Academic Advising

RN-BS Online Students

Welcome to Rivier University's Online RN-BS program!  Here you can find degree program information, answers to frequently asked questions and quick access to online academic resources.  If you have any advising questions about our program, please contact the following Academic Advisor:

All new or returning RN-BS Students:  Lisa Enright 

Frequently Asked Questions
RN-BS course Q & A
Academic Resources for the Online Learner
RN-BS curriculum 



Frequently Asked Questions for the Online Student 

Q:  Is Rivier University accredited?
A:  Yes, Rivier University is regionally accredited by NEASC, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the nursing programs are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. (NLNAC).

Transfer CreditQ.  How will I know when and if my credits were transferred into my degree program?
A.  Once you are accepted into the RN-BS program, your Academic Advisor will review all transcripts and transfer over credits and courses into your degree program at Rivier within 3-5 business days.  You will be able to see what courses have transferred through your MY RIV account as that is accessible 24/7. 

Q:  What is the maximum number of credits Rivier accepts for transfer?
A:  Rivier University can accept up to 90 semester credits as transfer, however, at least 50% of major courses must be taken here.

Q.  What if I graduated from a diploma RN program or a non-regionally accredidated program?  Are my credits transferrable?  What can I do if certain nursing credits do not transfer over to Rivier's BS program?
A.  Your academic advisor will review all transcripts and transfer over credits applicable to your BS in Nursing degree.  If a particular nursing course(s) does not transfer over into our program, your academic advisor will discuss various options a student can pursue to obtain the necessary credits he or she will need.

Q:  How long will it take me to finish my degree?
A:  Many students enter the program at different transfer credit levels.  In most cases, we can put a plan together for you to complete your degree within 2 years- or- less depending upon the number of classes you take each semester and during our summer session classes.  You should contact your advisor early in your program track to discuss your graduation timeframe and the number of classes you would like to take in each semester so you know how to sequence your classes.

Registering for Classes
Q.  How do I register for classes each semester?
A.  You will receive an email from the Office of Advising notifying students of the official priority registration date start.  When registration begins, you will then be prompted to go to our secure online registration request form and select the courses you would like to take.

Q.  What does term I, term II and 14 week courses mean?  What is the difference?
A.  Rivier offers 8-week courses in either term I or term II.  Term I courses typically start the last week of August for the fall semester and mid-January for the spring semester.  Term II courses start right after Term I courses end- usually mid-October through mid-December for the fall semester and mid-March through mid-May for the spring semester.  14-week courses, or semester long courses, start the same week as our traditional undergraduate day school classes begin and end at the end of the semester.  Courses offered in a 14 week or semester-long format, tend to have additional information or course content that needs a full semester.

Q.  What is the recommended number of courses I should take each semester?
A.  Most students take two courses a semester, one in each term.  Other students decide to take three courses and do so by taking one 14 week online course and then a course in term I and a course in term II.  By doing this, the student will complete a total of three courses but will only be taking two courses at a time- with the 14 week course, being the consistent course throughout the semester.
Q.  How do I withdraw from a class?
A.  You need to either submit your withdrawal request in writing via email to your academic advisor or to Depending upon the date in which you email your request to withdraw from course, you may be responsible for paying a portion of the tuition for the course.   

Q. How do I add or change a class?
A.  Students can add or change a course(s) to their schedule during the first week of the term or semester when the class begins.  You can submit an online registration request form to add or change a course(s) or contact your Academic Advisor directly.

Q.  Can I order my books online?
A.  To find out what books you will need for your class, you can easily locate them by going to the course schedule page, finding the course(s) you are going to take and then scroll over to the last column where there is a “View Textbook” option.  Once you click on “View Textbook” it should bring you to the Campus Bookstore page and list the required and suggested textbooks for that particular course.  You will also be able to purchase them through our campus bookstore.

