Nursing Major (B.S.)

Nursing Major (B.S.)
Nursing students in the SIM lab

What is nursing?

Nursing is a high-demand field at the front lines of healthcare. Nurses use clinical judgement and decision-making skills to determine patient, family and community needs, and provide evidence-based treatment and healthcare guidance. UNH nursing graduates become part of the workforce that is helping to shape the future of healthcare. A nursing degree will prepare you for work in a wide range of areas, including emergency and critical care, family practice, school nurse, assisted living settings and a vast array of hospital and rehabilitation settings.

Why study nursing at UNH?

In the nursing degree program at UNH, you’ll learn from faculty who serve as facilitators and mentors within a supportive, scholarly environment. You’ll develop high quality clinical and problem-solving skills in our innovative nursing lab, which includes mannequins, task trainers and equipment to simulate clinical situations. You’ll also gain valuable hands-on experience through opportunities to participate in research at home and abroad, clinical experiences offered at area hospitals and community health agencies, and internships. The undergraduate nursing program is nationally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Potential careers

  • Clinical nurse (critical care, pediatrics, oncology, home care, school nursing)
  • Community health nurse
  • Home healthcare specialist
  • Nurse case manager
  • Nurse educator
  • Nurse-midwife
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Nursing and healthcare administration
  • Researcher in practice, education, service or industry

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Curriculum & Requirements

The nursing program faculty believe learning is a creative process wherein students are active participants in their education, growth, and development as professional nurses. Faculty members are facilitators and mentors to students within a supportive, scholarly environment.

The curricula are divided into biological, social sciences, and humanities as a foundation for courses in the major, and nursing courses, which emphasize relationship-based care, reflective thinking, clinical decision making, and the application of evidence-based guidelines to develop quality and safe clinical skills. Clinical experiences are offered in area health facilities, community health agencies, and a state-of-the-art simulation laboratory. The senior year culminates in a capstone practicum in which students apply curricular concepts in a precepted clinical experience.

A grade of C or better in high school chemistry is required, as well as biology or physics.

Students are responsible for their own transportation to clinical agencies, uniforms, professional equipment, health insurance coverage, yearly criminal background checks, drug screening, fingerprinting, yearly health assessment, and select immunizations and titers. Students must maintain certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Professionals level. All clinical documents must be received by July 1st before the sophomore year, except flu vaccine, which is due by October 15th, and remain up to date until graduation. Clinical documents cannot expire during the academic year; documents that must be submitted yearly must be dated between May 1 and June 30. Students will be assessed a late fee if clinical documents are not received by the due date. Students will be dropped from nursing courses if documentation is not received by the first day of class. Additional costs associated with the program include, but are not limited to, simulation laboratory fees, fees associated with program requirements, and attendance at professional meetings.

Honors-in-Major Program

The Honors-in-Major Program is offered to interested junior nursing students who achieve the required minimum cumulative GPA and minimum GPA in NURS courses at the end of the sophomore year in nursing and/or junior nursing students who are members of the University Honors Program. See Requirements tab for courses and more information.

Degree Plan

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
BMS 507 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4
ENGL 401 First-Year Writing 4
HHS 401 College of Health and Human Services Seminar 1
NURS 500 Introduction to Professional Nursing 1 2
Statistics 3 4
Discovery/Inquiry 4
BMS 508 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4
PSYC 401 Introduction to Psychology 4
NURS 501 Research for Nursing Professionals 4
Discovery/Inquiry 4
Second Year
BMS 501 Microbes in Human Disease 4
NURS 504 Disease and Drugs I 4
NURS 516 Health Assessment and Nursing Fundamentals (plus lab) 4
NURS 516C Health Assessment and Nursing Fundamentals Clinical 2
Discovery 4
NURS 505 Diseases and Drugs II 4
NURS 506 Human Development, Interaction and Learning Across the Lifespan 4
NURS 517C Clinical Integration (plus lab) 2
NURS 601 Function and Wellbeing of Older Adults 2
Discovery/Elective 4
Third Year
NURS 611 Care of the Adult with Acute Illness I (plus lab) 4
NURS 611C Care of the Adult with Acute Illness I Clinical 2
NURS 616 Living with Mental Illness 2 2
NURS 616C Living with Mental Illness Clinical 2
NURS 627 Clinical Judgment in Nursing 4
NURS 612 Care of the Adult with Acute Illness II (plus lab) 4
NURS 612C Care of the Adult with Acute Illness II Clinical 2
NURS 621 Maternal and Newborn Nursing (plus lab) 2 2
NURS 621C Maternal Newborn Nurs Clin 2
Discovery/Elective 4
Discovery/Elective 4
Fourth Year
NURS 702 Child Health Nursing 2
NURS 702C Child Health in the Community Clinical 2
NURS 704 Public Health Nursing 4
NURS 704P Public Health Nursing Project 2
NURS 711 Clinical Judgment in Complex Illness (plus lab) 2
Discovery/Elective 4
NURS 705 Contemporary Leadership within Health Care Systems 4
NURS 721 Integrating Professional Nursing Practice 2
NURS 721C Integrating Professional Nursing Practice Clinical 6
 Total Credits129

