B.S. Nursing (RN to BSN) Areas of Study

The WGU RN to BSN program is based on best practices for effective learning and national standards. It provides the knowledge and skills that enable graduates to expand their knowledge in areas of research, theory, community concepts, healthcare policy, therapeutic interventions, and current trends.

General Education

Foundations of College Mathematics
This course focuses on basic numeracy and calculation skills, basic algebra skills, basic geometry principles, and basic data and probability skills.

English Composition I
This course introduces learners to the types of writing and thinking that is valued in college and beyond. Students will practice writing in several genres and several media, with emphasis placed on writing and revising academic arguments.

Survey of United States Constitution and Government
In Survey of United States Constitution and Government, you will examine the structure, institutions and principles of the American political system. The foundation of the United States government is the U.S. Constitution, and this course will introduce the concepts of (a) separation of powers, (b) checks and balances, (c) civil liberties and civil rights, and (d) federalism and republicanism. By completing this course, you will have proven competency in the structures of government, your own role in the policy-making process, and the ways in which the Constitution and government has changed over time.

Elements of Effective Communication
Elements of Effective Communication introduces learners to elements of communication that are valued in college and beyond. Materials are based on five principles: being aware of your communication with yourself and others; using and interpreting verbal messages effectively; using and interpreting nonverbal messages effectively; listening and responding thoughtfully to others, and adapting messages to others appropriately.

Introduction to Humanities
This introductory humanities course allows students to practice essential writing, communication, and critical thinking skills necessary to engage in civic and professional interactions as mature, informed adults. Whether through studying literature, visual and performing arts, or philosophy, all humanities courses stress the need to form reasoned, analytical, and articulate responses to cultural and creative works. Studying a wide variety of creative works allows students to more effectively enter the global community with a broad and enlightened perspective.

Human Growth and Development Across the Lifespan
This course introduces students to human development across the lifespan. This will include an introductory survey of cognitive, psychological, and physical growth. Students will gain an understanding in regards to the emergence of personality, identity, gender and sexuality, social relationships, emotion, language, and moral development through life. This will include milestones such as education, achievement, work, dying, and death.

Introduction to Psychology
In this course, students will develop an understanding of psychology and how it helps them better understand others and themselves. Students will learn general theories about psychological development, the structure of the brain, and how psychologists study behavior. They will gain an understanding of both normal and disordered psychological behaviors, as well as general applications of the science of psychology in society (such as personality typing and counseling).

Introduction to Sociology
This course teaches students to think like sociologists, in other words, to see and understand the hidden rules, or norms, by which people live, and how they free or restrain behavior. Students will learn about socializing institutions, such as schools and families, as well as workplace organizations and governments. Participants will also learn how people deviate from the rules by challenging norms, and how such behavior may result in social change, either on a large scale or within small groups.

Introduction to Probability and Statistics

Health Sciences

Anatomy and Physiology I
This course introduces basic concepts of human anatomy and physiology through a survey of the structures and functions of the body’s organ systems. Students will have the opportunity to explore the body through laboratory experience and apply the basic knowledge of the course. For nursing students this is the first of two anatomy and physiology courses within the program of study.

Anatomy and Physiology II
This course introduces advanced concepts of human anatomy and physiology, through the structures and functions of the body’s organ systems. Students will have the opportunity to explore the body through laboratory experience and apply the concepts of the course. For nursing students this is the second of two anatomy and physiology courses within the program of study.

Clinical Microbiology
Clinical Microbiology focuses on microbes--both constructive and destructive--that are among the smallest living entities on earth. Students will examine how they live, reproduce, carry diseases, and develop resistance to antibiotics. This course has a clinical focus.

Chemistry Content

This course covers the structure and function of the four major polymers produced by living organisms, which are nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. There is a heavy focus on application in this course of study. Students will gain an introductory understanding of the chemicals and reactions that sustain life.

Nursing Theory and Practice

Care of the Older Adult
Care of the Older Adult adapts the concepts from prior coursework to the care of older adults. An understanding of the effects that policy and legislation have on how healthcare systems treat aging patients sets a foundation for improving their care. Students will apply health assessment skills and evidence-based standards in such a way to account for the specific needs of older adults. Emphasis is placed on the importance of maintaining the dignity of older adults by focusing on cultural, religious, spiritual, and communication needs and by collaborating on care with older adults, families, and caregivers.

