Nursing Department

Diane Aschenbrenner, MS, RN
Jane Balkam, PhD, APRN, CPNP, IBCLC
Virginia Byer, MSN, RN
Simone Christian, MA, Instructional Designer
Rodnita Davis, MSN, RN
Kathryn Handy, DNP, RN
Amanda Henson, MS, RN, Director, Center for Caring with Technology
Jenna Hoffman, MS, Retention and Success Specialist
Zane Hunter, AA, Simulation and Technology Specialist
Carol Kurtz-Stack, BA, Adult Student Advisor
Deborah Naccarini, DNP, RN, CNE, Associate Dean
Mary O'Connor, PhD, RN, FACHE
Mary Packard, PhD, RN
Sabita Persaud, PhD, RN, APHN-BC, Associate Dean
Amber Renaud, MSN, RN, Simulation Lab Assistant
Amy Rohrs, BS, Dean's Assistant and Clinical Placement Coordinator
Natalie Scimonelli, MA, Enrollment Manager
Melody Seitz, PhD, RNC-OB
Brittany Sherrod-Howard, AA, Administrative Assistant
Marleen Thornton, PhD, RN
Mark Walker, MS, RN, CNL, CCRN
Kathleen Wisser, PhD, RN, CNE, Dean, School of Nursing

Degrees offered



Main Campus

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 Nursing Program of Study 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, RN professional opportunities are expanded in as few as two and a half years of part-time study, or one year of full-time study.

The Nursing Program is approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001; Phone: 202-887-6791).

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 must complete a minimum of 120 credits and all University and Nursing 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 Nursing Education 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.

Maryland Nursing Education Articulation Model

Notre Dame of Maryland University is a participant in the Maryland Nursing Education Articulation Model.

All registered nurses admitted to the University will enter under the terms of this model, as they apply to Notre Dame of Maryland University's Nursing Program.

All Registered Nurses (RNs) or students who plan to take NCLEX-RN for licensure or are currently licensed and admitted to Notre Dame of Maryland University will enter under the following terms: 

    • A maximum of 68 credits will be accepted in transfer;
    • No community college nursing credits will be transferred;
    • All RNs with an active license in Maryland or a compact state will be granted 30 upper-level Nursing credits per the Maryland Nursing Education Articulation Model; and,
    • RNs will complete the remaining 31 upper-level nursing credits and any additional program requirements through Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Note: Students potentially could start at Notre Dame with 98 credits, i.e. up to 68 accepted as transfer credits + 30 credits per the Maryland Nursing Education Articulation Model.

Credits Needed from Notre Dame

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

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-level Philosophy (Ethics or Moral Issues) (3)
          300/400-level Religious Studies (3)
          English Composition (3)
          Literature (3)
          History (3)
          Math (Basic Statistics) (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. NUR-412 is a required course for the Nursing Major. 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 NDMU in order to fulfill General Education Requirements; 

Department Requirements for the Nursing Major (21 credits)


          Human Anatomy & Physiology (6-8)*
          Microbiology (3-4)*
          Introduction to Psychology** (3)
          Human Growth & Development ** (3)
          Introduction to Sociology (3)
          Genetics and Genomics for Clinical Practice (3)

          *Lab Required
          **Challenge Exam Available

Upper-level Nursing credits from ADN or diploma program granted through Maryland Nursing Education 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-319 Holistic Health Assessment & 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)

          One Nursing Elective:

          NUR-314 Nursing Situations in Palliative Caring (3) or

          NUR-315 Advocacy, Politics and Power (3) or

          NUR-316 Spirituality in Nursing Practice (3)

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, or one year as a full-time student. With the accelerated format, 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 (generally 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.

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.


Students may start the RN to BSN program of study at Notre Dame without a RN license.  However, students must have an active unencumbered Maryland or compact RN license before enrolling in Notre Dame coursework that incorporates experiential learning components with Notre Dame’s practice partners, and/or a designated capstone course.


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



NUR-300 Foundations of Caring Science

Explores human caring science as a foundation of the discipline and profession of nursing. In this course RN-BSN students have the opportunity to reflect on lived practice experiences through multiple ways of knowing and examination of caring as a way of being. Implications for transformational practice, education, and research are addressed.  [1 credit]

NUR-302 Caring Approaches to Practice

This three-credit course is designed to explore various aspects of professional nursing practice. Learning experiences will include caring ways of being present to our patients, peers, and families. Students will also engage in the exploration of practice standards, ethical ways of being, linkages between theory/practice, multiple ways of knowing, reflective practice, and current trends in nursing. Upon completion of the course, students will have had the opportunity to refine their abilities to communicate through scholarly writing and informative presentations. [3 credits]

NUR-306 Writing for Professionals

This course is designed for students to develop proficiency in information access and evaluation skills. The principles and techniques of scholarly writing along with other types of writing used by professional nurses will be introduced. Students will transform information into clear scholarly narratives.  [ 1 credit ]

