Degree Overview

Bachelor of Science Nursing (Prelicensure)

This one-of-a-kind program differs from other WGU programs. Check out this infographic for an overview.

Want to become a nurse? Now is the perfect time to become a Registered Nurse (RN). WGU’s B.S. in Nursing (Prelicensure) degree program prepares you with the content knowledge and extensive clinical experience to earn your bachelor’s degree and prepare you to sit for the NCLEX licensing exam.

Your clinical education also includes learning skills and patient care competencies in simulation labs followed by agency-based clinical “intensives” where patient care competencies can be honed and mastered. These “intensives” take place in hospitals and other key healthcare facilities under the guidance of expert staff nurses who provide coaching and clinical learning opportunities.

You will become a technologically proficient, caring, bachelor’s degree-prepared nurse who is ready to preserve, promote, improve, and maintain the health and well-being of individuals and families in your community.

Prerequisite General Education and Science Courses

To be considered for enrollment in the program, students must complete the following program admissions prerequisites or transfer equivalents:

  • English Composition I

  • Survey of United States Constitution and Government

  • Introduction to Communication

  • Introduction to Humanities

  • Human Growth and Development Across the Lifespan

  • Introduction to Psychology

  • Introduction to Sociology

  • Anatomy and Physiology I (with lab)

  • Anatomy and Physiology II (with lab)

  • Clinical Microbiology (with lab)

Program Details

This program includes the following areas of study plus intensive clinical rotations for each clinical area of study: 

  • Introduction to Nursing Arts and Science

  • Health and Wellness Through Nutritional Science

  • Organizational Systems: Safety and Regulation

  • Medical Dosage Calculations

  • Pharmacology

  • Applied Healthcare Statistics

  • Information Management and the Application of Technology

  • Caring Arts and Science Across the Lifespan

  • Physical Assessment

  • Care of Adults with Complex Illnesses

  • Professional Roles and Values

  • Care of the Older Adult

  • Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing

  • Care of the Developing Family

  • Nursing Care of Children

  • Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing

  • Evidence-Based Practice and Applied Nursing Research

  • Critical Care Nursing

  • Organizational Systems and Quality Leadership

  • Professional Nursing Role Transition

  • Biochemistry

This program consists of 120 competency units (our equivalent to the traditional credit hour), less any competency units waived through transfer of prior college credits and prerequisites.

Click Here to Learn How Your Program Works

Inter-Professional Leadership & Communication in Healthcare

This program includes one course that is unlike any other you will complete at WGU. Inter-Professional Leadership & Communication in Healthcare requires participation in online group meetings with faculty and fellow students. Multiple group options are available, so you will work with your enrollment counselor or mentor to determine the group whose schedule works best for you. Learn more about this unique course and how to prepare for it >>

How It Works

WGU Offers Degrees, Not Classes

As a competency-based program, learning is measured by what you know and can do based on assessments rather than time spent in classes or courses completed. You’ll study. You’ll write papers. You’ll take tests. You’ll complete rigorous lab work, simulations, and clinical rotations.

Here’s Generally How Your Program Will Work:

  • Your degree requirements are carefully developed to give you high-level competence in a variety of patient care settings, including chronic care, geriatrics, pediatrics, etc.
  • You will work with a WGU mentor to prepare for rigorous assessments, virtual reality simulations, and high fidelity simulations. Upon successful completion and demonstration of competency, you will qualify to attend your agency-based clinical rotations.
  • You will work one-on-one with a Clinical Coach (under the guidance of a Clinical Instructor) to complete several “intensives” of clinical rotations. Your Clinical Coach is an experienced staff nurse who is trained to help you throughout the duration of your clinical rotations.
  • Together with your mentor, you will largely be able to decide when you are prepared to complete course assessments. Assessment of your clinical competence will be conducted by Clinical Instructors.
  • You should expect to work hard and spend at least 30 hours or more per week on your studies, and in the completion of clinical rotations and clinical simulation labs.

Speak to an Enrollment Counselor for a more in-depth explanation of how your program will work.

How Much Will It Cost?

