15 Common Courses You Will Take For Your RN Degree
Within the RN qualified degrees there are a number of courses both theory and practical, and depending on which level of education you choose to embark on those classes will alter slightly. Most nurses will cover a wide array of material from math and chemistry to psychology and physiology. Other nurses will specialize in particular fields and choose electives based on pediatrics, oncology or geriatrics.
For a glance into 15 of the assorted common courses that an RN will see throughout their academic career, read on below.
Featured Online Programs
#1 Introduction to Psychology
An Introduction to psychology course introduces students to mental behavior and the study of psychological processes. Subjects such as research methodology, neuroscience, memory, emotional development, personality, therapeutic treatment, social psychology, and psychological disorders are covered within this program. Although this is a theory based class, there are usually research projects involved to determine causes and treatments for specific disorders.
includes physiology as a required course in its curriculum; it is often studied over a number of sections within the 2 to 4 year period, depending on whether you’ve chosen to work toward an Associate or Bachelor level degree. This is the study of the human body along with its structure and functionality. Cells, tissues, and organ systems are all included in these types of courses so that students learn about the muscular, digestive, skeletal, nervous, lymphatic, endocrine, urogenital, and respiratory systems.
#3 Nursing Fundamentals
Nursing Fundamentals includes a broad range of information involving the practical side of nursing and what is required of you. It will usually include discussions, demonstrations and lab work for simulations and hands on experience. Assessing disorders, determining treatments, teaching nursing, health promotion, and medical record keeping are all covered within this class. There is also a focus of safety practices, critical thinking, and cultural diversity within the nursing word.
Basic microbiology courses are often included in RN degree work because it explains the cause of many human diseases. Some of the subject matter covered within this course involves the immune system, medication and how it reacts with the body, host-parasites, culturing, antibiotic identification, and biochemical testing. This particular course is specially designed for nursing students rather than biology majors.
includes gerontology among its BSN curriculum. Gerontology is the study of older adult humans, and although some nurses may not require this course, it’s a standard in most teaching curriculums as it deals with what the majority of hospital patients will be like. This course studies the safety of elderly patients, disease prevention, and geriatric syndromes. Students will discover the link between medications and illnesses within the elderly community, and learn about transitioning care environments, dealing with loss, and end of life issues.
#6 Psychology and Mental Health
Mental Health is a huge section of nursing in nearly any field of work, and the course covers a variety of issues facing patients today. Illnesses that affect both children and adults are covered, along with concepts relating to mental health such as neurobiology and psychosocial theories. Students are usually encouraged to partake in a practical period during this program in which a mental health facility is viewed.
Pharmacology is an important part of a registered nurses job; so much of the course is dedicated to safety and administering medications among patients. There is also information on interventions, maintenance, and restoration, along with adverse effects that drugs can have on patients and how to treat this issue.
#8 Women and Infant Health
Some nurses choose to work with women, particularly in neonatal care, and for this reason Women and Infant health courses are important. Clemson University has a women and children course suited particularly for such nurses. These types of courses often cover the concepts of care for women and newborns, as well as women’s health through menstruation and menopause.
#9 Leadership Management
Leadership Management is mainly offered through the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program and covers systems leadership, patient safety, and management within the nursing field. Budgeting finances, scheduling staff, managing nursing departments, controlling quality, delegating tasks, and managing risk are all covered within this course. Students will also learn about ethics and legal roles within the nursing industry.
#10 Ethics in Nursing
Ethics courses work to enhance ethical thinking within the nursing field for decision making that pertains to questionable circumstances and biomedical issues. Professionalism, codes of conduct, technology, confidentiality, abuse, and refusal of treatments are all discussed within this course. Students will usually participate in projects or case studies to form perspectives, practice concepts, and research case law.
#11 Community and Environmental Nursing
This course covers the health within a population or community as seen within public health and global environments. Epidemiology is often discussed, and students may be asked to reach out to community health organizations for more practical experience in health promotion, disease management, family health care, and social justice.
#12 Care Transitions
The University of Michigan School of Nursing offers a Care Transition program that assists students in learning about transitions within the health care system when patients must move from one health environment to another or even change treatments. This will assess how these alterations affect families, individuals and the health of patients, and will examine issues such as care giving and health system access. The course covers other subjects such as health promotion, risk reduction, safety standards and healthcare interventions.
#13 Population Health
Population health is sometimes offered as a capstone course to include a clinical intensive or synthesized experience within the public health industry. This includes information and processes within complex healthcare systems, and social-ecological theories within the public health system. Students will discover the link between nursing and individuals, families and communities and will work in partnership with these groups to learn about policy development and advocacy for vulnerable communities.
#14 Clinical Theory
Clinical theory focuses on professional clinical nursing, and gives students an outline of what kind of teamwork and delivery will be expected when assessing clients, treating patients and dealing with families and hospital staff. Ethical reasoning and patient care is often dealt with and complex health care issues are discussed.
#15 Clinical Study
After theory is delivered revolving around clinical work, a practical study is usually issued. At the College of Nursing in Denver, Colorado, this type of practicum is organized to establish hands on experience within a chosen field of expertise. For some nurses this might mean working within a continuing care home, school setting, hospital, or private office. It covers a number of core nursing lessons such as finances, teamwork, critical thinking, patient care, and other such tasks.
Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?
Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.
RN-to-MSN online programs provide an accelerated route for registered nurses to earn their master of science in nursing degree. Our rankings highlight the top programs.
Nurses pursuing their doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degrees attain the highest level of education in the profession. DNP degree-holders become nurse practitioners (NPs), healthcare administrators, nurse educators, and researchers.
Want to become a nurse practitioner but don't have a bachelor's degree? No problem. Check out these top RN-to-MSN bridge programs.