Nursing (BSN)

The Northwestern College Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is designed for students who are interested in practicing as a professional nurse. A cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.70 is required for admission, progression and graduation from the BSN program. The BSN program is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing.

The mission of the department of nursing is to promote shalom (health, wholeness and peace from a biblical perspective), hope and healing by developing practitioners who are committed to continuing Jesus’ healing ministry and who advocate for social justice, healthy environments and healthy communities. It is based on a biblical framework of health and healing as described in Matthew 25:35-40, by other accounts of Jesus’ healing ministry and supported by other scholarly works. This mission is accomplished through collaborative partnerships with colleagues, other educational organizations, health care facilities, social and faith-related organizations, and the larger community. This mission is lived primarily, but not exclusively, in educating bachelors-prepared nurses within a Christian academic community and by accomplishing the following purposes:

  1. Facilitating personal, interpersonal and professional development

  2. Preparing nurses who are committed to Jesus’ healing ministry as they promote, restore and maintain the holistic health of persons in a variety of settings

  3. Developing nurses grounded in a Christian worldview and ethic, who serve as servant leaders as they advocate for local, national and global health policies and practices that promote shalom for the public

  4. Promoting critical thinking and the development, integration and evaluation of new or expanded knowledge into practice

  5. Providing a foundation for life-long learning and graduate education in nursing

The philosophical underpinnings of the nursing department are rooted in a theology of nursing as a healing ministry, human science and performing art including the concepts of person, environment and health.

