RN to BSN Program (for Registered Nurses)

Maryland RN to BSN Articulation Model
Accelerated Format
International/Study Abroad Opportunities
Admissions Requirements
Non-Academic Clinical Requirements
Course descriptions  

Diane Aschenbrenner, M.S., R.N.
Jane Balkam, Ph.D., A.P.R.N., C.P.N.P., I.B.C.L.C.

Janice Brennan, M.S., R.N.-B.C., C.N.E.
Virginia Byer, M.S.N, R.N.
Jenna Hoffman, M.S., Retention and Success Specialist
Zane Hunter, A.A., Simulation and Technology Specialist
Roxanne Moran, Ph.D., R.N., C.N.E.
Hannah Murphy Buc, M.S.N., R.N.
Deborah Naccarini, D.N.P., R.N., C.N.E.
Mary O'Connor, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.C.H.E.
Mary Packard, Ph.D., R.N.
Sabita Persaud, Ph.D., R.N., A.P.H.N.-B.C.
Amy Rohrs, B.S., Administrative Assistant
Melody Seitz, Ph.D.(c), M.S., R.N.C.-O.B.
Brittany Sherrod-Howard, A.A., Administrative Assistant
Marleen Thornton, Ph.D, R.N.
Mark Walker, M.S., R.N., C.N.L., C.C.R.N.
Kathleen Wisser, Ph.D., R.N., C.N.E., C.P.H.Q., Dean, School of Nursing

The School of Nursing offers a RN to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program to students admitted through the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies (CAUS). Designed for practicing registered nurses, the program challenges women and men to strive for intellectual and professional excellence, to build inclusive communities, to engage in service to others and to promote social responsibility.

The philosophy of the School guides the practice and teaching of nursing as a journey through deep caring connections with patients, students, colleagues and the discipline of nursing. Nursing is imagined and known through caring authentic presence with others and multiple ways of knowing. Nursing is a presence to life lived with those entrusted to our care, a beacon, attentive to the extraordinary in the mundane and boldly entering questions of meaning. All stories of individuals and of the discipline are valued as necessary to the growth and advancement of the profession. Healing practice is possible in partnership relationships; nursing creates safe welcoming places, encouraging growth, seeking to understand and knowing each other's hearts.

Nurses are called to care through advocacy, action, "power-with" and trusting relationships with persons and groups in diverse settings. Nursing embraces diversity and commitment to social justice. With perseverance and fortitude, caring and compassion are preserved as the ethical foundation of nursing practice and scholarship.

A nursing way of being requires reflective practice, a listening, that allows for meaning-making in all dimensions of academic and practice endeavors. Nursing practice is characterized by thoughtfulness and necessarily lived out with intention. This way of being a School of Nursing in all aspects allows for possibilities for our mission to be realized—educating nurses to transform the world.

The nursing program builds on registered nurses' prior education and clinical experiences and prepares them for the challenges and opportunities of the contemporary health care environment. Through Notre Dame's innovative curriculum, R.N. professional opportunities are expanded in as few as two and a half years of part-time study.

The nursing program is approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 500, Atlanta, Georgia, 30326; Phone: 404-975-5000).

Notre Dame’s RN to BSN program is offered through an accelerated format. Students begin their program of study with an upper-level nursing course designed to assist students with the transition to baccalaureate nursing education. Nursing courses are embraced by a liberal arts curriculum. Students who major in nursing must complete a minimum of 120 credits and all university and major requirements to earn the Bachelor of Science degree. The curriculum requires: 24 general education credits,  21 departmental requirement credits, , and 31 upper-level nursing credits earned at Notre Dame. Students may transfer up to 68 credits, in addition to receiving 30 extra credits per the Maryland RN to BSN Articulation Model.

All nursing courses meet in four-hour sessions on the same day of the week and at the same four-hour time frame during the entire program. In all upper-level nursing courses, the theory portion of the course has a one-credit-hour-to-eight-clock-hour ratio per course. Students and faculty meet for 24 hours for each 3-credit nursing course offering, including the theory portion of the health assessment and clinical courses. The one-credit health assessment lab has a one-credit-hour-to-14-clock-hours ratio per course, i.e. 14 lab hours over the eight-week course, which are included in the four-hour class period. The 4-credit clinical course has a one-credit-hour-to-16-clock-hours ratio, or 32 hours of clinical experience. One hour per week is designated as clinical conference time and occurs during the scheduled class time; the remaining 24 hours and 8 hours respectively, are completed through mentored clinical experience.

A grade of C (2.0) or higher is required for English Composition, Values/Ethics, Basic Statistics, all 31 credits of department requirements, and all 29 credits of upper-level nursing courses, whether they are taken at Notre Dame, accepted as transfer credit, or challenged. If a student does not achieve a "C" or better in a nursing course, he or she is put on probation until that course is retaken for a passing (C or better) grade. Only one course may be repeated for a passing grade. Upon receiving a second D or F (in the same or another nursing course), the student will be dismissed from the program.

