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RN to BSN nurse
Bachelor of Science in
Nursing

Courses

The RN to BSN program is 120 credits. To earn this Bachelor of Science in Nursing, you must successfully complete:

  • 42 prescribed core course credits
  • 45 General Education credits
  • 33 additional core credits (earned by portfolio verification for licensed RNs)

The degree's prescribed core courses focus on contemporary issues in the field of nursing. Subjects of study include anatomy, chemistry, data management, ethics, health assessment, human development and family studies, human resources management, microbiology, nursing research, nutrition, and sociology.

Some nursing courses are available in an accelerated seven-and-a-half-week format.

Program Requirements: 120 credits
You may transfer credits into this program from another accredited institution. However, to earn this Bachelor of Science in Nursing, you must earn 36 of the last 60 credits from Penn State.

General Education: 45 credits
(20–22 of these 45 credits are included in the requirements for the major.)
(See General Education in the curriculum.)

Requirements for the Major: 92–93 credits
(This includes 20–22 credits of General Education courses.)

Electives: 2–5 credits

Prescribed Courses (22 credits minimum)

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to principles and methods of nursing research and application of, research evidence to practice.

  • 3
    credits

    Designed to extend the RN student's knowledge and skills in health assessment and physical examination across the lifespan.

  • 3
    credits

    An introduction to nursing informatics focusing on technology applications to the nursing profession.

  • 3
    credits

    Transition to baccalaureate education and professional nursing practice, emphasizing leadership, management, and issues influencing nursing education and practice.

  • 4
    credits

    Study of the concepts of family and community based nursing care emphasizing multicultural influences on health practices.

  • 3
    credits

    In-depth study and application of the theoretical principles and roles of adult clients and families with complex healthcare needs.

  • 3
    credits

    A project-based capstone clinical course for the RN student with a focus on the application of nursing concepts and the RN's development of future career goals. The course is designed to provide opportunity for students to synthesize and apply the art and science of nursing to health promotion and disease prevention in culturally diverse populations in varied clinical settings of the global community.

Portfolio Assessment (33 credits)

The following courses comprise credits earned by credit by portfolio assessment for RNs.

  • 3
    credits

    Designed to explore the illness component of health with emphasis on the pathophysiological and psychosocial aspects.

  • 4
    credits

    Introduction to the nursing process, clinical competencies and psychosocial skills.

  • 2
    credits

    Introduces the students to the profession of nursing, the science of nursing, and the use of information technology in health care.

    • Prerequisite

      BIOL 161 and BIOL 163

  • 4
    credits

    Therapeutic nursing care of the adult client in a variety of primarily medical-surgical settings.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to pharmacological concepts and identifies the pharmacodynamics of major classifications of drugs.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 225 and NURS 230 or approval of the program.

    • Recommended Corequisites

      NURS 301 and NURS 310

  • 3
    credits

    Focuses on common health problems and nursing intervention for children and adolescents.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 225 and NURS 230 and NURS 305

  • 3
    credits

    Nursing concerns and intervention in promoting the health of the older adult.

  • 3
    credits

    Therapeutic nursing care of the chilbearing family and gynecological client.

  • 4
    credits

    In-depth study of care of patients with acute and complex health problems, utilizing evidence-based practice.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 305 and NURS 350

  • 4
    credits

    Emphasizes clinical application of mental health theory in nursing care of patients with acute and chronic mental health problems.

Supporting Courses and Related Courses (select 6 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Interdisciplinary discussion of violence and its perpetrators, victims, and impact on society as well as possible solutions for violence reduction.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    This course covers the importance of environmental health on individual and community health, the effects of environmental hazards on diverse populations and the impact of climate change on disease.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Provides an introduction to the forensic health sciences, forensic nursing, and the nursing role in the scientific investigation of violence.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 225, NURS 230, NURS 250

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Examines nurses' role of recognizing patterns of injury. Evidence collection procedures are examined from collection to courtroom presentation, includes autopsy.

    • Prerequisite or concurrent

      NURS 245 and NURS 409

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    A seminar to discuss the current topics, trends, and research related to forensic nursing, including evidence-based research, public policy issues, media-related events, regulatory considerations, professional responsibilities, and career planning.

