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RN to BSN Courses Online

RN to BSN Courses

RN to BSN Courses Online

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree combines nursing topics with studies in the Human Journey. These core curriculum courses explore the human experience through literature, philosophy, religion, sociology and more. The goal is not just to educate you as a nurse — it’s to prepare you to become a healer.

The program requires 120 semester credit hours: 14 semester credit hours of prerequisite courses, 49 semester credit hours of other liberal arts and sciences requirements, and 57 credit hours in the Nursing major.

As of 1986, the State of Connecticut RN to BSN Articulation program allows students to transfer 30 credits for lower division undergraduate nursing coursework. Students who graduated before 1986 may also be awarded 30 credits for an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) after a review of their materials.

Prerequisite Courses Credit Hours
  Social and Behavioral Science 3
BI 126 Anatomy & Physiology I 3
BI 127 Anatomy & Physiology I Lab 1
BI 128 Anatomy & Physiology II 3
BI 129 Anatomy & Physiology II Lab 1
MA 131 Statistics for Decision Making* 3


Foundational Core – University and Nursing Requirements Credit Hours 
FS 103 Freshman Seminar (Academic Writing) 3
FLO125 The Art of Thinking 3
  Natural Science - Chemistry, Biology, or Physics 3
ENG 260 Literature of Illness and Healing 3
HI 100 History 3
PH 221 Historical Survey of Philosophy 3
TRS 265 Intro to World Religions 3
  Art/Media Studies 3
  Social Science 3
MA 101 Modern College Mathematics I 3


Catholic Intellectual Tradition Seminars Credit Hours
CIT 201 Catholic Intellectual Tradition Seminar 3
CIT 202 Catholic Intellectual Tradition Seminar 3


Thematic Liberal Arts Core Credit Hours
  Humanities 3
  Social Science 3
  Natural Science 4


Elective Credit Hours
  Elective 3


Nursing Major Requirements Credit Hours
NU 290 Validation of Prior Learning 30
NU 305 Transition to Professional Practice 3
NU 315 The Human Journey in Nursing 3
NU 325 Health Assessment for RNs 3
NU 335 Information Technology for Nursing Practice 3
NU 345 Evidence Based Practice 3
NU 355 Leadership in Contemporary Nursing Practice 3
NU 376 Care Management: Individuals and Families 4
NU 387 Populations and Global Health 5


* Transfer credit for these courses may be applied on review of a student's transcripts and is at the discretion of the Sacred Heart University College of Nursing. Prerequisite courses are not offered at SHU.

Undergraduate coursework outside the major incorporates an innovative Core Curriculum. The Core Curriculum consists of the Foundational Core, where courses hone skills needed to function successfully in a global society.

Prerequisite Courses

MA 131 Statistics for Decision Making OR SO 242 Statistics for Social Research Coursework covers descriptive statistics, probability distributions, confidence intervals, correlation and hypothesis testing. Students will study the applications of computer software to statistics.

Foundational Core – University and Nursing Requirements (30 Credits)

FLO 125 The Art of Thinking The purpose of "The Art of Thinking" course is to improve students' critical thinking skills by addressing them directly and specifically as skills. While most classes require critical thinking, this course addresses the actual inferences and patterns of thought that make careful critical thought possible.

HI 100 Western Civilization II The goal of the course is to provide students with an introduction to the historical development of Western Europe during the last 500 years and with an appreciation for how this development has taken place in the context of world history. It will not be a world history course as such, but through the study of European colonialism, world wars and capitalist economic expansion, students will gain an understanding of the global nature of the history of the West. The emphasis will be on political, economic, and social changes.

AR 101 Art in the Western World Explores ideas and arts of cultures that initiate and develop into the Western tradition. Includes an analysis of the basic characteristics of the art and architecture of these eras in the context of general cultural trends.

MA 101 Modern College Mathematics Intended for the liberal arts major, the goal of this course is to give students an understanding of the wide variety of ideas in contemporary mathematics. Topics may include set theory, finite mathematical systems, number theory, symbolic logic, graph theory, voting theory, and the art of problem solving.

