Transferring College Credits to Your BSN Program

NursingApril 24, 2014

If you are interested in a BSN program to get your nursing education, you may be surprised to learn that it is possible to transfer some of your previous college courses toward getting your degree. Transferring courses can be a great way to use your credits, get ahead during the summer and avoid taking the same class twice. Here are some important steps to consider when transferring courses to a BSN program.

Transfer Credits Differ by Institution

The truth about getting credits transferred is that it depends on the school that you are applying to and the school that you originally got the credit from. This can make it difficult to anticipate exactly which courses will transfer for credit. Every institution has different rules about what they will accept and the only way to get a definitive answer is by speaking to an academic counselor. It may be worth speaking to academic counselors at several programs to see which of those will award you the most credit. Transfer credit should certainly figure prominently when you are choosing a program.

Another factor that may determine whether credits can be transferred is the letter grade you received in the course; typically an A or a B will transfer, but a C or a D may not. It is worthwhile to ask about this specifically when you speak with an academic counselor.

Get Your Transcripts

You will need your official transcripts sent to your BSN program of choice. Depending on when you earned your previous credit, this can take some time and usually involves a fee. Visit the website of your previous institution — they usually have information on how to send official transcripts and how long it may take for them to be delivered.

See a Counselor

A counselor holds the key to figuring out what credits will transfer along with whatever else you may need to graduate. They may have a system already set up for transfer credits. A course equivalency guide or something similar may be provided to help you determine which courses will transfer. You can also use this guide to choose prerequisites courses, most often taken at a community college, that you may transfer later.

What Can I Transfer?

Basic general education courses like English 101 and 102, anatomy and physiology courses and psychology are all generally transferable. Some BSN programs will allow you to retrieve all of your credits at other institutions (providing they transfer) and apply them to the nursing program based entirely on the prerequisites.

Other courses that don't fit exactly with the accepting institution's course catalog may be used as elective credits you may need to graduate.

Don't hesitate to send your potential BSN program a transcript from your previous college(s). Discuss with a counselor which courses may transfer and which community colleges offer classes to transfer to your BSN program. You may have a better head start than you think!

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