The baccalaureate program for registered nurses (RN-BSN program) prepares registered nurses for leadership roles in a variety of healthcare settings. The curriculum provides an academic background which serves as the basis for graduate education and continued personal and professional growth. The program builds from a liberal arts foundation, integrating nursing knowledge with the humanities, and behavioral and social sciences. Registered nurses who choose to complete the baccalaureate degree are prepared for career advancement in the clinical setting of their choice. Course content in research, leadership and management, and community health nursing introduces students to leadership and management roles and nursing positions in the community. Graduates are prepared to make an impact on the current and future healthcare of society.

The RN-BSN program is offered in a 12-month full-time or 24-month part-time online format. All courses are offered in a web-based format via the Internet. Classes are taken every eight weeks.

The RN-BSN program requires 13 credit hours in free electives/transfer credits/portfolio 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.  The portfolio, outlined below, is a great way to earn credit for what you already know!

Student Learning Outcomes

USF faculty have prepared program goals that flow from the conceptual threads of the BSN program. By the time you graduate, you will be prepared to practice as a nurse generalist 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 Portfolio

A portfolio is a collection of narratives and written documentation that demonstrates the extent of the student’s knowledge and experience to earn college credit. The portfolio is a commonly accepted method used to evaluate prior learning among thousands of schools nationwide.

Once you have been accepted into an online undergraduate program, you may start the portfolio if required per your transcript evaluation, and it must be 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 such as professional development activities (conferences, continuing education activities, specialty certifications) and work or life experiences. It’s only $75 per credit, making it even more affordable. An example portfolio is available for download.

The Portfolio Handbook is also available for additional information.

Clinical Requirements

  • Students are required to obtain qualified RN preceptors for various clinical experiences.
  • Students are responsible for submitting documentation of preceptor credentials and contact information to appropriate nursing faculty.
  • Times and days for clinical hours are negotiated between the student and the clinical preceptor.
  • Clinical experiences must be completed in the state in which the student is licensed.
  • Clinical requirements as set by the Department of Nursing and clinical agencies must be met including, but not limited to, criminal background checks and drug testing.

Download Clinical Guidelines

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Heather Zloch

Email: hzloch@sf.edu
Phone: 855.873.2527 or 260.222.6090