Baccalaureate Completion Program for RNs (RNBS)

Program Requirements

Associate degree and diploma graduates are invited to complete their Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Nursing through the OHSU RNBS program. RNBS students complete upper-division nursing courses in multiple ways including: online, as intensives, through challenge exams and by portfolios. Most students take one or two courses a term and are able to continue to work as they go through the program.

Admission into the program:

  • Students are eligible to apply for admission to the RNBS program if they have or are in progress with an associate degree in nursing from a regionally accredited institution and have a reasonable plan to complete the required prerequisite courses prior to matriculation. Students are expected to be licensed as a registered nurse in the state of Oregon prior to matriculation into the program.
  • In addition to the non-nursing courses listed below as prerequisites for admission to the RNBS program, all applicants are expected to have basic computer competencies in word processing, electronic file management, email and web browsing. All prerequisites must be taken at an accredited institution, must be college level (100 level or higher), taken for a grade rather than pass/no pass, and must be completed with a grade of a "C" or higher.
  • Application to the nursing program requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Prerequisite courses – Applicants must complete the following coursework with a grade "C" or better in each course:

Anatomy and Physiology - 12 quarter credits: A full sequence of human anatomy and physiology with laboratory, inclusive of all body systems. This sequence must be taken in its entirety. The first term of A&P must be completed prior to application to the nursing program; the full sequence must be taken prior to matriculation into the program. Note: Chemistry or Biology may be required prior to the A&P sequence at some colleges/universities; please check individual college requirements.

Nutrition - 3 quarter credits: Class should cover biological functions, dietary sources of essential nutrients and the relationship of diet to health.

Human Development - 3 quarter credits: Course should cover the social and psychological developmental process of human life including the full lifespan (birth through death). Courses that cover only a part of the life span will not be accepted.

Microbiology with lab – 3-4 quarter credits: Basic Microbiology with laboratory component. If a course in microbiology with laboratory is available for only 3 quarter credits, then this will be accepted.

Introduction to Genetics (a course or a module within a course) – 3-4 quarter credits: Any human biology course that includes a human genetics component and indicates this inclusion in the college catalog course description. This requirement may not be met through the Microbiology or Anatomy and Physiology courses.

Intermediate Algebra/Math 95 (or higher): Competency for Intermediate Algebra/Math 95 or higher must be demonstrated prior to matriculation into the nursing program, either by a math placement test or by successful completion of an appropriate course.

Written English/English Composition (WR 121 & 122 or equivalent) - 6 quarter credits: Class should involve the development and support of ideas through the medium of written English. Remedial English such as sentence structure and punctuation will not be accepted as sufficient to meet the prerequisite. These courses are preparation for scientific or technical writing, which will be required later in the nursing program. The requirement can also be met through college/university courses that are identified as writing intensive and include the above elements in addition to at least one composition course (i.e. WR 121, 122, or 123).  Applicants who have completed a non-nursing bachelor's degree in an English speaking country can use it to meet this requirement. However, additional elective credit may be needed for graduation.

Technical or Research Writing – 3 quarter credits: Class should involve the development and support of ideas through the medium of written English. Technical or scientific research writing is typically the third part in an English Composition series. Applicants who have completed a non-nursing bachelor's degree in an English speaking country can use it to meet this requirement.

Humanities Electives - 3 quarter credits (recommended for the B.S. degree): Any humanities course that meets the general prerequisite standard can meet this requirement. Specific options include courses from the following departments: History of Art, Art Appreciation, History of Music, Music Appreciation, English Literature, Linguistics, Philosophy, Communication, Journalism, Religion, Speech and Theater Arts, Foreign Language, and Women's Studies.

Social Science Electives - 3 quarter credits: Selection of these electives may serve as a foundation for a focused area of study. Specific options include courses from the following departments: Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology, Business, Criminology, and Sociology.


Statistics – Statistics is a prerequisite or co-requisite of NRS 411 Epidemiology course, a nursing course required in the OCNE curriculum. We recommend that you complete Statistics prior to admission so you are not delayed in taking your Nursing Epidemiology course once you begin the program

Additional non-nursing requirements for graduation:

The following additional non-nursing courses may be completed prior to admission, concurrently while completing the RNBS program nursing courses, or even after completing the required nursing courses:

  • Humanities – additional credits to total 9 quarter credits
  • Social Science – additional credits to total 6 quarter credits
  • Upper Division (300 or 400 level) courses in a field other than Nursing – 15 quarter credits
  • General electives – 34 unspecified quarter credits which may include courses taken as part of the associate degree program, physical education courses, upper division courses from other disciplines, etc.
  • Foreign Language Competency – can be met by: 1) two years of one foreign language in high school, 2) two terms of one foreign language at the college level, or 3) a language proficiency examination.

Time to graduation:

All required courses (both nursing and non-nursing) in the RNBS program must be completed within five years of admission in order to graduate. Once R.N.s are admitted to the program, the expectation is that they will enroll continuously, taking one or two courses a term, until they finish.

Applicant must:

  • Possess minimum computer skills and access to a computer with predetermined minimum capabilities and access to the Internet, independent of the School of Nursing and University resources.


Please visit our applying page for detailed application instructions.


Go to the application deadlines page