RN to BSN/MSN Pathway

Nurse Manager standing in hospital smiling


Registered nurses who have a diploma or an associate’s degree may find it useful professionally to obtain a master’s degree.

Students in the RN to BSN/MSN program at the University of South Alabama are on track to earn both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Phase One requirements culminate in a bachelor’s degree, and Phase Two in a master’s degree.

This program is offered entirely online. Students may continue to work while pursuing their degrees.  Although classes are offered online, faculty members are available to students via phone and email.

Faculty Coordinators can help students recognize the study area that best suits them, enabling students to follow their passion — often the key to success.

▼   Phase One: BSN Degree

The RN to BSN prerequisites consists of eighteen (18) courses, totaling 59 credit hours. These general education courses may be completed at any regionally accredited institution. They must be successfully completed before admission to the Professional Component.

Written Communication
English Composition I 3 credit hours
English Composition II 3 credit hours
Humanities & Fine Arts 
Fine Arts (Select from: Music, Drama, or Art) 3 credit hours
*Literature elective (Examples: American, British, or World) 3 credit hours
Humanities elective (See options below) 3 credit hours
Humanities elective (See options below) 3 credit hours
Humanities Electives include: Second Literature for Required Sequence, or Philosophy, Foreign Language, Music, Art, Drama, Communications, or Religion
History/Social and Behavioral Sciences
Introduction to Psychology or Psychology Elective 3 credit hours
*History elective (US, World or Western Civilization) 3 credit hours
History/Social/Behavioral Science elective (See options below) 3 credit hours
History/Social/Behavioral Science elective (See options below) 3 credit hours
Electives: Second History for required sequence, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Geography, Criminal Justice, Economics, or Anthropology)
Natural Sciences & Mathematics
College Algebra, Finite Math, or Pre-Calculus 3 credit hours
Chemistry with a Lab OR Biology with a Lab 4 credit hours
Take a Second Natural Science with a Lab 4 credit hours (See options below)
Natural Science with Lab includes any of the following: Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics,  or Astronomy.
Additional Pre-Nursing Requirements
Microbiology with Lab 4 credit hours
Human Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab 4 credit hours
Human Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab 4 credit hours
Statistics 3 credit hours
Computer Elective 3 credit hours
Total Credits 59

*Required Sequence: All students must complete one History elective and one Literature elective. In addition, you must also complete a second History or second Literature to complete a two course sequence in either History or Literature, in the same exact subject.

Professional Component for the RN-BSN/MSN Pathway

  1. The Professional Component consists of six (6) fully online nursing courses for a total of 24 credit hours.
  2. These courses must be completed at the University of South Alabama.
  3. Upper division nursing courses taken at another institution will not transfer or apply toward the 24 credit hours required to earn the BSN degree at USA.
  4. Students proceed through the six online nursing courses at their desired pace.
  5. The Professional Component may be completed in a minimum of two (2) semesters.
  6. The Professional Component must be completed within five (5) years of beginning the BSN curriculum.

Professional Component Course Work – 24 Total Credit Hours

  • NU 450 Leadership & Management Roles for Professional Nursing Practice (4 credit hours)
  • NU 451 Current Issues and Trends in Professional Nursing Practice (4 credit hours)
  • NU 452 Clinical Prevention and Population Health (4 credit hours)
  • NU 453 Information Management and Technology in Healthcare (4 credit hours)
  • NU 454 Research and Evidence Based Practice Practicum (4 credit hours)
  • NU 455 Concepts of Interprofessional Practice
▼   Phase Two: MSN Degree

Phase Two of the Online RN-BSN/MSN Pathway is the Graduate Phase. As the student nears completion of their BSN degree at USA, qualified students who plan to advance to Phase Two, are required to submit the College of Nursing Supplemental Application by the posted MSN application deadline. Please contact the Graduate Advisors at congradapp@southalabama.edu for additional information regarding this application process.

MSN Specialties

Students may pursue the following specialties: Nursing Informatics, Executive Nursing Administration, Clinical Nurse Leader, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult/Gerontological Nursing or Nurse Practitioner specialty options. Students who wish to pursue nurse practitioner preparation must obtain a minimum of 2 years of clinical experience before beginning the specialty courses  and have a competitive overall undergraduate GPA to compete for a seat in the NP program. All courses for the MSN degree are offered online. Clinical requirements are completed in facilities following an approval process.

  • Nursing Informatics
  • Nursing Administration
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist-AG
  • Adult-Geron Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Geron Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric (Family) Nurse Practitioner
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Geron Acute Care NP)
  • Dual Role (Family NP/Emergency NP)

To preview all the specialties for the MSN degree, please see the MSN Specialties webpage.

MSN Graduation

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree is awarded at the successful completion of Phase Two. Students MUST apply for graduation to be awarded their MSN degree at the end of Phase Two. Applications for Graduation are found on the Registrar’s website.

Contact Information

Dr. Pam Johnson - Program Coordinator 
Email: Conrn2bsn@southalabama.edu

Leigh Holland - RN-BSN Academic Advisor
Email: Conrn2bsn@southalabama.edu


Application Information