Two-year RN-BS completion Track Requirements

The RN-to-BS track in the nursing program allows the qualified licensed registered professional nurse a flexible adult learning experience to complete baccalaureate degree requirements.

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 prepared to further their studies in the discipline of nursing and related fields.

Students in the RN-to-BS track are admitted directly into the major and enrolled in a transitional course designed to ease them into the on-line teaching-learning environment. The transitional course exposes students to University and Department resources, on-line learning, and baccalaureate teaching-learning expectations. Once completed, all courses required for completion of the RN-to-BS program are offered through distance-learning methods. Indirect and direct "hands-on" clinical experiences occur under the guidance of qualified and approved preceptors with faculty and agency guidance and support in settings local to the student's place of residence. In the semester prior to graduation, students complete a transitional course (involving on-line course work combined with an internship and an end-of-program professional scholarship symposium) designed to showcase the knowledge, skills and attitudes of the baccalaureate generalist.

Faculty providing clinical oversight will consult with preceptors and agency personnel about students' clinical performance but retain responsibility for assigning clinical grades.

Admission Requirements

All applicants must possess an unencumbered license to practice as a registered professional nurse in the United States. Additional admission requirements for this program include:

  1. Submission of all post-secondary transcripts.
  2. A minimum GPA of 2.8.
  3. Demonstrated successful completion of BIO 2011 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I, BIO 2012 - Human Anatomy and Physiology II, and BIO 2125 - Fundamentals of Microbiology (or their equivalents).
  4. A resume with job and educational history.
  5. A letter of recommendation from his or her current and immediate supervisor; other recommendations may be supplied as well.
Progression Standards

All nursing courses and courses required for the major must be passed 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.

Additional 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.

Licensure

Students enrolled in the RN-to BS program must maintain an active, unencumbered license to practice as a registered professional nurse in the United States.

    REQUIRED COURSES

    Transfer Equivalency Courses (50 cr):

    Registered professional nurses with a current and valid nursing license will be awarded transfer equivalency credit for completion of courses or like course work in the following:

    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

    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 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 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 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 3065

    Nursing Informatics

    This course, an integration of nursing, computers, information science, and information literacy, introduces students to the essential role of reputable information and information technologies in improving patient care outcomes, nursing practice, and creating a safe care environment. Throughout this course students will have opportunities to organize, evaluate, and use health information and knowledge to critically appraise and use information technology to enhance evidence-based practice. The focus of discussions will include ethical considerations, information literacy, health information literacy, social networking tools, electronic health records, handheld computers, social media and e-portfolios in health care environments.

    Restrictions BS.NUR majors only

    Prerequisite: NUR 2510, NUR 3015, and NUR 3025, with grades of B- or better.

    Spring

    3

    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 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

    PHI 3020

    Medical Ethics

    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 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

    Pre-requisite courses or equivalent course work required for admission to the program (12 cr):

    Code Course Credits

    BIO 2011

    Human Anatomy and Physiology I

    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

    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

    In recognition of the diversity of the educational preparation of students, additional transferrable grades in courses required to meet graduation requirements will be awarded, where appropriate, on a case-by-case basis.

    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

    Nursing courses required for completion of the program (34 cr):

    Code Course Credits

    MAT 1350

    Statistics and Health

    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

    NUR 2210

    Transitions to Baccalaureate Nursing

    This 7.5 week immersive seminar will expose student-learners to the use of curricular and health information technology, college level writing, scientific notation, and the role of the baccalaureate-generalist. 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, nursing education, and patient care will be explored. The role of the nurse as public representative, opinion leader, change agent, and professional and public advocate at the point of care and in the halls of influence will be emphasized. Student-learners will acquire and/or refine skills in the areas of computer and information literacy, written and oral methods of communication, on-line research methods and college level writing for the sciences. Features of Microsoft Word and Outlook and Moodle will be applied.

    Restrictions BS.NUR.RN students only.

    Fall

    3

    NUR 2220

    Health Assessment and Promotion

    This 7.5 week intensive course will assess and build on the basic knowledge, skills, and abilities of the registered professional nursing student 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 functional patterns, age-related changes, normal and abnormal variations, and racial, ethnic, cultural and developmental differences. Emphasis will be placed on application of the nursing process and primary methods of prevention-risk reduction and health promotion. 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.

    Restrictions BS.NUR.RN only

    Fall

    4

    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 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 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 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 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

    NUR 4230

    RN Transition to Clinical Leadership Seminar

    This 7.5 week immersive, seminar provides RN-to-BS student-learners with an opportunity to prepare for the role of the nurse as a clinical leader in shaping health policy through engagement, advocacy and activism. 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 political systems, the political process, policy development, and the role of the nurse as public and professional representative, opinion leader, change agent, and professional and public advocate. Through collegial political discourse, professional engagement, critical analysis of policies and policy making, lobbying efforts, and activism students gain confidence in methods of presenting themselves as opinion and policy leaders to various public audiences.

    Restrictions BS.NUR.RN students only

    Prerequisite: NUR 4030

    3

    NUR 4240

    RN-to-BS Transitions to Clinical Leadership Practicum

    *Requires lab or clinical hours for completion

    This capstone clinical experience provides the RN-to-BS student the opportunity to apply leadership and followership skills necessary to transition to the realities of formal and informal clinical leadership expected of the baccalaureate graduate. Students will work side-by-side with a registered nurse serving in a leadership-management position in a healthcare setting. Students will gain an understanding of and appreciation for the role of leader-manager as indirect care provider, change agent, role model, and professional and public advocate. Students are expected to fully engage with their preceptors in shaping the practice or practice environment by actively participating and contributing to select projects and processes that contribute to the Triple Aims (IHI, 2007)-improved population health/health outcomes, quality of the patient experience, and cost-effectiveness. Students must complete other degree requirements before completion of the capstone practicum.

    Restrictions BS.NUR.RN students only

    Prerequisite: NUR 4220 and NUR 4030

    Every semester

    3

    And complete the requirements to earn a BS degree

    To earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, students must have acquired 122 credits as well as satisfy the university's General Education requirements; thus, the time and number of credits needed for degree completion may vary.

    Click here to review the Gen Ed requirements.

    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.