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, nonverbal 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 traditional B.S. 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 a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 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. 
  3. Applicants must present minimum SAT, ACT or GRE scores as prescribed:
    1. SAT: 900 on the critical reading and math sections only with neither score below 400
    2. GRE (old test): 900 on the verbal and quantitative sections with neither score below 400
    3. GRE (new test): 291 with verbal score not lower than 146 and quantitative score not lower than 140
    4. ACT: 19 composite score
  4. 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
  5. Complete the following prerequisites prior to enrollment1
VCU courses
BIOL   101
BIOZ   101
Biological Concepts
and Biological Concepts Laboratory (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences requirement)
4
BIOL   205Basic Human Anatomy4
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

Effective with fall 2017 entry, all science prerequisites must be no more than 10 years old at the time of application.

2

The second laboratory science cannot include anatomy, physiology or microbiology.

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
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   365PATHOPHYS & PHARMACOL I3
NURS   366 Pathophysiology 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 Application6
NURS   496Senior Synthesis (University Core Capstone)7
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 PATHOPHYS PHARMACOL 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 6
Elective (300-level or higher) 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
NURS   416 Community Health Nursing 5
NURS   496 Senior Synthesis 7
Elective (300-level or higher) 3
 Term Hours: 15
 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 prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Examines the health needs of children within the context of the family system, environment, developmental capability, stress and adaptation. Focuses on application of evidence, the nursing process, written and oral communication skills and critical thinking when giving nursing care to well and ill children. Applies current theory and evidence to children and their families in clinical experiences. Reinforces standards of care for both well and ill children and their families.

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. PATHOPHYS & PHARMACOL 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 prerequisites must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Develops knowledge for care of communities and populations based on the core functions of public health. Provides theory essential to the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of communities. Emphasizes the study and application of community health nursing roles for health promotion and disease prevention. Concentrates on an epidemiological approach to population-focused nursing. Evaluates the effects of contemporary issues and health policy on the public's health. Directs an evidence-based service-learning project to prevent disease and promote and preserve the health of populations at risk.

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. 6 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 90 clinical/laboratory hours (3 credits lecture and 3 credits clinical/laboratory). 6 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. 7 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 150 clinical hours. Honors section only: 2 lecture, 1 seminar and 150 clinical hours. 7 credits (2 credits lecture and 5 credits clinical laboratory). Honors section: 8 credits (2 credits lecture, 1 credit seminar [2 contact hours] and 5 credits clinical laboratory). Prerequisites: NURS   325, NURS   335, NURS   345, NURS   355, NURS   365, NURS   366, NURS   371, NURS   425 IPEC   501 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.