Health Assessment
The Health Assessment course builds on prior knowledge student who are RNs already have and helps them to develop a more comprehensive set of skills for physical assessment, patient interviewing and advanced history taking including social and physical environment assessments. Students will master more advanced health assessment competencies through the use of virtual reality experiences as well as by demonstrating competency in all aspects of both physical and health assessment.

Nutrition for Contemporary Society
This course prepares students to understand the basics of nutrition, as well as how nutrition is impacted by societal factors like misinformation, dietary fads, eating habits, and the emotional connection that humans have to food. The course covers the topics like macronutrients, micronutrients, vitamins and minerals, basic nutrition assessment tools, and how certain diseases can affect digestion and nutrition.

Professional Roles and Values
This course explores the unique role nurses play in healthcare, beginning with the history and evolution of the nursing profession. The responsibilities and accountability of professional nurses are covered, including cultural competency, advocacy for patient rights, and the legal and ethical issues related to supervision and delegation. Professional conduct, leadership, the public image of nursing, the work environment, and issues of social justice are also addressed.

Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing
This course will assist students to become familiar with foundational theories and models of health promotion and disease prevention, applicable to the community health nursing environment. Students will develop understanding of how policies and resources influence the health of populations. Students will engage in learning the importance of community assessment to improve or resolve a community health issue. Students will be introduced to the relationships between cultures and communities and the steps necessary to create community collaboration to improve or resolve community health issues in a variety of settings. Students will analyze health systems in the United States, global health issues, quality-of-life issues, and emergency preparedness.

Evidence-Based Practice and Applied Nursing Research
Nursing research can significantly contribute to safe, quality nursing practice. More and more nurses are being asked to gather data to learn the answers to questions that affect nursing practice. This use of nursing research and the evidence gained is being utilized to shape and guide nursing practice. This course will help the student learn how to design and conduct research to answer questions important about improving nursing practice and patient care delivery outcomes. After being introduced to the basics of evidence-based practice, students will continue to implement the principles throughout their academic experiences. In this course students will learn about evidence based practice, how it is evaluated and how it can be implemented to improve patient outcomes in clinical practice. Students will master the definitions and be able to differentiate between evidence based practice, quality improvement and primary research and will be able to apply that knowledge to show mastery of the concepts that will enable them to translate evidence into practice.

Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing Field Experience
This course will assist students to become familiar with clinical aspects of health promotion and disease prevention, applicable to the community health nursing environment. Students will practice skills based on clinical priorities, methodology, and resources that positively influence the health of populations. Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills by applying principals of community health nursing in a variety of settings. Students will design, implement and evaluate a project in community health. Students will develop health promotion and disease prevention strategies for population groups.

Leadership and Professional Image
Nursing is a practice discipline that includes direct and indirect care activities that affect health outcomes. Baccalaureate nursing students are developing new competencies in leadership, and in order to achieve mastery, must apply those competencies to live practice experiences and situations. In this course students will complete a Leadership Learning Experience (LLE) and develop their own personal professional portfolio. The professional portfolio is a collection of artifacts from BSN coursework as well as a resume and personal statement.

Nursing Science

Organizational Systems and Quality Leadership
Nurses serve as clinicians, managers, and mentors to shape the future of healthcare and impact patient care outcomes in positive ways. This course will help students to be more confident and better prepared to assume leadership roles regardless of their position in the healthcare delivery system. This advanced leadership course focuses on the concepts of Patient Safety, Improvement science, balancing cost, quality and access through the triple aim, leadership and patient/family centered care. Students will develop mastery of advanced competencies particularly in patient safety in quality improvement science.

Information Management and the Application of Technology
Information Management and the Application of Technology helps the student learn how to identify and implement the unique responsibilities of nurses related to the application of technology and the management of patient information. This includes: understanding the evolving role of nurse informaticists; demonstrating the skills needed to use electronic health records; identifying nurse-sensitive outcomes that lead to quality improvement measures; supporting the contributions of nurses to patient care; examining workflow changes related to the implementation of computerized management systems; and learning to analyze the implications of new technology on security, practice, and research.

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