About the RN to BSN Program

RN nursing programs in California

Samuel Merritt University’s RN to BSN program is designed to help working RNs gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to change the way we deliver health care. As an RN to BSN scholar, you will start the program with a meditation course to help enrich your self-care practices. You will deepen your knowledge of the evidence and science that supports expert nursing care.  You will hone your communication and teamwork skills. Because great swaths of our health care system are designed for the industry rather than patients, we will build your confidence and leadership skills to transform “delivery systems” into healing environments.  It is a tall order, but the system won’t change without the leadership of registered nurses like you! You are the future of of our profession.

Program Purposes—to help working RNs

  • Discover a vision
  • Find your voice (and join the conversations on health care in this country)
  • Tell your stories
  • Own your professional practice

Cohorts of colleagues

  • Small groups of RNs from 3-4 agencies in the same geographical area
  • Extend professional networks and develop teams that lead change

Program length and class structure

  • 20 months, a little less than half-time study with 6 credits each semester; 15-week semesters
  • Face-to-face classes are four hours each week plus one Saturday each semester
  • Labs are about 3 hours per week in semesters 2 & 3

Why earn your BSN?

  • IOM (2010) goal of 80% BSNs by 2020 because more BSNs associated with:
    • Decreased odds of patient mortality (Aiken, 2003; Yakusheva, 2014)
    • Lower readmission rates & shorter lengths of stay (Yakusheva, 2014)
    • Higher job satisfaction
  • Career mobility—preparation for health care system of the future

Why earn your BSN at SMU?

  • Focus on deepening compassion for colleagues, patients, and others in your life
  • Focus on strengthening self-care through meditation, centering, and therapeutic presence
  • Face-to-face class days and times are the same throughout the program
  • Conveniently located—cohorts accepted based on interest in geographical area

Curriculum

RN-BSN Program Overview

Trimester ONE

Trimester TWO

Trimester THREE

Course #

Course Title

Units

Course #

Course Title

Units

Course #

Course Title

Units

GENED 410

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

2

GENED 432

Applied Research & Statistics II

1

GENED 433

Applied Research & Statistics III

1

GENED 431

Applied Research & Statistics I

1

NURSG 470/ 470L

Community/ Public Health Nursing I
(with Clinical Lab)

2

NURSG 472/ 472L

Community/ Public Health Nursing II
(with Clinical Lab)

2

NURSG 460

Quality, Safety & Leadership I

2

GENED 456

Genetics & Genomics

2

NURSG 450

Nursing Science I

1

GENED 440

Health Policy I

1

GENED 442

Health Policy II

1

NURSG 464

Quality, Safety & Leadership II

2

Total Trimester One

6

Total Trimester Two

6

Total Trimester Three

6

 

Trimester FOUR

Trimester FIVE

     

Course #

Course Title

Units

Course #

Course Title

Units

     

NURSG 434

Applied Research & Statistics IV

2

NURSG 454/ 454L

Nursing Science III

2

     

NURSG

 452

Nursing Science II

2

GENED 490

Humanities in Health & Illness

2

     

NURSG 466

Quality, Safety & Leadership III
 

2

NURSG 468

Quality, Safety & Leadership IV

2

     

Total Trimester Four

6

Total Trimester Five

6

     

Program highlights:

  • 30-hour mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) course developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, University of Massachusetts Medical School
    (See Howland & Bauer-Wu, 2015)
  • Our integrated research and statistics series will teach RNs to quickly find, read, and evaluate research findings.  No statistics prerequisite.
  • Join public conversations on health policy and discover favorite op-ed writers
  • Extend the mission and reach of community-based organizations in the provision of care and services to diverse and vulnerable populations in our community/ public health series.
  • Hone communication and teamwork skills in our quality, safety and leadership series
  • Deepen knowledge of genetics, genomics, pathophyiosiology, pharmacology, and health assessment in our science for nursing series
  • Deepen understanding of caring practices through study of art, film, and literature

RN-BSN Degree Plan

120 semester units are required for a BSN from Samuel Merritt University. The RN to BSN coursework provides 30 of those units. Up to 90 units of undergraduate coursework may be transferred to reach the 120 required for graduation. Registered nurses with fewer than 90 transfer units will be awarded up to 20 additional units of university credit toward the BSN degree. For example, if you have 75 units of transfer coursework, Samuel Merritt will award an additional 15 units of coursework towards your BSN for holding an RN license.

*70-90 units   Most students completed at least 70 units in their ADN program.  We accept up to 90 units in transfer from any degree program(s) at community colleges, four-year colleges, or universities
20 units   If you have 70 credits to transfer, you will be awarded 20 units of upper division nursing based on a valid California RN license.  See table below.  Please send transcripts of all college work so that your baccalaureate degree transcript will reflect your actual work
30 units  The program’s 30 units meet residency & graduation requirements
120 units For Samuel Merritt University BSN

 

Transfer credits, RN license credits, and required program credits

Transfer Units from Associate Degree & other programs

Units awarded for RN License

SMU Program Units

Total to Graduate

90

0

30

120

87

3

30

120

84

6

30

120

81

9

30

120

78

12

30

120

75

15

32

120

72

18

30

120

70

20

30

120

 

     

*Students with fewer than 70 transferable credits may take electives at any college or university and transfer them into the program at any point prior to graduation.

References

Aiken, L. H., Clarke, S. P., Cheung, R. B., Sloane, D. M., & Silber, J. H. (2003). Educational levels of hospital nurses
       and surgical patient mortality. Journal of the American Medical Association, 290(12), 1617-1623.

Howland, L. C. & Bauer-Wu, S. (2015). The mindful nurse. American nurse today 10(9). Retrieved
       from 
http://www.americannursetoday.com/mindful-nurse/

Institute of Medicine. (2010). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health.  Retrieved from 
       http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12956&page=R1 

Yakusheva, O, Lindrooth, R., & Weiss, M. (2014). Economic evaluation of the 80% baccalaureate nurse workforce
       recommendation: A patient-level analysis. Medical Care, 52(10), 864-869.

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