Nursing, BSN

Penn Nursing combines the resources and opportunities of a large university with the intimacy and personal attention of a small college. Our traditional four-year BSN is a direct-entry program for graduating high school seniors.

At Penn Nursing, you will learn from a passionate faculty whose accomplishments are recognized worldwide. You will benefit from the academic opportunities of an Ivy League university while enjoying a fun and fulfilling campus life. You will gain clinical experience in some of the nation’s top hospitals, located just steps from your classrooms. And you will have the chance to participate in faculty-driven research, supported by state-of-the-art technology. Penn Nursing graduates are the leaders shaping the future of health care practice, policy, research, and education.

The nursing program begins in your freshman year with a combination of science, nursing, and liberal arts courses, and students are encouraged to take advantage of our flexible curriculum and take courses offered within Penn’s four undergraduate schools. Clinicals begin in the spring of your sophomore year, and students will have experiences in primary care, acute care, women’s health, and mental health settings working with patients from newborns to older adults.

Nursing, BSN Requirements

Non-Nursing Major Requirements
Writing Requirement
Select a Writing Intensive Course1
Language Requirement
Satisfy by exemption or if language proficiency completed in less than 4 semesters, use remaining course units as free electives4
Distribution by Sectors
Arts & Letters Sector1
Society and Social Structures Sector1
Histories and Traditions Sector1
Global and Cultural Studies Sector1
Reasoning, Systems, and Relationships Sector1
Natural Sciences Sector - satisfied by:
Biologically-Based Chemistry
Integrated Cell Biology and Microbiology
Free Elective1
Nursing Major Courses
Nursing Foundational Courses
NURS 101The Nature of Nursing Practice0.5
NURS 102Situating the Practice of Nursing0.5
NURS 103Psychological and Social Diversity in Health and Wellness1
Nursing Clinical Courses
NURS 215Nursing of Women and Infants1.5
NURS 225Pediatric Nursing1.5
NURS 235Psychiatric Nursing1.5
NURS 245Nursing of Young and Middle Aged Adults1.5
NURS 255Nursing of Older Adults1.5
Select a Nursing Case Study from among NURS 355-NURS 3691
NURS 380Nursing in the Community2
NURS 390Leadership in the Complex Healthcare System3
Science Requirements
NURS 061Biologically-Based Chemistry0.5
NURS 065Fundamentals of Nutrition1
NURS 068Integrated Cell Biology and Microbiology1
NURS 163Integrated Anatomy, Physiology, and Physical Assessment I2
NURS 164Integrated Human Anatomy, Physiology & Physical Assessment II2
NURS 165Integrated Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics2
Non-Clinical Courses
Health Policy Requirement 11
NURS 230Statistics for Research and Measurement1
NURS 547Scientific Inquiry for Evidence-based Practice1
Select one of the following:1
Theoretical Foundations of Health Care Ethics
Biomedical Ethics
Sociology of Bioethics
NURS 389Research/Inquiry-Based Service Residency0.5
Nursing Elective
Select a Nursing Elective1
Total Course Units40.5
1

See the BSN Handbook for a list of approved Health Policy courses. 


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2017 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.


The following sample Plan of Study is just one possibility for undergraduate study. This plan may not be compatible with several academic options you might choose (e.g., study abroad, submatriculation, dual degree, etc.). If you are interested in pursuing any of the special academic options available to you during the course of your undergraduate experience and want to know how this will alter your plan of study, please contact your faculty advisor and/or the Office of Student Services at 215-898-6687 or advisor@nursing.upenn.edu. Please note that all plans of study are subject to curricular change.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCourse Units
NURS 061 Biologically-Based Chemistry 0.5
NURS 068 Integrated Cell Biology and Microbiology 1
NURS 101 The Nature of Nursing Practice 0.5
Critical Writing Requirement 1
Language Requirement (or free elective if level IV proficiency met) 1
 Course Units4
Spring
NURS 065 Fundamentals of Nutrition 1
NURS 163 Integrated Anatomy, Physiology, and Physical Assessment I 2
NURS 102 Situating the Practice of Nursing 0.5
Sector Requirement (e.g. Reasoning, Systems, & Relationships) 1 1
Language Requirement (or free elective if level IV proficiency met) 2 1
 Course Units5.5
Second Year
Fall
NURS 164 Integrated Human Anatomy, Physiology & Physical Assessment II 2
NURS 103 Psychological and Social Diversity in Health and Wellness 1
Sector Requirement (e.g. Arts and Letters) 1
Language Requirement (or free elective if level IV proficiency met) 1
 Course Units5
Spring
NURS 165 Integrated Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics 2
NURS 215 Nursing of Women and Infants 1.5
Sector Requirement (e.g. Histories and Traditions) 1
Language Requirement (or free elective if level IV proficiency met) 1
 Course Units5.5
Third Year
Fall
NURS 245
NURS 255
Nursing of Young and Middle Aged Adults
and Nursing of Older Adults
3
Select one of the following: 1
Public Policy and the Nation's Health (or approved Health Policy course) 3  
Theoretical Foundations of Health Care Ethics (or approved Health Care Ethics course) 4  
NURS 230 Statistics for Research and Measurement 1
 Course Units5
Spring
NURS 225
NURS 235
Pediatric Nursing
and Psychiatric Nursing
3
Select one of the following: 1
Public Policy and the Nation's Health (or approved Health Policy course) 3  
Theoretical Foundations of Health Care Ethics (or approved Health Care Ethics course) 4  
NURS 547 Scientific Inquiry for Evidence-based Practice 1
 Course Units5
Fourth Year
Fall
NURS 380 Nursing in the Community 2
Select 1 course from NURS 355-NURS 368 1
Sector Requirement (e.g. Global and Cultural Studies) 1
Sector Requirement (e.g. Society and Social Structures) 1
 Course Units5
Spring
NURS 390 Leadership in the Complex Healthcare System 3
NURS 389 Research/Inquiry-Based Service Residency 0.5
Nursing Elective 1
Free Elective 1
 Course Units5.5
 Total Course Units40.5
1

