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.

FALL

SPRING

FIRST YEAR

*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]

4

3

4

3

4

3

CHM-108 Survey of General, Organic & Biochemistry

BIO-253 Microbiology

ENG- English Literature

PHL-201 Introduction to Philosophy

PSY-101 Introductory Psychology

[18 credits]

4

4

3

3

4

SECOND YEAR

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]

3

3

3

4

3

1

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]

4

3

3

3

3

1

THIRD YEAR

NUR-301 Holistic Health Assessment

NUR-303 Nursing Informatics

NUR-305 Foundations of a Caring Profession

NUR-310 Pathopharmacology

[15 credits]

4

2

5

4

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]

3

4

3

4

FOURTH YEAR

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]

4

3

4

4

LSP-108 Spanish Language & Culture for Healthcare Professionals

NUR-431 Community Health Nursing

NUR-432 Caring Nursing Leadership

NUR-461 Clinical Practicum

[15 credits]

1

5

3

6

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.

Courses

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). Junior level Women's College nursing
students only. [4 credits]

NUR-303 Nursing Informatics

Students are introduced 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. Prerequisite: Junior level
Women's College nursing students 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 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.
Junior level Women's College nursing students
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). Prerequisite: Junior level
Women's College nursing students 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. Prerequisite: NUR-303. Junior
level Women's College nursing students only.
[ 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 depresson, 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). Prerequisites: NUR-301,
NUR-303, NUR-305, NUR-310. Junior level Women's
College nursing students only. [ 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. Junior level Women's College nursing
students 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). Prerequisites: NUR-301,
NUR-303, NUR-305, and NUR-310. Junior level
Women's College nursing students only.
[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.
Prerequisites: NUR-407 or NUR-307. Senior level
Women's College nursing students 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. Senior level Women's College nursing
students 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. [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 psychosocial 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, and 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).
Prerequisites: NUR-304, NUR-311, NUR-407 or
NUR-307, NUR-410 or NUR-308. Senior level Women's
College nursing students only. [ 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 vulnerale 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).
Prerequisites: NUR-417, NUR-406, and NUR-409.
Senior level Women's College nursing students
only. [ 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.
Prerequisite: NUR-406. Senior level
Women's College nursing students only. [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-417,
NUR-406, NUR-408 and NUR-409. Senior level
Women's
College nursing students only. [ 6 credits ]