SCHOOL OF NURSING

SCHOOL OF NURSING

The School of Nursing (SON) offers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program. Graduates of the program are prepared to practice in a variety of settings, including acute care facilities and hospitals, public and community health agencies, long term care facilities, home health agencies, schools, and industries. Baccalaureate education also establishes the basis for further learning in graduate programs.

The BSN program accommodates students in three tracks: the basic generic track, the accelerated BSN track, and the RN-BSN track. The basic generic track is designed for students without an earned degree in nursing. The accelerated BSN track is an 18-month program designed for individuals who have already earned a bachelor's or higher degree in another field. The RN-BSN track, is for individuals educated at the diploma or associate degree level and already licensed as registered nurses. RNs have the option to complete all required nursing courses online or in a traditional classroom delivery mode The SON supports the Georgia Articulation plan to facilitate educational mobility for registered nurses.

Accreditation

The nursing program has full approval from the Georgia Board of Nursing and is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, 61 Broadway, New York, New York 10014 (212) 363-5555.

RN Licensure Testing Eligibility

Graduates of the BSN program who meet all program requirements are eligible to take the Registered Nurse Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN). Permission to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam for a graduate who has a felony conviction, conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, DUI or DWI offence during enrollment in the nursing program or within twelve months prior to enrollment, or violation of the controlled substance act or substance abuse related disorder, or who has had a license encumbered in the past rests solely with the Georgia Board of Nursing. Further information about licensing requirements may be obtained by the Georgia Board of Nursing.

MISSION STATEMENT

The School of Nursing is an integral component of Georgia Southwestern State University and subscribes to the mission of the University. The School of Nursing is committed to preparing individuals for professional nursing roles and for collaboration with other professionals and consumers in the delivery of health care within rapidly changing health care systems in a global environment.

TERMINAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Utilize critical thinking skills to provide health promotion, risk reduction, illness prevention, disease management and health restoration with diverse clients and groups in a variety of settings.
  2. Employ a variety of communication strategies with clients and the interdisciplinary team to meet health needs.
  3. Perform holistic assessment, and provide evidenced-based nursing interventions to diverse individuals, families, and communities across the lifespan.
  4. Perform, teach, delegate and supervise nursing technical skills with safety and competence.
  5. Integrate knowledge, values and skills from nursing, the humanities, sciences, and advances in technology in providing nursing care.
  6. Demonstrate competence in utilizing information and communication technologies to enhance health care.
  7. Apply legal and ethical standards and guidelines to advocate for client well-being and preferences.
  8. Provide nursing care that is congruent with the needs of underserved, vulnerable and diverse clients.
  9. Incorporate knowledge of the global and changing environment in the provision of health care.
  10. Interpret and apply knowledge of the health care delivery system to influence health care and promote the profession.
  11. Enact the essential roles of the professional nurse: provider of care, designer/ manager/coordinator of care, and member of the profession.

PROFESSIONAL/TECHNICAL STANDARDS

Students of the School of Nursing will be held to the American Nurses' Association's "Standards of Professional Performance" and "Code for Nurses," and the School of Nursing's Essential Technical Standards for Safe Nursing Practice (outlined below). Failure to uphold these standards may result in dismissal from any nursing program.

PRENURSING ADVISEMENT

A student who meets the criteria for admission to Georgia Southwestern State University may be admitted to the university for any semester and be classified as a pre-nursing student. Prenursing students will be assigned a nursing faculty advisor. Once admitted to the University, student s should contact the Student Services Coordinator within the School of Nursing to obtain the name and contact number of the nursing advisor. Students should then schedule an initial advising appointment with the nursing advisor in the School of Nursing. The nursing advisor will review the nursing curriculum requirements and assist the student in developing a course progression calendar to insure enrollment in the correct pre-nursing courses from the first semester of study at the University. Failure to meet with the nursing advisor may result in the pre-nursing student taking unnecessary courses OR taking required courses in a sequence that may delay timely admission into the program.

