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Objectives, Organizing Framework and Requirements for BSN Degree 

Baccalaureate Program Objectives

Baccalaureate Program Objectives Leveled by Year

The faculty has defined behaviors that each student must achieve before progressing to the next level.  The objectives are leveled by year: level 1 references freshman year; level 2 references sophomore year, and so on.  Students are encouraged to refer to these objectives at the mid-point of the semester and again at the end of the semester in order to be an active participant in the learning and self-evaluation processes. 

End of Program. Synthesize knowledge from the humanities and the natural and social sciences as the basis for continuing personal, intellectual, social and professional development

Level 3.  Apply knowledge from the humanities and the natural and social sciences in the development of the role of nurse in patient care situations in acute care settings.

Level 2. Articulate the relevance of knowledge from the humanities and the natural and social sciences to the evolving role of the nurse.

Level 1. Demonstrate knowledge of the interrelationship of the humanities, and the natural and social sciences as a basis for the development of nursing practice and as a source of personal development.

End of Program . As a generalist, use theoretical and scientific bases for nursing to deliver nursing care to clients as individuals, families, communities and organizations in a variety of settings at any level of wellness, illness, and risk.

Level 3. Apply theoretical and scientific bases for nursing practice related to individuals and families with potential or actual health related problems in acute care settings.

Level 2. Demonstrate the use of theoretical and scientific bases for nursing practice related to risk assessment and health promotion activities to individuals within selected communities and health care agencies.

Level 1. Identify theoretical and scientific bases for nursing practice.

End of Program. Apply research findings to evaluate and improve nursing care and the health care system.

Level 3. Appraise the relevance, quality, and applicability of research in decision making related to patient care.

Level 2. Discuss the research implications for various nursing practice environments.

Level 1. Recognize the relationship of research to nursing practice.

 End of Program. Assume responsibility for providing nursing care in a collaborative relationship with individuals and groups in a variety of settings.

Level 3. Participate in providing nursing care in a collaborative relationship with

                  individuals and families in complex health care settings.

Level 2. Participate in providing nursing care in a collaborative relationship with

                  individuals selected communities and health care agencies.

Level 1. Observe the process of how nurses collaborate with individuals.

End of program . Participate in collaborative relationships with colleagues through referral, consultation, planning and evaluation.

Level 3. Initiate a collaborative relationship with colleagues to facilitate consultation, referrals, planning and evaluation in a complex health care setting.

Level 2. Participate in a collaborative relationship with colleagues by consultation,

  planning, and evaluating selected communities and health care agencies.

Level 1. Identify various interdisciplinary roles in health care.

End of Program . Demonstrate leadership and management skills through direction and support of clients and colleagues as individuals, families, communities and organizations.

Level 3. Integrate an understanding of leadership and management skills through direction and support of colleagues, individuals and families in acute care settings.

Level 2.  Provide peer support and management of individual clients in selected communities and health care agencies.

Level 1. Define leadership and management skills using professional organizations as a model.

End of Program . Participate as an agent of change in scientific, social, and political action for the advancement of research, healthcare, and policy at any level from local to international.

Level 3. Initiate change for the advancement of research and healthcare in an acute care setting.

Level 2. Participate as an agent of change to effect modification in health promotion behavior and level of wellness in selected local communities and health care agencies.

Level 1. Recognize the need for change related to health care reform and policy making at the national level.

End of Program. Communicate coherently, comprehensively and systematically in written and oral forms as they pertain to nursing care, collaboration, research and policy.

Level 3.  Analyze written and oral communication patterns and make recommendations for modification if necessary as they pertain to nursing care, collaboration, and research.

Level 2.  Demonstrate therapeutic and professional oral communication with individuals,  groups, and peers in selected local communities and health care agencies.

Level 1. Demonstrate effective written communication skills.

End of Program. Perform clinical skills appropriate to generalist nursing practice, with competence and judgment within specific settings.

Level 3. Demonstrate advanced nursing skills with competence and judgment in acute care settings.

Level 2. Demonstrate and expected level of judgment in basic nursing skills in  selected communities and health care agencies.

Level 1. Identify components of professional nursing practice.

