Bridge the gap

Note: We are not currently admitting new students into the Bridge program.

Bushnell University’s RN to MSN bridge program is for Registered Nurses who have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing and wish to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.

Students are admitted to the MSN program and upon completion of five “bachelor level bridge” courses (15 credits) will seamlessly be enrolled into master-level courses. The bridge courses prepare students with foundational knowledge needed for graduate level coursework.

In this program, you’ll learn from experienced nurse educators who are experts in their field. Choose from two concentrations:

  • Nurse Leadership in Health Systems
  • Nursing Education

NOTE: A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is not awarded upon completion of the five bridge courses.

Your Degree

Nurse Leadership in Health Systems

The online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a concentration in Nurse Leadership in Health Systems will prepare you with advanced leadership, systems and critical thinking, and communication knowledge and skills necessary to influence delivery of safe, high quality, evidence-based nursing practice across the continuum of care. Graduates will be prepared to pursue certification as a nurse leader and continued study at the doctorate level.

Nursing Education

The online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a concentration in Nursing Education prepares you to teach in an academic or clinical practice setting. Coursework focuses on foundations of instructional methods, assessment, theories, and curriculum development.

The Nurse Educator concentration includes a teaching practicum to strengthen critical thinking skills and place theory into practice. During the teaching practicum, you have the opportunity to place educational theories into practice in a supervised setting. You will design, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive, evidence-based teaching and learning project for patients and families, student nurses, staff nurses, or other direct-care providers.

Don’t Have a Bachelor’s Degree?

If you currently have an RN license but no bachelor’s degree then Bushnell University’s RN to MSN track may be the perfect fit for you! Bushnell University’s online RN to MSN track allows RNs to complete both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in less time, and at a lower cost than earning each degree separately.

Bushnell University also offers an online RN to BSN program.

Program Format

The RN to MSN Bridge program can be completed entirely online allowing busy working adults to maintain a healthy work, life, and school balance. This program is designed to allow you to study anytime from anywhere, providing you the flexibility to arrange your studies around your own schedule. With multiple start dates a year, you can start your program when it’s convenient for you!

The Bushnell University Difference

  • 30+ years’ experience educating working adults
  • Flexible, 100% online accredited program
  • A supportive academic environment that puts students first
  • Program prepares students for graduate education
  • Project-based practice experiences completed in your local community

Financial Aid Information

At Bushnell University, we know financial aid inside and out and can help you apply for and receive the best financial aid package available.

Find more information regarding financial aid.

Veteran Benefit Information

Bushnell University is approved by the Oregon Department of Education and the Department of Veteran Affairs for educating students who are eligible for VA educational benefits. You can begin receiving your educational benefits in just a few simple steps!

Find more information regarding veteran benefits.


Bushnell University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at Bushnell University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Bridge Coursework

Graduate Writing Seminar

The writing instruction focuses on APA manuscript style and methods for strengthening academic writing. Because good writing reflects clear, logical, and critical thinking, this course is aimed at developing students’ ability to frame an idea in a clear, succinct fashion and integrate support for that idea with current research literature.

Leadership in Nursing Practice

A study of leadership in nursing practice, including concepts of teamwork, communication, and decision-making and their role in promoting high-quality, safe patient care within organizational and community arenas. Ways to lead with a different kind of authority in light of nursing as a profession and ministry will be explored.

Population Health in Nursing

This course examines factors influencing the health of populations and communities with a focus on the role of the nurse to assess, implement, and evaluate culturally appropriate, community-based efforts aimed at promoting and maintaining health.

Role of the Professional Nurse

This course provides an introduction to the identity, attributes, roles, values, and behaviors of the professional nurse. Nursing history and contemporary nursing issues impacting practice, rules, and regulation defining and authorizing professional nursing practice, standards of conduct, and the concept of lifelong learning will be explored.

Ethics in Nursing

Understanding the commitment to the ministry and identity of nursing in the context of ethical obligations in nursing practice, including patient rights versus the duty to deliver care. Includes a focus on end-of-life care and genetic engineering.

Research in Nursing

This course assist students to develop a spirit of inquiry and to act as an evolving scholar. How evidence is developed, the basic elements of the research process including quantitative and qualitative processes, and the ethical conduct of research will be studied. Methods for locating, retrieving, communicating, and critiquing health and other relevant research literature and sources of evidence will be explored.

Courses Within the MSN Program

NURS 510 Population Health

This course focuses on clinical prevention and health activities aimed at improving the health status of diverse populations. Students will explore the role of nursing leadership within health systems to design and deliver population and evidence-based care and services that promotes health, reduces risk of chronic illness, and prevents disease. Issues of equitability, cultural and ethnic identity, socio-economic, emotional and spiritual needs, and values of patients and the population will be examined.