May be taken fall or spring semester


May be taken fall or spring semester.


PSYC 402 Statistics in Psychology, SOC 402 Statistics, MATH 439 Statistical Discovery for Everyone, HHS 540 Statistics for Health and Human Service Professionals


May be taken fall or spring semester

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: No

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

Candidates for the nursing degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying major requirements. Discovery courses listed below require a C or better in the major.

Prerequisite courses require grades of C or better and only one prerequisite course may be repeated one time in order to progress. Most of the prerequisite courses also meet Discovery requirements. Major courses require a minimum grade of C. Nursing courses may not be repeated. A cumulative grade-point average of 2.5 must be maintained throughout the program.

A course in statistics (HHS 540, PSYC 402, SOC 402, MATH 439) must be completed prior to, or taken concurrent with, nursing research.  The statistics course requires a C or better in the major.

Clinical Hours: 814*

Discovery Program Courses
ENGL 401First-Year Writing4
BMS 507
BMS 508
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II
PSYC 401Introduction to Psychology4
BMS 501Microbes in Human Disease4
Total Credits20
Required Nursing Courses
NURS 500Introduction to Professional Nursing2
NURS 501Research for Nursing Professionals4
NURS 504Disease and Drugs I4
NURS 505Diseases and Drugs II4
NURS 506Human Development, Interaction and Learning Across the Lifespan4
NURS 516Health Assessment and Nursing Fundamentals4
NURS 516CHealth Assessment and Nursing Fundamentals Clinical2
NURS 517CClinical Integration2
NURS 601Function and Wellbeing of Older Adults2
NURS 611Care of the Adult with Acute Illness I4
NURS 611CCare of the Adult with Acute Illness I Clinical2
NURS 612Care of the Adult with Acute Illness II4
NURS 612CCare of the Adult with Acute Illness II Clinical2
NURS 616Living with Mental Illness2
NURS 616CLiving with Mental Illness Clinical2
NURS 621Maternal and Newborn Nursing2
NURS 621CMaternal Newborn Nurs Clin2
NURS 627Clinical Judgment in Nursing4
NURS 702Child Health Nursing2
NURS 702CChild Health in the Community Clinical2
NURS 704Public Health Nursing4
NURS 704PPublic Health Nursing Project2
NURS 705Contemporary Leadership within Health Care Systems4
NURS 711Clinical Judgment in Complex Illness2
NURS 721Integrating Professional Nursing Practice2
NURS 721CIntegrating Professional Nursing Practice Clinical6

Clinical hours are completed through the following required courses: NURS 516C, NURS 517C, NURS 611C, NURS 612C, NURS 616C, NURS 621C, NURS 702C, NURS 721C.

Honors-in-Major Program

The Honors-in-Major Program is offered to interested junior nursing students who achieve a minimum grade-point average of 3.75 in NURS courses and cumulative GPA of 3.4 at the end of the sophomore year in nursing and/or junior nursing students who are members of the University Honors Program.  A total of 18 credits taken at the honors level is required for the Honors-in-Major Program.  Orientation to the Honors-in-Major Program is held at the beginning of the junior nursing year.  Students must successfully complete with a grade of B or better 8 additional credits of honors coursework drawn from the following courses:

Select two courses from the following:
NURS 612Care of the Adult with Acute Illness II4
NURS 627Clinical Judgment in Nursing4
NURS 704Public Health Nursing4
NURS 705Contemporary Leadership within Health Care Systems4

Honors-in-major students must also successfully complete with a grade of B or better:

NURS 648WNursing Honors Seminar I1-4
NURS 748WNursing Honors Thesis I1
NURS 749WNursing Honors Thesis II4

These self-directed learning experiences, related to the student's interests, are designed to help students acquire advanced knowledge and skills to undertake inquiry or scholarly projects. Students must submit a project description to a faculty adviser at the beginning of the senior year. Students present the results of this study at the Nursing Inquiry Day.

