Western Governors University is a 100% online university based in Utah that offers a unique competency based education. The key difference in their education is you end up paying for time rather than the number of credits you need. This means that you pay a flat fee (currently $3,250*) tuition every 6 months and you can complete as many units in that block of time as possible. So if you complete one unit or twenty during that six months, you will pay the same tuition rate. We try to keep figures and costs as up to date as possible but as with any RN to BSN program, be sure to check with the admissions staff at WGU as their costs and credit requirements among other items may have changed since the publication of this review.
In case you missed it, this means that it is possible to complete your BSN at Western Governors University in as little as 6 months! And for less than $4,000* (although this is not going to be possible for every student).
As mentioned, the other unique feature of WGU is they do not offer credits, but offer Competency Units. This means that when you apply all prior education and experience will be translated into their Competency Units. Their website states that the average RN applying to the program will transfer 50 units out of the total 120 units needed for graduation. This idea of competencies means that during the program you will not take classes and earn grades, but will meet competency requirements to show that you understand the material. This most often will mean taking a test or writing an APA paper.
Keeping with the theme of not offering credits but competencies, all graduates of Western Governors University’s RN to BSN program will receive a 3.0 grade point average. If you are considering a graduate degree, please keep this in mind. Or try the WGU RN to MSN option.
Cost*: $3,250 every six months, plus $350 for a one time Consolidated Nursing Program Fee. According to their website, the average time to completion is 18 months. This means the total cost for tuition is $9,750. Additional fees include a $145 Resource fee per six-month term, a $65 application fee, a $42 criminal background check, and a $50 immunization tracking fee for California residents only.
Total Cost*: $10,642 (This does not include textbooks) Obviously, your actual cost may be less or more depending on how many 6 month semesters you take to complete the program.
Time to Completion*: Average is 18 months
Start Date*(s): The RN to BSN Program can be started at the beginning of every month
Clinical Required*: There is no clinical requirement for the RN to BSN Program. However, if you are enrolled in the BSN completion program, then there is a 90 hour clinical requirement that can be completed in a community health setting.
Western Governors University RN to BSN Affordability
In the world of online RN to BSN programs, you have literally thousands of options. Some programs are expensive, some take forever, some have clinicals. Western Governors University RN to BSN program offers none of these. Assuming you are a Registered Nurse with all of the required college courses necessary to become a Registered Nurse, then you should have no trouble transferring credits to WGU and getting started on your BSN.
Western Governors University online RN to BSN offers a unique payment system. Instead of paying for each class and credit hour that you take, you pay for each 6 month semester that you take. During this six months, you can complete as many classes as you possibly can. According to WGU, most nurses are able to complete the program in about 18 months. Some take longer and some take less, but 18 months is the average. If you need to go part time, no problem. Are you a speed demon looking to get done as quickly as possible, then you might be done in 12 months? Maybe 6 months?
Along with this unique fee structure, is Western Governors University’s flat rate fee. Each semester costs the same amount. As mentioned you can take as many classes as you want during the six month semester and pay the same price. This means that during the average 18 months it takes most nurses to finish the program, the average tuition price is around $10,000. Be aware, that this price does not include books.
If all that were not enough, the online RN to BSN program at Western Governors University does not have a clinical requirement. This means that if you are already a busy hardworking RN, then you do not need to take additional time of unpaid work at a clinical site. No redundant work requirements!
To recap, the online RN to BSN program offered by Western Governors University is an excellent choice for the already busy RN. It is a financially affordable reality. It has a unique program structure that allows for part-time flexibility, or a fast-paced get-done-quickly approach. And finally, you don’t need to spend extra time in a clinical setting working for free!
Scholarships for Western Governors University
If you are thinking about attending Western Governors University or you are currently enrolled, then you need to visit WGU’s Scholarship page. This is the general scholarship page, but WGU does offer specific Nursing scholarships. Check out the list below and find some great deals.
WGU Nurses Lead the Way Scholarship – A $500 (5 available) Scholarship for Nurses and currently enrolled Western Governors University students. Application deadline is April 14, 2014. However, this scholarship will most likely be available next year as well.
WGU Community College Partner Scholarship – A $2,000 Scholarship available to new students from a community college partner school. This scholarship is available to all Nursing students, but the application deadline is 60 days after enrollment. If you are on the ball and think you might complete the online RN to BSN in 6 months, then this one scholarship can pay for over half your costs! See the Scholarship and list of schools here.
WGU Institutional Partners Fund – A $2,000 Scholarship available to new students that work for a company that is affiliated with WGU. See the list here and find out if you qualify.
WGU Healthcare Partners Fund – Similar to the scholarship above, this $2,000 Scholarship is available to new students that work for a healthcare company that is affiliated with WGU. Go here.
Western Governors University also offers specific Military Scholarships here.
Finally, Western Governors University offers an awesome Scholarship search tool. This tool allows you to input your own criteria and variables and gives you a more personalized list of potential scholarships. This is not an exact science and some of the scholarships may not actually be right for you. But for the motivated scholarship searcher, this is an excellent resource. Try the Scholarship Search Tool.
* Be sure to check with the admissions staff at WGU as their costs and credit requirements among other items may have changed since the publication of this review.