Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

Women's College

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

The School of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to students admitted through the Women's College. Dedicated to the mission of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the School of Nursing educates students in a caring science curriculum to become leaders in the profession of nursing, and thereby to transform healthcare and the world. The BSN program challenges students 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 of Nursing grounds the caring curriculum, as well as all activities of the School:

Nursing and the teaching of nursing is 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 Philosophy of the School of Nursing is lived by the graduates through the following program outcomes: Presence, Praxis, Advocacy, Scholarship, Self-Care and Leadership.

Students are admitted to Notre Dame as Nursing students and complete most liberal arts and basic science courses prior to beginning the Nursing Major in the junior year. The BSN program integrates the academic discipline with reflective clinical practice. Clinical experiences occur in a variety of hospital and community settings serving diverse populations throughout the region. BSN graduates are prepared as nurse generalists and are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX–RN) in order to secure licensure as a Registered Nurse.

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).

Progression Policy in the Nursing Major

Once enrolled in the Nursing Major, students must meet the following criteria in order to progress in the Major:

Criteria for Progression

  • Adhere to the NSNA Code of Ethics for Nursing StudentsCode of Academic and Clinical Conduct.
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.8 in Nursing courses.
  • Achieve a grade of C or better in all Nursing courses.
    • Satisfactorily complete the clinical component of each Nursing course. A clinical failure constitutes failure of the entire Nursing course regardless if a passing grade was obtained in classroom theory tests.
    • Minimum of 70% examination average must be met before other assignments are considered in select Nursing courses in order to pass the course. Once the examination average of 70% is met, all other assignment grades will be factored. These select courses include: NUR-301 Holistic Health Assessment, NUR-305 Foundations of a Caring Profession, NUR-310 Pathopharmacology, NUR-311 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult I, NUR-312 Nursing Care of Children and Families, NUR-408 Maternal and Infant Nursing, NUR-409 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult II, NUR-410 Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, NUR-431 Community Health Nursing.
  • Only one Nursing course (NUR designation) may be repeated—and only one time.  Failure of a second Nursing course results in dismissal from the Nursing Program.
  • Students are limited to repeating one science course (for a grade less than C) and one Nursing course (for a grade less than C) throughout the entire Program of Study.
  • Students are limited to two withdrawals from Nursing courses during their course of study. 
  • Students who withdraw from the Program due to non-academic reasons may be reinstated on a space available basis.  Students must have withdrawn in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or above in all Nursing courses. University admission policies are followed.

The complete policy for acceptance to the Nursing Major is contained on this page and in the Undergraduate Nursing Student Entry-Level BSN Student Handbook. See here for the complete progression policy for Majors. 

Program of Study

Required Courses for the Major in Nursing (Credits)

       BIO-111 General Biology (4)
       BIO-253 General Microbiology (4)
       BIO-260 Genetics and Genomics for Clinical Practice (3)
       BIO-281 Human Anatomy & Physiology I (4)
       BIO-282 Human Anatomy & Physiology II (4)
       CHM-108 Survey of General, Organic & Biochemistry (4)
       LSP-108  Spanish Language and Culture for Healthcare Professionals (3)
       MAT-103 Applied Algebra (unless waived) (3)
       MAT-215 Basic Statistics (3)
       NUR-250 Nutrition for Wellness (online) (3)
       NUR-301 Holistic Health Assessment (4)
       NUR-303 Nursing Informatics (online) (2)
       NUR-304 Healthy Aging (3)
       NUR-305 Foundations of a Caring Profession (5)
       NUR-307 Research in Nursing Practice (3)
       NUR-308 Professional Nursing Care: Psychiatric/Mental Health (4)
       NUR-310 Pathopharmacology (4)
       NUR-311 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult I (4)
       NUR-406 Contemporary Trends and Theory (3)
       NUR-408 Professional Nursing Care: Maternal and Newborn (4)
       NUR-409 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult II (4)
       NUR-417 Professional Nursing Care:  Children and Families (4) 
       NUR-431 Community Health Nursing (5)
       NUR-432 Caring Nursing Leadership (3)
       NUR-461 Clinical Practicum (6)
       PSY-101 Introductory Psychology (4)
       PSY-233 Human Growth & Development (3)
       PHL-339  Medical Ethics (3)
       SOC-101 Introductory Sociology (3)

Note: Students also complete the General Education Requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree. Nursing students are encouraged to take fine arts and Spanish courses for their elective requirements.

