May 18, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing: Second Degree/Accelerated BSN

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Department Contact

Chair: Rita M. Trofino, DNP, MNEd, RN, 814-472-3185,

Coordinator:  Regina Barr, 814-472-3146,

Program Description

The Second Degree/Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program enables a non-nurse with a baccalaureate degree (BA/BS), the ability to earn a BSN in a 15-month accelerated program. The Second Degree/Accelerated BSN Program prepares generalists in nursing to assist persons, families, and communities toward the goal of health throughout life. A baccalaureate education in nursing provides each student with the knowledge base for practicing professional nursing. The curriculum is based on a liberal arts foundation in the Judeo-Christian tradition and utilizes the AACN Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice within an integrated caring curriculum.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Synthesize knowledge from the humanities and sciences, advanced nursing concepts, and applicable evidenced-based practice to enhance the art and science of nursing care.
  2. Espouse a life-giving mode of being derived from The Prayer of Saint Francis for use in interprofessional communication and collaboration to establish therapeutic and human caring relationships with individuals, families, and communities.
  3. Utilize technology and informatics to improve the delivery of nursing care, quality of care, health care outcomes, and the delivery of health education to multiple populations.
  4. Employ the caring-nursing process to maximize wellness in the delivery of culturally competent professional nursing care for individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations across the lifespan and across the continuum of health care environments.
  5. Affirm professionalism in the art and science of nursing care by understanding the ramifications of health care policy, finance, and regulatory environments on nursing care.
  6. Assume the professional nursing roles of caregiver, teacher, advocate, and care manager by utilizing basic organizational and systems leadership skills to promote quality patient-centered care and patient safety.

Accreditation Statement

The baccalaureate nursing program at Saint Francis University has full approval by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and the master’s degree programs in nursing at Saint Francis University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (  A graduate is eligible to sit for the R.N. licensure exam, NCLEX-RN®.

Estimated Completion Time

4 semesters - 15 months

Admission Requirement

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited College/University in a major other than nursing
  • 3.0 Cumulative Transfer GPA

A total of 68 credits may be transferred, which includes 32 credits of non-nursing prerequisite courses:

  • BIOL 111 Biology - 4 cr
  • CHEM 113 Human Chemistry - 4 cr 
  • BIOL 214 Microbiology - 4 cr
  • BIOL 205 Anatomy & Physiology I - 4 cr
  • BIOL 206 Anatomy & Physiology II - 4 cr
  • PSYC 101 Psychology - 3 cr
  • SOC 101 Sociology - 3 cr
  • MATH 107 College Algebra or higher - 3 cr
  • STATS 205 Statistics - 3 cr

Students must complete 60 credits of nursing courses, which includes 7 prerequisite nursing courses:

  • NURS 100 Introduction to Professional Nursing - 1 cr
  • NURS 200 Nursing Assessment - 3 cr
  • NURS 201 Human Development - 3 cr

All non-nursing and nursing prerequisite courses must be completed prior to the professional phase of nursing which begins with NURS 300.

2.6 Cumulative GPA in the Natural Science courses is required.

Nursing courses require at least a B- grade.

BIOL 205, 206, and 214 courses must be taken within the last 7 years.

BIOL 111 and CHEM 113 will be waived if BIOL 214, BIOL 205 and BIOL 206 have been completed and accepted for transfer.

Students who have been dismissed from a previous BSN program will not be admitted to the Second Degree BSN program at Saint Francis University.

Admission Deadline

This program has rolling admissions.

Technical Standards or Essential Functions

Students are required to satisfactorily achieve program outcomes. Therefore, consideration is given to scholastic aptitude, academic achievement, personal qualities, emotional health and minimum functional requirements/technical standards, necessary to fulfill the objectives of the program.

Nursing education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of skills and professional attitudes and behaviors. The nursing degrees awarded by Saint Francis University at the completion of the educational process certifies that the individual has acquired a base of knowledge and skills requisite for the practice of nursing at the respective undergraduate or graduate level.

To this end, all courses in the curriculum must be completed successfully. In order to acquire the knowledge and skills to function in a variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care, candidates for the undergraduate in nursing must have abilities and skills in five areas:

  • Observation
  • Communication
  • Motor
  • Conceptual Integrative
  • Behavioral- Social

Technological compensation can be made for some disabilities in certain of these areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner and exercise independent judgment.


*Refer to Minimal Functional Requirements/Technical Standards Policy for details - BSN Student Handbook

Students in the Nursing Program must comply with the requirements of the Professional Nursing Law of Pennsylvania. Students are required to submit to PA criminal clearances, FBI fingerprinting clearance, child abuse history clearance, drug testing, immunizations, physical exam and other requirements. Healthcare agencies have the right to refuse clinical placement or deny employment based on background checks.  A graduate of the Nursing program who has been convicted of a felony, is or was involved in drug abuse or has violated other rules of the licensure body, may not be permitted to take the licensing examination regardless of the student’s ability to complete college educational requirements. The student is required to notify the BSN Program Director of any changes to the criminal record. The Nursing program reserves the right to require appropriate documentation as requested regarding previous felonies or violations.

The PA Board of nursing shall not issue a license or certificate to an applicant who has been convicted of a felonious act prohibited by the Act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64) known as the “The Controlled Substance Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act” or convicted of a Felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States or any other state, territory or country unless: (1) at least ten (10) years have elapsed from the date of conviction; (2) the applicant satisfactorily demonstrated to the Board that he/she has made significant progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure of the applicant should not be expected to create a substantial risk of harm to the health and safety of patients or the public or a substantial risk of further criminal violation (3) the applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications contained in or authorized by this act. As used in this subsection, the term “convicted” shall include a judgment, an admission of guilt or a plea of nolo contendere. An applicant’s statement on the application declaring the absence of a conviction shall be deemed satisfactory evidence of the absence of a conviction unless the Board has some evident to the contrary (Amended June 29, 2002, P. L. 651, No. 99).

