Bachelor of Science in Nursing Requirements

The pre-licensure track in the nursing program prepares graduates for entry into professional practice as a registered professional nurse (RN) and admission to programs of advanced study in the discipline of nursing and related fields.

The nursing program at Castleton University is approved by the Vermont Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001; 202-887-6791.

Upon successful completion of all degree requirements, graduates are awarded a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Nursing and are eligible to complete the National Council Licensure Examination for the Registered Professional Nurse (NCLEX-RN®). Full-time enrollment will result in degree completion in four years.

Admission and Progression

All students who are qualified will be initially admitted into the four-year program. Upon successful completion of the first year, students are then eligible to request to transfer into the three-year program.

Students interested in the nursing major who do not initially meet admission standards may transfer into the program after establishing eligibility and applying to the program.

Admission Requirements

In addition to Castleton's general admission requirements, applicants to the pre-licensure nursing program must meet the following admission standards:

  1. Graduation from high school with a minimum 3.0 GPA (re-calculated to exclude non-academic courses).
  2. Grades of B- or above in math and science courses.
  3. Minimum SAT scores of 500 each in critical reading and math sections or ACT of 21.
  4. Transfer students must have a minimum grade of B- in all courses required for the nursing major.

Applicants must submit all high school transcripts and any prior post-secondary course work for review prior to admission. Applicants may request an interview or, alternately, may be requested to interview.

Internal Transfers

Students enrolled in other academic programs within the University are eligible for consideration for internal transfer into nursing. Details regarding the application process are available from the Nursing Department at open sessions offered each semester or by appointment. The selection process takes place at the end of each semester. The most qualified applicants will be accepted as space in the program allows. To be considered for transfer the applicant must meet these minimum requirements:

  1. A GPA of 2.8; recalculated to remove non-program-related credits.
  2. A minimum 9-credit academic load in the semester of-or prior to-application.
  3. Grades of B- or better in all courses required for the nursing major.
  4. Submission of a completed application prior to the designated deadline.
  5. Approval by the Student Affairs Committee in the Nursing Department.
Progression Standards

To progress in the major students must complete all courses required for the major with a grade of B- or better. Nursing majors may repeat a maximum of two courses required for the major; each course required for the major may be repeated only one time. Patient safety is our number one priority, thus, students whose health, performance, or behavior is judged unsatisfactory may be withdrawn from the program.

Fees

The nursing student experience is different than that of other students, thus, additional fees apply including but not limited to fees related to equipment and supplies (name badge, stethoscope, uniforms, lab coat, shoes solely for the clinical setting, pen light, and bandage scissors), the conduct of a criminal background check, drug screening, maintenance of records necessary for clearance to practice in the clinical setting, and select laboratory and curricular technology fees. Reasonable attempts are made to communicate new fees and changes in fee structures in a timely manner. A description of fees can be found in the student handbook and/or course syllabi.

Transportation

Students are responsible for securing their own transportation to assigned clinical placements.

Licensure

According to the Vermont State Board of Nursing: "The Board may deny an application for registration, licensure or relicensure; revoke or suspend any license to practice nursing issued by it; discipline or in other ways condition the practice of a registrant or licensee upon due notice and opportunity for hearing in compliance with the provisions of Chapter 25, Title 3, if the person:

  1. Has made or caused to be made a false, fraudulent or forged statement or representation in procuring or attempting to procure registration or renew a license to practice nursing;
  2. Whether or not committed in this state, has been convicted of a crime related to the practice of nursing or a felony which evinces an unfitness to practice;
  3. Is unable to practice nursing competently by reason of any cause;
  4. Is habitually intemperate or addicted to the use of habit-forming drugs;
  5. Has a mental, emotional or physical disability, the nature of which interferes with the ability to practice nursing competently; or,
  6. Engages in conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public." (State of Vermont, Board of Nursing, Title 26, V.S.A.)

Complete the Following Courses:

Required pre- or co-requisite courses (33 cr):

Note: All of these courses must be passed with a "B-" or better

Code Course Credits

BIO 1030

Introduction to Nutrition

An introduction to the science of nutrition and the scientific bases for the evaluation of diets. The role of nutrition in health, disease, and aging is emphasized.

This course fulfills a Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

BIO 2011

Human Anatomy and Physiology I

(Math & Science frame)

An investigation of the structure and function of the human body in health and disease. Topics include: the cell, cellular metabolism, tissues, integument, skeletal system, articulations, and muscular and nervous systems.

