RN to BSN Program Curriculum

The RN to BSN Program curriculum is designed to challenge nurses to reach advanced levels of critical thinking, problem solving, and leadership, while implementing what is being learned on a day-to-day basis at work. 

The RN to BSN  Program is a distance program, meaning all didactic instruction is delivered via online learning modalities.

How many classes does the BSN program require?

The Program includes 9 nursing courses that is delivered over 3 semesters (12 months) for a total of 24 semester credits. The clinical hours required are dedicated to the Community Health and Capstone Projects that both can be completed in the learner’s own community and local facilities.

Skim through the Program’s curriculum below as it is divided into the three Levels. For more information, see RN to BSN Course Descriptions down below.

What classes are required for a BSN degree?

Crafted with the latest evidenced-based knowledge, the RN to BSN Program curriculum includes post-licensure coursework that focuses on community nursing, leadership, policy, ethics, critical care, gerontology, health promotion, disease prevention, and informatics among other key nursing concepts.

RN to BSN Course Descriptions

General Education Course Descriptions

ENG 120: English Composition I

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: None

Description: The course helps learners develop quality writing skills by explaining and identifying the steps involved in the writing process. Six types of writing are examined: argumentative, compare/contrast, descriptive, narrative, persuasive, and summary. Learners will write a minimum of 20 pages as a requirement for the course. The importance of proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling is highlighted, as emphasis is placed on editing and revising pieces of writing. Learners also learn proper research techniques, utilizing the American Psychological Association (APA) style.

HUM 110: Western Civilization I

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Typically Offered: Summer

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: None

Description: This course introduces civilization from pre-history to the early modern era. Western Civilization refers to the civilization that began in the ancient Near East and then developed primarily in Europe, northern Africa and the westernmost edges of Asia. Learners will concentrate on several major themes: the rise and fall of the ancient and classical civilizations that were forerunners to the rise of the West, the cultural legacy of these civilizations, the changing role of religion in society and changes in religion itself, and the development of political institutions. Topics include ancient Greece, Rome, and Christian institutions of the Middle Ages and the emergence of national monarchies in western Europe.

MAT 100: Intermediate Algebra

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: None

Description: This course provides knowledge of Intermediate Algebra and its applications. Emphasis is placed on algebraic techniques with polynomials, rational expressions, exponents, radical expressions and equations, factoring, linear and quadratic equations, inequalities, logarithmic and exponential functions, and solving systems of two or more linear equations.

PSY 201: Introduction to Psychology

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: None

Description: This course is designed to give the learner a basic understanding of the psychology of human behavior. The learner will be given exposure to the concepts, terminology, principles, and theories that comprise an introductory course in psychology. Topics covered are to synthesize the broad range of knowledge about psychology, to emphasize research methodology, to encourage critical thinking, and to convey a multicultural approach that respects human diversity and individual differences.

SCI 220: Human Anatomy with Lab

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction, virtual lab)

Semester Credits: 4 (3 Didactic, 1 Lab)

Contact Hours: 75 (45 Didactic, 30 Lab)

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: SCI 221 (or equivalent): Human Physiology with Lab

Description: In conjunction with SCI 220: Human Physiology, this course provides a comprehensive look at the human body’s anatomy and functions. Topics include organization of the body, characteristics of life, and anatomical terminology. The skin, skeletal system, muscles, digestive, urinary, lymphatic, circulatory, reproductive, and nervous systems are examined. Sensory organs and the endocrine system are also presented. This course contains a lab component (1 credit hour), where learners will be able to practice and apply principles they are learning in the didactic portion (3 semester credits) of the class

SCI 221: Human Physiology with Lab

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction, virtual lab)

Semester Credits: 4 (3 Didactic, 1 Lab)

Contact Hours: 75 (45 Didactic, 30 Lab)

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: SCI 220 (or equivalent): Human Anatomy with Lab

Description: In conjunction with SCI 220: Human Anatomy, this course examines major parts of the body and how they work independently as well as together. Also explained are principles related to nutrition, metabolism, body fluid balances, and aging. Also presented are how the body maintains homeostasis, the relationship of chemistry to human anatomy and physiology, and cell function and division. Several diseases and disorders are discussed as well as the cause, detection, and treatment of them. This course contains a lab component (1 credit hour), where learners will be able to practice and apply principles they are learning in the didactic portion (3 semester credits) of the class.

SCI 225: Pathophysiology

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer

Prerequisites: Minimum six (6) semester credits of Human Anatomy and Human Physiology Corequisites: None

Description: This course describes the general principles of disease then presents information dealing with specific disorders of body systems or individual organs. The purpose of this course is to provide the learner with basic understanding of pathophysiology as a change from normal physiological functioning of the various systems of the human body. The course is based on illness and disease within a systems framework across the lifespan. Emphasis is put on select illnesses most often encountered by health professionals. The course focuses on critical thinking used to analyze the signs and symptoms based on the pathophysiology of these conditions.

