Undergraduate Catalog 2023-2024

Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (586P, 586)

Interim Program Coordinator
Dawn Garrett-Wright, dawn.garrett@wku.edu, (270) 745-8300

The graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is prepared to be a professional nurse who is a generalist and who has the knowledge base for graduate study in nursing. The baccalaureate degree nurse is prepared to practice nursing in a variety of healthcare settings with emphasis on comprehensive nursing care including prevention of illness, health promotion, restoration, and rehabilitation. The graduate is prepared to function in the leadership roles of the professional nurse.

The Bachelor of Science in nursing program is designed to prepare the student to write the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) to become a registered nurse. Entry into the BSN program is at the junior level, following completion of all general education and nursing pre-requisite courses. The upper division BSN nursing program consists of four semesters of full-time study with 57 credit hours in the major. See School of Nursing and Allied Health website for example 4-year curriculum plan. Clinical hours are scheduled to meet clinical agency needs. Therefore, to avoid scheduling issues, it is required that students complete all non-nursing courses prior to entry into the nursing program. Students must progress as a cohort once admitted to the nursing program. Part-time progression is not currently available in the BSN program.

Pre-Nursing (586P)

Prior to admission into the nursing program, students are required to meet the university Colonnade (general education) requirements and a set of prerequisite courses required of all nursing students. Students who want to declare as a nursing major prior to admission into the nursing program are designated as Pre-Nursing students (reference 586P) and are assigned an advisor in Advising and Career Development Center. Pre-Nursing students will meet with advisors to discuss their academic preparation and determine the appropriate courses for registration. Pre-Nursing students must maintain a GPA of 2.75 or above to remain in the pre-nursing program. For more details and frequently asked questions about preparation for admission into nursing and deadlines for applications, please see the School of Nursing and Allied Health (SONAH) website.

Support services for CHHS are housed in the Advising and Career Development Center and are available to students who decide to change from Pre-Nursing to another health-related career.   

Admission to the nursing program is limited and based on selection of the most qualified applicants who meet all admission requirements. The program can be completed in 4 years if the student completes all prerequisite courses, is admitted to the nursing program in the junior year and successfully completes all nursing courses in sequence.

Guaranteed Nursing Admission (GNA) to the WKU BSN program is available to first-time, full-time college freshmen and is not available for transfer students. Prior to completing the GNA application, you must apply for admission to WKU, submit your ACT scores and obtain a WKU ID number. See https://www.wku.edu/atwku/admissions.php for details.

Students seeking the GNA must have an ACT composite score of 23 or above. In addition, all students seeking entry into the WKU BSN program must be able to meet all nursing admission requirements. Please see the School of Nursing and Allied Health website for details.

If awarded a GNA, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA while a full-time student in the pre-nursing program. GNA students must also initially obtain a grade of “B” or above in the following courses: CHEM 109, BIOL 131, BIOL 231, BIOL 207, NURS 102, and NURS 324. All general education courses and nursing required prerequisite courses must be completed prior to entering the nursing program.

GNA students who maintain the above standards will be guaranteed admission to the WKU BSN program in either the Fall or Spring semester on or before the third year. If the GNA student is not able to enroll in the BSN program during this timeframe for any reason, the student will forfeit the GNA status and  must reapply to the nursing program with the general applicant pool to compete for a space in the BSN program.

In addition to completion of Colonnade requirements, the following prerequisite/support courses must be completed prior to entry into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Some nursing support courses may be used for both Colonnade and nursing prerequisites.

Required Pre-Nursing Curriculum for Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree: 

MATH 115Applied College Algebra3
or MATH 116 College Algebra
BIOL 131Human Anatomy and Physiology4
BIOL 231Advanced Human Anatomy and Physiology4
PSY/PSYS 220Introduction to Lifespan Developmental Psychology3
NURS 324Pathophysiology for Nursing3
NURS 102Introduction to Professional Nursing3
CHEM 109Chemistry for the Health Sciences4
BIOL 207General Microbiology3
HMD 211Human Nutrition3
Select a statistics course from the following:
Introductory Statistics
Biostatistics in the Health Sciences
Statistics in Psychology
Statistics in Psychology
Social Statistics
Social Work Statistics and Data Analysis

Admission Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing:

The student must also have completed all requirements for general education (WKU Colonnade Program or approved general education certification transferred to WKU) prior to entry into the upper division BSN program.

Be admitted to Western Kentucky University.

  1. Complete all designated prerequisite courses.
  2. Have an overall grade point average of 2.75 or above for college level courses.
  3. Have attained a minimum of a “C” in NURS 102NURS 324BIOL 131/BIOL 231BIOL 207CHEM 109MATH 115 or MATH 116HMD 211PSY 220/PSYS 220, and the selected Statistics course (ECON 206MATH 183PH 383PSY 313/PSYS 313SOCL 300 or SWRK 344). Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2 must have been completed no more than 5 years prior to application to the nursing program and from the same institution.  Students who have obtained a minimum grade of “C” in Anatomy and Physiology more than 5 years prior to application to the nursing program must either retake the courses, or demonstrate current competency by scoring a 77% or better on the Anatomy & Physiology section of the entrance exam prior to application to the nursing program.
  4. Submit application to the School of Nursing and Allied Health by posted deadline on the website.
  5. Students may be asked to participate in a preadmission interview and/or testing.