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Maryland R.N.-B.S.N. Articulation Model

Notre Dame is a participant in the Maryland R.N.-B.S.N. Articulation Model.

All registered nurses admitted to CAUS will enter under the terms of this model, as they apply to Notre Dame's nursing program:

  • Up to 60 college credits will be accepted in transfer
  • No community college nursing credits will be transferred
  • All R.N.s with an active license in Maryland or a compact state will be granted 30 upper-level nursing credits per the Articulation Model
  • R.N.s will complete the remaining 31 upper-level nursing credits and any additional program requirements through Notre Dame

A minimum of 30 earned credits from Notre Dame is required for graduation. The final 30 credits for the degree must be earned at Notre Dame.

Specific course requirements for the accelerated Bachelor of Science degree with a major in nursing include:

General Education requirements (24 Credits)*

200-level Philosophy (3)
200-level Religious Studies (3)
300/400-level Religious Studies (3)
English Composition (3)
Literature (3)
History (3)
Values (Ethics or Moral Issues) (3)
Math (Basic Statistics) (3)
Biology (3)

*The general education requirements for natural and social sciences are part of the department requirements.

Please Note: As part of the degree program (120 credits) at least one course must be focused on gender studies and one on cross-cultural studies. Students who take the upper-level religious studies course as part of the accelerated sequence will fulfill the gender studies requirement through that course. The cross-cultural studies requirement will be fulfilled through the upper-level nursing course NUR-412 Population Health through a Caring Lens. Students who have earned an associate degree prior to admission to the University are exempt from the gender and cross-cultural requirement. However, most students will need to complete the upper-level religious studies course at Notre Dame in order to fulfill general education requirements; NUR-412 is a required course for the nursing major.

Department Requirements for the Nursing Major (21 credits)
Human Anatomy & Physiology (6-8)*
Microbiology (3-4)*
Introduction to Psychology a (3)
Human Growth & Development a (3)
Introduction to Sociology (3)
Genetics and Genomics for Clinical Practice (3)

*Lab Required
a Challenge Exam Available

Upper-level nursing credits from ADN or diploma program granted through Maryland RN to BSN Articulation Model (30 credits)

Upper-level nursing courses at Notre Dame (31 credits)

NUR-300 Foundations of Caring Science (1)
NUR-302 Caring Approaches to Practice (3)
NUR-306 Writing for Professionals (1)
NUR-314 Nursing Situations in Palliative Caring (3) or
   NUR-316 Spirituality in Nursing Practice (3)
NUR-319 Holistic Health Assessment and Nutrition Across the Lifespan for Professional Nurses (5)
NUR-400 Information Systems for Caring Practice (3)
NUR-411 Healthy Aging for Professional Nurses (3)
NUR-412 Population Health through a Caring Lens (4)
NUR-420 Nursing Research for Professional Nurses (3)
NUR-440 Caring Nursing Leadership for Professional Nurses (3)
NUR-450 Capstone Experience (2)

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Accelerated Format

RNs with Associate Degrees in Nursing can complete all remaining requirements for the bachelor's degree in two and a half years as a part-time student. With the accelerated program, students complete several courses over the time frame of an academic semester, usually enrolled in one course at a time. Courses in the accelerated format are offered in 8 week sessions (6 weeks during the summer)at times convenient for working students. Cohort meeting times may be scheduled mornings, afternoons, or evenings on weekdays. Courses in the accelerated format are sequenced in an academically sound order that is designed to foster student success in the program.

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International/Study Abroad Opportunities

Special Topics in Nursing may be taken in partial fulfillment of select nursing courses. Contact the School of Nursing at 410-532-5526 for more information.

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Admission Requirements

In addition to matriculation requirements for all students in CAUS, all nursing majors must have an active R.N. license in Maryland or a compact state prior to matriculation.

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Non-Academic Clinical Requirements

All students are responsible for their own transportation to and from clinical experiences. Students must complete the following requirements, at their own expense, prior to starting NUR-412: active R.N. license in Maryland or a compact state; CPR certification; negative TB screening status; polio and tetanus vaccination; Hepatitis B vaccination or declination; evidence of immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (titers or vaccination), and seasonal flu vaccination. Students must also sign statements that certify indemnity, confidentiality and Standard Precautions training. Students may also be required to complete a background check 10 days before clinical placement if stipulated in agency contracts. Students will not be allowed to start NUR-412 until all required documentation is completed.

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In addition to the policies and procedures in this catalog,, all nursing majors are responsible for the policies and procedures in the current School of Nursing Accelerated RN to BSN Student Handbook that is located in on the School of Nursing homepage under Resources.

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