Admission to the University as a pre-nursing student only allows the student to take core curriculum courses and required pre-nursing courses as they are available. Pre-nursing students are not guaranteed admission to the upper level professional nursing program.

SCHOOL OF NURSING GRADING SCALE

The grading scale for courses in the School of Nursing is:

90-100A
80-89B
75-79C
65-74D
<65F

Faculty determines and documents in their syllabi the criteria for grading in each of their classes. The clinical components of all courses are graded as satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

MANDATORY HEALTH STUDENTS FOR NURSINGSTUDENTS

Nursing students are required to carry health insurance. The Board of regents of the University System of Georgia has contracted with Pearce & Pearce, Inc. to provide student health insurance effective Fall Semester 2006. All 35 Institutions of the University System of Georgia are required to use Pearce & Pearce, Inc. for student health insurance. Nursing students must be enrolled each semester in the Mandatory Plan, which is an accident and sickness insurance policy that includes diagnosis and/or treatment of illness, injury, or medical conditions. Benefits include physician, hospital, surgical, pharmacy, behavioral health services (i.e., mental health / substance abuse), as well as legally mandated benefits. The fee for the Mandatory plan is added to your tuition during fall and spring semesters (note that the amount paid during spring semester provides coverage both spring and summer semesters, regardless of whether you are enrolled in classes). There is an option for students who can demonstrate that they have a qualifying policy through a spouse or other source to waive the statewide mandatory policy. Details about the Mandatory Plan, instructions for setting up individual accounts, and steps to waive the Mandatory Plan purchase are found by (a) going to:http://www.studentinsurance.com/, (b) Selecting Georgia Southwestern State University in the dropdown menu; and (c) by following the instructions provided.

ADMISSION ELIGIBILITY

Generic BSN Program Track

Students must apply and be accepted to the nursing program at the upper division level. This generally occurs during the second year of full-time study at the University. There are two admission cycles for generic students, fall and spring. Students anticipating qualifying for entrance in the fall semester must apply for admission to the program by the announced deadline, usually January or February. Students anticipating qualifying for entrance in the spring semester must apply for admission by the announced deadline, usually late August or September. Students should contact the School of Nursing Student Services Coordinator for application instructions and deadlines. In order to be considered for admission into the program, generic program applicants must have met the following requirements:

  1. Attained admission to the University;
  2. Returned the completed application including all requirements outlined in the application to the School of Nursing by the announced deadline;
  3. Completed general education/core classes from Areas A, D, and F
  4. Completed required pre-nursing courses: Concepts of Professional
  5. Completed Nursing (NURS 2600), Clinical Therapeutics (NURS 2700) and Human Pathophysiology (NURS 3150). Minimum grade of "C" required;
  6. Passed the Regents Examinations
  7. Lack no more than nine (9) hours of general education classes from Areas B, C, and/or E.
  8. Completed anatomy and physiology (BIOL 2030 and 2040) and microbiology (BIOL 2050) within five years of projected admission. Minimum grade of "C" required. Testing is required of those applicants who completed these courses five years ago or longer. Remediation may be required;
  9. Earned an overall grade point average of at least a 2.8/4.0 for consideration. The grade point average is taken from the transcript of the most recently attended institution from which the student earned at least 30 semester hours of credit;
  10. Not have been excluded from another nursing program for any reason, including (but not limited to) academic misconduct, disruptive behavior, program or course failures.

It may not be possible to admit all students who meet the minimum requirements for admission. If there are more qualified applicants than positions available in a nursing class, selection for admission will be based upon:

  • Availability of space in clinical sites
  • Availability of faculty resources
  • Grade Point Average - minimum of 2.8
  • Grades in Science courses - minimum of B is preferred
  • Pattern of withdrawal from courses/schools
  • Grades of Ds and/or Fs
  • Written communication ability
  • Completion of nursing pre-requisites

There are two types of admission:

  1. Full acceptance is offered when all criteria are metep
  2. Contingent acceptance is predicated upon successful completion of unmet criteria

CLICK HERE FOR GENERIC BSN CURRICULUM SHEET AND REQUIREMENTS

Accelerated BSN Program Track

Students who have a bachelor's degree or higher in a non-nursing field of study may pursue the accelerated degree program track of study. The core and general education requirements met by the first degree are accepted by the University. The U.S. and Georgia History and Constitution Requirements of the University System of Georgia must be met by all accelerated degree students.

