Curriculum and Course Descriptions

We offer a wide variety of courses for students so they may build the skills they need to be a nurturing and effective Registered Nurse (RN).

Program Course Credit Earned

  • 50 Nursing Credit Equivalents
  • 27-30 College Credits for Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Microbiology, English I and II, Psychology, Sociology, and Ethics
  • You qualify to take the state licensing exam to become a Registered Nurse (RN)

Curriculum Calendar

Course Descriptions


Fundamentals is the first course in the program. This course introduces the student to the theoretical framework and concepts basic to nurse and the process of critical thinking. The roles of communicator, educator, advocate, caregiver, and decision maker in various settings are discussed. Concepts related to communication, pain, comfort, infection control, nutrition, safety, stress and patient hygiene are presented. In the second half of the semester, the student builds upon the basic concepts learned as they begin to apply the nursing process and Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring. Physical assessment of the client and the difference between normal and abnormal assessment data is taught through the process of critical thinking. The concepts of homeostasis, medication administration, health promotion and health teaching are introduced. The application of theory to practice occurs in the lab, long-term care settings and acute inpatient units.


The Medical/Surgical Nursing I is one of three rotating courses in the second semester. This course builds on the basic concepts taught during the Fundamentals course. Medical / Surgical Nursing I explores the human responses to illness and its meaning to the individual throughout the health/illness continuum. The acute care clinical and lab experiences provide the student the opportunity to further develop critical thinking and clinical competence.


Nursing of the Developing Family is the second of three rotating courses in the Spring I and the Fall II Semesters. This course focuses on the optimal health of the developing family. The nursing process and culturally appropriate nursing strategies are utilized to meet the individualized needs of the developing family. Principles of holistic care are applied to analyze changing family dynamics. Clinical judgment relates to health promotion activities for the childbearing family and includes all phases of perinatal care and care of the developing child from infancy to adolescence.


Mental Health Nursing is the third of three rotating courses in the Spring I and the Fall II semesters. This course focuses on the mental health–mental illness continuum and deals primarily with the client’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. The course consistently emphasizes therapeutic communication techniques. Ample opportunity is provided for students to critique therapeutic nurse-client relationships. Teaching/learning experiences in nurse-client relationships and therapeutic nursing interventions with acute and chronically mentally ill clients are provided in acute care, long term care and community environments. The transfer and application of mental health nursing concepts to other areas of nursing practice are expected.


Medical/Surgical Nursing II course is the summer med-surg nursing course which coincides with the ten week Gen ed courses offered by the affiliating university. This course continues to develop the basic concepts of care, communication, and medication administration of the hospitalized patient. It continues to give the student opportunity to improve the assessment skills taught during the Fundamental and Medical/Surgical Nursing I courses. The acute care clinical and lab experiences provide the student the opportunity to further develop critical thinking and clinical competence.


Medical/Surgical Nursing III is in the student’s second year and rotates with the second half of the Developing Family and Mental Health courses. The focus of this course is to employ critical thinking skills in the holistic, acute care nursing management of adult patients with complex, multi-system interrelated medical-surgical problems. The student gains more proficiency with the nursing process, complex nursing skills, and therapeutic nursing interventions, thereby expanding upon principles learned in the first year courses. Prioritization to meet the acute health care needs of patients and families is stressed along with stages of the health maintenance/illness continuum in acute care and critical care settings.


Nursing Leadership is the final course of the program, which emphasizes the principles and philosophies of leadership and management as they apply to the care of the client. The student compares and contrasts various nursing theories to Watson’s Theory of Human Caring. Content focuses on learning which will bridge the gap

between nursing education and nursing practice. Challenges facing the nurse in today’s world are discussed including: health promotion, clinical practice, education, legal/ ethical, labor and legislative issues. The transition from student to graduate professional nurse is facilitated as theoretical knowledge is integrated in the clinical setting under the direction of a preceptor. The student uses critical thinking and communication skills to incorporate the nursing process when prioritizing holistic care for a group of clients in a variety of hospital settings. The student will incorporate accountability and responsibility for clinical practice and for life-long learning. An emphasis on transition and NCLEX preparation is made at the end of the course.

Resource Center:

The Ohio Valley Hospital School of Nursing Resource Center is a large computer lounge offering the student 24 hour access. This center houses twelve laptop computers with electronic access to an online library data base supplied through the affiliated university. Student access to EBSCO – an electronic lab and pharmaceutical resource – is also available. On site printed copies of all required and recommended texts are available for use by the student in the center.