Lecture and lab.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: Nursing, Physical Education, Natural Science, Psychology or Social Work major or consent of instructor. Previous experience in biology and chemistry (high school or college) is highly recommended.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall

4

BIO 2012

Human Anatomy and Physiology II

(Math & Science frame)

A continuation of BIO 2011. Topics include the endocrine, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, urinary and reproductive systems.

Lecture and lab.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: BIO 2011 or consent of instructor.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Spring

4

BIO 2125

Fundamentals of Microbiology

A study of the cellular structure and function of microorganisms, principally bacteria. The physiology, genetics, and interactions of bacteria with higher forms of life and the environment will be covered. The required laboratory will provide students with an understanding and practical knowledge of aseptic techniques and other common microbiology methods.

Prerequisite: BIO 1121 and BIO 1122 , or BIO 2011 and BIO 2012.

Fee Lab fee $50

Fall

4

CHE 2030

Principles of Biochemistry

Students will learn the fundamental principles of chemistry and biochemistry as they relate to the nursing curriculum. The course defines essential concepts in general chemistry and organic chemistry. Building on these concepts, the course covers the basic principles of biochemical processes, and explores the properties of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Students will gain an increased understanding of biochemical system functioning from a nursing perspective.

Restrictions BS.NUR students only

Spring

3

MAT 1350

Statistics and Health

(Math & Science frame)

The content in this core course builds on the subject matter from Healthcare Research, Healthcare Literature, and Evidence Based Practice. The focus of this course will be on the development of statistical reasoning and practice analyzing actual data that will expose nursing students to basic calculations of descriptive and inferential statistics using statistical software such as SPSS, Minitab, or R language, these technological and statistical skills are needed to interpret scientific studies and understand the scientific method. Students will also acquire the knowledge and technological skills needed to manipulate quantitative data and use nonparametric and parametric statistics to answer research questions and test hypotheses.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

PHI 3020

Medical Ethics

(World Views frame)

This course is a study of current ethical problems in medicine and health care. Topics include ethical problems about the doctor-patient relationship, problems at the end of life, the beginning of life, and problems concerning the health care system. Specific issues to be discussed may include abortion, euthanasia, new reproductive technologies, the rights and responsibilities of patients, doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals, and justice and the health care system.

This course fulfills either the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference or the World Views Frame of Reference.

Spring

3

PSY 1012

Introduction to Psychological Science

(Social & Behavioral Science frame)

A survey of a wide variety of topics studied by psychological scientists. The course objective is to introduce students to the terms, concepts and methods of psychological science.

Restrictions This course is equivalent to Introduction to Psychology; students will not receive credit for both courses.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

PSY 1050

Human Growth and Development

A survey of human developmental psychology from the prenatal period to late adulthood. The major focus is on theoretical and practical implications of developmental research for cognitive, personality and social development. Special attention will be given to interactions between maturation and experience.

Every semester

3

SOC 1010

Introduction to Sociology

(Social & Behavioral Science frame)

A systematic introduction to the study of social behavior and social organization. The major conceptual tools of sociology are used to explore the structure, processes, and content of social action; to provide insight into the regularity and diversity of human social behavior.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.

Every semester

3

Required nursing courses (66 cr):

Note: All of these courses must be passed with a "B-" or better

Code Course Credits

NUR 1040

Care, Caring, and Caregiving

The need for care is said to be universal, something that we all want and need, but is not necessarily well understood by those who choose to engage in a caregiving relationship. This course will explore the phenomena of care, caring, and caregiving through multiple lenses - historical, philosophical, ethical, and cultural - as the basis for personal and professional development as a caregiver and recipient of care. Using various texts and forms of media the story of care, caring, and caregiving will be explored from an insider and outsider perspective. Through narrative methods of teaching and learning, students will be actively engaged in critical reflection on the meaning of care, caring relationships, and caregiving.

Restrictions Nursing majors or permission of instructor

Every semester

3

NUR 1050

Fundamentals of Nursing Practice

Using a scientific problem-solving method to approach patient concerns, student-learners in this course learn to integrate and apply core knowledge from the liberal arts and sciences with the fundamental nursing knowledge, hands-on skills, and professional behaviors as the basis for providing safe, quality, and patient-centered care for individuals throughout the life span. Critical thinking, clinical problem solving, patient-centered care, evidence-based practice, patient safety, infetion control, teaching and learning, and mutually respectful communication are emphasized.

Restrictions BS.NUR majors only

Prerequisite: NUR 1040 and BIO 2011 with grades of "B-" or better.

Fee Lab fee $622 to cover Virtual Hospital lab kit and ATI services.