Students must apply for admission to the School of Nursing by the published deadline. There is one admission cycle per academic year for this cohort; however, an exception may be made in an individual's matriculation plan, dependent upon student meeting prerequisite requirements to enter the program. Prospective and pre-nursing students should contact the Student Services Coordinator in the School of Nursing for application deadlines and other details. In order to be considered for admission into the accelerated BSN program track, students must have met the following:

  1. Obtained a baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited college or university;
  2. Returned completed School of Nursing Accelerated BSN application including all requirements outlined in the application by the announced deadline;
  3. Earned a minimum of a 3.0/4.0 overall gpa. The grade point average is taken from the transcript of the most recently attended institution from which the student earned at least 30 semester hours of credit.
  4. Completed 8 semester credit hours in human anatomy and physiology (with labs) and 4 semester credits in microbiology (with lab); Testing is required of those applicants who completed these courses five years ago or longer. Remediation may be required.
  5. Completed a course in statistics
  6. Completed a course in human growth and development
  7. Not have been excluded from another nursing program for any reason, including (but not limited to) academic misconduct, disruptive behavior, program or course failures.

It may not be possible to admit all students who meet the minimum requirements for admission. If there are more qualified applicants than positions available in a nursing class, selection for admission will be based upon:

  • Availability of space in clinical sites
  • Availability of faculty resources
  • Grade Point Average - minimum of 3.0
  • Grades in Science courses - minimum of B is preferred
  • Pattern of withdrawal from courses/schools
  • Grades of Ds and/or Fs
  • Written communication ability
  • Completion of nursing pre-requisites

There are two types of admission:

  1. Full acceptance is offered when all criteria are met
  2. Contingent acceptance is predicated upon successful completion of unmet criteria

CLICK HERE FOR ACCELERATED BSN CURRICULUM SHEET AND REQUIRMENTS

RN-BSN Program Track

The RN-BSN program track is designed to specifically meet the needs of RNs who are completing the BSN degree. Recognizing the barriers that RNs face in terms of employment demands, travel time, and family responsibilities, the program has been designed to allow full-time or part-time study, flexibility in the sequencing of courses, and options to complete the nursing courses online or in a traditional classroom format. Students enrolled in courses with clinical components work with a preceptor who holds the qualifications required of the Georgia Board of Nursing.

Registered nurses accepted by the University should apply to the School of Nursing immediately. In order to be considered for admission into the RN-BSN program track, students must have:

  • Been accepted in good standing by the University
  • Be licensed as a registered nurse in Georgia
  • Passed the Regents Examinations
  • Met the requirements of the Georgia RN-BSN Articulation Model.
  • Returned the Application for Program Admission (RN-BSN Program) and all required documents to the School of Nursing.

Georgia RN-BSN Articulation Model

The Georgia Southwestern State University School of Nursing supports the Georgia RN-BSN Articulation Model. The purpose of this model is to facilitate the educational mobility of registered nurses who elect to pursue a baccalaureate degree in nursing. RN/BSN students are awarded 33 nursing credit hours after successfully passing the first nursing course [contact the SON office for details: 229.931.2275].

Validation Testing: Completion of validation testing will be required of all associate degree or diploma graduates who graduated from non-NLNAC accredited schools outside the state of Georgia, who graduated more than four years ago, and who have less than 1,000 clinical practice hours. Validation testing includes standardized exams and clinical competencies. Contact the Student Services Coordinator for more information if this applies.

