Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) introduction

Nursing is a diverse discipline that affords the opportunity for a challenging and rewarding career. Baccalaureate-prepared nurses are generalists who provide services for patients and their families in hospitals, clinics, businesses, homes, and a variety of other settings. Nursing involves activities related to health promotion and health restoration of individuals who are experiencing illness and/or disabilities throughout the lifespan. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is the entry level professional degree in nursing and provides the foundation for graduate study.


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Baccalaureate program
The College of Nursing at Ohio State provides one of the finest baccalaureate program in the United States and is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing. Like all baccalaureate programs at Ohio State, the curriculum includes general education (GE) course requirements in foundational skills, the arts, sciences and humanities as well as courses in the nursing science major. The generic baccalaureate option includes a minimum of one year of prerequisite Pre-Nursing coursework, and after admission to the major, an additional three years of nursing and other related coursework.

The generic baccalaureate option can be completed in a minimum of four years, including the year of prerequisite coursework. Part-time study may be possible, however it is the exception and will lengthen the time to earn the degree. A minimum of 121 credit hours is required to earn the BSN. At the time of graduation, students are eligible to take the National Nursing Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) that must be passed to be able to practice as a registered nurse (RN). 

At graduation, BSN graduates are prepared to enter professional nursing practice as a generalist and have the foundation for graduate studies in nursing. They will be prepared to:
1. Integrate knowledge from a liberal education, the sciences, and nursing to address the health care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations across the life span in diverse and global health care systems and environments.

2. Apply a systematic process for application and evaluation of scientific evidence related to the principles of health promotion, risk reduction, disease prevention, and illness management across the continuum of dynamic healthcare environments.

3. Apply the knowledge and skills of information management and patient care technologies to deliver high quality nursing care that addresses legal, ethical, historical, and emerging issues.

4. Communicate effectively and work collaboratively with individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations and within nursing and with other health disciplines to  design, manage, and deliver high quality and safe patient-centered care.

5. Demonstrate a commitment to leadership and professionalism through the delivery of socially, ethically, and fiscally responsible care while embracing the concept of life-long learning.

Admission to the nursing major is required before a student is permitted to enroll in nursing courses. Students new to Ohio State as first-year or transfer students may enroll in the College of Nursing as Pre-Nursing students provided they meet the criteria (See Pre-Nursing). Students may complete the prerequisite courses in another college at Ohio State or at another university. Students at other Ohio schools can check course transferability at

Applicants who have a non-nursing baccalaureate degree may be eligible to apply to the Graduate Entry option, a three-year, full-time program for non-nurses leading to a master’s degree in nursing. Contact the Graduate Outreach and Admissions Office at (614) 292-4041 or send an e-mail to to learn more.

The College of Nursing also offers an RN to BSN option for registered nurses who are graduates of an associate degree or diploma nursing program and wish to earn a BSN. Contact the Office of Student Affairs at (614) 292-4041 for more information.
See BSN Admissions
See BSN Coursework
See BSN Honors program
See BSN Nursing Assistant Requirement
See BSN Schedule a campus visit
See BSN Contact us