University of Southern Indiana

Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for Prior Learning through Validation


The University of Southern Indiana provides opportunities for RN students progressing toward a BSN degree to receive credit for previous professional experience.  Students may receive credit for professional certification, previous clinical experiences, and/or expertise. 



Option 1: Validation with a nationally recognized certification.

  • Students who are currently certified in an area which correlates to the course content may receive credit for the entire course. 
  • Students should submit a copy of their current certification to the course coordinator for approval.
  • Students must request third party verification of certification submitted directly to administrative assistant for the RN-BSN program.


Option 2: Course validation through Portfolio.

Students who have advanced clinical experience may validate a course with a portfolio


  • Students must have at least 3 years full time RN experience and at least 2 full years of experience in the specialty area which the student is attempting to validate.
  • The portfolio must include a curriculum vitae or resume and demonstration of attainment of course objectives.
  • Students must submit a Curriculum vitae/resume with detailed description of clinical experience and other clinical, community, or educational experiences that contribute to the application of course content in a practice setting.
  • The student must address each of the course objectives and provide evidence that demonstrates attainment of the course objectives.
  • Specific course portfolio requirements will be provided by the course coordinator.
  • The portfolio must be submitted along with the Portfolio fee for evaluation of the portfolio.
  • The course coordinator will evaluate the portfolio. If all requirements are met, the student will be sent forms to complete and return.
  • Students will need to submit the Portfolio fee and a posting fee is required to  record the course credit on  their official transcript.
  • Students should not register for the class if they are seeking validation.


Validation Timelines

The portfolio and all material for validation must be submitted at least 8 weeks prior to the term in which the student is scheduled to take the class.


Specific Course Validation Guidelines


NURS 457: Population Focused Care for Registered Nurses

Course Coordinator: Julie St Clair -, (812) 465-1169


Option 1: National nursing certification specific to population focused care


Option 2: Professional experience in population health. Work settings that may qualify include health departments, schools, correctional facilities, home health agencies, and other community health settings.


N487 Leadership in Nursing and Healthcare Organizations

Course Coordinator: Dr. Charlotte Connerton-, 812-461-5339


Option 1: Certification in the following areas:

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center: Nursing Executive (NE-BC) or Nursing Executive Advanced (NEA-BC);
  • American Organization of Nurse Executives: Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML) or Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP). 


Students who have completed a Baccalaureate or Masters in Health Administration, Business Administration, or Public Administration are also eligible for this option.


Option 2

The portfolio must reflect your work experience as a nurse manager (Assistant Nurse Manager, Nurse Manager, or Nursing Administrator ). Students must clearly describe how they have completed a change project and budget in their work settings (see syllabus for details). 


NURS 492: Clinical Synthesis

Credentials review: Dr. Jeri Burger – 812-461-5340


Option 1: National board certification in a general or specialized clinical nursing practice. ANCC certification or national nursing certification through professional organizations will be accepted upon review by the Chair of the RN-BSN Program


Option 2: The portfolio must reflect extensive work with an evidence based practice project or development of evidence based clinical protocols. The portfolio must clearly describe the student’s role and responsibility in the project with supporting documentation.



NURS 267: Health Assessment for Registered Nurses

Credentials review: Sue Krieg  -

Option 1: Validation with two advanced life support certifications


Option 2: Test out. The test out is a 3 part process.

  1. Pass an exam which will be scheduled and administered in a Blackboard class.
  2. Perform a complete health assessment. This can be performed and checked off by an advanced practice nurse or can be video recorded for review
  3. Write up the health assessment in narrative format.


If you plan to pursue an MSN degree for either nursing education or for an advanced practice role such as nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, it is highly recommended you take the health assessment course.



*Students must complete all course and practice requirements for at least one clinical course, NURS 457 or NURS 487. 


Clinical nursing courses

NURS 457: Population Focused Care for Registered Nurses

NURS 487: Leadership in Nursing and Healthcare Organizations



Contact Dr. Jeri Burger


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