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RN-to-BSN Program

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is fast becoming the industry standard for hiring and promotion in the nursing field. Advance your career with Carthage’s new RN-to-BSN completion program.

The Carthage RN-to-BSN Program allows practicing nurses to improve their critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills while expanding their professional options. 

16 months to your degree

Taught in a hybrid (online and on-campus) format, courses focus on evidence-based practice, population health, and leadership. Building on the strong foundation of an associate degree, working nurses can finish Carthage’s RN-to-BSN Program in as few as 16-17 months, completing 56 credit hours at Carthage.


Why choose Carthage?

Our RN-to-BSN curriculum extends beyond technical proficiency to instill essential skills in complex decision-making, cultural and religious literacy, and interdisciplinary collaboration. General education courses will account for 28 of the 56 required credits, with nursing courses making up the remainder of the curriculum. 

In addition, Carthage offers:

Carthage has applied for approval from the Higher Learning Commission to shift all RN-to-BSN courses fully online.  We anticipate that all courses will be fully online in 2021.

Advantages of a BSN

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that BSN-level preparation improves nurses’ communication, research knowledge, and leadership skills and ultimately leads to better outcomes for patients.

Many health care institutions — particularly hospitals that hold the prestigious Magnet® designation — have a strong preference for BSN graduates in hiring and promotion. The higher degree also makes it easier to move into competitive specialties like pediatrics or oncology.

Contact us

Cheryl Petersen, assistant director of the Carthage RN-to-BSN Program and assistant professor of nursing, will serve as your direct contact from initial inquiry to graduation to ensure an exceptional experience.

Cheryl L. Petersen, PhD, RN
Lentz Hall 328G

Visit Carthage

Schedule a visit to learn about all Carthage offers. To schedule your visit to Carthage, email Admissions at or call 800-351-4058.

Carthage will seek accreditation for the RN-to-BSN Program from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the body that previously accredited our traditional four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $20,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 3 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …

  • Who We Are

    • “At Carthage, I have found that each professor truly cares about the success of every student. The nursing faculty has especially gone above and beyond to ensure the success of my classmates and myself, and I do not think any of us would be where we are today without them.”

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      Samantha Tedesco — ’19

    • “My professors in the nursing program were instrumental in my success. The Carthage Nursing Program helped shape my individual being by allowing me to advance my knowledge in a variety of subjects, not only nursing. Carthage showed me the values of friendship, motivation to strive for success and excellence, and dedication and passion into doing something you love.”

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      Tony Allen — ’19