SOC 220: Introduction to Sociology

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Typically Offered: Fall

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: None

Description: This course provides a broad overview of sociology and how it applies to everyday life. This course introduces the scientific study of human society, culture, and social interactions. Topics include socialization, research methods, diversity and inequality, cooperation and conflict, social change, social institutions, and organizations. Upon completion, learners should be able to demonstrate knowledge of sociological concepts as they apply to the interplay among individuals, groups, and societies.

Upper-Division General Education Course Descriptions

ANT 300: Cultural Anthropology

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Typically Offered: Spring

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: None

Description: This course provides a solid introduction for learners who are new to the branch of cultural anthropology. Learners are presented with all the basic information pertinent to the field. The topics discussed include relevant anthropological theories, ethnocentrism and culture, language and communication, economic and political systems, kinship and descent, marriage and family, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, religion and belief systems, the effects of colonialism and industrialization, and globalization.

COM 301: Oral Communication

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Typically Offered: Fall

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: None

Description: This basic course in speech is designed to develop each learner’s ability to communicate effectively in his or her academic, business, and social life. The major emphasis is on the preparation and delivery of formal speeches, but many areas of the communication process are explored. This course provides learners with the opportunity to practice and improve their listening and communication skills in English.

ENG 302: Technical Writing II

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 1 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 15

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Offered: Fall 2015

Prerequisites: ENG 301 or equivalent

Corequisites: NUR 420

Description: This course is the second out of the 3-course technical writing series (ENG 301, ENG 302, and ENG 303). Throughout the 3-course series, learners will receive an overview of commonly encountered professional genres such as memos, reports, journal articles, and grant proposals. Learners gain practice writing in these genres, with an emphasis on clarity and concision. They develop more sophisticated research skills and gain experience in communicating specialized information to non-specialist readers. Finally, they are exposed to the range of professional writing careers as they explore writing on both theoretical and practical planes through consideration of audience as well as wider professional, social, and cultural contexts. In ENG 302: Technical Writing II, learners will build upon what they learned in ENG 301 and will be given writing assignments that coincide with the second semester RN to BSN nursing courses.

ENG 303: Technical Writing III

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 1 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 15

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Offered: Fall 2015 and Spring 2016

Prerequisites: ENG 301 and ENG 302, or equivalent

Corequisites: NUR 490

Description: This is the third of the 3-course technical writing series (ENG 301, ENG 302, and ENG 303). Throughout the 3-course series, learners will receive an overview of commonly encountered professional genres such as memos, reports, journal articles, and grant proposals. Learners gain practice writing in these genres, with an emphasis on clarity and concision. They develop more sophisticated research skills and gain experience in communicating specialized information to nonspecialist readers. Finally, they are exposed to the range of professional writing careers as they explore writing on both theoretical and practical planes through consideration of audience as well as wider professional, social, and cultural contexts. In ENG 303: Technical Writing III, learners will build upon what they learned in ENG 301 and ENG 302, and will be given writing assignments that coincide with the third semester RN to BSN  nursing courses.

ENG 310: Technical Writing

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Prerequisites: None

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer

Corequisites: NUR 470 and NUR 410

Description: In this course, learners receive an overview of commonly encountered professional genres such as memos, reports, journal articles, and grant proposals. Learners gain practice writing in these genres, with an emphasis on clarity and concision. They develop more sophisticated research skills and gain experience in communicating specialized information to non-specialist readers. Finally, learners are exposed to the range of professional writing careers as they explore writing on both theoretical and practical planes through consideration of audience as well as wider professional, social, and cultural contexts.

HUM 300: Introduction to Philosophy

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Typically Offered: Spring

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: None

Description: This course is a critical introduction to the field of philosophical inquiry. After defining philosophy and identifying the major fields of philosophical study, the course examines the history of Western thought, from the famous Greek philosophers up to the cutting-edge intellectuals of today. The course then dives into various thematic topics, including metaphysics, epistemology, free will and determinism, evil and the existence of God, personal identity, ethical values, and political philosophy. The course concludes with an analysis of different perspectives, including Eastern philosophies, and postcolonial thought.

ENG 310: Technical Writing

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Prerequisites: None

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer

Corequisites: NUR 470 and NUR 410

Description: In this course, learners receive an overview of commonly encountered professional genres such as memos, reports, journal articles, and grant proposals. Learners gain practice writing in these genres, with an emphasis on clarity and concision. They develop more sophisticated research skills and gain experience in communicating specialized information to non-specialist readers. Finally, learners are exposed to the range of professional writing careers as they explore writing on both theoretical and practical planes through consideration of audience as well as wider professional, social, and cultural contexts.

