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Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) (California)

Lead Faculty: Dr. Bonnie Marblestone

INFORMATION APPLICABLE TO ALL PRELICENSURE NURSING PROGRAMS

  1. Generic Entry
  2. LVN to BSN
  3. Accelerated Post Bachelor

Individuals expressing interest in studying nursing at National University will be provided with objective counseling regarding all of the options available to them through the Department of Nursing. Enrollment in the University does not
automatically include admission to a nursing program.

Admission Requirements 

Students seeking to study nursing at National University must:

  1. Meet all requirements for admission to an undergraduate degree program at the University as outlined in the University Catalog,
  2. Have obtained a 2.75 cumulative GPA in the General Education and prerequisite courses, (Courses must have
    been taken at a regionally accredited institution.)
  3. Have earned a grade of “C” or higher in all prerequisite courses,
  4. Have a clear criminal background check and drug screen,
  5. Submit a separate application for admission into a specific nursing program (see below), *Note: Meeting the minimum requirements, as listed above, does not guarantee admission into a nursing program.
  6. Complete all non-nursing courses prior to starting nursing courses,
  7. Attend a Pre-Nursing Program Information Forum which will describe the process for applying to and acceptance into the Nursing Program. The specifics described are: number of Nursing courses, sequence of courses,
    requirements for progression in the Program. Note: Prospective Students must attend a Pre-Nursing Forum before submitting the application packet. These Forums will be offered monthly (schedules are available by
    e-mailing the student’s assigned advisor or advisor@nu.edu).
  8. Attend the mandatory new nursing student orientation and sign the attendance roster to complete the admission process.

Admission Process

Admission into the prelicensure nursing programs at National University is a two-step process: 1) Application to the University; and 2) Application to the respective nursing program.

Prospective students should follow the University application requirements listed in the “General Admission Procedures” section of this catalog.

In addition, prospective nursing students will complete a separate application for admission to a specific nursing program. These applications, with supporting documents, should be sent to the Department of Nursing, to the campus at which you plan to enroll; San Diego, Fresno, or Los Angeles. These addresses are found on the Nursing application, online, and on the back of the University Catalog. Students taking their preparation courses at National University are held to the same standard as those who transfer preparation courses in from other schools.

A prospective student should first meet with an Admissions Advisor. The Advisors are located at each of the University campus offices. The prospective student will arrange to have transcripts from all other Colleges and Universities sent to National University.

These courses will be evaluated for equivalency to National University Department of Nursing required prerequisite courses. All non-nursing courses required for the BSN degree must be completed with a passing grade prior to enrollment courses. All non-nursing courses required for the BSN degree must be completed with a passing grade prior to enrollment in the first nursing course.

A Calculation Worksheet will be used to evaluate each prospective student’s application packet by the Admissions Committee of the Department of Nursing. The prospective student will be ranked in comparison to the other applicants for
that application cycle. The scoring system will be explained at the pre-nursing forum. Items considered in the scoring system may include but are not limited to:

  • Grades and other indicators of mastery of the prerequisite course content,
  • Testing: Including at least the Test of Essential Academic Skills Score (TEAS), (explained below) and a proctored essay.

Please note: Students will be contacted by the Department of Nursing to schedule tests (such as the proctored essay and TEAS exam) once a complete Nursing application packet is on file, after the application deadline.

All prospective students must take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) to be considered for admission to the Nursing Program, following completion of all Math and Science prerequisite courses. The procedure for taking the TEAS will be explained at the Pre-nursing Forum. The TEAS may be taken a total of 3 times (see Re-Application Process below), with no less than 60 days between tests.

All prospective students must complete a proctored essay. One essay topic will be drawn from questions developed by the Nursing Faculty and typed on a computer. Prospective students have the option of re-writing the essay should they be denied admission to the Nursing Program (see Re-Application Process below).

Following the receipt of all application items, the prospective student’s packet will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee for the Department of Nursing, and a decision made regarding acceptance. Tentative acceptance will be offered to students achieving the highest rank scores, until all class positions are filled for any one cohort. Final admission is confirmed upon the student signing the roster during the mandatory New Nursing Student Orientation Session. All prospective students must attend Orientation before they will be admitted to the nursing program. The prospective student will receive a letter confirming admission to the nursing program.

Students who are not accepted may re-apply for admission to the Nursing Program, up to a maximum of three applications. If the prospective student chooses to re-take the TEAS, she/he will need to follow the TEAS application process, and is responsible for any associated fees. If the prospective student chooses to re-do the essay question, she/he must contact the Nursing Department at the campus where the student applied for admission.