CLICK HERE FOR RN-BSN CURRICULUM SHEET AND REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRMENTS OF STUDENTS UPON PROGRAM ACCEPTANCE

Generic and Accelerated Degree Students

Accepted students to the program must have met and submitted documentation of the following requirements before beginning the nursing program: Met School of Nursing clinical policies, including submission of:

  1. (a) health history and physical exam (by a medical physician or nurse practitioner) affirming that they are free from communicable disease and able to function safely in a clinical environment; (b) met immunization requirements including measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus; and hepatitis B vaccine series and post-vaccination antigen/antibody testing according to the most recent Health Center policy; (c) tuberculosis screening (PPD or chest x-ray as appropriate); (d) certification in CPR at the minimum level of basic life support for health care professionals; (e) health professions student liability insurance; and (f) personal health insurance in accordance with the University System of Georgia Mandatory Plan requirements*.
  2. Additional clinical policies and details may be found in the most recent publication of the Nursing Student Handbook.
  3. Results of Test of Academic Skills (TEAS) for generic students only. Information on testing may be obtained by the School of Nursing Student Services Coordinator

RN-BSN Students

RN-BSN students must have met and submitted documentation of the following requirementsbefore enrollment in the first nursing course of the program: Met School of Nursing clinical policies, including submission of:

  • Health history and physical exam (by a medical physician or nurse practitioner) affirming that they are free from communicable disease and able to function safely in a clinical environment; (b) met immunization requirements including measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus; and hepatitis B vaccine series and post-vaccination antigen/antibody testing according to the most recent Health Center policy; (c) tuberculosis screening (PPD or chest x-ray as appropriate); (d) certification in CPR at the minimum level of basic life support for health care professionals; (e) health professions liability insurance; and (f) personal health insurance in accordance with the University System of Georgia Mandatory Plan requirements*.
  • Registered nurse licensure
  • A failure in any nursing course after full admission is considered a failure in the nursing program. A student failing a course for the first time may repeat it once in the subsequent term that the course is offered, as space is available.
  • A student obtaining a second "D" and/or "F" in a nursing course after full admission is not eligible to continue the program of study and will be dropped from the School of Nursing.
  • The student must maintain an institutional grade point average of 2.5 to progress to the next term. Any student whose GPA falls below 2.5 must meet with the academic advisor to develop a written plan for academic improvement. In the case that a student does not improve the GPA to a 2.5 within the next semester, the student will not be allowed to continue in the nursing program.
  • In clinical nursing courses, the student must achieve a satisfactory (or passing) grade in the clinical learning experiences and a "C" or better in the theory (didactic) portion of the course in order to pass the course.
  • After admission to the nursing program, the student must take all nursing courses at Georgia Southwestern State University.
  • A generic or accelerated degree student who has been out of the program for a calendar year or more must apply for readmission. Readmission is not guaranteed. Prior to readmission will be evaluated for basic clinical skills proficiency. Remediation may be required;
  • Strict adherence to the Georgia Board of Nursing,'s Standards of Professional Nursing Practice is required of all nursing students; and
  • Nursing students must maintain and provide written documentation to the School of Nursing secretary of:
    • Up-to-date tetanus immunization (every 10 years); annual tuberculosis screening (PPD or chest X-ray a appropriate); physical examination if greater than 5 years since last exam; current CPR for Health Care Professionals
    • Maintain health insurance meeting the University's Mandatory Plan;
    • Maintain professional liability insurance (minimum coverage $1,000,000/claim; $6,000,000/aggregate;
    Under no circumstance may a student take a nursing course with a clinical component without these documents.
  • For basic generic students and accelerated degree program students, the entire program must be completed within six semesters of successfully passing NURS 3200: Health Assessment. For RN students, the entire program must be completed within five years of successfully passing the first nursing course.

STUDENT EXPENSES

Nursing students will incur expenses throughout the nursing program above the fees identified in the Georgia Southwestern State University Undergraduate Bulletin. These additional expenses may include but are not limited to uniforms, standardized exam fees, specialty textbooks, computer software, medical supplies and equipment, student nursing organization membership dues, licensure preparation review course, application fees for licensure testing, and transportation to and from clinical agencies.

