Degree Information

A BSN degree prepares you to work in all health care settings and provides the greatest opportunity for advancement in today's nursing field. Robert Morris University's BSN degree is a 120-credit program offering two different "tracks" of study, designed to meet each student's specific needs.

The Traditional Track is designed for high school graduates without a college degree or R.N. licensure. The first two years of the program involve core courses in liberal arts and sciences with the nursing courses beginning in the second semester of the freshmen year. Clinical courses beginning in the junior year. Students in this track are admitted to the nursing program as freshmen or as transfer students but must meet progression criteria to advance in the nursing program.

The Second Degree Track is for students who already hold a baccalaureate degree in other fields, such as science, humanities or business. Students must complete the RMU core requirements plus prerequisite credits prior to beginning clinical courses. Depending on the previous degree, varying numbers of these credits can be filled by advanced placement or transfer credits. Once admitted to clinical courses, students can complete the degree in four semesters over 15 months.

Following the completion of the B.S.N. degree, students are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) required for practice as a registered nurse.

Degree Overview

Traditional Track
The nursing degree program at RMU builds on the natural and behavioral sciences, integrating liberal arts and professional courses into a cohesive program. Students develop strong technical skills, as well as the clinical judgment and critical thinking necessary to succeed in todays rapidly changing health care system. Clinical experiences are conducted in community and hospital settings.

The program has a unique focus on business, communications, global perspective and technology in addition to strong clinical skills, and preparation for the licensing exam to become a registered nurse. All students will utilize handheld computer technology capable of storing software applications and data at their fingertips. Students learn to care for patients in state-of-the-art clinical facilities as well as in RMU's Regional Research and Innovation in Simulation Education (RISE) Center. Students also have the opportunity to travel internationally to better understand global health issues.

Students are admitted to the program in the fall semester and complete the program in eight semesters (fall and spring) over four years. The first two years involve core courses in liberal arts and sciences with nursing courses beginning in the second semester of the freshmen year. Clinical courses begin in fall of the junior year. Students are admitted to the program as freshmen but must meet progression criteria to advance in the nursing program.

Second Degree Track
The nursing degree program at RMU builds on the natural and behavioral sciences, integrating liberal arts and professional courses into a cohesive program. Students develop strong technical skills, as well as the clinical judgment and critical thinking necessary to succeed in today's rapidly changing health care system. Clinical experiences are conducted in community and hospital settings.

The program has a unique focus on business, communications, global perspective and technology in addition to strong clinical skills, and preparation for the licensing exam to become a registered nurse. All students will utilize handheld computer technology capable of storing software applications and data at their fingertips. Students learn to care for patients in state-of-the-art clinical facilities as well as in RMU's Regional Research and Innovation in Simulation Education (RISE) Center. Students also have the opportunity to travel internationally to better understand global health issues.

Depending on the applicant's previous degree and course work, many of the core and prerequisite course requirements can be satisfied by transfer credits. Once students start courses with clinical, the degree can be completed in four consecutive semesters over a 15-month period.

Degree Objectives

The B.S.N. degree program prepares students to:

  • Demonstrate critical thinking, clinical decision-making and psychomotor skills necessary for safe and competent practice
  • Integrate methods of research and scholarship to make and prioritize diagnoses, plan, implement and evaluate the care of individuals, groups and communities
  • Assess health and incorporate principles and methods of health promotion and health education in nursing care of individuals, groups and communities
  • Integrate traditional and developing methods of discovering, retrieving and using information in nursing practice
  • Demonstrate professional behaviors when providing nursing care to individuals and families
  • Describe how health care delivery systems are organized and financed and the effect on patient care
  • Communicate clearly and succinctly in speech and writing.

R.N. Licensure

Following completion of the degree, students are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) required for practice as a registered nurse (RN).

Prerequisites

Traditional Track

The following high school courses are required of all applicants to the B.S.N. program:

English
4 units
Algebra
1 unit
Additional Math
1 unit
Social Studies
3 units
Science w/ lab or equivalent
2 units (1 must be chemistry)
Electives
5 units 
Total
16 units 
One unit is given for the successful completion of one year of work in an accepted course. The faculty also recommends taking the following high school courses if available: statistics, anatomy and physiology, and any computer class.

Requirements

Traditional Track
To earn the B.S.N. degree, students must complete 120 credits with a QPA of at least 2.0 (currently enrolled students should see their academic advisors). The curriculum has four components: 

  • Robert Morris University Core - 40 credits
    These are the traditional liberal arts requirements of the University. Studies in humanities, communications skills, and social, behavioral, natural and quantitative sciences are included.

  • Required Non-Nursing Courses - 14 credits
    These courses develop a strong foundation in the sciences and human development. An introductory accounting class provides perspective on how nursing fits into the business of health care.

