Sep 23, 2020  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing, B.S.


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Nursing, B.S.N.

Nursing is both an art and a science. The knowledge base obtained from a rigorous program of study, the ability to think critically and clinically reason, evidenced-based research and the ability to perform various skills all contribute to the science of nursing. The art of nursing comes from the heart and involves the ability to provide dignified care and compassion to promote optimal health or provide healing while building an effective nurse-patient relationship. As noted by the American Nurses Association, ” 21st Century nursing is the glue that holds a patient’s health care journey together. Across the entire patient experience, and wherever there is someone in need of care, nurses work tirelessly to identify and protect the needs of the individual” (https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/workforce/what-is-nursing/). 

The Bachelor of Science in nursing program at Merrimack College is for students without an educational background in nursing. Its mission is to educate and prepare competent nursing graduates to provide evidenced-based, safe, quality nursing care in a diverse and dynamic global healthcare environment and to serve as collaborative leaders in the advancement of healthcare for individuals and populations. The program fosters lifelong learning and a spirit of inquiry. It is highly focused on hands-on learning opportunities that give students the experience needed to become a safe, compassionate caregiver and leader in today’s growing market for the nursing profession. Nursing graduates can pursue careers in a variety of settings, including hospitals, acute care centers, ambulatory and outpatient clinics, community and public health services, as well as skilled nursing facilities. Graduates will also be eligible to work in specialized fields of nursing, such as neonatal or intensive care, telemetry, labor and delivery, pediatrics or emergency medicine. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be able to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) and will be prepared to function as a generalist for beginning their professional nursing career.

The nursing program has received initial approval by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing .

Nursing Major Course Requirements


A Bachelor of Science degree in nursing is awarded to students who complete four years of academic study on campus (total credits required-  131 credits; nursing major credits- 78; other required credits -53). Courses/Core required in this major include:

            Freshman Year Credits: 33

  • NUR1000 - Human Anatomy & Physiology I     Credits: 4
  • NUR1500 - Human Anatomy & Physiology II   Credits: 4
  • NUR1550 - Intro to Professional Nursing (w1)   Credits: 4
  • RTS1XXX - Religious & Theological Studies (RTS)  Credits: 4
  • PHL1000 - Intro to Philosophy  Credits: 4
  • HDE1000 - Human Development (SOSC1)  Credits: 4
  • Foreign Language (FL)/Historical Studies (H)/ or Art & Literature (AL)  Credits: 4
  • Students are required to take two out of the three Cores listed (FL, H, AL) by the end of their four years.
  • FYW1050 - Intro to College Writing (FYW)  Credits: 4
  • FYE1050 - First Year Experience (FYE)(Use of Skillful Communication to Master the “Art” of Nursing)  Credits: 1

Sophomore Year Credits: 34

  • NUR2000 - Nursing Fundamentals & Health Assessment  Credits: 4
  • NUR2500 - Mental Health Nursing  Credits: 4
  • NUR2550 - Gerontological Nursing (w2)  Credits: 6
  • NUR2600 - Pathopharmacology I  Credits: 4
  • CHM2037 - Intro to Biochemistry (STEM) Credits: 4
  • HSC3320 - Microbiology for Health Professions  Credits: 4
  • EDU2210 Child & Adolescent Development (SOSC2) OR EDU2240 Adult Development OR PSY2310 Lifespan Development Psychology (SOSC2)  Credits: 4
    • Students must complete 1 out of these 3 courses.
  • Social Science Core 2 if not yet taken OR Interdisciplinary Elective  Credits: 4
    • Students must complete two social science cores; each one must be from a different social science discipline. If both have been taken student may choose any Interdisciplinary elective. 