ENG 260 - Literary Expressions of Illness and Healing This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the human journey through illness and healing; its primary focus is on the personal stories told by patients and dedicated healers, but it also looks at the context in which these stories emerge. Illness is not a wholly subjective experience, inasmuch as there is an institution of medicine that functions to control disease. Along the way, we consider readings that address how issues of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, class and sexual orientation can affect the experience of being wounded or ill.

View Course Objectives

Throughout the course, we'll address four salient issues related to our topic:

  • What are the hegemonic relationships of power and authority that flow through the health care system?
  • Can there be an ideal doctor-patient, nurse-patient relationship? If so, how would you describe that relationship?
  • What is the worth—given the health care “system”—of the lone voice of an author, whether patient or provider?
  • What is the relationship of health care institutions to the people they serve, the people who work in them, and authority of the government?

Course Objectives

After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • discuss the world of patients and empathize with their condition.
  • explain our cultural assumptions about health and wellness.
  • discuss the politics of gender, race, class and sexual orientation as they apply to medicine.
  • evaluate the media image of the medical profession.
  • explain the position of professional health care providers vis a vis government and “the system.”

PH 221 Historical Development of Philosophy Students will gain an understanding of the broad narrative of Western philosophy by studying texts from significant philosophers in several historical periods.

TRS 265 Introduction to World Religions A descriptive and comparative study of the beliefs, practices, and sacred texts of several world religions.

TRS 340 Bioethics This course examines ethical issues in everyday nursing, such as truth-telling, decision-making, medical error, as well as larger systemic issues, such as professional codes of conduct and comprehensive health care reform. Students examine their own ethical views in the context of topics presented with the aid of our texts and case studies. Philosophical and theological foundations of ethics, particularly the Catholic intellectual tradition, are described and applied to evaluated tasks.

PS 295 Health Psychology Focuses on the relationship between attitudes and personality factors and health. Emphasis is on stress management and behavioral change methods for health improvement and maintenance.

GS 270 Global Health Systems This course allows students to examine social, economic, and political determinants of health care systems and the evolution of various systems around the world over the last few decades. Students will compare theories of health policy and priorities, models of government intervention in providing health care and insurance, financing, planning, education and training. Students will review the major determinants of health status; international development and social change around the world and reflect on how it applies and is practiced in the U.S. health care system and society. The roles of different types of international health organizations will be defined and examined, including financing institutions, implementing institutions, research entities, technical support entities, coordinating bodies, and private and non-governmental voluntary organizations.

Catholic Intellectual Tradition Seminars (6 Credits)

The two Seminars are:

CIT I 201: An interdisciplinary study of the early Catholic thinkers, writers, and artists who provide an understanding of the roots of this Tradition and who begin its ongoing conversation about fundamental questions of human existence.

CIT II 202: An interdisciplinary study of modern Catholic thinkers, writers, and artists who continue the development of this ongoing conversation about God, humanity, society, and nature.

Nursing Major Requirements (57 credits)

NU 290 Validation of Prior Learning Validation of Prior Learning Students may be awarded 30-36 Nursing credits through the State of Connecticut Nursing Articulation Plan. Students who graduate from schools in other states can be awarded 30 credits through endorsement of these courses. Students will be advised of their status by the Nursing faculty with credits shown as NU 290.

NU 305 Transition to Professional Practice This course is for RNs and is designed as a transition to the nursing major and as a forum to facilitate comparison between the scope of practice of the registered nurse and the baccalaureate prepared nurse. Role behaviors of the baccalaureate practitioner will be analyzed and applied within a framework of the health care environment and the ethical, legal and social issues that influence nursing practice. Critical thinking skills are developed as an essential component of professional practice. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the RN-BSN Nursing Major

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Engage in self-reflection and collegial dialogue about professional nursing practice.
  2. Apply the principles of teaching and learning in teaching individuals or groups.
  3. Review the health care environment and the role of nursing within the various organizational structures.
  4. Understand how health policy is formulated, how to affect this process, and how it impacts clinical practice.
  5. Utilize an ethical decision making framework that incorporates a professional nursing code of ethics, personal values and beliefs, and moral concepts.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to process and evaluate new and existing knowledge while engaging in reflective thinking practice.
  7. Explore the various professional nursing organizations and appreciate the benefits of membership.
  8. Examine current theories as a basis for professional practice.
  9. Discuss societal, healthcare, and professional trends that will influence the future of the nursing profession.