Less Than You Think

We're committed to keeping tuition low and making sure our online education degree programs remain the very best value for hardworking students. WGU Texas doesn't spend money on classrooms, research facilities, or football stadiums. Instead, we focus on keeping costs low.

Tuition and Fees

For this program, a full-time course load is a minimum of 12 competency units per term.

  • Basic tuition: $4,750 per six-month term
  • Resource Fee: $145 per six-month term
  • Program Fee: $500 per six-month term
  • Application Fee: $65 One-Time Application Fee

Other Student Responsibilities

  • ATI TEAS Exam: $115 (at PSI Testing Centers; cost differs at other sites)
  • Uniforms: $146.30 (plus shipping, handling and applicable taxes)
  • iTouch unit or handheld device that is compatible with Nursing Central Software (cost varies)
  • Lab kit fees: $263.09
  • Drug Screen, Criminal Background Check, and Immunization Tracking System: $94**

You may also be required to pay for doctor’s visit for a physical examination and immunizations to fulfill specific admissions requirements. Please speak to an Enrollment Counselor to learn more about what is required of you.

The B.S. Nursing (Prelicensure) online degree program at WGU is designed to be affordable for hard-working adults with bills to pay.

Learn more about tuition and fees.

Note: ** Price includes one alias search. There will be a separate charge for each additional alias search. Fees are subject to change.

When We Say Affordable, We Mean It

WGU’s B.S. Nursing (Prelicensure) degree program is typically about half the cost of other equally reputable degree programs.

Compare WGU tuition to tuition at other schools

Your Clinical Experience

This program includes intensive clinical rotations. Preparation for these clinicals will be completed both online under the guidance of a WGU mentor and through mandatory attendance of high fidelity Clinical Simulation Learning Labs.

Your Innovative Clinical Education Experience Includes:

  • Cutting-edge clinical simulations, including virtual reality and high fidelity simulations to develop clinical skills.
  • Agency-based clinical rotations in hospitals and other key healthcare sites.
  • One-on-one guidance, supervision, and support in a busy, contemporary clinical setting with a Clinical Coach—an experienced staff nurse and clinical expert.

You will complete multiple clinical rotations each year, both in-hospital and community-based. View a sample clinical schedule (PDF).

Speak to an Enrollment Counselor for a more in-depth explanation of the in-hospital clinical experience.

Program Support

"WGU affords us the opportunity to help men and women who are looking for affordable quality education and can do so while still committing time to their families." Cynthia Mercer,
Chief Administrative Officer at Mercy Health

Financial Aid

You Can Afford to Earn a Degree

WGU's financial aid experts are on hand to help you finance your education in the smartest way possible. 76% of WGU students receive some type of financial aid.

Federal Financial Aid is available to most students.

How Competency-Based Education Benefits You

Put Your Existing Knowledge to Work

WGU was the first university in the country to employ a cutting edge, competency-based learning model that lets you use skills and knowledge you already have to accelerate your degree program.

In WGU’s online Bachelor of Science Nursing (Prelicensure) degree program, students advance by demonstrating their competence in each subject area. You’ll be able to move quickly through material you already know so you can spend your time focusing on what you still need to learn.

  • You’ll work with your assigned mentor on a personalized Degree Plan that establishes the pace at which you move through the program.

  • With few exceptions, you’ll be able to choose when and where you study.

  • You’ll collaborate with your mentor to determine the learning resources that will help you develop and demonstrate your competency in each subject area.

  • You’ll be required to complete at least 12 CUs per term to make On Time Progress.

Prove What You Know and Move Forward

In the Bachelor of Science Nursing (Prelicensure) degree program at WGU, students advance through each course by mastering the course content, then completing and passing challenging assessments that measure knowledge and skills in each subject area.

These rigorous assessments (tests, papers, assignments, and projects) let you demonstrate your competence in each subject area in order to pass the course and earn Competency Units (CUs), or credit equivalents.


WGU sets a high standard, and we want our students to succeed. You'll be given ample opportunity to master subject matter and re-take assessments as needed in order to graduate.

