VCU Bulletins

Nursing, Bachelor of Science (B.S.), traditional program

Lipp, Susan M.S.N., R.N.
Assistant Dean for Enrollment and Student Services
(804) 828-5171


Special requirements

Students accepted into the traditional B.S. program are admitted as sophomores. Completion of the following courses is required for enrollment as a sophomore: English composition I and II, introductory psychology, general sociology, laboratory science, anatomy and nutrition. Students may receive conditional admission with initial minimum grade requirements.

The University College provides programs in preparation for admission into health sciences programs. For detailed information on pre-nursing, see Preparation for the study of nursing in the UC section of this bulletin.

The School of Nursing offers the following curricula in the baccalaureate program: the traditional, the accelerated B.S. and the R.N.-B.S. completion. Successful completion of curricular requirements results in a Bachelor of Science degree. Note that the applicant is responsible for seeking advice from the School of Nursing on courses taken prior to admission.

Degree requirements for Nursing, Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Learning outcomes

Students will achieve an advanced beginner level of nursing competence by demonstrating

  • Effective therapeutic nursing practice
  • Nursing judgment
  • A spirit of inquiry
  • Professional identity

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

The graduate is a knowledgeable professional nurse who will:

  1. Diagnose actual and potential health problems based on a comprehensive and focused assessment of health and illness parameters, using developmentally, culturally and ethnically appropriate approaches.
  2. Plan and implement holistic, evidence-based, patient centered care to patients, families, communities, and populations across the health illness continuum, across the lifespan, and across settings.
  3. Carry out a systematic and ongoing evaluation of identified outcomes.
  4. Employ strategies to promote health and prevent disease in patients, families, communities and populations.
  5. Use nursing judgment as a basis for decision making.
  6. Create a safe care environment that results in high quality patient outcomes.
  7. Use psychomotor skills for efficient, safe, and compassionate delivery of patient care.
  8. Use written, verbal, non-verbal and emerging technology methods to communicate effectively and to measure, record, and retrieve healthcare data, implement the nursing process, and enhance nursing practice.
  9. Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to plan, deliver, and evaluate nursing care within the context of quality and safety and considering human, fiscal, and material resources.
  10. Express own identity as a nurse by adhering to professional standards of ethical and legal conduct.
  11. Demonstrate beginning level leadership and management skills that reflect accountability, interpersonal effectiveness, and principles of ethical behavior and quality improvement.
  12. Articulate the value of pursuing lifelong learning and professional engagement to foster professional growth and development.
  13. Integrate theories and concepts from liberal education to build an understanding of the human experience and help patients, families, and communities continually progress toward fulfillment of human capacities.
  14. Develop an awareness of variables influencing nursing practice and delivery of health care including health care access, allocation of human, fiscal, and material resources, and health disparities.
Admission requirements (minimum 28 credits)  
BIOL and BIOZ 101 Biological Concepts and Laboratory (fulfills University Core: natural/physical sciences)  
BIOL 205 Basic Human Anatomy 4
BIOL 217 Principles of Nutrition 3
PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology (fulfills University Core: social/behavioral sciences) 4
SOCY 101 General Sociology 3
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I (University Core requirement) 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II (University Core requirement) 3
Approved second laboratory science 4
University Core Education Curriculum (9 additional credits)  
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I (fulfilled through admission requirements)  
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II (fulfilled through admission requirements)  
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved humanities/fine arts 3
Approved natural/physical sciences (fulfilled through admission requirements)  
Approved quantitative literacy 3
Approved social/behavioral sciences (fulfilled through admission requirements)  
Collateral requirements (11 credits)  
BIOL and BIOZ 209 Medical Microbiology and Laboratory 4
PHIL 201 Critical Thinking About Moral Problems (fulfills University Core: humanities/fine arts)  
PHIS and PHIZ 206 Human Physiology and Laboratory 4
PSYC 304 Developmental Psychology 3
STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics or higher (fulfills University Core: quantitative literacy)  
Major requirements (66 credits)  
NURS 201 Concepts of Nursing 3
NURS 202 Technologies of Nursing Practice 4
NURS 261 Health Assessment for Nursing Practice 3
NURS 325 Nursing of Adults I 6
NURS 335 Nursing of Women 6
NURS 345 Nursing of Children 6
NURS 355 Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing 5
NURS 365 Pathophysiology and Pharmacology I 3
NURS 366 Pathophysiology and Pharmacology II 3
NURS 371 Evidenced Based Practice 3
NURS 416 Community Health Nursing 5
NURS 425 Nursing of Adults II 6
NURS 471 Evidenced-based Practice in Nursing 2
NURS 478 Leadership and Management in Health Care: Theory and Application 6
NURS 496 Senior Synthesis (University Core Capstone) 5
Electives (9 credits)  
Elective 3
Electives at 300 level or higher 6
Total minimum requirement 123

Click here to download a sample outline. [PDF]

Commuting and community practice

Students are assigned to a variety of hospitals and health agencies. Occasionally, these assignments may include evening hours or weekends. Transportation is sometimes available to reach these assignments, but use of an automobile is often necessary, especially in community health nursing. Transportation costs vary widely each semester and may range from very little to more than $100. Students who anticipate need of financial assistance for transportation costs should apply to the Office of Financial Aid in advance.