BSN Undergraduate Curriculum Organizing Framework and Vision

BSN Undergraduate Curriculum Organizing Framework and Vision

CLASS OF 2015 AND BEYOND
(Accelerated BSN Class of December 2014 and beyond)

Our Mission

Penn nursing is committed to teach the art and science of nursing, as well as creating opportunities for service, practice, leadership, and research. This is achieved through talented faculty, internationally recognized scholarship, respect for the diversity of our own community (of faculty, staff, and students), and a commitment to individualizing the pedagogical and material resources necessary for success.

Our Vision

Penn baccalaureate nursing graduates are broadly educated and socially engaged. They demonstrate the capacity for clinical expertise, leadership at the bedside and around the globe, and for translating the science of the profession into practice.

Our graduates have matured in the intellectual and social environment of both the University and the School of Nursing. This environment is built upon the values of civic engagement, critical inquiry, interdisciplinary knowledge, and the integration of research and practice. It has prepared our graduates to create and realize their own vision and ambition for themselves and their profession.

Our Values

  • Respect for the diversity of individuals and their ideas
  • Dedication to rigorous clinical inquiry as the basis of clinical judgment
  • Commitment to collaboration with individuals, families, communities, and colleagues
  • Responsible and engaged advocacy
  • Recognition of the intersections of history, social context, culture, and economics in shaping a global society that seeks equity and access for all
  • Respect for nursing science and its substantive contribution to health care
  • Organizing Framework - One University, One School, One Curriculum

Penn’s baccalaureate curriculum brings structure to the School’s mission, vision, and values by centering on the primacy of nursing practice situated in caring relationships that facilitate health and healing. The baccalaureate curriculum builds on this conceptualization of nursing as it moves students toward increasingly contextualized understandings of individuals, families, communities, and populations living with health and illness. It also moves students into increasingly complex situations and care environments as they experience the dynamic nature of nursing’s embeddedness in health care systems, social structures and society.

The baccalaureate curriculum concentrates on four intersecting core themes that characterize the complex and contextual nature of nursing practice: engagement, inquiry, judgment and voice.

The competencies derived from this framework are not intended to be achieved in a sequential manner. Rather, this framework explicates competencies that are fluid, that adapt to various learning experiences when presented in the curriculum, and which are as essential to the formation of a professional identity of a graduate nurse.  The application of these themes is demonstrated in the following examples:

Engagement: The student understands the relationships among:

  • Caring relationships with individuals, families, and patient populations
  • Collegial intra-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary collaborative relationships
  • Observer and participant in policies and politics
  • Situational advocacy and civic commitment to social and political change

Inquiry: The student understands the relationships among:

  • Knowledge use, knowledge acquisition and knowledge development.
  • Scientific ways of knowing patients and families and multi-dimensional and contextual ways of knowing
  • Knowing about humanistic understandings and implementing them in practice and research
  • Evidence based practices and the social and political processes of practice with less clear scientific rationales
  • Use of technological information systems and manipulating them to acquire meaningful data
  • Knowledge use and ongoing clinical knowledge development
  • Measures of quality in clinical care environments

Judgment: The student understands the relationships among:

  • Acquisition of knowledge and skill and the integration of both within relational practices with individuals, families, communities, populations, and healthcare systems
  • Individualized knowledge of individuals and families and collective knowledge about communities, populations, and systems
  • Core nursing knowledge and integrated knowledge
  • Situated judgment and clinical know-how

Voice: The student understands the relationships among:

  • Observer and advocate and moral agent
  • Facilitation of patient and family learning and advocacy affecting social and political practices
  • Informal methods of dialogue, discourse and debate and those necessary for formal writing and publication and for joining a community of scholars
  • Vision for self and a vision for the profession

Requirements for BSN 

Non Nursing Major Requirements                                                          5 c.u.

Writing Requirement (see section on Writing Requirement)                 1 c.u.

Language Requirement*                                                                              4 c.u.

Distributional Requirements by Sectors                                              6 c.u.

Arts and Letters                                                                                             1 c.u.

Society and Social Structures                                                                      1 c.u.

Histories and Traditions                                                                               1 c.u.

Global and Cultural Studies                                                                         1 c.u.

Reasoning, Systems, and Relationships                                                    1 c.u.