Spring

4

NUR 2012

Health Assessment

Synthesizing nursing knowledge with knowledge from the liberal arts and sciences, students will develop knowledge and skill in holistic methods of patient and family assessment, therapeutic communication, patient interviewing, data collection, medical terminology, and the documentation of assessment findings. Consideration will be given to age-related changes, normal and abnormal variations, and racial, ethnic, cultural and developmental differences. Analysis of information, critical thinking skills, and problem solving methods are emphasized in the identification of risk factors and other health patterns. Practical skills are applied in the laboratory and /or clinical setting. Students are expected to model and role model professional behaviors and acquire and refine the practical knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform a systematic, comprehensive health assessment, critically analyze findings, and thoroughly and accurately record findings.

Restrictions Nursing majors only

Prerequisite: BIO 2011 , BIO 2012, NUR 1040, NUR 1050, PSY 1012, and PSY 1050 with grades of B- or better.

Fee Fee $50

Fall

4

NUR 2015

Pathophysiology-Pharmacology I

The first part of this two-semester course focuses on the pathogenesis and treatment of select diseases and disorders of the immune, cardiovascular, respiratory, and endocrine systems. The etiology and progression of disease and disorder states and the human response to such state changes will be examined. Student-learners are actively engaged to integrate previous knowledge to acquire and refine their understanding of disease and disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Principles of biochemistry, genetics, and genomics and their relationship to pathogenesis, pathophysiology, assessment findings, lab and diagnostic data, pharmaco-kinetics, -dynamics, and -therapeutics will be stressed. Patient-centered care, evidence-based practice, clinical decision making, and the role of the nurse in providing safe, high quality and compassionate care are emphasized-particularly as it relates to the role of the nurse in safe medication administration. This course is designed to be taught in tandem with Adult Health Nursing I.

Restrictions BS.NUR students only

Prerequisite: BIO 1030 and BIO 2125 with grades of B- or better.

Spring

3

NUR 2025

Adult Health Nursing I

Using a human systems framework, student-learners in the first of this two-series course are engaged in the classroom, Simulation Center, and clinical setting to integrate knowledge from the sciences and liberal arts into the holistic and informed care of adult patients with select developmental and acute and chronic medical-surgical concerns (immune, hematologic, cardiovascular, respiratory, and endocrine). The knowledge, skills, clinical problem solving abilities, and professional attitudes necessary to provide safe, high quality, holistic care to adult and aging patients experiencing common health concerns are emphasized. Levels of prevention and the nursing process are applied in a variety of settings. This course is designed to be taken in tandem with Pathophysiology-Pharmacology I.

Restrictions BS.NUR students only

Prerequisite: BIO 1030, BIO 2125, and NUR 1050 with grades of B- or better.

Fee Fee $459

Spring

5

NUR 2510

Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing

This course will explore inquiry and scholarship in nursing with a focus on providing students with foundational knowledge regarding critical appraisal and research utilization for its relevance and applicability to selected health care strategies and conditions. The course will also examine the basic elements of the research process and models for applying evidence in clinical practice to support nursing care and quality standards and foster analytical thinking that reduce the variations in patient care.

Restrictions Nursing majors only

Prerequisite: MAT 1350, NUR 1050 or NUR 2210 with grades of B- or better.

Fall

3

NUR 3015

Pathophysiology-Pharmacology II

The second of this two-series course focuses on the pathogenesis and pharmacologic treatment of select nutritional diseases and disorders as well as diseases and disorders of aging, and the neurologic, sensory, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, renal, and reproductive systems. The etiology and progression of disease and disorder states and the human response to such state changes will be examined. Student-learners are actively engaged to integrate previous knowledge to acquire and refine their understanding of disease and disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Principles of biochemistry, genetics and genomics and their relationship to pathogenesis, pathophysiology, assessment findings, lab and diagnostic data, and pharmaco-kinetics, -dynamics, and -therapeutics will be stressed. Patient-centered care, evidence-based practice, clinical decision making, and the role of the nurse in providing safe, high quality and compassionate care are emphasized- particularly as it relates to the role of the nurse in safe medication administration. This course is designed to be taken in conjunction with Adult Nursing II.

Restrictions BS.NUR students only

Prerequisite: NUR 2015 and NUR 2025 with grades of B- or better.

Fall

3

NUR 3025

Adult Health Nursing II

Using a human systems framework, student-learners in the second of this two course series are engaged in the classroom, Simulation Center, and clinical setting to integrate knowledge from the sciences and liberal arts into the holistic and informed care of adult patients with select developmental and acute and chronic medical-surgical concerns (nutrition, gastrointestinal, sensory, musculo-skeletal, renal, genitourinary, and reproductive). The knowledge, skills, clinical problem solving abilities and professional attitudes necessary to provide safe, high quality, holistic care to adult and aging clients experiencing common health concerns are emphasized. Levels of prevention and the nursing process are applied in a variety of settings. This course is designed to be taken in tandem with Pathophysiology-Pharmacology I.