NURS 510C Population Health Clinical

This supervised, 45-clock-hour clinical experience provides students opportunity to integrate clinical prevention and population health concepts into creation, implementation, or evaluation of a health education or promotion, reduction of chronic illness risk,  or disease prevention project within the context of a health system, community organization, or clinical setting.

NURS 520 Health Care Policy

This course focuses on development of knowledge and skills needed to promote health, improve health outcomes of populations, shape and improve the quality of the healthcare delivery system, and advance social justice in light of access to care and health outcomes. Students will explore policy processes, policy making, and political activism; ethical and value based frameworks; advocacy; the structure of health care delivery systems, and; ways to effect system change and participate in development and implementation of policy.

NURS 540 Communication in Nursing

This course focuses on deeper development of interpersonal, interprofessional, and organizational communication skills necessary to promote effective working relationships as well as provide coordinate quality care within health care systems and across varied settings. Concepts of effective communication, organizational process which enhance communication, power structures and group dynamics, conflict and conflict resolution, teams, teamwork, and team leadership will be examined.

NURS 550 Statistics for Nursing

This course assists nurse leaders to understand and apply fundamental concepts of statistical reasoning to evidence-based practice in order to improve health care practice and patient outcomes. Students will examine basic statistical concepts needed to judge the quality of research evidence used in practice and gain proficiency in the use statistical software packages.

NURS 560 Quality Improvement and Safety

This course focuses on developing advanced understanding and knowledge of continuous quality improvement and thus safety within health care organizations.  Students will examine various quality improvement principles, methods, tools, and performance measures effective nurse leaders employ to create cultures of safety and lead the way for quality improvement.

NURS 570 Translating Scholarship into Practice

This course builds upon prior knowledge of statistics and evidence-based practice to develop skills of analyzing, interpreting, and translating research findings into practice. Students will explore how to: apply research outcomes within various practice settings to resolve practice issues; lead the health care team to implement evidence-based practice; use translational research skills to lead continuous improvement processes; and be a role model for lifelong learning.

Choose a concentration:

Nurse Leadership in Health Systems

NURS 631 Organizational and System Leadership

This course focuses on understanding how health care delivery systems are organized and development of leadership skills needed to provide high quality, safe patient care. Students will examine ethical and critical decision-making; leadership, systems, and complexity theory; operations research; interprofessional collaboration, and legal factors influencing health care.

NURS 641 Information and Data Management

This course focuses on developing deeper knowledge and skill in the use of information and health care technologies critical to delivery of quality patient care in a variety of settings. Students will examine ways nurse leaders use information technology systems to communicate, gather evidence, deliver, and coordinate care across multiple settings, analyze point of care outcomes, and educate self and others. Ethical and legal issues related to use of information technology will be explored.

NURS 641C Information and Data Management Clinic

This supervised, 45-clock-hour clinical experience provides students opportunity to apply theoretical understanding of information and health care technologies to develop a health education program or evidence-based policy; implement point-of-care practices, or; evaluate and apply relevant data to improve patient care, reduce, risks, or improve health outcomes.

NURS 651 Health Care Finances

This course focuses on understanding of basic business principles and how finance works in the business of health care.  Students will examine ways to provide quality cost-effective care, develop a budget, and how to assume a leadership role in the management of fiscal resources.

NURS 651C Health Care Finances Clinical

This supervised, 45-clock-hour clinical experience provides students’ opportunity to apply understanding of business principles learned to analyze how a budget impacts delivery of quality cost-effective care within the context of a health system, community organization, or clinical setting.

NURS 690 Leadership Project and Practicum

This supervised, 135-clock-hour clinical immersion experience provides students opportunity to apply concepts learned in prior master’s courses to influence delivery of ethical, safe, quality care to diverse populations in a variety of health care settings. Following conduction of a comprehensive and systematic assessment students will design, implement, and evaluate nursing interventions aimed at influencing health care outcomes for individual, populations, or systems.

Nursing Education

NURS 610 Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for Nurse Educators

This course builds upon prior knowledge of human pathophysiology and pharmacology. Students will develop an in-depth understanding of pathophysiology from a molecular to a system’s perspective. Select pharmacological concepts are explored in-depth and in relation to pathophysiology and related disease states. Students apply principles learned to real-world practice situations.

NURS 620 Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Educators

This course builds upon prior knowledge of health assessment and provides students with advanced knowledge and skills needed to conduct a comprehensive and holistic health assessment of individuals across their lifespan. Emphasis is on collection, interpretation, and synthesis of relevant historical, genetic, biological, cultural, psychosocial, and physical data as well as evidence-based practice concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention.

