RN to BS in Nursing Program
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
I am currently in my last few months of a Diploma/Associate Degree in Nursing program. My understanding is the application deadline is in May. I will graduate in June and hope to take and pass NCLEX in August. Can I apply to the program before I graduate?
Yes. We welcome graduating nurses. As long as you meet the admission criteria and graduate on time, we will work with you to submit the necessary documents prior to the start of the semester.
When I apply, should I submit the transcript from my current nursing program now or when I complete in June?
Both. You will need to submit an official transcript now so your application can be
reviewed and again, after you graduate.
My current GPA is a 2.9 (below the admission criteria outlined on the website) but the grading system at my school is different from other universities. Should I bother to apply?
Although the GPA earned in your nursing program is important, we will review the school grading scale when your transcript is reviewed and other college and work experience when we review your application.
Can I apply to the program before I pass NCLEX? What if I do not pass NCLEX?
Yes. As long as you pass NCLEX prior to the start of the fall semester and provide us with documentation (and eventually, New Jersey license).
I graduated from an International Nursing School/College and am a licensed New Jersey registered nurse. Can I apply to this program? Is it a “good fit” for me?
International students are welcome and encouraged to apply. If a credentialing evaluation of your international transcript has not yet been completed, the School of Nursing recommends World Education Services (WES). A WES credential evaluation allows admissions officers to better understand and provide credit for degrees, courses and grades earned outside the US. In the absence of a WES, the admissions officers and program directors will do their best to evaluate your transcript and provide credit for the work completed.
I am looking at a few RN to BS programs and would like someone to review my transcript to see which courses will transfer before I accept admission. Will someone review my transcripts prior to admission?
Currently, we review transcripts and develop an individualized academic plan with each student upon admission. We recommend, however, you look at the Rutgers School of Nursing curriculum to see which courses you anticipate will transfer. Also, be sure to submit official transcripts from all of the colleges you have attended so we have that information in order to develop a plan that is appropriate, timely and individualized.
I graduated from an Associate Degree program 10 years ago. Do I have to retake my sciences?
No. As long as an acceptable grade was earned and the science course has the appropriate number of credits, we permit transfer of all science courses, regardless of how long ago they were taken.
I am currently enrolled in another RN to BS program and would like to transfer to Rutgers? Will you accept nursing credits as part of the 30 credit residency requirements?
Transfer of credits from another RN to BS in Nursing Program will be reviewed on an individual basis. None of the clinical courses (which include the didactic and clinical courses combined) can be transferred. Students who are able to transfer in Core Nursing course credits, however, are still required to meet the 30-credit residency requirements to earn a degree from Rutgers University.
I have a Bachelor’s degree from another university. Does that help me meet some of the general education requirements?
Yes. This is particularly important for students who attended a Diploma program. Please make sure you submit official transcripts from all of the colleges you have attended so we have that information when we develop an academic plan with you.
I see something that says “a minimum 30 credit residency” is required at Rutgers. What does that mean?
Rutgers requires at least 30-credits be earned at Rutgers University to confer a degree. Therefore, if a student transfers to the RN program having earned credits for a number of the prerequisite courses and perhaps, also a few of the core RN nursing courses, you will have to work with the faculty advisors to make sure you earn at least 30-credits at Rutgers.
What if I already have a degree from Rutgers? Do I still need to take another 30 credits at Rutgers?
Yes. The credits earned for your previous degree do not count as part of the 30-credits in residency requirement.
I see there are clinical practicums. How does that work? Do I have to find my own clinical site and/or preceptor?
There are two clinical courses in the program: Community Health Promotion and Leadership and Management Practicum. Each requires a total of 84 clinical hours facilitated by a clinical preceptor as well as face-to-face meetings with a Rutgers clinical instructor. Clinical at this level, however, is different from what you are familiar with in your nursing program. The clinical experience is designed to expose the student to new and different aspects of the professional nursing role. You may select a “hands-on” experience at a community health clinic or perhaps, provide patient education, help develop policies, or work with a nurse administrator. We envision this experience as a way to expose you to areas of nursing with which you may not yet be familiar, or perhaps, ones you may be interested in pursuing.
The program is primarily on-line, but I see there are some face-to-face and hybrid classes? What percentage of my coursework will be on-line?
This is a difficult question to answer and varies based on the student, previous education, and what credits transfer to our nursing program. The majority of the Core Nursing Courses for the RN to BS Program are on-line. The Health Assessment course is on-line, but has a lab component that meets every other week for 4 hours in the evening. Community Health Promotion and Leadership and Management Practicum have face-to-face “post-conference” meetings every other week for 3 hours in the evening. Currently, we offer face-to-face meeting on the Newark and New Brunswick campuses.
If desired, Basic Nursing Courses can be taken with the generic and/or second degree students. These courses, however, are predominantly face-to-face (some are hybrid, but most are face-to-face). Therefore, should you need to take one of these courses it will require you to arrange to be in classes on those dates and times.
Will the School of Nursing accept CLEP examination credits?
Absolutely. Students are welcome to look at the available CLEP examinations, take and transfer credits to help expedite their progression through the program as long as proficiency is earned for the required course(s).
I have been a nurse for 15 years. Is there a way to “test-out” of some of the Basic Nursing Courses rather than take them?
For students who have not earned enough nursing credits to complete the 40 credit requirement for the Basic Nursing Courses, the School of Nursing offers several proficiency (challenge) examinations. This has been helpful for self-directed students to show proficiency in areas required as part of the BS in Nursing Program at Rutgers.
After I am admitted, can I still take courses at the Community College (like the general education courses I am missing)?
We understand education is a huge investment and want to keep your Rutgers education as affordable as possible. During individual advisement, we work with each student to develop an academic plan that can incorporate community college courses for transfer. Attending face-to-face classes at the Community College is often easier for students and, since the majority of Rutgers general education classes take place during the day, this can be difficult for working professionals with families.
I see your program allows undergraduate students to take graduate courses. How does that work?
The Rutgers RN to BS Program is designed to jump-start your professional and educational career. Students in good academic standing can earn up to 12-graduate credits during the undergraduate program. Again, which courses to take and how they work with your individual plan varies. We will work with you to establish a plan that is appropriate and works for you. Sometimes that means a student will take all 4 graduate courses before they graduate, whereas others realize only one or two courses are appropriate for the degree they wish to pursue.
How long do I have to complete the program?
Currently, students have up to 7 years to complete the program from the time of admission. We have students who are able to attend full-time and finish the program in 4 semesters however it may take longer. Although we understand the demands of work, life, etc., we will encourage you to continue to move forward in a timely fashion. We value the importance of Baccalaureate education and want to ensure you are successful in meeting your goal.
I have reviewed my transcript and it looks like I need to take almost all the General Education courses. Should I apply now, or wait?
If you are missing more than 4-5 General Education/Nursing Science courses, it is often better to take several of those courses at the Community College prior to applying. If not (and you plan to take courses at the Community College) you may find yourself in a cumbersome situation where you are going in and out of the program, and filling out readmission paperwork and waiting for it to be processed. If you plan to take at least 2 courses a semester, you can usually remain a current student in our program while you take courses at the Community College (take one course at Rutgers, take the other course at the Community College).