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About the Program

The Southwest Minnesota State University RN to BSN Program (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) is an accredited baccalaureate nursing program with a framework of science and liberal arts plus specialized courses in leadership and management, healthcare delivery systems and informatics, community and public health nursing, nursing research, and evidence based practice. Throughout the curriculum, aspects of rural nursing flow through the course content. The RN students come to the program with real-world experiences and abilities that enhance their learning in and out of the classroom. BSN graduates emerge as nurse generalists with a strong foundation for developing specialized clinical practice and other advanced practice roles, functioning effectively in complex environments; demonstrating critical thinking and flexibility; and translating and applying knowledge to enhance patient care quality and safety.

Upon Successful completion of the NCLEX-RN exam and admission to the SMSU RN to BSN Program, students will be awarded credits for prior learning.

We are delighted you are interested in our RN to BSN Program at Southwest Minnesota State University.  The flexibility of the RN to BSN Program is designed to meet the needs of working RNs, with courses completely online.  Once students graduate from the RN to BSN Program, they will be eligible to register as a Public Health Nurse through the Minnesota Board of Nursing.

We are accepting applications for the Fall 2023/Spring 2024 session.  We would be glad to help you develop a plan of study that fits your needs.  THANKS for your interest in our program.


The mission of the SMSU Department of Nursing is to provide leadership in nursing education, scholarship, and practice that reflects cultural, ethical, and compassionate presence in the preparation of nurses that will serve with excellence in a diverse and ever-changing society.



Graduates of the RN to BSN program develop a holistic synthesis of nursing process, knowledge, skills, and attitudes for professional nursing practice. Graduates combine critical thinking, leadership skills, lifelong learning, healthcare information technology, community nursing process, and effective communication skills to provide nursing care for individuals, and families in rural/urban settings, global communities, and populations. The BSN graduate integrates liberal arts, culturally congruent care, nursing knowledge, evidence-based practice, and interprofessional collaboration with the healthcare team and community stakeholders through caring and ethical nursing practice. The graduate practices person-centered care, incorporating health promotion including self-care, preventative care, and safety to promote quality outcomes for all persons.

End of Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain the Scope and Standards of Practice and the Nursing Code of Ethics.
  2. Construct an appreciation of cultural diversity through a comprehensive cultural health assessment.
  3. Assess health through a comprehensive health assessment.
  4. Integrate data related to health and illness in rural and urban settings for nursing process application to meet diverse and unique needs of individuals, families, local/global communities, and populations. 
  5. Propose evidence-based resources in the community assessment process and propose person-centered health interventions.
  6. Analyze evidence to promote health, safety, and quality outcomes.
  7. Integrate informatics and technology to inform nursing practice.
  8. Analyze theory, while critically evaluating the context of rural and urban healthcare settings and influences on health disparities to improve health outcomes.
  9. Recommend theory, professional communications, interprofessional collaboration, evidence, and clinical reasoning to address common situations in quality care and healthcare system leadership.
  10. Take part in intra and interprofessional collaboration with community health stakeholders and team members.
  11. Combine the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of the BSN nurse through community health leadership. 

Integrating the SMSU RN to BSN program into my life was surprising very easy. The program is flexible so you can take as many or as little classes as you want at a time and you are able to adjust your plan as needed throughout the course of your program. Also, the instructors are nurses themselves and understand you are a working nurse and will work with you to adjust due dates if needed.

Melissa Gruhot


Learner Friendly RN to BSN Program

RN to BSN Program Courses and Learning Activities

Admission Requirements

  1. Apply for admission to SMSU
  2. Apply to RN to BSN Program

Additional Admission Requirements

  • Undergraduate Nursing GPA of 2.30 or greater
  • Current, unencumbered RN License (Associate Degree students may apply during their nursing program, with acceptance in the program contingent upon successful completion of the NCLEX-RN exam and nursing licensure.)

NOTE: No admission examination required and no NCLEX exam required upon graduation.

Requirements to Complete

All students must complete a total of 120 credits which must include completion of the following:

  • Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) consisting of 42 credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0
  • 40 credits at the 300-400 level
  • At least 30 credits at SMSU
  • All Liberal Education Program (LEP) graduation requirements


The SMSU RN to BSN Program is accredited through the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). SMSU and the Department of Nursing value the continued success of the RN to BSN Program and are pleased to share the respected notice of accreditation.

“The RN to BSN Program at Southwest Minnesota State University is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.”

ACEN Candidacy
Effective March 21, 2023, this nursing program is a candidate for initial accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.  This candidacy status expires on March 21, 2025.

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

Contact Information

RN to BSN Program

BA 237, Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State St.
Marshall, MN 56258

I would recommend the SMSU RN to BSN Program because it is a flexible schedule. It takes into account that we are working nurses that have families and we are able to work as fast or as slow as we want.

Kristin Adams, Class of 2015

Last Modified: 9/1/23 10:05 AM | Website Feedback