Bachelor of Science in Nursing: RN to BS Degree Completion Option

Attention Licensed RN's -

UMass Lowell's part-time Bachelor of Science in Nursing - RN to BS Degree Completion Option is available on campus, online, and in a "blended" online / on-campus format - making it more convenient than ever for licensed RN's to earn their Bachelor's Degree part-time.

This Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Completion Option has been developed specifically for licensed RNs by the University's Department of Nursing which is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), and it is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (BORN).

Affordable tuition:

  • Face-to-face courses are $335 per credit
  • Blended courses are $335 per credit
  • Online courses are $365 per credit

Students completing their degree will be able to take many of their non-nursing electives in a totally online format, or on campus if preferred.

Please note, because the blended nursing courses combine both online and face-to-face class sessions, this program is not recommended for individuals living outside of a 60 mile radius of Lowell, MA.

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education logo UMass Lowell's Department of Nursing is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), and it is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (BORN).

PLAN OF STUDY - TOTAL CREDITS: 120

Credit for RN Licensure: 30 credits

Thirty credits are awarded to nurses with a current RN license, providing their license has not been revoked, suspended, or made probationary as a result of disciplinary action.

Prerequisite Foundation Courses: 33 credits

Many RNs will have completed some of the following courses as part of their Associate's degree work and can transfer them into UMass Lowell, providing they meet the University's guidelines for transfer credit. Note: Completion of these prerequisite courses is required before you can enroll in the Required Nursing Courses.

  1. ___ 35.101 Human Anatomy & Physiology I (3cr)
  2. ___ 35.103 Human Anatomy & Physiology Lab I (1cr)
  3. ___ 35.102 Human Anatomy & Physiology II (3cr)
  4. ___ 35.104 Human Anatomy & Physiology Lab II (1cr)
  5. ___ 42.101 College Writing I (3cr)
  6. ___ 42.102 College Writing II (3cr)
  7. ___ 47.101 General Psychology (Gen. Ed.) SS (3cr)
  8. ___ 48.101 Intro to Sociology (Gen. Ed.) SS (3cr)
  9. ___ 92.283 Intro to Statistics (3cr)
  10. ___ 47.260 Child & Adolescent Development (Gen. Ed.) SS (3cr)
  11. ___ 35.211 Basic Microbiology (3cr)
  12. ___ 35.213 Basic Microbiology Lab (1cr)
  13. ___ 30.306 Intro to Gerontology (3cr) - may also be completed by a course equivalency exam administered by Excelsior College

Required Nursing Courses: 27 credits

Once students begin the nursing courses, they proceed through the program as part of a cohort.

The following courses must be completed at UMass Lowell

Take the following four courses first:

  1. 33.103 Academic Strategies: Portfolio & Seminar (1cr)
  2. 33.301 Research in Nursing and Health Care (3cr)
  3. 33.306 Health Assessment (3cr)
  4. 33.307 Concepts for Baccalaureate Nursing (3cr)

Once you have completed the four nursing courses above, continue with the following selection of nursing courses:

  1. 33.308 Health Promotion in Nursing (2cr)
  2. 33.309 Health Promotion Practicum (3cr/9 contact hours)*
  3. 33.320 Community-Focused Health and Policy (3cr)
  4. 33.324 Community-Focused Project Implementation (2cr)
  5. 33.325 Community-Focused Project Dissemination (1cr)
  6. 33.420 Leadership in Nursing (3cr)
  7. 33.421 Selected Topics in Nursing (3cr)

*Tuition for this course is calculated based on contact hours due to the highly individualized, clinical nature of the course.

Electives: 30 credits

The following electives can be taken through UMass Lowell's Online and Continuing Education program as online or on campus courses.

  1. ___ __.___ Approved Sociology/Psychology Elective (3cr)
  2. ___ __.___ Approved Technology/Informatics Course
                       or College of Health Sciences (CHS) Elective (3cr)
  3. ___ __.___ Arts & Humanities Elective (Gen Ed: AH) (3cr)
  4. ___ __.___ Arts & Humanities Elective (Gen Ed: AH) (3cr)
  5. ___ __.___ Arts & Humanities Elective (Gen Ed: AH) (3cr)
  6. ___ __.___ Free Elective (3cr)
  7. ___ __.___ Free Elective (3cr)
  8. ___ __.___ Free Elective (3cr)
  9. ___ __.___ Free Elective (3cr)
  10. ___ __.___ Free Elective (3cr)

While most of the upper-level nursing courses are offered in a blended format, non-nursing free elective courses (and any additional general education courses that the student may need to complete) can be taken in an entirely online or face-to-face format, offering increased convenience for busy RNs.

Some Approved Sociology/Psychology Electives:

Any of the following courses may be used to fulfill the Approved Sociology/ Psychology Elective. Other courses may qualify - please check with your advisor for additional Sociology/Psychology Electives.

  • 47.272 Abnormal Psychology
  • 47.335 Psychology and Women
  • 47.355 Sports and Exercise Psychology
  • 47.360 Adult Development & Aging
  • 47.363 Introduction to Disability Studies

Some Approved College of Health Sciences (CHS) Electives:

Any of the following may be used to fulfill the College of Health Sciences (CHS) Elective. Other courses may qualify - please check with your advisor for additional CHS Electives.

  • 30.320 Legal Issues in Nursing
  • 31.201 Community Health & Environment
  • 35.206 Human Nutrition
  • 84.121 and 84.123 Chemistry I and Lab (for students considering Master’s level education)

Admission Requirements

Admission to this degree completion option is open to Massachusetts licensed RNs, providing their license has not been revoked, suspended, or made probationary as result of a disciplinary action. Registered nurses transferring their prior college-level Nursing courses must have received a minimum 2.7 GPA in their prior nursing courses, science courses, and for their cumulative average.

