RN to BSN Clinical Requirements

As an RN to BSN student in the Penn State College of Nursing, you will be required to complete clinical experiences to complement your course work. Our clinical experiences are designed to differ from those of your pre-licensure program. The main goal of these experiences is for you to grow professionally and to be able to take the next step in your career.

These clinical experiences 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 courses include credits for clinical experiences:

Clinical Experience Courses**
Course Number and Name Clinical Description Clinical Hours Required
NURS 251: Health Assessment
NURS 352: Advanced Health Assessment
The clinical time in this course is satisfied through practicing basic or advanced physical assessment/interview skills and recording an actual physical exam. (3 credits) 45 clinical hours
NURS 417: Family and Community Health Concepts In this course, the clinical experience is a community health–related activity. It can consist of a project or an experience in a health care setting. (4 credits) 45 clinical hours
NURS 465: Health Concepts for Adults with Complex Health Care Needs The clinical experience in this course can be a health-related project or an experience in a health care setting. (3 credits) 45 clinical hours
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) 90 clinical hours

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

Getting Started with a Clinical Experience

Your clinical experiences 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 for the clinical experience 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:

  1. Complete a quality improvement observation and project.
  2. Create a teaching project for student nurses.
  3. Collaborate with a College of Nursing Simulation Laboratory coordinator to develop and implement comprehensive case studies using simulation technology.
  4. Prepare a "Brown Bag Medication Health Teaching" at a senior center.
  5. Collaborate with an agency to identify, investigate, develop, implement, and evaluate a pilot evidence-based practice (EBP) project following a specific EBP model.
  6. Develop, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive weight-management program, presented biweekly during the semester, with adults living in an assisted living apartment complex.
  7. Collaborate with a school nurse to develop, implement, and evaluate a health education fair at a local school.
  8. Develop a heart-healthy education program to be implemented in K–6 physical education classes in elementary schools.
  9. Perform blood pressure screening and assessment of clients at a homeless shelter.
  10. Interview people working at a homeless shelter.
  11. Follow an administrator of a nonprofit, profit, or public agency.
  12. Work with case management at an insurance company.
  13. Investigate allocation and/or the utilization of health care resources in a geographical setting.
  14. Join and then lead a support group — review group dynamics and current research on topic.
  15. Compare regulations (governmental, accrediting bodies, e.g., JACHO) between health care agencies.
  16. Analyze a professional health/nursing organization at the local level vs. the national level.
  17. Examine program planning at agencies, e.g., at the Red Cross, learn what is involved in planning for blood donation drives.