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 a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 based on a scale of 4.0 on all college course work. Grades lower than C in any required course, except anatomy, physiology or microbiology, are not acceptable for transfer. Grades lower than B in anatomy, physiology or microbiology are not acceptable for transfer. Anatomy, physiology and microbiology must be taken within 10 years of enrollment in the nursing program 
  3. 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.
  4. Complete the following prerequisites prior to enrollment: 
VCU courses
BIOL 101
BIOZ 101
Biological Concepts
and Biological Concepts Laboratory (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences requirement)
4
BIOL 205Basic Human Anatomy 14
BIOL 217Principles of Nutrition3
PSYC 101 Play VideoPlay course video for Introduction to PsychologyIntroduction to Psychology (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences requirement)4
SOCY 101 Play VideoPlay course video for Introduction to SociologyIntroduction to Sociology3
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I (fulfills University Core Tier I requirement)3
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II (fulfills University Core Tier I requirement)3
Approved second laboratory science in biology, chemistry or physics 24
Total Hours28

Anatomy, physiology and microbiology must be completed with a minimum grade of B.

Refer to the VCU Transfer Center website for equivalencies at other colleges and universities.

1

 Applicants attending colleges or universities which offer anatomy and physiology as a combined two-semester course must complete the entire course sequence prior to enrolling in the School of Nursing. One semester of a combined anatomy and physiology course will not transfer, nor can one semester of a combined anatomy and physiology course be used in conjunction with a stand-alone anatomy or physiology course to fulfill this requirement. If taking stand-alone anatomy and physiology courses, human or comparative anatomy and human or animal physiology are accepted.

2

Four credit hours must be in chemistry if: (a) high school chemistry was not successfully completed with a minimum grade of C or (b) developmental chemistry was not passed in college.

Students who have completed a baccalaureate degree in a field other than nursing are encouraged to apply for the accelerated program as well. A full list of admission requirements for second-degree applicants can be found under the accelerated program listing.

Degree requirements for Nursing, Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Credits required for admission to program: 28

University Core Education curriculum

UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I 1
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II 1
UNIV 200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument (also fulfills collateral requirement)3
Approved humanities/fine arts (PHIL 201, also fulfills collateral requirement)3
Approved natural/physical sciences 1
Approved quantitative literacy (STAT 210, also fulfills collateral requirement)3
Approved social/behavioral sciences 1
Total Hours9
1

Fulfilled through admission requirements.

Collateral requirements

BIOL 209
BIOZ 209
Medical Microbiology
and Medical Microbiology Laboratory
4
PHIL 201Critical Thinking About Moral Problems (fulfills University Core: humanities/fine arts)
PHIS 206
PHIZ 206
Human Physiology
and Human Physiology Laboratory
4
PSYC 304Life Span Developmental Psychology3
STAT 210Basic Practice of Statistics (fulfills University Core: quantitative literacy)
UNIV 200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument
Total Hours11

Major requirements

IPEC 501Foundations of Interprofessional Practice1
IPEC 502Interprofessional Quality Improvement and Patient Safety1
IPEC 561IPE Virtual Geriatric Case2
or IPEC 562 IPE Quality Improvement Project Practicum
NURS 201Concepts of Professional Nursing2
NURS 202Technologies of Nursing Practice6
NURS 261Health Assessment for Nursing Practice3
NURS 325Nursing of Adults I6
NURS 335Nursing of Women5
NURS 345Nursing of Children5
NURS 355Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing5
NURS 365Pathophysiology and Pharmacology I3
NURS 366Pathophysiology and Pharmacology II3
NURS 371Evidence-based Practice3
NURS 416Community Health Nursing5
NURS 425Nursing of Adults II6
NURS 478Leadership and Management in Health Care: Theory and Application5
NURS 496Senior Synthesis (University Core Capstone)6
Total Hours67

Electives

Select three elective credits3
Select six elective credits at 300 level or higher6
Total Hours9