NUR-314 Nursing Situations in Palliative Caring

Grounded in caring science, this three-week online course focuses on promoting holistic patient and family assessment and nursing care in the context of chronic and life-limiting illness. The role of the nurse in communicating with the patient, family, and interdisciplinary team will frame an exploration of personal beliefs and practices that inform the provision of palliative care. The framework of The Nursing Situation, as well as the End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) curricular framework will guide examination of the practice of palliative care, including pain and symptom management, pharmacology and complementary alternative methodologies, ethical issues, communication, and cultural competency will all be explored. The practice of palliative care nursing, within the context of a variety of cultures and among vulnerable populations will be considered.  [ 3 credits ]

NUR-315 Advocacy, Politics and Power

This course prepares the student to critically evaluate the ethical, socioeconomic, political, legal, and power considerations influencing health care policy. An emphasis on professional values, advocacy, and political activism assists the student to become influencers in policy formation. Students will create an advocacy toolkit focused on a specific health policy, with the goal of exploring the role of the nurse in identifying, analyzing, and influencing policy at the local, state, federal and/or global levels.  [3 credits] 

NUR-316 Spirituality in Nursing Practice

This course will examine the concept of spirituality within nursing practice and its significance to patient care through an exploration of spiritual assessments, interventions, coping strategies and religious customs/beliefs. Students will learn to identify the spiritual needs of patients within a variety of settings and examine the relationship between religion and spirituality to promote a healing environment for the patient. Students will reflect on their own spiritual beliefs and practices to cultivate a deeper connection with spirit and the one-being-cared-for. Self-care for the caregiver will be emphasized throughout the course to foster loving-kindness and compassion within the context of caring practice.  [ 3 credits ]

NUR-319 Holistic Health Assessment and Nutrition Across the Lifespan for Professional Nurses

This course introduces the student to knowledge and skills essential for holistic health assessment through a lens of caring science and an emphasis on social determinants of health. The student will practice assessment and interviewing skills in the Center for Caring with Technology. The student will analyze both subjective and objective data and document findings in an appropriate format. Students will enhance their abilities to conduct a culturally sensitive assessment. Nutrition principles will be reviewed for populations across the lifespan.  [ 5 credits ]

NUR-400 Information Systems for Caring Practice

In this RN to BSN course, learners will explore the relationship between nurse and technology. Information systems used in nursing and healthcare and their application to patient safety and quality improvement through the lens of caring science will be introduced. Learners acquire technical skills needed for this application of patient care technologies and competency in information literacy, information management, and information management systems for safe, competent, and quality patient care.  [3 credits]

NUR-411 Healthy Aging for Professional Nurses

In this course, students will explore healthy aging through the lens of caring science. The course will provide an examination of theories, trends, and research related to aging and nursing care of older adults, with an emphasis on health promotion and health disparities of aging. Students will be encouraged to become advocates for older adults within healthcare and the greater community, examining economic and policy implications that shape models of care. Students will gain knowledge that will better enable them to eliminate health disparities among older adults, and develop nursing care strategies that improve the care and health of older adults within the acute healthcare system, institutionalized settings, and in the community.  The course will also prepare students to develop nursing care strategies that promote healthy aging for individuals throughout the lifespan. [3 credits] 

NUR-412 Population Health Through a Caring Lens

Grounded in caring science, this course focuses on promoting and protecting the health of the public using health promotion, risk reduction, and disease management and control strategies.  Community assessment, epidemiologic, change, political action, and case-management frameworks are used to guide evidence-based nursing care delivery to persons, families, and populations in community settings.  The role of social determinants of health will be explored; cultural competency, social justice, and advocacy will be discussed as strategies for the elimination of health disparities.  [4 credits]

NUR-420 Nursing Research for Professional Nurses

This course introduces learners to knowledge and skills essential for a consumer of nursing research. It examines use of the research process as a method to enhance scientific inquiry and to develop a knowledge base for nursing practice.  Critical appraisal of both qualitative and quantitative methods in published nursing research is emphasized. Research on caring will be the central theme. [3 credits]

NUR-440 Caring Nursing Leadership for Professional Nurses

This course integrates previously learned nursing knowledge and skills of caring and contemporary leadership and management theories and processes, enabling learners to define more clearly their roles as baccalaureate-prepared nurses.  Learners analyze health care environment challenges of changes in focus to population health, economic realities, opportunities for continued professional development, and leadership/management challenges created by increasingly complex healthcare environments.  Knowing one’s-self, appreciating the diversity of the workplace and communities, caring for vulnerable and marginalized populations, and using caring science as a basis for leadership in nursing and healthcare are woven throughout the course.  [3 credits]

NUR-450 Capstone Experience

Building on previous learning in the curriculum and blending with leadership experiences, students will use the lens of caring science to analyze their current way of being with patients, colleagues, employers and the community at large. Being present in these relationships, students will use scholarship to investigate an area where relationships or processes could be improved with a focus on self-care, quality and/or safety. Each student will design a project that, if implemented, could improve praxis and advocate for change in the workplace. Using leadership skills, the student will determine the best way to communicate the proposed project. Reflective practice will be used throughout the course to focus on the program outcomes of presence, praxis, advocacy, scholarship, self-care, and leadership as it relates to their project.  [2 credits]