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RN-BSN Curriculum

Curriculum Details


The 11 core courses included in the RN-BSN curriculum consist of 32 credit hours. You’ll receive credit for your associate degree courses and RN license, reducing the amount of time and money it takes to earn your BSN. The CCNE-accredited program provides flexible entry through partnerships with local associate degree programs.

No in-person practicum is required. Students complete a research project instead of field hours so all work can be completed 100% online. In our program, you’ll build on your existing knowledge so you can improve patient outcomes. Almost half of RN-BSN students at Highlands University pursue advanced degrees in nursing after graduation.

*Nursing students who have earned an RN from a New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium (NMNEC) partner school may transfer up to nine required NMNEC-approved nursing credits into the NMHU RN-BSN program.

Core Course Requirements


This course brings together knowledge, and concepts, that are basic to nursing curriculum: Critical thinking, problem solving, and the spirit of inquiry. Nursing literature will be discussed regarding the reasons for completing the BSN program for nurses. Nursing scholarly writing, APA formatting, electronic reference databases and literature review are discussed to assist the student with developing professional writing skills. The course highlights how to use the NMHU learning management system for nursing courses, and other computer skills needed for this curriculum. Student expectations in the RN-BSN program are presented. This course must be taken first.

This course focuses on expanding the basic health assessment skills necessary for critical thinking in professional nursing. Emphasis is on identification of normal findings, with developmental and cultural variations. The course is designed to assist the student to differentiate between normal and abnormal findings, as well as furthering the development of the students’ assessment skills. Lab practice of assessment skills will be included within this course.

This course focuses on the role of the importance of information systems and technology to nursing practice, education, research, and administration. Students will understand the importance of becoming knowledge workers, and develop skills for information literacy. The emphasis of the course is to provide the student with the expertise and knowledge to function effectively in the modern health care information technology environment.

This course focuses on nursing practice foundations for continuing development of the student’s knowledge essential for functioning in a rapidly changing health care system. Content includes professional issues, quality improvement, safe practice, interdisciplinary collaboration, and influences of socio-cultural-political-economic factors on health care delivery systems.

This course explores the role of the nurse practicing in culturally diverse health care delivery systems. Students will learn how to increase their skills in providing culturally competent care for patients across the lifespan. Skills needed to work collaboratively with health care workers from diverse backgrounds will also be emphasized.

This course teaches skills to increase the student’s sense on inquiry essential to evidence based practice in nursing. Skills will be taught in scholarly literature search, and the process of evaluating material for the application in the clinical setting to obtain better patient care outcomes.

This theory course focuses on the knowledge needed for community/public health nursing practice. Concepts presented discuss the nursing care of families, groups and communities with an emphasis on community assessment, health promotion, risk reduction, disease prevention and health maintenance. Special emphasis will focus on community health nursing in diverse cultures and rural communities.

This course is designed to introduce students to health policy, and the regulatory environment for health care. Health care policies that directly or indirectly influence nursing practice as well as the functioning of the healthcare system will be presented. Discussion about how healthcare policy shapes the quality and safety of the practice environment and healthcare provided in different practice settings. Explanation of how the regulatory agencies define the boundaries of nursing practice and the role of these agencies will be identified.

This course provides clinical experience in community and public health nursing focusing on the application of community health nursing principles for the care of families, groups and communities. Clinical experiences will have an emphasis on community assessment, health promotion, risk reduction, disease prevention and health maintenance. Special emphasis will focus on community health nursing in diverse cultures and rural communities.

This course focuses on leadership and management principles and functions essential to the practice of professional nursing. Political, social, cultural, legal and ethical issues are explored from a leader’s viewpoint. Nursing leaders from diverse health care settings will be studied to determine their influence on the nursing profession.

This clinical course facilitates the application of the leadership and management principles from course NURS 4510 through leadership projects and activities with health care settings in the community.

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