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The RN to BSN degree builds on the foundation of previous nursing
education at the associate degree or diploma levels. Initial licensure
programs prepare graduates for RN licensure with courses in the
biological and social sciences and nursing. The BSN degree for RNs
expands knowledge in areas of research, theory, leadership,
community concepts, healthcare policy, therapeutic interventions, and
current trends in healthcare. Graduates are prepared to function in new
roles as members of healthcare teams in many settings. Graduates are
eligible for military, U.S. Public Health, and VA appointments as well as
roles in school health, community, occupational, and other non-acute
care settings. BSN graduates are also prepared to enter MSN
programs. All work in this degree program is online and at a distance.
The WGU RN to BSN program is evidence-based and developed
according to The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional
Nursing Practice from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2008) (Available at In
addition, it incorporates competencies and standards from other
Advanced Standing for RN License
Professional Leadership and Communication for Healthcare
The Leadership and Communication course is designed to help students prepare for success in the online environment at
Western Governors University and beyond. Student success starts with the social support and self-reflective awareness that
will prepare students to weather the challenges of academic programs. In this course students will participate in group
activities and complete a number of individual assignments. The group activities are aimed at finding support and insight
from other students. The assignments are intended to give the student an opportunity to reflect about where they are and
where they would like to be. The activities in each group meeting are designed to give students several tools they can sue
to achieve success.
This course is designed as a eight-part intensive learning experience. Students will attend eight group meetings during the
term. At each meeting students will engage in activities that help them understand their own educational journey and find
support and inspiration in the journey of others.
Applied Healthcare Statistics
Applied Healthcare Probability and Statistics is designed to help you develop competence in the fundamental concepts of
basic mathematics, introductory algebra, and statistics and probability. These concepts include: basic arithmetic with
fractions and signed numbers; introductory algebra and graphing; descriptive statistics; regression and correlation; and
probability. Statistical data and probability are now commonplace in the healthcare field. You need to be able to make
informed decisions about which studies and results are valid, which are not, and how those results affect your decisions.
This course will give you background in what constitutes sound research design and how to appropriately model
phenomena using statistical data. Additionally, you will be able to calculate simple probabilities, especially based on
events which occur in the healthcare profession. This course will prepare you for your studies at WGU, as well as in the
English Composition I
This course introduces learners to the types of writing and thinking that is valued in college and beyond. Students will
practice writing in several genres and several media, with emphasis placed on writing and revising academic arguments.
The course contains supporting media, articles, and excerpts to support a focus on one of five disciplinary threads
(covering the topics of nursing, business, information technology, teaching, and literature, art, and culture) designed to
engage students and welcome them into discussion about contemporary issues. The course supports peer review activities,
though it may be completed asynchronously as well. Instruction and exercises in grammar, mechanics, research
documentation, and style are paired with each module so that writers can practice these skills as necessary. This course
includes full access to the MindEdge Writing Pad to support student writing and coaching sessions.
Introduction to Communication
This introductory communication course allows students to become familiar with the fundamental communication theories
and practices necessary to engage in healthy professional and personal relationships. Students will survey human
communication on multiple levels and critically apply the theoretical grounding of the course to interpersonal, intercultural,
small group, and public presentational contexts. The course also encourages students to consider the influence of
language, perception, culture, and media on their daily communicative interactions. In addition to theory, students will
engage in the application of effective communication skills through systematically preparing and delivering an oral
presentation. By practicing these fundamental skills in human communication, students become more competent
communicators as they develop more flexible, useful, and discriminatory communicative practices in a variety of contexts.
Introduction to Psychology
In this course, students will develop an understanding of psychology and how it helps them better understand others and
themselves. Students will learn general theories about psychological development, the structure of the brain, and how
psychologists study behavior. They will gain an understanding of both normal and disordered psychological behaviors, as
well as general applications of the science of psychology in society (such as personality typing and counseling).
Introduction to Humanities
This introductory humanities course allows students to practice essential writing, communication, and critical thinking skills
necessary to engage in civic and professional interactions as mature, informed adults. Whether through studying literature,
visual and performing arts, or philosophy, all humanities courses stress the need to form reasoned, analytical, and articulate
responses to cultural and creative works. Studying a wide variety of creative works allows students to more effectively enter
the global community with a broad and enlightened perspective.
