Types of Degree

Bachelor of Nursing (BN) – Subjects, Requirements and Jobs

Bachelor of Nursing (BN)

Bachelor of Nursing (BN)

Bachelor of Nursing (BN) is an undergraduate academic degree in the field of nursing. This degree prepares individuals to become registered nurses (RNs), providing them with the necessary knowledge, skills, and competencies to perform nursing duties effectively. The program typically covers a range of topics, including but not limited to:

  • Fundamentals of Nursing: Introduces basic nursing concepts, skills, and practices.
  • Anatomy and Physiology: Teaches the structure and function of the human body and its systems.
  • Pathophysiology: Focuses on understanding how diseases affect the body and its functions.
  • Pharmacology: Provides knowledge about medications and their administration.
  • Community Health Nursing: Emphasizes health promotion, disease prevention, and care for populations in community settings.
  • Mental Health Nursing: Covers the care of patients with mental health issues.
  • Medical-Surgical Nursing: Involves caring for patients with a variety of medical conditions or who are recovering from surgery.
  • Pediatric Nursing: Focuses on the care of infants, children, and adolescents.
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology Nursing: Concentrates on care for women during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum, as well as gynecological health.
  • Research and Evidence-Based Practice: Teaches how to apply research and evidence in clinical practice.
  • Leadership and Management in Nursing: Prepares for leadership roles and management responsibilities in healthcare settings.

The duration of a BN program is typically three to four years, depending on the country and institution. Clinical experiences in various healthcare settings are an integral part of the curriculum, providing hands-on training. After completing a BN degree, graduates are usually required to pass a licensing exam to become registered nurses. The degree not only prepares them for direct patient care roles but also for positions in education, research, and healthcare administration.

History of Bachelor of Nursing

The history of the Bachelor of Nursing (BN) degree is closely tied to the evolution of nursing education and the nursing profession itself. Here’s an overview:

  • Early Nursing Education (Late 19th – Early 20th Century): Initially, nursing education was largely informal, often based in hospitals where experienced nurses taught new recruits on the job. This system was heavily influenced by the training model established by Florence Nightingale in the mid-19th century.
  • Move Toward Formal Education (Early 20th Century): The early 20th century saw a push for more formal, standardized nursing education. This was partly influenced by societal changes and advancements in medicine and healthcare. The Goldmark Report in 1923 in the United States, for example, advocated for university-based nursing education.
  • Establishment of Bachelor’s Programs (Mid 20th Century): The first Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs began to appear in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. These programs aimed to provide a more comprehensive education, including both clinical skills and theoretical knowledge. The Bachelor of Nursing (BN) degree followed a similar trajectory, although the specific title and structure of the program may vary by country.
  • Post-World War II Expansion: After World War II, there was a significant expansion in higher education, including nursing programs. The demand for more educated nurses in more advanced roles increased, leading to the growth of BN and BSN programs.
  • Advancements in Nursing Roles and Education (Late 20th Century – Present): Over the years, the role of nurses has evolved and expanded, leading to changes in nursing education. The BN degree has increasingly focused on providing a comprehensive education that covers a wide range of skills, including clinical care, leadership, research, and public health. Advanced practice roles, such as nurse practitioners, have also influenced the curriculum and structure of nursing programs.
  • Globalization and Standardization (Late 20th Century – Present): The latter part of the 20th century and into the 21st century has seen efforts to standardize nursing education globally. This is to ensure that nurses are prepared to meet the challenges of a diverse and changing healthcare environment, no matter where they practice.

Throughout its history, the BN degree has continually adapted to meet the changing needs of the healthcare system and society. It has evolved from a hospital-based training model to a comprehensive, university-level education that prepares nurses for a wide range of roles in healthcare.

Bachelor of Nursing Subjects

Bachelor of Nursing Subjects:

Year 1– Fundamentals of Nursing
– Anatomy and Physiology
– Introduction to Professional Nursing
– Basic Pharmacology
– Health Assessment
Year 2– Pathophysiology
– Pharmacology
– Medical-Surgical Nursing I
– Mental Health Nursing
– Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice
Year 3– Medical-Surgical Nursing II
– Pediatric Nursing
– Obstetrics and Gynecology Nursing
– Community Health Nursing
– Leadership and Management in Nursing
Year 4– Advanced Medical-Surgical Nursing
– Public Health Nursing
– Nursing Ethics and Legal Issues
– Capstone Project or Clinical Practicum
– Elective Specializations (e.g., Geriatric Nursing, Oncology Nursing, etc.)

Bachelor of Nursing Requirements

The requirements to enroll in and successfully complete a Bachelor of Nursing (BN) program can vary depending on the country and the specific educational institution. However, there are some common requirements that are generally applicable:

Entrance Requirements

  1. Educational Background:
    • High school diploma or equivalent.
    • Good grades in relevant subjects, such as biology, chemistry, and mathematics.
  2. Entrance Exams:
    • Some programs require standardized test scores (e.g., SAT, ACT in the United States).
    • Nursing-specific entrance exams may also be required.
  3. Health and Immunizations:
    • Proof of immunization and a clean bill of health.
    • Drug screening and background checks are often required due to clinical placements.
  4. English Proficiency:
    • For non-native speakers, proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS) may be necessary.
  5. Personal Statement and References:
    • A personal statement outlining your interest in nursing.
    • References or recommendation letters.