Junior Year Credits: 32 or 34

  • NUR3000 - Medical-Surgical Nursing (w3)  Credits: 8
  • NUR3050 - Pathopharmacology II  Credits: 4
  • NUR3500 - Pediatric Nursing  Credits: 4
  • NUR3550 - Obstetrical and Newborn Nursing  Credits: 4
  • NUR3600 - Community / Public Health Nursing  Credits: 4
  • NUR3650 - Mental Health Nursing (clinical)  Credits: 2
  • NUR3700-Research and Evidence-Based Nursing Practice (w4)  Credits: 4
  • HSC3200 Cultural Comp in Healthcare  (D)  Credits: 4
  • MTH 1110 or MTH1111 - Basic Statistics (STEM, Q)  Credits: 4
    • Prerequisite: a score of 9 or above on the Math Placement Test or successfully passing MTH1000 Concepts in Algebra
  • PHL2060 - Biomedical Ethics (E) OR RTS2820: Bioethics & Healthcare (E)
    • Students must complete 1 of the 2 courses.
  • Students are randomized to take either NUR3500 with NUR3550 OR NUR3600 and NUR3650 and HSC3200. Courses not taken this semester are then taken during first semester senior year.

Senior Year Credits: 30 or 32

  • NUR4000 - Critical Care Nursing  Credits: 4
  • NUR4050- Role Transition  Credits: 4
  • NUR3500 - Pediatric Nursing  Credits: 4
  • NUR3550 - Obstetrical and Newborn Nursing  Credits: 4
  • NUR3600 - Community / Public Health Nursing  Credits: 4
  • NUR3650 - Mental Health Nursing (clinical)  Credits: 2
  • NUR4500 - Capstone Synthesis  Credits: 4
  • NUR4550 - Capstone Preceptorship (X)(Senior Seminar Course)  Credits: 6
  • HSC3200 Cultural Comp in Healthcare  (D)  Credits: 4
  • Foreign Language (FL)/Historical Studies (H)/ OR Art & Literature (AL)
    • Students are required to take two out of the three Cores listed (FL, H, AL) by the end of their four years.
  • Students will take either NUR3500 with NUR3550 OR NUR3600 and NUR3650 and HSC3200. Courses not taken the previous semester are now taken.

Nursing Program Student Learning Outcomes


Upon completion of the nursing program, students will:

  • Engage in socially valued work and health care leadership through the acquisition of a liberal arts education with a focus on the arts and sciences that fosters the basis for clinical reasoning.  (LE)
  • Promote and deliver high quality patient care through the application of organizational and systems-based practices and quality improvement outcomes (SBP, QI)
  • Demonstrate effective use of strategies to mitigate errors and reduce the risk of harm to patients, self and others in healthcare, home, and community settings (S)
  • Apply evidence-based practice models to provide a process for the evaluation and application of scientific evidence surrounding practice issues.  (EB)
  • Utilize informatics and patient care technology to assist in effective communication and to deliver quality patient care in a variety of health care settings.  (I & T)
  • Integrate leadership and management skills, theories and principles when directing and influencing the behavior of individuals and/or groups to meet desired patient-related outcomes. (L)
  • Assimilate integrity and accountability into practices that promotes life-long learning and upholds established regulatory, legal and ethical principles while providing standard-based care. (Prof)
  • Collaborate with all members of the health care team to provide quality improvement approaches for patient centered outcomes. (T/C)
  • Analyze major determinants to health promotion, disease and injury prevention across the lifespan at the individual and population levels.  (HP/DP)
  • Apply verbal and nonverbal communication strategies that promote an effective exchange of information, development of therapeutic relationships and shared decision making with patients, families, groups, populations, and communities from diverse backgrounds (Com)
  • Utilize and apply knowledge, critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills, within the context of compassionate patient centered care to form the basis for evidence based nursing practice that reflects ethical values and a commitment to lifelong learning.  (PCC)

Requirements for the BSN Nursing Program


Admission Requirements for the BSN Program:

  • Official copies of all secondary school transcripts, including first term senior grades
    • Satisfactory evidence of secondary school graduation or its equivalent will be required by all candidates.
  • Letter of recommendation from a school counselor and from a teacher (preferably a science or math teacher).
  • Results from the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) of the College Board of at least 1030 or of at least 20 on the American College Testing Program (ACT)
  • High school subject requirements (expressed in terms of secondary units where 1 unit = 1 academic year of study)
    • English, 4
    • History, Government and Social Sciences, 2-3
    • Mathematics, 4
    • Science (with lab), 3
    • Foreign Language, 2-4
  • High School GPA of 3.0 or higher; C or better in all science grades
  • The most competitive students will possess a minimum SAT of 1100 / ACT of 22; have taken biology, chemistry, and/or Anatomy & Physiology in high school; received a B or higher in all math and sciences courses; a compelling recommendation from a math or science instructor and school counselor/administrator; and community service or other activities that demonstrate commitment, compassion, and leadership.