Note: A maximum of 45 credits may be transfered from another institution of higher education to this program (60 credits for those who have completed a prior bachelor's degree). 30 credits are awarded for having a current MA nursing license. At least 30 credits towards this program must be completed at UMass Lowell.

Course Descriptions

33.103 Academic Strategies: Portfolio and Seminar

Nursing students with a diploma in nursing, associate degree in nursing, or second baccalaureate degree will submit a portfolio to demonstrate how they have met the course objectives. The portfolio will show evidence of goal setting and time management, UML library orientation for literature searches, understanding of academic integrity and writing and referencing using APA style. Students will participate in seminar(s) on communication, cultural sensitivity , and conflict resolution. 1 credits.

33.301 Research in Nursing and Health Care

This course provides an overview of the research process. Health care research interests and the methodology of various disciplines are examined. Through a review of research studies, students examine the basic steps in the process of research. Ethical problems in the world of research are explored and students learn how research influences health care practice and policy. 3 credits. Prerequisite: Pre or co-requisite: 92.283 Introduction to Statistics.

33.306 Health Assessment

This combined didactic and laboratory course builds on the students' professional nursing education and experiences through the inclusion of health assessment information as applied to the professional nursing role in the community setting. Emphasis is on systematic data collection including thorough history taking, physical examination, screening and risk-factor recognition. 3 credits.

33.307 Concepts for Baccalaureate Nursing

This course is designated as a transition course for registered nurse students pursuing a baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing. This course aims to refine critical thinking skills and analyze nursing's unique contribution to health care. Consideration is given to the interrelationships of theory, research, and practice. Special emphasis is placed on the concepts of health promotion and risk reduction as they relate to individuals and families who are at risk for or experiencing health problems. This course includes a practicum component that focuses on the development of interventions to promote the health of individuals and families at risk. 3 credits.

33.308 Health Promotion in Nursing

This course is designed as a transition course for registered nurse students pursuing a baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing. It introduces the theory and research related to the concepts of health/ promotion and risk reduction. These concepts are presented as essential components of professional nursing practice. This course includes a clinical practicum which focuses on the development of interventions to promote the health of individuals and families. This course aims to refine critical thinking skills and analyze nursing's unique contribution to health care. Consideration is given to the interrelationships of theory, research and practice. 2 credits. Prerequisite: Academic Plan Nursing (BS); RN’s only. Co-requisite: 33.309

33.309 Health Promotion Practicum

This course is a clinical practicum which focuses on the development of interventions to promote the health of individuals and families. This course aims to refine critical thinking skills and analyze nursing's unique contribution to health care. Consideration is given to the interrelationships of theory, research and practice. 3 credits. Prerequisite: Academic Plan Nursing (BS); RN’s only. Co-requisite: 33.308 Special Notes: Tuition for this course is calculated at a rate based on 9 contact hours due to the highly individualized, self-paced clinical nature of the course.

33.320 Community-Focused Health and Policy

This course provides a foundation to community health nursing with the community, family and individual as Client. This course presents an overview of the US health care delivery system with an emphasis on the role of government in healthcare, Medicaid, and current efforts at healthcare reform. 3 credits. Prerequisite: Academic Plan Nursing (BS); RN’s only.

33.324 Community-Focused Project Implementation

This course focuses on improving the health of one aspect of the community. Students analyze health problems in identified communities. Interventions for community as client are developed and implemented and the effectiveness of applied interventions in evaluated. 2 credits. Prerequisite: Academic Plan Nursing (BS); RN’s only.

33.325 Community-Focused Project Dissemination

This one credit course focuses on the dissemination of the results of a community based program. Students develop presentations which describe methods used to identify, intervene and evaluate the health problems of a community. Students are required to present their findings at a formal dissemination venue identified by faculty. 1 credits. Prerequisite: Academic Plan Nursing (BS); RN’s only

33.420 Leadership in Nursing

This course focuses on leadership roles, responsibilities, and opportunities for the professional nurse. Course content includes professional issues, trends, and leadership and managerial principles pertinent to healthcare and nursing practice. Students explore professional perspectives, norms, and ethical standards essential in values-driven management and leadership. 3 credits. Prerequisite: Academic Plan Nursing (BS); RN’s only.

33.421 Selected Topics in Nursing

Selected Topics in Nursing is a course for advanced undergraduates in the RN-BS option. The content will vary from semester to semester depending on the research interest of the faculty member(s) teaching the course. 3 credits. Prerequisite: Academic Plan Nursing (BS); RN’s only.

Apply to the Program

Apply Online! Note: Please see Admission Requirements below. Questions about applying? Call Stephanie Lane at (978) 934-4776 or email Stephanie_Lane@uml.edu.

Register for Courses

Approximately 2 months prior to the start of each semester, Online and Continuing Education posts the new course schedule to the website. Once you've decided which course(s) you would like to take, returning students can register using ISIS self-service, while new students must use the online Non Degree Registration Form.

To register for the nursing courses, complete the Non Degree Registration Form and fax it to Stephanie Lane at (978) 934-2159.

Contact Information

For general assistance regarding this part-time degree completion option, please email or call Stephanie Lane at Stephanie_Lane@uml.edu or (978) 934-4776.

For academic advising on this program, please contact Professor Jennifer Wilber at (978) 934-3671 or by email (preferred) at Jennifer_Wilber@uml.edu

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