Program Requirements

  1. Coursework:
    • Completion of all required courses with a minimum grade, often a ‘C’ or higher.
    • Includes both theoretical courses and practical labs.
  2. Clinical Practicum:
    • Supervised clinical experiences in various healthcare settings.
    • These are essential for hands-on learning and skill development.
  3. Exams and Assessments:
    • Regular assessments and exams throughout the program.
    • May include both written exams and practical skill assessments.
  4. Capstone Project or Thesis:
    • Some programs require a research project or thesis in the final year.
  5. Licensing Requirements:
    • After completing the BN program, graduates usually must pass a licensing exam to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN). This requirement varies by country or region.
  6. Continuing Education:
    • Nurses are often required to engage in ongoing learning and professional development.

Additional Considerations

  • Personal Qualities: Nursing is a demanding profession that requires compassion, strong communication skills, resilience, and a commitment to patient care.
  • Physical and Emotional Stamina: Due to the nature of the work, physical and emotional resilience are important.
  • Legal Requirements: In some jurisdictions, certain legal clearances, such as a criminal record check, may be required.

Bachelor of Nursing Majors

Bachelor of Nursing (BN) programs often offer various majors or specializations that students can choose to focus on, particularly in the later years of their studies. Here’s a table outlining some common majors in nursing:

Adult Health NursingFocuses on providing care to adult patients with various health issues, both acute and chronic.
Pediatric NursingSpecializes in the care of infants, children, and adolescents, including developmental monitoring and illnesses.
Mental Health NursingConcentrates on caring for patients with mental health disorders, including counseling and therapy.
Gerontological NursingDeals with the health and care of elderly patients, focusing on aging-related health issues.
Community Health NursingInvolves working in community settings, focusing on public health, health education, and preventive care.
Maternity / Obstetrics NursingSpecializes in caring for women during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum.
Critical Care NursingFocuses on patients who are critically ill and require intensive care and monitoring.
Surgical NursingDeals with preoperative and postoperative care of surgical patients.
Emergency NursingSpecializes in caring for patients in emergency situations, requiring quick assessment and decision-making.
Oncology NursingFocuses on the care of patients with cancer, including treatment, symptom management, and palliative care.
Cardiac NursingDeals with patients who have various heart conditions and require specialized care.
Nursing InformaticsCombines nursing, computer, and information sciences for managing and processing nursing data, information.
Public Health NursingFocuses on promoting and protecting the health of populations using knowledge from nursing, social, and public health sciences.

These majors allow nursing students to tailor their education to specific areas of interest, preparing them for more specialized roles in the nursing field. The availability of these majors can vary depending on the institution and the program.

Bachelor of Nursing Jobs

Job TitleDescription
Registered Nurse (RN)Provides patient care in hospitals, clinics, etc. Assesses conditions, administers medications, collaborates with healthcare professionals.
Public Health NurseWorks in community health, promoting public health through education, outreach, and disease prevention.
School NurseManages healthcare in schools, including first aid and health education for students.
Occupational Health NurseProvides healthcare in workplaces, focusing on occupational health and safety, and managing health programs.
Nurse EducatorTeaches nursing students in academic settings or provides training in healthcare facilities.
Nurse Manager/AdministratorOversees nursing staff and handles administrative tasks in healthcare settings.
Pediatric NurseSpecializes in caring for infants, children, and adolescents, typically in hospitals or clinics.
Geriatric NurseFocuses on elderly patient care, often in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, or home health care.
Mental Health NurseCares for patients with mental health disorders in various settings like psychiatric wards or mental health centers.
Critical Care NurseProvides care for critically ill patients, often in intensive care units.
Home Health NurseOffers nursing care to patients in their homes, typically for recovery or chronic condition management.
Travel NurseWorks in temporary nursing positions in various locations, offering flexibility and travel opportunities.
Emergency Room NurseProvides urgent care in emergency departments for a range of medical emergencies.
Oncology NurseSpecializes in cancer patient care, including chemotherapy administration and treatment support.
Hospice/Palliative Care NurseFocuses on end-of-life care for patients with terminal illnesses and provides support to their families.

Importance of Bachelor of Nursing Degree



The Bachelor of Nursing (BN) degree is crucial for several reasons, both within the healthcare sector and in the broader context of societal health and wellbeing. Here are some key points highlighting its importance:

  • Professional Competency: The BN program equips nurses with comprehensive knowledge and skills in patient care, ensuring a high level of competency. This is critical for providing quality healthcare services.
  • Evidence-Based Practice: BN graduates are trained in evidence-based practice, meaning they use current research and data to inform their clinical decisions. This approach improves patient outcomes and healthcare quality.
  • Diverse Specializations: The degree offers exposure to a variety of specialties within nursing, allowing graduates to pursue careers in areas such as pediatrics, oncology, mental health, public health, and more.
  • Improved Patient Care: Nurses with a BN degree are well-prepared to handle complex clinical situations and provide advanced patient care, which is vital in today’s rapidly evolving healthcare environment.
  • Leadership and Management Skills: The program often includes training in leadership and management, preparing nurses to take on supervisory or administrative roles in healthcare settings.
  • Advocacy and Health Promotion: BN graduates are trained to be advocates for their patients, promoting health and wellbeing, and playing a key role in disease prevention and health education in the community.
  • Higher Employment Opportunities: A BN degree often opens up more job opportunities and can lead to higher salaries compared to nurses with lower levels of education.
  • Foundation for Advanced Practice: For those who wish to further specialize or pursue advanced practice roles (like Nurse Practitioners), a BN is often a prerequisite for graduate education in nursing.

About the author

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer