Online courses for working nurses!
Advance your degree… Advance your career!
Today’s nurses practice in a complex and dynamic health care environment that demands new roles, new knowledge and new leadership models. Baccalaureate prepared nurses have expanded employment options, greater professional knowledge, increased job satisfaction, more autonomy and higher earning potential.
Recognizing the complex challenges facing nurses today, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), and the American Nurses’ Association (ANA) recommend a baccalaureate degree for professional nursing practice.
Furthermore, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Future of Nursing Report calls for increasing the percentage of nurses holding a BSN degree or higher to 80% by 2020.
The RN to BS Program offers Registered Nurses access to UVM’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program while living at home. The UVM RN-BS Program has been in existence for over twenty years with a distance-learning option available since 2004.
The RN to BS Program is a partnership between the Department of Nursing and Continuing Education at UVM.
The program is designed for working nurses. Eight of the nine nursing courses are offered online. One course, PRNU 113 Health Assessment, is offered on-campus in UVM’s state-of-the-art simulation laboratory as a one-week summer intensive course. Nursing courses are offered one per semester including summer session.
Most RNs complete the program in three years, although a five-year option is also available.
Program features include:
- Online core nursing courses – curriculum designed for working nurses
- An intensive, face-to-face physical assessment course offered on-campus in the summer
- Articulation agreements with Vermont Technical College, Castleton State College and Greenfield Community College that assure easy transition from an ADN program to UVM
- Easy transfer of non-nursing courses taken at other colleges in the Vermont State College System and beyond
- Non-nursing requirements may be taken at UVM or any accredited institution – these may be online or live courses, depending on institutional offerings and student’s choice
- Clinical experiences in students’ local area
- Special tuition rates available through contractual agreements with hospitals and other employers
- Individualized academic advising
Required UVM Core Nursing Courses
- PRNU 60 – Transition to Contemporary Professional Nursing (online, 3 credits)
- PRNU 111 – Research in Nursing (online, 3 credits)
- PRNU 113 – Health Assessment (one-week intensive, campus-based, 3 credits)
- PRNU 241 – Public Health Nursing (online + clinical, 6 credits)
- PRNU 263 – Professional Nursing Practice and Social Justice (online, 3 credits)
- PRNU 265 – Introduction to Health Care Finance and Policy (online, 3 credits)
- PRNU 266 – Theories for Nursing Practice (online, 3 credits)
- Additional NURS/HLTH courses (2 online, 3 credit courses)
- Typically HLTH 105 – Cultural Health Care (online, 3 credits) and
- NURS 120 – Pathophysiology (online, 3 credits)
TOTAL: 30 credits
Required Non-Nursing Courses (may be transferred from prior programs and schools or taken concurrently)
- Quantitative Sciences (18 credits – see list below)
- Statistics 111 or 141 (3 credits)
- Psychology (3 credits)
- Sociology (3 credits)
- English (3 credits)
- Philosophy, religion, or ethics (3 credits)
- Human Development (3 credits)
- Environmental science/studies (3 credits)
- General electives (18 credits)
- Diversity/race relations (3 credits D1 designation and 3 credits D2 designation – may be met by courses also meeting other degree requirements.*)
TOTAL: 57 credits
Nursing credits granted for completion of the NCLEX-RN and holding active RN licensure:
TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS: 121
*The D2 requirement is met by one of the required core nursing courses; students must fulfill the D1 requirement through one of the required non-nursing courses. The non-nursing course meeting the D1 requirement may also count towards another non-nursing requirement, e.g. sociology or a general elective.
PRNU 060 – Transition to Contemporary Professional Nursing (ONLINE, 3 credits)
This course bridges students into the RN-BS program. An emphasis is placed on nursing theory, holistic nursing practice, and contemporary issues in nursing and ethical decision-making.
PRNU 111 – Research in Nursing (ONLINE, 3 credits)
Provides an introduction to nursing research and its relationship to nursing theory and practice. Knowledge and skills essential for the critique and utilization of nursing research are presented.
PRNU 113 – Health Assessment (HYBRID intensive, 5 days on campus in addition to online material, 3 credits)
Through classroom and laboratory experiences, students learn to holistically assess and differentiate healthy from at-risk or altered findings of clients in a variety of settings.
HLTH 105 – D2:Cultural Health Care (ONLINE, 3 credits)
Examines the principles and theories of culture in health care with an overall goal to understand how health care is contextualized by and through culture.
PRNU 241 – Public Health Nursing (ONLINE + clinical, 6 credits)
Focus on population health and community partnerships. Students provide care to a defined community and work in collaboration with professionals in a variety of settings.
PRNU 263 – Professional Nursing Practice & Social Justice (ONLINE, 3 credits)
Course will focus on social justice for individuals, families, and groups recognized as marginalized within our society.
NURS 120 – Pathophysiology (ONLINE, 3 credits)
This course is designed to provide the student with a comprehensive foundation in pathophysiology. The phenomena that result in dysfunction in human physiologic response will be examined.
PRNU 265 – Introduction to Health Care Finance & Policy (ONLINE, 3 credits)
This survey course provides an overview of US health care organization, structure, policies, and financing, inclusive of selected international comparisons.
PRNU 266 – Theories for Nursing Practice (ONLINE, 3 credits)
This course is a survey and introduction to the theories and concepts that undergird nursing practice, with an emphasis on middle range theories originating both within and outside of nursing, and selected grand theories of nursing.
One nursing course is offered each semester for nine consecutive semesters, summers included, allowing working nurses to complete their degree in three years. All courses are offered on-line except PRNU 113 which is offered as an on-campus one-week intensive course. Dormitory housing available. Opportunities for accelerated coursework may be available on an individual basis… contact your advisor.
Note: All course scheduling and planning should be discussed with a faculty advisor on an individual basis to ensure degree requirements are met. Courses and sequencing may be subject to change, depending on faculty availability and curricular needs, as determined by the Department of Nursing and College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
Most meet degree requirements over three years, as follows.
Important: Unless a nurse does not work full time, we do not advise taking more than six credits per semester.
3 Year Curriculum
2 Year Curriculum (assumes student has already met many of the non-nursing requirements or is not working full time)
Tuition rates for the academic year are published online each semester. Follow the link for the “Continuing Education Cost of Attendance” on the Student Financial Services website. These tuition rates apply to the courses offered in RN to BS Program. Residency for tuition purposes information can be found online on the registrar’s web site.
Special tuition rates are available through contractual agreements with hospitals and other employers.
Are all of the courses online?
Eight of the nine core nursing courses are online. One course, Health Assessment, is offered as an intensive, one-week summer course, taught at the main Burlington campus in UVM’s state-of-the-art simulation laboratory. Dormitory housing and parking are available for this week.
What about the non-nursing courses?
UVM offers many courses online; which courses are offered online depends on the departments in which they are taught. Per UVM policy, 30 of the last 45 credits towards the degree must be taken at UVM. Once matriculated in the program students may take up to 15 credits at institutions outside UVM.
Are there any clinicals?
Graduates of associate degree nursing programs have already had most of the clinicals required for a baccalaureate degree. The only clinical not typically covered in associate degree programs is public health nursing. Public health nursing in the RN to BS program has a didactic class, which is taught online, and required clinical hours. Students in the program work with course faculty to locate clinical sites that will be convenient for wherever they live.
Intensive, faculty-led, travel-based versions of this course are also available. These travel courses are taught during the January winter session and spring semester. Students may apply to study public health nursing in either Uganda or Bangladesh. Additional airfare and program fees apply.
How long does it take to complete the degree?
Most nurses complete the program in 3 years, taking one core nursing course and one general education course per semester. Most nurses take one nursing course per semester including summer sessions.
Will I get credit for courses I have taken previously?
Yes, accepted students are granted 34 nursing credits for having passed the NCLEX-RN and holding an active RN license. Additionally, you can transfer non-nursing credits from previously completed courses credits from other colleges. A minimum grade of C is required for a course to transfer and all transfer credits must be approved by the Office of Transfer Affairs.
How much does tuition cost?
Information on UVM tuition and fees can be found on the UVM website at: http://www.uvm.edu/~stdfinsv/?Page=undergrad-tuition.html&SM=tuitionsubmenu.html
Can I get financial aid?
There are many avenues for paying for the program, which ones will work best for you depend on your employer, how many credits you take, and other individual factors. If you are eligible for financial aid UVM Student Financial Services can give you further information and assistance at (802) 656-5700.
Can I start in the spring semester?
The core nursing sequence must be started in the fall semester. You can take required non-nursing courses in the spring and summer semesters prior to admission. We’re happy to look over transcripts and suggest courses you could take in advance.
How do I apply?
Instructions and application links can be found on the program website under “admissions process” at: http://learn.uvm.edu/health-3/rn-to-bs/application-process/
If you have any questions please contact:
Margaret Aitken, MS, APRN
Who is Eligible?
- Currently licensed as an RN or eligible to take the NCLEX-RN
- Cumulative GPA of 2.5
- Meets UVM’s general admission criteria
* Enrollment and continuation in the program will be contingent upon successful completion of the NCLEX-RN
* RN license must be kept active while enrolled in the RN to BS Program.
Apply online using the Common Application available through UVM Admissions. Apply now for Fall 2014. Admission decisions are made January 1, 2014 through August 1, 2014.
- Application instructions for those new to UVM – NOT previously UVM degree students>>
- Application instructions for former UVM degree students>>
Today’s nurses practice in a complex and dynamic health care environment that demands new roles, new knowledge and new leadership models. Baccalaureate prepared nurses have expanded employment options, greater professional knowledge, increased job satisfaction, more autonomy and higher earning potential. Currently, only 37 percent of nurses practicing in Vermont hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing.
Why a BS in Nursing?
Patient safety: According to a study published in the September 2003 Journal of the American Medical Association, a higher proportion of B.S.-prepared nurses in the hospital setting is associated with decreases in post-surgical patient morbidity. A more recent study, published in the January 2007 issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing, supports the findings that increasing the number of B.S.-prepared nurses at the bedside results in better patient outcomes.
Flexibility in staffing: Nurses with B.S. degrees can move more easily within agencies to deal with complex health care issues in a variety of specialties and settings. They also have the skills to work independently and as supervisors and managers.
Job satisfaction: In a study published in the June 2005 issue of The Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Dr. Betty Rambur and co-investigators found that nurses prepared at the baccalaureate level were significantly more satisfied than associate-degree-prepared nurses in terms of opportunity for autonomy and growth, physical demands, and job and organizational security. They also experienced less job stress.
Potential cost savings: According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), nurses with baccalaureate degrees have knowledge in health promotion and disease prevention, which can lead to more cost-effective, coordinated health care.
Professional advancement: Nurses are members of an interdisciplinary health care team in which the doctoral degree is entry level for M.D.s, physical therapists and pharmacists and the master’s degree is entry level for occupational therapy..