Earn the BSN you need to stay competitive in a changing workplace.
In February 2015, a study published in Nursing Economics found that the percentage of BSN-prepared nurses is increasing while the employment of associate degree nurses is decreasing. Soon, a BSN will be the standard for all nurses who desire job security and opportunities for career advancement.
Here is a convenient way to earn your bachelor of science in nursing degree online—at your pace, on your schedule, using knowledge you already have.
Now offered in the self-paced, competency-based UW Flexible Option format, the UW-Milwaukee College of Nursing RN to BSN program is for nurses with associate degrees who would like to earn a baccalaureate degree while still having time for work and family.
(For more about the challenges and opportunities facing nurses today, see our blog post, “Wall Street Journal Reports on Nurses’ Struggle as More Hospitals Require BSNs.”)
Who Should Apply
The UW Flexible Option is especially designed for self-motivated nontraditional students who want their previous schooling, work skills, and prior knowledge to apply toward degrees or certificates. The competency-based and self-paced format of the UW Flexible Option fits the schedules of students who must balance work and family responsibilities with educational goals. Because most UW Flexible Option competencies and assessments are delivered online, students have the opportunity to learn when and where they choose.
This self-paced online nursing degree is ideal for students who:
- Hold an unencumbered RN license in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, or Iowa
- Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher and graduated from an associate-degree program in nursing or diploma program in nursing
- Have work experience as a registered nurse
- Are motivated, disciplined self-starters who can work independently
- Desire the prestige and value of a University of Wisconsin degree
About UW-Milwaukee College of Nursing
The UWM College of Nursing is in the top 15% of nursing programs in the nation (according to U.S. News & World Report graduate rankings). UWM faculty lead the nation in cutting-edge research in a some areas including self-management, geriatric health, global health, healthcare delivery and development and community-engaged health research. As the largest nursing program in Wisconsin, the college is also exceptionally proud of its more than 9,000 alumni who provide quality evidence-based care, inspiring education, exceptional research, and administrative leadership to improve healthcare nationally and across the globe.
The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at UW-Milwaukee is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The program is also approved by the State of Wisconsin Board of Nursing.
To earn this degree, you will students must fulfill the general education requirements necessary for a UWM bachelor’s degree, elective requirements, and the unique courses that define this online nursing degree.
- Total degree credits required: 124
- You will be given a minimum of 60 credits for your general education and nursing courses earned in your associate degree in nursing (ADN) or nursing diploma program.
- A program plan will be developed just for you in which you will know what courses you will have to complete in the liberal arts and in nursing.
Advanced Nursing Courses (21 Credits)
NURS 407x – Foundations of Professional Nursing Practice (3 credits)
- Philosophical perspectives, theories, and standards are applied to the practice of professional nursing. Factors influencing nursing/healthcare delivery are analyzed. Professional communication skills are enhanced. Is a writing emphasis course.
NURS 441x – Chronic Care Management (3 credits)
- Exploration of interaction of biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors important to understanding management of chronic conditions at the individual, family, community, and societal levels.
NURS 446x – Research and Evidence Based Practice (3 credits)
- This course introduces the importance of research to improve clinical practice, strategies to evaluate the quality of research and evidence, and increase integration of research into practice.
NURS 447x – Leadership and Management (3 credits)
- Examines nursing leadership and management using relevant theories and concepts. Analyze decision-making in relation to communication, delegation, supervision and group process.
NURS 453x – Information Management and Healthcare Technology (3 credits)
- Utilize computer and information/decision science to support quality and safety in healthcare. Explore informatics issues and examine nursing’s role in healthcare technology. Opportunities to use and master various healthcare technologies and healthcare data will be given.
NURS 454x – Community Health Nursing (3 credits)
- Nursing care of populations and communities to facilitate optimal health outcomes.
NURS 445x – Capstone/Practicum for Registered Nurses (3 credits)
- A clinical experience applying core competencies to clinical practice.