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: 28

Sophomore year
Fall semesterHours
BIOL 209
BIOZ 209
Medical Microbiology
and Medical Microbiology Laboratory
4
PHIL 201 Critical Thinking About Moral Problems 3
PHIS 206
PHIZ 206
Human Physiology
and Human Physiology Laboratory
4
PSYC 304 Life Span Developmental Psychology 3
STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics 3
 Term Hours: 17
Spring semester
NURS 201 Concepts of Professional Nursing 2
NURS 202 Technologies of Nursing Practice 6
NURS 261 Health Assessment for Nursing Practice 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Elective 3
 Term Hours: 17
Junior year
Fall semester
IPEC 501 Foundations of Interprofessional Practice 1
NURS 325 Nursing of Adults I 6
NURS 355 Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing 5
NURS 365 Pathophysiology and Pharmacology I 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
IPEC 502 Interprofessional Quality Improvement and Patient Safety 1
NURS 335 Nursing of Women 5
NURS 345 Nursing of Children 5
NURS 366 Pathophysiology and Pharmacology II 3
NURS 371 Evidence-based Practice 3
 Term Hours: 17
Senior year
Fall semester
NURS 425 Nursing of Adults II 6
NURS 478 Leadership and Management in Health Care: Theory and Application 5
Elective (300-level or higher) 3
 Term Hours: 14
Spring semester
NURS 416 Community Health Nursing 5
NURS 496 Senior Synthesis 6
IPEC 561
IPE Virtual Geriatric Case
or IPE Quality Improvement Project Practicum
2
Elective (300-level or higher) 3
 Term Hours: 16
 Total Hours: 96

Total minimum requirement 124 credits 

NURS 201. Concepts of Professional Nursing. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits ( 2 credits lecture). Prerequisite: admission to the School of Nursing. Provides a foundation for all clinical nursing courses. Content focuses on professionalism, professional nursing values and health care delivery The core competencies identified by the Institute of Medicine for health care professionals are introduced as critical components of professional nursing practice, and selected concepts related to these core competencies are emphasized. Course activities are structured to establish effective professional behaviors and learning strategies useful across one's professional career.

NURS 202. Technologies of Nursing Practice. 6 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 90 clinical/laboratory hours. (3 credits lecture and 3 credits clinical/laboratory). 6 credits. Prerequisite: admission to the School of Nursing. This course introduces the student to the study and application of skills and interventions basic to nursing practice. Content focuses on the development of cognitive, psychomotor, affective, interpersonal and communication skills to become effective members of the collaborative health care team. Students will learn how the concepts of nursing process and evidence-based clinical decision-making are integrated into practice. Opportunities are provided for practice and demonstration of selected skills in the laboratory and in clinical settings. This course emphasizes techniques for the safe acquisition and management of patient information.

NURS 261. Health Assessment for Nursing Practice. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 30 clinical/lab hours. 3 credits (2 credits lecture and 1 credit clinical/lab). Prerequisite: PHIS 206. Pre- or corequisite: NURS 201. Enrollment requires admission to the School of Nursing. This course builds on the biopsychosocial sciences and focuses on development of knowledge, skills and techniques necessary for history-taking and physical examination in adults. Students are introduced to the nursing process and diagnostic reasoning skills are developed through analysis and documentation of assessment data. A laboratory experience provides opportunities for students to integrate communication and problem-solving skills with the health assessment process. The course focuses on the healthy adult patient and emphasizes the diversity of patient populations in health care settings.

NURS 305. Knowledge Validation by Portfolio. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 credits. Prerequisite: acceptance into the RN Completion Program and/or faculty recommendation. Culminates in submission of a portfolio for validation of course-specific knowledge and evaluation for full or partial credit. Elective. RN students only. Involves self-assessment of prior learning for RN. Requires correlation of experiential and theoretical knowledge with objectives of selected nursing courses.

