Nursing (BSN Completion Program only)

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Completion Program

Janet M. Atarthi-Dugan, Program Director
Pamela McCullough, Lecturer

The BSN Completion Program is a post-licensure degree program administered by the College of Arts and Sciences. The program’s mission combines the University’s mission with the recommendations contained within the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Along with seven higher-level nursing courses, the program will continue the UMW tradition of liberal arts education by including three liberal arts courses. The program will enhance the writing, critical thinking, and speaking skills of RNs whose focus is the delivery of direct patient care and prepare them for lifelong learning and professional creativity.

Students are mentored by university faculty and nursing leaders in the community to identify and improve the delivery of patient care through the use of nursing research and evidenced-based practice.

The overarching goals of the program is to prepare nurses to be able to:

  1. Practice nursing within a complex healthcare system and assume the roles of care provider, designer, manager, and coordinator of care.
  2. Transition to health promotion and disease prevention healthcare provided in the community.
  3. Continue their nursing education to the graduate level.

The UMW BSN Completion Program Curriculum. The BSN Completion Program’s curriculum is designed for RNs. All applicants are required to have completed either an accredited associate degree program or a diploma program prior to being admitted to the program. All entering students must hold a current, unencumbered RN license which permits them to practice nursing in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The BSN Completion Program teaches RNs professionalism; the importance of inter-professional teams; healthcare policy, finance and regulation; patient-centered care; cultural sensitivity; health promotion and disease prevention; the impact of genetics on health risks; the use of evidenced–based practice, leadership principles and knowledge gained from a liberal education for clinical decision making, patient safety, and quality improvement; the use of technology and informatics in healthcare; life-long learning and practice across the lifespan.

The UMW BSN Completion Program Expected Graduates Outcomes are:

  1. Examine the concepts of professionalism and fundamental beliefs to nursing, which include the inherent values of altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, social justice, and ethics.
  2. Create intra- and inter-professional partnerships, characterized by teamwork, collaboration, and oral and written communication to deliver high-quality, safe patient care.
  3. Evaluate healthcare policy and finance and regulatory practices to influence the allocation of health resources in order to reduce health disparities.
  4. Utilize the nursing process when practicing caring, competent, holistic, and patient-centered nursing care with individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations from diverse backgrounds in a variety of settings across the lifespan.
  5. Evaluate nursing research to determine best practices and translate current evidence into professional nursing practice.
  6. Formulate plans of care which promote health and prevent disease for individuals, families, groups, populations, and communities in complex situations.
  7. Synthesize a liberal arts education, knowledge of nursing science, and critical thinking skills to support inter-professional partnerships which focus on health promotion and disease prevention.
  8. Compare and contrast leadership knowledge, skills, and attitudes to promote safe, high-quality care with a focus on continued evaluation and improvement within a variety of health care settings.
  9. Utilize information management knowledge and skills by employing technology and information systems to create safe patient care and enhanced decision-making in a variety of health care settings.

Accreditation. The baccalaureate degree in nursing at the University of Mary Washington is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Requirements for the BSN Degree

As for other UMW undergraduate programs, 120 credits are required for the degree. In addition, a minimum of 30 credits need to be completed at UMW. A cumulative GPA of 2.00 on all UMW work is required. The BSN degree credits are distributed in the following requirement categories.

27 credits: General Education credits transferred from a pre-licensure nursing program.

3 credits: STAT 180 or equivalent which is the prerequisite for NURS 410 and 440

30 credits: BSN Completion Program Courses:

Required courses are: ENGL 308; NURS 310, 320, 410, 430, 440, 490, 540; PHIL 226; and one social science course from the following list:

ANTH 211, 212, 371GG; PSYC 301; SOCG 304, 315A, 331, 334, 335, 355, 400, 421B.

Students are encouraged to take additional courses from this list to obtain the 120 credit requirement for degree completion.

41 credits: Copy of a current and valid unencumbered license to practice nursing (RN) in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

19 credits: Open Electives (language study is highly recommended)

University of Mary Washington and Germanna Community College Nursing Programs Academic Partnership

The University of Mary Washington (UMW) and Germanna Community College (GCC) recognized the need for registered nurses (RNs) to achieve baccalaureate degrees in nursing through an improved education system which promotes seamless academic progression. Therefore the two nursing programs created an Academic Partnership and adopted two plans which lead to a BSN.

