RN-BSN (Online)

The purpose of the RN to BSN program is to facilitate the educational journey of licensed Registered Nurses with a diploma or Associates Degree to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program prepares graduates to practice professional nursing with individual clients, families, groups and communities across the life span in a variety of settings. Guided by the Franciscan Values, students are assisted to value service, lifelong learning and caring behaviors as the foundation for professional nursing. Throughout the RN to BSN program, students fulfill leadership roles, and evaluate and apply evidence-based findings to improve health outcomes. Knowledge from humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and life and physical sciences are synthesized with nursing theory in order to augment professional practice. The curriculum provides an academic background which serves as the basis for graduate education and continued personal and professional growth.

The RN-BSN program at USF is an accelerated, online program designed for Registered Nurses seeking the Baccalaureate degree in nursing. Courses are offered in eight-week sessions, with two eight-week sessions being offered each academic term (fall, spring, and summer). Students may enroll on a full-time or part-time basis, affording an opportunity to complete the required nursing coursework in as little as 12 months.

The RN-BSN program requires 13 credit hours in elective/transfer/prior learning credits. Many students are able to transfer in some, if not all, of those credits at the point of admission. Others may choose to use experience and prior learning to earn this credit, while others may choose to take elective coursework to fulfill this requirement.

A leadership immersion practicum experience is integrated into the program through a two-course sequence in which students plan and lead an evidence-based project within a health care organization. While other required nursing coursework takes place within an eight-week block of time, the immersion experience covers two 16-week academic semesters, and allows for students to develop the leadership and communication skills necessary for the nursing professional.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at the University of Saint Francis is accredited by the Indiana State Board of Nursing, www.in.gov/pla/nursing.htm and by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington DC 20036, (202)887-6791 www.aacn.nche.edu.

Student Learning Outcomes

USF faculty have prepared program outcomes goals that flow from the conceptual threads of the BSN program. By the time you graduate, you will be prepared to practice as a professional nurse who is able to:

  1. Provide comprehensive, patient-centered, nursing care for individuals, families and communities across the lifespan in diverse settings.
  2. Utilize critical reasoning and clinical judgment in the application of information and health care technologies to provide safe, patient centered care.
  3. Integrate concepts from humanities and social, behavioral, life and physical sciences with nursing knowledge and practice.
  4. Demonstrate a caring presence through effective communication strategies and establishing therapeutic relationships with patients.
  5. Collaborate with members of the health team to improve health outcomes and policy in an evolving regulatory environment.
  6. Demonstrate leadership by directing nursing activities and initiating change to improve quality, patient care outcomes and health care delivery systems.
  7. Integrate Catholic Social Teaching, ethical, legal, and Franciscan principles in decision making as a professional nurse.
  8. Develop a plan for professional growth and lifelong learning as a member of the nursing profession.
  9. Apply evidence based practice principles in decision making and delivery of nursing care.

More details can be found in the catalog as well as course descriptions.

Prior Learning Assessment

The prior learning assessment is one means by which students may earn credit hours to apply toward the B.S.N. degree. The assessment of prior learning allows students to earn credit hours for the learning achieved through professional work experiences, formal training, and related activities.

Once you have been accepted into an online undergraduate program, you may start the prior learning assessment process if required per your transcript evaluation. The request for prior learning assessment must be submitted for evaluation completed by one month prior to expected completion of your online undergraduate program at USF. Prior learning can be demonstrated through a variety of methods work/life experiences. It’s only $75 per credit hour, making it even more affordable.

Clinical Requirements

Clinical experience within the RN-BSN program consists of a unique leadership immersion practicum. During this immersion experience, students are actively engaged with health care professionals in order to lead and manage an evidence-based project in a health care setting. Students are required to secure a project mentor for the leadership immersion practicum, and are required to submit formal documentation of preceptor credentials and contact information. Together, faculty work with project mentors to guide the learning throughout the leadership immersion practicum. The student must complete practicum experiences in the state where he/she is licensed as a Registered Nurse.

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