Q.  Can I pay my tuition online?
A.  Yes, you can either go to your Ledger in your MY RIV account or go to the following link: 

Q. How do I qualify for Financial Aid?
A.  Once you are officially accepted into your degree program, you may be eligible for financial aid.  You will first need to fill out a FAFSA form to see how much aid you may be eligible for.  More detailed financial aid information (including questions and answers) can be found on the Financial Aid landing page- 

Online Academic Assistance

Q.  What online academic services are available to RN-BS students? 

A. Writing Center help is available to students taking online courses.  Simply send an email to that outlines:
1.  Assignment criteria (guidelines from professor, due dates, page length, citation method required, etc.)
2. Specific issues you would like the writing consultant to address
3.  Any other questions you might have
Attach your writing in process as a Word (2003 compatible) document.  You do not need to have a full draft completed to use this service-- feel free to send whatever you have, or specific sections you are struggling with.
The Writing Center will respond to all email within 48 hours (or sooner).  If you have any questions regarding this free writing service, please contact Leslie Van Wagner at 
Regina Library- Our library has many virtual research resources and e-books to help you find valuable reference and materials for your papers and course content.  Regina Library has live chat and text a librarian options to answer your questions quickly.  There are also valuable YouTube tutorials, as well as LibGuides that focus on specific disciplines like Nursing.  Information regarding Regina Library can be found here -- 

Q.  What services/accommodations are available to students who have a learning disability? 

A. A student who requires special services for a learning or physical disability is encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services at (603) 897-8497 or email to inquire about services available to help the student succeed academically.  Rivier University recognizes that learning styles differ from person to person. Physical, perceptual, or emotional challenges experienced by students may require additional supports and accommodations to equalize their opportunities for academic success.  Rivier University wants to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. To accomplish this goal effectively and to ensure the best use of resources, the University expects students to provide timely notice of a disability to the Office of Disability Services for verification and for evaluation of available options. Any student whose disabilities fall within Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should inform the instructor within the first two weeks of the term of any special needs or equipment necessary to accomplish the requirements for the course. To obtain current information on this procedure, contact the Coordinator of Disability Services at 897-8497, or go to the Office of Disability Services section of the website 

Q.  What should I do if I am having trouble in a course?
A.  First and foremost, you should contact your instructor via email or through Canvas regarding any questions you might have.  Online instructors may also have drop-in chat hours where you can post any questions you might have regarding assignments.  Use any other online resources pertaining to the course you are taking if you are having trouble with any concepts covered in class.  Time management is also key when taking online courses, as keeping up with your readings, assignments, discussion board posts can get overwhelming if you are having trouble setting aside time between work, family and other obligations to devote to academics.  You can also contact your Academic Advisor if you are having specific trouble in a course and she may also be able to provide some additional resources or offer other suggestions to help you.


RN-BS online course Q & A

Q.  Is there are particular nursing course that I should take when I first start the program?
• For the RN to BS program NSG310 Health Assessment might be a good class to start off with, although all of our nursing courses, (with the exception of NSG330-Research Methods that does require a student to either have statistics or PSY204-biostatistics completed as a pre-requisite course), are designed to accommodate students at different stages of their progression in the program.

Q.  What does a typical online nursing course at Rivier entail?  What type of assignments might be required?  How much time should I plan to devote to my nursing online courses?
• It is recommended that you study 3 hours for every credit (9 hours). For an 8 week course that would be 15-16 hours per week.
• Most courses entail discussion boards, PowerPoint Presentations with added audio and a paper.

Specific Information per Course:
NSG302 Policy and Politics:
• Tour the State House on your own time. You can check hours and days on your state government website.
• Attend a Board of Nursing Meeting on your own time. The New Hampshire Board meets regularly on the third Thursday of each month at the Board office, 21 S. Fruit Street, Concord NH. All meetings are scheduled to begin at 8:30. We suggest you stay for 2-3 hours. The MA Board of Nursing allows nursing students can listen to the meeting via a conference call. Learners can join the conference call usually between 9 till noon. The instructor will provide you with a dial in number and a participant access code.  The MA Board of Nursing typically meets the second Wednesday of the month. If you are having difficulty going to a Board of Nursing meeting or listening to meeting via a conference call, please contact the faculty member teaching the course for an alternative assignment.
NSG310 Health Assessment:
• Demonstration of a physical assessment is required for the final exam. Learners may video tape the assessment and download to Vimeo or burn it onto a DVD and send it to the faculty member. For learners who would like to come to the Rivier Nursing Lab for a final demonstration, this can be arranged with the course faculty. This course is also offered in an accelerated six week hybrid format during summer term one (recommended for experienced RNs only).
• The online learner is not charged a lab fee for this course. However, is asked to purchase or have access to an auditory and vibratory tuning fork as well as an otoscope. These instruments can be purchased through the Rivier Bookstore for the ~ price of Rivier’s lab fee of $50.00.