Free Elective                                                                                                   1 c.u.  

Nursing Major                                                                                             29.5 c.u.           

   

TOTAL:                                                                                                           40.5 c.u.

*If the language requirement is met or partially met through the placement exam or SAT II, students may continue in the language or take free electives    


Sample Plan of study (Traditional BSN)

Traditional Undergraduates - Class of 2016 and Beyond

The following sample Plan of Study is just one possibility for undergraduate study.  This plan may not be compatible with several academic options you might choose (e.g. study abroad, submatriculation, dual degree, etc.).  If you are interested in pursuing any of the special academic options available to you during the course of your undergraduate experience and want to know how this will alter your plan of study, please contact Associate Director of Undergraduate Academic Affairs at (215) 898-6687 or advisor@nursing.upenn.edu.  Please note that all plans of study are subject to curricular change.

Sample Plan of Study - Traditional BSN

Please note:

* Sector requirements can be taken in any order.  For more information on sector requirements, please visit this website.

** Free electives and language requirement courses may be taken pass/fail.  For more detailed information on pass/fail policies, refer to the Pass/Fail section (link) of this handbook.

***The Nursing Case Study can be taken during the junior or senior year (following completion of Nursing 164).  Only one course is required from the case study group.  The Nursing Elective can be taken earlier in the plan of study depending upon the course selected.

Students must consult with an academic advisor prior to making revisions to the plan of study to ensure that the necessary curricular requirements are being met and to prevent delays in academic progression.

Sample Plan of study (ABSN)

Second-degree and BSN-MSN students are those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field and who are returning to school to pursue nursing.  BSN-MSN students are admitted simultaneously into the BSN and MSN programs.  Second-degree and BSN-MSN students must meet identical requirements and adhere to the same policies as other undergraduate students regarding academic standing and progression (see section on academic regulations in this handbook).  Policies related to the undergraduate program supersede policies of the graduate program until completion of the BSN degree.

Students who are formally enrolled in the BSN-MSN Program may take no more than three non-clinical course units toward their MSN program prior to completing the BSN degree, with all MSN courses requiring the approval of the student’s BSN advisor and MSN program director.  No more than half of the credits counting toward an MSN minor may be taken at the BSN level.  BSN-MSN students may take:

  • Nursing 525: Ethical Aspects of Health and Technology in lieu of Nursing 330: Theoretical Foundations of Health Care Ethics
  • Nursing 547: Scientific Inquiry – Evidence Based Practice
  • Nursing 540: Current Issues in Health and Social Policy in lieu of Nursing 334: Current Issues in Health and Social Policy
  • A non-clinical nursing graduate course in lieu of the undergraduate Nursing Elective.

Following completion of the BSN degree, students must have an overall GPA of 3.0 to continue in a graduate program.

Students who are enrolled in the Second-Degree or BSN-MSN Program begin their program in the summer.  A student’s ability to start the program in the summer is contingent upon earning transfer credit for the following courses:

Class of December 2014 and beyond:

NURS 061             Biologically Based Chemistry

NURS 062             Cellular Biology

NURS 063             Microbiology

NURS 065             Fundamentals of Nutrition

NURS 131             Human Anatomy and Physiology I

NURS 132             Human Anatomy and Physiology II

NURS 230             Introduction to Statistics

Transfer credit is awarded on an individual basis through the School of Nursing.  When necessary, designated faculty will review coursework to determine transferability.  Representatives from the School of Nursing, Office of Enrollment Management will monitor students’ transfer credit and will develop a tentative plan of study to determine whether the summer or fall start is most appropriate.  All plans of study include an 11 c.u. waiver for liberal arts requirements, as students who have already completed one undergraduate degree are exempt from all sector requirements, the language requirement, the writing requirement, and free electives.

As outlined in the academic regulations section (link) of this handbook, all students must complete at least 20 course units at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing to be eligible for the BSN degree.

Sample Plan of Study

The following sample Plan of Study is just one possibility for second-degree students, and individual plans depend on what prerequisites students have fulfilled prior to matriculating at Penn.  This plan may not be compatible with several academic options you might choose (e.g. study abroad, submatriculation, minors, etc).  If you are interested in pursuing any of the special academic options available to you during the course of your undergraduate experience and want to know how this will alter your plan of study, please contact your faculty advisor and/or the Office of Student Services at advisor@nursing.upenn.edu or 215-898-6687.  Please note that all plans of study are subject to curricular change.