Nursing department homepage

RN to BSN degree completion information

Requirements

NUR 160 - Nursing: Discerning Your Vocation
Based on a Christian worldview, this course considers dimensions of nursing specifically related to nursing as a healing ministry, human science, and performing art. This exploration includes a historic, current and future perspective. Students reflect on their call to nursing and develop a success plan for completing their major. Current societal, health-related and professional issues are also explored. Learning experiences include lecture and directed discussion, journaling, interviews, guest lectures, multimedia learning technology and library research. (1 credit)
NUR 220 - Nursing and Shalom
Based on a Christian worldview, this course investigates the theoretical, scientific and ethical foundation of nursing as a human science, performing art and healing ministry specifically as an approach to promote shalom (health, peace and wholeness from a Biblical perspective) and social justice. The program's mission, philosophy, conceptual framework and program outcomes are examined. Service-learning experiences, faith reflection and the creation of an electronic portfolio are integrated in meeting course objectives. Prerequisite: Admission to the BSN program. Concurrent requisite: NUR 260. (2 credits)
NUR 260 - Fundamentals of Nursing
Based on a Christian worldview and the framework of nursing as a healing ministry, human science and performing art, this course provides the foundation for application of the nursing process with diverse pediatric and adult clients in acute and chronic illness. On-campus laboratory precedes clinical experiences and as a means to promote shalom. These experiences provide opportunity to develop knowledge and beginning nursing aptitudes in intervening with the care of individual clients across the lifespan. Prerequisites: Admission to the BSN program and BTS 150. Concurrent requisites: NUR 220, BIO 203, and PHI 214BR. (3 credits, 2:1) A fee is associated with this course.
NUR 280 - Lifespan Health Assessment
Based on a Christian worldview, this course provides an opportunity for students to develop their understanding and use of the nursing process, with a focus on the relationship development and assessment phases. Informed by a Christian world view, emphasis is placed on performing holistic assessment of pediatric and adult clients including the physiological, psychological, sociocultural, spiritual and moral/ethical dimensions. Laboratory practice precedes clinical application in a variety of health care and community settings. In the clinical component, students develop aptitudes in relationship development and holistic assessment of pediatric and adult individual clients to develop clinical judgment and promote shalom. Prerequisite: NUR220 and NUR260. Concurrent requisite: NUR290. (3 credits, 2:1)
NUR 290 - Geriatric Nursing
Based on a Christian worldview, this course explores multidimensional aging processes and the holistic health experience of older individuals from the perspective of a Christian worldview. Emphasis is placed on nursing as a healing ministry, human science and performing art to promote shalom with older adults. Application of the nursing process in health promotion and care of common geriatric care concerns is accentuated. Service- earning experiences, faith reflection, and literature and the arts are integrated as strategies to more fully understand (a) the experience of older adults with diverse backgrounds, and (b) personal values, attitudes, practices and ethics, as well as those evident in government policies, community planning and the health care and social service delivery system. The clinical component provides an opportunity for nursing practice in community-based and acute care settings with older adults, assisting students to integrate knowledge, aptitudes and compassionate care in health promotion, restoration and maintenance, and living the three nursing practice dimensions (illuminating meaning, synchronizing rhythms and participating in transcendence). Prerequisites: NUR 220, NUR 260, and BIO 203. Concurrent requisite: NUR 280. (3 credits, 2:1)
NUR 320 - Medical/Surgical Nursing
(6 credits, 4:2)Based on a Christian worldview, this course examines the theoretical, scientific and ethical basis for the application of the nursing process with diverse clients in their experience of health and illness across the lifespan. Emphasis is placed on nursing as a human science, performing art and healing ministry to promote shalom with children and adults. The clinical component provides an opportunity for nursing practice in acute care and selected community-based settings, assisting students to integrate k nowledge, aptitudes and Christ-like compassion in all levels of prevention, with a focus on health restoration and in living the three practice dimensions. Prerequisites: NUR220, 260, 280, 290, BIO320 and PSY225. Concurrent requisite: BIO360. A fee is associated with this course.
NUR 350A - Cross-Cultural Nursing
Based on a Christian worldview, this 1-credit seminar examines transcultural nursing theory from a theoretical, scientific and ethical perspective, dimensions of global health care and social justice. Emphasis is placed on cultural values, beliefs, norms and practices and their influence on the lived experience of health and illness. Within a context that honors nursing as a human science, performing art and healing ministry to promote shalom with diverse clients in acute care and/or community-based settings, the course provides students opportunities to explore another culture and the nursing and health care delivery system. Learning experiences include faith and program outcome reflections. Prerequisite: Admission to the BSN program or NUR310A. (1 credit)
NUR 360 - Maternal/Newborn Nursing
Based on a Christian worldview, this course examines the theoretical, scientific and ethical basis for the application of the nursing process with diverse normal and high-risk childbearing families. Emphasis is placed on nursing as a human science, performing art and healing ministry to promote shalom with parents and children. The clinical component provides an opportunity for nursing practice in acute care and selected community-based settings, assisting students to integrate knowledge, aptitudes and compassionate care in health promotion and restoration activities and in living the three nursing practice dimensions. Learning experiences include service-learning, faith reflection, laboratory practicum and clinical experiences. Prerequisite: NUR320. Concurrent requisites: NUR380. (3 credits, 2:1) A fee is associated with this course.
NUR 380 - Mental Health Nursing