Students are not eligible for financial aid until the Nursing application, Evaluation Packet, and the formal degree evaluation is done by the Office of the Registrar.

CLINICAL FACILITY REQUIREMENTS

National University wishes to inform prospective students of the general nature of qualifications and restrictions of the clinical facilities. Further, National University wishes to assist applicants in meeting all essential qualifications. Applicants should assess their own capability to meet requirements of nursing prior to application to the program.

Before participating in clinical practice, students must submit proof of a health clearance that complies with the health facility’s requirements for immunizations and health screening tests. In addition, before engaging in clinical practice at health facilities, students will be required to obtain professional liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence/ $3,000,000 aggregate. Continued liability coverage as well as current health clearance, clear background check and drug screen, and immunity coverage is required throughout the program. *Note: failure to maintain health clearance and a clear background check during the nursing program may result in dismissal from the nursing program, and possibly refusal of the BRN to allow the student to take the RN licensure exam. Students must possess a social security number to disclose to the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) at the time of Application for Licensure by Examination.

The Department of Nursing requires that students who participate in fieldwork in healthcare facilities maintain current health insurance coverage and Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certificate from the American Heart Association (BLS-Basic Life Support for healthcare Providers plus AED certification). The student is responsible to determine if his/her personal health insurance coverage includes provisions for emergency room visits in the event of a needle stick or other high risk exposure in the clinical setting, as well as the costs of anti-HIV drugs if the physician determines the medications are warranted. Please note: if a student is out of the program for 5 months or more, she/he must re-do the drug screen and background check. Students are responsible to meet all requirements established by clinical facilities. If a student’s background check changes such that he/she has a flag on the report at any time during the program, the student will be dismissed from the nursing program if a clinical placement for his/her clinical course(s) cannot be obtained.

Students must provide their own transportation to class and all clinical experiences. *Note: Proof of auto insurance, a current car registration, and a valid driver’s license is required for access to clinical facilities located on military installations.

Mental and Physical Qualifications for Professional Nursing.

Please be advised that there are minimum mental and physical qualifications to professional nursing practice. Typically, each nursing employer sets minimal physical and mental standards for employment as a Registered Nurse. These employers are also in control of providing National University nursing students with the clinical placements necessary to complete a nursing program. Their restrictions may affect some students’ decision about whether to pursue a nursing career. At the present time, all clinical placements forbid visible tattoos and piercings (other than a single small earring in one or both ears). Any tattoos or piercings must be able to be concealed with clothing for a student to be able to pursue a nursing degree at National University. Synthetic fingernails and nail polish are prohibited.

The following are MINIMUM mental and physical qualifications for admission of applicants to a professional nursing program:

  • Frequently work in a standing position, and do frequent walking.
  • Lift and transfer patients up to 6 inches from a stooped position, then push or pull the weight up to 3 feet.
  • Lift and transfer patients from a stooped to an upright position to accomplish bed-to-chair and chair-to-bed transfers.
  • Physically apply up to 10 pounds of pressure to bleeding sites, or in performing CPR.
  • Respond and react immediately to auditory instructions/requests/monitor equipment, and perform auditory auscultation without auditory impediments.
  • Physically perform a twelve hour clinical laboratory experience.
  • Perform close and distance visual activities (may use glasses) involving objects, persons, and paperwork, as well as discriminate depth and color perception.
  • Discriminate between sharp/dull and hot/cold when using hands.
  • Perform mathematical calculations for medication preparation and administration.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, using appropriate English grammar, vocabulary and wording.
  • Make appropriate and timely decisions under stressful situations.

All students of the Department of Nursing are required to meet these qualifications and to abide by the rules and policies of clinical placement facilities. Additionally, students must successfully complete other course requirements in the Nursing program. Individuals applying for admission to the Department of Nursing should consider their eligibility in light of these qualifications and restrictions, and assess their ability to meet the physical and mental qualifications required in nursing. In
carrying out the nondiscrimination policy of the Department of Nursing with regard to students and applicants with disabilities, the Department will endeavor to make reasonable modifications and otherwise reasonably accommodate students and applicants with disabilities. Students with disabilities should consider their ability to meet the above qualifications with reasonable accommodation. Any requests for accommodation will be considered through the University’s Office of Scholarships and Special Services as described in the university catalog.

For those female students who become pregnant during the Program, the above physical and mental qualifications should be kept in mind both during the pregnancy and during the postnatal recovery period. The student may be asked to provide a physician’s clearance for return to the Program. This is especially important for women who deliver via cesarean section where the typical recovery period is 6-weeks.

