RN to BSN Curriculum

Suggested Program of Study

Required Courses

The RN to BSN required courses are laid out in four six-hour blocks (three courses in each block), plus some required upper level electives and perspectives, which can all be completed in 4 consecutive semesters!

  • Professional Transitions in Nursing Block - must take as the first block
  • Community Health Block - to be taken as the second or third block
  • Leadership Block - to be taken as the second or third block 
  • Research Block -to be taken as the final block
  • Electives/Perspectives - Six to Eight hours of WCU upper-division (300-400 level) electives and perspectives completed during the program

All 3 courses within a block must be taken together.

Practicums are part of the Community Health and Leadership Blocks.

Refer to the Course Catalog for course descriptions and WCU requirements.

- ProfeSSional Transitions in Nursing Block

Must take as the first block

  • NSG 301, Professional Transitions in Nursing, 3 hrs
  • NSG 398, APA Writing Style and Format, 1 hr
  • NSG 399, Clinical Update for RNs, 2 hrs 

- Community Health Block

To be taken as the second or third block

  • NSG 302, Community Health Nursing I: Theory, 3 hrs
  • NSG 305, Community Health Nursing, III: Intervention Project, 2 hrs
  • NSG 384, Community Health Nursing II: Practicum, 1 hr

- Leadership Block

To be taken as the second or third block

  • NSG 460, Nursing Leadership I: Theory, 3 hrs
  • NSG 483, Nursing Leadership II: Practicum, 2 hrs
  • NSG 484, Nursing Leadership III: Intervention Project, 1 hr

- Research Block

To be taken as the final block

  • NSG 471, Nursing Research I: Research Process, 2 hrs
  • NSG 472, Nursing Research II: Critical Reading, 2 hrs
  • NSG 473, Nursing Research III: Clinical Application, 2 hrs

- Upper Level Electives / upper level perspectives

Students are required to complete an Upper Level Electives (ULE)  and an Upper Level Perspective (ULP) through WCU as part of WCU graduation requirements.

Most take one ULE/ULP with the Community Health Block and the other with the Leadership Block.

  • Six to Eight hours of WCU upper-division (300-400 level) electives and perspectives (or 500 level MSN courses in the RN to MSN fast-entry option)
    • 62 or more transfer hours: 6 upper-level WCU elective and perspective hours are required
  • Distance learning liberal studies electives are available in social work, philosophy and religion, anthropology, health sciences, law, and other disciplines that appeal to students' needs and interests. These vary each semester.
  • Upper Level Electives and Upper Level Perspectives may be taken along with the RN to BSN blocks or during a semester on their own.
  • WCU requires at least one of the WCU upper-level electives to be designated as an " Upper-Level Perspective" elective unless student possesses an approved BA, AA or AS degree.
  • Students are not to take their electives or other courses during the Professional Transitions in Nursing Block unless they have permission from the Program Director.

practicums: Leadership and community health

Students complete a practicum in community health nursing and leadership with service-learning engagement.  These practicums further augment the educational experience and allow students to directly apply and enhance knowledge and skills to better prepare for future healthcare environments.

RN to BSN Practicum (120 contact hours) students are required to complete two sets of practicum rotations under NSG 384 and NSG 483.

  • Onsite practicum requirements for both courses which can be arranged in your community.
    • Practicum times are flexible and arranged with agencies and preceptors in your region.
    • Students are responsible for identifying and establishing their preferred site and preceptor in the semesters prior to enrolling in the practicum courses.
    • Western Carolina University maintains partnerships with healthcare facilities to provide students valuable opportunities for service learning.
  • The practicum focuses on spending time with the preceptor to further learn about his/her roles and area (rather than the primary focus of clinical skills) to gain experience in community health and a leadership setting.
  • Leadership has a focus on completing a Leadership Intervention Project.
    • The student spends time with the preceptor in his/her role and completes a service learning project during the time at the facility based on a leadership need.
  • In Community Health, the student spends time with a preceptor experiencing and exploring the myriad aspects of community and population focus care.
  • Each practicum consists of 60 hours: a maximum of 20 virtual practicum hours and a minimum of 40 onsite precepted hours.
  • Students may be able to complete some of their practicum requirements at their place of employment. However, these cannot be precepted by their current supervisor or within the same department.
  • Students are not to double-up blocks due to the nature of the program without permission from the Program Director.
  • All baccalaureate programs, including RN to BSN programs, must provide practice experiences for all students (these experiences include many components to achieve baccalaureate knowledge).
    • We feel these skills are better learned in the practice environment.
    • Please read this white paper for more expectations for practicum experiences in an RN to BSN curriculum.

Additional rn to bsn information

Additional Course Information

Upon successful completion of NSG 399, students receive 30 hours of credit for their previous nursing coursework. The 30-hour block represents credit for coursework taken for a completed associate in nursing degree as well as experiential credit for professional work as a registered nurse.

WCU Hours Requirement :
  • WCU requires that at least 25% (30 hours) of a student’s upper-level coursework be through WCU.
    • Part of the 25% is from the 12 RN to BSN program courses (24 hours).
    • Part of the 25% is from a WCU Upper-Level Perspectives elective (3 hours).
    • Part of the 25% is made up from 1-2 WCU Upper-Level Elective courses (3-6 hours), depending on the student’s number of credits transferred into WCU.
 If you have questions about the RN to BSN Program contact Student Services at WCUnursing@wcu.edu.
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