The four-year Associate to Bachelor degree in Nursing is designed to prepare nurses who will provide care in a variety of health care settings including hospitals, private practice, long-term care facilities, clinics, and other health care and community agencies
The 4-year A.S. to B.S. program prepares students for both traditional and non-traditional areas of nursing advancing their practice as clinical leaders, nurse managers, and preparation for entrance to master’s degree programs. The curriculum is divided into phases that allow students to build upon previous knowledge as they progress in the program.
The program at Penn State Behrend includes class and lab hours per semester that provide a balanced course load to support the transition to the demands of college. This balanced schedule also allows students the opportunity to establish academic potential for the nursing major and explore other career majors during the first year of college.
Students who follow this study plan enter the college in the pre-nursing major. This does not guarantee that the student will be accepted into the nursing major. Rather, students apply to the major in the fall semester of their first year, and admission is based on academic record. Students accepted into the nursing major complete the A.S. degree in nursing and sit for the NCLEX licensing exam to practice as an RN. They continue their studies for an additional year to complete the B.S. in Nursing degree.
Benefits of Obtaining a BS
Historically, bachelor’s-prepared nurses demonstrate stronger professional-level skills such as communication, critical-thinking, problem-solving, leadership, professional integration and research/ evaluation. This program helps prepare students to meet the many changes in the health care field by expanding and enhancing an existing nursing education.
In addition to upgrading skills, the program prepares students for advancing their practice as clinical leaders, nurse managers, and preparation for entrance to master’s degree programs. A bachelor’s degree is required for admission to graduate level programs.
Typical Course Sequence
Below is a typical course sequence for the 4-year A.S. to B.S. in Nursing program. Schedules will vary by student, depending on areas of interest.
Current students: Refer to the University Bulletin for more detailed course recommendations and descriptions.
|Semester 1||Credits||Semester 2||Credits|
|General Psychology||3||Intro to Human Development and Family Studies||3|
|Rhetoric and Composition||3||Intro to Sociology||3|
|Arts course||3||Arts course||3|
|Total Credits||16||Humanities course||3|
|Semester 3||Semester 4|
|Nursing Roles||4||Nursing Care During Childbearing Years||3|
|Health Patterns||4||Nursing Care During Childrearing Years||3|
|Elementary Microbiology||3||Clinical Immersion I: Intro to Concepts of Illness||2|
|Microbiology Lab||1||Nursing Elective||3|
|Intro to Principles of Nutrition||3||Humanities Elective||3|
|Total Credits||15||Total Credits||14|
|Semester 5||Semester 6|
|Nursing Interventions I||5||Nursing Interventions III||5|
|Nursing Interventions II||4||Nursing Care of Clients with Psychiatric/Mental Health Disorders||3|
|Health Assessment||3||Clinical Immersion II||2|
|Effective Writing: Writing in the Social Sciences||3||Nursing Elective||3|
|Total Credits||15||Effective Speech||3|
|Semester 7||Semester 8|
|First 7 weeks of semester||First 7 weeks of semester|
|Intro to Nursing Informatics||3||Understanding and Applying Nursing Research||3|
|Transition and the Professional Nursing Role||3||Integrated Concepts in Nursing Practice*||3|
|Family and Community Health Concepts||4||Intro and General Chemistry**||3|
|Second 7 weeks of semester||Second 7 weeks of semester|
|Health Concepts for Adults with Complex Heath Care Needs||3||Integrated Concepts in Nursing Practice Continued|
|Elementary Statistics||4||Intro and General Chemistry Continued|
|Total Credits||17||Nursing Study in Specialized Setting/Independent Studies||3|
|Nursing or General Elective||3|
*Integrated Concepts in Nursing Practice is a 3-credit capstone course that runs over 12 weeks.
**Chemistry 3-credits is required for graduate studies in nursing, however it can be waived if requested by students. (Students may take Chem 101, or 110 and 111, or Chem 106).
4-Year AS to BS. Nursing courses start Fall semester and must be taken in sequence. AS graduates must have a valid nursing license prior to enrolling in clinical courses semesters 7 and 8. ARN to BS classes are Hybrid delivery (face to face/online) in block schedule one day/week