What's the Curriculum of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN)?

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program shows a well-rounded education that covers the fundamentals of nursing and practical treatment skills. Find out about the curriculum of a 4-year BSN degree program, as opposed to accelerated BSN or RN-to-BSN programs. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Overview

In order to become a registered nurse (RN), students must complete a bachelor's or associate's degree program. Many schools offer such programs, meaning students have plenty of options and should conduct careful research to ensure that the program they choose is best suited to meet their needs

Important Facts About Bachelor's Degrees in Nursing

Prerequisites High school diploma or GED equivalent
Online Availability Yes
Possible Careers Registered nurse, legal nurse consultant, anesthetist
Continuing Education Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Median Salary (2018) $71,730 (for all registered nurses)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 15% growth (for all registered nurses)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Essentially, your BSN degree program has two parts. The first half is where you learn fundamental nursing skills and science concepts, and the second half teaches specifics about treating people. Although curricula vary depending on where you study, the curriculum will look something like this:

B.S. in Nursing: Years One and Two

Your first two years in nursing school will offer a solid foundation in scientific knowledge and other health-related skills. These and other skills will help you to understand the theory behind what you'll soon be doing as a nurse.

  • Nursing Science Courses: Basic nursing courses teach physiology, psychology, anatomy and microbiology. Students should understand the molecular and chemical underpinnings of the human body. With this knowledge, you'll be more effective in treating the body.
  • Related Nursing Skills: These courses will support you as a nurse. You'll learn about the principles of nutrition and the theory behind health and wellness studies. You may also learn about sociology and statistics.

B.S. in Nursing: Years Three and Four

The final two years of your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program move from theory to practice. You learn to apply your knowledge to help make people better. This component of the BSN program can be divided into two parts:

  • General Nursing Treatment Courses: Some treatment courses of your nursing bachelor's degree program give you a broad understanding of treatment protocols. For example, you'll learn about pharmacology, mental health and community health promotion.
  • Specific Treatment Courses for Nurses: Specialized nursing courses will make up most of your last two years in a BSN degree program. Nursing students learn to treat specific populations, like children, young adults or the elderly. You'll also learn about nursing practice in surgical and obstetric medicine.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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  • Purdue University Global

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