Purdue Northwest Online FAQs

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Online Nursing Program General FAQs

  • Must I be connected to the Internet to complete the coursework?

    Yes. You will need Internet access to download your individual course and online readings onto your computer and to periodically submit and receive feedback on assignments and assessments as well as participate in online discussions.

  • How do I submit payments to Purdue Northwest?

    You can pay your tuition through the student portal or in person at the Office of Student Accounts on campus (LAWS 130). Some health care partners may pay tuition directly to the University on your behalf if you choose. For the RN-to-BSN program, payment must be made by 3:00 pm CT the Friday before a course begins, or you will be cancelled for non-payment. For the MSN program, payment must be made by 1:00 pm CT the Friday before a course begins, or you will be cancelled for non-payment.

  • Is financial aid available?

    Many employers offer tuition reimbursement. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. Visit the Tuition and Financial Aid page to learn more.

RN-to-BSN FAQs

General RN-to-BSN Program FAQs

  • What are the admissions requirements?

    Please see the Admissions Requirements section of the RN-to-BSN student handbook.

  • How much preparation time should I expect to commit to my courses?

    Please plan on allocating 3–4 hours per week per credit hour to complete the didactic coursework. For example, if you are enrolled in a 3-credit hour course, you should anticipate spending approximately 9–12 hours per week completing coursework.

    This time will be spent completing readings, viewing lectures, participating in discussion boards, and accessing information in the online library. This does not include the time needed to complete and submit assignments in the course.

  • What non-nursing courses are required?

    Additional information, including a list of non-nursing program requirements, is available in the program handbook.

  • How do I know which courses to register for?

    You can begin the RN-to-BSN program by taking nursing courses (NUR), non-nursing courses, or both simultaneously. Refer to your course map from your PNW advisor as your guide for which non-nursing courses you will need.

  • Am I allowed to sit out of the program?

    Once you are admitted to the program and begin taking classes, you may sit out as needed. Taking courses at other schools that will satisfy program requirements is not considered sitting out. Sitting out is defined as not taking any classes whatsoever.

    • In the event that you need to sit out, you must contact your PNW academic advisor so that the University is aware of your intentions.
    • In the event of an extended absence, your status as a student will remain active for one year from the last course taken. If an absence extends over one year, then you must contact PNW admissions and re-apply to the program in order to resume.
    • In the event that you are admitted to the program, but do not begin taking courses at PNW in that semester, you must contact PNW admissions and re-apply to the program for subsequent semesters in order to proceed.

    Program policies are listed in the program handbook.

  • Can I take the capstone course when I have completed the nursing credits, but not the non-nursing courses?

    Students may complete all non-nursing coursework in the beginning of the program or opt to take non-nursing courses as they are progressing through the nursing core. However, students may only have 6 credit hours of outstanding non-nursing credit left when registering for NUR 49800 Nursing Capstone course.

  • I was told I would get a tuition discount/scholarship. How does that work?

    A promotional scholarship for new students is applied by the Office of Financial Aid after you have been admitted and have registered for classes. Additional tuition reductions/scholarships are available to eligible individuals based on employment with a partnership hospital or attendance at a partner community college.

    If you need help clarifying your eligibility for a promotional scholarship/tuition reduction, please contact your PNW Enrollment Specialist.

    Promotional scholarships are awarded based on the information submitted on your application. To update/confirm that your records correctly reflect any promotion eligibility, you must contact PNW Admissions.

    Tuition rates are adjusted prior to the start of courses. You must first be registered in order to see tuition adjustments related to a promotional scholarship/tuition reduction.

  • How do I get my transcript if the school of nursing I formerly attended is now closed?

    Contact the hospital with which the nursing school was associated to determine where your records are being stored. Also, try contacting the Board of Nursing for the state in which you earned your degree.

  • Where can I find the RN-to-BSN student handbook?

    You can access the RN-to-BSN student handbook online.

  • What is the withdrawal policy?

    Students that choose to withdraw from their course(s) can email their registration coordinator for assistance. Please note that you will not receive a refund. 