  • Nursing Courses - 60 credits
    These courses develop strong clinical nursing skills with comprehensive coverage of the background and knowledge required to perform competently in the nursing field.

  • Electives - 6 credits
    The open electives provide the student with the opportunity to include some special courses of interest.

    Sample Curriculum - BS in Nursing- Traditional Track- (Effective 8/2014)

Second Degree Track
By virtue of the achievement of the first undergraduate degree, the applicant will receive transfer credit or advanced standing for ALL of the following courses (36 credits):   

  • General Psychology - 3 credits
  • Literature - 3 credits
  • Sociology - 3 credits
  • Economics - 3 credits
  • History/Political Science - 3 credits
  • Arts/Humanities - 3 credits
  • Open Electives - 6 credits
  • Communication Skills - 12 credits

The student MUST complete the following required pre-requisite non-nursing courses (30 credits) prior to the start of the nursing major:   
 

  • Statistics - 3 credits
  • Anatomy and Physiology I with lab - 4 credits
  • Anatomy and Physiology II with lab - 4 credits
  • Microbiology with lab - 4 credits
  • Human Growth and Development - 3 credits
  • Nutrition - 3 credits
  • Pathophysiology - 3 credits
However, the following course may be taken during the 15-month nursing program.
  • Healthcare Information System - 3 credits

After fulfilling the pre-requisite courses, the students must complete the nursing curriculum (57 credits):

  • NURS 2010 Introduction to Professional Nursing
  • NURS 2020 Nursing Assessment & Health Promotion
  • NURS 2060 Nursing Care of the Aging Adult
  • NURS 3015 Foundations of Nursing Practice
  • NURS 3020 Management of Adult I
  • NURS 3030 Pharmacology for Health Professionals
  • NURS 3040 Nursing Research
  • NURS 3050 Nursing Care of Mothers, Newborns and Families
  • NURS 3055 Nursing Care of Children and Families
  • NURS 3060 Nursing Ethics
  • NURS 4015 Community Health
  • NURS 4020 Advanced Management of Adult II
  • NURS 4025 Nursing Care of Psychiatric Clients
  • NURS 4031 Transition to Professional Practice
  • NURS 4035 NCLEX Licensure Prep for Success
  • NURS 4041 Preparation for Professional Practice

    Sample Curriculum - BS in Nursing, Second Degree Track (Effective 8/2014)

Tuition

Tuition information can be found at Tuition & Fee Schedules.

Admission Requirements

Traditional Track
The following are required for admission:

  • Robert Morris University application for admission - Apply Online OR download the application form
  • Official transcripts from high school and any post-secondary institutions attended
  • Minimum SAT score of 1000 (Verbal and Math combined) or ACT score of 22
  • Minimum high school GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale

Second Degree Track
The following are required for admission to the Nursing Second Degree Track:

  • Robert Morris University application for admission - Apply Online
  • Baccalaureate degree in a discipline other than nursing
  • Undergraduate QPA of at least 3.0 with submission of official transcript from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Evidence of strength in science and math courses
  • Documentation of high school or college Chemistry with lab
  • Current resume

All admission materials should be submitted to the Office of Admissions unless an applicant has previously attended Robert Morris University.  If the applicant has previously attended RMU, the student should contact the Nursing Enrollment Coordinator and Advisor in the Department of Nursing.

After the required materials have been received in Admissions, the review of the applicant's file will take place in the Department of Nursing.

With acceptance to the Second Degree Nursing major, a meeting with the Nursing Advisor is strongly recommended.

Application Deadlines

Second Degree Track
Admission into the Second Degree Nursing Program is competitive.  Please observe the following deadlines:

March 15:  All application materials are due and must be submitted to the Office of Admissions. However, early application is recommended.  Applications are reviewed after submission of all required materials.

April 16: Accepted students must submit a $150 deposit and the Candidate's Reply Form to the Office of  Admissions to hold their place in the fall class.

Completed applications are reviewed regularly  within the Department of Nursing and a decision regarding acceptance will be rendered in a timely manner.

Career Opportunities

Traditional Track
A career in nursing has endless possibilities, allowing graduates the flexibility to choose a specialty that fits their interests and abilities. Specialties include pediatrics, geriatrics, emergency care, surgical nursing and more. Other nurses work outside of hospitals and doctor's offices, such as forensic nurses, legal nurse consultants, clinical researchers and school nurses.

The career outlook for nurses has never been better. With a nationwide nursing shortage and an aging population, qualified nurses have their choice of well-paying jobs. There are currently over 100,000 vacant nursing positions in the U.S., and that number is predicted to grow.

Salary Information

Traditional Track

Financial compensation for nurses varies according to geographic location, type of nursing, years of experience and level of education. The national mean bachelor-level starting salary for a registered nurse is around $45,000. Benefit packages often include health insurance, vacation, holiday pay, college tuition reimbursement, child care, flexible scheduling and pension plans.

Concentrations