Massachusetts College Immunization Requirements as per the MA Dept. of Health:

Tdap

1 dose; and history of a DTaP primary series or age appropriate catch-up vaccination. Tdap given at ≥7 years may be counted, but a dose at age 11-12 is recommended if Tdap was given earlier as part of a catchup schedule. Td

should be given if it has been ≥10 years since Tdap.

Hepatitis B

3 doses; laboratory evidence of immunity acceptable

MMR

2 doses; first dose must be given on or after the 1st birthday and the 2nd dose must be given ≥28 days after dose 1; laboratory evidence of immunity acceptable. Birth in the

U.S. before 1957 is acceptable only for nonhealth science

students.

Varicella

2 doses; first dose must be given on or after the 1st birthday and 2nd dose must be given ≥28 days after dose 1; a reliable history of chickenpox* or laboratory evidence of immunity acceptable. Birth in the U.S. before 1980 is acceptable only for non-health science students.

* A reliable history of chickenpox includes a diagnosis of chickenpox, or interpretation of parent/guardian description of chickenpox, by a physician, nurse practitioner, physician

assistant or designee.

Meningococcal

1 dose; 1 dose MenACWY (formerly MCV4) required for all full-time students 21 years of age or younger. The dose of MenACWY vaccine must have been received on or after the student’s 16th birthday. Doses received at younger ages

do not count towards this requirement. Meningococcal B vaccine is not required and does not meet this requirement.

Physical Exam and Technical Standards

Before a student can be officially enrolled in the nurisng program, they must be able to demonstrate the observation, communication, motor, intellectual and social abilities to perform in the nurisng program at Merrimack College. The nursing program medical history and examiniation form needs to be completed and signed off by the students healthcare provider prior to beginning coursework freshman year. See Department of Nursing Student Handbook for details.

CPR Certification

By August 1st of the sophomore year, nursing majors must provide evidence of completion of an approved CPR course for health care providers (AHA Level C) and every 2 years thereafter. Online courses will not be accepted. All certificates must include a hands on portion.

Background Checks and Drug / Alcohol Screening

The majority of clinical agencies require students to have an annual background checks and also a drug/alcohol screening prior to participation in clinical education experiences at their agency. See Department of Nursing Student Handbook for details.

Nursing Good Moral Character Statement:

All prospective nursing students should familiarize themselves with the statutory requirements of licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts prior to matriculation in the nursing program. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing Licensure Policy 00-01, Determination of Good Moral Character includes the following:

  • It identifies specific criminal convictions, which will permanently exclude an individual from initial nurse licensure in Massachusetts, due to the horrific nature of the crime;
  • requires initial nurse licensure applicants to be conviction-free, for a minimum of five years, before the submission of an application for licensure;
  • requires the disposition of any criminal conviction to be closed, for a minimum of one year, before the submission of a nurse licensure application; and
  • requires all criminal cases to be closed at the time of application.

 

 

  • Prospective nursing students who intend to apply for licensure in states other than Massachusetts are encouraged to contact the appropriate authority in those states to ensure that they will meet the requirements for licensure application in those states. Please contact the Executive Director of Nursing with any questions about this policy and how it may affect your ability to be licensed as a registered nurse in Massachusetts.

Transportation to Clinical Sites

Students will be required to travel to various clinical sites beginning second semester sophomore year. The college does not provide transportation to these sites and so students are responsible for their own transportation to the various clinical experiences.

Progression in the Nursing Program

 

Freshmen must:

  1. achieve a grade of “C” or higher in Introduction to Professional Nursing and Anatomy & Physiology I & II; and
  2. have successfully completed 33 credits with a CGPA of 2.75 or higher prior to entering sophomore year.
  • Any student who has not successfully completed 33 credits or has earned an overall GPA of < 2.75 by the end of the freshman spring semester will receive a letter from the Department of Nursing. This letter will advise the student to contact their nursing faculty advisor to discuss potential options for meeting progression standards prior to entering sophomore year.