NSG320 Families and Health in a Multicultural Society
• Dialogue and interact within an ethnoreligious   community.  Make a minimum of two to three visits, including an interview with a health care professional in the community.
• Suggestions for interaction and dialogue might include visiting a place of worship, a neighborhood market, and a neighborhood restaurant or community resource.

NSG330 Research
• Develop a research question and conduct a review of literature.  NSG330 is a designated writing intensive course.

NSG404 Leadership and Management
•  Interview a nurse leader
•  Apply course concepts to your work as a nurse.

NSG409 Community/Public Health
• Select a community to drive through to perform a “windshield” survey” (a community assessment). 
• Interview a Health Officer for the community.

NSG410 Holistic Health
• Investigate a holistic modality
•  Possibly visit a holistic center/site in your community.

NSG455 Professional Capstone:
• There is very specific information regarding this capstone course. Information can be found on Blackboard. Students with the equivalent of two years of full-time RN nursing experience may challenge this course.

Q.  What is the recommended number of courses I should take each semester?
Typically a learner with a full time job and other commitments should take one course every eight weeks.  If writing is more challenging for you as an individual, you might consider taking NSG330 Research Methods alone. 
Q.  I have been a practicing RN for many years with an expansive knowledge base.  Does Rivier ever allow students to challenge out of certain BS-level nursing courses based on prior experience?  If so, what is the process I should follow if I can challenge out of a nursing course?
The Capstone course is the primary course that can be challenged.  See information on Blackboard. Individual consideration will be given to learners with experience specific to relevant courses.  Please contact your Academic Advisor to find out more information to see if you are eligible.
Q.  What advice do you have for nursing students who are just starting Rivier’s online program?  Helpful tips or recommendations? 
Specific to Nursing:
• A few of the nursing courses ask the learner to develop a PowerPoint presentation with added audio. Audio is not difficult to add. There are tutorials and support available to assist the learner with this task. Microsoft Office can be purchased through Rivier College’s IT Department for a discounted price. A headset with a microphone and audio capabilities can purchased to add voice. Microphones can be purchased through the book store or a computer store for approximately $15.00-$25.00.

• Rivier Nursing faculty is dedicated to supporting each learner. Please do not hesitate to contact your instructor if you have questions. 

• Rivier’s Writing and Learning Center is available to online learners.  The learner submits an assignment online to the Center, feedback is provided online to the learner. The Writing and Learning Center might be very helpful for NSG330 Research and any nursing course where a writing assignment is required.

• Nursing courses utilize a rubric for assessments. Be sure to review the rubric to see what criteria the faculty member will use to grade your paper. Prior to submitting your assignment make sure you have addressed each of the criteria.

• Nursing course assignments require APA formatting.  Please utilize the following link Writing In Nursing: A Student Guide.
Other Help Tips:
• Basic computer skills are helpful.
• Keep in mind accelerated courses are fast paced.
• Have access to a computer and a back up computer if computer problems should occur.
• When beginning the online course, access the syllabus and read carefully, paying particular attention to when assignments are due.
• Check Blackboard, especially the announcement section, daily


Academic Resources for the Online Learner

• Helpful Tips for the Online Student
Frequently Asked Questions about Online Learning-
Getting Started in Blackboard- a Rivier University Guide
Guidelines for Being a Good Online Student (or Helping Someone with Learning Online—The Learning Center Newsletter-
Nursing Student Handbook and Guidelines
Rivier University Division of Nursing Homepage 

Rivier University Division of Nursing Student Handbook 

Rivier University Office of Disability Services 

Writing Resources
Writing in Nursing- a Guideline for Rivier Nursing Students
Rivier University Writing and Resource Center- Strategies for Responsible Writers 

Useful Online Study Skills and Time Management Resources
Rivier University Office of Academic Advising- Student Resources
Virginia Tech Study Skills Help and Tips (Virginia Tech website)
Dartmouth Academic Skills Center—Online Academic Success Videos
How to Manage Stress and Anxiety: 


RN-BS curriculum

Click here to see a suggested sequencing of classes for Online RN-BS Students.  If you decide to start taking classes in the spring or summer, keep in mind that all of our nursing classes are structured to meet the needs of the new RN-BS student, as well as, the continuing RN-BS student who has taken previous bachelor-level nursing courses.  Your Academic Advisor will work with you to select courses and can also provide you with an education plan to follow based on your academic and graduation goals for degree completion.

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