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group of nursing students in simulation lab practicing listening to mannequin's heartbeat

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (Bolivar)

Earn a pre-licensure bachelor of science in nursing at SBU-Bolivar

Current SBU pre-nursing students and transfer students: The Pre-Licensure BSN program currently is accepting applications for the Spring 2023 cohort. We are seeking applications from current SBU pre-nursing students and students looking to transfer to SBU from other institutions. View the admissions criteria and degree plan for prerequisite requirements and application instructions.

NEW for high school seniors: Apply for our early acceptance program to guarantee your spot in the nursing program upon your arrival at SBU!

SBU has received full approval from the Missouri State Board of Nursing for our pre-licensure BSN program. This is a traditional pre-licensure BSN degree program for students who do not already have a nursing degree (or LPN or RN certification). If you have an ASN degree and would like to earn a bachelor's degree, please read about our degree completion BSN nursing program.

Experience college life while attending nursing school

Studying nursing at the Don and Carrie Babb Department of Nursing at SBU will enable you to experience traditional college life while also receiving a quality nursing education. You will graduate with a bachelor's degree, preparing you for the NCLEX-RN to become a Registered Nurse (RN).* 

A combination of seated and online nursing course formats, together with a strong liberal arts and sciences curriculum, will prepare you to practice in a variety of health care settings — critical care, outpatient care, public health, and mental health.

*Completion of the nursing bachelor's program does not guarantee eligibility to take the licensure examination.

Our communities need more nurses

Demand is growing for highly qualified nurses. Our communities need registered nurses and the need is growing! SBU is helping address the nursing shortage issue by preparing professional nursing graduates.

  • Registered Nurse (RN) is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2029.
  • A shortage of Registered Nurses is projected to spread across the country between 2016 and 2030, with the greatest shortages predicted in the South and the West.
  • By 2030, it is estimated that the number of U.S. residents ages 65 and older will top 82 million, increasing the need for geriatric and nursing care.

(Source: American Association of Colleges of Nursing)

Value of a bachelor's degree in nursing

A two-year study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that the nursing industry needs to move toward a more highly educated workforce. The IOM (now known as the National Academy of Medicine) recommended that 80% of nurses have at least a BSN degree by 2020 — as of September 2020, only 64% of the national nursing workforce had a BSN.

The International Journal of Nursing Studies found a significant association between the number of nurses with BSN degrees on cardiac care units and patient mortality. 

SBU's bachelor of science in nursing degree will equip you with the education, skills training and leadership preparation you need to be a successful nurse in today's society.

More Information

State-of-the-Art Facilities

Admissions Criteria

Degree Plan

Major Map (PDF)


Application Packet (PDF)

Program Application (PDF)

Submit Application Materials

High School Early Acceptance

Current high school seniors can apply for the High School Early Acceptance (HSEA) program offered by SBU's pre-licensure bachelor of science in nursing degree. This would guarantee you a spot in the nursing program when you arrive at SBU! 

Learn More About Early Acceptance

The Pre-Licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is offered through SBU's College of Health Professions.

pass rate

(ultimate NCLEX pass rate)

PLBSN Student Learning Outcomes (PDF

Nursing faculty responds to student in simulation lab exercise

The SBU Advantage

  • Study at a nursing college that is accredited by ACEN (Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing).
  • Receive excellent preparation to become a registered nurse — so far, SBU's pre-licensure bachelor of science in nursing graduates have achieved a 100% job placement rate within six months of graduation and a 100% NCLEX exam first-time pass rate!
  • Receive a Christian liberal arts education that will prepare you in leadership, critical thinking skills and clinical reasoning abilities

Faith Integration

At SBU, the integration of faith and academics is at the heart of what we do. As a BSN graduate from SBU, you will be prepared to be an effective servant leader in the healthcare profession. You will learn how to integrate knowledge obtained from a Christ-centered liberal arts curriculum to guide your nurse practice, professional development and lifelong learning.

Integration of faith is woven into all curriculum and courses, but you also will have the opportunity to take courses specifically designed to help you consider how your faith is an important part of your career as a compassionate nurse. Courses such as "Spirituality in Healthcare" will equip you to approach your nursing career with a Christ-centered perspective. All SBU students also take courses in Old Testament and New Testament history.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

A capital fundraising campaign raised more than $1.1 million for renovation of a state-of-the-art simulation lab and learning resource center for SBU's pre-licensure bachelor of science in nursing program.

The renovated space includes the simulation lab with current technology, Learning Resource Center, classrooms, computer labs, and faculty office space.

The Simulation Center provides students with real-life experiences in a safe learning environment to prepare them for the transition to practice in a complex healthcare environment.