"Our partnership with WGU enables our employees to advance their education affordably without interrupting their careers." John Steele, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Hospital Corporation of America

Accredited and Credible

Accreditation is a key indicator of a university’s credibility among both academia and employers. WGU is:

    • CCNE accredited — by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
    • Approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, the Texas Board of Nursing, the Indiana State Board of Nursing, and the Florida Commission on Independent Education.
    • Regionally accredited — by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Northwest Commission is also responsible for the accreditation of other major universities such as the University of Washington, University of Oregon, and the University of Utah, to name a few.
    • Founded by 19 governors and supported by hospital partners — WGU was founded by 19 U.S. governors. WGU and this BSN program are also supported by hospital partners across the nation, including Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Tenet Healthcare, Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Catholic Healthcare West, and Universal Health Services.

    Learn more about accreditation

    Program Support

Degree-Specific Admission Requirements

WGU is now opening admissions to aspiring nurses in select areas who have completed all prerequisites as outlined below. Enrollment into this program is conducted in two phases of admissions: Pre-Nursing Curriculum and the Clinical Nursing Program.

Pre-Nursing Enrollment Requirements:

Applicants must have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA in the required nursing sciences to be considered for enrollment into the pre-nursing program. Successful completion of a nursing program admission exam is required prior to enrollment. Enrollment in the university and in the pre-nursing term does not guarantee acceptance into the clinical nursing program. Applicants are required to submit and/or complete the following items:

Note: Preference will be given to those individuals with a prior college degree. All prerequisites must be complete before an application for enrollment can be considered. Applicants who are not native speakers of English are required to take appropriate tests of language proficiency.

Prelicensure Clinical Nursing Program Admission Requirements:

Enrollment into the Pre-Nursing Curriculum and admission into the Clinical Nursing Program is competitive. Students must first be accepted and enrolled into the Pre-Nursing Curriculum. Students who are successful in the Pre-Nursing Curriculum will be allowed to apply for admission for the Clinical Nursing Program. Enrollment in the Pre-Nursing Curriculum is not a guarantee for admission into the Clinical Nursing Program. You must be at least 18 years of age before beginning the application process or participating in clinical experiences. Students enrolled in the Pre-Nursing Curriculum must successfully pass the Foundations in Nursing Skills performance exam (click here to view) during the pre-nursing term in order to be considered for admission.

Approximately 60 days after enrollment into the Pre-Nursing Curriculum, if you qualify, you must apply for admission into the Clinical Nursing Program. To be considered for admission, the following support documentation must be provided by you as part of the application process:

  • Proof of health insurance.
  • Proof of successfully passing a criminal background check*.
  • Proof of successfully passing a urine drug test*.
  • Proof of a current immunization record and current negative TB test.
    Click here to see what immunizations are required of you
  • Proof of meeting the specific physical requirements in accordance with the core performance standards of the nursing profession.
    Click here to see examples of physical requirements
  • Participation in an interview with an admissions committee comprised of two or three committee members including the State Director of Nursing or designee.

† Note: Student malpractice insurance will be provided by WGU at no cost to you.

* Note: Starred items are required to be completed no sooner than 90 days prior to beginning the clinical portions of this program.

Application and acceptance into the program is based on available clinical space, successful completion of all pre-nursing term course requirements, and numerical ranking of the above items, including a WGU pre-nursing term mentor recommendation.

Speak to an Enrollment Counselor to better understand what is required of you.

Program Support

Question and Answer

Select a question from the left, see the answer to the right.

How does WGU keep its tuition so low?

As a nonprofit university, WGU doesn’t need to benefit shareholders. Our students are our main concern. We also try to keep our operating costs low. And since we’re an exclusively online university, we don’t need to maintain expensive classroom buildings, a campus, and other non-academic programs. 

Should I consider financial aid?

Using financial aid is a personal decision. When making this decision, you should know that a degree is a great investment in yourself that will pay for itself many times over. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn on average almost a million dollars more over the course their careers compared to those without one. A master’s degree typically has a similar impact on your wallet. You should definitely consider federal financial aid if it means the difference between getting your degree or not. Speak to an Enrollment Counselor to learn more.


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