Academics

Nursing: A Signature Academic Program

Program Details

The School of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree for pre-licensure students, as well as for students licensed to practice professional nursing (RN) with the RN-BSN Completion Program, available online. 

  • Pre-licensure students must complete all prerequisite courses before applying to the WIU School of Nursing. 
  • RN-BSN Completion Program is for students licensed to practice nursing as registered nurses (RNs). Students may request enrollment in Western Illinois University during their initial nursing education or may seek enrollment following their initial nursing program. Students may take up to nine credits in the nursing major prior to becoming licensed as an RN. Ideally, students should complete all general education and nursing support courses before taking nursing courses, but students are allowed to take general education courses with nursing courses.

Nurses are healthcare providers who are skilled in the care and nurturing of healthy and ill people. The American Nurses Association provides the following definition of nursing: “Nursing is the protection, promotion and optimization of health and abilities; prevention of illness and injury; alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human responses and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities and populations.” (American Nurses Association [2003], Nursing’s Social Policy Statement [2nd ed.], p. 6)

The baccalaureate generalist nurse is well-grounded in the arts, science and humanities; exercises appropriate clinical judgment; understands the reasoning behind policies and standards of professional nursing practice and accepts responsibility for continued development of the self and the discipline of nursing. Nurses are independent care providers licensed by the state of Illinois as registered nurses.

Special Opportunities in Nursing

Nursing students can participate in the Western Illinois University Student Nursing Association (open to all undergraduate nursing students) and the School of Nursing Honor Society (students are invited to join based on their GPA). A wide variety of student activities and organizations are available to all Western Illinois University students.

Nursing students can learn and practice nursing, health and physical assessment skills in Western's Nursing Resource Center using patient simulators. Faculty supervision is available to teach those skills and assist during practice.

Nursing majors will have the opportunity to practice nursing in a variety of healthcare settings with a variety of clients. Students practice in real-life settings with faculty supervision.

Additional Resources

nursing class

Western’s faculty members are dedicated educators, skilled in fostering active student participation.

Possible Nursing Career Paths

There is a severe shortage of nurses in the United States and worldwide. The demand for more and better health care is greater now than any time in the past. There is a global nurse labor market that will continue to grow. Graduates can anticipate employment in a number of positions locally, in the state and nationwide. For those who have fluency in another language, there is the possibility of employment abroad. For those interested in the military, the Air Force, Army and Navy have excellent programs for nurses.

Graduate school allows nurses to practice at an advanced level—for example, as nurse practitioners, nurse educators or nurse administrators.

Nursing (NURS) Courses

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.

300 Theoretical and Conceptual Foundations of Professional Nursing. (3) The theoretical and conceptual foundations of professional nursing practice are explored. The evolving roles of nursing are analyzed in terms of role preparation, scope of practice, certifications, and career mobility and advance opportunities. Prerequisite: admission to the RN–BSN Completion Program.

302 Health Assessment. (3) This course presents the basic elements of health assessment of all body systems as well as recording a patient’s medical history. Physical and psychosocial assessment will be practiced. A clinical/laboratory component course. Prerequisite: admission to the BSN program or permission of program director.

305 Introduction to Professional Nursing. (3) This course provides the foundation for professional nursing practice by explaining the American Nurses Association scope and standards of practice as well as the code of ethics for nurses. Prerequisite: admission to the BSN program.

308 Ethical and Legal Issues in Professional Practice. (3) This course examines the legal foundations of nursing practice and the ethical decisions nurses have to make. Prerequisite: NURS 300.

309 Concepts in Community Health Nursing. (1) This course provides an overview of the focus and roles of nurses in community-based practice. Students will explore the development of health educational activities and nursing interventions that are appropriate for nursing care in the community. Prerequisite: NURS 302, 305, and 310.

310 Fundamentals of Nursing. (6) This course introduces the novice nurse to the basic processes, skills, and practice needed to provide care for clients of all ages using a self-care framework. Includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical learning experiences. Corequisites: NURS 302 and 305.

312 Genetics in Nursing Practice. (1) The focus of this course is the use of genetic/genomic information in nursing and health care. Prerequisite: ZOOL 331.

316 Transcultural Nursing. (2) (Global Issues) Students will examine health care systems from a variety of cultures and countries. A global perspective should help students provide culturally appropriate care for clients and also prepare them for the myriad of perspectives they will encounter in professional practice. Prerequisite: admission to the BSN program or permission of the program director.

322 Adult and Child Nursing I. (5) Students provide nursing care for clients from childhood through old age with acute and chronic needs related to circulation and oxygenation. Clinical experiences will occur in various settings. Prerequisite: NURS 310 and 461.

326 Pharmacology I. (3) This course introduces the pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of agents used in patient care and education. Prerequisite: NURS 310.

327 Pharmacology II. (2) This is the second course in a two course series and continues the discussion of pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of agents used in patient care and education. Prerequisite: NURS 326.

328 Mental Health Nursing. (3) Students provide nursing care for clients from childhood through old age with acute and chronic needs related to mental health. Clinical experiences will occur in various settings. Prerequisite or Corequisite: NURS 322.

405 Nursing and the Community. (4) This course focuses on understanding and practicing public health and community health nursing, including epidemiology, client system, health behavior, health accommodation, stress and adaptation, and levels of prevention, immunizations, home care, clinics, and community agencies. A clinical component course. Prerequisite: NURS 408.

