Is a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) for Me?
Registered nurses (RNs) with a diploma or an associate degree in nursing may earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing through Southwestern College Professional Studies (refer to Admissions Requirements and Transfer Credit for specifics). Our program at Southwestern College Professional Studies builds on an RN’s previous learning experience and is designed to position graduates for leadership roles in a variety of healthcare settings.
Because Southwestern strives to accommodate your busy schedule, our program is completely online. Learners can finish their degree at their convenience, with flexibility and support.
The baccalaureate degree in nursing at Southwestern College Professional Studies is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202-887-6791; http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation
The mission of the BSN Completion Program is consistent with the mission, vision and values of Southwestern College:
- Intellectual growth and career preparation.
- Individual development and Christian values.
- Lifetime learning and responsible citizenship.
- Leadership through service in a world without boundaries.
To meet the needs of registered nurses who wished to continue their nursing education, the department of nursing began offering a RN-BSN degree completion track in 1997. The RN-BSN program is located on the Southwestern College Professional Studies campus in Wichita, Kansas. The nursing students live in a variety of states and with the college’s partnerships with the military, some are deployed overseas.
Southwestern College (SC) in Winfield, Kansas was organized by the Southwest Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was chartered in 1885 as Southwest Kansas Conference College. The college maintains a covenant relationship with the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Southwestern College provides a values-based learning experience that emphasizes intellectual, personal, and spiritual growth.
The RN to BSN program at Southwestern College prepares the graduate to:
- Apply principles and theories from the sciences, humanities, and arts to the nursing care of individuals, groups, and diverse populations.
- Provide culturally congruent, holistic patient-centered care to individuals and families across the health continuum, across the lifespan, and across healthcare settings.
- Discern and apply scientific evidence to promote the health of individuals, families, groups and communities.
- Demonstrate integrity and ethical decision-making in the provision of competent, compassionate care, respecting the dignity and worth of each patient.
- Use patient care technologies, information systems, and communication strategies that support safe, quality nursing practice.
- Understand and leverage systems in promoting change for quality improvement.
- Develop necessary communication, presentation and relationship building skills for advocacy and leadership in healthcare.
- Apply knowledge of health care policy and finance as well as legislative and regulatory processes to influence health both locally and globally.
- Advocate successfully for the health of the public and for the nursing profession.
- Develop a professional identity and incorporate professional values in practice.
Required and Core Courses
NURS309 Nursing Theories & Professional Practice
NURS328 Quality Improvement through Information Technology
NURS329 Healthcare Systems and Policy
NURS330 Nursing Leadership and Management
NURS331 Evidence-Based Practice
NURS406 Patient Centered Care Coordination
NURS407 The Social and Moral Context of Health
NURS408 Community-Based Public Health Nursing
NURS427 Trends and Issues Facing Healthcare
NURS435 Professional Nursing Practicum & Project
General Education Requirements
The following courses are graduation requirements of the BSN program. If not completed prior to acceptance to the BSN program, and if not offered by SCPS, these courses must be completed at an accredited institution.
English 101 and 102* (6 credits)
General Psychology (3 credits)
Oral Communication (3 credits)
Anatomy & Physiology (5 credits)
College Math or College Algebra (3 credits)
Human Development or Lifespan (3 credits)
Statistics** (3 credits)
Microbiology (3 credits)
Pathophysiology (3 credits)
Nutrition (3 credits)
Humanities (3 credits)
Social Science (3 credits)
Electives (3+ credits)
* Strongly recommended prior to starting the Nursing courses – MUST be taken within the first 15 credits.
** Strongly recommended prior to starting the Nursing courses or before NURS331.
NURS309 Nursing Theories and Professional Practice.
As the first course for registered nurses who are pursuing a baccalaureate degree in nursing, this course explores the increasing complexity of healthcare and changes in professional nursing. Through an understanding of nursing theories and the history of the role of the nurse in society, learners develop further knowledge of the evolving healthcare environment and delivery of healthcare, and the developing role of professional nursing in managing, collaborating, and advocating for quality patient care, and forging productive relationships with other key stakeholders as they examine and plan individual career goals.
NURS328 Quality Improvement through Information Technology.
Used appropriately, technology can improve quality, reduce cost, eliminate waste, augment access, increase efficiency and productivity, and improve patient safety and health outcomes. Learners will develop leadership and management competencies related to health informatics and the use of information for quality assessment, evaluating performance, decision-making, and other related purposes. Learners will explore effective and ethical information management practices that help to ensure patient confidentiality, information security and integrity, and information accessibility. Prerequisite NURS309
NURS329 Healthcare Systems and Policy.
The healthcare system includes hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, school and drugstore clinics, and a variety of other organizational entities. Behavior of individuals and organizations, forms and styles of communication, and cultural values and patterns differ according to the size of the healthcare organization, type, location, purpose, and assumed typical patient. Learners in this course identify organizational theories and models of care that they apply to various healthcare settings in order to understand the relationship between theoretical models and organizational dynamics. Topics for discussion and analysis includes systems thinking, process improvement projects, regulatory requirements, and models for advocacy and collaboration. Prerequisite NURS309
NURS330 Nursing Leadership and Management.
Learners develop theoretical and practical knowledge of leadership and management components of nursing practice. Through a study of research-based theories and concepts, learners cultivate an appreciation for the roles of leadership and followership. The course also explores the nurse manager’s operational leadership and management responsibilities, including effective communication skills, management of personnel, the budgetary process, risk management, and human resource responsibilities. Upon completion, learners will be able to utilize evidence-based research and practice knowledge to impact progressive healthcare improvements. Prerequisite NURS309
NURS331 Evidence-Based Practice.