Nursing Four-Year Plan

Students must select courses with the assistance of a faculty advisor. The Program of Study requires a total of 123 to 129 credits.




*MAT-100 Algebraic Applications OR

*MAT-103 Applied Algebra (unless waived)

NDMU-100 First Year Seminar

ENG-101 College Writing

BIO-111 Fundamentals of Biology

HIS- History Requirement

[14/18 credits]







CHM-108 Survey of General, Organic & Biochemistry

BIO-253 Microbiology

ENG- English Literature

PHL-201 Introduction to Philosophy

PSY-101 Introductory Psychology

[18 credits]







BIO-260 Genetics and Genomics for Clinical Practice

NUR-250 Nutrition for Wellness (Online)

PHL-339 Medical Ethics

BIO-281 Human Anatomy & Physiology I

RST-201 Introduction to Biblical Studies

LSP-105 Spanish Language & Culture for Professionals I (unless waived)

[16/17 credits]







BIO-282 Human Anatomy & Physiology II

SOC-101 Introductory Sociology

PSY-233 Human Growth & Development

MAT-215 Basic Statistics

RST-300/400 Upper Level RST Course Requirement

LSP-106 Spanish Language & Culture for Professionals II (unless waived)

[16/17 credits]








NUR-301 Holistic Health Assessment

NUR-303 Nursing Informatics

NUR-305 Foundations of a Caring Profession

NUR-310 Pathopharmacology

[15 credits]





NUR-304 Healthy Aging

NUR-311 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult I

NUR-307 Research in Nursing Practice

NUR-308 Professional Nursing Care: Psychiatric/Mental Health

[14 credits]






NUR-417 Professional Nursing Care:  Children and Families

NUR-406 Contemporary Trends and Theory in Nursing

NUR-408 Professional Nursing Care: Maternal and Newborn

NUR-409 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult II

[15 credits]





LSP-108 Spanish Language & Culture for Healthcare Professionals

NUR-431 Community Health Nursing

NUR-432 Caring Nursing Leadership

NUR-461 Clinical Practicum

[15 credits]





Total General Education Credits: 62/68

Total Nursing Credits: 61

[123/129 total credits]

Additional Curriculum Information

Gender and Cross-Cultural Studies General Education Requirements - In addition to the General Education Requirements listed in the curriculum, all NDMU students must satisfy a Gender Studies Requirement and a Cross-Cultural Studies Requirement.   

Students who take both MAT-100/103 and BIO-110 will need to fit a General Education Requirement into a winterim or summer semester (these students will meet with their advisor to make a plan for completing the requirement).

*Math Requirement

If Nursing students place into MAT-100 Algebraic Applications on the Math Placement Test, then they are required to take MAT-100. If Nursing students place into MAT-103 Applied Algebra, then they are required to take MAT-103; however, if they place into MAT 107 or higher, then MAT-103 may be waived.

*General Biology Requirement

BIO-111 General Biology requires permission of instructor to take without BIO-110 Exploring Concepts of Biology as a pre-requisite course.

*Foreign Language Requirement for Nursing Majors only

LSP-108 Spanish Language & Culture for Healthcare Professionals is a requirement of the Nursing Major. Students will take a Spanish Placement Test that determines whether or not LSP-105 Spanish Language & Culture for Professionals I and/or LSP-106 Spanish Language & Culture for Professionals II is required to take prior to LSP-108. If students place into LSP-105 on the placement test, then they are required to take LSP-105, LSP-106 and LSP-108. If students place into LSP-106 on the placement test, then they are required to take LSP-106 and LSP-108. If students place into LSP-108 on the placement test, then they are required to take LSP-108 only.


