The School of Nursing offers the following curricula in the baccalaureate program: the traditional, the accelerated B.S. and the R.N.-B.S. completion. Successful completion of curricular requirements results in a Bachelor of Science degree. Note that the applicant is responsible for seeking advice from the School of Nursing on courses taken prior to admission.

Program goals

Students will achieve an advanced beginner level of nursing competence by demonstrating:

  1. Effective therapeutic nursing practice
  2. Nursing judgment
  3. A spirit of inquiry
  4. Professional identity

Student learning outcomes

The graduate is a knowledgeable professional nurse who will demonstrate:

  1. Integration of theories and concepts from liberal education into nursing practice (III)
  2. Knowledge, skills and attitudes in leadership, quality improvement and patient safety to provide high quality health care (I, II, IV)
  3. Professional nursing practice grounded in the translation of current evidence (I, II, III)
  4. Knowledge of skills in information literacy, management and patient care technology (III)
  5. Knowledge of health care, financial and regulatory policies that influence the nature and functioning of the health care system (I, II)
  6. Effective communication and collaboration skills with the interprofessional team to deliver high quality and safe patient care (I, II, IV)
  7. Health promotion and disease prevention at the individual and population level necessary to improve population health  (I, II)
  8. Professionalism that reflects the inherent values of altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity and social justice fundamental to nursing (IV)
  9. Competence to practice with patients, including individuals, families, groups, communities and populations across the lifespan and across the continuum of health care environments that respects the variations of care, the increased complexity and the use of health care resources inherent in caring for patients (I, II, III, IV)

Other information

Our international and non-native English-speaking students bring different perspectives and new thinking to our nursing programs. To ensure that all incoming student are prepared for the school’s academic rigor, all international applicants and non-native English speaking applicants without a degree from a U.S. high school, college or university must provide additional information with their applications according to the English language proficiency guidelines on the program admission tab.

To be considered for admission to the School of Nursing, applicants must:

  1. Be eligible for readmission or be in good standing at the last college attended.

  2. Have graduated from a diploma or associate degree program in nursing from a college or university with institutional accreditation.

  3. Have a current unrestricted R.N. license or authorization to practice as an R.N. in the U.S. Graduates of international nursing schools who are not licensed in a state, the District of Columbia or a U.S. possession or territory are required to obtain a VisaScreen Certificate issued by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools.

  4. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 based on a scale of 4.0 on all college course work.

  5. Provide additional information with the application according to the English language proficiency guidelines in the VCU Bulletin for applicants who are international or non-native English speakers without a degree from a U.S. high school, college or university.

  6. Complete the following general education courses at an accredited college or university with minimum grades of C.

    1. The following courses (17 credit hours) must be completed prior to enrollment:

      1. ​Statistics (3)

      2. Physiology (4)

      3. Anatomy (4)

      4. English composition (6)

    2. A minimum of 24 credit hours from the following 36 credits must be completed prior to matriculation. All general education courses must be completed prior to enrolling in the final nursing course:
      1. ​Introductory psychology (3)
      2. Developmental psychology (3)
      3. General sociology (3)
      4. Laboratory science (8)
      5. Microbiology (4)
      6. Nutrition (3)
      7. Philosophy (3)
      8. Humanities (9)

If the applicant has a bachelor’s degree in another discipline, the University Core Education Curriculum requirements and General Education requirements for the R.N.-B.S. completion program will be met with the previous baccalaureate degree, with the exception of the following courses that must be completed prior to enrollment: anatomy, physiology, microbiology, statistics and developmental psychology.

In addition to the above criteria, highly qualified applicants to the program who meet the following criteria are eligible for guaranteed admission:

  1. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all college courses
  2. Minimum grade of B in any nursing class
  3. One recommendation that highly recommends or recommends without reservation

Degree requirements for Nursing, Bachelor of Science (B.S.), R.N-B.S. completion program

Credits required for admission to program: 53

Major requirements

NURS 301Nursing Informatics3
NURS 307Foundations of Professional Nursing I3
NURS 308Foundation of Professional Nursing II3
NURS 309Population Health3
NURS 403Evidence-based Practice in Health Care3
NURS 406Interprofessional Collaborative Practice2
NURS 408Ethics, Law and Public Policy: Application to Nursing Practice3
NURS 409Population Health: Application to Nursing Practice2
NURS 462Advanced Pathophysiological Concepts: Application to Patient Care3
NURS 477Leadership and Management in Health Care4
NURS 488Clinical and Management Decision-making (University Core Capstone)3
Upper-division proficiency credits awarded after successful completion of NURS 30839
Total Hours71

Total minimum requirement 124 credits

What follows is a sample plan that meets the prescribed requirements within a four-year course of study at VCU. Please contact your adviser before beginning course work toward a degree.

