Nursing Major, B.S.N.

School of Nursing

Carrington Hall, CB# 7460

(919) 966-4260

Nilda Peragallo Montano, Dean and Professor

Anita Tesh, Director, Undergraduate Program

Katherine Moore, Assistant Dean, Office of Student Affairs

The baccalaureate program in nursing prepares graduates to employ critical thinking and caring in:

  1. Understanding the problems of contemporary health and illness
  2. Utilizing a systematic approach to assess human responses to actual and potential health problems in a variety of settings
  3. Directly providing and managing competent care for individuals, families, and groups who have simple to complex health care needs throughout the lifespan
  4. Employing interpersonal processes and therapeutic communication skills
  5. Integrating professional values and role behaviors and
  6. Collaborating with other groups in shaping health policies that affect both individual and community health

Courses in the nursing major are taken at the upper-division level. The courses build on a strong foundation in the sciences and humanities to develop the knowledge and skills needed to practice nursing in contemporary society. Clinical experiences take place in a broad variety of settings that reflect current patterns of health care delivery and provide opportunities for students to develop competence in empathetic care, critical thinking, technical skills, clinical judgment and decision making, interdisciplinary collaboration, and management of care.

Admission to the program is required.

Program of Study

The School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers an undergraduate program of study designed to provide students with the knowledge, skill, and understanding necessary to function effectively in all areas of professional nursing. The curriculum leading to the bachelor of science in nursing (B.S.N.) degree offers two options for study:

  1. two years of upper-division courses in the School of Nursing, which follow two years of lower-division courses in the General College (or equivalent courses completed at another college/university) OR a previously earned bachelor’s degree plus the noted prerequisites (B.S.N. Option); and
  2. an accelerated second degree option for students with a previous bachelor’s degree (A.B.S.N. Option).

Students are subject to the requirements in place when they are admitted to the School of Nursing; consequently, the requirements described in this catalog particularly apply to students admitted to the School of Nursing during the 2017–2018 academic year.

Critical Information for ALL Nursing Students

Essential Standards for Admission, Progression, and Graduation

The curricula leading to degrees in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing require students to engage in diverse and complex experiences directed at the acquisition and practice of essential nursing skills and functions. Unique combinations of cognitive, affective, psychomotor, physical, and social abilities are required to perform these functions satisfactorily. In addition to being essential to the successful completion of the requirements of a nursing degree, these skills and functions are necessary to ensure the health and safety of patients, fellow students, faculty members, and other health care providers.

The Essential Standards document describes the nonacademic qualifications, required in addition to academic qualifications, which the school considers critical for entrance to, continuation in, and graduation from a UNC–Chapel Hill School of Nursing degree program. Candidates for nursing degrees, with the exception noted for selected graduate programs, must be able to meet these minimum standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, for successful completion of degree requirements. Refer to the school’s Web site for additional information.

Professional Risk

The practice of nursing involves the care of individuals who are ill or injured. Communicable diseases are common in health care delivery settings and may be a threat to nursing students. During the performance of clinical practice/research activities, a student may have contact with patients/subjects with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and other infections. Such contact, although rare when proper preventive measures are used, may result in a student’s being exposed to infectious agents and/or transmitting an infectious disease to other students, faculty members, patients, family members, and subjects. During pregnancy, the fetus may be at risk. As a student enrolled in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, students are expected to provide care to patients who may have known or unknown communicable diseases. Application to and acceptance of an offer from the School of Nursing indicates a student’s understanding of related professional risks.

Fitness for Practice

All students admitted to the School of Nursing are required by the North Carolina Board of Nursing to provide documentation of their fitness to provide safe nursing care to the public. Failure to provide requisite documentation will result in the withdrawal of the admission offer. Additionally, North Carolina law requires incoming students to present to the University, before the first day of enrollment, evidence verifying that the student has received all required immunizations.

Further, federal and state statutory regulations and clinical affiliate contractual mandates require that nursing students demonstrate particular cognitive and clinical competencies consistent with their minimum professional practice standards. As such, students must attain and maintain full compliance with all requirements. The school also requires students to undergo, at the student’s expense, a criminal history database check following admission acceptance. The check covers all addresses where the student has lived, worked, or attended an educational institution in the past seven years or since the 16th birthday, whichever is less. Database checks will address all criminal charges, felony and misdemeanor level convictions (except minor traffic related violations), and the Sexual Offender/Predator Registry for all states in which the student has lived. Reports are shared with clinical agencies that require that all charges be resolved prior to the start of clinical practice. Questions about these requirements may be directed to the Office of Student Affairs.

Multiple clinical agencies additionally require that students undergo drug testing prior to the start of clinical practice at their sites. A 12-panel urine drug screen is required per contract specifications and conducted at the student’s expense.