NUR-250 Nutrition for Wellness

This three credit online course focuses on the basic principles of nutrition that will support nursing praxis and their application during the human life span in health and disease. Learners are offered the opportunity to explore the assumptions underlying nutrition for individuals of varying cultural backgrounds, stages of development, and across the wellness-illness continuum. The 14-week course will be offered in seven online modules.  [3 credits]

NUR-301 Holistic Health Assessment

Introduces the student to knowledge and skills essential for holistic health assessment. The psychological, physical, environmental, social, spiritual and genetic components of a health assessment will be applied. The student will practice assessment and interviewing skills in a skills laboratory. The student will analyze both subjective and objective data and document findings in the appropriate format. This course has 2 components: theory (3 credits) and practice (1 credit).  Women's College only.  [4 credits]

NUR-303 Nursing Informatics

Introduces students to online computer applications used in nursing and health care. Students acquire technical skills needed for the application of patient care technologies and competency in information literacy, information management, and information management systems for the purpose of safe, competent and quality patient care. Women's College only.  [2 credits]

NUR-304 Healthy Aging

Explores the multiple dimensions of aging in America and in global societies. The course focuses on the foundations of healthy, successful aging based on national indicators, as well as the personal definitions and meanings of the older adult. Students will learn to support optimal promotion of health and wellness while exploring the care of those who might also be experiencing illness, recovery or the end-of-life. The complex relationships among person-health-nursing environment will be examined in depth.  Women's College only.  [3 credits]

NUR-305 Foundations of a Caring Profession

Builds upon previous classes in social and physical sciences, humanities, as well as lived experiences that students bring to the discipline of nursing. In this course, students are introduced to the caring profession of nursing through exploration of philosophical underpinnings, contributions from nurse theorists, and concepts of health and healing. Students develop ways of thinking and knowing, ways of being in relationships with self and others, and appreciation of providing technological care, compassion, and comfort to persons, families and communities. Through thoughtful integration of theory and reflective lived practice, students deepen understanding of the meaning of caring necessary for compassionate presence and technological skill in the art and science of professional nursing. Students are invited to a call to care and to a life-long commitment to nursing scholarship. This course has two components: theory (3 credits) and practice (2 credits).  Women's College only.  [5 credits]

NUR-307 Research in Nursing Practice

Introduces students to knowledge and skills that are essential for a consumer of nursing research.  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.  Includes interpretation of basic descriptive and inferential statistics in published studies and evaluation of studies for nursing practice.  Women's College only.  Prerequisites:  NUR-303.  [3 credits]

NUR-308 Professional Nursing Care: Psychiatric/Mental Health

Provides opportunities for students to understand and care for persons who are experiencing struggles in human living and major psychiatric and mental health problems.  Through directed readings, narrative writing, classroom conversations, and engagement with patients in clinical settings, students focus on coming to understand what it is like to live through selected health states such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, psychoactive substance use disorders, and more.  Emphasis on the lived experiences of persons with psychiatric illness allows for a focus on reflective ways of 'being-with' patients that integrates knowledge of psychobiology, pharmacology, and thoughtful, competent, caring nursing practice.  This course has two components:  theory (2 credits) and practice (2 credits).  Women's College only.  Prerequisites:  NUR-301, NUR-303, NUR-305, NUR-310.  [4 credits]

NUR-310 Pathopharmacology

Combines pathophysiology, the study of altered health status, with pharmacology, the study of medications prescribed to prevent, cure or treat pathophysiological conditions. Major health problems will be highlighted with an emphasis on caring for persons across the lifespan and their individual needs. Major drug classes and prototypical drugs are presented with specific application to nursing care within the nursing process.  Women's College only.  [4 credits]

NUR-311 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult I

Focuses on the integration of caring for adults experiencing commonly occurring health concerns using competencies that are directed toward health promotion, disease prevention and maintenance/restoration of health. Applying specialized knowledge, communication skills and therapeutic interventions, nursing students will develop relationships with patients/families which will foster partnerships directed toward holistic care. Beginning relationships with the intra/interdisciplinary team will be developed. This course has 2 components: theory (2 credits) and practice (2 credits). Women's College only.  Prerequisites: NUR-301, NUR-303, NUR-305, NUR-310. [4 credits]

