Bachelor of Science in Nursing Curriculum

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Curriculum

The bachelor of science degree in Nursing is a four-year program that offers a broad foundation in liberal arts and science and an extensive range of nursing courses. Graduates are eligible to take the national examination for licensure (NCLEX) as registered nurses.

A four-year education helps nurses navigate the increasingly complex medical field; in its Future of Nursing Report, the Institute of Medicine recommends that 80 percent of all nurses have, at minimum, a baccalaureate degree by 2020. Hospitals applying for Magnet status employ a larger proportion of nurses with a B.S. degree than without. Many institutions also have higher pay grades for bachelor's-prepared nurses. A four-year degree also is the foundation for the advanced education needed to become a nurse educator, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, nurse administrator, or nurse researcher.

Current Students:

Refer to the University Bulletin for course descriptions and more degree requirements. Or find other resources on the Current Students page.

Prospective Students:

Below is a typical course sequence for the Nursing bachelor's degree program. For further information refer to the B.S. Student Handbook.

Semester 1*

  • Mammalian Anatomy (4 credits)
  • Composition (3 credits)
  • Introductory Psychology (3 credits)
  • First-Year Seminar (1 credit)
  • Humanities Course (3 credits)
  • Arts Course (3 credits)

Total Credits: 17

Semester 2*

  • Introductory Physiology (3 credits)
  • Introductory Physiology Laboratory (1 credit)
  • Introduction to Human Development and Family Studies (3 credits)
  • Introductory Principles of Nutrition (3 credits)
  • Effective Speech (3 credits)
  • Math Course (3 credits)

Total Credits: 16

Semester 3

  • Chemistry (3-4 credits)
  • Elementary Microbiology (3 credits)
  • Elementary Microbiology Laboratory (1 credit)
  • Professional Role Development I: Introduction to Professional Issues in Nursing Practice and Nursing Informatics (2 credits)
  • Health Assessment (3 credits)
  • Elective (2-3 credits)

Total Credits: 14-16

Semester 4

  • Introduction to Sociology (3 credits)
  • Statistics or Biostatistics (3-4 credits)
  • Pathophysiology (3 credits)
  • Introduction to Fundamentals of Nursing (4 credits)
  • Humanities Course (3 credits)

Total Credits: 16-17

Semester 5

  • Introduction to Pharmacological Concepts (3 credits)
  • Nursing Care of the Adult Client Requiring Medical-Surgical Intervention (4 credits)
  • Therapeutic Nursing Care of the Older Adult (3 credits)
  • Arts Course (3 credits)
  • Elective (3 credits)

Total Credits: 16

Semester 6

  • Understanding and Applying Nursing Research (3 credits)
  • Professional Role Development II: Ethics, Legal, and Genetic Issues (2 credits)
  • Nursing Care of Children and Adolescents (3 credits)
  • Nursing Care of the Childbearing Family (3 credits)
  • Effective Writing (3 credits)

Total Credits: 14

Semester 7

  • Professional Role Development III: Leadership and Management (2 credits)
  • Nursing Care of the Adult with Complex Health Problems, Part A (4 credits)
  • Community and Family Health Nursing (4 credits)
  • Elective (3 credits)

Total Credits: 13

Semester 8

  • Professional Role Development III: Clinical Capstone (3 credits)
  • Nursing Care of the Adult with Complex Health Problems, Part B (4 credits)
  • Mental Health Nursing (4 credits)
  • Nursing Elective (3 credits)

Total Credits: 14

* For students in the Nursing Pre-Major (NRCOM) program, admission to the B.S. in Nursing degree program will be based on first semester grades and other academic criteria. Admission decisions are made in early spring. Admission also may depend on space availability within the program.

This is representative of a typical course sequence. See bulletins.psu.edu/bulletins/bluebook for specific degree requirements.