The undergraduate student is prepared to:

  • Synthesize core knowledge from the liberal arts, sciences, and nursing as the foundation of professional practice.
  • Integrate knowledge and skills to assess, design, implement, and evaluate nursing care in a safe, compassionate, culturally sensitive, evidence-based manner.
  • Engage clients, families, and communities in collaborative decision-making incorporating evidence-based knowledge and anticipatory guidance.
  • Employ team leadership and collaborative skills with other health professionals to optimize client and system outcomes.
  • Recognize the influence of complex health systems on health care practice and advocate for policies that promote a socially just, patient centered healthcare system.
  • Engage in scholarly inquiry to identify, evaluate and integrate the best current practice.
  • Integrates health promotion, clinical prevention strategies when providing care at the individual or population level.
  • Incorporates principles of patient safety and risk mitigation when using healthcare technology and therapeutics in the provision of care.
  • Uses effective written, verbal, and nonverbal communication strategies when engaged in professional practice.
  • Embrace professional values embodied in the ANA code of ethics.

Explore Program Details

After May 1st and before July 1st sophomores, juniors, and seniors must submit required documents as instructed in the Department of Nursing.  Expiration dates cannot occur during the academic year. 

If documentation is received after July 1st and up to August 1st, the student will be required to pay a late fee of $100.  If documentation is received after August 1st and up to August 15th, the student will be required to pay a second late fee of $100.  If documentation is not received by August 15th, the student will be required to drop all nursing courses and cannot participate in any clinical hours.  If a student subsequently submits all required documentation, the student will be required to pay the July 1 and August 1 late fees.

  • Submit Department of Nursing clinical documentation form with positive titre for mumps, measles, rubella and chicken pox signed by primary care provider;
  • Proof of Tdap immunization within the last ten years; if Tdap is older than ten years, submit proof of Tdap and Td booster;
  • Proof of positive Hepatitis B titre.  If Hepatitis B titre is negative, the student must repeat series and submit written documentation.  If a student is in the process of receiving the series and cannot demonstrate a positive HBV, a letter from healthcare provider must be submitted as above by July 1.
  • Proof of 2-step PPD results done yearly and if positive PPD, one chest X-ray with written documentation of no active disease yearly. Students who have had the BCG vaccine or who are allergic to the PPD test, may arrange with their PCP for a qualified lab to administer the QuantiFERON-TB Gold Test (QFT-G).  It is not available in all areas.  A two-step PPD may be required.
  • Flu vaccine documentation by October 15 yearly;
  • Proof of physical exam within 12 months of first day of class and yearly thereafter;
  • CPR through the American Heart Association at the Basic Life Support Provider level only;
  • Criminal background report via approved, online agency and New Hampshire State Police, regardless of residency;
  • Submit Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services State Registry Consent Form (BEAS);
  • NHCCP training between August 1 and August 15 yearly which includes education on blood borne pathogens; and
  • Drug and alcohol testing by approved vendor on assigned date and time; random testing thereafter; and further testing, if there is reasonable suspicion or the student is unable to supply testable sample, at the student's expense.

Standards have been established to provide guidance to students as to skills and abilities required to function successfully in the program and ultimately in the profession of nursing. Each student must be able to meet the technical standards of performance necessary for the practice of nursing for admission and progression in the program of study. Students must be able to meet the following technical standards with or without a reasonable accommodation.

  • Ability to assess patient needs and to understand instructions, emergency signals and telephone conversation.
  • Ability to observe patients, manipulate equipment, and interpret data. Ability to ensure a safe environment, identify color changes, read fine print/writing and calculate fine calibrations.
  • Ability to express and exchange information and ideas and to interact with patients, family, physicians, peers and other ancillary medical personnel.
  • Ability to practice with frequent interruptions, to respond appropriately in an emergency or unexpected situation, and to successfully adapt to extreme variations in workload and stress levels.
  • Ability to perform the following physical activities: handling, lifting, and operating equipment frequently moving, lifting, and transferring patients; and performing CPR.

Take the Next Step

student posing in doorway on campus
Thompson Hall
student at Career Event