408 Nursing Research. (3) An examination of research methods as they pertain to nursing including the role of theory, modes of inquiry, research models, and ethical issues. Applying research in the development of patient care plans. Writing Instruction in the Discipline WID course. Prerequisites: ENG 280, STAT 171. Corequisite: NURS 322, or credit for NURS 300.

409 Professional Seminar. (3) This capstone experience course explores the role of baccalaureate preparation for contemporary nursing practice, focusing on the influences of professional organizations, institutional support, and personal change. A professional portfolio will be developed. Writing Instruction in the Discipline WID course. Prerequisite: ENG 280. Corequisite: NURS 415.

410 Public Health Nursing. (3) This course focuses on understanding population-based nursing care and public health nursing concepts including the role of public health nurses, levels of prevention, populationbased education, epidemiology, family-based care, immunizations, and specialty areas of population-based care. Prerequisite: NURS 408. Corequisite: NURS 422.

415 Nursing Leadership, Management and Policy. (4) This course focuses on the analysis, integration, and application of principles of leadership and management in health care organizations. Emphasis is placed on skills needed for nurses to succeed as leaders in the professional nursing arena in today’s global care environment. Corequisite: NURS 424.

422 Adult and Child Nursing II. (5) Students provide nursing care for clients from childhood through old age with acute and chronic needs related to metabolic, elimination, and mobility needs. Clinical experiences will occur in various settings. Prerequisite: NURS 322.

424 Adult and Child Nursing III. (7) Students provide nursing care for clients from childhood through old age with acute and chronic needs related to cell growth and neurosensory needs. Clinical experiences will occur in various settings where complex care needs are met. Prerequisites: NURS 328, 422. Corequisite: NURS 425.

425 Senior Seminar. (3) Graduating senior Nursing students analyze and synthesize content and experiences from all previous and concurrent Nursing courses. Prerequisites: NURS 328, 422. Corequisite: NURS 424.

428 Maternal Child Nursing. (4) Students provide nursing care for women of childbearing age and young children. Clinical experiences will occur in various settings that provide health care services for women of childbearing age and young children. Prerequisite or Corequisite: NURS 322.

430 Geriatric Nursing. (3) This course covers issues of health policy, financial and psychosocial support for young elders, functionally able elders, and frail elders. Assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of common health problems of the elderly will be addressed. A clinical component course. Prerequisite: NURS 405, or NURS 405 concurrently, or permission of the program director.

431 Rural Nursing. (3) An examination of rural nursing, focusing on need, delivery, access, availability, acceptability, and types of health care in rural areas. A clinical component course. Prerequisite: NURS 405, or NURS 405 concurrently, or permission of the program director.

432 Nursing Informatics. (3) This course examines the manner in which information, data, facts, and figures are developed, utilized, and analyzed for patient improvement. Prerequisites: NURS 408 and STAT 171 or permission of program director.

433 Community Mental Health Nursing. (3) Explores population-specific mental health issues including access, treatment modalities, and follow-up, and drug and alcohol abuse in the context of community health nursing. A clinical component course. Prerequisite: NURS 328 or permission of program director.

434 Geropsychiatric Nursing I. (3) This course is part one of a two-part series examining nursing care for mental health promotion and nursing care management of adults aged 65 and older. Prerequisite: NURS 302. Corequisite: NURS 405 or 410, or permission of the instructor.

436 Geropsychiatric Nursing II. (3) This course is part two of a two-part series examining nursing care for mental health promotion and nursing care management of adults aged 65 and older. Prerequisite: NURS 434 or permission of the instructor.

438 Forensic Nursing. (3) An introduction into forensic nursing practice. Discusses historical framework of forensic nursing, analyzes concepts, and synthesizes theory and practice. Identifies assessment tools and interprets assessment findings. Discusses management of forensic populations. Prerequisite: NURS 302 or permission of the instructor.

440 Electrocardiographic Monitoring and Dysrhythmia Management. (3) Focuses on the identification and nursing care management for patients with cardiac dysrhythmias. This course is for students who have completed a medical surgical nursing course where cardiac care was discussed. Prerequisite: NURS 322 or permission of the instructor.

461 (Cross-listed with ZOOL 461) Pathophysiology. (4) Alteration in physiology, pathogenesis of structure and function of the human body leading to disease, and manifestations of disease states are discussed. In addition, body system interaction is analyzed in maintaining physiological homeostasis during disease/ altered states. Not open to students with credit in ZOOL 461. Prerequisites: MICR 200 (C grade or better), ZOOL 330 and ZOOL 331; or consent of instructor.

Contact Information

School of Nursing

Dr. P. Lea Monahan, Director
Email: PL-Monahan@wiu.edu
Location: Currens Hall 510
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-2571

Nursing Website

Nursing Directory

College of Arts & Sciences (CAS)

Dr. Susan Martinelli-Fernandez, Dean
Email: Martinelli-Fernandez@wiu.edu
CAS Email: cas@wiu.edu
Location: Morgan Hall 114
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1828

CAS Website

Nursing Advising

Theo Schultz
Currens Hall 123
Phone: (309) 298-2571
Email: T-Schultz@wiu.edu

Currens Hall