Washington RN to BSN Bridge Programs

State Nursing Board: Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission

State Nurses Association: Washington State Nurses Association

State Hospital Association: Washington State Hospital Association

Other State Health Associations: Washington Center for Nursing

In 2008, the study from the Institute of Medicine on the Future of Nursing reported that RNs with BSNs provided markedly better outcomes for their patients. Due to this finding, the Washington Coalition for Nursing has campaigned for legislation to recognize that the BSN should be the minimal degree requirement for licensure. Nursing schools in Washington have heeded the call, and are offering a variety of RN to BSN programs in Washington state that can help you meet your educational goals.

The coalition in Washington state maintains that academic progression can prepare nurses for the challenges of healthcare reform, an aging and growing population with chronic conditions and the addition of thousands of new patients to the healthcare system as a result of recent reforms. RN to BSN programs in Washington are profession specific degree programs that prepare RNs for leadership, the cultural shift of modern healthcare and strengthens a coordinated effort toward creating a strong future for nursing practice.

To find RN to BSN nursing programs in Washington, check out the nursing schools listed on this page and request information from those that interest you. You can find on campus as well as online RN to BSN programs in Washington, making your choices broad and flexible. Get started on your expanded nursing education today by submitting a request for free program materials from our featured schools below.

Featured Online Programs:

Online programs may not be available in all states

About 80,615 RNs were licensed in Washington as of 2010, according to the Washington Center for Nursing. Graduations from associate programs in Washington increased by 48 percent between 2001 and 2005, while graduations from baccalaureate programs increased by 50 percent as reported by the Washington State Nursing Association. The prestigious Future of Nursing Report recommends that the percentage of nurses with BSN degrees increase to 80 percent by 2020.

Yet, nurses have a long way to go when it comes to meeting that goal. Nationally, BSN graduates have held steady at about 36-37 percent over the past few years while associate degree nurses remain at 60 percent of new RNs, according to an Institute of Medicine report. Are you thinking about taking the next step from RN to BSN? Washington has more than half a dozen accredited RN to BSN programs to help you meet your goal.

Are you thinking about taking the next step from RN to BSN by returning to nursing school in Washington? The state has more than half a dozen accredited RN to BSN programs to help you meet your goal, and a variety of nursing programs in Washington offer online options. Distance learning programs provide you with a similar learning experience to campus-based learning with the added benefit of working around your current schedule and personal commitments.

Curriculum for RN to BSN in Washington

Clinical nursing expertise is fundamental to providing high quality patient care. Although the ADN provides the education required to obtain an RN licensure, the BSN program provides the educational support and knowledge that is vital to modern nursing expertise. BSN programs in Washington include courses that are devised to engage the seasoned nurse with advanced practice courses on leadership, medical technology and evidence-based practice. Classes in your BSN program may include the following:

  • Nursing research verifies the rationale for nursing actions, diagnosis and patient referrals
  • Leadership prepares you for management of support staff, administrative and mentorship roles
  • Diversity in health empowers you with insight into diverse populations and cultures
  • Professional development instills self-confidence with proven models of action
  • Advanced pathophysiology progresses your practice further in patient care and disease
  • Pharmacology increases your knowledge of medication actions, purpose and untoward affects

Careers for RN to BSN in Washington

Although legislation has not yet required nurses to officially acquire a BSN by 2020, hospitals and other healthcare facilities in Washington are striving to hire baccalaureate prepared nurses as part of internal policies. Many nursing schools in Washington collaborate with healthcare facilities to ensure that high level education is provided, ultimately resulting in a well-educated and highly skilled nursing workforce.

Magnet hospitals in Washington have pledged to increase the quality of patient-centered care in Washington State by increasing RNs with BSNs on staff. The Washington Nursing Coalition has called for more BSN prepared RNs to become nurse educators and provide leadership, mentorship and formal nursing education in higher institutions of learning. Nurses with BSNs can provide educational resources for nursing students and novice nurses.

Specialty areas of nursing in Washington can advance your area of expertise and are reserved only for the BSN nurse. Certifications can provide career mobility and an independent practice in areas such as:

  • Wound and Ostomy Nursing
  • Psychiatric Nursing
  • Oncology Nurse Specialist
  • Nurse Advocate

Occupational nursing in Washington requires businesses to hire nurses to care for their employees within their corporations. Nurses provide emergency management, educate staff on smoking cessation and weight control and compensation may include lucrative salaries and generous benefits.

Finally, a BSN can assist the modern RN to navigate the dramatic shifts of healthcare demands at the bedside or in clinical nursing. Healthcare reform requires strong leadership, advanced practice knowledge and the ability to educate other nurses and allied staff.

BSN Prepared Nursing Outlook in the State of Washington

CareerOneStop (O*Net) reports a favorable outlook for nursing as it is expected to grow 22 percent through 2020 with more than 2,300 jobs becoming available. They also report that a Washington RN can make a national median annual salary of $74,300 compared to $65,500 nationally. With hospitals and other care providers starting to prefer hiring RNs with baccalaureate degrees over their counterparts, furthering your education might be the next step in your advancement as a nurse. Contact the nursing programs Washington has to offer to get started.

School Spotlight:

  • WGU Washington (Seattle):: This online distance learning program pairs students with mentors for guidance through clinical experience in community health service settings such as public health departments or clinics. Degrees are awarded based on completing assessments demonstrating mastery of given competencies. Program completion is generally three years of part-time study.
  • Washington State University College of Nursing (Spokane): (Spokane). Participation is available through a traditional campus-based program and a live or archived television online/distance format. Mentors assist students with clinical courses close to their homes. Admission is possible in the spring, summer, and fall semesters.
  • Seattle Pacific University (Seattle): SPU offers a part-time program that takes eight quarters to complete. Students attend classes one evening per week. Classes may be held in Bellevue, Seattle, Tacoma, and other locations. Portions of classes are online, and independent study opportunities are offered. SPU partners with Group Health Cooperative and Valley Medical Center.

Programs from Washington Schools

Listed below are all of the nationally accredited RN-BSN programs with campus locations in Washington.


Olympic College (Bremerton, WA)
Program Name: RN-BSN Program
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, WA)
Program Name: RN to BSN Program
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Seattle Pacific University (Seattle, WA)
Program Name: RN to BS in Nursing Program
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Washington-Bothell (Bothell, WA / Everett, WA)
Program Name: RN-BSN
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Washington-Tacoma (Tacoma, WA)
Program Name: RN to BSN
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Walla Walla University (College Place, WA)
Program Name: BSN Program, RN to BSN
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Washington State University (Spokane, WA)
Program Name: RN to BSN Program
Accreditation: CCNE accredited