Introduction to Sociology
This course teaches students to think like sociologists, in other words, to see and understand the hidden rules, or norms, by
which people live, and how they free or restrain behavior. Students will learn about socializing institutions, such as schools
and families, as well as workplace organizations and governments. Participants will also learn how people deviate from the
rules by challenging norms, and how such behavior may result in social change, either on a large scale or within small
Survey of United States Constitution and Government
In Survey of United States Constitution and Government, you will examine the structure, institutions and principles of the
American political system. The foundation of the United States government is the U.S. Constitution, and this course will
introduce the concepts of (a) separation of powers, (b) checks and balances, (c) civil liberties and civil rights, and (d)
federalism and republicanism.
By completing this course, you will have proven competency in the structures of government, your own role in the policymaking
process, and the ways in which the Constitution and government has changed over time.
Human Growth and Development Across the Lifespan
This course introduces students to human development across the lifespan. This will include an introductory survey of
cognitive, psychological, and physical growth. Students will gain an understanding in regards to the emergence of
personality, identity, gender and sexuality, social relationships, emotion, language, and moral development through life.
This will include milestones such as education, achievement, work, dying, and death.
Anatomy and Physiology I
Anatomy and Physiology I examines the structures and functions of the human body. The course is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of human anatomy and physiology, including the interdependent operational
relationships among them. Students will use a dissection lab to study organ systems of the human body in their healthy
state including the digestive, skeletal, sensory, respiratory, reproductive, nervous, muscular, cardiovascular, lymphatic,
integumentary, endocrine and renal systems. By examining these organ systems in a healthy state, healthcare professionals
are more adept to recognize when a something is functioning abnormally, which is a key component to providing effective
care to patients. For nursing students this is the first of two anatomy and physiology courses within the program of study.
This course has no prerequisites.
Anatomy and Physiology II
Anatomy and Physiology II continues the examination of the human body systems first introduced in Anatomy and
Physiology I. This course invites students to take a deeper look into the terminology, structure, function and
interdependent operational relationships of human body systems. Students will continue their study of the nervous,
muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, digestive, endocrine, and reproductive systems. Additional topics include basic
cell processes, metabolic functioning, the hematologic system, immunity and principles of thermoregulation. Labs allow
the student to explore organ systems and their physiological processes. In addition to these labs, students are also given
the opportunity to complete a hands–on fetal pig dissection. For nursing students this is the second of two anatomy and
physiology courses within the program of study. All students needed to have completed Anatomy and Physiology I in
addition to English Composition I and II as prerequisites to this course.
Clinical Microbiology introduces general concepts, methods, and applications of microbiology from a health sciences
perspective. The course is designed to provide healthcare professionals with a basic understanding of how various diseases
are transmitted and controlled. Students will examine the structure and function of microorganisms, including the roles that
they play in causing major diseases. The course also explores immunological, pathological and epidemiological factors
associated with disease. To assist students in developing an applied, patient-focused understanding of microbiology, this
course is complimented by several lab experiments which allow students to: practice aseptic techniques, grow bacteria
and fungi, identify characteristics of bacteria and yeast based on biochemical and environmental tests, determine antibiotic
susceptibility, discover the microorganisms growing on objects and surfaces, and determine the Gram characteristic of
bacteria. This course has no prerequisites.
Biochemistry covers the structure and function of the four major polymers produced by living organisms. These include
nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids.
Care of the Older Adult
Care of the Older Adult adapts the concepts from prior coursework to the care of older adults. An understanding of the
effects that policy and legislation have on how healthcare systems treat aging patients sets a foundation for improving their
care. Students will apply health assessment skills and evidence-based standards in such a way to account for the specific
needs of older adults. Emphasis is placed on the importance of maintaining the dignity of older adults by focusing on
cultural, religious, spiritual, and communication needs and by collaborating on care with older adults, families, and
Evidence-Based Practice and Applied Nursing Research
The Evidence-Based Practice and Applied Nursing Research course will help you to learn how to design and conduct
research to answer important questions about improving nursing practice and patient care delivery outcomes. After you are
introduced to the basics of evidence-based practice, you will continue to implement the principles throughout your clinical
experience. This will allow you to graduate with more competence and confidence to become a leader in the healing
The Health Assessment course is designed to enhance students’ knowledge and skills in health promotion, the early
detection of illness and prevention of disease. To that end the course provides relevant content and skills necessary to
perform a comprehensive physical assessment of patients throughout the lifespan. Students are engaged in these
processes through interviewing, history taking and demonstration of an advanced-level physical examination. Dominant
models, theories and perspectives related to evidence-based wellness practices and health education strategies also are
included in this challenging course. Competency is measured through successful completion of one objective assessment
and two performance tasks. It is recommended that students plan to complete C349 in four to six weeks.