Progression and/or Retention Criteria

Progression and continuance in the Nursing Program is based upon academic performance and successful achievement of nursing prerequisites, health maintenance, and adherence to Saint Francis University policies in the current University Catalog and Department of Nursing policies as stated in the current Student Handbook. The faculty of the Department of Nursing has the right and the responsibility for judging and evaluating the quality of the student’s achievement, both in the mastery of the theoretical content and in clinical competence.

  • Students must earn a minimum grade of “C” in the following prerequisite Natural Science, and Social Science courses and math course. A “C-“ grade is not acceptable.
Natural Science Courses: Social Science Course: Mathematics Cours:
BIOL 111 Biology I PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology MATH 107 College Algebra or higher
CHEM 113 Human Chemistry I SOC 101 General Sociology  
BIOL 214 Microbiology    
BIOL 205 Anatomy and Physiology I    
BIOL 206 Anatomy and Physiology II    
  • Preferable for BIOL 205 Anatomy and Physiology I and BIOL 206 Anatomy and Physiology II to be taken at Saint Francis University.
  • Students must earn a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.6 or better in the Natural Science courses of BIOL 111, CHEM 113, BIOL 214, BIOL 205 and BIOL 206 prior to entry into the professional phase of nursing in the junior year (300 Level)
  • All Natural Science courses required by the Nursing Program that are taken at another institution and transferred into Saint Francis University will be used in the Natural Science GPA calculation, although they are not calculated into the student’s overall cumulative GPA.  If a student has AP earned credits on one of the required natural science courses, these credits will not be calculated into the student’s natural science GPA.
  • Students must earn a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 2.75 prior to entry into the professional phase of nursing in the junior year (300 Level).
  • The only nursing courses that may be taken prior to entry into the professional phase of the nursing program (300 Level) are:  NURS 100, NURS 200, NURS 201, and NURS 311.  However, the student must successfully complete the pre-requisites required.
  • Prior to the junior year, it is recommended that the maximum number of liberal arts courses the student should have left to complete is three (3) courses (nine credits maximum). When scheduling classes, it is the student’s responsibility to schedule classes so that the classes do not interfere with the clinical experiences (does not apply to second degree students).
  • All students must pass a math proficiency exam with an 80% in the following courses: NURS 200, NURS 300, NURS 301, NURS, 302, NURS 303 and NURS 401.
  • A maximum of three (3) repeated courses are permitted in the total curriculum of the Nursing Program which includes only one nursing course, math course and any prerequisite Social Science, or Natural Science lecture/lab course.
  • Nursing majors must earn a minimum grade of “B-” (80%) in each nursing course in order to progress to the next course that requires a clinical laboratory component.
    • A grade of less than a “B-“grade will constitute a failing grade in any required nursing course.
    • A student may repeat a nursing course only once.  Dismissal occurs when a student fails any nursing course the second time.   If a student’s level of clinical practice is unsafe or unsatisfactory, the student will fail the course before the end of the semester.
    • Any withdrawal from a nursing course with less than a B- grade is considered a course failure and counts as a course to be repeated.
    • Any student who needs to repeat a nursing course beyond one year of withdrawal or failure of that course must repeat all prerequisite and co-requisite nursing courses for that course. Exceptions are NURS 100, NURS 201, NURS 311, NURS 316, NURS 416, NURS 403, and nursing electives.
  • Nursing majors must attain at least a GPA of 2.6 in the pre-requisite Natural Science courses (BIOL 111, CHEM 113, BIOL 214, BIOL 205 and BIOL 206) and minimum “C” grade in the Social Science courses (SOC 101, PSYC 101) and MATH 107.
    • Any withdrawal from a core curriculum math course, or prerequisite social science or natural science course is considered a course failure and counts as a course to be repeated.
    • If a science course has a separate laboratory grade, and the student earns a “D” or “F” in the lab component, this is considered a failing grade and counts as a course to be repeated.
    • Courses in which “D” or “F” grades are earned can only be repeated at Saint Francis University.
    • Students who need to repeat a course are subject to the restrictions as follows.  Both the original course and grade, and the repeated course and grade, appear on the academic record, but only the higher grade is used in the computation of the GPA. A course which is a prerequisite course for a more advanced course in the same discipline may not be repeated after a more advanced course has been successfully completed.
    • If a student passes the math course or prerequisite social science, natural science course with a C grade and elects to repeat the course to increase their GPA, the repeated course will count toward total repeated courses.  The repeated courses must be taken at Saint Francis University.
  • Nursing students enrolled in the program of studies will be the first to fill the limited spaces available in the nursing courses. Students who must repeat a nursing clinical course will then be given preference over those students reactivating their status in the program or transferring into the program.
  • A student who requests and receives a continuance or readmission is responsible for curricular changes in the program of nursing study which occur during his or her absence. A student follows the curriculum guide for the class which he or she joins upon returning to the program.
  • Nursing students who leave the program for a year or more will be evaluated on an individual basis for a progression plan in the curriculum.
  • Students must adhere to the health policies and other policies of SFU Department of Nursing or they will not be able to progress in the nursing program.

Capstone Requirement

Students in the Second Degree/Accelerated BSN program are required to take CORE 407 to satisfy the requirements for the Senior Capstone.

Other Information

Transportation to and from clinical sites is the responsibility of the student.

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