B.S. in Nursing

Are you a registered nurse (or soon-to-be one) looking to advance your professional role in today’s diverse healthcare field?

If so, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing bachelor's completion program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is designed for you. This program will expand your current clinical knowledge while placing a strong emphasis on the science of nursing.

The online program focuses on critical thinking and evidence-based nursing practices. Courses combine a scientific approach with an ethical, patient-centered approach, preparing you to work in diverse settings. In addition, the program includes courses designed to prepare you for leadership roles in nursing. Saint Mary’s provides a quality, relevant, and rigorous nursing education based on Lasallian principles to prepare registered nurses for professional nursing practice and graduate study.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the B.S. in Nursing program will:

  • Apply concepts from federal, state, and institutional healthcare policy and regulatory systems to ensure the advancement of safe patient care and professional practice.
  • Apply scientific and outcome-based evidence to nursing practice.
  • Incorporate the concepts from the sciences of information management and patient care technology to improve the quality of patient care.
  • Utilize critical thinking to integrate quality assurance, resource allocation, and financial management policies into professional nursing practice.
  • Apply principles of health promotion and wellness to diverse individuals, groups, and communities as they are identified through community health assessment techniques.
  • Integrate professional values, including integrity, autonomy, human dignity, and social justice, into all aspects of professional nursing practice.
  • Collaborate and communicate, using a variety of modalities, with patients, families, and interdisciplinary team members to optimize healthcare system efficiency and patient wellness.
  • Apply nursing process, knowledge, and skills to changes in population demographics, healthcare economics, and service delivery across the lifespan and healthcare continuum. 


The B.A. in Nursing program at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202-887-6791.


This program is offered online.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 122 credits is required for graduation with a bachelor of science degree from Saint Mary's University. All students must meet the general education credit requirements. A minimum of 36 credits is required to complete the B.S. in Nursing.

Required Nursing Courses 24 cr.
Required Healthcare Management Courses 3 cr.
Required Communication Courses 6 cr.
Required Capstone Course 3 cr.
Total 36 cr.

Required Nursing Courses: 24 cr.

NUR310 Pharmacology and Applied Mathematics (3 cr.)

This course focuses on general concepts in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics related to drug actions and interactions, metabolism and distribution, and adverse effects. Concepts in applied mathematics are applied to solution preparation, dosing, and various drug delivery systems.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Describe the molecular basis that occurs in drug-receptor interactions along with the subsequent effect of body systems and cells. 
  2. Describe how the pharmacokinetic properties of a drug impacted toxic and therapeutic effects.
  3. Examine drug metabolic pathways and describe factors that will affect drug metabolism.
  4. Calculate the drug concentrations for commonly used solutions.
  5. Discuss drug distribution with regard to efficacy and toxicity of drugs.
  6. Apply the terms ED50, LD50, TD50, Therapeutic Window, and Therapeutic Index.

NUR320 Nursing Ethics (3 cr.)

This course is designed to develop a caring response to the ethical issues nurses face in nursing practice. A foundation is provided in basic ethical theories, principles, and decision-making frameworks including the Code of Ethics for Nursing. Legal, regulatory, and policy implications are also explored as an important factor in guiding ethical decision making for the professional nurse. Reflection specific to one's own personal values and beliefs (morality) serve as an underpinning to understanding fundamental ethical principles and approaches in the complex healthcare environment.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze personal and professional belief and value systems impacting one's own nursing practice.
  2. Examine the value of the professional Code of Ethics for Nurses and its application as an ethical framework.
  3. Identify and examine legal and regulatory policies impacting nursing ethics.
  4. Recognize and analyze current ethical dilemmas associated with nursing.
  5. Apply ethical decision-making models for the nursing scope of practice.
  6. Evaluate the role of self and personal accountability in ethical behavior.

NUR330 Healthcare Delivery Systems (3 cr.)

This course provides an overview of healthcare delivery systems and their interaction and influence on healthcare practices. An examination of health reimbursement systems, external regulatory bodies, and public policy are explored.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Describe the processes/organizations associated with regulation of healthcare practice in the U.S.
  2. Identify and discuss current legal statutes defining healthcare practice and professional rights and responsibilities of nurses.
  3. Describe and compare how healthcare delivery systems are organized and financed.
  4. Discuss social and economic factors shaping healthcare policy and ways to effect policy change.
  5. Analyze the challenges associated with maintaining organizational compliance within a care setting.
  6. Evaluate health reimbursement systems and their impact on healthcare practices and cost containment.

NUR340 Nursing Research (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the integration of quality evidence from research, clinical expertise, and patient values to make informed decisions regarding quality nursing practices. Identifying areas of evidence-based practice, gathering and evaluating valid evidence, implementing the findings, and assessing the outcomes are discussed.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Apply an evidence-based practice model applicable to nursing.
  2. Access and evaluate sources of evidence for validity and relevance.
  3. Integrate the use of nursing data and information, and the role of informatics systems in healthcare organizations.
  4. Compare current and emerging clinical information and decision support systems used in healthcare.
  5. Integrate patient values and preferences into clinical decision making.
  6. Determine interventions and modifications to the plan of care using valid evidence.
  7. Demonstrate proficiency in technology competencies that are currently used in nursing practice and leadership.

NUR405 Introduction to Healthcare Finance (3 cr.)

This course introduces nurses to concepts in financial management. Students are exposed to different types of budgets, financial forecasting, determination of assets, valuation of nursing services, and preparation of nursing unit budgets across different types of nursing units.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Apply budgeting skills and technological tools to support financial and operational unit management.
  2. Discuss staffing resources including recruitment and retention of staff and their impact on the financial status of a patient care area.
  3. Analyze cost, revenue, and expense data related to financial operations for the healthcare unit/division and organization.
  4. Evaluate methods such as forecasting used for the development of operating budgets for nursing services.
  5. Discuss key issues impacting decision making in healthcare resource management.
  6. Describe the relationships between healthcare financing, costs, and quality of care.