Advanced Nursing Electives (minimum of 9 credits)
NURS 316x – Palliative Care (3 credits)
- This set focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary to provide professional competent care to those with life limiting conditions; develop system thinking skills that offer enhancements to quality of life; and demonstrates a leadership role in facilitating learning for those who are involved in life-limiting illness care.
NURS 317x – Health Assessment (3 credits)
- A focus on the knowledge and skills necessary to perform a complete health assessment of individuals of all ages and cultures. Emphasis is on extended knowledge as well as the cultural and holistic perspectives of health assessment as an essential component of nursing practice.
NURS 365x – Global Health: Ethics & Human Rights (3 credits)
- Examines the broad field of global health from an ethical and human rights perspective. Students will be expected to analyze the role of nursing in addressing global health inequities.
NURS 375x- Genetics and Genomics for Health Professionals (3 credits)
- This set emphasizes the relationship between the science of genetics, the study of genomes and application of these concepts by healthcare providers in the screening, assessment, diagnosis, treatment and evaluation of patients.
NURS 448x – Mental Health Nursing Across the Care Continuum (3 credits)
- Focus on the knowledge and skills necessary for providing professional nursing care to individuals, groups, and families affected by mental illness in any setting.
General Education & Elective
- English Composition II: 3 credits
- Humanities: 3-6 credits
- Arts: 0-3 credits
- History: 3 credits
Social Science: 9 credits
- Psych 101
- Growth & Development
Natural/Biological Sciences: 21 credits
- Biochemistry (or alternate science course)
- Anatomy & Physiology I and II
Electives: 19-25 credits
Cultural Diversity (may or may not apply)
Foreign Language (may or may not apply)
More information on meeting the general education requirements of the degree can be found here.
“I need a lot of flexibility. As the director of nursing, I could get called in at 5 a.m. or 10 p.m. That’s what I like about the UW Flexible Option: the ability to further my education at four in the morning or 11 at night, whenever it’s convenient for me. I can study when I feel ready.” – Ken W., ’18 Graduate
The UW Flexible Option offers working adults a more affordable way to earn a UW degree or certificate. Instead of paying by course or by credit, you pay a flat rate for a three-month subscription period. If you already know the material, you may be able to pass assessments more quickly, and potentially accelerate your time to graduation.
Subscription periods begin on the second day of every month. You can choose from two subscription options, each with a different tuition, depending on the number of courses you wish to attempt during the subscription period.
- All-You-Can-Learn Option: Choosing this option allows you to enroll in two or more courses. You may enroll in as many courses as you have time for within a three-month period for a flat tuition rate of $2,250. You can add additional courses in your 3 month term if you finish others early. This option is ideal for learners who would like to earn their BSN more quickly.
- Single Course Option: If you would like to study at a slower pace during a three-month subscription period, you may enroll in a single course. The tuition for this option $900 through June, 2020. Starting in July 2020, it will be $1,125. Students who are enrolled in the Single Course Option are not eligible to add additional courses during their subscription period. In this case, you must wait until your next subscription period to add additional courses.
|Subscription Option||Courses You Can Take||Tuition|
|All-You-Can-Learn||2 or more||$2,250|
|Single Option||1||$900 (through June, 2020)|
|Single Option||1||$1,125 (starting July, 2020)|
Additional Fees: There are no segregated fees in the UW Flexible Option, which saves you hundreds of dollars per credit hour.
Advocate Aurora Health: The UW-Milwaukee College of Nursing is proud to be a “preferred partner” with Advocate Aurora Health and EdAssist to offer quality educational programs at an affordable tuition rate. Students enrolled in Advocate Aurora’s “preferred partner” education programs receive a higher tuition reimbursement rate than those enrolled in other education programs. If you are an employee of Advocate Aurora Health and are interested in learning more about your educational assistance package, please speak with your employee benefits contact.
Finishing your BSN degree is closer than you think!
