A needed profession in need of new recruits

Nurses are in high demand. America’s aging population, an increasing focus on preventative care and wellness, recent healthcare reforms and practitioners retiring from the field are among the many factors accounting for the national shortage of registered nurses.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is widely considered a requirement for RNs seeking broader professional responsibilities and career opportunities. Our RN to BSN Completion Program — now housed in the John and Karen Arnold School of Nursing — is designed for registered nurses. It caters to graduates of diploma or associate degree nursing programs, whether new graduates just taking the NCLEX-RN examination or experienced RNs. Nursing classes are delivered in a semester-long or 7-week class mod format, scheduled throughout the year in a 100% online format. The course content is taught via innovative distance education technologies. A customized hybrid format is also offered if desired.

Getting Started

Where You Can Get a Degree

The RN-BSN program is available at the following Alvernia University campuses:

Admissions Requirements

Students are admitted to Alvernia University and are fully accepted in the RN to BSN Completion Program when the following documentation is submitted:

  • RN to BSN Completion Program application
  • Proof of high school completion: a copy of your high school transcript, diploma, or GED completion
  • Official transcript of college and/or diplomas school
  • Photocopy of current Pennsylvania Registered Nurse License (submit after NCLEX is completed)


Students may be admitted to the RN to BSN Completion Program prior to passing the NCLEX; however, students are not permitted to progress and register for the two clinical courses (NUR 403 & NUR 405) without a current and valid RN license.

Additional Academic Progression Policies:

  • Both theoretical and clinical components of the professional nursing courses must be satisfactorily completed
  • A grade of "C" or better in all nursing courses is required to progress through the RN to BSN Completion Program
Application Instructions

Through a rolling admission process, prospective students may apply to Alvernia at any time. Multiple start dates throughout the year allow accepted students to begin a program of study at an accommodating time. We continually review applications and accept students for each of the six term starts (August, October, February, March, May, and July).

Keeping on track is important throughout the process. We encourage you to work with an admission team member to submit all materials and meet all deadlines. Our dedicated team will work directly with you to identify the best options that work for you and your unique situation.

Once your application is complete, you will not have to wait long for a decision. We continually review applications and notify students as soon as a decision has been made.

To get started, visit our Adult Education Application page for a list of instructions and documents needed.

Financing Your Education

There are options to assist in financing your education and making the tuition affordable. Visit our financial aid page for a detailed overview of the process, including a link to complete the FAFSA application, as well as more information about the tuition payment plan and the tuition deferment program we offer. Alvernia’s Title IV code for the FAFSA is 003233. The Office of Student Financial Services is available to help with any questions you may have. Call 610-796-8201 or email sfs@alvernia.edu.

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Success Stories

Adult student at graduation
Longtime nurse returns to complete BSN
Alvernia graduate Cynthia Truscott '18 is proud of her accomplishments and what she has been able to provide for her family. The single mother of three adult children attended nursing school years ago and worked as a nurse for over 35 years.
Ettiena Britt | Class of 2020 | Nursing Student
Clinical experiences bolster confidence
Alvernia nursing student Ettieanna Britt ’20 credited her clinical experiences on a medical complexity unit, maternity unit, medical/surgical unit and in a long-term care facility with increasing both her skill-level and her confidence.
Tracy Scheirer
Longtime nurse lives her values beyond the classroom
A practicing nurse for more than 30 years, Tracy Scheirer lives her Franciscan values beyond the classroom.

Program Overview

Why Alvernia?
  • Alvernia University is a nationally ranked comprehensive regional university that has been a leader in adult education for over 35 years.
  • Flexible scheduling with evening classes and in-person, hybrid and online formats meets the needs of the busy adult learner.
  • Programs are offered at a growing number of convenient locations in Reading, Pottsville, and Philadelphia.
  • With world-class facilities and resources and a dedicated advisor team to help you balance your studies, family, financial and work demands, Alvernia is the ideal choice for your personal and educational comeback.

Our engaging, dynamic faculty members are the heart of Alvernia University. The program's faculty is comprised of accomplished full-time and adjunct professors from diverse nursing fields. Faculty members provide personal support to RN to BSN Completion Program degree students, and a team of professionals is available to help students with the online-classroom environment.

The RN to BSN courses are predominantly designed to be non-sequential. Lower level science and liberal arts courses may be transferred to Alvernia University from your basic entry-level program. Each student will be personally advised on what applies to Alvernia University’s graduation requirements.

Credit Breakdown:

  • Diploma or ADN: up to 90 transfer credits
  • Alvernia's Requirements: 25 of the last 60 credits must be taken at Alvernia University + a minimum of 25 Alvernia credits at the 300+ level

Liberal Arts Core (27 Credits):

  • Composition and Research (3 credits)
  • Communication (3 credits)
  • Art/Music (3 credits)
  • Literature (3 credits)
  • Mathematics - statistics required (3 credits)
  • History or Social Science (3 credits)
  • Philosophy (3 credits)
  • Philosophy/Theology (3 credits)
  • Medical Moral Theology (3 credits)

Upper Level Nursing Courses (31 credits):

  • NUR 303 Preparation for Professional Writing: 1 credit
  • NUR 307 Concepts and Theories: 3 credits
  • NUR 316 Health Assessment Across the Lifespan for Professional Nurses: 3 credits
  • NUR 318 Developing Cultural Competency and Global Awareness: 3 credits
  • NUR 320 Introduction to Healthcare Informatics: 3 credits
  • NUR 403 Health Restoration in the Aging Population: 6 credits**
  • NUR 405 Health Promotion in Families and Communities: 6 credits**
  • NUR 411 Nursing Leadership and Management: 3 credits
  • NUR 419 Research Methods for Professional Nurses: 3 credits

**Clinical-based course

In accordance with USDE Regulation 34 CFR 668.43 (a) (5) (v): The Alvernia University Nursing Curriculum meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification for all 50 states in the United States.

Experiential Learning Opportunities
  • Community agency networking
  • International real-world learning immersion experience (Ireland)
Program Accreditation
Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031, about the average for all occupations. The median annual wage in 2021 was $77,600.

  • Nurse manager
  • Nurse leader
  • Nurse navigator


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