Nursing RN-BSN

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (“RN-BSN Program”) is a non-licensure, degree completion program for licensed registered nurses that is delivered entirely via distance education with experiential activities. Consistent with all baccalaureate programs at Salem, the program requires the successful completion of 120 semester credit hours, including a maximum of 90 transfer credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.5.

The RN-BSN Program Nursing Core comprises 30 credits (10 courses) that all students must complete with a grade of “C” or higher and a cumulative GPA of 2.5. Each course is four weeks’ duration; therefore, depending on transfer credits, students may be able to complete their BSN within ten (10) months of continuous, successful enrollment. 

Offered at the following campuses:

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the RN-BSN program will:

  1. Integrate general education and scientific knowledge, technology proficiency, and information literacy to support critical, creative and reflective thinking and sound decision-making in nursing practice and policy development. (Nursing, Person, Health, Integrity, Caring, Excellence)
  2. Synthesize nursing and health care theories and concepts, and apply these to practice for positive and holistic health outcomes across the life span and across the continuum of health care environments. (Nursing, Person, Health, Environment, Diversity, Excellence)
  3. Apply leadership & management skills to facilitate high quality, safe and effective care to individuals, families, groups, and communities. (Nursing, Person, Caring, Integrity, Diversity, Excellence)
  4. Use professional communication and collaboration across disciplines to coordinate delivery of care, promote and restore health, and prevent illness, especially in complex situations. (Nursing, Person, Health, Environment, Caring, Diversity, Excellence)
  5. Incorporate international, cultural, ethnic and socially diverse concepts to foster individualized patient-centered care, and facilitate positive health outcomes. (Nursing, Person, Health, Environment, Caring, Diversity)
  6. Apply evidence-based research and the nursing process to guide and improve nursing practice, with attention to professional development and lifelong learning. (Nursing, Person, Health, Integrity, Excellence)
  7. Promote and maintain professional values and legal, ethical, and moral aspects of nursing to support and advance safe, high quality nursing practice. (Nursing, Person, Environment, Caring, Integrity, Excellence)
  8. Evaluate healthcare policy and services based on standards of nursing practice and established patient health and safety goals to advocate for, and promote quality and accessible care, particularly for vulnerable and underserved populations. (Nursing, Person, Health, Environment, Caring, Integrity, Diversity, Environment)

Additional Admission requirements for the RN-BSN program:

  • An associate degree in nursing from an accredited institution recognized by the Department of Education
  • A cumulative APA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • A current, unrestricted RN license in the US to remain active throughout the program

As a professional nurse with an active, unencumbered RN license issued by one of the United States or the District of Columbia, each student will be granted 60 transfer credits of which 6 credits must be General Education Credits (Refer to Chart). Credits earned at other accredited institutions either beyond or in addition to the ADN program may apply. For RNs who have completed training or courses that carry ACE-recommended college credit, these may qualify. Challenge exams (e.g., CLEP and DSST) may apply.  Documented, corroborated, relevant prior work experience, training, and military service will be evaluated on an individual basis by the Director of Nursing Education.


Transfer of Credits in Nursing RN-BSN of 60 credits of which 6 must be general education:

  • 6 general education lower division credits will be awarded for an Associate Degree in Nursing from accredited institutions recognized by the Department of Education. The 6 general education credits must be equivalent to the general education courses listed below.
General Education Course Equivalency for Transfer (6 credits)
Course Credits
Anatomy and Physiology  & Lab 3
Anatomy and Physiology  & Lab 3
Lifespan Human Development 3
Physical Science Course & Lab* 3
General Psychology 3
English Composition 3
Humanities and/or Social Science Courses 3

Program Outline

Course Number Course Title Credit  
NUR401 Professional Role Transition 3
NUR402 Health Assessment 3
NUR403 Nursing Research 3
NUR404 Legal and Ethical Issues in Nursing and Health Care 3
NUR405 Chronic and Complex Health Problems 3
NUR406 Evidence-Based Practice 3
NUR407 Special Topics in Nursing 3
NUR408 Nursing Leadership and Management 3
NUR410 Community and Public Health Nursing 3
NUR499 Nursing Capstone 3
                                        Total Credits from Core 30
  Credits transferred from AS Degree in Nursing of which 6 credits must be in General Education 60
  Additional 30 credits if needed:  
AR222 History of Art: Renaissance to 19th Century 3
EC352 Economic Geography 3
EC500 Survey of Economics 3
EN490 Intercultural Communication 3
ENG200 Research and Writing for Effective Communication 3
ENG203 Multicultural Literature 3
HIS125 World Civilizations 3
MAT140 Statistics 3
SO137 Science and Society 3
PSC100 American Government & Politics 3
                                                 Total Credits 30
                                                 Total Credits 120

