BSN Program Curriculum & Clinicals

3-Year BSN Curriculum

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program incorporates liberal arts and nursing coursework in a program that provides the education and skills necessary for a lifetime of personal and professional growth. The liberal arts component of the curriculum provides the student with a liberal arts foundation. This is accomplished through academic experiences that provide the skills needed for advanced studies and lifelong learning. The first year of the program emphasizes liberal arts and prepares the student for the nursing major.

BSN Degree Program Curriculum Plan (PDF)

The nursing curriculum prepares the graduate for the practice of professional nursing. This is accomplished through an integration of theoretical  knowledge, psychomotor skill acquisition, and development of clinical judgment/reasoning. The curriculum integrates professional, ethical and legal standards with decision-making, problem solving, and  leadership  development.  The curriculum is designed to promote life-long learning among the graduates.

For many students, the first year of the program focuses on liberal arts and sciences.  However given individual transferred course work, program plans vary.  The majority of nursing coursework occurs in the second and third years. Significant clinical practice and SimCare Center hours are planned throughout the degree program to allow the student apply content and concepts learned.  The combination of classroom, clinical, and SimCare Center experiences promotes safe, high-quality, competent, and compassionate nursing practice. Students' clinical experiences occur in a variety of healthcare settings, including acute- and long-term care facilities, as well as in ambulatory and community settings.

The BSN degree program consists of a minimum of 129 credit hours: 60 credit hours in liberal arts and sciences and 69 credit hours in the nursing major.

The registered nurse with an associate degree or diploma may earn the BSN degree via online instruction. The online option allows the registered nurse student to complete the BSN degree in three semesters within an educational format designed for adult learners. Advantages include the convenience of scheduling, a focus on core content readily applicable to professional settings, and interaction with peers who share many similar professional experiences and values.

The Clinical Experience

Hands-on experience in both the Chamberlain SIMCare Center™ and the on-site clinical setting allow nursing students to work side-by-side with faculty, mentors, peers, and experienced professional nurses as they refine their direct patient-care nursing skills. These skills include technical proficiency, as well as those determined by the National Student Nurses’ Association as necessary for practicing professional nursing. These skills require an eagerness to learn, determination, confidence, acceptance, caring, and “unbiased compassion for all” (NSNA, 2008).

Students who actively assume responsibility for their own clinical learning get much more out of clinical rotations than those who just passively observe. Accepting accountability for their academic and practical responsibilities, good mental and physical health, stamina and endurance, and the development of a sense of humor are all keys to success throughout your clinical rotations. In a clinical setting, patient census and care needs constantly change. Students must maintain a flexible attitude as clinical assignments change in order to maximize their learning experience. This is good practice for the role of a professional nurse.

Clinical FAQs

What are the Competencies and Functional Abilities?

Chamberlain College of Nursing recognizes that nursing is an intellectually, mentally, and physically demanding profession. Students seeking admission should be aware that all graduates are expected to assimilate basic competencies and abilities throughout their education with or without reasonable accommodation.

When do I participate in clinicals?

Regardless of whether a student is enrolled in the associate- or bachelor-level nursing program, all students begin their hands-on learning in high technology SIMCare™ Centers located on each campus. Once fundamental skills have been mastered and validated, students begin on-site, direct patient-care learning opportunities, or “clinicals”. Generally, clinicals last for the duration of the clinical course. Clinical shifts average six to eight hours, one to two days per week. Most clinicals are scheduled during the week. However, second shift and weekends may be possible. The associate degree program has a total of eight clinical courses. The bachelor degree program has a total of nine. Initial clinical courses provide students their first opportunities to interact directly with professional nurses, their patients and patient families, providing immediate reinforcement of assessment and other skills learned in the lab.

From there, nursing students in both degree programs will develop a mastery of medical/surgical nursing concepts and skills and experience two levels of adult health, with focuses on health promotion and the management of conditions that require acute and chronic care. All students experience both observational and hands-on learning in mental health, maternal-child also called “obstetrics”, and pediatric nursing.

The final associate degree program clinical rotations relate to multi-system alterations in adult patients, including complex interactions among various body systems and their implications for nursing care. There is also an advanced medical/surgical opportunity that explores acute and chronic complications, as well as patient and family discharge education. These experiences could occur in intensive-care units, acute-care units, and/or emergency departments/rooms.

Bachelor degree students experience two unique clinical-based courses: community health and collaborative healthcare, sometimes referred to as management or leadership. Community health clinical experiences occur within a community, where students, assigned to a mentor or preceptor, experience one-to-one or very small group settings in which health promotion or community-based healthcare is delivered. The collaborative healthcare clinical experience promotes critical thinking, patient care planning, delegation, relationships building, and confidence. This clinical usually takes place in an acute-care setting with an assigned mentor or preceptor.

Where will I complete clinical experiences?

Professional and proficient nursing doesn’t just occur in hospitals and neither should a nursing student’s clinical experiences. Chamberlain College of Nursing students may have opportunities to experience practice settings that include large and small hospitals, long-term care facilities, community and public-health agencies, faith-based service organizations, independent practices, ambulatory care centers, public health agencies, military services (Army, Navy, and Air Force), Veteran’s Administration Medical Centers, schools, home health environments… anywhere healthcare is delivered. Students also may participate in service-based learning in other countries via international nursing service project opportunities.

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Classes start January 5, 2015.