This is the launch edition of the 2019-20 VCU Bulletin. This version includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester. (See the Archives page for bulletins for 2018-19.)

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:

 I. Effective therapeutic nursing practice

 II. Nursing judgment

 III. A spirit of inquiry

 IV. 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 or university attended

  2. Submit a completed application with all required materials to the School of Nursing

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

  4. Have an R.N. license from a U.S. state or territory at the time of application for admission (Students who do not currently have an R.N. license in the U.S., consult with the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools and the Virginia Board of Nursing for steps needed to obtain a Virginia R.N. license.)

  5. Provide additional information with the application according to the English language proficiency guidelines for applicants who are international or non-native English speakers without a degree from a U.S. high school, college or university (Additional information can be found on the 'Required materials' tab of the VCU International Admissions website.) 

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

    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 of the following required 36 credits must be completed prior to enrollment. 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 in the final nursing course: 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

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

Credits required for admission to program: 53

Major requirements

Course Title Hours
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

The minimum total of credit hours required for this degree is 124.

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

The minimum total of credit hours required for this degree is 124.

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 309. Population Health. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 credits lecture. 3 credits. Prerequisites: admission to School of Nursing and NURS 301 and NURS 307, both with minimum grades of C. This course focuses on core concepts of population health. Socioeconomic, lifestyle, environmental, genetic and other major determinants of population health are examined. The nurse’s role in health promotion, disease and injury prevention across the lifespan are emphasized. The importance of collaboration with populations and other health care professionals is highlighted. Course delivered online.

NURS 403. Evidence-based Practice in Health Care. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: NURS 308 with a minimum grade of C. This course formally introduces models for evidence-based practice, examines hierarchies of evidence, reviews change theories useful to initiate EBP and identifies individual and organizational resources needed for EBP. Emphasis is on developing skills in retrieving and appraising literature relevant to clinical problems, understanding the research process and critiquing evidence from research publications and other sources to inform evidence-based nursing practice. Course delivered online.

NURS 406. Interprofessional Collaborative Practice. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. Prerequisite: NURS 308 with a minimum grade of C. Explores the necessity for interprofessionalism in the contemporary health care environment. Core competencies and best practices for interprofessional collaborative practice are emphasized. Participation in virtual team activities provides students with opportunities to apply interprofessional knowledge, skills and attitudes that improve practice and impact patient care outcome. Course delivered online.

NURS 408. Ethics, Law and Public Policy: Application to Nursing Practice. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: NURS 308 with a minimum grade of C. This course examines ethics, law and public policy that influence nursing practice and the nature and function of the health care system. The emphasis of the course will be on the role of the professional nurse as advocate for patients, families, communities and the nursing profession, as well as an advocate for changes in the health care system as needed. Course delivered online.

NURS 409. Population Health: Application to Nursing Practice. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 60 clinical hours. 2 credits (2 credits clinical/lab). Prerequisites: NURS 308 and NURS 309, both with minimum grades of C. This course provides opportunity to apply core concepts of population health in a community within the framework of the nursing process. Epidemiological and population-level data will be used to develop and/or guide interventions in the management of care. The course emphasizes evidence-based approaches to achieving sustainable population health outcomes. Course delivered online.

NURS 462. Advanced Pathophysiological Concepts: Application to Patient Care. 3 Hours.

Semester; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: NURS 308 and NURS 403, both with minimum grades of C. This course expands on basic knowledge of normal physiology and common pathophysiologic conditions across the lifespan. The course focuses on advanced knowledge of pathophysiology in relation to complex health care conditions. Integration of appropriate assessment skills and evidence-based pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions are highlighted. The nurse’s role in anticipating complications and evaluating clinical outcomes is emphasized. Course delivered online.

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 2 laboratory hours (60 clinical/lab contact hours; delivered online). 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 course 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.