View PDF


The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at Iowa State University is a RN-to-BSN program, designed for those who are already a Registered Nurse (RN), and desire to further their nursing career and education to the next level. Iowa State’s RN-to-BSN program provides interactive learning opportunities where students can apply their real-world experiences and education to inspire innovation in their places of care. RN-to-BSN students will be challenged to enhance health promotion and disease prevention, apply nursing science and evidenced-based patient-centered care, focus on the culture of health for nurses, individuals, and communities, and demonstrate the continuum of care, from a nurse’s self-care to patient care to community and population health.

Students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program who wish to add an additional major, must pursue multiple degrees. Likewise, students in other programs who wish to add a Bachelor of Science in Nursing must pursue multiple degrees.

The baccalaureate nursing program at Iowa State University of Science and Technology located in Ames, Iowa is approved by the:

Iowa Board of Nursing (IBON)
Riverpoint Business Park
400 SW 8th St., Suite B
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 281-3255

The baccalaureate nursing program at Iowa State University of Science and Technology located in Ames, Iowa is accredited by the:

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400
Atlanta, GA 30326
(404) 975-5000

The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the baccalaureate nursing program is initial accreditation.

View the public information disclosed by the ACEN regarding this program at

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, students should be able to: 

  1. Synthesize theory and concepts from the arts and humanities, natural and social sciences, and nursing in the holistic practice of professional nursing.
  2. Integrate knowledge of historical and contemporary nursing with leadership skills and principles to facilitate optimal patient and systems outcomes.
  3. Translate research findings to support evidence-based, competent, safe, and effective nursing care to individuals, families, and communities in diverse settings across the lifespan.
  4. Utilize current technology effectively and efficiently to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, support decision making and accomplish goals related to the delivery of safe, quality care for diverse individuals, families, and the community.
  5. Examine how healthcare policies, including financial and regulatory, influence healthcare systems, nursing practices and population health.
  6. Incorporate principles of effective communication and collaboration when working with members of the health team, recipients of care and interested groups to improve health outcomes for individuals, groups and communities.
  7. Integrate concepts of health promotion and disease management, health literacy and patient-centered care to improve population health.
  8. Engage in professional, culturally competent, and ethically congruent care that reflects dignity and uniqueness of individuals and groups in diverse populations and locations.
  9. Demonstrate a commitment to professionalism and model the values of advocacy, compassion, integrity, human dignity, cultural competence and social justice while embracing the concept of continuous learning.

RN-to-BSN Admissions Criteria

Applications for the RN-to-BSN program are individually reviewed. Minimum requirements for admission to the BSN program include:

  • Licensure as a Registered Nurse
  • Meet all Iowa State University admission criteria for transfer students
  • Official college transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Minimum of 2.5 cumulative GPA for all college coursework
  • Achievement of minimum “C” (not C-) for all prerequisite courses listed below
English Composition I and II (ENGL 1500 and ENGL 2500 equivalent)
Introduction to Chemistry (CHEM 1630 or CHEM 1T equivalent)
Statistics (STAT 1010 or STAT 1040 equivalent)
Introduction to Human Nutrition (FSHN 1670 equivalent)
Introduction to Sociology (SOC 1340 equivalent)

Admissions requirements are congruent with the Iowa Action Coalition, RN-to-BSN Task Force Recommendations. 

RN-to-BSN Progression Criteria

RN-to-BSN Graduation Requirements

  • At least 32 credits earned in residence at Iowa State University, and the final 32 credits taken through Iowa State University prior to graduation.
  • All general education requirements at Iowa State University must be met.
  • The BSN curriculum consists of 21 credits of NRS courses, 8 credits of FSHN courses, and 3 elective credits for a total of 32 credits in addition to prerequisite coursework.
  • Electives are selected by students to meet identified career interests, and total elective credits needed will vary based on individual transfer credits. 
  • Minimum credits for graduation is 120 credits.

International Perspectives: 3 cr.

U.S. Diversity: 3 cr.

Communications and Library: 10 cr.

ENGL 1500Critical Thinking and Communication3
ENGL 2500Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition3
LIB 1600Introduction to College Level Research1
Oral Communication course, select from: 3
COMST 2140 Professional Communication
SPCM 2120 Fundamentals of Public Speaking

Humanities and Social Sciences: 3 cr.

SOC 1340Introduction to Sociology3

College of Human Sciences Students Only:

Additional Humanities and Social Sciences: 9 cr.
Humanities courses from approve list 16
Humanities or social science course3

College of Agriculture & Life Science Students Only:

Additional Humanities and Social Sciences: 6 cr.
Humanities course from approved list 13
Ethics course from approved list 23

 Approved Humanities course list


 Approved Ethics course list

Math, Physical, & Biological Sciences: 7-8 cr.

Statistics course, select from: 3-4
Principles of Statistics
Introduction to Statistics
CHEM 1630College Chemistry4
Total Credits7-8

College of Agriculture & Life Sciences students only: 

Additional Math, Physical & Biological Sciences: 7-8 crs. 
Select math course: MATH 1040, MATH 1050, MATH 1400, MATH 1430, MATH 1450, MATH 1500, MATH 1510, MATH 1600, or MATH 16503-4
Select biology course: BIOL 1010, BIOL 2110, or BIOL 21203
CHEM 1630LLaboratory in College Chemistry1
Total Credits7-8

Nursing Courses: 21 cr.

NRS 2500Orientation to RN - to - BSN Nursing1
NRS 3200Essential Concepts for Professional Nursing Practice3
NRS 3400Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice4
NRS 4200Promoting a Culture of Health and Wellness3
NRS 4400Population and Community Health Nursing 3
NRS 4420Population and Community Health Nursing Practicum1
NRS 4600Nursing Leadership and Management3
NRS 4800Advanced Concepts of Professional Nursing3
Total Credits21

May fulfill the U.S. Diversity Requirement  - check current list

Select at least 3.0 credits of elective: 3 cr.

Nutrition: 8 cr.

FSHN 3640Nutrition and Prevention of Chronic Disease3
FSHN 3650Obesity and Health3
FSHN 4300U.S. Health Systems and Policy2
Total Credits8

Electives: Select from any university coursework to earn at least ≥ 120 total credits prior to graduation.

Total credits for Nursing major = 32

Full-Time Enrollment Option

First Year
NRS 25001NRS 44003
NRS 32003NRS 4420*1
NRS 34004NRS 46003
NRS 42003NRS 48003
FSHN 3640**3FSHN 3650**3
FSHN 4300**2Elective or U.S. Diversity as needed**3
 16 16
Total Credits: 32

Part-Time Enrollment Option

First Year
NRS 25001NRS 46003
NRS 32003FSHN 3650**3
NRS 34004FSHN 4300**2
 8 8
Second Year
NRS 42003NRS 44003
FSHN 3640**3NRS 4420*1
Elective or U.S. Diversity as needed**3NRS 48003
 9 7
Total Credits: 32

Denotes Practicum Courses.


Denotes courses that may be taken before starting the nursing program.


Plan of study does not include any unmet ISU general education requirements.