Year #1 Summer Session  (5.0 cu)

NURS 103

NURS 159

NURS 160

NURS 165

 

Year #1Fall (5.5 cu)                                                                           Year #1 Spring (5.0 cu)

NURS 215  Nursing of Women and Infants                                  NURS 245  Nursing Care of the Adult

NURS 225  Pediatrics                                                                       NURS 255  Nursing Care of the Older Adult

NURS 235  Psych/Mental Health                                                    Health Care Ethics Course

NURS 547  Evidence-based Research                                           Health Policy Course

                                                           

Year #2 Summer Session  (2.0 cu)  

NURS 380  Community Health     

                 

Year #2 Fall (5.5 cu)                                                                                                          

NURS 390  Leadership in Complex Systems

NURS 389  Research/Inquiry Based Service Residence

Nursing Case Study

Nursing Elective

Prerequisite and Co-requisite requirements

COURSE #

TITLE

PREREQUISITE

CO-REQUISITE

TERM

Non-clinical Courses

NURS 061

Biologically-Based Chemistry

 

 

Fall

NURS 062

Cell Biology

 

 

Fall

NURS 063

Microbiology

 

 

Fall

NURS 101

The Nature of Nursing Practice

 

 

Fall

NURS 103

Psychological and Social Diversity in Health and Wellness

NURS 101, 102

 

Fall

NURS 163

Integrated Anatomy, Physiology, and Physical Assessment I

NURS 061, 062

 

Spring

NURS 164

Integrated Anatomy, Physiology, and Physical Assessment II

NURS 061, 062, 163

 

Fall

NURS 165

Integrated Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics

NURS 061, 062, 063, 163, 164

 

Spring

NURS 230

Introduction to Statistics

 

 

Fall

NURS 330

Theoretical Foundations of Health Care Ethics

 

 

Fall, Spring

NURS 334

Public Policy

 

 

Fall, Spring

NURS 355*

Case Study: Self-Care of Chronic Illness

NURS 163, 164

 

Fall

NURS 356*

Case Study: Culture of Birth

NURS 163, 164

 

Fall

NURS 358*

Case Study: Nurses and the Child Welfare System

NURS 163, 164

 

Fall

NURS 359*

Case Study: Quality Care Challenges in an Evolving Health Care Market

NURS 163, 164

 

Spring

NURS 360*

Case Study: Nursing Practice with HIV+ Patients

NURS 163, 164

 

Fall, Spring

NURS 361*

Case Study: Breast Feeding & Human Lactation

NURS 163, 164

 

Fall, Spring

NURS 364*

Case Study: Cancer

NURS 163, 164

 

Spring

NURS 365*

Case Study: Case Analysis in Clinical Nutrition

NURS 163, 164

 

Fall, Spring

NURS 367*

Case Study: Principles of Palliative Care

NURS 163, 164

 

Fall

NURS 368*

Case Study: Home Health Care

NURS 163, 164

 

Fall

NURS 389

Research/Inquiry Based Service Residency

NURS 547

 

Fall, Spring

NURS 547

Scientific Inquiry for Evidence-based Practice

NURS 230

 

Fall, Spring

Clinical Courses

NURS 102

Situating the Practice of Nursing

NURS 101

 

Spring

NURS 215

Nursing of Women and Infants

NURS 163, 164

NURS 165

Fall, Spring

NURS 225

Pediatric Nursing

NURS 163, 164, 215

NURS 235

Fall, Spring

NURS 235

Psychiatric Nursing

NURS 163, 164, 215

NURS 225

Fall, Spring

NURS 245

Nursing of Young and Middle Aged Adults

NURS 163, 164, 215

NURS 255

Fall, Spring

NURS 255

Nursing of Older Adults

NURS 163, 164, 215

NURS 245

Fall, Spring

NURS 380

Community Health

NURS 215, 225, 235, 245, 255

 

Fall, Summer

NURS 390

Leadership in Complex Systems

NURS 215, 225, 235, 245, 255, 380

 

Fall, Spring

Approved Health Policy Courses

COURSE #

TITLE

OFFERED

Nursing Courses

 

 

NURS 134

Health and Social Policy

Varies

NURS 334

Public Policy and the Nation’s Health

Fall, Spring

NURS 318 / GSWS318 / HSOC341

Race, Gender, Class and the History of American Health Care.
For Benjamin Franklin Scholars & Nursing Honors Students.