Schedule an advising call at 877-895-3276 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minimum Academic Requirements
Candidates for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program must have:
- Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or nursing diploma
- Active, unencumbered state RN license
- Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher from prior coursework
- Work experience as a nurse
Note: While there are no on-campus requirements in this program, students must find their own clinical project and a qualified preceptor in their own workplace or another setting in their community for their capstone course.
How to Apply
You may apply up to five months in advance of your desired start date. All application materials must be received at least one month in advance of your start date.
You will be considered for admission after completing the following action items:
- Submit the e-application and the $50 application fee* apply.wisconsin.edu
- Send official college transcripts from all institutions attended (see section below)
- Send high school transcript or GED/HSED scores (not required if earned bachelor’s degree)
- Due to COVID-19, many high school staff are working remotely. It is recommended to request that an electronic transcript be sent, (if the option available through your high school), as physical (mailed) requests may experience delays.
- Email a copy of your active state-issued nursing license to email@example.com
- Wisconsin or Illinois-licensed nurses may skip this step
- Complete Holistic Student Profile & Orientation Part 1 (sent after e-application is received)
*No app fee required if previously enrolled in a Flex degree program, UW-Milwaukee or UW Colleges
During the application process, you may be asked to take a math placement test if you have not completed a transferable algebra course. If required, an Enrollment Adviser will explain the process and provide you with instructions to arrange for testing options.
Official transcripts must be sent from each institution attended in a sealed envelope, or sent electronically through a secure document sending service of the institution (i.e. Parchment/Credentials Solutions or the National Student Clearinghouse).
Due to COVID-19, many institutions have transitioned to remote operations. When ordering transcripts, it is recommended to order e-transcripts only, as physical (mailed) copies may not be available in a timely manner.
When ordering PDF transcripts from your prior institution(s):
- Select the University of Wisconsin Flexible Option as the recipient institution
- If your order requires an email address, use firstname.lastname@example.org
- DO NOT send your transcripts to UW-Milwaukee
If sending official transcripts by mail, use the following mailing address:
University of Wisconsin Flexible Option
5602 Research Park Blvd., Suite 303
Madison, WI 53719
If you were previously enrolled in Flex and now wish to return, discover your next steps.
Holistic Admissions Review
Our admission process considers many factors when assessing your application for admission to a UW Flexible Option program. Your high school records, strength of prior college coursework, rigor of curriculum and academic readiness, test scores, grade point average, academic goals, relevant work experience, and your potential for success will all be considered.
The UW Flexible Option is only admitting domestic students at this time. A domestic student is someone who is either a U.S. Citizen, a U.S. Permanent Resident, or holds Refugee, Asylee, or Jay Treaty status. All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores or similar proof of English proficiency.
Transfer credit is awarded for college-level coursework completed at regionally and nationally accredited institutions. The Transfer Equivalency Database (TED) is designed to show how the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will award credit for transferable courses both within and outside of the UW System. If you completed college coursework at a foreign institution, it may be eligible for transfer credit. You will be asked to send your transcripts through an evaluation process with a foreign credential service, such as Educational Credential Evaluators or World Education Services, to determine U.S. credit equivalents. You may use certain exams to transfer credit towards your degree. These include College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advance Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or others. Learn more about how exam and military coursework might applied towards your your degree plan.
Credit by Exam and Military Credit
Transfer credit is awarded for college-level coursework completed at regionally and nationally accredited institutions. The Transfer Equivalency Database (TED) is designed to show how the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will award credit for transferable courses both within and outside of the UW System.
If you completed college coursework at a foreign institution, it may be eligible for transfer credit. You will be asked to send your transcripts through an evaluation process with a foreign credential service, such as Educational Credential Evaluators or World Education Services, to determine U.S. credit equivalents.
You may use certain exams to transfer credit towards your degree. These include College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advance Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or others. Learn more about how exam and military coursework might applied towards your your degree plan.
Still have questions? Check out our Admission FAQ page.