Bachelor of Science in Nursing Overview of the Curriculum

bachelor of nursing programs

Education for the practice of professional nursing demands a substantial knowledge of nursing, drawing from foundation knowledge of the behavioral and biological sciences. Three components comprise the baccalaureate curriculum: liberal arts education, nursing practice, and electives.

The liberal arts education component includes courses in the sciences, humanities, social sciences and social studies. The majority of these requirements are met in the first two years and are completed either at one of our partner schools or at another college or university.

The nursing component includes lectures, laboratory, and clinical courses concentrated in the last four semesters of the program. The nursing courses include coursework relevant to professional practice, delivery of nursing care, systems for care delivery, and leadership skill development appropriate to current dynamic and diverse health care settings. Clinical courses, offered in both hospital settings and the community, provide students with the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to practice.

Clinical Education

Students are prepared for the professional practice of nursing in a variety of settings such as hospitals, home care agencies, and community-based health care facilities. In addition to clinical laboratories which are located on campus, we maintain contracts with over 100 institutions in the greater Bay Area for our clinical rotations, which provide students with a broad and diverse exposure to nursing, multicultural health practices, and state-of-the-art research. Close supervision of students is maintained, usually with a maximum of 8 or 9 students in a clinical group - based on agency regulations and professional standards.

During the last term of the program students are assigned a clinical nurse preceptor, with whom they work on a 1:1 basis. Clinical preceptors are carefully selected for their experience in the clinical management of patients and for their teaching excellence. The preceptors work closely with the program to ensure that students achieve their clinical objectives and course requirements. Clinical rotations take place in a variety of settings to meet the learning needs of students.

At the completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) for entry into practice.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (2+2 Option) Degree Requirements

The 2+2 Pre-Nursing program is offered in cooperation with Holy Names University, Oakland, Mills College, Oakland, and Saint Mary's College of California, Moraga. This new program allows students multiple options to secure the liberal learning and science courses required as the foundation for professional nursing education. Admission to the Samuel Merritt University BSN program (2+2 option) is dependent upon successful completion of the previous course work with a "B" average (3.0 GPA) or better, the attainment of a score at or above the national average on the Nurse Entrance Test (NET), and successfully completing a criminal background check. Prospective students should consult the catalogs of these respective colleges for admission requirements and courses to be taken.

Transfer Students

Transfer students may be enrolled in the program. Students who desire to transfer into the 2+2 Pre-Nursing program must meet all of the same requirements as expected from the colleges and the university named above. Prospective students are asked to check the Samuel Merritt University website for updates on admission requirements and ability to be admitted as a transfer student to the 2+2.

BSN Curriculum Overview

Junior One

Nursing 111 Pathopharmacology I 3.0
Nursing 129 Psychiatric/Mental Health 5.0
Nursing 125 Health Assessment 5.0
Nursing 137 Introduction to Professional Nursing 3.0
Total units 15.0


Junior Two  
Nursing 112 Pathopharmacology II 3.0
Nursing 127 Managing Care of the Adult I and II 10.0
Nursing 128 Healthy Aging 2.0
General Education Course I 3.0
Total units 18.0


Senior Year-32 Units

Senior One  
Nursing 108 Nursing Research 2.0
Nursing 144 Care of the Childbearing Family 5.0
Nursing 158 Care of Infants, Children, and Youth 5.0

Nursing 164 Managing Care of Adults III

General Education Course I



Total units 20.0


Senior Two  
Nursing 160 Leadership 3.0
Nursing 170 Community Health 5.0
Nursing 190L Synthesis 6.0
Total units 14.0



Total Units - 67 units

After Graduation

The BSN degree is the starting point of a rewarding career in nursing. Your BSN degree assures your employer that you have the best preparation for your new position, including leadership and critical thinking skills. Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing are found in many different health care settings. They are prepared to practice in hospitals in intensive care units, pediatrics, maternity, emergency rooms, and medical-surgical units. Additionally, many practice in rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, ambulatory care clinics, community health, home care, schools, occupational health, and industry.

BSN nurses have more opportunity for advancement into supervisory positions and other positions of responsibility because of their preparation. Our graduates can be found as leaders in case management, education, and practice. Many graduates have completed master's degrees as clinical specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse educators, nurse anesthestists, and administrators. Graduates have also completed their doctoral degrees and serve as nursing faculty. Our graduates are leaders in the profession and can be found practicing throughout the Bay Area, nationally, and abroad.


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