Fall

NURS 400

Advances in Health Systems Research and Analysis

Spring

NURS 540

Current Issues in Health and Social Policy

Fall, Spring, Summer

NURS 708

Public Policy Leadership in the American Public/Private System of Health Care

Spring

Non-Nursing Courses

 

 

BIOE 565

Rationing

Varies

BIOE 575 / HCMG 250 / HCMG 850

Health Policy: Health Care Reform and the Future of the American Health System

Varies

HSOC 150

American Health Policy

Varies

HCMG 101

Health Care Systems

Fall, Spring

HCMG 202 / ECON039

The Economics and Financing of Health Care Delivery

Fall, Spring

HCMG 203

Clinical Issues in Health Care Management: Doctors, Patients and Managers in Modern Society

Spring

HCMG 204 / HCMG859

Comparative Health Care Systems 

Fall

HCMG 211 / HCMG 854 / LGST 211 / LGST 811

Legal Aspects of Health Care

Fall

HCMG 213

Health Care Strategy and Management: the Business of Health Care

Fall

HCMG 215

Management and Economics of Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Medical Device Industries

Spring

HCMG 216

Health Insurance and Health Care Strategy

Spring

PSCI 010

The Comparative Politics of Health Inequalities

Fall, Spring

PUBH 580

Implementing the ACA-Obamacare: Multi-Stakeholder Perspectives

Fall

Ethics Course

COURSE #

TITLE

OFFERED

NURS 330

Healthcare Ethics

Fall, Spring

PHIL072

Biomedical Ethics

Fall, Spring, Summer

NURS 525

Ethical Aspects of Health & Technology (only for ABSN students)

Spring

Nursing Elective

All nursing courses are accepted for the nursing elective requirement.  Courses that begin with NURS are considered nursing courses.  To be considered for a nursing elective, the course may not already fulfill another requirement for your BSN degree.  To discuss which elective may be best for your individual plan of study, students should email advisor@nursing.upenn.edu.

English Writing Requirement

Students can fulfill the writing requirement in the School of Nursing by choosing one of the following:

  • A Critical Writing Seminar in a variety of disciplines such as History, English, Anthropology, Folklore, etc. (numbered WRIT 012 – 099)
  • WRIT 002 – Craft of Prose
  • WRIT 011 – Writing Seminar in Global English

A comprehensive list of writing courses can be found at:  http://www.writing.upenn.edu/critical/

Sector Requirements

Undergraduate students in the School of Nursing must take the following sector requirements to earn their degree:

  • Arts and Letters (1 c.u.)
  • Society and Social Structures (1 c.u.)
  • Histories and Traditions (1 c.u.)
  • Global and Cultural Studies (1 c.u.)
  • Reasoning, Systems, and Relationships (1 c.u.)

In addition, students are also required to take one Free Elective (1 c.u.).

Sector requirements and free electives may be taken in any order and at any time during the undergraduate experience.  More information on Sector Courses can be found here.

Language Requirements

Students must demonstrate level IV proficiency to complete the language requirement.  Due to scheduling of clinical courses in the third and fourth years, students are advised to complete the language requirement by the end of their fourth semester.

To fulfill the language requirement, or place into courses beyond the first level, students may take and submit one of the following:

  • SAT II Language Achievement.

All other incoming students will have the opportunity to take a University of Pennsylvania departmental placement exam during New Student Orientation.  Results of the placement exam will indicate the course level to be taken, or whether the student has placed out of all four levels and is exempt from the language requirement.   No credit is awarded for completion of the exam; it is used only for the purpose of evaluating language competency for course placement. 

Incoming first-year students who fulfill all four levels of the language requirement through successful completion of one of the above-mentioned tests must take either four additional language courses or four free electives (necessary to reach the 40.5 course units required for graduation).  Exception: If AP credit is awarded, the student may only need three additional language courses or free electives.

