Comparing RN to BSN Programs at WGU and Capella University

RN to BSN Programs at WGU and Capella University, When considering moving forward in your nursing career with an RN to BSN program, knowing your options is essential. Let’s take a closer look at what Western Governors University (WGU) and Capella University offer so you can decide which path is right for you.

WGU’s RN to BSN Program

WGU takes a different approach with its RN to BSN program. They focus on competency-based learning, which means you prove you’ve mastered the material before moving on. This method is excellent for nurses who need flexibility, as you can study whenever it works for you.

WGU boasts a solid graduation rate, with many students earning their BSN in 18 months. Plus, the program is affordable, with costs ranging from around $7,000 to $21,000, depending on how quickly you finish.

Competency-Based Learning: At WGU, you learn at your own pace. This means you prove you understand each topic before moving forward. It’s flexible, allowing you to study whenever you have time.

Graduation Rate and Cost: Many students finish their BSN in about 18 months. The cost varies depending on how quickly you finish, ranging from $7,000 to $21,000.

Flexibility and Schedule: You can study online whenever possible without setting login times. But since there’s no strict schedule, you need to stay disciplined.

Courses and Support: WGU offers various nursing courses. You might not need to retake similar classes if you’ve taken them. Plus, they provide one-on-one support to help you succeed.

Admission and Next Steps

To join WGU’s program, you’ll need an associate’s degree or nursing diploma, an active RN licence, and other requirements. Once you’ve finished, you can explore further education options, like their MSN programs.

Capella University’s RN to BSN Program

Capella University focuses on flexibility and advanced skills for nurses looking to advance. Their program is tailored to your background, emphasising practical knowledge and leadership readiness.

Curriculum and Costs

The curriculum blends nursing courses with other subjects, totaling 180 credits or 90 program points. Tuition varies based on how quickly you want to finish, but they offer fast and steady progress options.

Admission and Accreditation

To get into Capella’s program, you’ll need a nursing or associate degree, an active RN licence, and meet some academic standards. They’re accredited, ensuring their program meets high-quality standards.

Reviews and Success

Capella’s program gets high marks from graduates, with many finding jobs soon after finishing. Their FlexPath option, which lets you set your pace, is trendy for its personalised approach.

Program Delivery and Alumni Success

WGU’s program is known for its flexible learning and high graduation rates. It’s great for busy professionals who need to balance work and studies. The program lets you learn at your own pace, which boosts confidence in its quality.

Flexibility and Skills

On the flip side, Capella University focuses on flexibility and career growth. Their program mixes theory with hands-on skills. With options like FlexPath, students can customise their learning experience, leading to high employment rates and happy alums.

Considerations for Prospective Students

When choosing between WGU and Capella, here are some things to think about:

How You Learn Best: Do you prefer self-paced learning like WGU offers, or do you thrive in a more structured environment like Capella’s?

Flexibility: Check if the program schedules fit with your life. Can you access resources and support when you need them?

Accreditation and Reputation: Make sure the program is accredited and has a good reputation. Alumni feedback can give you insight into what to expect.

Your Career Goals: Think about where you want your nursing career to go. Do you plan to further your education or specialise in a particular area?

Costs and Benefits: Compare tuition fees and financial aid options. Consider the value you’ll get from each program and how it aligns with your career goals.

By weighing these factors and researching, you can choose the right RN to BSN program that fits your needs and helps you succeed in your nursing career. Whether it’s WGU’s flexible approach or Capella’s customizable learning, both options are designed to empower nurses and improve patient care.

Comparing WGU and Capella’s Support and Curriculum

Both WGU and Capella have robust support systems to help students succeed. At WGU, students get personalised help from Student and Course Mentors specialising in academic support. Capella provides experienced faculty members who offer mentorship, guidance, tutoring, and career counselling services.

Regarding curriculum, WGU focuses on core nursing concepts with opportunities for customization through elective courses. Capella may offer more specialisation options, like leadership or informatics, allowing students to tailor their education to their career goals.

Curriculum Structure

Capella University

At Capella University, the RN to BSN program is all about boosting the knowledge and skills of registered nurses and getting them ready for leadership roles in healthcare. They cover crucial topics like nursing theory, research, community health, and evidence-based practice. Classes usually happen online, allowing students to manage their studies alongside work and other commitments.

WGU University

WGU takes a different approach with its RN to BSN program. It’s all about mastering specific skills and knowledge needed for nursing practice. They focus on core areas like healthcare ethics, patient-centred care, and informatics. Students move through the program at their own pace, showing what they’ve learned through assessments.

Flexibility and Convenience

Capella University

Flexibility is the name of the game at Capella. Students can access course materials and join discussions whenever it suits them. Online learning is all about going at your own speed, perfect for busy professionals and adults juggling multiple responsibilities.

WGU University

WGU’s program is designed for flexibility. Students can speed up their progress based on what they already know. They can study when it works best for them, which is perfect for those with hectic schedules or demanding jobs.


Capella University

Capella’s RN to BSN program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). This means they meet strict academic standards and provide top-notch nursing education.

WGU University

WGU holds regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). This ensures they offer high-quality education that prepares students for nursing careers.


Capella University

Tuition fees can vary at Capella, depending on factors like credit transfer and financial aid eligibility. They strive to keep costs competitive and offer various financial aid options to support students.

WGU University

WGU has a unique tuition model where students pay a flat rate per term instead of per credit hour. This approach can save money for students who progress quickly through their courses.

Student Support Services

Capella University

Capella offers a range of support services to help students succeed. They’re committed to creating a supportive learning environment, from academic advisors to tutoring and career counselling.

WGU University

WGU provides personalised support through program mentors and access to resources and peer networks. They’re dedicated to helping students navigate their RN to BSN journey smoothly.

Choosing between WGU and Capella depends on your preferences and career aspirations. If you value flexibility and affordability, WGU might be the better choice. Capella could be the way to go if you’re looking for more specialisation options and personalised support.

Can international students enrol in Capella and WGU RN to BSN programs?

Both Capella University and WGU University may accept international students into their RN to BSN programs, provided they meet the necessary admission criteria and English language proficiency requirements. International applicants should contact the universities’ admissions offices for detailed information.

Are there any clinical requirements in the RN to BSN programs at Capella and WGU?

Clinical requirements may vary between universities and depend on state regulations. While some programs may include clinical practicum or immersion experiences, others focus solely on theoretical coursework. Prospective students should inquire about clinical components when researching program offerings.

Does either university offer scholarships or financial aid for the RN to BSN program?

Capella University and WGU University provide eligible students with various scholarships, grants, and financial aid options. Exploring these opportunities and applying for financial assistance to offset tuition costs is recommended.


Both WGU and Capella offer solid options for RNs looking to earn their BSN. WGU shines with its competency-based learning and affordability, while Capella stands out for its flexibility and focus on advanced skills. Your choice depends mostly on flexibility, structure, or cost. Take your time to research and find the program that best fits your nursing career goals.


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