Dual Nursing Degrees Plan (1+2+1)

Commonly referred to as the 1 + 2 + 1 BSN Plan, this agreement is designed for students who are interested in earning a pre-licensure Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in nursing from GCC and a post-licensure Bachelor of Science in nursing from UMW if all degree requirements are met. (see Requirements for the BSN Degree section.) Students will be admitted to UMW as Pre-Nursing (1+2+1) students. Students also need to apply to GCC as an Allied Health Certificate student. The following is a general description of each year. If a student needs to repeat a course, or submits an application to the GCC Nursing Program for a later term, the student’s progression will be delayed and the two degrees will not be completed in the “1+2+1” timeframe.

This plan is only available to incoming residential freshman and is limited to eighteen students. The plan does not accept transfer students. Students who are interested in the program complete the freshman student application process. In addition, students declare their intended major as “pre-nursing”. To be considered for the pre-nursing program, students must have earned a “B” or above in high school algebra, biology and chemistry. In addition, students must present SAT or ACT scores which  exempt them from the Virginia Community College (VCCS) English and math placement exams. Once all admitting requirements are met, preference is given to students who apply under the Early Decision (binding) or Early Action (non-binding) application processes.

Accepted and paid pre-nursing students will be advised by the BSN Completion Program office starting in May of the student’s senior year in High School. Pre-nursing student will be guided through the process of applying and registering at GCC’s as a Pre-BSN student to complete the required nursing pre-requisite courses during their first year. In addition, students will be enrolled at UMW as pre-nursing students to complete liberal arts coursework.

The following is a general description of each year.

Year 1: During the freshman year students will complete required nursing prerequisite courses at UMW and GCC as needed. Students must earn a “C” or above in all courses taken to be transferable to UMW between the two schools. Students must provide their own transportation to GCC throughout the program to include prerequisite courses, nursing courses, nursing labs and clinical assignments; therefore students will be allowed to have a car on campus as a freshman student. Students will apply for a second admission to the GCC Nursing Program. GCC Nursing Program application deadline is April 1. Students must meet all published procedures and deadlines for application to the GCC Nursing Program. Pre-licensure nursing programs are competitive and there is NO guaranteed acceptance to the GCC Nursing Program. Nursing is a caring profession. GCC and UMW reserve the right to deny or revoke admission to the GCC Nursing Program and/or the BSN Completion Program to students who have been suspended or dismissed from any institution of higher education or convicted of a felony, use of illegal substances, or on charges related to physical abuse towards others.

Years 2 & 3: Students who are admitted to the GCC Nursing Program will attend GCC’s Nursing Program and earn an A.A.S. degree in nursing. Students will be concurrently enrolled in UMW and complete the three liberal art courses which are part of the BSN Completion Program.

Year 4: Students will return to UMW to finish the BSN Completion Program. Students begin taking UMW courses with the NURS prefix after they present a current and valid unencumbered license to practice nursing (RN) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Students submit a copy of their licensure to the BSN Completion Program office and complete a major declaration form. Both documents are submitted to the Office of the Registrar and each licensed student will receive 41 credits for the NSG courses taken at GCC. NUR courses from GCC do not transfer in individually. Students have 2 years, following graduation with an A.A.S. degree in nursing, to complete the remaining BSN requirements.

UMW 1+2+1 BSN Plan Degree Requirements

RN License GCC NSG courses do not transfer into UMW. Students will earn 41 credits when they present their RN license following graduation from GCC. 41
GCC NSG Prerequisite & General Education Courses


GCC: BIO 141(4); BIO 142(4); BIO 150(4).  (SDV 100 is not transferable to UMW)



FSEM 100(3); ENGL 202(3); Humanities elective (3);  HSCI 120(3),PSYC 120(3)


Elective 1 (3); Elective 2 (3); Elective 3 (1); Elective 4 (3); Elective 5 (3);

Pre-requisites:  PSYC 100 (3) or equivalent;  SOCG 105 (3)  or equivalent

NURS 410 Pre-requisite STAT 180 or equivalent (3) 3
UMW BSN Completion Program ENGL 308(3); PHIL 226(3); SOCG 355(3) or equivalent ; NURS 310(3),  NURS 320(3);  NURS 410(3); NURS 430(3); NURS 440(3);  NURS 490(3); NURS 540(3) 30


BSN Concurrent Enrollment Plan (BSN-CE)

This Agreement is for non-residential UMW students who are interested in earning a pre-licensure Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in nursing from GCC and a post-licensure BSN from UMW. This Agreement permits GCC nursing students to be concurrently enrolled in the BSN Completion Program while completing an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in nursing. When students are accepted into the GCC Nursing Program, they, upon student request, will be granted admission into the BSN Completion Program as Pre-Nursing (3+1) students if they complete a Letter of Intent and have a GPA of 2.5 on a 4-point scale. Concurrently enrolled UMW/GCC nursing students may complete the three liberal arts courses included in the BSN Completion Program during summer sessions. Students may begin taking UMW courses that begin with the NURS prefix after presenting a current and valid unencumbered RN license to practice nursing in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Students will receive 41 credits upon presenting current and valid unencumbered RN license to practice nursing in the Commonwealth of Virginia to the BSN Completion Program office and complete a major declaration form. Both documents are submitted to the Office of the Registrar.