Incoming first-year students who fulfill only part of the language requirement must take the remaining language courses and free elective(s).  For example, students who place into the level III Spanish course must take two Spanish courses (levels III and IV) and two free electives to replace levels I and II.  Students who request a language course at a lower level than their placement test indicated will not get credit for that course.  Students who place out of part of one language and who do not wish to continue study in that language may begin a new language but must take all four levels/semesters.

Language courses or free electives may be taken on a pass/fail basis. 

Transfer Credit

Transfer students may be awarded transfer credit for language courses taken at their previous institution, however, a placement exam must be taken to officially determine placement or exemption from the language requirement.  Students who wish to take a language course at another institution should contact the appropriate language department before enrolling in the course in order to determine the department’s transfer credit requirement.

Choosing a Language

The list of languages offered at Penn changes slightly from year to year.  Many of the less commonly taught languages such as Vietnamese, Yoruba, Swahili, Cantonese, and Persian are offered through the College of Liberal and Professional Studies and the Penn Language Center.

You can continue with the same language you studied in high school, or you can explore other languages. The College of Arts and Sciences offers a variety of language programs. If you are planning to continue with the language you studied in high school, your chances of doing well are enhanced by beginning early. Even if you have never studied a language, it is in your best interest to fulfill the Language Requirement early in your academic career. You are advised to take all the courses you need to fulfill the requirement in consecutive semesters.

Spanish for Medical Professions

Students interested in Spanish have the option to take Spanish for Medical Professions. This course includes an emphasis on medical vocabulary and introduces students to the fundamentals of practical Spanish usage in medical situations. Listed below are the equivalent course numbers:

Elementary Spanish 110 = Spanish for the Medical Professions, Elementary I  (SPAN 115)

Elementary Spanish 120 = Spanish for the Medical Professions, Elementary II  (SPAN 125)

Intermediate Spanish 130 = Spanish for the Medical Professions, Intermediate I  (SPAN 135)

Intermediate Spanish 140 = Spanish for the Medical Professions, Intermediate II  (SPAN 145)

Exemption from the Language Requirement

Students who have a documented disability that precludes learning a second language should contact the Office of Student Disabilities Services (215-573-9235).  Staff from this office will review the necessary documentation and make recommendations to the Assistant Dean of Admissions and Academic Affairs who will formulate exemptions on a case-by-case basis.  If the exemption is granted, the student may need to fulfill four alternate course units to provide a balance between a theoretical understanding of foreign languages and cultures.

Second-Degree Students: An undergraduate degree exempts the second-degree student from the language requirement.

Bilingual Students: Can be exempt from the language requirement through successful completion of an oral and written test given by the Penn Language Center or appropriate language department. 

Language Placement

  • The determination of competency will vary from department to department and even from language group to language group in a department.  It is the student’s responsibility to learn how the requirement is satisfied in the language selected.
  • In order to receive credit for a language course at the elementary or intermediate level, all students who have previously studied the language must have a placement score. The only students exempt from having a placement score are those who have never studied the language before.
  • French and Spanish offer online placement exams:
  • Other departments offer written placement exams at the beginning of each semester.  Exams for Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Hebrew, Russian, Latin and German are written and can be taken upon arrival on campus. The schedule and location of these exams will appear on the New Student Orientation website during the preceding summer.  Students wishing to be evaluated in a modern language other than those taught by the language departments should consult the Penn Language Center: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/plc/
  • Credit will not be given for a language course taken at a lower level than a student’s placement score indicates.
  • Students who feel their placement scores do not accurately reflect their language level, or students who have other questions about their language study, should make an appointment to speak with the coordinator of their particular language program.

Language Certificate Program

Students in the School of Nursing are offered several choices to guide their study of a language other than English. In addition to completion of the School’s Foreign Language Requirement, students may choose a major or minor in a language and literature department or program, or they may choose to pursue a language certificate.  The language certificate is intended to provide an additional incentive for students who may want to continue language study beyond the requirement, but who may not be able to include in their academic program a major or minor in a language.  Students who would like to obtain a language certificate should apply to the department in which that language is offered.