Nursing Curriculum of Wilkes and Scranton University

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NursingCurriculum of Wilkes and Scranton University



Healthcare sector plays a critical role as noted in many societies in theworld. Both governments and non-governmental organizations haveplaced enormous resources to improve access and the quality ofhealthcare. They have also invested in health care providers, andnursing is no exemption. Institutions, thus, train the variousprofessionals in the health care sector and have to developcurriculum. They ensure that graduates from the differentinstitutions are competent enough to address the requirements andduties related to their jobs effectively and professionally.Curriculum development, thus, plays a critical role in such scenariosincluding the nursing profession. However, this paper presents acomparison and contrast of Wilkes University prelicensurebaccalaureatenursing program and that of the University of Scranton notingsimilarities and differences between the two.


Thetype of curriculum is concept-based curriculum where it relies onpractical and theoryideas to develop a context-relevant, evidence-based and unifiedcurriculum. Among the key concepts that the university has focused oninclude ongoing appraisal, faculty development and scholarship tohelp needy students and enhance research.

  1. Required General Education and Nursing Courses for the Major

WilkesUniversity admits students to major in nursing that have completedsecondary education program. Moreover, there are specific coursesthat the students must have completed and attained the requirednumber of units. They include four units of English courses 2 unitsof sciences that include chemistry and biology 2 units ofmathematics that includes Algebra and finally three units of socialstudies. In addition, besides the secondary schools admitted, theUniversity also has advanced placement programs. It gives anopportunity to those with background knowledge in nursing and relatedhealth disciplines interested in pursuing their nursing course at theinstitution. Those transferring from other institutions have tocomplete set examinations and tests at the right time. It is beforethe month May to prepare for a new program and schedule in thenursing faculty. All students also have to have a personal interviewwith the representatives of the school of nursing. Besides, providehealth clearance documents from recognized health care institutionsthat ascertain that the applicants are physically and mentallycompetent to pursue the nursing profession. Progression to theclinical nursing courses at the University is also subject toscrutiny. Students have to meet the set technical standards asoutlined in the student’s handbook of Nursing. There arepre-requisite standards set at every level and stage of learning thatstudents have to meet the minimum set score and results before theyprogress to the advanced levels. It ensures that the admittedstudents stay of path and focus as most students tend to relax aftertheir early years. It also ensures that the students work harder asmost of the common units taught in the early stages of learning arelimited. It encourages and enables them to start specialization andmastering of the content required for the professional service(Solbrekke, Heggen &amp Engebretsen, 2014). If a student encountersdifficulties in learning and practicing, one can only be subjectedfrom the set regulations and standards if they produce an evaluationfrom a recognized physician or nurse practitioner. The coursesoffered in the nursing curriculum from the University originate fromthe philosophy of nursing. It includes assessment, planning,evaluating, analyzing and implementing of the care with clients torestore and promote health as well as illness prevention. The nursingcourses for the major at the University include ChemistryFundamentalsHumanAnatomy and Physiology Iand FirstYear Foundations.Furthermore, conventional courses such as CompositionIntroductionto SociologyGeneralPsychologyor Introductionto Anthropologyare taught during the first semester. HumanAnatomy IIand Microbiologyare taught and any other general course noted in the first semester.Students are required to choose at least 3 to have a balance duringthe first year. Theprincipal of Normal NutritionPhysicalAssessmentNursingPrinciplesPathophysiologyfor the Professional NurseNursingCare of Psychiatric Mental Health Clientand EnvironmentalHealthcourse taught in the second year. The distribution is three coursesper semester. The third year courses include Pharmacotherapeuticsand Decision-making in NursingNursingCare of the Adult Client IINursingCare of the Older AdultElementaryStatisticsNursingCare of the Adult Client IIand NursingCare of the Developing Family.The fourth and final year courses include Introductionto Nursing ResearchAdvancedCare ConceptsContemporaryIssues and Trends in NursingSeniorPracticumand some Electivesto be chosen by the student.