Program Advisement

All accepted students will be assigned a Nursing Faculty Counselor prior to the mandatory new student orientation. Students are encouraged to periodically communicate with both the Nursing Faculty Counselor and the Admissions
Advisor throughout the program.

Progression Requirements

All transfer courses accepted from another college or university must be equivalent in content and credit. Students with previous preparation in nursing are admitted to the program as space is available, providing requirements are met for admission to the University and the Department of Nursing. Prior nursing courses will be evaluated for equivalence and comparable content to nursing courses at National University. Transfer credit is not assured for prior nursing courses taken at another institution. All students with healthcare coursework from a foreign institution must have a foreign transcript evaluation done by an approved agency. Healthcare coursework includes, but is not limited to, courses taken in pursuit of a nursing, physician, dental, or other medical profession licensure. Please contact foreignevaluations@nu.edu for
additional information.

Students who have not had continual enrollment in National University’s nursing program (defined as not taking nursing coursework for more than a one calendar year) or who are transferring from another nursing program must demonstrate
level appropriate proficiency skills prior to readmission to the program, and may be required to pass proficiency examinations for prior courses to demonstrate current competency. Likewise, these students will need to retake the medication calculation examinations successfully. The pre-licensure nursing programs at National University are Cohort programs. Students who are unsuccessful in their first attempt at any of the nursing courses or who take a break from the course sequencing for any reason will be placed in subsequent cohorts on a space available basis; that is if and when openings in the class are available. If a student leaves his/her original cohort for any reason, there is no guarantee of space in another cohort and the student might not be able to finish his/her nursing program.

Students who are absent for a period of 12 months or more are disenrolled from the nursing program, and must re-apply and will be held to the nursing requirements of the catalog requirements in force when they are readmitted. For students who take a break from the Program, a schedule change form must be submitted, which will then be evaluated by the Nursing Department. Students should contact the Nursing Department for assistance with this process.

Students must be aware that grading, scheduling, clinical and other department of nursing policies may change at any time during the program. Students will receive notice, if possible, at least 30 days in advance of policy changes. However, if hospitals and other clinical facilities change clinical policies, new policies may have to be implemented with no notice to satisfy the requirements for clinical placements. Due to requirements of clinical agencies in which we place students for clinical courses, class and clinical schedules may be changed at any time prior to the start of a course. Unfortunately, the Department of Nursing does not control access to clinical agencies, and if the agency requires a last minute change, students must be prepared to make that change in order to continue in the program. For this reason, and due to the intensity of study requirements in nursing, students are strongly urged to avoid working during the nursing program.

Any student who wishes to challenge a nursing course (with an NSG prefix) or earn academic credit by examination must successfully complete the culminating examination(s) appropriate to the course. University policies, found in this catalog, should be followed to apply for Challenge or Credit by Examination opportunities. In the nursing theory or non-clinical courses, the terminal measures are often a final exam and/or term paper. In nursing theory courses, the challenge exam is typically a nationally standardized comprehensive test for which the passing standards are provided by the vendor of the test, or a course final exam, which must receive a passing grade of 80 percent or higher. In the nursing clinical laboratory classes students will demonstrate competent clinical care by way of return demonstration for all skills listed in the course syllabus being challenged. In the clinical courses where critical or life-threatening maneuvers are required, the student must perform the return demonstration with 100 percent skill and accuracy. Regardless of how many courses students take as challenge/credit by exam, they must still meet National University residency requirements.

“Students requesting to take one or more NSG courses in a nondegree status are required to submit a letter of intent to the Nursing Department Director in San Diego along with any BRN-issued documents related to course requirements. Students will complete a two-part interview process and may be required to demonstrate clinical competency in a nursing laboratory. Successful candidates will be enrolled in classes on a space available basis.”

The Student Agreement

To ensure that graduates of National University’s nursing programs are able to meet the legal requirements of the California Board of Registered Nursing (the Board), all newly admitted nursing students must enter into a student agreement. A copy of the student agreement is distributed at the mandatory student orientation.

The student agreement gives National University the right to suspend or terminate the student’s participation in the nursing program upon showing that the student has:

  • Committed acts or engaged in conduct that could constitute grounds for denial of an RN license;
  • Failed to demonstrate the requisite skills and qualifications to satisfy the requirements for an RN license;
  • Become impossible to place in a clinical agency due to a flag on the background check, or conduct that results in the agency refusing to admit the student for a clinical course lab.
  • Demonstrated other qualities or behaviors enumerated in the student agreement inconsistent with National University’s recommendation of the student for an RN license. The student agreement also authorizes National University to release to the Board of Registered Nursing all pertinent information pertaining to the qualification or fitness for an RN license.