Sector requirements can be taken in any order. For more information on sector requirements, refer to p.26 of the BSN Handbook.

2

Free electives and language requirement courses may be taken pass/fail. For more detailed information on pass/fail policies, refer to the Pass/Fail section in the BSN handbook.

3

Check with your advisor for additional approved Health Policy courses.

4

Check with your advisor for additional approved Health Care Ethics courses.

The Nursing Case Study can be taken during the junior or senior year (following completion of NURS 164 Integrated Human Anatomy, Physiology & Physical Assessment II). Only one course is required from the case study group. The Nursing Elective can be taken earlier in the plan of study depending upon the course selected.

Students must consult with an academic advisor prior to making revisions to the plan of study to ensure that the necessary curricular requirements are being met and to prevent delays in academic progression.

The following sample Plan of Study is just one possibility for second-degree students, and individual plans depend on what prerequisites students have fulfilled prior to matriculating at Penn. This plan may not be compatible with several academic options you might choose (e.g., submatriculation, study abroad, minors, etc.). If you are interested in pursuing any of the special academic options available to you during the course of your undergraduate experience and want to know how this will alter your plan of study, please contact your faculty advisor and/or the Office of Student Services at 215-898-6687 or advisor@nursing.upenn.edu. Please note that all plans of study are subject to curricular change.

BSN Plan of Study: Accelerated Summer Start

Plan of Study Grid
Transfer CreditCourse Units
Please note: This is an estimation of potential transfer credit and does not constitute final approval until all final transcripts are submitted, course completion and grades are verified, etc.  
NURS 061 Biologically-Based Chemistry 0.5
NURS 065 Fundamentals of Nutrition 1
NURS 068 Integrated Cell Biology and Microbiology 1
NURS 131 Human Anatomy and Physiology - Part A 1.5
NURS 132 Human Anatomy and Physiology - Part B 1.5
NURS 230 Statistics for Research and Measurement 1
Liberal Arts Waiver 11
 Course Units17.5
First Year
Summer
NURS 103 Psychological and Social Diversity in Health and Wellness 1
NURS 159 Pathways To Practice 1
NURS 160 Physical Assessment 1
NURS 165 Integrated Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics 2
 Course Units5
Second Year
Fall
NURS 215 Nursing of Women and Infants 1.5
NURS 225
NURS 235
Pediatric Nursing
and Psychiatric Nursing
3
NURS 547 Scientific Inquiry for Evidence-based Practice 1
 Course Units5.5
Spring
NURS 245
NURS 255
Nursing of Young and Middle Aged Adults
and Nursing of Older Adults
3
Select one of the following Health Care Ethics courses: 1 1
Theoretical Foundations of Health Care Ethics  
Ethical Aspects of Health and Technology  
Sociology of Bioethics  
Biomedical Ethics  
Select one Health Policy course 1, 2 1
 Course Units5
Third Year
Fall
NURS 389 Research/Inquiry-Based Service Residency 0.5
NURS 390 Leadership in the Complex Healthcare System 3
Nursing Case Study 1, 2 1
Choose one Nursing elective 1, 2 1
 Course Units5.5
Summer
NURS 380 Nursing in the Community 2
 Course Units2
 Total Course Units40.5
1

There is some flexibility as to when these courses can be taken (fall vs. spring). Please consult with an advisor about your options and course offerings.

2

See the BSN Handbook for an approved list of courses.

Notes

  1. All plans of study are subject to curricular change. Students must consult with an academic advisor prior to making revisions to the plan of study to ensure that the necessary curricular requirements are being met and to prevent delays in academic progression.
  2. Clinical experiences may include evenings, weekends, and 12 hour shifts. Most clinical rotations are accessible by public transportation; however a car may be necessary for transportation to some clinical sites.
  3. Course work outside the School of Nursing is not permitted, with the exception of approved non-nursing courses for the Health Care Ethics and Health Policy requirements.
  4. 5.5 course units is the maximum course load for undergraduate nursing students. Students who wish to exceed this limit must seek approval from the Office of Student Services prior to the advance registration period for the semester in question. If approved, the Office of Student Services will increase the maximum course load accordingly in Penn in Touch.