Second Degree

A student who has earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mary Washington and wishes to pursue further undergraduate work may either complete a post-baccalaureate major and have it noted on the permanent record (with the date of completion) or earn a second degree if it is different from the first degree (for example, a subsequent BSN if the first degree was a B.A., for example).

The student must apply for admission to the new degree program through the Office of Admissions and must earn at least 30 additional credits at Mary Washington after completion of the first degree. No more than 14 of these credits can be completed prior to matriculation for the second degree. The most appropriate 90 credits will be selected to count toward the second degree. The student must complete the degree program requirements in the Academic Catalog in effect at the time of matriculation into the second degree.

A student who earned his or her first degree from another institution must enter Mary Washington as a transfer student, then complete the requirements of the second degree as defined in the Academic Catalog in effect at the time of matriculation into the second degree.

Transfer Credit

The transfer credit total for the BSN degree cannot exceed 90 semester credits. At least 30 credits must be taken at the University of Mary Washington after admission to the program. The holder of an associate’s degree may receive up to 49 credits, in addition to the 41 credits for R.N. licensure, toward the BSN degree based on transcript evaluation. The holder of a Nursing Diploma may receive additional credits beyond the 41credits based on evaluation of his or her transcript.

Credit by Examination. The University accepts many of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DANTES Subject Standardized tests as undergraduate transfer credit. Students may earn credit by meeting the minimum required score on selected CLEP or DANTES tests; these credits may be used to fulfill general education, prerequisite requirements or as elective credits; they may not be used to fulfill NURS course requirements. A maximum of 30 credits by examination may be counted toward the degree. Students should consult the BSN Completion Program Office for information on specific CLEP or DANTES exams that are accepted by the University. CLEP tests are administered at local universities. DANTES exams are offered only on military installations.

Academic Resources, Policies, and Regulations for BSN students

BSN completion students have access to all the academic resources outlined in the section Academic Resources and Academic Policies sections of this Catalog.

Nursing Degree Completion Course Offerings

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Completion Program course offerings will be found under the 4 letter code of NURS in the course listings.

310 – The Role of the Professional Nurse (3)

Prerequisite: RN License. Pre- or co-requisite: ENGL 308. This course provides the RN with a foundation for understanding the expanded role of the professional baccalaureate nurse in the current health care delivery system. Concepts related to professionalism and the fundamental professional values of altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, and social justice will be explored. Transformation of the individual and of the profession will be examined. Communication behavior to improve intra- and inter-professional collaboration will be analyzed.

320– Holistic Health Assessment for the Professional Nurse (3)

Pre- or co-requisite: NURS 310. This course is designed to enhance the knowledge of the Registered Nurse by conducting a holistic assessment of health and illness parameters in an individual. The Registered Nurse will assess the following aspects of the individual: behavior, culture, development, environment, family, health literacy, physical, psychological, socioeconomic, and spiritual. The assessment of alternative/complementary health modalities by individuals will be included. The relationship of genetics and genomics to health risks will be examined.

410 – Evidence Based Nursing Research (3)

Prerequisite: STAT 180 and NURS 310. This course introduces the Registered Nurse to the research process and methods for critiquing research literature. The development of theoretical frameworks for research studies, quantitative and qualitative methodologies to accomplish goals, and the dissemination of research findings will be examined. The use of research in the delivery of evidenced-based practice to improve patient outcomes will be explored. The Registered Nurse will further explore a previously identified healthcare issue and engage in a systematic, formal process to identify scientific relationships which can lead to finding solutions to the identified issue or discover new nursing knowledge. Safeguarding patient rights will be explored.

430 – Current Nursing Issues and Trends (3)

Pre- or co-requisite: NURS 310. This course examines the current issues and trends in nursing and their effect on delivering quality and safe patient care. The Registered Nurse will consider current political, economic, and social issues and discuss their impact on health care. The Registered Nurse will examine an issue related to quality, safety, access, equity, affordability, or social justice in healthcare delivery and explore political activism aimed at eliminating health disparities for a vulnerable population. The identified issue will be further explored in NURS 410 Evidenced-Based Nursing Research and NURS 490 BSN Practicum.