Course Descriptions

NUR401 – Professional Role Transition                                                                    (3 credits)

This course focuses on the changing role of the nursing professional. Topics include the role of the nurse manager and nursing interventions to support clients and their families with acute and long-term health problems. In addition, this course provides a basis for role transition of the registered nurse across the educational continuum, and provides opportunity for exploration of the many dimensions of professional nursing. The student considers the multiple roles of the nurse, the conceptual basis for nursing practice, and selected issues facing the profession of nursing. The course includes an introduction to information literacy and writing skills, and provides tools for success as an RN to BSN student. Class sessions and course assignments are designed to foster critical, creative, and reflective thinking skills. 

NUR402 – Health Assessment                                                                                                (3 credits)

This course focuses on a holistic approach to health assessment across the life span, including age specific interviewing and assessment techniques, expected findings, as well as assessment accommodations for an increasingly diverse patient population to improve communication and data gathering. Students will have the opportunity to extend and refine their health assessment skills for professional development.  There is a focus on patient teaching, health promotion and key concepts of prevention, analysis and synthesis of data, distinguishing normal findings from developmental deviations and abnormal findings, and accurate documentation of data. Topics include emerging trends and the latest on evidence-based practice, reflecting what is going on in nursing practice today.  

NUR403 – Nursing Research                                                                                                 (3 credits)

This course focuses on a comprehensive approach to research concepts and methods. Evidence-based practice is emphasized throughout, with guidelines for evaluating research and applying scientific evidence to practice. Topics include qualitative and quantitative research, appraising and critiquing research, critical thinking and clinical decision-making using research information. Online vignettes are presented with real world applications of nursing research, and sample research reports are provided for students to interpret, evaluate, and apply key concepts that are presented throughout the course.  

NUR404 – Legal and Ethical Issues in Nursing and Health Care                            (3 credits)

This course provides an overview of ethics in nursing and health care with a focus on legal and ethical concepts, principles, and regulations under which professional nurses practice. Students will explore and analyze current ethical issues that impact the practice of nursing and health care today, and examine concepts, theories, and personal and professional values as they apply to decision-making related to a variety of ethical dilemmas.  

NUR405 – Chronic and Complex Health Problems                                                  (3 credits)

The focus of this course is on various aspects of chronic and complex health problems affecting patients across the lifespan, their families, the health care system, and society. Physical and psychosocial issues that affect individuals and families living with chronic or complex illnesses are addressed. A theoretical approach is employed, incorporating principles of complex critical decision-making, communication, and use of critical and reflective thinking in a variety of health care delivery settings. Content on the illness experience, the quality and availability of health services, and health policy issues will be discussed. Students will explore case studies and analyze related evidence-based literature to identify common elements of individuals with chronic or complex illnesses, and discuss prevention strategies, nursing interventions, and potential outcomes related to the illnesses or diseases.

NUR406 – Evidence-Based Practice                                                                          (3 credits)

The focus of this course is on the application of published research to evidence-based practice. Students will search for and critically appraise published research studies to identify best evidence for applicability to clinical problems. Scientific inquiry, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and research ethics are reinforced through the evaluation of scientific evidence, the assessment of available resources, and the use of clinical decision-making that is inherent in practice changes or policy updates to improve patient, population and organizational outcomes.

NUR407 – Special Topics in Nursing                                                                                     (3 credits)

This course is designed to investigate relevant issues and trends affecting healthcare and nursing practice today, with attention to global health and international differences. Economic, political, social, and environmental implications for a changing practice of nursing are explored, and safe and effective decision-making, collaboration and communication are discussed. RN students are challenged to examine the role of the professional nurse and career development in current and future healthcare environments.

NUR408 – Nursing Leadership and Management                                                     (3 credits)

This course focuses on dynamic role of nurses as managers and leaders in health care settings.  Topics include the characteristics of leaders in the clinical setting, including communication, effective decision-making, the use and abuse of power and politics, and handling stress.  Topics cover general management including financial management, employee performance evaluations and coaching, corporate culture and change. 

NUR410 – Community and Public Health Nursing                                                   (3 credits)

This course focuses on the role of the nurse in community and public health nursing.  Topics that are covered include assessment of community health, identification of health needs in the community and vulnerable populations, health promotion and risk reduction across the life span, community and public health services, and program planning and evaluation for optimal health.  Students will examine the importance of health team relationships, and the range of client care in the community.  

