Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

Women's College

Diane Aschenbrenner, MS, RN
Jane Balkam, PhD, APRN, CPNP, IBCLC
Simone Christian, MA, Instructional Designer
Rodnita Davis, MSN, RN
Barbara Gough, MSN, RN
Kathryn Handy, DNP, RN, Associate Dean
Jenna Hoffman, MS, Academic Success and Advising Coordinator
Zane Hunter, AA, Simulation and Technology Specialist
Carol Kurtz-Stack, BA, Adult Student Advisor
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
Brittany Lawson, AA, Administrative Assistant
Marleen Thornton, PhD, RN
Mark Walker, PhD, 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 for Junior and Senior Year

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-308 Professional Nursing Care: Psychiatric Mental Health, NUR-310 Pathopharmacology, NUR-311 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult I, NUR-317 Professional Nursing Care: Children and Families, NUR-408 Professional Nursing Care: Maternal Newborn Nursing, NUR-409 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult II, 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-201 Human Anatomy & Physiology I (4)
       BIO-202 Human Anatomy & Physiology II (4)
       CHM-108 Survey of General, Organic & Biochemistry (4)
       LSP-150 Begining Spanish for Health 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-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-441 Caring Approaches in Nursing Leadership and Practice (4)
       NUR-461 Clinical Practicum (6)
       PSY-101 Introductory Psychology (4)
       PSY-233 Human Growth & Development (3)
       PHL-300 Ethics (3)
       SOC-101 Introductory Sociology (3)

Nursing Four-Year Plan

Students must select courses with the assistance of a faculty advisor. The Program of Study requires a total of 126 to 127 credits.

FALL

SPRING

FIRST YEAR

*MAT-100 Algebraic Applications OR

*MAT-103 Applied Algebra (unless waived)

NDMU-100 Perspectives on Education and Culture

ENG-101 College Writing

HIS- History Requirement

[13/14 credits]

4

3

4

3

3

CHM-108 Survey of General, Organic & Biochemistry

BIO-111 Fundamentals of Biology

ENG- English Literature

PHL-201 Introduction to Philosophy

PSY-101 Introductory Psychology

[18 credits]

4

4

3

3

4

SECOND YEAR

SOC-101 Introductory Sociology

NUR-250 Nutrition for Wellness (Online)

PHL-300 Ethics

BIO-281 Human Anatomy & Physiology I

RST-105 Religion and the Big Question

[16 credits]

3

3

3

4

3

BIO-282 Human Anatomy & Physiology II

BIO-253 Microbiology

PSY-233 Human Growth & Development

MAT-215 Basic Statistics

COM-106 Oral Communication

[17 credits]

4

4

3

3

3

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

Fine Arts General Education Requirement

NUR-408 Professional Nursing Care: Maternal and Newborn

NUR-409 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult II

[15 credits]

4

3

4

4

NUR-431 Community Health Nursing

NUR-441 Caring Approaches to Nursing Leadership and Practive

NUR-461 Clinical Practicum

[15 credits]

5

4

6

Total General Education Credits: 45/46

Total Nursing Credits: 56

Total Nursing Major Prerequisite Credits: 25

[126/127 total credits]

*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-150 Beginning Spanish for Healthcare Professionals is a requirement of the Nursing Major. However, based on a student's foreign language palcement exam results, a student my be eligible to take an equivalency exam. If a student passes the equivalency exam, she is exempt from taking LSP 150.

Courses

NUR-150 Gender and Women's Health

Evaluates the relationship between gender and health outcomes both in the United States as well as globally. Students will become aware of how gender as a social construct influences the health and wellbeing of women. Biological and social processes related to women's health and disease will be explored. Issues such as violence against women, female genital mutilation, infanticide, lack of access to health care and education, health literacy, LGBT and sexual subjugation will be discussed using a women's health lens. Fulfills general education requirement in gender studies. [ 3 credits ]

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-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-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-301CL Holistic Health Assessment Lab

Integrates NUR-301 Holistic Health Assessment course content into clinical experiences in the Center for Caring with Technology.

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-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-305CL Foundations/Caring Profession Clinical

This clinical course is a component of NUR-305 Foundations/Caring Profession.

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-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-311CL Adult Health Clinical

This clinical course is a component of NUR-311 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult I.

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-320 Honors: Caregiving at the End of Life

Explores a variety of theories and methods for caregiving at the end of life, and is designed for both nursing and non-nursing students. The course will explore the medicalization of death, structural inequalities in access to medical care, palliative and hospice care for people facing terminal illness, and clinical dimensions of death and dying. Course will focus on contemplative practices that enable caregivers to care for themselves and provide effective support for patients and their loved ones. Course will introduce various religious and spiritual perspectives on dying, death, and the afterlife, and learn about rituals for grief and mourning. Fulfills general education requirement for 300-400 level religious studies.  Women's College only.  [ 3 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-408 Professional Nursing Care: Maternal and Newborn

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-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-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-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]

NUR-461 Clinical Practicum

This course engages students in a 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 care with persons, families and communities. A final, clinically-based culminating project is completed in the practicum setting and presented in symposium format at the end of the course. The student will complete intensive preparation for the National Council Licensing Exam (NCLEX) throughout the course. 6 credits: 30 theory hours and 180 clinical hours. Prerequisites: All 3rd semester clinical courses: Professional Nursing Care of the Adult II, Professional Nursing Care: Children and Families; Professional Nursing Care: Maternal Newborn. Co-requisites: Community Health; Caring Approaches in Nursing Leadership and Practice. [ 6 credits ]