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Online RN to BSN: Earn Your Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 18 Months

Like other offerings you may have seen, the HU BSN program is an 18-month online program that builds on your prior education and experience as a registered nurse with an associate degree or hospital diploma. However that’s where the similarities end. At HU, we deliver a level of nursing education that goes beyond what you can expect (and get) from other programs. Your instructors are experienced in the healthcare and nursing field and offer an interdisciplinary-centered education that utilizes experts in Genetics, Epidemiology, Ethics and Informatics.

You will combine academic coursework with professional practice while completing your BSN program. Coursework in evidence-based practice and science not only prepares you to meet the role of a practicing BSN nurse, but also preps you for a future graduate program. Your practicum components include an emphasis on advocacy, and you have opportunities to gain practical experience in areas of special interest to you.

Research courses engage you with your actual practice or employment setting. You are a nurse colleague at HU. You’ll also experience the freedom of greater career mobility and be ready to pursue a graduate degree if desired. That’s the HU difference at work to give you extra knowledge, experience, and a boost in your nursing career.

Career Outlook

A significant body of research shows that nurses with baccalaureate level preparation are linked to better patient outcomes, including lower mortality and failure-to-rescue rates. A college degree in Nursing opens doors, and BSN prepared nurses are changing lives and communities. BSN graduates achieve career advancement as Advanced Practice Clinicians, Health Care Administration, Nurse Educators, Policy Specialist, Researchers, and more. 

Program Goals

Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) will:

Nursing Students

Streamlined Admissions Process

The admission process for the BSN is streamlined since this program is designed for licensed RNs. Students are automatically granted up to 70 credits upon admission. The BSN degree for RNs is committed to offering advanced, career-focused educational opportunities to licensed nurses. Application Timeline – The admission process recommends completing and submitting the application at least 30 days prior to the start of a session. This application process allows ample time to be accepted, develop an academic schedule, and to process financial aid applications (if applicable). To complete the process, an applicant should:

  • Apply online at https://www.harrisburgu.edu/apply-nursing/ or complete a paper application that is available from the Admissions Office.
  • Submit all official college transcripts(s), if applicable, for all college, university or diploma schools attended (whether academic credit was earned)
    • A letter grade of C or higher is required.
    • GPA of 2.0 is recommended (if less than, a written appeal can be submitted to the Director).
  • Provide the state and number of your current active RN license.

Program Lead

 Mark  Crider, Ph.D., RN

Mark Crider, Ph.D., RN Executive Director and Professor of Nursing

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Corporate Faculty

Part Time Faculty

Nancy Mimm, DNP

Assistant Professor of Population Health Nursing

Program Courses

Students are required to complete 120 credits for the Bachelor of Science Degree. The following 15 courses comprise the required core and experiential courses of the RN-BSN degree program. The credit value of each course appears in parentheses ( ).

INSC 320 – The Study of Disease (3 credits)

The human body is studied in health and disease with a focus on the contemporary causes of human pathology. Information on metabolic and infectious disorders that effect major body systems is explained. The study surveys system organ structure and metabolic/genetic aspects of disease, from simple to complex.

BIOL 320 – Genetics (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to human and population genetics including Mendelian and non-Mendelian genetics (DNA replication, transcription, and translation; genetic recombination and mutation), genetic basis of gender (sex-linked and non-sex linked genetic diseases), and emerging areas of genetics research. The student connects facts together to get a whole picture, to apply knowledge, then solve a problem. Basic genetics introduces the student to the traditional elements of genetic biology and contemporary genetic topics.

INSC 410 – Epidemiology (3 credits)

This course studies how diseases are detected, identified, and distributed within populations. By definition, “epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determination of health-related states or events in specific populations and the application of this study to the control of health problems.” Through the study of epidemiology, the student is shown the medical and scientific investigative skills needed to critically think, strategize, and predict new epidemics and control current ones. Mathematics is used to model disease progression.

MEBA 375 – Statistics for Managers (3 credits)

This course applies statistical knowledge to business. The student explores the ability to define problems, form questions, collect data, analyze the data using inferential tools, and how to formulate and test hypotheses. The student is expected to master probability concepts within the realm of decision making.

MEBA 312 – Leadership and Organizational (3 credits)

Modern organizations are characterized by constant change, market fluctuations, increased automation, and globalization. This course explores and examines the basic framework for leadership styles focuses on ethical leadership in times of change and crisis through use of case studies and examples. The course examines the behavior of individuals and groups in the modern global settings and concentrates on improving productivity, job satisfaction, team development and continuous improvement practices experiences.

GEND 450 – The Healthy Mind and Body (3 credits)

This course provides the foundation for a study of various current health issues. The student will investigate a topic related to personal, community or environmental health to conduct research, formulate an opinion of the topic, discuss relevant facts, and write about the topic. The projects in this class focus on the development of competence in both oral and written communication and information literacy.