    View the Withdrawal Policy

  • Where do I send my official transcripts?

    Schools or third-party transcript services can send your official electronic transcripts to bsn_adms@pnw.edu.

    The mailing address for transcripts is:

    Office of Undergraduate Admissions
    Lawshe Building, Room 259
    Purdue University Northwest
    2200 169th Street
    Hammond, IN 46323-2094

  • How do I find information on the application process and what are the requirements?

    You can find information on the application process at the following link:
    https://nursingonline.pnw.edu/admissions/rn-to-bsn/

  • Am I eligible for any scholarships?

    You could be eligible for a $1,000 scholarship if you are employed by one of Purdue Northwest partner hospitals located in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin or are a Pathways student with one of the Purdue Northwest partner institutions.

    In addition, you may be eligible for a new student scholarship for $1,000.

  • Are there clinical requirements for the RN-to-BSN program?

    Clinical requirements are satisfied in several ways. You will be assessing virtual patients in NUR 38801 – Health Assessment For The Nursing Professional with a product called Shadow Health. Likewise, in NUR 48300 – Community and Public Health Nursing, you will use Sentinel City to virtually assess the needs of a community. Your NUR 49800 – Capstone Course in Nursing will require that you perform an evidence-based project with an identified local community need. The purpose of this experiential learning course is to provide you with the opportunity to apply and integrate knowledge from previous coursework in the development of an evidence-based practice proposal.

  • What if I need to take a break in the program?

    We hope that the flexibility of the coursework will allow you to finish the course you are currently taking. If you cannot continue and you withdraw from the course, you can retake the course you dropped when it is offered. The last day to withdraw from a course is Friday during the fourth week of the course. Students who need to take an Interruption in the Plan of Study should consult that section of the handbook.

  • Can I take more than one nursing course in the Carousel of Nursing Courses at a time?

    The curriculum is designed to have students focus on one course over a 5-week period with the exception of NUR 39100 and NUR 39401, which are taken concurrently. Students who choose to progress quickly can complete at least three courses over each semester. Students may also take non-nursing courses at the same time as nursing courses if they need to complete any general education requirements.

  • How much preparation time should I expect to commit to my courses?

    Please plan on allocating 3–4 hours per week per credit hour to complete the didactic coursework. For example, if you are enrolled in a 3-credit hour course, you should anticipate spending approximately 9–12 hours per week completing coursework. This time will be spent completing readings, viewing lectures, participating in discussion boards and accessing information in the online library. This does not include the time needed to complete and submit assignments in the course.

  • Do I need internet access to complete the coursework?

    Yes. You will need internet access to download your individual course and online readings onto your computer and to periodically submit and receive feedback on assignments and assessments as well as participate in online discussions.

  • Can I take the capstone course when I have completed the nursing credits, but not the non-nursing courses?

    All outstanding nursing and non-nursing courses must be completed before enrolling in NUR 49800 – Capstone Course in Nursing.

  • Can I complete non-nursing coursework at another school after I have been admitted to PNW?

    Yes. Students may look into taking non-nursing courses at another school, perhaps a local community college. Students who choose this option must confirm with their Academic Advisor that the course will satisfy the requirements. Students can email their advisor the name of the school, course number, and a course description before enrollment to confirm the course will satisfy the requirements.

  • How long is the program?

    This program can be completed in as few as 16 months, pending review of all transfer credits. While there is no time limit to finishing the program, degree completion requirements are subject to change over time.

  • Can I have my unofficial transcripts reviewed?

    No, only official transcripts will be accepted for review.

  • How much do the books cost?

    All textbooks required for the nursing curriculum are listed on the website via the RN-to-BSN Student Handbook. Textbook costs will vary, but many required texts are used in multiple courses.

  • Does my diploma say Purdue University Northwest?

    Yes. Your degree will state Purdue University Northwest.

  • Can I participate in a “walk” for the graduation ceremony? If so, when?

