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.
- Introductory 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 in 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.
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
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
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.
- 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)
- 61 transfer hours: 8 upper-level WCU elective and perspective hours are required
- 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 Introductory 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
- All baccalaureate programs, including RN to BSN programs, must provide practice experiences
for all students (these experiences include many components toachieve baccalaureate
- 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
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 requires that at least 25% (30 hours) of a student’s upper-level coursework be
- 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.