  1. Wilkes University Recommending and Sequencing of Courses

Theuniversity recommends and sequences the course that starts from thebasics and general knowledge to the specific and advanced knowledgeand concepts in the nursing profession. For example, the early yearsmostly talks about introduction courses to different concepts andideas that the students would use in the following years as theyadvance with their studies and knowledge in the Nursing program. Italso includes the general courses such as communication and sociologyamong others. It helps the students adapt with ease in the newercollege (University) environment and help them specialize andcomplete with ease the nursing program. It is imperative to note thatstudents learn much outside the class environments and it enablesthem to sharpen their life skills such as socializing andcommunication (Iwasiw &amp Goldenberg, 2015). The recommending andsequences follows the philosophies of ‘from the basics to theadvanced’ levels and practical. Courses that entail doing more ofpractical, for instance, students clinical facilities in the nearbyhospitals and agencies that cooperate with the university are taughtearlier. It encourages and builds confidence in students when theytry and apply the theories into practice. It starts from the basicand introduction of concepts to principles, knowledge and concludesby critical parts such as nursing research (Osuji, 2014). It enablesprepare students for several practical engagements most likely to beencountered in the real world in the health care sector. TheElectivesare also placed in the final stages of the course sequencing to allowspecialization by the students and mastering of the skills in areasof interest.

  1. Semesters of Clinical Practice

Thesemester of clinical nursing has lesser courses offered. It enablesstudents use most of their time learning the practical knowledge andexperience in the real world. It also gives them time to apply theoryinto practice and consult widely. Besides, it allows students tospend most time in the simulation centers to practice the psychomotorskills relevant to nursing (Lowey, 2017). Additionally, because thestudents are placed in diverse co-operating hospitals and agencieswithin the area of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the lesser coursesgives students room to commute to such facilities.

  1. Credit Hours Required for Graduation

120is the minimum number of credit required for one to get a major innursing and graduate with a degree in BSN.


Thetype of curriculum is conceptually and visually unified-basedcurriculum. It blends the two kinds of curriculum. It relies ontheory and practical ideas to develop a context-relevant,evidence-based and unified curriculum. For example, it combines theconcepts relevant to the profession of nursing as well as theholistic (Catholic and Jesuit)vision for their type of curriculum. Among the key concepts that theuniversity has focused on include holistic approaches, facultydevelopment and scholarship for research and needy students.

  1. Required General Education and Nursing Courses for the Major

TheUniversity admits students that have cleared secondary education andmust have a total of 16 units. They must have scored the requiredgrades that include four units in English, mathematics, and science.They must also show their scores for chemistry and biology amongother admission requirements set by admitting committee. Potentialnursing students must also provide health clearance certificate froma recognized practitioner. Applicants with college level courses mayapply for advanced placement when they pass the advanced levelentrance examination. The applications are made online afterverifying and presenting supporting documents. For example, theability to pay fees and high school certificates among otherrequirements. The courses offered are shaped by the philosophy of theinstitution that is to prepare students not only to becomecompassionate but also skilled registered nurses in an organizationthat has values of Catholic and Jesuit.The University semester is divided either in Fallor Spring.There are courses offered through the service learning program. Thecourses offered during the first year totals to 8 that includeElectives.They are Introductionto Nursing ConceptsHumanAnatomy and Physiology Introduction to PhilosophyCompositionFundamentalsof PsychologyIntroductionto Chemistryand one Electivechosen by the student. The courses for the second year in the nursingprogram at the University include PhysicalAssessment Related to Health Patternsand PharmacologyI.Also, IntroductoryMedical MicrobiologyEthicsFundamentals of NursingNutritionof the Healthcare ProfessionsStatisticsin the Behavioral SciencesTheologyI: Introduction to the Bible- T/RS- (P) Theology II: Introduction toChristian Theologyand two Electivesone in humanitiesand the other in psychology. The third year has six courses thatinclude one Elective.They include NursingCare of the Adult I and Nursing Care of the Adult IINursingCare of the Childbearing FamilyMedicalEthicsMentalHealth NursingPharmacologyII and Pharmacology IIIand one free Elective.The fourth and final year courses include NursingCare of the Adult IIIResearchin NursingAdvancedNursing ConceptsNursingCare of Children and AdolescentsCommunityHealth NursingSeniorSeminarand two Electivesone in Humanities while the other in general knowledge.