NUR499 – Nursing Capstone                                                                                                 (3 credits)

The nursing capstone course provides students with an experience of investigating and identifying needs/problems of aggregates in a selected community setting.  Working from the knowledge and competencies gained in previous courses, and in collaboration with members of the healthcare community, students will design and develop an evidencebased community health project with an emphasis on quality improvement to meet the identified needs in a community.  To fulfill the capstone requirements, students are required to present their personal portfolio, demonstrate mastery of the skills they have learned in liberal arts and sciences, as well as their academic achievement of the course learning objectives in NUR401-NUR410 and the program learning outcome objectives.  The personal portfolio provides evidence of the student’s professional growth and progression to a baccalaureate professional nurse.  Prerequisite:  Advanced standing.

AR 222 History of Art: Renaissance to 19th Century                                              (3 Credits) The course is a survey of European painting, sculpture and architecture of the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and of the Romantic Realist and Impressionist periods. The course reviews distinct chronological and cultural periods. Students come to appreciate that art is not necessarily about the artist’s technical finesse, but it is about communicating an idea using visual language.

EC 352 Economic Geography                                                                                 (3 Credits)

This course examines the economic activity and production as a function of geographical location. It uses economic models to explain how economic activities are located, looks at primary, secondary and tertiary production; services; a comparative analysis of global demography; rise and roles of the city and the metropolis; effects of technology; national, regional and strategic political and commercial alignments and realignments; natural resources; less developed, more developed, and developing countries, core and periphery, multinational cooperation and the global village.

EC500 Survey of Economics                                                                                      (3 credits)

This course in economics is designed for graduate students with no prior knowledge in economics. The course will cover the basic concepts of micro- and macroeconomics. Microeconomics focuses on how societies make choices on what, how and for whom to produce, given the limited resources. How can people reconcile this reality with their virtually unlimited desires? Macroeconomics is concerned with the structure and performance of the aggregate economy. Issues such as economic growth, business cycles, inflation, international trade and unemployment will be addressed.

EN 490 Intercultural Communication                                                                                   (3 credits)

This course addressed the ways in which social structuring, social assumptions, and intercultural language usage bears on interactions between members of different cultures. This course is the culmination of foundational principles presented in the core General Education coursework expressed in terms of intercultural contexts. The emphasis is on interdisciplinary activities in the fields of communication, sociology, psychology, technology, and research. Students employ critical thinking and analytical skills to evaluate and integrate diverse ideas within various cultural backgrounds.

ENG 200 Research and Writing for Effective Communication (3credits)

This course concentrates on developing students’ abilities to conduct meaningful research and to produce analytical written works within the contexts of academic and technical writing. Special attention will be paid to clarity and directness for effective communication as well as editing to improve clarity of expression, which is a fundamental skill. Students use a problem-solving model of goal and audience analysis in producing reports, organizational correspondence, and instructional media. Focus is also on developing research skills and strategies for the final research document, using the provided Salem manual of style. Building on prior English courses’ content.

MAT 140 Statistics                                                                                                     (3credits)

In this course, students learn not only the basics of statistics, but the deductive reasoning and critical thinking skills that will last a lifetime. Statistics is a subject that is woven into our day to day activities and has helped to form our modern lifestyle. This class will help you understand how what you read, see and hear can be informative, misleading and misinterpreted. This class will also introduce you to some practical applications of statistics, many of which you are already using in your life.

SO 137 Science and Society                                                                                       (3 credits)

This course looks at society as a whole through the lens of science and ethics. The course introduces the students to social concerns and advancements in technology in the following areas: nanotechnology, biotechnology, energy requirements, production, conservation, population growth, disease prevention, world food shortage, information technology and changing lifestyles and genetic engineering.

PSC100 American Government & Politics I                                                                         (3credits)

Survey of American government and politics, including federal, state, and local governments, with consideration of the constitutions, civil liberties, partisan voting behavior, and functions of executive, legislative, and judicial branches of our government.

ENG 203 Multicultural Literature                                                                            (3credits)

Multicultural Literature focuses on literature that is reflective of living in the twenty-first century in a multicultural world. Reading and discussing literature from many different cultures helps students develop understanding of those cultures. To this end, students in this class will read and discuss the works of authors from many different cultures, past and present, in the light of background information about the lives of those authors and about their cultures.

HIS 125 World Civilizations I                                                                                               (3credits)

The course is a survey of selected civilizations spanning the globe.  Topics range from the origin and development of early civilizations through the modern era.  Special attention will be given to the political, economic, social, and cultural forces still existing today.