Disability Statement

Consistent with its mission and philosophy, the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to providing educational opportunities to students with disabilities. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the school provides reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified students with disabilities. The decision regarding appropriate accommodations will be based on the specifics of each case.

Students who seek reasonable accommodations for disabilities must contact the Office of Accessibility Resources & Service ([919] 962-8300). Staff in this office will determine a student’s eligibility for, and recommend, appropriate accommodations and services. Also see the School of Nursing’s policy.

Computer Requirements

All School of Nursing students are required to use e-mail for conveying course/clinical/research/other school-related business. All e-mail communication regarding School of Nursing matters must utilize the student’s University MS-Exchange e-mail address only. The use of external e-mail services is not permitted. School of Nursing courses use the Sakai learning management system, which requires frequent reliable access to Internet resources. For both these reasons easy access to personal computers and the Web are imperative. The School of Nursing provides a PC laboratory solely for the use of undergraduate students, and students may also access PC laboratory facilities elsewhere on campus.

All B.S.N. and A.B.S.N. option students are required to have a laptop computer that meets the minimum requirements specified for the preloaded laptop computers available through the University’s Carolina Computing Initiative (CCI) program. Choosing a vendor for the laptop purchase is the student’s prerogative; however, it is important to note that the University provides “software and operating system support for non-CCI laptops on a best-effort basis. Hardware support for non-CCI laptops is the responsibility of the owner” (source: In addition to the computer itself, students must have an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and an account for a high-speed access service.

Vehicular Requirements

Because of the broad scope of clinical facilities and locations, undergraduate nursing students must have access to a car. For information about the North Carolina requirements for automobile liability insurance, vehicle registration, and operator’s license, write to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Raleigh, NC 27602. Students and/or parents are responsible for maintaining appropriate insurance coverage. Some insurance companies may consider such travel as “business driving.” Expenses for travel are the responsibility of the student.

Registered Nurse Licensure Examination Requirements

The North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON) requires all graduates of the School of Nursing who apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to undergo a routine criminal background check, which necessitates submission of a complete set of fingerprints with the NCLEX application. A Social Security Number is required for the licensure application to the NCBON.

New Student Orientation

All newly admitted B.S.N. and A.B.S.N. students are required to attend a mandatory orientation session one business day prior to the start of courses during their first semester. To determine when classes begin, view the University’s academic calendar. UNC–Chapel Hill students who are studying abroad in the spring semester prior to matriculation should ensure their study abroad program will allow them to return to Chapel Hill prior to the new student orientation.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the nursing program, students should be able to employ critical thinking and caring in:  

  • Understanding the problems of contemporary health and illness
  • Utilizing a systematic approach to assess human responses to actual and potential health problems in a variety of settings
  • Directly providing and managing competent care for individuals, families, and groups who have simple to complex health care throughout the life span
  • Interpersonal processes and therapeutic communication
  • Integrating professional values and role behaviors
  • Collaborating with other groups in shaping health policies that affect both individual and community health


Lower-Division Courses in the General College

Students are admitted to the baccalaureate nursing program at the upper-division level. All lower-division courses must be completed before beginning nursing courses. Lower-division courses taken at another college or university must be approved for transfer by the UNC–Chapel Hill Office of Undergraduate Admissions as comparable to the courses offered on this campus. Prospective students can request an unofficial transfer evaluation to determine the status of compliance with lower-division requirements. The unofficial transfer evaluation request form should be attached to copies of all United States college transcripts and sent to the UNC–Chapel Hill School of Nursing address on the form.

All students must meet the Foundations and Approaches requirements outlined elsewhere in this catalog. Students with a bachelor’s degree must complete only the six courses marked with an asterisk (below) or verify completion of these courses as a part of the previous degree. Note: second degree applicants may meet either the global issues or U.S. diversity prerequisite. For nursing students, these requirements must include the following courses:

For the Foundations Quantitative Reasoning requirement:
One of the following courses:3
Introduction to Data Analysis (*) 1
Introduction to Data Models and Inference (*) 1,3
For the Approaches Physical and Life Sciences Requirements (for a total of 28 credits):
BIOL 101
Principles of Biology
and Introductory Biology Laboratory H
BIOL 252
Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology
and Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory (*) 1,2
CHEM 101
CHEM 102
General Descriptive Chemistry I
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I
and General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II
or BIOC 107
BIOC 108
Introduction to Biochemistry
and Introduction to Biochemistry
MCRO 251Introductory Medical Microbiology (*) 1,24
PHYI 292Introduction to Physiology (*) 15
PSYC 101General Psychology (*) 13
Total Hours31

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.


A grade of B- or better is required in BIOL 252/BIOL 252L, MCRO 251, and PHYI 292, and a grade of C or better is required in PSYC 101 and STOR 151/STOR 155 (or approved equivalents).


