Baccalaureate Program for Second Degree Students (BSN)

Student nurse with a simulation patient

The Second Degree BSN program is for individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university and wish to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.


Student Success Is Our Priority

- Learn from exceptional faculty invested in your success
- Receive guidance from experienced academic advisors every step of the way
- Experience local and relevant clinical practicums arranged for you 
- Work with state-of-the-art technology for teaching and learning
- Create an individual program plan with your advisor


Eligible applicants will have:

  • Acceptance into Grand Valley State University as a degree-seeking undergraduate student no later than the winter semester preceding the start of the professional nursing program.  Be aware of the application deadline to GVSU as it will be during the fall semester. 
  • The first bachelor’s degree must be earned and verified prior to the first day of the professional nursing program.
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher (includes GVSU and non-GVSU graduate and undergraduate coursework).
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher in the admission pre-requisite courses and a minimum grade of “C” in each course. These courses include BIO 355, BMS 250, BMS 251, BMS 212, CHM 230, and PSY 364.
  • Adhere to the Kirkhof College of Nursing course repeat policy: Students may repeat three admission pre-requisite courses of which two can be BMS, CHM, or BIO. No required course may be repeated more than once.                                       
  • In addition, BMS 305, BMS 310, and STA 215 must be completed with a minimum grade of “C” before starting the professional nursing program.

GVSU Course Listings and Descriptions

Competitive Admission Process

The Kirkhof College of Nursing admits 48 students into the Spring/Summer semester, 48 students into the Fall semester, and 48 students into the Winter semester. Admission to the nursing program is highly competitive, and students who only meet the minimum criteria may not be admitted. Admission is based on balanced consideration given to the following components:

  • Prerequisite GPA
  • Interview
  • Personal Statement
  • Student Profile

Prerequisite GPA

The grades earned in the following courses are calculated to comprise your prerequisite GPA. 

BIO 355 Human Genetics 
BMS 250 Anatomy and Physiology I 
BMS 251 Anatomy and Physiology II 
CHM 230 Intro to Organic & Biochemistry 
BMS 212 Introductory Microbiology 
PSY 364 Lifespan Developmental Psychology 

For course equivalency questions, please refer to the FAQ page.

Students will participate in a short interview to help faculty better understand their readiness for the program. 

Personal Statement
Students will submit a 650 word typed response based on an open-ended question.

Student Profile
Students will be asked to describe the impact and skills acquired for the following experiences:
work experience, leadership experience, study or service abroad, healthcare job shadow experience, certifications/honors/awards, other languages spoken, and volunteer experience.

Connect with Our Advising Office


Students complete the application online during the application period. A link to the application will be available on the KCON website during the application period which is January 1 - 8 for students who want to start in Spring/Summer semester (May), May 1 - 8 for students who want to start in the Fall semester (August), and August 1 - 8 for students who want to start in the Winter semester (January). All applications must be completed by 5:00 p.m. on the final day. No late applications will be accepted. 

The admission decisions will be made by the KCON Undergraduate Affairs Committee, and candidates will be notified via email. Student scores are for internal use and will not be released.

Admitted students are required to comply with, and provide documentation of, all Health Compliance expectations including, but not limited to: physical examination, verification of immunizations, TB testing, criminal background check, drug screen, and CPR certification. 


Admission prerequisite courses that to be completed before applying to the nursing program (21 credits):

  • BIO 355 Human Genetics
    • Principles of genetics with emphasis on human traits and disorders. Genetic counseling, ethical considerations, technological advances, and evolution in human populations are discussed. 
  • BMS 250 Anatomy and Physiology I - with a lab
    • The first semester of a two-semester anatomy and physiology sequence. Focus is on the basic principles of homeostasis, cells, and tissues. The structure and function of the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems will also be covered. 
  • BMS 251 Anatomy and Physiology II - with a lab
    • This is the second of a two-semester anatomy and physiology sequence. The structure and function of the endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems, as well as fluid and electrolyte balance, acid-base balance, and basic metabolism will be covered. 
  • CHM 230 Intro to Organic & Biochemistry - with a lab
    • A survey of organic and biochemistry. Topics include the biologically significant classes of organic compounds and their reactions, classes of biological compounds, and the major metabolic pathways. 
  • BMS 212 Introductory Microbiology
    • An introduction to the fundamental principles and techniques of bacteriology, immunology, and virology. Emphasis on the morphology, genetics, and physiology of microorganisms producing human disease and the human response to these agents. 
  • PSY 364 Lifespan Developmental Psychology
    • A survey of theories and research on human development from conception through death. Physical, perceptual, cognitive, personality, social, and emotional changes are reviewed and their interrelationships are discussed. 

Courses to be completed prior to the start of the professional nursing program:

  • BMS 305 - Clinical Nutrition
    • This course has two objectives: to enable students to understand normal digestion, absorption, and metabolism of nutrients at a sophisticated level, and to make them aware of the nutritional needs of diseased patients.
  • BMS 310 - Basic Pathophysiology
    • Presentation of disease processes in terms of physiologic dysfunction. Pathophysiology emphasizes the disruption of normal steady-state relationships and considers the minor, acute, and chronic aspects of disease. This provides a link between the basic medical sciences and their clinical application. 
  • STA 215 - Introductory Applied Statistics
    • A technique-oriented approach to data analysis using statistical techniques. Graphical and numerical summaries of data, multivariable thinking, confidence interval estimation, regression and correlation, testing hypotheses including chi-square tests, and one-way analysis of variance. A statistical software package will provide computational assistance. 

Nursing Semester I (14 Credits)

  • NUR 322 - Theoretical Foundations for Health Assessment & Promotion
    • This course focuses on the assessment of well and ill patients in various health settings. Applications of liberal arts and sciences to health promotion, disease prevention, and risk reduction will be incorporated into health assessment and promotion. Offered fall and spring/summer semesters. 
  • NUR 323 - Clinical Application of Health Assessment & Promotion
    • Knowledge from core courses, liberal arts, and nursing is used to provide the development of nursing skills, clinical judgment, and the beginning application in the care of the individual patient. Emphasis on communication, health promotion, health assessment, physical examination skills, and basic nursing skills. 
  • NUR 324 - Introduction to Professional Nursing Theory
    • This course focuses on the definitions and theories of professional nursing. The nursing process, nursing, and health care theory, and health care settings will be explored. Foundational professional documents and competencies will be introduced. 
  • NUR 325 - Clinical Judgment in Health Assessment & Promotion
    • The concept of clinical judgment is introduced and explored in a variety of simulated clinical experiences that correlate with content in co-requisite nursing courses. Intentional patient experiences focus on building the foundations for safe, quality nursing care. 
  • NUR 328 - Clinical Pharmacology for Nursing
    • A lecture and discussion course designed to introduce nursing students to the principles of pharmacology for major classes of medications used in the treatment of disease. Application of these principles will be used in nursing clinical decision-making to promote safe and effective patient care.

Nursing Semester 2 (13-15 Credits)

  • NUR 332 - Adult Health Theory
    • Professional nurse roles such as provider and coordinator/manager/designer of care and member of the profession are expanded. Emphasis is on using the nursing process to build an understanding of concepts in the human experience of illness in adult/older adult patients.
  • NUR 333 - Adult Health Clinical
    • Knowledge from liberal arts/sciences and nursing courses that promote clinical judgment to care of adults/older adults. Students collaborate with the interprofessional healthcare team in acute care settings to refine skills in communication and the nursing process to ensure safe and effective patient outcomes (including Quality and Safety Education for Nurses). 
  • NUR 335 - Clinical Judgment in Adult Health
    • The Clinical Judgment Model is used to further develop nursing skills in a variety of simulated patient experiences that correlate with content in co-requisite nursing courses. Intentional patient experiences focus on the integration of concepts from NUR 332 and NUR 333 in the care of adults and older adults. 
  • Choose One:
    • NUR 336 - Research and Evidence-Based Practice
      • This course provides a foundation for the integration of research, evidence-based practice into the delivery of quality nursing care. Emphasis is on understanding how research, evidence, and data analytics lead to the acquisition of skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for safe, comprehensive, evidence-based practice and impact patient outcomes.
    • NUR 338 - Critical Appraisal of Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing*
      • This course will augment the knowledge of the research process demonstrated in prior coursework by applying those research principles to nursing evidence and practice.

