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RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

USNWR Best Online Bachelor's

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree completion program builds upon the knowledge of registered nurses and continues their education completely online giving students a convenient edge.

The program aims to provide educational experiences designed to promote scientific inquiry, creative thinking, critical judgment and personal development.  This establishes the basis for a variety of BSN learning activities that focus on professional nursing practice.

Other features:

  • Seven-and-a-half-week class format
  • Students with 90 credits can complete in three semesters
  • Credit given for prior learning
  • Affordable
  • Employers love our grads!
In addition, the RN-BSN program at PennWest Clarion provides a foundation for graduate education at the master's and doctoral levels. PennWest Clarion accepts transfer credits from other accredited colleges and universities.

Patti Shontz
PennWest Clarion - Venango
218 Montgomery Hall
+1 814 676 6591, ext. 1251

RN-BSN Admissions (Requirements/Processes)
Gain credit for what you already know

CLEP / CLEF Information

CLEP Testing Information

A maximum of 60 credits may be earned through the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP).  No more than 30 of the 60 credits may be earned after admission.  These examinations, administered by the College Entrance Examination Board, may be taken at the PennWest Clarion - Venango. The College-Level Examination Program includes five general examinations and approximately 31 subject examinations, which if successfully passed, will earn the student three credits per examination.  A list of the general and subject examinations, minimum acceptable scores, and credits available is published in the PennWest Clarion Undergraduate Catalog.


The faculty of the RN-BSN Program recognizes that some students enrolled in the program have had specific life experiences directly related to the nursing courses of the program. In accordance with the university's policy and procedure on granting academic credit, the following steps describe the procedure students would follow when requesting credit for life experience.
  • Review PennWest Clarion's policy and procedure for Credit for Prior Learning.
  • Obtain from the School of Nursing a course syllabus for each course you are seeking credit for life experience.
  • Complete the Credit for Prior Learning Form (CLEF).
  • Attach to the form a detailed narrative documenting prior learning related to specific course work. Each objective of the course is to be addressed in the narrative.
  • Submit a portfolio of additional documentation which supports the prior learning. Documentation may include but is not limited to a resume, certificates, grant proposals, project descriptions, brochures, pamphlets, and conference agendas.
  • Submit a hard copy of all of the above information to the Department of Nursing Chair. Packets may be mailed to the office, or hand delivered to either PennWest Clarion - Venango or PennWest Clarion - Pittsburgh. Prior Learning Credit will not be considered until the packet is complete.
  • Faculty and the Department Chair will review the packet and make a recommendation within four weeks of receiving the packet.

CCBC Partnership Information

Through a new agreement with PennWest Clarion, Community College of Beaver County graduates who hold an Associate Degree in Nursing and other nurses in or near CCBC, who already hold a diploma or associate degree, can earn credits from CCBC that apply towards a bachelor's degree from PennWest Clarion.

This partnership agreement provides an opportunity for students to take all of the general education courses and a nursing elective required for the BSN degree at CCBC. This is a very cost-effective solution for nurses in the region.  These courses can be taken face-to-face or online.  The students will then take the last 30 credits through PennWest Clarion.  Clarion provides all of their RN-BSN courses online so students would not need to leave Beaver County to complete the degree.   Additionally, Clarion tuition tends to be among the lowest in the region for bachelor of nursing level courses, particularly as an online option.


"I have to say I LOVE this program.  It has fit in so perfectly with my life.  I really enjoy the variety of experiences people bring to the courses and I have to say, without any doubt, my years as an RN have and will benefit from what I have learned.  The program is so enjoyable it is making me want to teach!" - Emily Schneider, RN



Our Doctor of Nursing Practice is accredited by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing.

PennWest University, including Clarion, California, and Edinboro campuses, will be submitting a self-study and hosting a site visit for our accrediting body, CCNE. The site visit will be on March 29-31, 2023.  This serves as formal notification of the upcoming visit and provides an opportunity for third-party comments concerning the program’s qualifications for accreditation.  

Written third-party comments regarding programs must be received by CCNE by no later than 21 days prior (March1, 2023) to the first day of the scheduled on-site evaluation. Only signed comments are accepted by CCNE. CCNE shares third-party comments with members of the evaluation team prior to the visit, but at no time during the review process are these comments shared with the program. During its review of the program, the evaluation team considers third-party comments that relate to the accreditation standards. All third-party comments submitted to CCNE must be written in English, consistent with CCNE's policy on Conduct of Business in English.

If you would like to submit a third-party comment for a program currently under review, please submit to

Or, if you prefer, mail comments to:
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Attn: Third-Party Comments
655 K Street, NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20001



The Bachelor of Science nursing program at PennWest Clarion at the Clarion Campus located in Clarion, Pennsylvania is accredited by the:

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3390 Peachtree Road NE,
Suite 1400 Atlanta, GA 30326
(404) 975-5000

The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the Bachelor of Science nursing program is Continuing Accreditation.

View the public information disclosed by ACEN regarding this program at the ACEN website.

Last Updated 2/27/23