HUM 300: Introduction to Philosophy

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Typically Offered: Spring

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: None

Description: This course is a critical introduction to the field of philosophical inquiry. After defining philosophy and identifying the major fields of philosophical study, the course examines the history of Western thought, from the famous Greek philosophers up to the cutting-edge intellectuals of today. The course then dives into various thematic topics, including metaphysics, epistemology, free will and determinism, evil and the existence of God, personal identity, ethical values, and political philosophy. The course concludes with an analysis of different perspectives, including Eastern philosophies, and postcolonial thought.

MAT 320: Introduction to Statistics

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer

Prerequisites: MAT 100 or equivalent

Corequisites: None

Description: In this course, learners will look at the properties behind the basic concepts of probability and statistics and focus on applications of statistical knowledge. Learners will learn about how statistics and probability work together. The subject of statistics involves the study of methods for collecting, summarizing, and interpreting data. Learners will learn how to understand the basics of drawing statistical conclusions. This course will begin with descriptive statistics and the foundation of statistics, move on to probability and random distributions, the latter of which enables statisticians to work with several aspects of random events and their applications. Finally, learners will examine a number of ways to investigate the relationships between various characteristics of data.

General Electives Course Descriptions

SCI 131: Introduction to Nutrition

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Typically Offered: Summer

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: None

Description: This course will provide an understanding of basic nutrition science. Learners will become familiar with the principles of diet planning, government standards, and food labeling. They will also be instructed about the biological functions and food sources of each nutrient, energy balance, weight management, physical activity, the role of nutrition in chronic disease development, nutrition through the life cycle, and food safety issues.

SCI 251: Microbiology with Lab

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction, virtual lab)

Semester Credits: 4 (3 Didactic, 1 Lab)

Contact Hours: 75 (45 Didactic, 30 Lab)

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Typically Offered: Fall

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: None

Description: This course is designed to teach microbiology as it applies to the health care field. The course will explore pathogenic microorganisms and their role in human disease, human immunology, symptoms and treatment of microbial infection, and preventative measures against microbial infection. This course contains a lab component (1 credit hour), where learners will be able to practice and apply principles they are learning in the didactic portion (3 semester credits) of the class.

Post-Licensure Nursing Core Course Descriptions

NUR 410: Capstone Proposal

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 1 (Didactic only)

Contact Hours: 15

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour

Prerequisites: Successful completion of an ADN RN program and passing score on the NCLEXRN examination

Corequisites: None

Description: This course is a preparatory proposal course for NUR 490: Capstone Leadership, which will be taken the last semester of the BSN Program. Learners will be completing a capstone project in the BSN Program during that final semester, but the ideas, proposal, and approval for this project will come to fruition in this Capstone Proposal course. Learners will learn about vision, creativity, and planning as it relates to leadership in nursing. They will propose a plan for a capstone project and explain how the plan will be carried out. Some basic principles related to leadership and the future of nursing will be discussed in this course.

NUR 420: Population-Based Chronic Illness & Health Promotion

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 4 (3.5 Didactic, 0.5 Clinical)

Contact Hours: 70 (52.5 Didactic (Theory), 22.5 Clinical)

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour (This course includes a clinical practice-based project which requires 15 tracked clock hours to receive credit for the course)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of an ADN RN program and passing score on the NCLEXRN examination

Corequisites: None

Description: This course introduces concepts of community health nursing utilizing a population-focused nursing process. Emphasis is placed on health promotion, risk reduction, and disease management in selected community settings. The course focuses on theory-based nursing care of aggregates, communities, and vulnerable populations in a global, multicultural society. Learners are introduced to public health concepts as well as characteristics of community health nursing. Emphasis is also placed on community assessment process and the development of nursing strategies to assist multi-problem families, while considering health on a continuum and throughout the lifespan. In addition, the nurse’s role on the community health team and an understanding of health care needs of different cultural groups will be explored.

NUR 430: Nursing Communication and Informatics

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic only)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour

Prerequisites: Successful completion of an ADN RN program and passing score on the NCLEXRN examination

Corequisites: None

Description: In this course, learners will explore and gain advanced knowledge and skills in information management, patient care technology, and effective interpersonal communication modalities. Nursing informatics is a combination of cognitive science, computer science, information science, and nursing science. It includes the development, analysis, and evaluation of information systems, which are augmented by technology that helps to support, enhance and manage client care. In this course, learners will examine information management tools used to monitor outcomes of care processes, client care technologies essential to ensuring high quality, safe patient care, and communication and collaboration skills necessary to providing optimal client-centered care. Key concepts related to information and computer literacy will be emphasized.

