The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Colby-Sawyer College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Note: Accreditation agencies and regulatory bodies may change requirements at any time and that, in turn, may necessitate changes in program requirements. In that event, matriculated students will be notified of the nature of those changes and will be required to adhere to the new standards.

Degrees and Certificates


NUR 101: First-Year Nursing Seminar

The first-year seminar in Nursing is designed to begin the professional formation process for a career in nursing. A key outcome of the seminar is the creation of a learning community for students in the nursing major which will endure throughout their four-year educational journey. The course utilizes team-based learning methods while introducing many basic nursing concepts. Guest speakers attend class to discuss nursing and career issues. Graded Pass/Fail.

NUR 203: Introduction to Professional Nursing

This nonclinical course introduces the basic concepts that are incorporated throughout the nursing curriculum. Topics include current practice issues in professional nursing and health care, therapeutic communication, principles of patient teaching, the bio-psychosocial model of health, the nursing process and critical thinking on which clinical judgment is based.

NUR 207: Pharmacology

This nonclinical course focuses on the pharmacological knowledge necessary for safe practice, including legal responsibilities. Drug classifications are examined as they relate to each physiological system. This course is open to non-nursing majors with permission of instructor.

NUR 212: Health Assessment

This course focuses on the development of health assessment skills essential to the role of the professional nurse caring for people throughout the aging process. Emphasis is on the psychomotor and assessment skills required to distinguish normal from abnormal findings. Attention is placed on integrating the knowledge and skills necessary for history taking, physical and psychosocial examination and documentation. Guided classroom, laboratory and simulation learning opportunities are utilized.

NUR 222: Fundamentals of Nursing

This clinical course introduces the role of provider of nursing care, with a focus on promotion of health and normative aging in individuals. Topics include basic nursing care skills, therapeutic nursing interventions, nursing care plans, medication administration, therapeutic communication and nursing documentation.

NUR 308: Introduction to Holistic Care

Students in this course will explore the philosophy, theory and tradition of holistic care practices. Through a medical humanities lens, we will examine questions such as: What is holism? How does holistic practice shape care systems and practices of individuals, families and communities? Students will explore holistic care practices in domestic and global contexts while exploring its philosophical, theoretical, historical and cultural frameworks. Students will be introduced to current evidence-based practice, complementary and alternative healing modalities and the dynamic, interconnected human health experience through the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes derived from standard models of holistic care and from national and global initiatives.

NUR 309: Community and Public Health Nursing

This is a nonclinical course that introduces the concepts of population-centered health care in the community. The focus is on the community as the client and also as the context of care for individuals, families and aggregates. Topics include community and health care systems, nursing roles and functions in the community, vulnerable populations, public health and community health issues and epidemiology.

NUR 313: Maternal-Child Nursing

This clinical course introduces the role of care provider for families experiencing normative childbearing and childbirth. Topics include prenatal development, neonatal assessment, family development, reproductive health, labor and birth and related nursing interventions in maternal-infant care.

NUR 314: Pediatric Nursing

This clinical course introduces the role of care provider for families experiencing normative childrearing and for children and adolescents who require restorative care. Topics include child and family development, nursing interventions with children and management of childhood illnesses.

NUR 332: Adult Medical-Surgical Nursing I

In this clinical course students provide restorative care for adults in an acute care setting and begin to develop skills in the management of care for adults and their families. Topics include pathophysiology of disease, therapeutic nursing interventions with acute manifestations of diseases in major organ systems (cardiac, pulmonary, endocrine, gastrointestinal, neurological and musculoskeletal), fluid and electrolyte balances, perioperative care, health promotion and prevention.

NUR 334: Mental Health Nursing

In this clinical course, students provide restorative care for adults with psychiatric illness in an inpatient setting and develop skills in the assessment and management of mental health for adults and their families. Topics include psychiatric illnesses (depression, schizophrenia, anxiety and post-traumatic stress syndrome), therapeutic interventions and communication skills, psychotropic medications, coping, crisis intervention and special populations (children with attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

NUR 336: Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice

This nonclinical course introduces evidence-based practice as it relates to the science of nursing. Selected research studies are presented and critiqued. Students identify a clinical problem, develop a PICO question, review sources of evidence, summarize the evidence, make recommendations for practice and disseminate findings. Ethical considerations and methods of protection of human subjects are integrated throughout the course.

NUR 337: Introduction to Critical Care Nursing

Critical care nursing is a specialty within professional nursing practice that applies evidence-based practice to the care and management of clients experiencing emergent and life-threatening disease or trauma. The focus of this course is on the application and analysis of nursing theory and clinical knowledge across the continuum of adult medical-surgical critical care settings (eg, emergency room, intensive care unit, burn unit). This 2-credit elective will introduce students to fundamental concepts of critical care nursing and provide a basis for critical thinking relative to the nursing management of critically ill adult patients. This course will also begin acculturating students for future graduate nursing roles in intensive care settings.

NUR 360: Nursing Clinical Elective

This course will allow nursing students to explore a specialty area in nursing under the guidance of faculty. This individual study will include selected readings, online learning modules and clinical observations within the student’s identified specialty area of interest. Examples of specialty areas include: adult critical care, neonatal/pediatric critical care, geriatrics, cardiovascular, perioperative and others. If students have a different specialty area of interest, approval is needed from the chair of nursing department. In addition to the independent reading and online modules, students will also complete 40 hours of clinical shadowing and simulation experience within the specialty area studied.

NUR 405: Adult Medical-Surgical Nursing II

In this clinical course, the students provide and manage care for adults with complex chronic diseases and their families, in an inpatient setting. Topics include pathophysiology and complications of disease, therapeutic nursing interventions, interpretation of cardiac arrhythmias, acid-base imbalances, palliative care, pain management, hospice and discharge planning.

NUR 407: Nursing Leadership Capstone I

The nursing role includes acting as provider, manager and coordinator of care for individuals, families and communities. This includes planning health promotion through normative transitions across the life span, prevention of events that compromise health and management and maintenance of optimal health for persons with chronic illness and disability. Students work with community mentors to identify and plan interventions based on the capacities of the community and the nursing program.

NUR 408: Nursing Leadership Capstone II

Students continue to work with partnering agencies to implement and evaluate the interventions that were designed in Leadership Capstone I. There is a greater focus on the leadership role of nurses in non-acute care settings. Topics include cultural influences on health, the role of human service organizations, expanded roles of nursing, the group process, interdisciplinary collaboration and evaluation methods. Weekly clinical seminar meetings allow students to benefit from the group experiences. Student projects are presented to internal and external audiences.

NUR 442: Clinical Capstone: Nursing Management of Patient Care

Students provide and coordinate complex restorative nursing care in the inpatient setting to acutely ill individuals and their families. Students work under the guidance of a clinical mentor to achieve competence in providing safe, effective nursing care at a novice level. Students explore professional issues and responsibilities to develop management and leadership skills as they assume a professional role. Weekly clinical seminars provide opportunities for analysis and evaluation of therapeutic nursing interventions and the professional role of nurses.

NUR 445: NCLEX-RN Preparation I

Students prepare for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) utilizing a web-based program. A self-assessment is completed and a plan of study is developed in preparation for the NCLEX-RN exam. Strategies include the use of computerized exams and software and regularly scheduled meetings with faculty. Graded Pass/Fail.

NUR 446: NCLEX-RN Preparation II

Students continue preparation for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) utilizing a web-based program. Based on the assessment and plan developed in NUR 445, students implement an individualized study plan and evaluate its effectiveness. Strategies include the use of computerized exams and software and regularly scheduled meetings with faculty.