Career Advancement Program

RN to BS, Nursing and Accelerated RN to MS, Nursing

Definition:  The Career Advancement student is someone who is licensed as a Registered Nurse and holds an associate degree in nursing from a program approved by an accrediting agency approved by the department of education or its equivalent.

The Career Advancement program is available for RNs who are interested in furthering their education at the University of Central Oklahoma.  Students who have an associate degree in nursing and have a license as a registered nurse can chose from one of two options to further their education.  Students in both options take similar courses; the difference between the two options is the level at which courses are taken.

RN to BS, Nursing

Students interested in earning the baccalaureate degree in nursing only may opt for the RN to BS program.  This program may be completed in two full-time semesters once prerequisite courses are complete.  Students take courses from the masters curriculum, however courses are taken at the 4000 level instead of at the 5000 level.  This option is for students who do not plan to go beyond the BS, Nursing degree, or for students whose overall GPA is between 2.5 and 3.0.

Accelerated RN to MS, Nursing

The Accelerated RN to MS, Nursing degree is for those students who plan to earn a masters degree once the baccalaureate degree is complete.  In this option, 9 credit hours of the degree count toward both the baccalaureate degree and the masters degree.  Students take courses from the MS curriculum while completing the baccalaureate degree.  Once all courses for the BS, Nursing degree are completed, students may then opt to continue their education and complete the MS, Nursing degree in as little as 3 additional full-time semesters.  To be eligible for this option, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

To find out how you can obtain a baccalaureate degree or masters degree as a Career Advancement Student, review our guide and overview of the process.  To see a list of required nursing courses and course descriptions, see the Required Courses:  Career Advancement Students page.

Application Process

Applications are accepted for the Career Advancement Program (RN to BS and RN to MS) in the Fall. 

Preference dates for application are the last Friday in March of each year. Students who apply after the preference date will be admitted based on space available and applications must be received by the first Friday in August for the Fall semester.  See the list of suggested plan of study options for full-time and part-time completion.

Applications for this program may be obtained from the Nursing Office in the Coyner Health Sciences Building on the UCO campus, or may be downloaded from our Application page.

If you are an LPN and interested in furthering your nursing education, you have two options for continuing your education at the University of Central Oklahoma:

  • Option 1:  Apply to the five semester traditional nursing program.  While this program is longer than the three semester program previously offered, students can attend as soon as prerequisite courses are completed without the one year of experienced previously required for the LPN to BS program.
  • Option 2:  Attend one of the local LPN to RN programs at the associate degree level.  Once the RN license is obtained and prerequisite courses are completed, you will be eligible for our RN to BS program provided you meet the other admission standards.

Next Steps

For more information and to set up a meeting regarding your plan of study, please contact Ms. Angela Willis, Career Advancement Coordinator and Instructor of Nursing.

To have the academic advisor for nursing review your transcript to see what courses you need, please contact Karen Davis, the Nursing Academic Advisor.  If you have not previously attended UCO and would like to see which of your credits will transfer, email the Transfer office at or call 405 974-2456.

To view additional information, check out the Career Advancement brochure.

Academic Degree Requirements

124 total college-level credit hours.

30 hours at UCO exclusive of correspondence and extension credit.

15 of the last 30 hours applying toward the degree must be satisfactorily completed at UCO.

60 semester hours, excluding physical education activity courses, from colleges that award bachelor's degrees (senior colleges/universities).

40 semester hours, excluding physical education activity courses, of upper division (3000 and 4000) level.

15 semester hours of major courses at the upper division (3000 and 4000) level.

10 semester hours in the major in residence at UCO.

University Policy Regarding Transferring Hours

A student transferring to UCO with an earned Associate of Arts or Associate of Science from an accredited Oklahoma state institution or a bachelor's degree from an Oklahoma public baccalaureate granting institution is considered to have completed the general education requirements for a UCO bachelor's degree provided the appropriate Regent's minimum requirements have been met. Students may be required to take courses in general education to meet prerequisites for major requirements or to complete major support course requirements.

A minimum of 60 semester hours of course work, excluding physical education activity courses, applied toward a bachelor's degree must be earned at a senior (baccalaureate granting) institution.

For more information, contact the Transfer Student Support Office at 405-974-2456

Working While Attending the Nursing Program

If you are working full-time, it is very difficult to attend nursing school full-time. For the RN to BS student we have designed options to allow you to set your pace to meet your individual needs.  Suggested plans of study for full-time, part-time, and career friendly options are available here.  Additional information is available by visiting with the Career Advancement Coordinator or the Academic Advisor for Nursing.