(3 credits 2:1)Based on a Christian worldview, this course examines the theoretical, scientific and ethical basis for the application of the nursing process in promoting shalom with diverse individuals across the lifespan who are experiencing mental illness. Emphasis is placed on nursing as a healing ministry, human science and performing art to promote shalom with pediatric and adult mental health clients in acute and community- based settings. The person is considered from a holistic perspective and application of the nursing process utilizing all levels of prevention is emphasized, with a focus on the therapeutic use of self, health restoration and maintenance. The clinical component provides an opportunity for mental health nursing practice in institutional and sele cted community-based settings, assisting students to integrate knowledge, aptitudes and compassionate care in living the three nursing practice dimensions. Prerequisites: NUR320 and PSY360. Concurrent requisites: NUR360. A fee is associated with this course.
NUR 420 - Nursing Research and Informatics
Based on a Christian worldview, this course examines the epistemological (theoretical, scientific and ethical) foundation of nursing as a human science, specifically as an approach to promote shalom and social justice. It surveys the types, methods and uses of research and informatics to enhance client outcomes and to deliver holistic nursing care for all clients and at all levels of prevention. The course emphasizes the knowledge and aptitudes needed by professional nurses to manage and utilize health care information and related technologies, critically evaluate research studies and integrate evidence in all phases of the nursing process. In the practicum, students analyze a variety of health care technologies and present an evidence-based practice project. Prerequisites: Nursing major with senior class standing, KIN370, MAT208QR and SOC101SS. Concurrent requisite: NUR440. (3 credits, 2:1)
NUR 430 - Pediatric Nursing
Based on a Christian worldview, this course examines the theoretical, scientific and ethical basis for the application of the nursing process with diverse normal and higher-risk children and their families. Emphasis is placed on nursing as a human science, performing art and healing ministry to promote shalom with children and their families. The content builds upon the child and adolescent content in NUR280 Lifespan Health Assessment, NUR360 Promoting Shalom with Childbearing Families and NUR380 Promoting Shalom and Mental Health. Learning experiences include service-learning, case studies and faith reflection. Related clinical experiences are integrated throughout the nursing course sequence and provide an opportunity for nursing practice in acute care and selected community-based settings, assisting students to integrate knowledge, aptitudes and compassionate care in health promotion and restoration activities and in living the three nursing practice dimensions. Prerequisites: NUR350A, 360 and 380. Concurrent requisites: NUR420 and 440. (2 credits) A fee is associated with this course.
NUR 440 - Public/Community Health Nursing
(3 credits 3:2)Based on a Christian worldview, this course examines the theoretical and scientific basis for the application of the nursing process with diverse families and groups in the community. All levels of prevention are considered, focusing on health promotion a nd maintenance. Grounded in a synthesis of public health and nursing science and arts, the course emphasizes nursing as a healing ministry, human science and performing art to promote shalom and enhance the health of the population as a whole. The clinica l component provides an opportunity for nursing practice in the community, assisting students to integrate knowledge, aptitudes and compassionate care in living the three nursing practice dimensions with families and groups. Learning experiences include s ervice-learning, faith reflection and clinical experiences. This course is 1 of 2 speech intensive nursing courses. Prerequisites: Nursing major with senior class standing, ENG184/288, KIN370, NUR350 and SOC101. Concurrent requisite: NUR420. (5 credits, 3 :2) A fee is associated with this course.
NUR 460WI - Nursing Leadership
Based on a Christian worldview, this course explores the leadership, management, role development and clinical scholarship dimensions of professional nursing practice, with a distinctive emphasis on promoting shalom, servant leadership, social justice and sociopolitical change. Students will analyze the health care system at a microsystem, macrosystem and chronosystem level, focusing on national health care but also exploring global health issues. Foundational to this exploration is an analysis of the relationship of personal, professional and organizational values and ethics to health care leadership roles and activities. Clinical scholarship is emphasized as a moral duty of Christian nurses committed to continuing Jesus' healing ministry. The practicum component provides an opportunity for students to observe (a) the role played by a nurse servant leader and (b) engage in a leadership project as a basis for clinical scholarship. Learning experiences include service-learning, faith reflection and practicum experiences. Prerequisites: NUR420, NUR430 and NUR440. Concurrent prerequisites: NUR480 and NUR490. (4 credits, 3:1) (Writing intensive)
NUR 480 - Critical Care Nursing
Based on a Christian worldview, this course expands the theoretical, scientific and ethical basis for the application of the nursing process with diverse clients who experience complex health problems across the lifespan. Emphasis is placed on nursing as a healing ministry, human science and performing art to promote shalom with children and adults in acute care and community-based settings experiencing life-altering illness. The clinical component, which includes a 120-hour preceptorship, provides opportunity for (a) beginning-level professional nursing practice in acute care and selected community-based settings, (b) the integration of knowledge from nursing and related disciplines in clinical decision-making, (c) enhancing aptitudes in all levels of prevention, but with a focus on health restoration, and (d) practicing compassionate care in living the three practice dimensions. Prerequisites: NUR 420, NUR 430, and NUR 440. Concurrent requisites: NUR 460WI and NUR 490SR. (5 credits, 2:3) A fee is associated with this course.
NUR 490SR - Living Shalom
Based on a Christian worldview, this course explores finding one's place in God's kingdom for now and eternity, living vocation, integrating values and ethics in personal and professional realms and living shalom. Within this capstone seminar, students assess their knowledge and aptitudes related to the program outcomes and integrate them in their philosophy of Christian nursing. Supported by a vocation-based philosophy, the course also prepares graduating seniors to live their vocation, write the NCLEX-RN examination, secure their first professional nursing position and practice in their first nursing position. Prerequisites: NUR 420, NUR 430, and NUR 440. Concurrent requisites: NUR 460WI and NUR 480. (2 credits)

