Clinical Requirements

RN to BSN Clinical Requirements

We are pleased to announce that we have recently significantly reduced our clinical hour requirement from 180 to 45 total program hours.

As an RN to BSN student in the Penn State College of Nursing, you will be required to complete a clinical experience in the final capstone course (NURS 475) to complement your course work. The clinical experience is designed by each student and will differ from those pre-licensure programs. The main goal of the experience is for you to grow professionally in order to take the next step in a successful career.

The clinical experience will provide you with an exciting opportunity to analyze and evaluate aspects of health care that are aligned with your career goals. Even for experienced nurses working in the field, the clinical requirements can provide valuable opportunities to train in new departments or move up to higher-level responsibilities.

The following course includes credits for your clinical experience:

Clinical Experience Courses**
Course Number and Name Clinical Description Clinical Hours Required
NURS 475: Integrated Concepts in Nursing Practice This clinical experience involves working with an individual within a community, and it can be completed within or outside of a health care system. Some of the clinical time/experience is also embedded in the course. (3 credits) 45 clinical hours

**Please note that a valid and current RN license is needed in order to enroll in the clinical course work.

Getting Started with a Clinical Experience

Your clinical experience will be a "health–related activity" and will include completing a project or spending time in a health care setting that will help you grow as a nursing professional. You will develop your goals and build an experience or project that will help you meet these individual goals. You will submit the plan for your health–related activity to your instructor for approval.

Examples of Appropriate Clinical Experiences

As you work closely with your adviser and your faculty to plan the path most appropriate for you, your individual clinical experience will be based on your own needs and goals. However, some possible clinical experiences to consider include:

  • Complete a quality improvement observation and project.
  • Create a teaching project for a vulnerable population.
  • Prepare a "Brown Bag Medication Health Teaching" program at a senior center.
  • Collaborate with an agency to identify, investigate, develop, implement, and evaluate a pilot evidence-based practice (EBP) project following a specific EBP model.
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive weight-management program, presented biweekly during the semester, with adults living in an assisted living apartment complex.
  • Collaborate with a school nurse to develop, implement, and evaluate a health education fair at a local school.
  • Develop a heart-healthy education program to be implemented in K–6 physical education classes in elementary schools.
  • Perform blood pressure screening and assessment of clients at a homeless shelter.
  • Follow an administrator of a nonprofit, for-profit, or public agency and develop an intervention or project based on what you have learned.
  • Work with case management at an insurance company.
  • Investigate allocation and/or utilization of health care resources in a geographical setting. Plan and implement a program based on this information.
  • Join and then lead a support group — review group dynamics and current research on topic.
  • Examine program planning at agencies — e.g., the Red Cross — and learn what is involved in planning for blood donation drives.
  • Gain clinical experience in a specialty area of your choice.