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Online & Accelerated RN to BSN Degree Program - Course Description

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Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) core is a 46 credit hour program designed to expand a student’s critical thinking skills while providing the student with a solid foundation in the principles and practices of nursing, and their contemporary applications in the workplace.  (A minimum of an associate degree in nursing or equivalent RN diploma is required for admission to the B.S.N. Program.)

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, a prospective student should meet the following requirements.

  • An earned Associate of Science in Nursing Degree (ASN/ADN) degree from a regionally accredited institution with an overall grade point average of 2.00/OR the equivalent from  a diploma school* approved by the State Board of Nursing and the National League for Nursing (NLN) Accreditation Commission.
  • A valid and current registered nurse license to practice within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Current employment as a Registered Nurse.
  • A score of 500 or above on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or above on the MTLP (Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency) for students whose native language is not English.

*Depending on the educational preparation, diploma nurses may require coursework or its equivalent (through challenge exams and/or CLEP tests) to qualify for this program.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, a student requires at least 126 semester hours of credit. Ninety-eight of these credits include general education courses (listed below). The remaining 28 credits are in the core major in nursing.

                126 Semester hours are required for graduation.

                98 Credits include the following distribution of general education courses:

General Education Categories  

Credits Needed

Language, Literature and Fine Arts



9 + 9 are in BSN Core

Behavioral and Social Sciences

9 + 3 are in BSN Core

Natural Sciences / Mathematics 

11 + 6 are in BSN Core

Open Electives


Minimum General Education Credits:

98 (18 are in the BSN Core)

  • A minimum grade of “C” in the Nursing Major and an overall grade point average of 2.00 for the program.
  • Payment of all tuition and fees.

Additional Requirements for Accepted Candidates

The following additional documents, or copies thereof, will be required at time of application to the BSN Program:

  • Evidence of licensure as a registered nurse in Pennsylvania.

The following documents/proof of coverage are due at the start of coursework:

  • Health Insurance Coverage– Students must carry health insurance while in the nursing program. Health Insurance can be obtained through the University.
  • Medical History/Physical Examination Record - with yearly PPD update
  • Current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)Certification or re-certification-Bi-annual re-certification is required.
  • Current Liability Insurance* – Students are required to carry liability insurance while in the nursing program.
  • Child Abuse Check* –  All students enrolled in the School of Nursing  who have clinical experiences with children are required to have a CHILD ABUSE HISTORY CLEARANCE.  This is accomplished by completing a Child Abuse History Clearance Form.  Form is to be completed and mailed with a ten dollar ($10.00) money order (no cash or personal checks) to:

Department of Public Welfare
P.O. Box 8170
Harrisburg, PA17105-8170

  • Request for Criminal Record Check– All students enrolled in the School of Nursing are required to complete a Criminal Record Check Form.  This completed form, along with a certified check or money order in the amount of  ten dollars ($10.00) is then mailed to:

Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository - 164
1800  Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17105-9758


Description of Courses

NUR323 - Professional Issues in Nursing
This course examines selected topics critical to the practice of professional nursing. Current issues and trends that impact on nursing within the health care delivery system are addressed in lecture and discussion format. Topics are addressed from historical, political, socio-economic and technological perspectives. (3 credits, 6 weeks)

ECN101 - Economic Problems
This course, which may be used to fulfill a humanities elective, presents a study of contemporary economic issues from humanistic and historical perspectives and includes a discussion of inflation, unemployment, corporate vs. union power, among other issues. (3 credits/didactic, 5 weeks)

NUR322 - Health Assessment II
This course is designed to expand the student's health assessment skills through a lifespan approach focusing on the role of the nurse as client educator. Normal and abnormal history and physical examination findings are differentiated. Assessment of selected health problems is analyzed. Emphasis is placed on the exploration of the biological, psychosocial, spiritual and cultural dimensions of the individual that impact health. Health promotion strategies including risk factor reduction as they relate to the adoption of healthy lifestyles are explored. Critical thinking and clinical judgment skills are enhanced through technological applications and other learning modalities. (3 credits/didactic, 5 weeks)

BIO317 - Advanced Physiology I
A study of regulatory mechanisms involved in maintaining and controlling a homeostatic environment at the subcellular, cellular and organismal levels. It begins with a survey of the principles of regulatory and cell physiology and continues with an investigation of electrophysiology and the physiology of the nervous, muscular and cardiovascular systems. This course emphasizes an understanding of normality and the interpretation of deviations that lead to pathological conditions. 3 lecture hours per week. Prerequisites: BIO 107, 107L, 108, 108L or BIO 203, 203L, 204, 204L or equivalent. (3 credits/didactic, 5 weeks)

BIO318 - Advanced Physiology II
This is a continuation of the study of homeostatic regulatory mechanisms using selected organ systems, including respiratory, digestive and renal systems. 3 lecture hours per week.  (3 credits/didactic, 5 weeks) Prerequisites: BIO 317 or equivalent.

