Frequently Asked Questions
When are Applications Due?
There are two cycles each year for admission into the RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) program.
For Fall Admission:
- Application due June 15th
- Applications for remaining openings for fall cohort will be reviewed and decisions made on a case-by-case basis through August 1
For Spring Admission:
- Application due November 15th
- Applications for remaining openings for spring cohort will be reviewed and decisions made on a case-by-case basis through December 1
Who can apply?
Prospective applicants must be licensed RN’s who have completed an associate degree or diploma nursing program. Employment is not necessary to begin the program, but applicants must have worked a minimum of 540 practice hours by graduation to obtain the 37 experiential learning credits that are applied toward their BSN.
Do you accept unofficial transcripts for review?
Unofficial transcripts are not accepted for review. Official transcripts are required for the application, so the official transcripts used during review will also be used to complete your application. Please be sure to send all transcripts from all schools you have attended post-high school.
I'm a student in the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) at a school with an articulation agreement with JMU. Will I be guaranteed admission to the program?
The RN-BSN program has articulation agreements with VCCS schools that allow qualified students to gain admission to the program. If you are a student in the VCCS who plans to apply to the RN-BSN program, you should review the articulation agreement and complete a Letter of Intent with your community college counselor or adviser. The Letter of Intent should be submitted to the School of Nursing prior to completion of your application.
Admission is contingent upon transcript review, meeting general admission requirements, and timely submission and fulfillment of all requirements outlined on the Letter of Intent.
I currently hold a bachelor's degree from another institution or from JMU as well as my ADN. What is the process for applying?
Students who hold a baccalaureate degree from another institution or from JMU are exempt from completing the prerequisite, corequisite, and general education requirements with the exception of the Nursing prerequisite requirements. Nursing prerequisite requirements must be met in order to be considered for the program. All other admission requirements remain in effect.
The process to apply also remains the same – information on this process can be found on the How to Apply page. JMU graduates will need to complete a new application to begin a new career at JMU.
I previously attended JMU but did not graduate. Can I still enter the RN-BSN program?
Yes! We welcome all former Dukes. Once a transcript review is completed, previous non-graduating JMU students will be guided to apply for re-entry to the university through the Office of Academic Student Services. No additional application is necessary. Learn more about the re-entry process.
Deadlines to re-enter the university are July 1 for fall and November 1 for spring.
What requirements do I need to meet in order to apply to the RN-BSN program?
In order to apply to the RN-BSN program you must meet the following requirements:
- Associate Degree or Diploma in Nursing from a community college or diploma nursing school.
- Transcripts reflecting a cumulative GPA on all college work attempted of 2.5 or better on a 4-point scale with a minimum GPA of 2.5 in Nursing (if applicable). Transcripts below 2.5 will be reviewed on an individual case-by-case basis.
- TOEFL scores greater than 570 for international applicants.
- Current unrestricted RN license in any state, Washington D.C., or a U.S possession or territory.
- Graduates of foreign nursing schools who are licensed outside of the United States are required to pass the Qualifying Exam of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).
- Employment as a RN for a minimum of six months or plans to practice concurrently with coursework.
- Ability to meet the school's Technical Standards for nursing practice
- Have completed all RN-BSN Prerequisite Course Requirements
Please visit the VCCS-JMU Course Equivalents page for a list of the most current transferable course equivalents. Please note: Course equivalents are subject to change.
What happens if my GPA is below a 2.5?
The RN-BSN program prefers transcripts reflecting a cumulative GPA on all college work attempted of 2.5 or better on a 4-point scale with a minimum GPA of 2.5 in Nursing (if applicable). Transcripts below 2.5 will be reviewed for qualifying status on an individual case by case basis.
How many students are admitted each cycle?
Nursing is a very popular career choice nationally and that trend is no different here at JMU. There is no cap on the number of students taken each cycle but the process is competitive. All applicants are strongly encouraged to follow application guidelines carefully and submit all application materials by deadlines.
What are my odds of getting into the program?
Although it is not possible to predict the odds of admission, we can give you some insight into our process. Admission of qualified students is based on available openings in each cohort to maintain a balanced faculty to student ratio in an online classroom. Academic qualifications are described in the Admission Requirements.
If I am admitted to the program is there an opportunity for scholarships?
There are two scholarship opportunities available to full-time RN/BSN students: the Frank & Eva Farrell Endowed Scholarship in Nursing and the Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship. View the Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Awards page for more information about both.
RN to BSN Program Questions
Are you an accredited program?
The baccalaureate degree in nursing program, master’s degree in nursing program and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at James Madison University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org)
Are all your faculty members nurses?
Yes, in order to be a faculty member with JMU Nursing all faculty must be current on their nursing license.
What level of computer knowledge do I need to be successful in the program?
Our program follows a standard online learning model using the Canvas platform. Find more details on what to expect in this online learning environment by taking a short assessment of your computer skills.
Approximately how many clinical hours are required in the program?
There is a 1 credit community health practicum that is completed over the summer for a total of 45 clinical hours (35 direct contact hours and 10 indirect hours). Students are responsible for identifying a community health site in their local area with the assistance of the community health coordinator. Students will work with the site to secure a preceptor to complete clinical hours.
What is experiential learning credit?
37 hours of experiential learning credit are awarded to RN-BSN students not possessing a previous bachelor’s degree during their last semester in the program. This credit goes towards the 120 total credit hours required for a baccalaureate degree and is comprised of documentation of 540 practice hours from current employer validating experience and professional portfolio completed during the program reflecting professional development through program completion. The portfolio includes examples of professional self-reflection, professional scholarship, and documentation of current RN licensure.
Can I graduate with Honors?
Unfortunately, RN-BSN students are ineligible to graduate with honors. The university requires eligible students to take a minimum of 60 credits at JMU and does not allow the 37 experiential learning credits earned through the program to be counted towards this amount.
RN-BSN students are, however, eligible for entry into the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society. Students who meet the GPA requirements will be offered membership once they have completed half of the program. Sigma graduates receive honor cords and distinction at graduation, as well as entry to a professional organization. Learn more about Sigma.
If admitted, approximately how much will the program cost?
The JMU RN-BSN program is highly competitive in pricing compared to similar RN to BSN programs. Costs differ slightly between full-time and part-time enrollment. View estimated program costs.
The university reserves the right to adjust tuition and fee charges because of rising costs or other conditions upon approval of the JMU Board of Visitors.