Education for the practice of professional nursing demands a substantial knowledge of nursing, using the behavioral and biological sciences as a theoretical base. Throughout the program, nursing courses are taken concurrently with courses in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, contributing to the development of the liberally educated practitioner.
The first year establishes the foundation for the study of nursing with an introduction to concepts and theories related to understanding nursing practice. Clinical study is introduced in the second year with the focus on health promotion and identification of risk factors. Clinical nursing skills are practiced first in the School's Skills Laboratory.
Clinical experiences take place in a variety of settings such as schools, hospitals, senior citizens' centers, and long term and acute care facilities. Third year nursing courses focus on the care of individuals and families of all ages who are experiencing the stress of illness. Clinical experiences take place in acute care settings. During the fourth (final) year, student clinical experiences are planned to encourage synthesis of knowledge gained in preceding years and focus on individuals, families, and communities. Students provide care to those experiencing more complex illnesses and problems.
Professional role behaviors that are introduced in the first year and augmented during the years of subsequent study are expanded during the senior year. During the senior year, students have a culminating clinical course that provides a transition into clinical practice. Throughout the program, students have an opportunity to work on faculty and/or doctoral student research projects.
The program provides a foundation for graduate education in nursing and serves as a stimulus for continuing professional development. A series of NCLEX Preparation Practice Tests are integrated throughout the nursing program. A Diagnostic Prep, a Predictor exam, and a 3 day NCLEX Review are scheduled at end of program to provide students with prep resources to take the National Nursing License. Registered nurses, who are graduates of diploma or associate degree programs in nursing, may choose to enroll in the RN Options.