Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Program

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program (pdf) is a four-year professional program that prepares students to become general registered nurses (RNs) as a basis for progressing to leadership roles and graduate study.

Students in the BSN program must complete a minimum of 124 credits to graduate. There are at least 53 required credits in the nursing curriculum and the remaining 71 credits are earned through general education requirements, nursing prerequisite course work, and elective courses.

During the first two years in the program (the pre-nursing years), students complete all nursing admission prerequisite courses and requirements, in addition to all other degree requirements that are not built into the two-year nursing program plan. This includes the university's General Education Requirements and course work in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, electives, and the nursing program's math requirement. Please review our Pre-Nursing Program Plan (pdf) for more information.

Once admitted to the nursing program, it is a structured and progressive two-year program of study. The school will be implementing a new curriculum for students entering the program in the fall 2017 term and beyond. This new model of conceptual teaching and learning is organized around a set of enduring core concepts in nursing rather than disease processes and task-based interventions for specific situations. This new curriculum is shown in the Traditional BSN Concept-Based Program Plan. Students entering the program prior to fall 2017 will complete the Traditional BSN Program Plan, which includes classes on health care systems, the human response to health and illness, health history and patient assessment, systematic investigation, mental health and mental illness, legal and social forces in nursing, and perinatal, pediatric, and gerontological nursing. 

Both program plans feature hands-on patient care clinical experiences (i.e., experiential learning) each of the four semesters in the program. Clinical placements are in a variety of settings including hospitals, inpatient and outpatient centers, and mental, public, and community health agencies. Students also build nursing skills in our Center for Technology-Enhanced Nursing using the latest patient simulators, as well as in our simulated home environment and eHealth laboratory.

Students who successfully complete the BSN program are then able to apply for their registered nurse (RN) license when they sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX). Graduates who want to advance as nurses practitioners or clinical specialists can explore our Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program, and/or the post-graduate psychiatric nursing capstone certificate.