The baccalaureate nursing curriculum at URI builds upon a foundation of the arts, sciences and humanities Students interested in nursing should be successfully complete high-school classes in biology, chemistry, and physiology as well as psychology and mathematics. Good written and oral communication skills are also essential for success in nursing.
The nursing curriculum at URI provides a solid theoretical basis as well as hands on practice in learning labs, and multiple clinical practice settings. The curriculum shifts as the level of complexity progresses. At the freshman level, students are introduced to basic concepts of professional helping: therapeutic communications, cultural influences on health and illness beliefs, and ethical behaviors in professional practice. Sophomores focus on learning basic concepts of health and illness, developing assessment skills, and understanding the health care needs of older adults. They also begin to develop their interaction skills in communicating and teaching. Juniors nursing students study complex issues such as concepts of wellness, the experience of acute and chronic illness, and use basic nursing interventions to care for clients with multiple co-morbidities. During the senior year, students are introduced to the broader complexities of patient care related to organizational and societal influences on health and nursing practice. Many nursing students work while they are in school and during the summers. Having jobs, or volunteer activities, that help develop skills in organization, communication, priority setting, and interaction with other people can strengthen ones academic success. Some nursing students are employed as nurses aides or work for hospitals in a variety of nurse student internship programs.
Many nursing students choose to declare a minor field of study while pursuing their baccalaureate degree. For a full description of all available minors at URI, read Minor Fields of Study. Minors that particularly appeal to nursing students include but are not limited to: a foreign language, psychology, thanatology, gerontology, leadership, and nutrition.
Graduate education, at the masters or doctoral level, builds on the competencies acquired during the nurse’s baccalaureate education and focuses on advanced nursing roles in practice, education, research, and administration. A nurse interested in teaching nursing students or doing research to improve patient care might choose to get a PhD in nursing, whereas one interested in being a nurse practitioner might choose to get a masters degree or DNP (Doctorate in Nursing Practice). If a nurse wants to have a private counseling practice for psychiatric patients, he or she would earn a master's degree in that clinical specialty.