Time Management

The professional nursing program, with its intense clinical practice component, is very demanding in terms of time and energy allocation. Students are advised not to undertake a work schedule that could jeopardize successful completion of the program. Specifically, students who work more than 8 hours per week while in the nursing program are at jeopardy of being dismissed from the program due to failing nursing courses.

Student Assistance, Notice of Need to Improve, and Dismissal from School of Nursing Programs

National University is committed to maintaining quality standards throughout its nursing programs and to graduating competent professional nurses. As required by the Board, National University identifies and assists students who need special assistance, and retains in its programs only those students who are suited for entry into or advancement in the nursing profession. The Board is charged by the state with evaluating the moral character and fitness of all persons who wish to work as a registered nurse in California healthcare facilities. Every person who is an applicant for, or who now holds any nursing license is answerable to the Board for his or her fitness-related conduct.

Learning Contracts

Learning contracts will be used by faculty to notify students of low performance in either the classroom or clinical lab. If the student fails to meet the standard set forth in the learning contract, the following may result: 1) Immediate removal from a clinical laboratory or facility site, 2) Immediate removal from a theory course, and/or 3) Recommendation of dismissal from the program of study if the situation warrants. Students will receive a copy of the contract and an additional copy will be maintained in the student’s file in the Department of Nursing.

Procedures Governing Problems with Progress in the Program

When a student is having an academic performance problem with the nursing program or a student is notified that she/he is not meeting the standards in either the classroom, nursing skills laboratory, or clinical facility, the student should meet
first with the course lead or (if the deficit is in clinical practice) with the course lead and the clinical nursing faculty. The student should seek clarification of the deficit and work with the faculty to construct a plan for improvement which may or may not include the creation of a Student/Faculty Learning Contract.

Following the receipt of an unsatisfactory grade of C -or below (graded courses) or a U (a non graded course) for any Nursing course, the student will receive a letter via mail notifying her/him of this unsatisfactory grade with a reminder that one more unsatisfactory grade of C-/U or below in any Nursing course will result in dismissal from the Program. The only appeal to dismissal for unsatisfactory grades as defined is if one of the unsatisfactory grades meets the grounds for a grade appeal. In that case students should follow the grade appeal process as noted in the Policies and Procedures section of this catalog.

Application for Licensure

Students seeking an RN license must apply to the Board of Registered Nursing for such a license. It is the student’s responsibility to keep current on the laws pertaining to the practice of registered nursing, as these laws are subject to change. Students should submit the Application for Licensure by Examination at least four to six months before their graduation date. All requests for transcript forms must be signed after the completion/ graduation date. All first time applicants are required to submit fingerprints with the application.

The Board requires applicants to take an examination administered by computer. The number of questions may vary from a minimum of 75 to a maximum of 265. The standard testing time for such examinations is a maximum of six hours.

Program Description

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program prepares degree candidates to develop critical thinking, communication and therapeutic nursing skills within the framework of transcultural nursing. Graduates are able to manage the nursing care of culturally diverse clients in a variety of settings.

The BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) through June 2021. The community health nursing course sequencing and content (NSG 412, NSG 411, and NSG 410) meet requirements for certification as a public health nurse in California.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Formulate accurate nursing diagnoses based on multiple sources of collected data.
  2. Plan, implement, and evaluate strategies with patient-related identified nursing diagnoses.
  3. Work with families across the lifespan to identify learning needs and implement teaching strategies to achieve mutually defined healthcare goals.
  4. Manage multiple patients in a variety of settings by prioritizing and appropriately using/incorporating available resources.
  5. Effectively communicate with both patients/families and other members of the healthcare team.
  6. Assume professional, ethical, and legal behavior upholding the standards of entry into the profession.
  7. Practice professional nursing using theory and knowledge as a basis for practice.
  8. Demonstrate competency by meeting standards of care in providing nursing care to a diverse set of clients in a multicultural community.
  9. Demonstrate competency and leadership in organizing care for a caseload of clients.
  10. Analyze and synthesize current findings from nursing research and research in related fields.
  11. Evaluate current findings from relevant research for utilization in practice.
  12. Develop a critical stance on professional issues related to nursing practice, education, and knowledge development by analyzing the historical and contemporary environments in nursing.
  13. Use computer technologies to augment productivity and to gain access to multiple informational resource services.