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Nursing: LPN-to-BSN


Bachelor of Science — Program Overview

This is a three- or four-year program for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), designed for you to get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and gain eligibility to take the required RN licensure examination (NCLEX-RN). This program is designed specifically for graduates of state-approved Practical Nursing programs.

Why should you get your BSN?

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is the most desired credential in health care today, and it allows you to work in nearly any medical setting. A BSN is also required for different clinical and leadership positions, and for entry into any graduate degree in nursing program.

Why should you get your BSN at Briar Cliff?

Our graduates have a 100-percent employment rate, and every BCU nursing alum who has applied to graduate school has been accepted. No other nursing program in Iowa provides more clinical experience (800 hours, including a 100-hour senior clinical preceptorship). Our faculty are all active in clinical practice and professional nursing organizations. Our programs are approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the Master of Science in Nursing programs at Briar Cliff University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Program Details

If you already have an LPN, you'll be considered a sophomore-level transfer student upon entry into the university. Also, any previously earned academic credits may be applied toward your B.S.N. You must present evidence of a license to practice nursing in Iowa as an LPN or a state in the interstate compact. The potential ability to give safe nursing care is a prerequisite for admission to the nursing major.

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Core Nursing: LPN-to-BSN Courses

BIOL 221 - Human Anatomy

A study of the structure of the human body at the four structural levels (cells, tissues, organs and systems) and the relationship of its parts. Three lectures, one lab per week. Read more »

BIOL 222 - Human Physiology

A study of the functions of the cells and organ systems of the human body. Three lectures, one lab per week. Read more »

BIOL 239 - Intro to Microbiology

An introduction to the world of microorganisms, with special emphasis on their medical importance. Aseptic technique is stressed in the laboratory. Three lectures, two labs per week. Prerequisite: eight hours of biology and/or chemistry or permission of the instructor. Not open to students having credit for BIOL 339. Read more »

BIOL 240 - Nutrition

A survey of the principles of nutrition and their application to normal conditions of growth and development. Includes food groups, nutrient requirements, energy metabolism, composition and safety of foods, nutritional needs for the different life stages, and application of nutrition to health care and sports. Read more »

BIOL 340 - Pathophysiology

An introduction to the biochemical, cellular, physiologic and biologic manifestations of disease. Includes alterations in normal function, disruptions in homeostatic mechanisms and adaptations of body systems to disease processes. Read more »

CHEM 109 - Chemistry for the Health Sciences I

A study of the principles of general chemistry with emphasis on those topics of interest to students of the health sciences. The course includes a lab component with experiments that complement topics covered in lecture. This course is not a preparation for higher level courses in chemistry, other than CHEM 110. Read more »

CORE 100 - Franciscan Life

CORE 100 introduces incoming students to the cultural and historical foundations of Briar Cliff University through an exploration of the Franciscan tradition. The course will also serve to familiarize students with the academic infrastructure of the University and to acculturate them to the expectations, skills, and demands of life as a university student. Read more »

LIBA 410 - Global Society

An interdisciplinary study of contemporary global realities focusing on the increasingly interdependent economic, ecological, political, social, technological, religious, cultural and peace relationships that are developing within the human community. Read more »

MATH 200 - Elementary Statistics

An introduction to the theory and applications of statistics intended for students in business, nursing and the social sciences, but also recommended for students in the liberal arts. Topics include measures of central tendency and variability, probability distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, linear regression, correlation, analysis of variance and nonparametric statistics. This course is not open to those in a mathematics major. Prerequisite: MATH 10 or recommendation of the department chairperson based upon mathematics assessment Read more »

NURS 220 - Health Assessment

An introductory course in nursing health assessment. Students will be presented with knowledge, and skills applicable to the practice of professional nursing. The emphasis of the course will be on the relationship between the nursing process and health assessment skills at various stages of life span development. Prerequisite: BIOL 221, BIOL 222, CHEM 109 Concurrent: BIOL 240, BIOL 239 Fees: Lab - $150 Read more »

NURS 230 - Nursing Care of the Adult Client I

Provides the initial theoretical basis for the application of the nursing process in caring for the adult client with actual or potential quality of life and health issues. Clinical experiences in the acute, long-term, or community-based settings provide the student an opportunity to apply the nursing process. Prerequisite: NURS 220, NURS 215 Concurrent: NURS 250, BIOL 340, PSYC 280 Fees: Lab - $150 Read more »

NURS 250 - Pharmacology

Focuses on nursing pharmacology and therapeutics by presenting a theoretical foundation and practical approach to drug therapy and application in many settings. The course reviews general principles, theories, and facts about drugs and administration practices. Prerequisite: NURS 220, NURS 215 Concurrent: NURS 230, BIOL 340, PSYC 280 Fees: Lab - $150 Read more »