NURS 325. Nursing of Adults I. 6 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 90 clinical hours. 6 credits (3 credits lecture and 3 credits clinical/laboratory). Prerequisites: NURS 201, NURS 202 and NURS 261. All prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Focuses on adult and geriatric patients with acute and chronic physical illnesses that have relatively stable trajectories. Provides theoretical and evidence-based foundations for nursing management and related therapeutic regimens. Emphasizes clinical decision-making and technical skills in the provision of care to adult and geriatric patients in a variety of health care settings.

NURS 335. Nursing of Women. 5 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 60 clinical/laboratory hours. 5 credits (3 credits lecture and 2 credits clinical/laboratory). Prerequisites: NURS 201, NURS 202 and NURS 261. All prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Examines the health needs of women across the life span with an emphasis on the health needs of the childbearing family. Applies nursing process, theory and research with an emphasis on the development of critical thinking skills in the diagnosis and treatment of human responses to health needs of women, neonates and families. Practices clinical skills and applies theoretical knowledge in selected ambulatory care settings for women's health and post-discharge care, and hospital settings for antenatal, intrapartum, post-partum and neonatal experiences.

NURS 345. Nursing of Children. 5 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 60 clinical/laboratory hours. 5 credits (3 credits lecture and 2 credits clinical/laboratory). Prerequisites: NURS 201, NURS 202 and NURS 261, all completed with a minimum grade of C. Examines health care needs of children within the context of the family system. Focuses on application of evidence, nursing process, communication skills and critical thinking when providing nursing to children. Applies current theory and evidence related to the child and family environment, developmental capacity, stress, adaptation and resilience. Incorporates standards of care for both well and ill children in the provision of care.

NURS 355. Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing. 5 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 60 clinical hours. 5 credits (3 credits lecture and 2 credits clinical laboratory). Prerequisites: NURS 201, NURS 202 and NURS 261. All prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Examines theoretical, empirical and practical knowledge applied to the prevention and treatment of common psychiatric and mental health conditions encountered in basic nursing practice. Provides students with an integrative perspective from which to incorporate various frameworks of knowledge into practice. Provides didactic knowledge and clinical learning experiences to facilitate students' understanding of actual and potential psychiatric illnesses and mental health problems in individuals, families and communities.

NURS 365. Pathophysiology and Pharmacology I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits (3 credits lecture). Prerequisites: anatomy, physiology and microbiology; BIOL 205, PHIS 206, BIOL 209 and admission to the School of Nursing. Introduces general and foundational principles in pathophysiology and pharmacology. Examines pathophysiological mechanisms selected diseases, syndromes and/or conditions and integrates related pharmacotherapeutics. Establishes a biophysiological basis for understanding relevant clinical assessments, clinical manifestations and disease trajectories. Provides a foundation for establishing physiological priorities for nursing care.

NURS 366. Pathophysiology and Pharmacology II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits (3 lecture credits). Prerequisite: NURS 365 completed with a minimum grade of C. Examines pathophysiological mechanisms in selected human systems diseases, syndromes and/or conditions and integrates related pharmacotherapeutics. Establishes a biophysiological basis for understanding relevant clinical assessments, clinical manifestations and disease trajectories. Provides a foundation for establishing physiological priorities for nursing care.

NURS 371. Evidence-based Practice. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: STAT 210, NURS 201, NURS 202. All prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of C. This overview course focuses on the knowledge and skills required to enact evidence-based practice over one's professional life. Students will examine the relevance of nursing research to evidence-based practice as they review important research concepts and identify factors affecting utilization of evidence in practice. The course formally introduces a model for evidence-based practice with an emphasis on the components of searching for, appraising and synthesizing best evidence.

NURS 396. Nursing Internship. 1-5 Hours.

Semester course; 120 clinical hours per credit. Variable credit. May be repeated. Prerequisites: NURS 325, NURS 335, NURS 345, NURS 355, NURS 365, NURS 366 and NURS 371. All prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Provides combination supervised clinical experience and paid work experience in selected settings of the VCU Medical Center. Many of these settings are not available in traditional curriculum. Introduces students to the work life of a nurse.