NUR311 - Community Hlth Nursing: Indiv & Family
This course emphasizes the health of the individual and family in the community setting. The concepts of community health nursing and the impact of the health care delivery system are explored. Rolls of the professional nurse in the community are critically analyzed. The ethical, spiritual and moral aspects of the individual and family are considered in a spiritual and moral aspects of the individual and family are considered in a caring environment. Technical applications are used to enhance learning. A variety of community settings are used for clinical experiences including home care and hospice agencies. (Portfolio Assessment available.) (4 credits/2 didactic and 2 in lab,7 weeks) Prerequisites: NUR 323, NUR 322, BIO 317, BIO 318, ECN 101

PSY111 - Statistics
Introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics with applications to educational and psychological research: frequency distributions, probability, binomial and normal distributions, graphic comparisons, correlation, chi square, analysis of variance, and distribution. (3 credits/didactic, 5 weeks)

NUR321 - Community Hlth Nursing: Comm as Client
This course focuses on developing the roles of the nurse in improving the health of the community. Principles of epidemiology and public health will be integrated. The use of critical thinking is emphasized in assessing communities and planning and implementing health education programs. Nursing care is provided to culturally diverse aggregates in a variety of community settings.(Portfolio Assessment available.) (4 credits/2 didactic and 2 in lab,7 weeks) Prerequisites: NUR 323, NUR 322, NUR 311, BIO 317, BIO 318, ECN 101

RS2000 - Encountering Sacred Writings
This course introduces students to the issues involved in reading and understanding sacred texts whither one reads texts as a believer or not. Given the nature of Gwynedd-Mercy College, the biblical texts of the Old and New Testament form the core of the course. To provide comparisons and contrasts with the Judeo-Christian biblical tradition, some selective writings from major religions will be examined in a limited manner. (3 credits/didactic, 5 weeks)

NUR415 - Selected Hlth Problems of Women & Child
Selected health problems and related issues pertaining to women and children will be critically analyzed in relation to the impact on the individual his/her family and the community. Cultural, spiritual, ethical and moral aspects will be discussed as they influence nursing care. The role of the nurse and community resources available to this population are explored. (Portfolio Assessment available) (3 credits/didactic, 5 weeks) Prerequisite: All 300 level nursing courses & PSY 111, BIO 317, BIO 318, ECN 101

HIS2000 - Conflict & Consensus in History
This course seeks to expand students' understanding of the historical, political, psychological and social dimensions of global communities, while learning to relate to and interact with those of different viewpoints and experiences. It introduces students to historical thinking and themes in order to develop critical thinking skills associated with historical inquiry and to acquire a broad understanding of factors related to American or World History. (3 credits/didactic, 5 weeks) Prerequisite: ENG 101

NUR412 - Research Processes in Nursing Practice
The focus of this course is the critical analysis of the process of research. Ethical, moral and technological aspects related to nursing research are discussed. The relationship of nursing utilization and evidence-based practice is examined. This course provides an experience in conducting descriptive research on a nursing problem. (Portfolio Assessment available.) (4 credits/2 didactic and 2 in lab,7 weeks) Prerequisites: All 300 level nursing courses & PSY 111, BIO 317, BIO 318, ECN 101

NUR430 - Genomics in Nursing
This course introduces the principles of genetics, genomics and epigenomics and their relevance to health and nursing care. Genetic influences as seen from conception throughout the lifespan will be discussed. Ethical, legal and socioeconomic issues associated with genetics are examined. (3 credits/didactic, 5 weeks) Prerequisite: All 300 level nursing courses & PSY 111 BIO 317, BIO 318, ECN 101

NUR4000 - Leadership & Management in Prof Nursing
Concepts, theories and roles of leadership and management in professional nursing are examined. The differentiation between the processes of leadership and management are explored. Grounded in the Mercy mission, emphasis is placed on the development of leadership abilities of the individual nurse in influencing the nursing profession and society. Communications, ethical reasoning, critical thinking and cultural competence are included. The course has a clinical component with a nurse leader or manager within a health care setting. (4 credits/2 didactic and 2 in lab,7 weeks)Prerequisite: All 300 level nursing courses & PSY 111, BIO 317, BIO 318, ECN 101


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