440 – Community and Population Health (3)

Prerequisites: STAT 180 and NURS 310. This course examines population-focused nursing.  Improving population health through health promotion, disease and injury prevention across the lifespan for individuals, families, groups, communities and populations will be explored.  Fundamentals of epidemiology and biostatistics will be introduced.  Primary, secondary, and tertiary care will be differentiated.  The national health initiative Healthy People 2020 will be utilized.  The registered nurse develops a preventive program for an assigned community.  This course includes 16 hours of field work experience in the assigned community.

490 – Practicum (3)

Prerequisite: NURS 310, 320, 410, 430. prerequisite or corequisite: NURS 440.  This is a capstone course in which the Registered Nurse will enhance her/his knowledge and skills in leadership, quality improvement, patient outcomes, and patient safety. The healthcare issue the student identified in the beginning of the program and has developed throughout the program will be shared in the practice setting. The Registered Nurse will develop individualized leadership objectives. The course includes a seminar component and 45 hours of fieldwork experience guided by a nurse mentor.

540 – Informatics and Healthcare Technologies (3)

Prerequisite: NURS 310, 320, 410, 430.  This course explores the utilization of information management, patient care technologies and communication technologies to deliver quality and safe patient care.  Standardized computer information systems terminologies, regulatory reporting, decision support systems for evidence-based practice and health education, data analysis for quality improvement, electronic health records to improve patient outcomes, data security and confidentiality of patient information will be explored.  The registered nurse will examine social technology and public information domains and their impact on the quality and safe patient care.

Other UMW Courses for the BSN Degree (requirements):

ENGL 308 Writing Studies and Healing (3)

Advanced study of composition introducing students to research and theory of writing, with focus on the relationship between writing and healing. Practice in writing for personal, academic, and professional purposes.

HSCI 305 — The Art and Science of Interdisciplinary Care for Health Professionals (3)

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. This course is an analysis of the art and science of practicing interdisciplinary care for health professionals. Writing for personal, academic, and professional purposes is practiced. The development of inter/intra-professional partnerships will be experienced. Inherent values of caring for others are explored. The concept of health promotion and disease prevention will be investigated.

PHIL 226 — Medical Ethics (3)

An introduction to the philosophical examination of contemporary moral issues. Topics might include the death penalty, euthanasia; hate speech regulation, pornography, and human cloning.  (Online)

Other UMW Courses for the BSN Degree (electives):

ANTH 211 Anthropology of Race (3)

Explores why current vernacular understandings of “race” and scientific understandings of “race” diverge so dramatically. Looks at the long history of scientific (mis)understandings of human biological diversity. Interrogates why racialist thinking has been a fundamental component of a western cultural world view.

ANTH 212 Anthropology of Gender (3)

The anthropological approach to gender: cultural definition and social status of female and male; other genders; theories of gender definition and gender hierarchy.

ANTH 371GG Medical Anthropology (3)

Concentrates on an important anthropological topic not otherwise covered in the curriculum; comprehensive readings and discussion. Choice of topic reflects both student and instructor interests.

HSCI 120 — Medical Terminology for Health Professionals (3)

Prerequisite: BSN 1+2+1 student or permission of the instructor. This course introduces the student to the language of medicine, used by all health professionals, throughout all healthcare settings.

PSYC 301 Social Psychology (3)

Individual behavior in a social context; attitudes; social influence; attribution; prejudice and discrimination; prosocial behavior and aggression.

SOCG 304 Social Stratification (3)

Analysis of class, race, and gender inequality in U.S. society. The nature and consequences of social stratification and power in modern society.

SOCG 315 Gender and Society (3)

Sociological study of gender differentiation in American society, with an emphasis on major social institutions and social change.

SOCG 331 the Family (3)

Historical changes in American patterns of marriage, divorce, and child rearing; social class, racial, and ethnic variation; and alternative family forms.

SOCG 334 Medical Sociology (3)

The relationship of disease and health to social structure and culture. Organizational and role analysis of the medical care industry, various allied health professions, and alternative approaches to coping with health and illness.

SOCG 335 Global Issues in Health and Illness (3)

Analyze problems of health, illness, inequality, and care at the global level. Examine health care systems and health promotion in comparative perspective. Explore how social forces shape individual and group health behaviors and illness experiences in various structural and cultural contexts. Emphasis on health rights as human rights.

SOCG 355 Death and Society (3)

Major concepts or points of view in contemporary sociology with an emphasis on discussion. Topic varies.

SOCG 400 Sociology of the Body (3)

How are bodies socially constructed? Seminar examines social, particularly feminist, theories of embodiment. Central questions consider how bodies are sexed/gendered, racialized, ethicized, aged, sexualized, classed, sickened/cured, and otherwise modified through social processes.

SOCG 421B Race and Ethnic Relations (3)

Major concepts or points of view in contemporary sociology with an emphasis on discussion. Topic varies.