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:

  1. Diagnose actual and potential health problems based on a comprehensive and focused assessment of health and illness parameters, using developmentally, culturally and ethnically appropriate approaches

  2. Plan and implement holistic, evidence-based, patient centered care to patients, families, communities, and populations across the health illness continuum, across the lifespan, and across settings

  3. Carry out a systematic and ongoing evaluation of identified outcomes

  4. Employ strategies to promote health and prevent disease in patients, families, communities and populations

  5. Use nursing judgment as a basis for decision making

  6. Create a safe care environment that results in high quality patient outcomes

  7. Use psychomotor skills for efficient, safe, and compassionate delivery of patient care

  8. Use written, verbal, non-verbal and emerging technology methods to communicate effectively and to measure, record, and retrieve healthcare data, implement the nursing process, and enhance nursing practice

  9. Collaborate with members of the interprofessional healthcare team to plan, deliver and evaluate nursing care within the context of quality and safety and considering human, fiscal and material resources
  10. Express own identity as a nurse by adhering to professional standards of ethical and legal conduct

  11. Demonstrate beginning level leadership and management skills that reflect accountability, interpersonal effectiveness, and principles of ethical behavior and quality improvement

  12. Articulate the value of pursuing lifelong learning and professional engagement to foster professional growth and development

  13. Integrate theories and concepts from liberal education to build an understanding of the human experience and help patients, families, and communities continually progress toward fulfillment of human capacities

  14. Develop an awareness of variables influencing nursing practice and delivery of health care including health care access, allocation of human, fiscal, and material resources, and health disparities

Admission requirements the R.N.-B.S. completion program include the following:

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

  2. Applicants must have graduated from an accredited (ACEN or CNEA) diploma or associate degree program in nursing.

  3. Applicants must have a current unrestricted R.N. license or authorization to practice as an R.N. in the U.S.

  4. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on all college course work.

  5. Applicants whose native language is not exclusively English must provide evidence of English language proficiency by submitting one of the following test scores taken within 24 months at the time of application:

    1. TOEFL iBT: 100 with the following minimum subsection scores

      • Reading: 22

      • Listening: 22

      • Speaking: 26

      • Writing: 24

    2. IELTS: 7.5 overall band score

  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:

      • English composition (6)

      • Anatomy (4)

      • Physiology (4)

      • Statistics (3)

    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:

      • Introductory psychology (3)

      • Developmental psychology (3)

      • General sociology (3)

      • Laboratory science (8)

      • Microbiology (4)

      • Nutrition (3)

      • Philosophy (3)

      • 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   488Practicum in Clinical 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 Practicum in 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. Practicum in Clinical and Management Decision-making. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 clinical hours (90 clinical/laboratory hours). 3 credits. 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.-to-B.S. completion program. This preceptor-supervised practicum 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.