NUR 440: Advanced Issues in Cognition

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 2 (Didactic only)

Contact Hours: 30

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour

Prerequisites: Successful completion of an ADN RN program and passing score on the NCLEXRN examination

Corequisites: None

Description: This course focuses on advanced principles and concepts related to cognition and psychiatric nursing, emphasizing the roles and functions of the nurse in meeting the needs of individuals, families, groups, and communities who are experiencing issues in cognitive functioning. Learners will build upon concepts of cognition they learned in their associate degree programs, and advance their thinking skills to the analysis, synthesis, and evaluation levels. Emphasis will be placed on the nurse’s ability to communicate, lead, apply the nursing process, and clinically judge situations related to cognition and psychiatric nursing.

NUR 450: Gerontological Nursing

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic only)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: None

Description: This course examines the physical, psychological, sociocultural, and spiritual aspects of aging within the context of the family and society. Advanced theoretical concepts of aging will be examined in light of the nursing process. Theories and concepts related to gerontology and nursing principles are presented within the framework of critical thinking and caring. The focus is on health promotion through providing safe, evidence-based practice interventions, emphasizing the well and the vulnerable older adult population.

NUR 460: Concepts of Nursing in the Complex Patient

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic only)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: None

Description: This course focuses on pathophysiologic concepts and nursing management essential to critical care and emergency nursing in complex patient settings. The course will address ethical, moral, and legal issues as well as specific considerations for various procedures and specialty services encountered in the critical care environment. Learners will learn to apply the nursing process with complex patient situations and prioritize nursing care for clients with multiple complex needs.

NUR 470: Scholarship and Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic only)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour

Prerequisites: Successful completion of an ADN RN program and passing score on the NCLEXRN examination

Corequisites: None

Description: This course provides an introduction to the research process in the practice of nursing. Research in nursing is important to promote, maintain, and restore health, and to ensure quality and safety in nursing practice. Learners will examine the research process as a basis for how scientific nursing knowledge is obtained. The steps in the research process are identified, discussed, and will be implemented in conjunction with the Capstone Proposal course (NUR 410). The utilization of nursing research in the development of therapeutic nursing interventions will be explored. Learners will learn to apply critical thinking skills to the evaluation of published nursing research for application to practice.

NUR 480: Decision-Making in Nursing

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic only)

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour Prerequisites: None

Prerequisites: Successful completion of an ADN RN program and passing score on the NCLEXRN examination

Corequisites: None

Description: The purpose of this course is to aid nurses in making decisions, using ethical, political, legal, cultural, spiritual, clinical, and other considerations as part of the decision-making process. Emphasis on ethical decision-making in nursing practice is given. Nurses are required to make decisions in every aspect of practice, and need to have a foundation of knowledge, values, and ethics which will promote client-centered care in multiple nursing settings. An accurate understanding of policy and ethics in the decision-making process is vital for every practicing nurse.

NUR 490: Capstone Leadership

Delivery Modality: Online (online didactic instruction)

Semester Credits: 2 (1 Didactic, 1 Clinical)

Contact Hours: 30

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour (This course includes a clinical practice-based project which requires 30 tracked clock hours to receive credit for the course)

Prerequisites: NUR 410 and the successful completion of an ADN RN program and passing score on the NCLEXRN examination

Corequisites: None

Description: This course is a follow-up course to NUR 410: Capstone Proposal, which was taken the first semester of the BSN Program. In this course, learners will be completing the capstone project they proposed in NUR 410. Learners will apply their learning about vision, creativity, and planning as it relates to leadership in nursing. They will complete a capstone project. The future of nursing from leadership perspective will be explored. The aim of this course is to help nurses explore the many facets of leadership and examine strategies that will help them develop skills needed to function as leaders.

RN to BSN Prerequisites

The College does offer prerequisites through the General Education (GE) Clear Track. Required classes for admittance into the programs may be found in the College Catalog.

Nightingale College’s RN to BSN Program

Our Program allows registered nurses to further their education in order to develop skills and reasoning advanced from an ADN competency level. As employers are divulging the benefits of having BSN-prepared bedside nurses, it is a necessity for RNs to continue their education in order to provide quality patient safety and care in diverse areas of care and environments.

The BSN Program is currently in candidacy status with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for 2016 and is built upon the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing.

A total of 120 semester credits are required for graduation, consisting of 24 semester credits of upper-division nursing coursework. Learners complete the didactic section of the program online, eliminating the need to travel to a location for class.

For more information, review the latest College Catalog and the recent Addendums. Questions regarding Admissions into the Program or Financial Aid, speak directly with an Admissions or Financial Aid Advisor at (801) 689-2160.