Nursing (BSN)

(Effective Fall 2015)

This unique completion major is specifically designed for the registered nurse who wishes to earn a degree, on a full- or part-time basis, for professional development, advancement, or job mobility. The baccalaureate curriculum builds on the knowledge and skills possessed by RNs who have graduated from diploma- and associate-degree nursing programs. The curriculum plan is designed for the working RN. Offered in an online accelerated format, this major allows the RN to satisfy the bachelor-degree requirements within 12-18 months, depending on seat availability and transfer credits.

The bachelor-degree major prepares licensed registered nurses to contribute to the quality provision of nursing care in a rapidly changing health care environment. This major enables nurses to build upon their knowledge base and assume positions with increased responsibility in a variety of health care settings, from promoting health and facilitating adaptation to increasingly complex health care problems/needs. The curriculum offers a required core of nursing and general education courses with elective course options based on student educational and career goals.

Career Opportunities

The BSN completion degree can lead to advanced clinical and administrative positions in the traditional field of nursing, but also offers opportunities which include, but are not limited to, home health nursing, public health nursing, nursing education, the armed services, and health care case management. In most cases, nursing within the federal government requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree from an accredited nursing program.

Special Admissions Requirements

  • Current valid RN license in any state with eligibility for licensure in Pennsylvania.
  • Graduate of an accredited associate's degree and/or diploma program and meeting one of the following criteria:
    • graduated from an accredited associate's degree and/or diploma nursing curricula within the last three years.
    • practiced a minimum of 1,000 hours in nursing in the last three years;
    • other applicants, including those who graduated from nursing programs more than three years ago will be reviewed on an individual basis by nursing program administration.

 Junior-level status may be achieved by meeting the College's requirements of completing a minimum of 60 college credits. In addition, a 2.0 GPA in nursing is required.

Special Equipment Needs

This is a strictly on-line major, thus students must have access to a computer and software compatible with Desire2Learn, known as PLATO(Platform for Learning and Teaching Online) at Penn College.  They must also have access to a desktop, tablet or laptap computer running an operating system of Windows 7 or higher or MACOSX 10.4 or higher.  In addition, they must have Microsoft Office suite, a headset with microphone, and internet connection (DSL recommeded).  Additional programs may be required.  Please refer to the information technology services site for more details.

Technical Requirements

Operating Systems:
PLATO is a web-based system that is fully certified to work with Windows and MAC Operating Systems.

The fully supported browsers for PLATO are: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Safari

Internet Connection Speed:
A high speed internet connection is highly recommended in order to avoid problems with course content loading on your computer in a timely mnner. 

Desktop or Laptop Computer (Windows 7 or higher, MAC OSX 10.4 or higher recommended) 
Internet Connection (cable or DSL heavily recommended)
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
Headset with Microphone suggested
Additional plug-ins may be required (Information Technology Services - Student Help Desk available for assistance)

Remediation Strategies

All transfer students entering the BSN completion major without prior college-level English and mathematical classes will be tested for deficiencies, and will be required to remediate the deficiencies prior to acceptance. Any reading deficiency also must be remediated prior to acceptance.

Transfer Procedures

All student transcripts will be evaluated by Admissions. All general education/liberal arts courses that meet core College requirements for baccalaureate degrees will be eligible for transfer according to College policy. The transfer of nursing credits is evaluated on an individual basis according to the program's policy. Students must have a minimum grade of 'C' (2.00) in courses transferred into the BSN completion major. All Penn College associate-degree requirements will apply toward bachelor-degree requirements. A block of 38 nursing credits will be transferred from an ACEN-accredited associate-degree and diploma nursing curricula. Students must complete 36 credits at Penn College for coursework prescribed in the final four semester of a student's profile including required summer courses within of following the final four semesters. 

International health credentials/licensure, sciences courses, and most math courses will not be accepted to satisfy requirements of this major. Please see additional information for international students applying to Health Sciences majors.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:

  • engage as a generalist, synthesizing knowledge from nursing, liberal arts, and sciences to provide consumer-centered care that is evidence-based, theory-guided, holistic and culturally competent (Consumer-centered Care & Evidenced-based Practice).
  • facilitate the teaching-learning process to promote health and prevent disease in populations across the lifespan (Teaching and Learning).
  • use therapeutic communication to partner with and advocate for the health care needs of clients of all ages, families, and communities in a variety of health care settings (Communication).
  • utilize informatics to analyze research findings and identify research problems related to the nursing care of diverse consumers (Informatics).
  • apply leadership and management skills in developing collaborative, professional relationships with multidisciplinary health care providers to improve the delivery of health care (Professional Behaviors).
  • establish ethical, political, and legal accountability and take responsibility for one's own practice, professional growth, life-long learning, and the development of the profession in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding (Professional Behaviors).
  • direct and facilitate the use of the nursing process to optimize patient outcomes throughout the lifespan and across the continuum of health care environments (Nursing Process).

Performance Standards

Requirements are consistent with the College's Academic Probation Policy.


Pre. ProgramCredits
NUR304Credentials Proven by License 38 
First SemesterCredits
BIO115Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4 
ENL111English Composition I 3 
PSY111General Psychology 3 
MNAMath Elective (MTH124 or Higher) 3 
CORLiberal Arts Elective 3 
Second SemesterCredits
SCLScience Elective with lab 4 
ENL121English Composition II 3 
ENL201Technical and Professional Communication 3 
PSY203Developmental Psychology 3 
SOC111Introduction to Sociology 3 
CSC124Information, Technology, and Society 3 
Summer SessionCredits
ETHEthics Elective 3 
ARTArt Elective 3 
Third SemesterCredits
NUR311The Philosophy of Professional Nursing 3 
NUR352Teaching and Learning Concepts and Strategies 3 
NUR327Community Health Nursing 4 
BSENursing Seminar Elective 1 
FITFitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1 
Fourth SemesterCredits
NUR413Explorations in Clinical Practice 3 
NUR461Leadership and Management in Nursing 3 
BSTNursing Special Topics Elective 3 
MTH153Topics in Mathematics 3 
MTH160Elementary Statistics with Computer Applications 4 
Summer SessionCredits
NUR495Research and Theory in Clinical Practice 4 Writing Enriched Requirement
BSTNursing Special Topics Elective 3 
FITFitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1 
Fifth SemesterCredits
HTH310Health Issues and Transitions 3 Writing Enriched Requirement &
Cultural Diversity Requirement &
Science, Technology and Society Requirement
SPC101Fundamentals of Speech 3 
SPC102Fundamentals of Small Group Communication 3 
SPC201Interpersonal Communication 3 
OEAOpen Elective / Associate 6 
NEIBSN Completion Requirement  

Notice of Conviction

Child abuse clearance and criminal background checks are required by some agencies involved in fieldwork and/or capstones. Agencies can bar students from their sites if a criminal record exists or a positive drug test is noted. By virtue of contract for Penn College students to be at clinical sites, agencies have the right to ask for random drug testing. Inability to gain clinical or fieldwork or intern education experiences results in inability to meet program objectives and outcomes. For additional clarification, students can speak with their program director.


The bachelor's degree in Nursing is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. For further information, contact the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) at 3343 Peachtree Rd. NE, Suite 850, Atlanta GA 30326; 404-975-5000.