Innovative Technology

As a nursing student at SBU, you will have the opportunity to gain valuable, hands-on experience with innovative technology, including a synthetic cadaver. You will learn about human anatomy and more by interacting in cadaver labs. Watch this video to hear from Dr. Murphy about how this synthetic cadaver will enrich your educational experience!

Admissions Criteria

For full acceptance into the BSN program, prerequisite courses must be completed. Conditional admission is possible for students within one semester of completed program prerequisite courses. The pre-licensure BSN program degree plan lists required courses.

Applicants must satisfy all admissions criteria, which includes:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.8+
  • Completion of prerequisite courses (see degree plan)
  • Microbiology and Anatomy & Physiology I & II must be completed within five years of admission into the pre-licensure BSN program
  • Pass background check and drug screen

A full list of admissions criteria is available in the application packet.

Acceptance into the BSN program is based on satisfactory completion on the admission criteria and space availability. When applicants meet minimum qualifications, an admission selection criteria worksheet will be used if the number of qualified applicants exceeds space availability. Applicants with the top scores will be offered first choice for the seats in the cohort.

Application Process

Take the next step

Apply to SBU today to begin your journey to your nursing career! Upon your admission to SBU, you will begin as a pre-nursing student and work on your three semesters of prerequisite courses to prepare for admission into the nursing degree program.


Contact Heather Daulton, Program Coordinator, at (417) 328-1453 or to learn more about the BSN program on SBU's Bolivar campus.

Amelia Masters
"I really love that our nursing professors stressed that Christ is the center of our education. They want us to be competent nurses, but to be serving nurses first."
Amelia Masters '21
Citizens Memorial Hospital, Medical Surgical Unit


Nursing (Bolivar) Program Four-Year Plan


Fall Semester

MAT 1243 Algebraic Reasoning and Modeling 3
ENG 1113 English Composition I 3
CHE 1004* Chemistry for Allied Health 4
BIO 1004* Principles of Biology 4
UNI 1111 University Seminar 1
Total hours 15

Spring Semester

ENG 2213 English Composition II 3
PSY 1013* General Psychology 3
BIO 2204* Anatomy and Physiology I or  
BIO 3304* Anatomy and Physiology II 4
POL 1113 American Government & Politics 3
BIO 2213* Introduction to Microbiology 3
UNI 1121 Introduction to Critical Thinking 1
Total hours 17


Fall Semester

BIB 1013 Old Testament History 3
HIS 2213/2223 U.S. History I or II 3
CIS 1103* Computer & Information Management 3
BIO 2243* Nutrition 3
BIO 2204* Anatomy and Physiology I or  
BIO 3304* Anatomy and Physiology II 4
Total hours 16

Spring Semester (Nursing Semester 1)

BIO 4404 Pathophysiology 4
NRS/NUR 3010 BSN New Student Orientation 0
NRS 3117 Fundamentals of Nursing Practice 7
NRS/NUR 3453 Spirituality in Healthcare 3
KIN 1162 Physical Fitness and Wellness 2
Total hours 16


Fall Semester (Nursing Semester 2)

PSY 3063 Human Growth and Development 3
COM 1103 Fundamentals of Speech Communication or  
COM 2393 Interpersonal Communication 3
NRS 3217 Medical Surgical I - Adult and Elderly Care 7
NRS 3233 Pharmacology for Nursing Practice 3
Total hours 16

Spring Semester (Nursing Semester 3)

ECO 2003 L.I.F.E. Economics 3
BEH 3243 Elementary Statistics 3
NRS 3317 Medical Surgical II Complex Adult and Elderly Care 7
NRS/NUR 3563 Health Care Informatics 3
Total hours 16


Fall Semester (Nursing Semester 4)

NRS 4114 Maternal Child & Family Health 4
NRS/NUR 4013 Healthcare in Culturally Diverse Populations 3
NRS/NUR 4404 Community Health 4
NRS/NUR 4333 Research and Evidence Based Practice 3
BIB 1023 New Testament History 3
Total hours 17

Spring Semester (Nursing Semester 5)

NRS 4413 Advanced Health Assessment 3
NRS/NUR 4434 Administration and Leadership 4
NRS 4554 Medical Surgical III: Transition to Practice 4
NRS 4501 NCLEX Review 1
FAR 1003 Intro. to Art, Fine Arts, Music or Theatre 3
Total hours 15

* Required prerequisite courses; students may apply for the BSN program when these prerequisite courses are completed or within one semester of completion.
Acceptance into the BSN program will be based upon selection criteria that include cumulative GPA, science GPA and entry test scores.

Download in PDF format:
Nursing (Bolivar) Plan (PDF)