The Faculty of Citizens School of Nursing asserts that the planning, direction, implementation, evaluation, review, and revision of the program is the responsibility of the faculty in order that the purpose, philosophy, and objectives of the School of Nursing might be achieved.

The Citizens School of Nursing curriculum consists of 5 semesters (three in the first year and two in the second year). The total program is 2 years long and consists of 435 theory hours and 945 clinical hours for a total of 1380 hours.

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Curriculum overview

The Faculty of Citizens School of Nursing asserts that the planning, direction, implementation, evaluation, review, and revision of the program are the responsibility of the faculty in order that the purpose, philosophy, and objectives of the School of Nursing might be achieved.

There are central concepts that form the basis of the program objectives and clinical nursing course objectives across the curriculum. These central concepts include the development and application of a scientific theory base, critical thinking, the nursing process, professional accountability and responsibility, therapeutic and professional communication, and interdisciplinary team skills. Pharmacology and nutrition therapy are integrated throughout the program.

College courses provide 24 credits in the natural sciences, humanities, and nursing and have been placed in a specified sequence to support the nursing theory. Six of those credits are upper-division nursing courses taught by Penn State University (PSU). Students may complete some or all of the college courses, with the exception of the PSU nursing courses, before entering the nursing program. The entire two-year nursing program is organized into two academic years, which are subdivided into terms. The length of the total program consists of 435 theory hours and 945 clinical hours for a total of 1380 hours.

The first academic year consists of three semesters. The first semester nursing course, Fundamentals of Nursing, is a clinical nursing course that focuses on basic nursing and assessment skills. Anatomy and Psychology are the college support courses. In the second semester, Introduction to Medical-Surgical Nursing covers the concepts of gerontology, fluid and electrolytes, renal, mobility, pneumonia, perfusion, metabolism and cellular regulation. Physiology and Human Growth and Development are the college support courses. The third semester of the first year consists of a six-week Community Nursing course. Nursing informatics is the support course.

In the second year there are two semesters. The Fall Semester is Advanced Medical-Surgical Nursing with break-out courses of Maternal-Child Nursing or Adults in Crisis. Microbiology is the college support course for this semester. The Winter Semester, Integration into Professional Practice includes the general principles of leadership, management, delegation, health care delivery and quality and collaboration. Students who did not take Maternal-Child Nursing or Adults in crisis will do so at this time. The college support course is Professional Transitions.


College course descriptions

After acceptance to the School of Nursing, each person is strongly encouraged to complete any of the following courses before entering the nursing classes. The courses must be taken at an accredited college or university.

Introductory Psychology (Credits – 3)
Presentation of topics and concepts fundamental to an understanding of human behavior and experience. The course should introduce the student to the structure and dynamics of behavior as expressed in modern psychological theory as well as the processes of learning, development, and personality structure.

Anatomy (Credits – 4)
Physiology (Credits – 4)

Courses that study structure and function of the skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, respiratory, circulatory, excretory, reproductive, and digestive systems of man. These courses must have a laboratory component.

Courses titled Anatomy and Physiology I and II may be taken so long as both courses totaling 8 credits are earned. Anatomy and Physiology I may be substituted for Anatomy. Anatomy and Physiology II may be substituted for Physiology.

Microbiology (Credits – 4)
An examination of the morphology and physiology of microorganisms with emphasis on their relationship to the physical environment. This course must have a laboratory component.

Developmental Psychology (Credits – 3)
A course that presents the psychological principles of human growth and development from infancy to maturity.

The following two (2) courses can only be taken with their assigned class. They cannot be taken prior to enrollment:

Transition and the Professional Nursing Role (Credits – 3)
Transition to baccalaureate education and professional nursing practice, emphasizing leadership, management, and issues influencing nursing education and practice.

Introduction to Computing and Nursing Informatics(Credits – 3)
An introduction to computers and nursing informatics focusing on applications to the nursing profession.


Suggested electives

Recommended but not required.
Introduction to Sociology
English Comp I
English Comp II
Math Elective (Statistics recommended)
Nursing Health Assessment –PSU
Intro to Nursing Research – PSU

Electives may be taken at Penn State or Westmoreland County Community College. Enrollment arrangements are made via the School of Nursing.


Nursing course descriptions

Each nursing course must be successfully completed prior to advancement to the next course.

Nursing 301 and 302 may be taken out of sequence. No student may enter Nursing 400 without prior completion of all of the preceding nursing courses.