Learners develop the skills to read, critique, analyze, and determine how to utilize research and existing knowledge bases in nursing practice. The course provides the learner with an understanding of the evidence-based process and its application to nursing care. Developing the skills to access sources of evidence through databases and to utilize a model to translate the evidence to practice, learners increase their knowledge and skills to participate on a team implementing evidence-based care. Prerequisites NURS309.
NURS406 Patient Centered Care Coordination.
The approach toward medical care has evolved from considering the patient a subject to treat to inclusion of the patient as a member of his or her care team. This course explores the importance of understanding a patient’s genetic profile, the patient’s understanding of his or her illness, the patient’s culture’s values, beliefs, and norms to be considered toward illness and treatment, and the patient’s own goal for treatment and its outcome help form the basis for a team-based decision regarding the patient’s care. Because each person is a member of a community, the course includes a focus on the social and economic principles that contribute toward the formation of a community’s culture. Learners gain knowledge in inter-professional communication and the optimization of expertise. Prerequisite ENGLI02 & NURS309.
NURS407 The Social and Moral Context of Health.
Learners are introduced to the major ethical theories, principles, and models for the recognition, analysis, and resolution of ethical dilemmas in health care practice. Particular attention is given to the concepts of social justice, diversity, and socio-economic dislocations in relationship to differential access to care, treatment inequity, and health disparities. Prerequisite NURS309
NURS408 Community-Based Public Health Nursing.
Learners develop an understanding of the concept of partnering with the community as the basis for nursing practice in and on behalf of the community. Epidemiology, illness prevention, health promotion, disease prevention, and disaster preparedness approaches are explored and applied to community settings. Learners apply the practices of community assessment, disease prevention, and health promotion to planning, implementing, and evaluating community health interventions. Prerequisite NURS309
NURS427 Trends and Issues Facing Healthcare.
Learners study current political, economic, and social trends affecting nursing and the healthcare system. Learners will integrate knowledge from previous courses to further explore healthcare quality and safety, evidenced-based practice, informatics, and the nurse’s role in today’s healthcare system. Prerequisite NURS309
NURS435 Professional Nursing Practicum and Project.
Learners explore and reflect upon the application of the program outcomes and the knowledge and skills gained from their coursework as they explore, observe, and further experience nursing leadership and mentorship in a healthcare setting (72 hours in one health care setting is required). While working with a nurse in a leadership role, the nursing learner identifies, assists in providing leadership to, and participates in a clinically focused project that will refine clinical, leadership, analytical, decision making, project and task management, interpersonal, communication, and presentation skills. A project plan with expected outcomes is developed by the learner, Program Director, Field Supervisor (Preceptor), and authorized representative from the healthcare setting, if different from the Field Supervisor. The plan is developed after the completion of 21 credit-hours of professional coursework and is approved by the Program Director and authorized representative before the project begins. The Program Director or designee serves as an advisor throughout the project.
The course will culminate in the preparation of two comprehensive projects: A scholarly, research-based, and comprehensive report on the outcome of the clinically focused project; and a detailed and substantiated presentation on how the learner has achieved the nursing program outcomes through his or her coursework, practicum, and professional nursing project. The presentation’s audience is the Program Director and other program and academic staff. (3 credits, 12 week course) Prerequisite: completion of all NURS courses (concurrent enrollment permitted for NURS427, only).
Learners seeking admission to the RN to BSN program must:
- Have completed a Registered Nurse (RN) diploma or associate degree in nursing
- Provide proof of current, unrestricted licensure to practice as a registered nurse
- Have a minimum 2.5 GPA for all college course work. Applicants with at least a 2.0 GPA but less than a 2.5 may be granted conditional admission. Conditional admission restricts the number of credit hours to enroll in during any one session and requires a minimum GPA of 2.5 in courses completed in the nursing curriculum at SCPS. Conditional admission learners are expected to work with their Academic Success Coach.
- Credit hours are granted by transfer for Associate Degree RN’s holding a current, non-restricted RN license.
- 40 credit hours are granted by transfer for an accredited Diploma in Nursing.
- College course work taken by students in addition to the above may be transferred in per college policies. Transcripts are evaluated on an individual basis.
RN to BSN learners may receive up to 30 hours of Nursing credit for proficiency validated by licensure. This is available for nurses who have been active in clinical practice for at least the last two years, or have graduated from an associate degree in nursing program within the last year. This allows 30 nursing credit hours from the associate’s degree program to be validated as meeting the outcomes equivalent to those achieved in baccalaureate-degree-granting institutions.
To assist in the seamless transition from an Associate’s degree program to a BSN program, learners who have six (6) or fewer credit hours of their associate’s degree to complete can apply to Southwestern College’s RN to BSN program. Learners can begin taking SCPS nursing courses, while they continue in the completion of their associate degree.
A current, unrestricted Registered Nurse license must be obtained by the end of the fourth course in order for the learner to continue with the nursing program courses.
- Complete all foundation and major courses with an overall GPA of 2.0.
- Complete a minimum of 124 credit hours.
- Complete at least 30 credit hours with a C average or above from Southwestern College.
Southwestern College Professional Studies builds on an RN’s previous learning experience. This program positions graduates for leadership roles in a variety of healthcare settings.