Credits required for admission to program: 53 

Semester 1Hours
NURS 301 Nursing Informatics 3
NURS 307 Foundations of Professional Nursing I 3
 Term Hours: 6
Semester 2
NURS 308 Foundation of Professional Nursing II 3
NURS 309 Population Health 3
 Term Hours: 6
Semester 3
NURS 403 Evidence-based Practice in Health Care 3
NURS 409 Population Health: Application to Nursing Practice 2
 Term Hours: 5
Semester 4
NURS 408 Ethics, Law and Public Policy: Application to Nursing Practice 3
NURS 462 Advanced Pathophysiological Concepts: Application to Patient Care 3
 Term Hours: 6
Semester 5
NURS 406 Interprofessional Collaborative Practice 2
NURS 477 Leadership and Management in Health Care 4
 Term Hours: 6
Semester 6
NURS 488 Clinical and Management Decision-making 3
 Term Hours: 3
 Total Hours: 32

 Upper-division credits to be awarded after successful completion of NURS 308: 39

Total minimum requirement 124 credits

NURS 301. Nursing Informatics. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: admission to the School of Nursing. This course focuses on data management and use of information and technology to communicate effectively, provide safe and effective patient care and use research and clinical evidence to inform nursing practice decisions. The course emphasizes information literacy and its application to nursing practice and effective health care delivery. Course delivered online.

NURS 307. Foundations of Professional Nursing I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: admission to the School of Nursing. Corequsite: NURS 301. This course explores historical and contemporary trends influencing professional nursing practice within the U.S. health care system. The course focuses on research within the context of nursing’s development as a profession and discipline and within the context of evidence-based practice. The research process and analysis of research studies are emphasized. Course delivered online.

NURS 308. Foundation of Professional Nursing II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: NURS 301 and NURS 307, both with minimum grades of C. This course focuses on the impact of regulation and accreditation on safe patient care delivery. The course emphasizes concepts related to professional nursing practice and explores selected internal and external forces that influence health care delivery. Students will evaluate current nursing practice within the context of previous nursing education and professional nursing standards. Upon successful completion of this course, proficiency credits for prior nursing education will be conferred. Course delivered online.

NURS 367. Applied Principles of Health and Disease. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: anatomy and physiology; BIOL 205 and PHIS 206. All prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Expands on a foundation of basic knowledge of normal functioning and common pathophysiologic conditions. Based on common principles of health and disease: homeostasis and disruptions of homeostasis, growth cycles, communication of information, and repair and regeneration. Develops a foundation of current knowledge in the area of physiology/pathophysiology for practice.

NURS 407. Using Evidence in Clinical Practice. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. Prerequisites: NURS 301 and NURS 307. All prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Focuses on skills required to enact evidence-based practice (EBP) over one's professional life, including synthesis of appropriate evidence for use in practice. Formally introduces models for EPB, reviews change theories useful to initiate EBP and identifies individual and organizational resources needed for EBP.

NURS 410. Applied Ethics in Clinical Practice. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits (3 credits lecture). Prerequisite: NURS 301. All prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Identifies and examines ethical and moral dilemmas encountered in professional nursing practice. Examines personal value systems related to nursing ethics. Discusses relationships between professional nursing and resolution of moral dilemmas. Applies ethical principles to selected dilemmas in clinical nursing practice including patients' rights, informed consent, confidentiality, quality of life, and death and dying.

NURS 415. Community Health Nursing: Theory and Application. 5 Hours.

Semester course; 5 lecture hours. 5 credits. Prerequisites: NURS 301, NURS 307. All prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Through this course, which includes 45 hours of community health field experiences, the student will develop an understanding of population-focused nursing based on the scope and core functions of public health. The course provides theoretical content essential to the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of the health of communities. The course utilizes an epidemiological approach to population-focused nursing. The course emphasizes the study and application of community health nursing roles for health promotion and disease prevention. The course also evaluates the effects of contemporary issues and health policy on the public's health.

NURS 461. Advanced Clinical Assessment. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: NURS 301. All prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Expands existing physical and psychosocial assessment skills to address selected complex patient problems. Focuses on acquisition of clinical evidence for assessment of rapidly changing situations, patient risk and situations related to patient safety. Critical analysis of patient data, prioritization of patient needs and effective communication are emphasized.

NURS 477. Leadership and Management in Health Care. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 4 lecture hours. 4 credits: Prerequisites: NURS 308, NURS 309 and NURS 403, all with minimum grades of C; corequisite: NURS 406. This course examines principles of leadership and management that facilitate coordination and implementation of safe, quality-oriented and ethical patient care. The course emphasizes development of leadership competencies within contexts of the nursing community and interprofessional team in a variety of settings within the contemporary health care delivery system. Course delivered online.

NURS 488. Clinical and Management Decision-making. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 60 clinical/lab hours. 3 credits (1 credit lecture, 2 credits clinical/lab). Prerequisites: NURS 406, NURS 462 and NURS 477, all with minimum grades of C. This course is designed as the culminating or capstone experience for the R.N.-B.S. completion program. The preceptor-supervised experience provides opportunities to evaluate outcomes of baccalaureate education within the context of the clinical practice setting, to apply leadership principles and change theories to clinical and management decision-making, to employ concepts of quality and safety, and to use quality improvement processes in the health care setting. Course delivered online.