NU 315 The Human Journey in Nursing This course is for RNs. The Human Journey in Nursing utilizes the four questions posed in the University Common Core to address Nursing’s role in building a just society. Concepts such as human vulnerability, resiliency, spirituality and cultural diversity will provide the platform from which discussions about the professions and the professional nurse’s role in shaping past, current and future health care will be based. Reflection on service learning experiences will personalize and professionalize the meaning and responsibility for addressing health inequities within the workplace and the perpetuation of health disparities in society. Prerequisites: Acceptance to the RN-BSN Nursing Major and Completion of University Common Core 101 and 102 courses. This course is not a substitute for the Common Core Courses.

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Analyze historical events that shaped the evolution of nursing from an occupation to a profession.
  2. Describe socio-cultural factors that have and continue to influence the nursing workforce, health environment and professional practice.
  3. Apply basic ethical principles that guide nursing practice.
  4. Explore the experience of caring in nursing, the provision of care and care giving using literature, poetry, and other mediums.
  5. Discuss the effects of culture, spirituality and alternative care methods on contemporary nursing practice.
  6. Engage in a service-learning experience that promotes socio-cultural change within the community or nursing practice environment.

NU 325 Health Assessment for RNs Utilizing the conceptual framework of the nursing program, this course focuses on comprehensive health assessment. Adequate data collection and careful analysis for diagnostic and planning purposes is stressed. The student will use the diagnostic reasoning process to formulate nursing diagnoses based on the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association (NANDA) nomenclature. The nursing laboratory experience is available for students but not required. Videotaping assessment skills is a required course tool. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the RN-BSN or RN-MSN Nursing Major

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Integrate knowledge from nursing and the sciences into the health assessment of individuals throughout the lifespan.
  2. Demonstrate skills in health assessment through interviewing, history taking, physical assessment and functional assessment.
  3. Utilize the diagnostic reasoning process to accurately formulate judgments about health assessment data.
  4. Demonstrate principles of adequate and accurate documentation related to the health assessment of an individual.
  5. Discuss the legal and ethical implications of the role of the nurse related to health assessment.

NU 335 Information Technology for Nursing Practice This course is for RNs and provides an introduction to information and technology needed for the practice of nursing today. It will focus on providing material to enable nurses to be computer literate by exploring the use of emerging information sources and communication technology and their impact on health care. Emphasis will be placed on trends and issues in clinical technology. It will also examine key issues such as security and the use of data bases. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the RN to BSN Nursing Major

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Explore theoretical foundations on which nursing informatics relies. (Informatics is the management of information, using cognitive skills and the computer).
  2. Develop knowledge of basic computer science with identification of the elements of available hardware and software.
  3. Explore the use of information technology as a tool to improve health and healthcare.
  4. Develop understanding of the subspecialty of nursing informatics and proceed to look at clinical informatics.
  5. Define the relationship between information technology and information literacy.
  6. Explore trends and issues that informatics professionals are confronting.

