Nursing students

A Program Designed for the Registered Nurse

The RN to BSN program responds to the needs of the registered nurse (RN) population by offering credit for prior learning, flexible course scheduling, individualized learning experiences and career development advising. Interested candidates must apply to Rhode Island College as transfer students. They will be granted 37 transfer credits for their previous nursing courses and additional credit for other academic work.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a practicing nurse with a license, you will be awarded 37 transfer credits for your previous nursing courses, in addition to credits for general education. You must complete a minimum of 45 semester hours at Rhode Island College.

Generally, not if you are a practicing nurse. Once the Admissions Office has reviewed your transcripts, the B.S.N. program director can provide a second review of courses significant to nursing.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will review any general education courses you have on your transcripts and award credit. You must have at least a grade of C in these courses to be awarded credit. A description of the General Education Program can be found in the College Catalog (online or in print).

Absolutely! You may take any courses, except NURS 370 and NURS 376. We do have a second enrollment application you must submit when you are ready to take these two, final, senior-level nursing courses.

We try to offer courses in the daytime and in the evening. We pride ourselves on our efforts to accommodate the complex schedules of working R.N.s. We do not have a weekend program.

Yes. Prior to enrollment, our R.N. coordinator, Professor Donna Huntley-Newby, will assist you with course selection. You may contact her at 401-456-9673 or Once you are enrolled in the college you will be assigned a nursing faculty advisor.

If you are not enrolled in the college, you cannot enroll until the week before classes start. You should call the Records Office for a password (401-456-8213).

Program Details

Admission Requirements

Admission to the School of Nursing is a two-step process. First you must be admitted to the college. Once you have been admitted to the college, you can apply for admission to the School of Nursing.

Admission to the College

Submit a transfer application to Rhode Island College through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at and declare nursing as your major. Official transcripts (sealed) must be sent to the admissions office for review by a transfer counselor.  Once a complete review of your admissions materials has taken place, a letter will be sent to you advising you of their decision. You will be advised of the number of credits you can transfer to the college and will also be informed of the completion of math and writing requirements. It is important to note that if you are accepted you must submit the required acceptance fee before admission to the college can become official. After acceptance to the college:

  1. You must complete the Nursing R.N. to B.S.N. Enrollment Form signed by your faculty advisor and submit it to the School of Nursing by Nov. 15 or April 15 of the semester prior to senior coursework. 
  2. You must complete NURS 207, with a minimum grade of C.
  3. You must complete the College Mathematics and Writing Requirements.*
  4. You must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.50.
  5. You must have current R.N. licensure.

*Refer to the Rhode Island College Catalog for descriptions of the Math Competency and Writing Requirements.

Admission to the Zvart Onanian School of Nursing

You can apply for admission to the Zvart Onanian School of Nursing, provided the following additional requirements are met: 

  1. You have a GPA of 2.5.
  2. You have enrolled in or completed NURS 207, with a grade of C or better.
  3. You have completed the College Mathematics and Writing Requirements.
  4. You have submitted the Nursing R.N. to B.S.N. Enrollment Form. Please note that materials that must be submitted with the form include:
  • A current professional résumé that includes: prior education, employment experience, employment-related committees/activities, professional associations/honors, community service awards and publications/research/special projects (if applicable).
  • Proof of your current unrestricted R.N. licensure for the practice of nursing in Rhode Island. Visit
  • Even though official transcripts have been sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the department requires a second set of all transcripts for their department files. Student copies are acceptable.
  • A 2x2 color photo of yourself.

Only completed and signed packets will be accepted and must be submitted to the Onanian School of Nursing office. No email or faxed applications will be accepted.

Handbook for Undergraduate Students in Nursing

Health Requirements

Every year students must provide health services with evidence of a negative PPD test or compliance with treatment. Before beginning some clinical nursing courses, students may be expected to meet additional health requirements. All nursing students must have the following information on file in College Health Services:

  • An admission physical exam.
  • One dose of tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap).
  • Two doses of live measles vaccine (preferably MMR) or a blood titer confirming immunity.
  • Two doses of mumps vaccine (preferably MMR) or a blood titer confirming immunity.
  • One dose of rubella vaccine or a blood titer confirming immunity.
  • Three doses of hepatitis B vaccine. A hepatitis B surface antibody titer to confirm sero-conversion is recommended on-to-two months after the final dose.
  • Provider documented proof, including date or age, of chicken pox disease or a varicella titer confirming immunity or two doses of varicella vaccine.
  • An initial 2-step PPD** tuberculin skin test and yearly PPD updates (or chest x-ray if PPD positive and yearly TB assessment, which is completed at College Health Services).
  • Flu vaccine every Fall Semester.