GEND 467 – Ethics in Professional Healthcare (3 credits)

This course covers contemporary concepts and fundamental values in moral, ethical, and professional decision-making. Through case analysis, the course covers topics such as professional client relations, confidentiality, professional dissent, and professional virtue in a professional setting. The course examines contemporary professional and clinical ethics issues that influence a professional practice discipline, and to a lesser degree, it introduces the student to ethical issues at the organizational level in health care. The relationships between ethical and legal principles are also examined. Various models of ethical decision-making are explored as the student applies these frameworks to resolve ethical dilemmas. The student will also examine the role of professional codes of ethics and the legal standards that influence ethical professional practice.

HCIN 500 – Healthcare Informatics (3 credits)

This is the survey course for the Program in Healthcare Informatics, both for the certificate and the master’s degree. The student is exposed to the full range of healthcare informatics as it is employed in today’s workplace. This course discusses issues, trends, challenges, and applications related to the role of the Informaticist in Healthcare Systems and Institutions including big data management, electronic medical records systems, eHealth, data governance and data sharing. Casebased and project-based approaches are used for discussion and assignments. The student does not require academic healthcare system knowledge beyond that contained in ISEM541 Healthcare Systems, although clinical experience facilitates more rapid assimilation of content material and a deeper understanding of the overall curriculum. The overall goal of the course is familiarity with the potential contributions of informatics to both health outcomes and business operations so that successful learners return to their workplaces with sufficient knowledge to immediately function more effectively and efficiently as Informaticists.

NURS 320 – Nursing Practice and Senior Adults (3 credits)

Nursing practice in promoting health and managing health concerns of the older adult. The course will explore the effects of the aging process on physical systems of the human body and includes examination of loss and coping, and legal and ethical issues.

NURS 325 – Integrative Patient Assessment (3 credits)

This course builds on basic physical assessment knowledge of the Registered Nurse to include broadened assessment skills necessary to lead coordination of interprofessional care of the patient. The use of therapeutic communication skills when performing health assessment and the assessment of cultural and socio-economic aspects of health will be incorporated. The student learns to critically evaluate assessment findings and differentiate between normal and alterations indicative of actual or potential health problems. The student has lab experiences in the nursing learning and simulation laboratory where health assessment skills can be practiced.

SEMR 315 – Accelerated Learning Cornerstone (3 credits)

This foundations course introduces adult students to the HU seminar experience. It is an accelerated and techical format of learning to provide skills in research, writing, oral presentation, time management, decision making, teamwork, and identifying personal, professional and academic strengths for continued success.

NURS 430 – Nurs Practice & Population Health (4 credits)

This course focusses on an introduction to theory and concepts of community and population health nursing. Emphasis is on the professional nurse’s role in working with the community as the client. Care will be delivered based on community health and public health standards of nursing practice. The student will then explore the role of the nurse working collaboratively with the community as part of an interdisciplinary team. An introduction to conceptual frameworks that focus on population health care is included in both the classroom and practicum portions of the course. Selected community engagement will entail nursing practice focusing on population health as the physical, social, cultural, and economic community where one works and lives. The student will link community health status and health policy with the performance of health care systems.

NURS 435 – Nursing Leadership & Health Policy (4 credits)

This course will focus on the professional nurse’s role in applying the principles of leadership and management in clinical environments. The role of the nurse leader and his/her influence on safe nursing practice will be explored. Barriers to practice, regulatory, legislative, and political processes in reference to professional practice will also be examined. The course will also emphasize nursing leadership roles and interprofessional collaboration in the development/application of technology to increase efficiency of healthcare services and improve patient outcomes.

NURS 398 – Project I Evidence Based Practice (3 credits)

An approved learning contract, permission of the Office of Experiential Programs, designation of an appropriate academic advisor, and a minimum of 60 earned semester hours. This first project in the student’s experiential program challenges the student to identify, investigate and analyze a particular topic in the program of study or a concentration. A key objective is to apply skills, methods, and knowledge obtained in prior courses with independent thinking and research; the final product represents the successful and purposeful application of knowledge. The project is undertaken with the close mentorship of a faculty member, and may involve a community partner. Projects can involve scientific-based research or laboratory experiences, needs analysis or development plans for external organizations, or market studies and business plan proposals.

NURS 498 – Project II Applied Nursing Research (3 credits)

This project must be in the student’s program of study or concentration(s). It should demonstrate application of the skills, methods, and knowledge of the discipline to solve a problem or answer a question representative of the type to be encountered in the student’s profession. As with Project I, this is undertaken with the close mentorship of a faculty member and may involve a community partner. The ideal project has a clear purpose that builds directly upon the learning that occurs within the student’s first project and internship.

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