NUR-406 Contemporary Nursing Trends and Theory

Focuses on the use of nursing theory and contemporary challenges of providing and ensuring quality nursing and health care. Nursing process is reviewed with emphasis on evidence-based practice and health care today including current professional, legal and ethical standards.  Prerequisite:  NUR-307 or NUR-407.  Women's College only.  [3 credits] 

NUR-408 Professional Nursing Care: Maternal and Infant

Focuses on holistic caring of childbearing families during pregnancy, labor and delivery, post-partum as well as care of the newborn. Students learn and apply evidence-based nursing theoretical concepts in the nursing care of women, newborns, and families in a variety of environments. The course builds upon courses in social and physical sciences, humanities and professional nursing care and provides opportunities for clinical ethical reflection. This course has two components: theory (2 credits) and practice (2 credits). Prerequisites: NUR-304, NUR-311, NUR-407 or NUR-307, NUR-410 or NUR-308.  Women's College only.  [4 credits]

NUR-409 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult II

Builds on concepts from NUR-311 in caring for adults experiencing complex health concerns using competencies related to health, illness, dying and death. Nursing students will apply advanced levels of knowledge, communication and interventions as they support patients/families experiencing more severe alterations in health. Relationships with intra/interdisciplinary team members will be integrated into individual nursing practice. This course has two components: theory (2 credits) and practice (2 credits).   Prerequisites:  NUR 304, NUR 311, NUR 407 or NUR 307, NUR 410 or NUR 308.   Women's College only.  [4 credits]

NUR-417 Professional Nursing Care: Children and Families

Focuses on caring for children and adolescents and their families who are experiencing physiological and psychsocial alterations in health as well as promoting health and wellness.  Students engage in theory-based, evidence-based reflective nursing practice with children and adolescents in a variety of places to include inpatient pediatric units, outpatient clinics, and home.  The course builds upon courses in social and physical sciences, human growth and development, humanities, professional nursing care, and offers opportunities to reflect on ethical issues concerning children and adolescents.  This course has two components:  theory (2 credits) and practice (2 credits).  Women's College only.  Prerequisites:  NUR-304, NUR-311, NUR-407 or NUR-307, NUR-410 or NUR-308.  [4 credits] 

NUR-431 Community Health Nursing

Focuses on and explores theory, concepts, and practices of community/ public health nursing from a culturally sensitive perspective with an emphasis on vulnerable populations. Learners explore specific issues and societal concerns that affect public health, including healthcare needs of populations at risk.  A reflection on nursing care of communities as social justice is explored. Using assigned service learning settings, learners will assess community health needs, plan health promotion and disease and injury prevention interventions through the application of selected behavioral change theories. This course has two components: theory (3 credits) and practice (2 credits).   Women's College only. Prerequisites:  NUR 312 or NUR 417, NUR 406, NUR 408, NUR 409 [5 credits]

NUR-432 Caring Nursing Leadership

Integrates previously learned nursing knowledge and skills with contemporary leadership and management theories, to assist the student to personify the professional role as a leader in the healthcare environment as a baccalaureate-prepared nurse. Theories of leadership, management, and organizational behavior are introduced along with practical applications for the workplace to help students analyze the process to professional nursing.  Women's College only.  Prerequisites:  NUR 406 [3 credits]

NUR-461 Clinical Practicum

Engages students in comprehensive clinical practice with patients in one of a variety of practice settings. Opportunities are provided for students to assume responsibility, in the context of theory-based, evidence-based reflective practice, for the holistic care of assigned patients in a select health care setting. With the guidance of a preceptor who is on staff in the facility, the student collaborates with all members of the health care team in the planning and care of her patients and transitions from nursing student to entry-level professional nurse. Practice settings include, but are not limited to, care of persons in emergency departments, medical-surgical units, homeless shelters, outpatient clinics, critical care units, and labor and delivery units. The focus of the practicum is on intentionally bringing together knowledge and understanding of pathophysiology, social justice, ways of being in relationship with self and others, and excellence in technological caring-toward compassionate, transformative care with persons, families and communities.  155 hours.  Prerequisites:  NUR 312 or NUR 417, NUR 406, NUR 408, NUR 409.  Women's College only.  [6 credits]