*Health-care workers born on or before Dec. 31, 1956, are only required to have documentation of one dose each of measles, mumps and rubella or titers confirming immunity.

**2-Step PPD – two separate PPDs planted at least a week apart but not more than a year apart prior to entering into nursing clinical.

Download a printable copy of this checklist

Students will not be admitted to the first class meeting of a nursing practicum course without having complied with the health requirements. Proof of immunization may be obtained from your physician, high school, previous college or university, military record and/or from blood titers.

Nursing majors should follow the guidelines on the college immunization form or call College Health Services at 401-456-8055 for further information. Once all required information is complete, students may pick up their laminated identification cards at College Health Services.​

Program/Learning Goals

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Engage in continuous education in the arts and sciences to inform decision making as a professional nurse and member of a global society.
  • Apply concepts of leadership, quality and safety to improve health-care outcomes in a cost-effective, safe and caring organizational environment.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking in evaluating and integrating evidence and interprofessional perspectives to improve health-care outcomes.
  • Use patient care technologies, information systems and communication systems to facilitate safe, efficient and effective nursing practice.
  • Promote professional nursing practice that addresses policy development, legislative process, health care financing and reimbursement and political activism within an ethical framework.
  • Perform in the autonomous and collaborative role of the professional nurse to enhance the interprofessional team. 
  • Participate in activities that promote health, prevent illness and injury and provide population-focused interventions that provide effective, efficient and equitable health care.
  • Demonstrate professional behaviors that encompass accountability, responsibility, adherence to standards of moral, ethical and legal conduct and the pursuit of lifelong learning.
  • Possess the knowledge, skills and attitudes to provide nursing care in a variety of settings to a diverse group of patients of all ages, cultures, genders and religious backgrounds.

Writing in the Discipline

In what ways is writing important to your profession?

Writing is essential to communicating as a nurse. Professional nurses write as care givers, advocates, teachers, and researchers. Nurses write to provide high quality safe care to patients and communities, to propose improvements to health care delivery and to promote changes in health care policy.

Which courses are designated as satisfying the Writing in the Discipline (WID) requirement by your department? Why these courses?

NURS 225: Writing and Research in Nursing is the foundational WID course for the nursing major. In this course, students are introduced to the conventions of writing in nursing, APA formatting and the role of evidence-based nursing practice. All nursing courses that follow NURS 225 continue to develop students’ writing skills over time.

What forms or genres of writing will students learn and practice in your department’s WID courses? Why these genres?

The forms of writing taught in the nursing program are clinical writing (or workplace writing), academic writing and reflective writing. Through various types of clinical writing, including care plans, charting and discharge summaries, nurses describe and document patient care. Clinical writing may also include promotional materials and policies developed to serve groups and communities. Professional nurses use academic writing to disseminate new knowledge in the discipline and promote evidence-based practice. Reflective writing, such as journaling and informal responses, serve as a way to learn (“writing to learn”) and as a means to self-understanding and professional growth.

What kinds of teaching practices will students encounter in your department’s WID courses?

Some of the teaching practices students will encounter will be journaling, low-stakes and high-stakes writing assignments, peer reviews, scaffolded assignments and opportunities for revisions and incorporating feedback into later drafts.

When they’ve satisfied your department’s WID requirement, what should students know and be able to do with writing?

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Science in nursing, graduates will be able to: 

  • Effectively communicate in writing in the various professional nursing roles.
  • Accurately and precisely document professional practice in clinical settings.
  • Prepare thoughtful and effective research papers in the discipline of nursing.
  • Prepare oral and written presentations individually and collaboratively to achieve a specific purpose.
  • Engage in reflective writing for personal professional development​​​​​​.
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Program Director