Program Requirements (57 hours)

A baccalaureate degree requires a minimum of 120 unduplicated semester hours. More information can be found at www.wku.edu/registrar/degree_certification.php.

Students who began WKU in the Fall 2014 and thereafter should review the Colonnade requirements located at: https://www.wku.edu/colonnade/colonnaderequirements.php.

Students are required to take the following 57 hours and earn a grade of “C” or higher in each course: 

NURS 329Concepts in Pharmacology I2
NURS 333Fundamentals of Nursing3
NURS 334Clinical: Fundamentals of Nursing2
NURS 335Health Assessment3
NURS 336Health Assessment Lab1
NURS 337Health Promotion and Disease Prevention3
NURS 341Medical-Surgical Nursing I3
NURS 342Clinical: Medical Surgical Nursing I3
NURS 343Mental Health Nursing3
NURS 344Clinical: Mental Health Nursing1
NURS 403Nursing Leadership, Management, and Professional Issues4
NURS 413Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice3
NURS 421High Acuity Nursing3
NURS 422Senior Practicum4
NURS 429Concepts in Pharmacology II2
NURS 432Medical-Surgical Nursing II3
NURS 433Clinical: Medical-Surgical Nursing II3
NURS 444Maternal Child Nursing4
NURS 445Clinical: Maternal Child Nursing2
NURS 448Community Health Nursing3
NURS 449Clinical: Community Health Nursing2
Total Hours57

Required Pre-Nursing Curriculum and Admission Requirements for Second Degree Baccalaureate Students Concurrently Pursuing the Combined Undergraduate Master Entry to Professional Program (MEPN) in Nursing:

Required Pre-Nursing Curriculum and Admission Requirements for Second Degree Baccalaureate students concurrently pursuing the Combined Undergraduate Master's Program in Nursing (MEPN) are BIOL 131BIOL 231, and HMD 211. The student must have completed all prerequisite requirements prior to enrolling in upper division BSN coursework. Nine credit hours earned from NURS 535, NURS 621, and NURS 624 courses will count toward both the BSN (50 hours) and MSN (31 hours) degrees for a total of 72 credit hours in the combined MEPN program. If, after admission, a student does not wish to complete the Combined Master Entry to Professional Nursing (MEPN) program, but wishes to continue in the BSN prelicensure program, the student must complete NURS 324 Pathophysiology or other approved Pathophysiology (NURS 624 would meet this requirement) to continue in the BSN program, and complete all 57 hours of undergraduate nursing coursework. BSN and MSN learning outcomes are met in this combined (MEPN) program as stated in the BSN and MSN Program Outcomes Course Map: https://www.wku.edu/nursing/mepn.php

  1. Be admitted to Western Kentucky University
  2. Bachelor's degree in any discipline other than nursing with a 3.0 or greater GPA.
  3. Have attained a minimum of a "B" in HMD 211 (or approved equivalent)
  4. Have attained a minimum of a "B" in BIOL 131 & BIOL 231 (or approved equivalent)
  5. Have attained a minimum comprehensive score of 80 on the HESI entrance exam. 
  6. Submit applications to the School of Nursing for (a) BSN admission and (b) MEPN application for admission by posted deadlines on website.

Students in the Combined Master Entry to Professional Nursing Program (MEPN) must maintain a 3.0 GPA in both undergraduate and graduate programs.

MEPN Second Degree Undergraduate Coursework 50
Pathophysiology for the Master Entry Professional Nurse
Fundamentals of Nursing
Clinical: Fundamentals of Nursing
Health Assessment for the Master Entry Professional Nurse
Health Assessment Lab
Concepts in Pharmacology I
Medical-Surgical Nursing I
Clinical: Medical Surgical Nursing I
Mental Health Nursing
Clinical: Mental Health Nursing
Concepts in Pharmacology II
Medical-Surgical Nursing II
Clinical: Medical-Surgical Nursing II
Maternal Child Nursing
Clinical: Maternal Child Nursing
High Acuity Nursing for the Master Entry Professional Nurse
Community Health Nursing
Clinical: Community Health Nursing
Senior Practicum
Additional MEPN Graduate Coursework 22
Total Hours72
First Year
ENG 1003ENG 2003
BIOL 2073BIOL 1314
MATH 115 or MATH 1163NURS 1023
PSY 2203COMM 1453
General Elective - AH/HIM 290 highly suggested2HIST 101 or HIST 1023
General Elective 1 
 15 16
Second Year
ENG 3003NURS 3243
BIOL 2314Social & Cultural Connection (NURS 415 suggested)3
HMD 2113Local to Global Connection course3
CHEM 1094Statistics (MATH 183 OR ECON 203 OR SWRK 344 OR SOCL 300 OR PSY 3133
General Elective or World Language (if needed)3Arts and Humanities (E-AH)3
 17 15
Third Year
NURS 3353NURS 3292
NURS 3361NURS 3413
NURS 3333NURS 3423
NURS 3342NURS 3433
NURS 3373NURS 3441
 NURS 4133
 12 15
Fourth Year
NURS 4292NURS 4034
NURS 4323NURS 4213
NURS 4333NURS 4224
NURS 4444NURS 4483
NURS 4452NURS 4492
 14 16
Total Hours 120
  • A minimum grade of “C” is required in all nursing courses
  • Students must pass both the class and clinical portion of each linked clinical nursing class in order to progress in the program. If one part is not passed, both parts must be repeated. Failure of both parts of a linked course will count as ONE course failure.