    Yes, online students still participate in commencement activities. PNW holds two ceremonies a year (May and December). Students who graduate in August will be invited to participate in the December ceremony.

  • What type of support will I receive as a student?

    PNW prides itself on the student experience and provides multiple resources to support its online nursing students. You will be provided an Academic Advisor and Registration Coordinator to assist you in planning your coursework and enrolling in courses. In addition, you will be taught by faculty who are experts in their fields, committed to the student learning experience and accessible for your questions. Academic coaches are also provided in each of your courses to provide additional assistance and coordination.

  • Faculty and Academic Coaches

    Faculty teaching in the RN-BSN Completion Program are rated as excellent instructors and expert practitioners. The faculty teaching hold advanced degrees, many are active in nursing practice and research, as well as certified as advanced practice nurses.

    Academic coaches play a crucial role in creating support for the student and connecting students with faculty. All hold advanced degrees; many are active in nursing practice and research and are certified as advanced practice nurses. Academic coaches:

    • Track student participation and monitor student progress
    • Reach out to students to determine if and when help is needed
    • Direct students to resources in the course (or outside the course)


    In an accelerated, online learning environment, strong communication is essential to successful course/program completion. Contact your academic coach or faculty with course-specific questions. They are the best qualified to assist you with questions related to course content, course progress, or the award of final grades. Likewise, if you are struggling in class, your academic coach and faculty provide strategies for success. Your faculty and academic coaches may be a resource when seeking letters of recommendation for graduate education. Email is the preferred and quickest method of communication for the RN-BSN program as it provides a written record, time stamp and can be sent directly to the people who can best assist in a particular situation. Additional communications between students and university personnel may be arranged directly. Please see your syllabus for contact information. If you cannot reach your academic coach or faculty, please contact the Director of Online Programs, Amy Fry, at fryal@pnw.edu for assistance.

RN-to-BSN Payments

  • Are refunds given for courses?

    The refund policy for the online RN-to-BSN program is as follows:

    • Before the first session class day, 100% refund for drops or session withdrawals
    • No refund for drops or withdrawals after the first class day

RN-to-BSN Coursework and Grading

  • How many courses and credit hours comprise the program?

    The RN-to-BSN program consists of 12 required nursing courses. The RN-to-BSN program is 120 credit hours. The credit hours break down as follows:

    • Nursing courses taken with PNW: 34 credits
    • Non-nursing courses: 56 credits (32 credits are completed prior to admission; you can transfer in the remaining 24 credits or choose from our wide array of electives)
    • Nursing transfer credit for your ASN/ADN: 30
    • Total RN-to-BSN credits: 120

    View the program handbook for more information on nursing courses and credit requirements.

  • How long does it take to complete the program?

    The RN-to-BSN degree program can be completed in as few as 16 months when applying transfer credit toward non-nursing courses. The time frame is based on the 34 nursing credits required at PNW; additional courses may increase the time required to complete the program.

  • What if an emergency happens and I have to take a temporary break from the program?

    We hope that the flexibility of the coursework will allow you to finish the course you are currently taking. If you cannot continue and you withdraw from the course, you can re-enter later in the sequence and take the course you dropped when it is re-offered. You must withdraw by the drop deadline posted under Important Dates to receive a “W.”

  • Are there clinical requirements for the RN-to-BSN degree?

    There are no clinical requirements in the traditional sense. Because you are a practicing RN, clinicals are accomplished virtually through simulation and projects that can be completed close to home.

MSN FAQs

General MSN Program FAQs

  • What is the length of the program?

    The program can be completed in less than 2 years.

  • What are the admissions requirements?

    Please see the Admissions Requirements page.

  • How many courses can I transfer from another university?

    A maximum of 9 semester hours or equivalent of graduate credit may be used as transfer credit from another university. To be accepted, courses must fulfill curriculum requirements and must have been taken at a university that has national nursing accreditation. Additionally, a grade equivalent to 3.0 (on a 4-point scale) or higher must be present for any transfer course.