NURS 620C Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Educators Clinical

This supervised, 45-clock-hour clinical experience provides students’ opportunity to develop and hone advanced health assessment skills. Students demonstrate ability to conduct a comprehensive and holistic advance health assessment of select individuals across the lifespan as well as provide evidence-based teaching related to health promotion and disease prevention.

NURS 630 Found. of Nursing Education I: Roles, Trends & Theories

In this course students examine the role, expectations, and professional aspects associated with the responsibilities of the nurse educator in the academic and professional development setting(s). Career development issues, evidence-based education, leadership, and decision-making in ethical and legal issues related to nursing education are explored. Students examine current trends, philosophical foundations, and theoretical perspectives of education and develop a personal philosophy of teaching.

NURS 640 Found. of Nursing Education II: Methods, Management, & Assessment

This course explores teaching, assessment, and management methods that can be used in a variety of educational settings. Students become knowledgeable about various teaching and learning strategies, and instructional technologies, develop competency related to writing program, course, and learning outcomes, selecting and developing appropriate nursing related content, and learn to adapt to a variety of learning styles.  Various methods for assessing learning outcomes and effective ways to manage the learning environment are explored.

NURS 640C Found of Nursing Educ II: Methods, Management, & Assessment Clinical

This supervised, 45-clock-hour clinical experience provides students’ opportunity to apply knowledge of teaching, assessment, and management methods and instructional technology to a structured simulation, clinical skills laboratory, or staff development educational experience in a way that connects didactic course and program outcomes to the psychomotor domain of student learning.

NURS 650 Curriculum by Design

In this course students examine principles of curriculum development, redesign, and evaluation. Students use this knowledge along with understanding of current internal and external factors to the nursing profession that influence curriculum to develop, redesign, and evaluate the curriculum of a baccalaureate nursing program.

NURS 695 Teaching Practicum

This supervised, 135-clock-hour clinical immersion experience provides students opportunity to apply concepts learned in prior master’s courses to a nursing classroom, online, or clinical teaching experience. Students will design, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive, evidence-based teaching and learning project for patients and families, student nurses, staff nurses, or other direct-care providers.

Enrollment Process

  • Apply for free. Our application is non-binding, meaning you are not obligated to attend Bushnell University if you are admitted to the program.
  • Request your official transcripts showing completed bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have it sent to Bushnell University (003208), if using financial aid.

Start the FAFSA

  • Once we have your application, official transcript, and proof of your RN license, your application materials will be given to the admissions committee for consideration.
  • After being admitted to the program, you can enroll with the next start date, or you can delay for any reason. Your application is valid for one year.

GPA Requirements

Bushnell University recommends a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 for admission into the MSN Bridge program.

What if I do not meet the Admission Requirements?

Applicants who do not meet these academic standards may be considered by the Admissions Committee for conditional admission on a case-by-case basis. Additional documentation may be required. Please speak with your enrollment advisor for more details.

Admitted Students

Admitted RN to MSN Bridge students will be required to complete a criminal background check and urine drug screen that meet Oregon Health Authority (OHA) requirements.  OHA also requires all health professions students to comply with certain screening and vaccination requirements.  Admitted students must submit proof of completion of the requirements listed below:

  • American Heart Association basic life support certification
  • Immunizations (seasonal flu, hepatitis B and titer, varicella, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and full vaccination against COVID-19)
  • 2-step PPD test OR QuantiFERON-TB Gold for TB screening

Students who are unable to validate the above requirements or who have a criminal record might not be allowed into a healthcare facility for their clinical or practicum practice experiences. It is not possible to meet the MSN program objectives without having practice experience. Therefore, under certain circumstances, students who cannot meet the above requirements or who have a criminal or abuse history may be required to exit the program. Students who have been arrested or convicted of a crime or have other questions about these requirements are encouraged contact Sheryl Caddy, Clinical Placement Coordinator, at as needed.

Sigma Nursing Honor Society

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, today known as Sigma, was founded in 1922  by six nurses at the Indiana University Training School for Nurses, which is now the Indiana University School of Nursing, in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. The founders chose the name from the Greek words storgé, thárros, and timé, meaning love, courage, and honor.

Alpha Alpha Tau, Bushnell University School of Nursing’s chapter of Sigma invites nursing students demonstrating academic excellence in their nursing courses and Registered Nurses exhibiting exceptional achievements in nursing join Sigma.

State Authorization

Bushnell University, like other institutions of higher education, must obtain authorization from individual states and territories to enroll students residing outside of Oregon into the MSN program. Most states are authorized or exempt from authorization because the MSN program is 100% online. At this time, only students from authorized states can be enrolled into the MSN program. If you reside outside the state of Oregon, please refer to the State Authorization Map.

If you have any questions or live in a state that is not currently authorized, please contact the Office of Admissions at 541-684-7343 or