NU 345 Evidence Based Practice This course is for RNs and prepares nursing students to critically evaluate evidence developed through methodologies such as research and research protocols for its application to the practice of professional nursing. The course reviews levels of evidence and provides a foundational overview of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Ethical issues and policy agendas that influence research are considered throughout the course. Prerequisites: Acceptance to the RN-BSN Nursing Major, MA 131

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Read, understand, interpret, and apply research findings from nursing and other disciplines into practice.
  2. Understand basic elements of evidenced-based nursing practice process.
  3. Discuss the role of baccalaureate prepared nurses in promoting evidenced-based nursing practice
  4. Discuss the relationship of ethics and quality improvement to use of evidence based nursing practice.
  5. Critically evaluate evidence for its applicability to nursing practice.
  6. Communicate research appraisals verbally and in writing with clarity and accuracy.
  7. Synthesize the best evidence to support a plan for an evidence-based practice change.

NU 355 Leadership in the Contemporary Nursing Practice This course is for RNs and will focus on the professional nurse’s role in applying theory and principles of leadership and management in organizations across the health care continuum. Focus will be placed on strategies necessary to function effectively in a changing health care system by exploring interrelated process of thinking systematically, developing reflective judgment, and exercising leadership. Strategies for managing the quality and cost if health care, as well as research utilization, are emphasized to promote effective practice. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the RN-BSN Nursing Major

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Discuss the impact of current trends, nursing roles and principles of management and leadership that influence the health care delivery system.
  2. Analyze nursing management roles that involve planning, organizing, directing, and evaluating.
  3. Distinguish between various organizational structures in health care settings.
  4. Discuss principles of human resource management and motivation.
  5. Apply change theory in nursing practice and management of health care activities.
  6. Use appropriate evaluation methods to analyze the quality of patient care.
  7. Utilize staffing and budget data in providing and evaluating care.
  8. Use information and communication technologies to improve patient care services.

NU 376 Care Management: Individuals and Family (24 Clinical Hours) This course is for the registered nurse student and is focused on the elements of care management of individuals and families across the health care continuum. This course will expand upon the concepts of care transitions from hospital to the community setting with an emphasis on the challenges related to transitioning such as financial management, resource utilization, and overall care coordination. Care management for individuals and families requires an understanding of family systems and the interaction of individuals with their family during healthy actual or potential health issues. A family assessment will be utilized to allow the registered nurse student the opportunity to develop a plan that will promote a safe and productive transition to the community. Students will engage in analytic discussions to further develop their understanding of family systems, systems of care, clinical practice and community nursing roles. Personal reflection on one’s own practice in contemporary nursing will be included in order to allow the student to think holistically, ethically and morally as they grapple with real-world challenges and contemporary care management issues in our healthcare environment. Pre-Requisites: Acceptance to the nursing major, NU305, NU315, NU325, NU335, NU345, NU355

View Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to think critically in the application of the nursing process with individuals and families in the planning and delivery of care management.
  2. Analyze selected health services provided by community resources that are available to affect the health of individuals and families.
  3. Engage in critical thinking, self-reflection and collegial dialogue about the elements of care management across the health care continuum and professional nursing practice.
  4. Construct a model of practice that is based on a commitment to lifelong learning, living a life of meaning and purpose, caring for the common good, self-reflection, and application of evidence based practice.
  5. Reflect on practice as a method to understand and improve clinical care.
  6. Analyze current changes in the system of health care and its impact on clients (individuals and families) and providers.
  7. Use research to inform clinical understanding.
  8. Apply the principles of teaching and learning in teaching individuals or groups to improve patient outcomes.
  9. Demonstrate critical thinking through verbally and written communications that are clear, focused and comprehensive.

NU 387 Populations and Global Health (3 credits Theory. 2 credits Field Experience. 48 Clinical Hours) This course is for RNs and focuses on global communities as consumers of health services. The different perspectives, sensitivities and application of knowledge unique to nursing of populations, communities, and societies are identified. Effectiveness of nursing practice is explored in relation to the problems, priorities, attitudes, culture and resources of aggregates, groups, the community, and global health needs. Prerequisites: Acceptance to the RN to BSN Nursing Major, NU 305, 315, 325, 335, 345, and 355 or acceptance to the RN-MSN Nursing Major, NU 325, 401, 430, 431, 433 and 376

Questions? Call us at 877-791-7181 to speak to an admissions team member, who can assist you throughout the process.