NURS 300 - Evidence-based Nursing Practice

Enhances the student's knowledge of evidence-based practice. The student is introduced to research and research utilization processes. Emphasis is on the knowledge and skills required to critically evaluate and apply qualitative and quantitative research to improve quality of care. Students have the opportunity to apply the knowledge/skills through the development of evidence-based practice changes. The student is exposed to process of grant writing. Prerequisite: NURS 335 (basic students), NURS 310 (RN-BSN students), MATH 200 Concurrent: NURS 330 & 340 (basic students) Read more »

NURS 330 - Nursing Care of the Childbearing/Childrearing Family

Provides the theoretical basis for application of the nursing process in providing care to the family during childbearing and childrearing period. Clinical experiences in acute care and community based settings provide an opportunity for the student to apply the nursing process to normal and high-risk childbearing families, infants, children, and adolescents. Prerequisite: NURS 335 and 355 Concurrent: NURS 305, NURS 340 Fees: Lab - $150 Read more »

NURS 335 - Nursing Care of the Adult Client II

Provides a continuation of theoretical basis for the application of the nursing process in caring for the adult client with actual or potential quality of life and health issues. Clinical experiences in the acute care setting provide the student an opportunity to build critical thinking skills in the application of the nursing process. Prerequisite: NURS 230 and 250 Concurrent: PSYC 360, MATH 200 Fees: Lab - $150, Testing - $150, Organizational - $70 Read more »

NURS 340 - Nursing Care of Clients with Acute Mental Health Issues

Introduces the therapeutic use of self as an intervention in assisting the client in attaining stability in the acute mental health setting. Clinical experiences in the acute mental health settings, and selected supervised clinical observations, provide an opportunity for the student to critically think while analyzing nursing interventions options. The nursing process is further utilized to guide interventions and priority setting for the acutely ill client in the mental health setting. Prerequisite: NURS 335 and 355, PSYC 360 Concurrent: NURS 305 and 330 Fees: Lab - $75 Read more »

NURS 355 - Nursing Care of Clients in Acute and Critical Settings

NURS 355 Nursing Care of Clients in Acute and Critical Settings 3 sem. Hours This course expands the theoretical bases for application of the nursing process when caring for the critically ill adult client with actual and potential quality of life and health issues. Clinical experiences in the acute and critical care settings, and selected supervised clinical observations, provide an opportunity for the student to critically think while analyzing nursing interventions options. Prerequisite: NURS 230, 250 Concurrent: NURS 355 Fees: Lab - $150 Read more »

NURS 429 - Community and Public Health Nursing Science I

The first course in the community and public health sequence synthesizes the concepts of nursing, human, and public health science and is integrated with the art of nursing. With an emphasis on the application of the nursing process with culturally diverse individuals and families within the community, the course provides for the exploration and utilization of all levels of prevention to foster the promotion, restoration, and maintenance of community health. Clinical experiences in a variety of community settings will provide an opportunity for students to investigate the physiological, psychological, developmental, sociocultural, spiritual, and ethical dimensions which affect the health of the community. Prerequisite: NURS 330 and 340 (basic students); NURS 310 and 320 (RN-BSN students) Concurrent: NURS 440 (basic students) Fees: Lab- $150 Read more »

NURS 435 - Nursing Leadership in the Health Care Delivery System

Explores theories and concepts of decision making, leadership, management and the change process in relationship to the application of the nursing process in various health care settings. Included is the connection of personal, professional, and organizational values and ethics to the identification of options and alternatives in leadership and management in the health care system. Health care policy is discussed and contemporary health care issues are critically evaluated as they relate to the health needs of the societal system and the practice of professional nursing. The clinical component provides an opportunity for students to experience (a) the role played by a nurse leader/manager and/or (b) engage in a leadership change project. Prerequisite: NURS 440, 455, and 410 (Basic); NURS 455 (RN-BSN) Concurrent: NURS 465, NURS 475 and 445 (Basic) Read more »

NURS 440 - Nursing Care of Clients with Chronic Mental Health Issues

Enhance the therapeutic use of self as an intervention in assisting the client in attaining stability in the long term and community mental health settings. Clinical experiences in a variety of long- term or community mental health settings including selected supervised clinical observations, provide an opportunity for the student to critically think while analyzing nursing intervention options and treatment modalities for clients in these settings. The nursing process is further utilized to guide interventions and priority setting for the clients in the long-term or community mental health setting. Prerequisite: NURS 305, 330, 340 Concurrent: NURS 410 and 455 Fees: Lab - $75, Testing $150 Read more »

NURS 445 - Nursing Care of the Complex Client

This course expands the theoretical basis for application of the nursing process in providing care for the adult client experiencing multi system disorders. Experiences in various health care settings, including a clinical experience, provide an opportunity for the student to apply all levels of prevention as interventions to complex system disruption resulting from internal and external environmental forces. Prerequisite: NURS 410, 440, 455 Concurrent: NURS 435, 465, and 475 Fees: Lab- $150 Read more »