Health and Wellness Through Nutritional Science
Nutritional ignorance or misunderstandings are at the root of the health problems that most Americans face today. Nurses
need to be armed with the most current information available about nutrition science including how to understand
nutritional content of food, implications of exercise and activity on food consumption and weight management, and
management of community or population specific nutritional challenges. The Nutrition for Contemporary Society course
should prepare nurses to provide support, guidance and teaching about incorporation of sound nutritional principles into
daily life for health promotion. This course covers the following concepts: nutrition to support wellness; healthy nutritional
choices; nutrition and physical activity; nutrition through the lifecycle; safety and security of food; and nutrition and global
Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing
Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing will assist students in becoming familiar with foundational theories and
models of health promotion applicable to the community health nursing environment. Students will develop an
understanding of how policies and resources influence the health of populations. Focus is concentrated on learning the
importance of a community assessment to improve or resolve a community health issue. Students will be introduced to the
relationships between cultures and communities and the steps necessary to create community collaboration with the goal
to improve or resolve community health issues in a variety of settings. Students will gain a greater understanding of health
systems in the United States, global health issues, quality-of-life issues, cultural influences, community collaboration, and
Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing Field Experience
Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing, Field Experience will introduce and familiarize students with clinical aspects of health promotion and disease prevention in the community health nursing environment. Students will practice skills based on clinical priorities, methodology, and resources that positively influence the health of populations by assessing a primary prevention topic in the community. Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills by applying principals of community health nursing in a variety of community settings aligning with the selected primary prevention topic. As part of this process, students will be required to complete a minimum of 90 practice hours in order to meet the requirements of the course. Practice hours include direct and indirect hours of activity engaged with the community or population chosen as your focus. Students will describe the completed Field Experience in a written assessment that will also outline recommendations to improve the community health concern using the nursing process. Students will develop and recommend health promotion and disease prevention strategies for population groups.
Professional Roles and Values
This course explores the unique role nurses play in healthcare, beginning with the history and evolution of the nursing
profession. The responsibilities and accountability of professional nurses are covered, including cultural competency,
advocacy for patient rights, and the legal and ethical issues related to supervision and delegation. Professional conduct,
leadership, the public image of nursing, the work environment, and issues of social justice are also addressed.
Leadership and Professional Image
Nursing is a practice discipline that includes direct and indirect care activities that affect health outcomes. Baccalaureate
nursing students are developing new competencies in leadership, and in order to achieve mastery, must apply those
competencies to live practice experiences and situations. In this course students will complete a Leadership Learning
Experience (LLE) and develop their own personal professional portfolio. The professional portfolio is a collection of artifacts
from BSN coursework as well as a resume and personal statement.
Information Management and the Application of Technology
Information Management and the Application of Technology helps the student learn how to identify and implement the
unique responsibilities of nurses related to the application of technology and the management of patient information. This
includes: understanding the evolving role of nurse informaticists; demonstrating the skills needed to use electronic health
records; identifying nurse-sensitive outcomes that lead to quality improvement measures; supporting the contributions of
nurses to patient care; examining workflow changes related to the implementation of computerized management systems;
and learning to analyze the implications of new technology on security, practice, and research.
Organizational Systems and Quality Leadership
Nurses serve as clinicians, managers, and mentors to shape the future of healthcare and impact patient care outcomes in
positive ways. This course will help students to be more confident and better prepared to assume leadership roles
regardless of their position in the healthcare delivery system.This advanced leadership course focuses on the concepts of
Patient Safety, Improvement science, balancing cost, quality and access through the triple aim, leadership and
patient/family centered care. Students will develop mastery of advanced competencies particularly in patient safety in
quality improvement science.
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