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Challenging RN-BS Nursing Courses (Policy RNBS-02)

Download a Printable Version of Policy RNBS-02

Effective Date

Spring 2006

Last Revision Date


Responsible Party

RN-BS track faculty and staff.

Scope and Audience

RN-BS track students.

Additional Authority

BSU: Credit for Prior Learning (Policy 3040)

1. Policy Purpose

To identify the criteria and process for challenging nursing courses in the RN-BS Online Completion Track at Boise State University School of Nursing.

2. Policy Statement

Refer to BSU Policy 3040 Credit for Prior Learning that states, “A course cannot be challenged to improve the grade.”

Students must have been accepted into the nursing program before they are allowed to challenge a course in the Nursing School curriculum.

A student may receive up to one-third of the total credits required for graduation through either challenge examinations or experiential learning. A challenge examination measures course competencies as stated in the current course syllabus. Successfully passing the challenge examination is comparable to receiving a grade for the course being challenged.

Nursing content that a student may challenge includes knowledge gained from:

  • Continuing education courses.
  • Employment in a field of nursing and/or health care.

The challenge process must be completed by the semester add/drop date.

While the challenge is being processed, the student must register for and participate in the challenged class and complete all assignments/exams until the challenge process is completed. A challenge examination of a nursing course must be taken in the sequence that the courses are scheduled in the nursing curriculum. A challenge examination for a nursing course may be taken only one time.

The Program Director or designated course faculty may require successful completion of a theory challenge examination prior to taking a portfolio challenge examination as these courses are co-requisites.

A student may consider challenging a course with a Prior Learning Portfolio (PLP). A PLP should present evidence that equivalent preparation (i.e. work experience, self-study, and continuing education, traditional or non-traditional education) fulfills the learning outcomes and/or objectives of the course being challenged. (See Boise State University catalog.)

A student who successfully challenges a nursing course will receive a grade and credit for the challenged course. Note: In some cases, financial aid may be disrupted when credits are received via a challenge. Talk with a representative from the Financial Aid Office to determine whether challenge credits could impact the receipt of your financial aid.

Prior to initiating the challenge process, the students must satisfy any prerequisites for the course being challenged.

It is the responsibility of the student to:

  1. Contact their academic advisor to discuss the possibility of challenging a nursing course the semester prior to the challenged course semester and to determine if residency credits are needed.
  2. Request that the necessary paperwork be initiated and sent to the student via email along with payment information. Print off the form, sign it, and return the paperwork along with payment to the School of Nursing.

It is the responsibility of the Program Director or designated course faculty to:

  1. Determine the content and/or process of the challenge examination.
  2. Describe the process for challenging the course.
  3. State the titles of required text(s) and syllabus in addition to instructions where a student may obtain study references.
  4. Evaluate the student’s challenge examination performance or PLP against the current course outcomes and grading criteria.

It is the responsibility of the academic advisor to file the Credit for Prior Learning form with the Registrar. The challenge must be filed during the semester prior to the semester in which the challenged course will be offered.

After students take the challenge exam, the academic advisor will:

  1. Record the student’s grade on the Credit for Prior Learning form
  2. Send the form to the Registrar’s Office

The grade will be recorded with the Registrar’s Office. If the exam is successfully passed, the student will receive credit for the course. If the exam is not successfully passed, no grade or credit is given for the course, and the student must complete the course for progression.

3. Forms

Boise State University Credit for Prior Learning

Related Information

BSU: Credit for Prior Learning (Policy 3040)
CHS: None
SON: None

Last Review Date


Revision History

Spring 2006, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, October 2018, July 2019, July 2020, June 2021, 4/1/2022