Applicants may choose to take one of the following course combinations instead of BIOL 252/252L and PHYI 292 to complete the Anatomy and Physiology prerequisite requirements:
BIOL 252 & 252L and BIOL 253 & 253L: Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology with Lab and Advanced Human Anatomy and Physiology with Lab; OR
BIOL 352/352L and BIOL 353/353L: Human Anatomy & Physiology Part I with Lab and Part II with Lab


STOR 155 is strongly recommended for students interested in graduate study.

Nursing students also must satisfy the following Connections requirements: global issues*, U.S. diversity*, and at least two others, bringing the total credit hours required of B.S.N. applicants to 68.

Special Note: Applicants must complete the two-course combination, Anatomy and Physiology I and Anatomy and Physiology II sequence from the same college/university, OR a complete course in anatomy and a complete course in physiology. If these courses are not completed on this campus, they must be approved equivalents to the courses offered at UNC–Chapel Hill.

Overview of the Major

A.B.S.N. and B.S.N. Options

NURS 253Individual Development across the Lifespan2
NURS 254Discipline of Nursing I1
NURS 261Nursing Role in Normal Nutrition2
NURS 360Concepts, Processes, and Skills for Evidence-Based Nursing4
NURS 361Pathophysiology3
NURS 362Pharmacology across the Lifespan3
NURS 364Nursing Care of Adults with Major Health Problems, I6
NURS 366Health Assessment3
NURS 371Nursing Inquiry and Evidence-Based Practice3
NURS 382Family-Centered Genomic Health Care1
NURS 456Discipline of Nursing II2
NURS 470Public Health Nursing5
NURS 472Nursing Care of Infants, Children, and Their Families5
NURS 477Psychiatric Mental Health Concepts for Broad Clinical Application in Nursing5
NURS 479Maternal/Newborn Nursing5
NURS 588Leadership in Health Care Organizations4
NURS 591Nursing Care of Adults with Major Health Problems, II8
and one of the following courses:3
Practicum in Nursing: Work-Study Experience
Practicum in Nursing: Health Services Improvement Work Experience
Practicum in Nursing: Global Health Experience
Total Hours65

In addition to the program requirements listed above, students must attain a final cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog

Special Opportunities in Nursing

Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation

UNC–Chapel Hill School of Nursing is one of only three schools nationally that has been awarded a Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation grant. The program’s primary goal is to create a new cadre of nurse scientists and leaders who will design innovative solutions for health care delivery. This highly competitive program is open to new B.S.N. and A.B.S.N. students and provides a pathway for students to earn their B.S.N. and Ph.D. in five to six years. At least four academically talented nursing students will be admitted to the program each year and receive financial and enhanced mentoring support to facilitate their progress towards the Ph.D. By completing a Ph.D. early in their career, Hillman Scholars will have a longer time to influence patient care through leadership, innovation, and research in academic and clinical settings.

Departmental Involvement

Students are encouraged to participate in student leadership opportunities. These include the elected class governance system, the dean’s Student Advisory Council or course management team options, the Association of Nursing Students (the only preprofessional nursing organization available), and the Student Health Action Coalition.

Experiential Education

The nursing program requires extensive direct clinical practice in a variety of acute care, chronic care, and community-based settings considered essential for the preparation of competent practitioners. Clinical contact time varies by study option and course but averages approximately 12 to 16 hours per week.

Financial Aid

Students granted admission to the School of Nursing seeking the baccalaureate degree at UNC–Chapel Hill may be considered for a variety of nursing-specific scholarships and other financial aid opportunities. For assistance, contact the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid by phone at (919) 962-8396 or through the Web at, or call the Office of Students Affairs at (919) 966-4260.

Study Abroad

Students may participate in selected study abroad options offered through required or elective courses.

Undergraduate Awards

During the final semester of study, the top one-third of students in each option will be invited to membership in Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society. The George Livas Award recognizes the graduating student who most clearly demonstrates academic excellence and leadership. Other awards presented during the school’s commencement ceremony honor those students achieving the highest grade point average in their respective option.

Undergraduate Research

Through the honors program the University and the School of Nursing recognize undergraduates who have demonstrated exceptional academic ability and independent work in their major. Qualified and interested students in their last two semesters of study will be paired with a faculty advisor who guides the student in an independent study honors project. The director of the undergraduate program supervises the honors program. Students participating in the honors program must have a cumulative University grade point average that meets University requirements. In addition, students must have and maintain a 3.4 cumulative nursing grade point average. Calculation of the cumulative grade point average is based solely on the required hours earned to date for the nursing degree. Grade point averages are not rounded. The student and honors advisor must complete a written contract, and the student must register for NURS 691H and NURS 692H. Each honors course carries three hours of credit and is assigned a letter grade by the advisor. A student’s project must show evidence of independent, creative, abstract, analytical, and critical thinking.