  1. Scranton University Recommending and Sequencing of Courses

TheUniversity recommends and sequences courses starting from theintroductory parts with basic knowledge to the advanced facts. Itintroduces the majority of the general courses in the first year ofnursing study with only limited major courses. The basic andintroductory courses offered at the earliest time prepare learnersfor future tasks where they build and progress the knowledge learnedin the early years. It provides the foundation for building furtherframework and levels of nursing knowledge (Solbrekke et al., 2014).Next, they introduce courses related to nursing such as nutrition andthe general health care provision area as nurses do not work inisolation. They work with other health care givers like doctors andclinicians among others. They also introduce ethics and philosophiesthat include theology because it is centered on Jesuitand Catholic tenets. The third and final years, however,concentrates mostly on the major subject related to nursing. Itenables comprehension and mastery of the skills and knowledge inNursing. It makes students better prepared for the tasks and roles inthe profession when they depart the institution.

  1. Semesters of Clinical Practice

Thethird year is the semester of clinical practice, and it has lessercourses covered. It enables student prepare betterfor the practice. It creates time that enables them to move andadjust to the field work. A simulation lab was also completed in theyear 2016 that enables students to sharpen their practical skills.

  1. Credit Hours Required for Graduation

Atotal of 127.5 Credit has to be accumulated before one qualifies andgraduates with a degree in Nursing from the University of Scranton.


Thetwo programs in the two universities are similar and share most ofthe issues. First, both are designed in the sequencingandrecommendation parts that start from the basics. Also, the mostrelevant basic knowledge and concepts that form the foundation foradvanced knowledge. Secondly, the admission criteria are similar, andthe subjects and credits that students have to get before they joineither University are almost similar. Both have also emphasized onthe important subject such as sciences, Biology, and Chemistry amongothers before one gets admitted to the institutions (Choe, Kang &ampLee, 2013). Moreover, the courses offered are similar and share alot. It indicates that the institutions both adhere to therequirements of the profession such as recognition of policies suchas InternationalBaccalaureateamong other that guides the profession. It indicates there arestandards set by stakeholders that determine the knowledge and skillsthat Nurses graduates have to contain at the time they leave theinstitutions. The curriculum of both institutions has also set asidetime for clinical practice. It enables students to apply thetheoretical knowledge and skills learned in class into practice. Itenables them transit easily after completing their studies andprovide the foundation for starting great careers in the nursingprofession. The curriculums of the two institutions, thus, share morethan they differ. Both meet international standards.


Thereare ways in which the curriculums of the two institutions differ.First, it is caused by the philosophy that guides the twoinstitutions. For example, the University of Scranton curriculum hastheology and philosophies that touch on ethics among others. It isbecause it bases its principles in the Catholic and Jesuitreligious beliefs. Some people argue that the profession of nursingis a callingand, therefore, such arguments shape such philosophies. Thephilosophies of the institutions, thus, affect the curriculum (Osuji,2014). The curriculum of Wilkes University is also cumulative orgeometric progressed where the performance of prior units determinesthe progress of learning the course. Failure to meet the setstandards in the previous tasks might disqualify one from progressingwith the course. The same is not replicated at the University ofScranton curriculum.

Inconclusion, curriculum development plays an important role inUniversities among other institutions of learning in the world. Itdetermines the type and competencies of graduates that enter the jobmarket and different professions such as nursing among others.Curriculum needs often to be reviewed to enable it to conform to thepresent occupation demands in the contemporary times. It enablesgraduates impact the society positively when they leave institutionsof higher learning. If need be, professionals should be consultedwhen formulating Curriculums. The discussed curriculum of the twoinstitutions has met most of the international standards noted in themany similarities that they show, hence provide a good example.


Choe,K., Kang, Y., &amp Lee, W. (2013). Bioethics education of nursingcurriculum in Korea: a national study*. NursingEthics,20(4), 401-412. doi:10.1177/0969733012466003

Iwasiw,C. L., &amp Goldenberg, D. (2015). Curriculumdevelopment in nursing education(3rd Ed.). Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones &amp Bartlett Learning.

Lowey,S. (2017). Does simulating dying really work? The state ofend-of-life care in nursing education curriculum (S798). Journalof Pain &amp Symptom Management,53(2), 465. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2016.12.309

Osuji,J. (2014). Building global capacity for better health throughincreased gerontology content in undergraduate nursing educationcurriculum: A commentary. IndianJournal of Gerontology,28(4), 482-493. Retrieved from

Solbrekke,T. D., Heggen, K., &amp Engebretsen, E. (2014). Ambitions andresponsibilities: A textual analysis of the Norwegian nationalcurriculum regulations for nursing education. ScandinavianJournal of Educational Research,58(4), 479-494. doi:10.1080/00313831.2013.773557