursing CoursesCourse Number30 credits
Foundations of Professional Nursing Practice*4073
Chronic Care Management*4413
Research & Evidence-Based Practice*4463
Leadership & Management*4473
Information Management & Healthcare Technology*4533
Community Health Nursing*4543
Capstone Seminar and Practicum*4453
Nursing Electives9

Previous Nursing Credits

30 nursing credits are awarded to students when the advanced nursing courses above (*) are completed with a grade of C or higher. Students are awarded the additional 30 credits from the longstanding Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) agreement. The WCTS Articulation Agreement for A.D.N. graduates of May 1996 or later will have a total of 30 credits from these areas applied to the UWM degree.

Other Requirements

Some RN to BSN students may need to fulfill UWM requirements in the areas of cultural diversity, foreign language, math competency and english competency.  These additional requirements and an overall program plan can be discussed with our academic advising team.

  • Cultural Diversity – Required for students starting UWM Fall 1989 or later
  • Foreign Language – Required for students starting college Fall 1999 or later
  • Math Competency – Math 102, 103, 105, 108 or equivalent
  • English Competency – English 102 or equivalent

Every RN to BS Program student will complete NURS 445 Capstone Practicum for RNs. The program is designed to schedule your capstone as your final course in the program. NURS 445 can occur in any setting where capstone students can engage in quality improvement (QI) while maintaining the professional standards of nursing. Students focus their capstone QI project on a realistic topic pertinent to their nursing practice setting. Students will engage in the QI process to promote improved safety, quality, and outcomes in the nursing practice setting. The settings in which students complete the capstone are varied, primarily focusing on the nurse’s role within QI. Most complete capstone at their current place of employment, fostering employee engagement while implementing real-world changes in practice.  

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at UW-Milwaukee is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. CCNE requires that all students in RN to BS programs have a clinical component to their degree program to enable them to apply and integrate new knowledge in a clinical setting. Students spend at least 60 hours on the capstone QI project.  

For additional information regarding capstone please review the Frequently Asked Questions. Students will begin planning for capstone the semester prior to enrolling in capstone.  

Other Resources

Capstone Practicum

Experiential Learning

  • Last course in the program
  • Consists of theory and clinical application
  • Non-direct care with focus on Quality Improvement (QI) project
  • Hands-on experience performing QI

Employee Engagement

  • Immersion to Practice at the workplace
  • In your employee role
  • Collaboration with the healthcare team
  • Self-initiated and directed
Pick QI Project Topic
  • Meet with leadership and discuss potential project topics.
  • Focus is to develop, implement, and evaluate an evidence-based quality improvement project that meets a need of the QI Project site.
  • All course assessments are designed to evaluate a student’s demonstration of the course competencies through their work on their QI Project.
  • You are encouraged to complete most of the QI Project work at the QI Project site to engage with key stakeholders to actively design, implement, and evaluate their QI Project.
    • Students will dedicate time off the unit as appropriate to their QI Project, such as completing literature searches, analyzing data, and connecting with key stakeholders.
  • The scope of the QI Project will be defined through collaboration among you and key stakeholders.
  • The purpose of the clinical project is twofold:
    • To meet a need at the QI Project site to support patient care or nursing pratice.
    • To integrate and demonstrate skills learned in previous courses, including needs assessment, data collection, implementation, evaluation, quality improvement, research-based literature searches, evidence-based practice, management, and leadership principles.
QI Examples

Use evidence-based practice and best practices to guide the work and improve outcomes.

  • Reinforcing, re-educating, introducing, development of:
    • Sepsis protocol and bundle
    • Massive transfusion protocol
    • Falls prevention
    • Bedside handoff
    • HAI prevention
    • Debriefing Huddles
    • OR Timeouts
    • Use of a new device or supply
    • Narcan use in the public
  • Education
    • Actively part of creating and implementing skills fair
    • Creating a simulation
    • Updating education to reflect current best practices
  • Quality Review/Quality Assurance to apply and implement changes in practice
    • Conducting chart audits
    • Investigation of a Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
    • Reviewing data and trends
Sylvia Forbes
  • Statewide BSN@Home Program Coordinator
  • Program Manager
Hillary Vara
  • Academic Advisor
Important Dates
Upcoming Information Sessions

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at UW-Milwaukee is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education http://www.ccneaccreditation.org. The program is also approved by the State of Wisconsin Board of Nursing.