    All specialty and advanced core courses, including NUR 51000: Research and Evidence-Based Nursing, must be taken at PNW. A request for an exception to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Other core courses will be evaluated for equivalency and transferability. You will need to submit the syllabi for all courses you wish to have considered for transfer credit by the application deadline date.

    If you have questions about transfer credits or outstanding program requirements that you will need to fulfill, please direct those questions to your assigned PNW academic advisor.

  • When would PNW’s College of Nursing need to review my transfer request?

    This review happens during the admissions process. For requests outside the admissions period, you should work directly with an advisor.

  • What core classes would be considered for transfer?

    In addition to the Introductory Statistics course, the core class that could be considered is Healthcare Organization, Policy, and Economics. With regards to seeking transfers for core courses, if you took a theory course or ethics course elsewhere, you would still need to take the PNW theory/ethics course because your course would not have the same ethics component. If you took both the theory and ethics classes separately, PNW would consider that for transferability.

    Nurse Executive courses that can be considered include: Human Resource Management and Healthcare Financial Management.

    Nurse Educator courses that can be considered include: Pathophysiologic Concepts and Pharmacologic Interventions for Nurse Educators or separate graduate-level pathophysiology and pharmacology classes, and Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Educators.

  • What if I want to change concentrations?

    If you wish to transfer from one online concentration (e.g., Nurse Executive) to another online concentration (e.g., Nurse Educator) or vice versa, the process consists of submitting a written request to the graduate program advisor. The advisor will work with the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies to determine whether the request will be granted. The only eligibility requirement is that you be in good academic standing.

  • Where can I find the student handbook?
  • Where do I send my official transcripts?

    Schools or third-party transcript services can send your official electronic transcripts to grad@pnw.edu.

    The mailing address for transcripts is:

    College of Nursing
    Purdue University Northwest
    2200 169th Street
    Hammond, IN 46323-2094
    Attention: Jessica Schultz
    Graduate Program Academic Advisor

  • How do I find information on the application process and what are the requirements?

    You can find information on the application process at the following link:

    https://nursingonline.pnw.edu/admissions/msn/

  • Where do I apply for the MSN Nurse Executive and Nurse Educator program?

    You can apply here: Online MSN Application

    Campus: Purdue University Northwest
    Major: Nursing
    Degree Objective: Master of Science in Nursing
    Course Delivery: Distance (online or off-campus location)

  • Am I eligible for any scholarships?

    You could be eligible for a $1,000 graduate scholarship if you are employed by one of the Purdue University Northwest partner hospitals located in Indiana, Illinois or Wisconsin. The scholarship applies only to nursing courses and is not retroactive.

    If you are a Purdue alumnus, you are eligible for a $1,000 graduate scholarship if you previously completed the PNW RN-to-BSN.

    You can only be eligible for one scholarship.

  • Where can I complete my practicum?

    You can complete your practicum at any approved facility. You can work with a faculty member for guidance.

  • Can I complete my practicum online?

    Yes, some of the practicum can be completed remotely.

  • How many hours is the practicum and how long do I have to complete it?

    The practicum is a total of 135 hours. You can complete this in one 7-week term or two.

  • What if I need to take a break in the program?

    You can take breaks throughout your program, but you will want to consult with your Academic Advisor to be sure your next class is being offered during the term you return. If you are out for over a year, you will need to reapply to the program.

  • How many hours will I need to dedicate to my studies?

    You can expect to dedicate approximately 20 hours per week per class to your studies, readings and assignments.

  • What payment options are available for the MSN Nurse Executive and Nurse Educator program?

    Self-pay, financial aid for those who qualify, and tuition assistance/reimbursement for those who qualify. Tuition is due the Friday before each term starts.

MSN Coursework and Grading

  • How will I be graded?

    You are responsible for the completion of all required work, in each course in which you have enrolled, by the time of the last scheduled meeting of the class, unless your assignment to the course has been properly withdrawn. You will receive from your instructors a grade in each course for which you are enrolled at the close of the session. This grade shall indicate your achievement with respect to the objectives of the course.