    • Prerequisite or concurrent

      NURS 410

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to organizational theory and principles of practice in the administration of nursing services and patient care.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis of information systems to manage nursing service organizations. Includes financial management, the budgeting processes, and productivity measurement.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Human resource management and related factors in nursing service organizations.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Focuses on the application of management principles in the role of the nurse manager.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 430

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    Focuses on the impact of and the nursing care of persons experiencing acute trauma and/or critical illness.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    A case-based collaboratory designed for the exploration and analysis of the ethical dilemmas facing health care informatics practitioners.

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 3
    credits

    An exploration of clinical informatics tools to support informatics practice.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 357

    • C or better

      A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

  • 1–9
    credits

    Designed to provide students with in-depth study and practice in clinical specialty area of choice. Students work with a faculty member in the development of course objectives and goals and with a clinical preceptor to accomplish them.

  • 1–9
    credits

    Creative projects, including research and design, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

Courses Meeting General Education Requirements

  • 4
    credits

    Anatomy of a mammal, with special reference to that of man.

    • GN

      This course can be used to satisfy the Natural Sciences (GN) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    Normal structure and function of the animal body, with special emphasis on human body systems.

  • 3
    credits

    Principles of communication, implemented through analysis and evaluation of messages, with some attention to formal speaking and group discussion.

    • GWS

      This course can be used to satisfy the Writing/Speaking (GWS) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    Basic concepts and quantitative relations.

    • GN

      This course can be used to satisfy the Natural Sciences (GN) requirement.

  • 1
    credit

    Introduction to quantitative experimentation in chemistry.

    • Prerequisite or Concurrent

      CHEM 110 or CHEM 106

  • 3
    credits

    Instruction and practice in writing expository prose that shows sensitivity to audience and purpose.

    • GWS

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Writing/Speaking (GWS) requirement.

    • 3
      credits

      Introduces students to the types of writing that social scientists typically do in the workplace, including research proposals, proper citation practices, literature reviews, and research reports.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Instruction in writing persuasive arguments about significant issues in the humanities.

      • GWS

        This course can be used to satisfy the Writing/Speaking (GWS) requirement.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Writing for students in scientific and technical disciplines.

      • Prerequisite

        ENGL 15, ESL 15, ENGL 30, and 4th Semester standing OR ENGL 137H, ENGL 138T, and 4th Semester standing

      • GWS

        This course can be used to satisfy the Writing/Speaking (GWS) requirement.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Writing reports and other common forms of business communication.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to psychosocial and family development at all stages of the individual and family life cycle.

    • GS

      This course can be used to satisfy the Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    A survey course in microbiology for non-majors, this course focuses on the roles of microbes in human health and disease, agriculture, biotechnology, and other areas of societal impact.

    • GN

      This course can be used to satisfy the Natural Sciences (GN) requirement.

  • 1
    credit

    Selected techniques used to observe, identify, and count bacteria; effects of chemical and physical agents on microorganisms. The combination of MICRB 106 GN and 107 GN must be taken to receive General Education credit in biology.

    • Prerequisite

      MICRB 106

    • GN

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Natural Sciences (GN) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    The nutrients: food sources and physiological functions as related to human growth and well-being throughout life; current nutrition issues.

    • GHW

      This course can be used to satisfy the Health and Wellness (GHW) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to general psychology; principles of human behavior and their applications.

    • GS

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS) requirement.

    • 3
      credits

      The nature and characteristics of human societies and social life.

      • GS

        This course can be used to satisfy the Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS) requirement.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Current social problems such as economic, racial, and gender inequalities; social deviance and crime; population, environmental, energy, and health problems.

      • GS

        The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS) requirement.

  • 4
    credits

    Descriptive Statistics, frequency distributions, probability and normal distributions, statistical inference, linear regression, and correlation.

    • GQ

      This course can be used to satisfy the Quantification (GQ) requirement.

General Education Requirements

Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
    A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
    A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
  • Integrative Studies: 6 credits
    This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.

Among the degree requirements, students should incorporate at least:

  • 3 credits in U.S. cultures
  • 3 credits in international (IL) cultures
  • 3 credits in writing-across-the-curriculum courses

The course list includes only courses offered by World Campus. An official degree audit or the recommended academic plan for this program may include additional course options and detailed requirements. All students are expected to complete at least 36 Penn State credits to earn this degree. Please consult an academic adviser for details.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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