Cognate requirements

BIO 121 - Introduction to Human Anatomy
An introduction to the anatomical structures of the human body. The focus of the course will be on structures of: cells, tissues, organs and organ systems. The systems studied will include (but not necessarily limited to) integument, bone, skeletal system (including joints), muscle, cardiovascular, nervous, lymphatic, endocrine, respiratory, renal, reproductive and gastrointestinal.Concurrent requisite: CHE101 or 111.(4 credits)
BIO 122 - Introduction to Human Physiology
An introduction to the physiology of the human body. The focus of the course will be on homeostasis and the function of: biomolecules, cells and tissues, organs and organ systems. The contribution of each of the following organ systems to physiologic homeostasis will be examined: nervous, muscle, cardiovascular, endocrine, respiratory, renal, reproductive and gastrointestinal. Prerequisite: CHE101 or 111; Concurrent requisite: CHE102 or 112. (4 credits)
BIO 203 - Microbiology
A study of the morphology and physiology of microorganisms with special emphasis on bacteria and viruses. Those organisms that have an economic or medical importance will be highlighted, and basic laboratory techniques will be stressed.Prerequisites: BIO115, 116 and CHE101, 102 or CHE111, 112.(4 credits)
BIO 320 - Pharmacology
A survey of the pharmacologic basis of therapeutics beginning with an introduction to the principles of pharmacology. This is followed by a survey of the more important drugs used in medicine with emphasis on mechanism of action, clinical use, and adverse effects. Prerequisites: BIO222 and CHE101, 102 or CHE111, 112. (4 credits)
BIO 360 - Pathophysiology
An introduction to the pathophysiology associated with the disease states of the human body. The focus of the course will be on disruptions in homeostasis as the result of organ system malfunction or failure. The pathophysiology associated with the following systems will be examined: blood, cells and cell growth, nervous, muscle, cardiovascular, endocrine, respiratory, renal, reproductive and gastrointestinal. Prerequisites: BIO122 or 222 and CHE102 or 112. (4 credits)
CHE 108SN - General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry
General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry (GOB) is a one-semester survey of inorganic, organic, and biological principles. Topics include atomic and molecular structure, chemical reactions, organic and biological molecules, solutions, acid-based chemistry, and metabolism. The treatment of topics is predominantly descriptive and the course is recommended for programs that require one semester of chemistry. This course does not count toward a chemistry major or minor, nor does it count toward the biology cognate requirements. This course is offered concurrently online and on-campus. The online course includes online lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week; it is only open to RN-BSN students. The on-campus course includes three lecture periods and one three-hour laboratory per week and is open to students who are in a pre-nursing cohort. (4 credits) (NWCore option under Science and the Natural World) Note: Students with math ACT scores below 19 are strongly encouraged to take Basic Algebra prior to enrolling in this course.
KIN 370 - Nutrition for Health Care Professions
The study of the fundamental principles of normal nutrition and the importance of nutrition in promoting growth and health. Emphasis will be given to the basic food constituents and their physiological relationships within the body. Consideration will also be given to family and community needs across the lifespan.Prerequisites: CHE101/102 or CHE111/112, BIO121/122 or BIO221/222.(3 credits)
MAT 208QR - Biostatistics
(4 credits)(NWCore option under Quantitative Reasoning) This course is a study of statistical methodology commonly used in the biological and health sciences. We will start with examining basic descriptive methods in statistics. We will then introduce the foundational concepts in probability. After these topics are explored, we will spend the remainder of the course looking at the uses and interpretation of statistics. Topics will include confidence intervals and hypothesis tests involving one or two samples, correlation and regression, contingency tables, and ANOVA. Note: Meets four times per week. Students may receive credit for only one course among MAT 116QR, MAT 117QR and MAT 208QR. Prerequisite: C- or better in MAT090, an ACT math score of 20 or above (SAT 510 or above), or a passing score on MAT090 placement exam.
PHI 214BR - Contemporary Moral Issues
(4 credits)(NWCore option under Belief and Reason) A philosophical exploration of several contemporary moral issues. Possible topics include abortion, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, cloning and stem-cell research, war and terrorism, capital punishment, global poverty, factory farming and experimenting on animals, homosexuality and same-sex marriage, etc.
PSY 221SS - Developmental Psychology: Childhood
(4 credits)(IGE option under Self and Society) This course explores the development of the child from the prenatal period into adolescence. Children's physical, cognitive, emotional, personality, social, moral and faith development is examined. Psychological research methods for studying children are covered.
PSY 225 - Developmental Psychology: Adulthood
This course explores psychological issues and theories in normal adult development, with emphasis on cognitive, social and personality functioning from young adulthood to old age.(4 credits)
PSY 360 - Psychopathology
(4 credits) This course will provide a broad survey of what is considered to be disordered in behavior, emotional expression, and cognition in adults. Emphasis will be placed on a scientific view of psychopathology. The two main foci of the course are the (a) description of various behaviors, symptoms, syndromes and illnesses as described in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association, and (b) research and theories concerning etiology including discussion of environmental, biological, social and interactive perspectives. While intervention and childhood disorders will be discussed, they are not the primary focus of this course. Prerequisite: 4 credits of psychology courses.
SOC 101SS - Principles of Sociology
(4 credits)(IGE option under Self and Society) An introduction to sociology, its major concepts, tools and perspectives. This course provides an understanding of societies; of culture; of major social institutions such as the family, religion and education; of social inequality; and of social change.

Total credits required: 100

Note: Students must complete a certified nurse aid (CNA) course prior to matriculating at Northwestern or in conjunction with Northwest Iowa Community College during the student's first semester.

Health-Related Service-Learning Mission Requirement and E-Portfolio

All nursing majors are required to complete:
  • More than 700 hours of clinical;
  • An electronic portfolio including the BSN program's philosophy, conceptual framework, program outcomes, and capstone programs across the curriculum and the student's associated reflection;
  • Oral and written communication competencies;
  • The health-related mission/service experience and associated cross-cultural portfolio (see option 1 and 2 as follows).
Option 1: Complete NUR350 and the nursing related GEN350 Shalom and Cross-Cultural Populations course or any GEN350 approved by the Department of Nursing. BSN students will also need to submit a cross-cultural portfolio. The department's approval of other GEN350's will be based on such a course meeting the related program outcomes (relationship with diverse others, ethics/social justice & shalom). Students will be allowed to take the NUR350/GEN350 sequence as either sophomores or juniors. Non-nursing students will be welcomed in the nursing-related GEN350 on a space available basis.
Option 2: Students will complete NUR350, a cross-cultural course and a service/mission experience approved by the Department of Nursing based on such a service/mission experience meeting the related program outcomes. Students will also be required to submit a cross-cultural portfolio.

Note:

Nursing course semester credits reflect lecture and clinical hours. A grade of C or above must be attained in all cognate and nursing courses.

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