First Year

Fall semester (18 weeks)

Nursing 100: Nursing Fundamentals (12 credits)
This course is a clinical course that provides the beginning student with introductory concepts and basic procedural skills along with the nursing process and therapeutic communication. This course introduces the nursing concepts of coordination/collaboration of care, thermoregulation, tissue integrity, oxygenation, health/wellness, comfort, elimination, inflammation/infection, sensory perception, sexuality,and perioperative care. Nursing skills are introduced in a simulated laboratory and reinforced on a medical-surgical unit.

Spring semester (18 weeks)

Nursing 200: Medical-Surgical Nursing (12 credits)
This clinical nursing course focuses on the concepts of fluid/electrolytes, mobility, perfusion, digestion, metabolism, cellular regulation and immunity in acute and chronic medical-surgical patients. Clinical experience provides students with the opportunity to care for patients in the medical-surgical, oncology, orthopedic, radiology, and endoscopy units. Prerequisite: Nursing 100.

Summer semester (6 weeks)

Nursing 201: Community Nursing (3 credits)
This course introduces the student to practical approaches to supporting patients in the community. The student explores the obstacles experienced by at-risk community patients that block compliance with their treatment plans and identifies strategies and measurements of outcomes related to enabling these patients to assume greater responsibility for their health care. Clinical experiences introduce students to the operation of an interprofessional high-risk care team in the community. Prerequisites: Nursing 100 and Nursing 200.

Second Year

Fall semester (18 weeks)

Nursing 300: Critical Care Nursing of the Adult (8 credits)*
Critical Care Nursing of the Adult exposes the student to the care of the acutely ill patient in critical care nursing units. Theory explores the concepts of perfusion, acid-base balance, oxygenation, immunity and metabolism in relation to complex critically ill patients. Students are assigned to intensive care, cardiac care, and progressive care units as well as community experience. Prerequisites: Nursing 100, 200, and 201.

Nursing 301: Maternal Child Nursing (5 credits)*
This course is taught to one-half of the class in the Fall and Spring Semesters of the Second Year. It is taught concurrently with Nursing 300 or Nursing 400. This course exposes the student to the care of the mother/child/family in the community and inpatient settings. Students learn the role of the nurse in caring for the family through pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum periods. The concepts of oxygenation, perfusion, digestion, immunity, fluids and electrolytes are examined in relation to the care of children.

Nursing 302: Adults in Crisis (5 credits)*=>
This course is taught to one-half of the class in the Fall and Spring Semesters of the Second Year. It is taught concurrently with Nursing 300 or Nursing 400. This course focuses on the concepts of intracranial regulation, cognitive function, maladaptive behavior, emotion, tissue integrity, and coordination/collaboration of care. The clinical experiences are provided in varied emergency departments, a long-term mental health facility, and several community treatment centers.

Spring semester

Nursing 400: Integration into Professional Practice (5 credits)*
This final course focuses on the concepts of health care delivery and health care team collaboration with emphasis on leadership, management, organization and delegation of care. The clinical experiences will be provided in many units of the hospital. Students will have the opportunity for a multiple patient assignment and to work closely with a registered nurse as part of the health care team. Prerequisites: Nursing 100, 200, 201, 300. Either Nursing 301 or Nursing 302 will run concurrently.

*The use of the word "credit" with CSON nursing courses implies credit equivalents not earned college credit awarded by a college/ university.


Concurrent completion of college and nursing courses (master rotation plan)

All students must demonstrate documented evidence of completion of required college courses prior to graduation.

College courses may be completed prior to enrolling in the School of Nursing.

A student will be required to enroll in the concurrent college courses planned for every term in which the student has not provided the School of Nursing Registrar with official documentation of satisfactory course completion with a grade of ""C"" or better. These courses will be taken at PSU and WCCC. Official documentation can be an official transcript or a student grade report. The student grade report shall be temporary proof pending final transcript receipt.

The student pays the School of Nursing for the college courses and the school in turn pays the college. The school will pay for a college course one time only and only when it is scheduled unless approved by the Assistant Director in writing. Course withdrawal may alter financial aid eligibility.

All repeated and out-of-sequence courses as well as courses taken at other colleges will be the sole financial responsibility of the student.

If a student withdraws from the School of Nursing, the nursing program will assume no financial responsibility for courses for which it has not received tuition payment.