NURS 455 - Community and Public Health Nursing Science II

The second course in the community and public health sequence synthesizes the concepts of nursing, human, and public health science and is integrated with the art of nursing. With an emphasis on the application of the nursing process with culturally diverse groups within the community, the course provides for the exploration and utilization of all levels of prevention to foster the promotion, restoration, and maintenance of community health. Clinical experiences in a variety of community settings will provide an opportunity for students to investigate the physiological, psychological, developmental, sociocultural, spiritual, and ethical dimensions which affect the health of the community. Prerequisite: NURS 340 and 330 (basic students) Concurrent: NURS 410 (basic students and RN-BSN students) Fees: Lab- $75 Read more »

NURS 465 - Nursing Preceptorship Experience

As the final course in preparation for nursing practice, Nursing 465 facilitates a smooth transition from student to registered nurse in the clinical setting. This course fosters growth and development of the student by encouraging the integration and utilization of knowledge gained from all disciplines of the liberal arts, baccalaureate education. The knowledge gained through the various courses specific to nursing will be particularly utilized as the student continues to critically think while assuming responsibilities congruent with the role of the registered nurse in prioritizing and delivering quality, compassionate care for a group of clients. Prerequisite: NURS 410, 440, 455 Concurrent: NURS 435, 445, 475 Fees: Lab - $150 Read more »

NURS 475 - Transition into Professional Nursing

Provides graduating basic and L.P.N.-B.S.N. seniors an opportunity to prepare for securing their first professional nursing position, writing the NCLEX examination, and practicing in their first nursing position. Emphasis is placed on life-long learning, personal and professional development, leadership, and integrating values and ethics in decision making. Prerequisite: NURS 410, 440, 455 Concurrent: NURS 435, 445 and 465 Read more »

PSYC 110 - Introduction to Psychology

This course is an introduction to fundamental psychological concepts which are derived from applying the scientific method to the study of behavior. Examples of selected topics include: personality development, abnormal behavior and therapy, physiology, motivation and emotions, human development, learning and memory, and social behavior. This course emphasizes theories and theorists as well as relevant applications to everyday living. An introduction to APA style of writing is included. Read more »

PSYC 280 - Developmental Psychology

This course focuses on the development of an individual from conception to death. Psychological/physiological growth is studied in terms of cognitive, psychosocial, moral, psychosexual, and thanotological developmental stage theories. A minimum of one behavioral observation and a journal research report written in APA style will be required. Prerequisite: PSYC 110 • Fall, Spring Read more »

PSYC 360 - Abnormal Psychology

A study of the classification of variant behavior and hypotheses used to explain such behavior. The symptoms, dynamics, treatment, and prognosis of various behavior syndromes will also be considered. Prerequisite: PSYC 110 Read more »

SOCY 124 - Principles of Sociology

Introduction to the field of sociology and its theories, concepts and research methods. Main topics are culture, the family, socialization, deviance, social stratification, race relations, gender, and economic and political globalization. Read more »

SPEC 111 - Public Speaking

An introduction to the craft of public speaking. Emphasis is placed on techniques of speech composition. A study is made of the different types of speeches with special attention given to informative and persuasive speaking. Read more »

THEO 204 - Christian Morality

The Christian life is a response to God's saving act and the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. This course investigates the basic concepts and approaches to moral decision making and considers selected questions and issues that pose moral dilemmas in contemporary society. Spring offering for honors students. Read more »

WRTG 109 - Introduction to College Writing

Introduction to College Writing offers students multiple opportunities to practice essay planning, writing, and revision on a variety of topics. Read more »

Additional Program Requirements

Students in the LPN-BSN option may opt out of some of these courses by meeting selected requirements through transfer credits.

Prior to enrolling in the nursing courses, an LPN-to-BSN student must:

  • Present a current LPN license in the state of Iowa or a state in the interstate compact.
  • Meet with the chairperson of the Department of Nursing to evaluate your education record
  • Complete the Application for Admission to the Nursing Major form, and sign the declaration of major form  

A letter grade of "C" must be attained in both theory and clinical components of all nursing courses. A cumulative GPA of 2.75 is needed for admission to and progression in the program.

Documentation of physical health status obtained upon admission to the nursing major must also be on file in the Student Health Office. Immunizations must include:

  • Hepatitis B vaccination (or signed waiver on file)
  • An annual Mantoux test
  • A second MMR if born after 1957
  • Proof of Varicella immunity if born after 1965 (either a positive titre or proof of a series of two immunizations and an annual influenza immunization).

Students also must maintain basic CPR certification throughout the program. In addition, students must have a criminal background check completed through the vendor selected by the Department of Nursing.

Upon admission, all students are required to sign and adhere to a Professional Conduct Standard.