STUDENT EMPLOYMENT

The nursing program is a rigorous program of study. Significant study and preparation is required outside the class and lab times. Classes and clinical may involve traditional Monday-Friday schedules; however, nontraditional times such as weekends and evenings for classes and/or clinical experiences may be required. Because of these requirements, full-time employment is discouraged. Students are allowed to seek employment that does not conflict with their academic schedule.

Georgia Board of Nursing regulates nursing student employment. According to section 410-3.07(4): "Unlicensed students shall be employed only as unlicensed nursing personnel. They shall not represent themselves, or practice, as nursing students except as part of a learning activity in a practice setting which is integral to the curriculum."

CLINICAL AGENCY MANDATES

Clinical agencies may require that nursing students to obtain and provide results of criminal background checks and drug screens. The School of Nursing will neither pay for nor offer these screens. The School of Nursing will not have access to the results of these checks/screens.

A facility may, because of the results of these screens, prohibit a student from engaging in clinical activities in that facility. The School of Nursing will attempt, but does not guarantee, to find alternative, equivalent, experiences.

GRADUATION

Students in the School of Nursing must meet the graduation requirements and application for graduation deadlines found in the Georgia Southwestern State University Undergraduate Bulletin. It is the student's responsibility to submit the completed Application for Graduation to the academic advisor and pay the graduation application fee to the Office of the Registrar by the required date. Students are expected to be aware of and meet all deadlines for graduation.

Preparation for Licensure

Each student is responsible for preparing adequately to take the licensing examination. The School of Nursing will assist graduating seniors in preparation for licensure and application to write the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

All prelicensure students are required to attend an external NCLEX review course offered by the GSW School of Nursing during the final semester of the nursing program. Students are required to attend ALL review sessions made available by the School of Nursing to satisfactorily meet one component of the Practicum requirements.

During the final term of the senior year, designated faculty will meet with students to discuss the NCLEX-RN process. Applications for taking the licensing examination in Georgia will be distributed along with procedural information. Students taking the examination in states other than Georgia must acquire an application from the appropriate Board of Nursing. A list of all Jurisdictions offering the licensure examination is available on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing web site.

The completed application is then submitted to the Dean's office for the required affirmation and signature. The Dean is not authorized to sign the application until after documentation of completion of program requirements is completed. Applications can be sent directly from the Dean's office to the appropriate Board of Nursing or students can choose to mail their own applications upon receipt of their final transcript. Students are required to make a written request for an official copy of their final transcript from the Registrar's Office. An official transcript must accompany the application to the appropriate Board of Nursing.

ESSENTIAL TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR SAFE NURSING PRACTICE

A nursing student must demonstrate skills according to the standards listed in the table below. Reasonable accommodations will be made on an individual basis; however, the student must be able to perform these activities in an independent manner.

CompetencyStandardExamples of Activities (not all-inclusive)
Critical ThinkingCritical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgmentIdentify cause and effect relationships in clinical situations; develop nursing care plans
InterpersonalInterpersonal abilities sufficient for interaction with individuals, families, and groups from various social, cultural, and intellectual backgroundsEstablish rapport with clients and colleagues
CommunicationCommunication abilities sufficient for oral and written interaction with othersExplain treatment procedures, initiate health teaching, and document and interpret nursing actions and client responses
MobilityPhysical abilities sufficient for movement from room to room and in small spacesMove around in a client's room and home, in work spaces, and in treatment areas; administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation
Motor SkillsGross and fine motor abilities sufficient for providing safe, effective nursing careCalibrate and use equipment; position clients
HearingAuditory ability sufficient for monitoring and assessing health needsHear monitor alarms, emergency signals, auscultatory sounds, and cries for help
VisualVisual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in nursing careObserve client responses
TactileTactile ability sufficient for physical assessmentPerform palpation, functions of physical examination and/or those functions related to therapeutic intervention (such as insertion of a catheter)

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

School of Nursing faculty members are sensitive to the special needs of students with disabilities and will make reasonable and appropriate accommodations for these students enrolled in nursing courses. Students must follow the procedural guidelines as written in the most recent edition of the GSW Bulletin and GSWeathervane/Student Handbook.