*Can be replaced with NUR 380 09 (NUR 338) if satisfying course equivalency for research through KCON determination.

Nursing Semester 3 (15 Credits)

  • NUR 442 Childbearing and Childrearing Theory 
    • Professional nurse roles of provider of care, designer/manager/coordinator of care, and member of the professional are expanded to childbearing and childrearing families. The stage of physical and psychosocial development is applied to the care of families.
  • NUR 443 Childbearing and Childrearing Clinical
    • Knowledge from a liberal education and the discipline of nursing is applied to the care of childbearing and childrearing families. Students collaborate with health team members in a variety of obstetric and pediatric settings to expand skills in clinical reasoning, therapeutic nursing interventions, and communication. 
  • NUR 445 Clinical Judgment in Childbearing & Childrearing, Community Health & Mental Health Nursing
    • Students will utilize the clinical judgment model to expand understanding and skill in the care of childbearing and childrearing families as well as caring for those with mental health challenges in acute and community settings. Intentional patient experiences focus on the integration of concepts from NUR 442 and NUR 446.
  • NUR 446 Community Health & Mental Health Theory
    • This course builds knowledge of the roles of community health nursing in various settings, caring for individuals and aggregates, from culturally diverse backgrounds, across developmental stages, and along the health-illness continuum. The nursing process facilitates applying concepts of the human experience of mental health and illness through the lifespan.
  • NUR 447 Community Health & Mental Health Clinical
    • Students care for individuals and aggregates in various settings, emphasizing collaboration with interprofessional health care teams, and using a nursing process that incorporates social determinants of health to assess, implement nursing interventions and promote effective patient outcomes. Importance is placed on mental health/illness concerns and refining skills in communication. 

Nursing Semester 4 (12 Credits)

  • NUR 472 - Transitions to Professional Nursing
    • In this course, students prepare to enter the nursing profession. The knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for professional leadership and provision of care for individuals, families, and groups are synthesized. 
  • NUR 473 - Clinical Immersion
    • In this course, students complete a clinical immersion experience that facilitates the transition into practice as a member of the profession. Application of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for professional leadership and provision of care are synthesized.
  • NUR 475 - Clinical Judgment in Immersion
    • Simulated experiences will provide opportunities for exploring the role of the manager, delegator, member of a team. 
  • NUR 476 - Population Health Theory
    • This course integrates nursing and public health concepts/trends to assess community health needs and program planning. The nursing process will be fully utilized at the community level to examine social, political, legal-ethical, and environmental issues. Theory and research are emphasized to include collaborative practice, health policy, and interdisciplinary teamwork. 

Have Questions?

Visit our FAQ page for answers to common questions or contact us at [email protected] or (616) 331-3558.


The pre-licensure (Traditional and Accelerated Second Degree) nursing programs at Grand Valley State University’s (GVSU) Kirkhof College of Nursing (KCON) position you to earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and thereby gain eligibility to take the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) in the state of Michigan. Upon successfully passing the NCLEX-RN, the KCON nursing graduate achieves legal authority to practice under the protected title of registered nurse (RN) in the state of Michigan. 

KCON BSN pre-licensure graduates seeking to practice as an RN in a state other than Michigan must meet the requirements of that state.  GVSU/KCON has not made a determination on whether its curriculum meets the educational requirements of all states/jurisdictions.  To view board of nursing professional licensure requirements by state of interest, visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) at

Page last modified January 30, 2024