Restrictions BS.NUR students only

Prerequisite: NUR 2015 and NUR 2025 with grades of B- or better.

Fee Fee $459

Fall

5

NUR 3070

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing

This 7.5 week immersive course integrates prior knowledge into patient-, family-and community-centered care of those individuals or aggregate groups with mental health concerns. Using a holistic approach, normal developmental concerns, common social and pathophysiologic concerns and conditions, and life threatening psychiatric-mental health concerns of patients across the lifespan and continuum of care are emphasized through clinical and didactic experiences. Care is delivered in a variety of settings and focuses on application of the nursing process and levels of prevention including but not limited to health promotion, risk reduction, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions, suicide prevention, crisis management, addiction prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, grief counseling and supportive end-of-life care. Critical thinking, clinical problem solving, relationship-based care, inter-professional competence, evidence-based practice, patient safety, infection control, teaching and learning, advanced therapeutic communication techniques, family and interpersonal theories, and psychiatric-behavioral assessment methods are emphasized through clinical and didactic experiences.

Restrictions BS.NUR majors only

Prerequisite: NUR 3015 and NUR 3025 with grades of B- or better.

Fee Fee $409

Spring

5

NUR 3075

Public Health Nursing

Through exposure to different empirical frameworks and active engagement in and outside of the classroom this 7.5 week immersive course will explore the complex myriad of beliefs, practices, and conditions that give rise to the health or vulnerability of individuals, families, communities, and aggregate populations. Integrating the concepts, theories and ethical frameworks and principles that serve as a foundation to the practice of public health with prior knowledge and skill, student-learners will gain skill, confidence and competence in applying the nursing process and levels of prevention to the culturally-appropriate care of a community and/or population. Interdisciplinary and multi-sectorial collaboration, critical thinking, clinical problem solving, population-centered care, evidence-based practice, community safety, epidemiology, teaching and learning, principles of social justice and mutually respectful communication are emphasized. Working with faculty and members of the interdisciplinary and multi-sectorial team, students acquire and refine their knowledge base, skills, and professional behaviors.

Restrictions Nursing majors only

Prerequisite: NUR 3015 and NUR 3025 with grades of B- or better.

Spring, Summer

5

NUR 4015

Women's and Reproductive Health

This course integrates prior knowledge into patient-centered care of women and those with reproductive health concerns across the life span and continuum of care. Using a developmental and systems-based approach, common age-related findings and concerns, pathophysiologic conditions and concerns, and life threatening conditions are explored. Key examples of conditions that are disproportionately found among women or for which the diagnosis or treatment may differ from men are highlighted. Care is delivered in a variety of settings and focuses on the application of the nursing process and levels of prevention including health promotion, risk reduction, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, palliation or end-of-life care. Critical thinking, clinical problem solving, patient-centered care, evidence-based practice, patient safety, infection control, teaching and learning, and mutually respectful communication are emphasized through clinical and didactic experiences.

Restrictions BS.NUR students only

Prerequisite: NUR 3065, NUR 3070, and NUR 3075 with grades of B- or better

Fee Fee $227

Fall

5

NUR 4022

Pediatric Health Nursing

This course integrates prior knowledge into patient- and family-centered care of the pediatric patient (newborn through young adulthood). Using both a developmental and a systems-based approach, normal age-related finding and concerns, common pathophysiologic conditions and concerns, and life threatening concerns are emphasized. Care is delivered in a variety of settings and focuses on the application of the nursing process and levels of prevention including health promotion, risk reduction, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, palliation or end-of-life care. Critical thinking, clinical problem solving, patient-centered care, evidence-based practice, patient safety, infection control, teaching and learning, and mutually respectful communication are emphasized through clinical and didactic experiences.

Restrictions B.S.NUR students only

Prerequisite: NUR 3065, NUR 3070, and NUR 3075 with grades of B- or better

Fee Fee $228

Fall

5

NUR 4030

Management and Leadership in Nursing

Through an actively engaged classroom, simulated learning experiences, case-based learning and/or field experiences, student-learners will learn about tools and measures used by nurses at the point of care to safely provide, manage, and coordinate care. Select empirical theories, models, and frameworks will be explored as the basis for understanding the complex legal, ethical, regulatory, economic, and political dynamics that influence organizational behavior, leadership-followership, and management within the health care environment. Professional engagement, managing change, systems thinking, and the interprofessional competencies-values, ethics, roles, responsibilities, effective communication, teams and team work are emphasized through clinical and didactic experiences. Direct and indirect clinical experiences provide the student with the opportunity to apply concepts, theories, and principles to the management and leadership role of the baccalaureate prepared registered professional nurse in the practice setting.