NURS 397. International Comparison of Nursing Education and Clinical Care. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 30 clinical hours. 1 credit (1 credit clinical/lab). Enrollment restricted to students in the nursing program of the University of Cordoba or VCU. This course focuses on a comparison of the nature of nursing in two countries: the United States and Spain. Specifically, the course focuses on comparing and contrasting the health care systems and examining the nursing education systems and nursing student experiences in Spain and the U.S. Students from the University of Cordoba will engage in clinical simulations designed to expose them to the high fidelity simulators used in U.S. schools. Additionally, students from both schools will engage in guided observation of nursing care provided to patients in acute care settings and citizens within community-based settings.

NURS 416. Community Health Nursing. 5 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 60 clinical hours. 5 credits (3 credits lecture and 2 credits clinical laboratory). Prerequisites: NURS 325, NURS 335, NURS 345, NURS 355, NURS 365, NURS 366 and NURS 371, all completed with a minimum grade of C. Focuses on development of knowledge and skills essential for care of communities and populations. Explores theory and evidence relevant to the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of communities and populations. Incorporates epidemiological principles to population-focused nursing and emphasizes the study and application of community health nursing roles for health promotion and disease prevention. Evaluates the impact of health policy on the public’s health. Designs an evidence-based service-learning project to address the health care needs of at-risk populations.

NURS 425. Nursing of Adults II. 6 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 90 clinical hours. 6 credits (3 credits lecture and 3 credits clinical laboratory). Prerequisites: NURS 325, NURS 335, NURS 345, NURS 355, NURS 365, NURS 366 and NURS 371. All prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Focuses on the patient in acute phases of physical illnesses and with complicated multisystem health problems. Provides theoretical and evidence-based foundations for nursing management and related therapeutic regimens. Focuses on the development and application of clinical decision-making and an evidence-based model in the provision of care to acutely ill adults in a variety of settings.

NURS 478. Leadership and Management in Health Care: Theory and Application. 5 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 60 clinical/laboratory hours (3 credits lecture and 2 credits clinical/laboratory). 5 credits. Prerequisites: NURS 325, NURS 335, NURS 345, NURS 355, NURS 365, NURS 366 and NURS 371, all completed with a minimum grade of C. Integrates principles of leadership and management to prepare students for management, coordination and implementation of safe and ethical patient care in contemporary health care delivery systems. Based on an understanding of nursing's development as a profession, advances enactment of professionalism. Precepted clinical experiences provide opportunities to apply leadership and management principles to nursing practice in a variety of settings and specialty areas.

NURS 491. Special Topics Course. 1-6 Hours.

Semester course; 1-6 lecture hours. 1-6 credits (1-6 credits lecture). Prerequisites: admission to the School of Nursing and permission of instructor. An in-depth exploration of specific topics in nursing theory and practice.

NURS 492. Elective Study. 1-5 Hours.

1-5 credits. Prerequisite: admission to the School of Nursing. Independent study projects planned to meet the learning objectives of the student.

NURS 496. Senior Synthesis. 6 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 120 clinical/lab hours. Honors section only: 2 lecture, 1 seminar and 120 clinical/lab hours. 6 credits (2 credits lecture and 4 credits clinical/lab). Honors section: 7 credits (2 credits lecture, 1 credit seminar [2 contact hours] and 4 credits clinical/lab). Prerequisites: NURS 325, NURS 335, NURS 345, NURS 355, NURS 365, NURS 366, NURS 371, NURS 425, IPEC 501 and IPEC 502. Honors section prerequisite: NURS 512. All prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of C. This course is designed as a culminating experience that meets the criteria of the third tier of the VCU Core Curriculum. It prepares students for successful transition into professional practice; thus it requires higher-level cognitive processes that include synthesis of knowledge, evidence and skills from all previous course work and clinical experiences. The course requires that the student consistently enact professional practice, demonstrate competency in standards of care, application of evidence, professionalism and safe and legal practice. This course is taken during the last semester of the nursing program.