NUR415 Nursing Leadership and Management (3 cr.)

This course examines managerial and leadership concepts applied to the role of the professional nurse.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Differentiate between the roles of leaders and managers.
  2. Apply theories of effective leadership and management within selected healthcare systems.
  3. Demonstrate the concepts of conflict management using appropriate communication tasks.
  4. Describe the impact of unionization in healthcare and discuss the impact of collective bargaining including legal implications.
  5. Discuss strategies for effective interprofessional collaboration and team building.
  6. Discuss professional accountability for effective leadership within nursing practice and for advancement of the profession.

NUR425 Integrative Healthcare (3 cr.)

This course introduces integrative therapies as components of routine nursing care. Nurses explore how transformational care therapies such as massage, guided imagery, meditation, and acupressure can be used to promote wellness and pain control in all patients.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Discuss the conceptual basis for including integrative practices as adjuncts in the delivery of traditional nursing care.
  2. Describe several integrative therapies and how they can be applied to the nursing care plan.
  3. Describe assessment processes for patients who could benefit from integrative therapies.
  4. Select specific integrative therapies that are effective in working with patients experiencing anxiety, fear, and pain.
  5. Create a plan for teaching and coaching patients who could benefit from integrative therapies.

NUR435 Community Health Assessment (3 cr.)

This course examines the major causes of morbidity and mortality facing state and community populations. Intervention with communities through prevention and health education/counseling are explored.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify and examine the etiologies of the major medical/socioeconomic health problems associated with adult health in the U.S.
  2. Apply a systematic evidence-based approach to plan, deliver, and evaluate quality care.
  3. Discover through community assessment the characteristics of a local community population and what major health challenges they are facing.
  4. Plan for patient education with diverse populations to promote health, prevent disease, and reduce risk.
  5. Analyze the effectiveness of the patient education teaching plan designed for a specific family or population group.

Required Healthcare Management Courses: 3 cr.

NUR410 Healthcare Information Management (3 cr.)

This course provides an overview of information management in health and human service organizations. It examines the evolution of informatics, the rules, regulations, and ethical concerns that impact the health practitioner. An analysis of the principles and processes of information management tools for healthcare is included.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze overall trends and direct practice decisions in healthcare utilizing information systems and electronic medical records.
  2. Apply the federal, state, and local statutes that address compliance, confidentiality, privacy protection, ethical concerns, and dissemination of electronic health records.
  3. Identify how information management is applied in public healthcare practices on both micro and macro levels.
  4. Illustrate how the roles found in healthcare settings interact and affect the roles found in human services and the importance of current and accurate data in fostering these relationships.
  5. Apply common terminology and acronyms related to health informatics.
  6. Evaluate the current models used for informatics management and reporting, and address future trends within the industry.

Required Communication Courses: 6 cr.

NUR302 Communication Skills for Nurses (3 cr.)

This course provides strategies for developing the academic and professional writing skills relevant to nurses. Topics include effective written communication in the workplace and appropriate communication styles based on audience and purpose. Academic writing is addressed, including APA formatting, library research tools, and methods for locating and selecting scholarly sources.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify a research topic and develop a thesis statement.
  2. Locate and evaluate relevant academic and scholarly sources on a research topic using library databases and technology resources.
  3. Prepare an annotated bibliography and various written reports.
  4. Organize and manage ideas and sources for research topics.
  5. Apply APA format to documentation.
  6. Examine academic integrity and the ethical use of sources in written and oral communication.

NUR325 Cross Cultural Competence for Nurses (3 cr.)

This course examines the impact of cultural diversity on the helping relationship, encourages the acknowledgement of biases and beliefs about diversity, and provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate an appreciation of the contributions of diverse populations. Special attention is given to diverse populations.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify and acknowledge biases and beliefs about diversity.
  2. Understand the impact of cultural diversity on the helping relationship.
  3. Practice with respect, knowledge, and skills related to clients' age, class, color, culture, disability, economic status, ethnicity, family structure, gender, lifestyle orientation, marital status, national origin, race, and religion.
  4. Recognize contributions from a diverse population, interacting as individuals or groups, to guide evolving organizational and societal systems.  

Required Capstone Course: 3 cr.

NUR490 Capstone (3 cr.)

This summative course integrates the skills and knowledge developed in previous coursework and applies them to a project.  Students select an area of interest and location that can accommodate at least 40 hours. After completing an approved proposal and demonstrating compliance with the stipulations for off-site experiences, a preceptor and/or advisor is assigned. Students are required to submit a paper based on journal entries and learning throughout the 40-hour experience, identifying an aspect for improved patient care at their location. 

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Describes the role, learning objectives, and responsibilities of the learner prior to participating in the off-site experience. Documents compliance with same after at the end of the experience.
  2. Complies with all university, institutional, and program policies, privacy mandate, including attendance, and record keeping.
  3. Demonstrates the ability to analyze effectively and think critically throughout the experience.
  4. Accepts responsibility for his/her relationships with patients and all other members of the healthcare team that demonstrates awareness of multicultural and social differences.
  5. Displays initiative, self-discipline, and intellectual curiosity.
  6. Accepts instruction and constructive criticism and incorporates it into future practice.
  7. Demonstrates ethical behavior in all relationships.
  8. Displays a willingness to perform any assigned duties within the scope of the practicum agreement.
  9. Describe the elements that combine to define safe and competent care in their practicum institution.
  10. Identify leadership and management principles relevant to their practicum site experience.

Online Nursing Program

Read more about how to complete the B.S. in Nursing online.



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