Restrictions Nursing majors only

Prerequisite: NUR 3065, NUR 3070, and NUR 3075 with grades of B- or better.

Fall

4

NUR 4615

Transition to Professional Nursing Practice

This 7.5 week immersive, seminar provides pre-licensure student-learners with an opportunity to prepare for the transition from student to that of the baccalaureate-prepared registered nurse. Contemporary and historical social trends as well as trends and issues in politics, economics, education, science and technology and their influence on healthcare, the nursing profession, nursing practice, and patient care are discussed. Particular emphasis is given to understanding politics, the political process, policy development, and the role of the nurse as public representative, opinion leader, change agent, and professional and public advocate. Through collegial discourse, student-led seminars, mock interviews, lobbying efforts, and refinement of professional portfolios, students gain confidence in methods of presenting themselves to various public audiences.

Restrictions BS.NUR majors only

Prerequisite: NUR 4015, NUR 4022, and NUR 4030 with grades of B- or better.

Spring

3

NUR 4620

Critical Health Care Nursing

This 7.5 week immersive course integrates prior nursing knowledge with knowledge about care of those experiencing a critical illness or injury. Using a systems and population-based approach, select common critical health care needs of clients across the lifespan are explored in the classroom and Simulation Center. Experiences in the Simulation Center including clinical simulations, disaster drills, and training in advanced skills allow students the opportunity to cognitively rehearse, practice skills and gain valuable insight into the concerns of critically ill patients and their families and the patient care and care management issues that accompany a critical illness and/or injury.

Restrictions BS.NUR only

Prerequisite: NUR 4015, NUR 4022, and NUR 4030 with grades of B- or better.

Fee Fee $50

Spring

4

NUR 4810

Patient Care Management Capstone

This 7.5 week capstone experience assists student-learners in the transition from academe to the realities of professional practice through guided preparation for the NCLEX-RN®, completion of a 4 week independent practicum, and completion of a professional portfolio. Students need to have successfully met course outcomes in NUR 4620 Critical Health Care Nursing and NUR 4615 Transition to Professional Nursing Practice with grades of B- or better prior to starting the practicum.

Restrictions BS.NUR majors only

Prerequisite: NUR 4015, NUR 4022, and NUR 4030 with grades of B- or better.

Fee Lab fee of $439 to cover the nursing pin and ATI services.

Spring

5

Optional elective offerings (not required)

Code Course Credits

NUR 3220

Worldviews and Global Health

The just and equitable distribution of risk and the tools used to lessen or ameliorate such risk and its subsequent human suffering are too often unaddressed or inadequately addressed, particularly when viewed through a narrow disciplinary lens. Students will conduct a systematic and comparative analysis of health, health disparities and health systems across the globe and the human-social-ecological conditions that give rise to health and health disparities. As well, using a biosocial approach, a select number of historical and contemporary global health concerns and the information, tools, and methods used to address such concerns will be critically examined. This course will be offered in a 7.5 week intensive, on-line format.

Restrictions BS.NUR.RN students or permission

Fall

3

NUR 4220

Healthy Aging

This course explores the field of gerontology and the unique health needs of adults as they age. Student-learners explore pervasive stereotypes, myths, and biases about aging across time and culture with an emphasis on aging in a youth-centered culture. As well, students will engage in a critical comparison between perceptions of aging and reality from an informed bio-psycho-social perspective. Select demographic, social, cultural, ethical, financial, and environmental issues are addressed. Levels of prevention including end-of-life decision making and end-of-life care, as they pertain to the geriatric population, are explored. This course will be offered in a 7.5-week intensive format.

Restrictions BS.NUR.RN students or permission

Prerequisite: NUR 2012 or NUR 2220

Spring

3

And complete the university's Gen Ed requirements

Click here to review the Gen Ed requirements.

Degree Plans

-If you plan to earn your degree in four years, and you entered the Nursing program in Fall 2019 or after, click here to see the schedule of required courses organized by semester.

-If you transfer into the three year program, click here to see the schedule of required courses organized by semester.

Accreditation

The baccalaureate degree in nursing at Castleton University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001; (202) 887-6791. The program is also approved by the Vermont Board of Nursing.