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An online program for registered nurses who want to earn a bachelor's degree in as little as one year.

Program Type


Semester Start

Fall, Spring

Study Options

Online, On Campus

Minimum Duration

1 Year

UMass Boston’s RN-BS program focuses on preparing you to earn your bachelor of science in nursing in as few as three semesters. It’s designed for registered nurses (RNs) who have an associates degree in nursing or a diploma from a hospital school program but want to add a bachelor’s degree to their résumé. Take advantage of 100% online classes with optional synchronized classes that allow you to meet virtually with faculty and fellow classmates. Students who live in the area have the option to take on campus courses at Cape Cod Community College. In lieu of a clinical requirement, apply what you learn in the program to complete a service learning project in your community.

The RN-BS degree program in nursing is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Ranked as one of the Best Online Bachelor's Programs by U.S. News & World Report.


  • To complete this program, 120 credits are required. Includes five 6-credit Nursing major courses, or 30 credits.
  • Online tuition is $370 per credit.
  • Estimated tuition cost* is $11,100 (with the maximum of 90 credits transferred) to $28,860 (with the minimum of 42 credits from earning an RN transferred) (for first-year entry, in-state residents).
  • Other fees as applicable.

* Estimate is based on completing the program by minimum duration. Other fees may apply. Request Info to connect with a program representative for further details.


  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for fall and spring semesters. The application deadlines are:
    • June 15 for the Fall semester (September start date) 
    • December 15 for the Spring semester (January start date)
    • The on-campus program at Cape Cod Community College only admits students for the spring semester. Request Info for more details.

Admission Criteria

  • Completion of an accredited associate degree in nursing program or a hospital school diploma program.
  • Current, valid license to practice as a Registered Nurse in the state of residence.
  • A GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Current citizen or permanent resident of the United States of America**

How to Apply

Students New to UMass Boston:

  • If you have never been admitted or matriculated into a degree program at UMass Boston, you may apply to the RN-BS Program herePlease note: if you have taken classes as a continuing education or non-degree student at UMass Boston, you are still considered a “new” student and should apply through Undergraduate Admissions.
  • The following application materials must be submitted:
    • Completed Undergraduate Admissions Application
    • Application fee: $60.00
    • Official, sealed transcripts from all colleges and schools attended AFTER the completion of high school/GED (even if the coursework completed does not pertain to nursing)
    • Note: Applicants DO NOT need to supply their high school transcripts.
  • Application materials should be mailed to:
    • Office of Undergraduate Admissions
      University of Massachusetts Boston
      100 Morrissey Boulevard
      Boston, MA 02125-3393
  • After you apply to the program, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will mail you a letter containing an ID Number and pin code. You can use the ID Number and pin code online to review your Application Status. If you have any questions about your application or the application process, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Former UMass Boston Students:

  • If you were previously admitted to a degree program at UMass Boston, your application process is different than what is listed above. Please select whichever of the following options applies to you and follow the instructions below.
    • Formerly matriculated students who did not receive a degree
      • If you were admitted to a degree program at UMass Boston but did not receive a degree, please complete the Readmission Application form from the Office of the Registrar. 
    • Students who received a previous Bachelor’s degree from UMass Boston
      • If you have earned a previous Bachelor’s degree from UMass Boston, you may apply by submitting a Second Degree Application available from the Office of the Registrar.
  • Please mail either completed application, and official, sealed transcripts from any colleges attended after graduating from UMass Boston, to:
    • RN-BS Program, CNHS
      University of Massachusetts Boston
      100 Morrissey Boulevard
      Boston, MA  02125-3393

Required Courses (30 credits):

  • Professional Issues in Nursing for RNs (NURSNG 360)
    In this course, you’ll focus on core concepts of professional nursing practice, including human beings, environment, health, and nursing. Increase your critical thinking, reading, and writing skills while addressing the key issues facing nursing. Important health care competencies and concepts, including patient-centered care, teamwork and collaboration, safety, quality improvement, evidence-based practice, and informatics, are established. Historical, theoretical, and professional membership perspectives are emphasized.
  • Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice (NURSNG 362)
    Focus on understanding the conceptual, theoretical, and empirical components of research. You’ll be prepared to evaluate reports of nursing research for evidence-based nursing practice. You’ll assess websites and peer-reviewed journals as sources of evidence and as sources of action plans to promote EBP. You’ll evaluate evidence for clinical practice and apply scientific findings to treat specific patient problems.
  • Health Assessment and Promotion (NURSNG 361)
    In this course, you’ll focus on health assessment in professional nursing practice, health promotion, and disease prevention across the lifespan. This course emphasizes clinical decision-making and communication of comprehensive assessment. You’ll refine your written, oral, and information technology skills in health assessment. Cultural, spiritual, and family assessments from multiple theoretical perspectives are considered. You’ll explore issues of genetics, health literacy, patient assessments in chronic illness, and health issues with particular attention to health care issues of elders.
  • Community Health for Registered Nurses (NURSNG 461)
    In this course, you’re presented with clinical prevention interventions for health promotion and disease prevention. Population-focused care emphasizing community assessments and interventions and culturally sensitive care in urban settings provides a focus. Advocating for social and environmental justice while protecting vulnerable populations in disasters is also explored. You’ll be required to participate in a service-learning project during the semester.
  • Legal, Ethical, and Health Policy and Capstone for RNs (NURSNG 462)
    This course integrates ethical, legal, and health policy issues in contemporary Nursing. The major ethical principles, several ethical theories and conceptual frameworks, as well as ethical decision-making models are reviewed. You’ll analyze the ANA Code of Ethics with interpretive statements in relation to individual practice settings and the nursing profession. You’ll discuss legal implications related to providing nursing care, particularly examples of malpractice, how a bill becomes law, and the legislative process. You’ll develop a position paper in memo format on a health policy issue including integration of relevant ethical, legal, legislative, and economic implications. You’ll be responsible for a Capstone paper that presents analysis of individual case studies from the your professional clinical experience integrating concepts of ethical reasoning, policy formation, and legal processes.

Transfer Credits:

  • The program accepts up to 90 transfer credits (42 of which are awarded for RN licensure). 
  • Courses should transfer to UMass Boston under the following conditions:
  • Statistics and General Education Elective Courses must be a C- or higher to receive transfer credits. 
  • Health Science, Human Growth and Development through the Lifespan must be a grade of C or higher.

Other degree requirements:

  • Successful completion of UMass Boston’s General Education and Elective Requirements.
  • All health science prerequisites (via transfer, equivalent NLN exam, or courses taken at UMass Boston)

At the end of this program, you’ll be awarded a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The degree will demonstrate your expertise in the field on your résumé, as well as in interviews and workplace evaluations. After earning your bachelor's degree in nursing, you have the option of applying to UMass Boston's Nursing MS program.

Recent Graduates

Employers include:

Brigham and Women's Hospital       Boston Children's Hospital

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston Medical Center

VA Medical CentersVA Medical Centers

Why UMass Boston Online?


Among the lowest online tuition rates of an accredited, public research university.


Study full-time to finish fast, or part-time to suit your schedule. Live sessions scheduled with the working professional in mind.


The same courses taught by the same academic departments as on campus. No third-party providers.

Learn More

Get the inside scoop on the program and connect with the people who run it.

Nursing RN-BS