** If progression standards have not been met prior to entering sophomore year, the student will be dismissed from the nursing program.

First and second semester sophomores must:

  1. achieve a weighted cumulative average on all examinations within each nursing course of at least a “C” (73-76.9) and receive an overall course grade of “C” in each of the nursing courses. If the weighted cumulative exam average is less than 73%, the final course grade will be calculated solely on the cumulative exam grade, and the student will fail the course with a grade of C-, D+, D, or F.;
  2. achieve a grade of “C” or higher in Introduction to Biochemistry and Microbiology for Health Professions;
  3. have a CGPA of 2.75 or higher at the end of each semester;
  4. receive a grade of “pass” on end-of-semester clinical evaluation;
  5. achieve a medication math competency exam score of 100%;
  6. maintain compliance with all health and clinical agency requirements; and
  7. have successfully completed 67 credits prior to entering junior year.
  • Any student who has not successfully completed 67 credits or has earned an overall GPA of < 2.75 by the end of the sophomore spring semester will receive a letter from the Department of Nursing. This letter will advise the student to contact their nursing faculty advisor to discuss potential options for meeting progression standards prior to entering junior year.

** If progression standards have not been met prior to entering junior year, the student will be dismissed from the nursing program.

 

First and second semester juniors must:

  1. achieve a weighted cumulative average on all examinations within each nursing course of at least a “C” (73-76.9) and receive an overall course grade of “C” in each of the nursing courses. If the weighted cumulative exam average is less than 73%, the final course grade will be calculated solely on the cumulative exam grade, and the student will fail the course with a grade of C-, D+, D, or F.;
  2. have a CGPA of 2.75 or higher at the end of each semester;
  3. receive a grade of “pass” on end-of-semester clinical evaluations;
  4. achieve medication math competency exam scores of 100%;
  5. maintain compliance with all health and clinical agency requirements; and
  6. have successfully completed 99 credits (need 101 credits if completed the Mental Health practicum) to qualify for promotion to senior year.
  • Any student who has not successfully completed 99 credits (need 101 credits if took the Mental Health practicum) or has earned an overall GPA of < 2.75 by the end of the junior spring semester will receive a letter from the Department of Nursing. This letter will advise the student to contact their nursing faculty advisor to discuss potential options for meeting progression standards prior to entering senior year.

** If progression standards have not been met prior to entering senior year, the student will be dismissed from the nursing program.

First and second semester seniors must:

  1. achieve a weighted cumulative average on all examinations within each nursing course of at least a “C” (73-76.9) and receive an overall course grade of “C” in each of the nursing courses. If the weighted cumulative exam average is less than 73%, the final course grade will be calculated solely on the cumulative exam grade, and the student will fail the course with a grade of C-, D+, D, or F.;
  2. have a CGPA of 2.75 or higher at the end of each semester;
  3. receive a grade of “pass” on end-of-semester clinical evaluations;
  4. achieve medication math competency exam scores of 100%;
  5. maintain compliance with all health and clinical agency requirements; and
  6. have successfully completed a total of 131 credits to qualify for graduation.
  7. pass a computerized, standardized, comprehensive nursing examination during the spring semester.

*Any student who has not successfully:

  • completed 131 credits per the nursing curriculum; or
  • passed a computerized, standardized, comprehensive nursing examination; or
  • earned an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher by the end of the senior spring semester will not be eligible to graduate from the nursing program.

Regardless of year:

  1. Failure of a clinical component of a nursing course results in course failure, and a grade of “F” will be awarded.
  2. Exam grades and course assignments are weighted per each course syllabus.

Course Failure:

  1. Students are allowed to repeat one nursing course only. Failure of two nursing courses or failure of the same nursing course twice will result in dismissal from the nursing program.
  2. Students who fail a nursing course for the first time will be permitted to stay in the nursing program but may not progress until that course has been successfully repeated. The student will not be allowed to progress in the nursing curriculum until the failed course has been successfully repeated. The only exception is when a student fails the first of a seven-week specialty nursing course in a semester. This student will be allowed to continue in the next specialty course within the same semester but may not progress to the next semester until the failed course is successfully repeated. Failure of a nursing course may result in a 5-year plan of study.

Clinical Failure

  1. A student may fail clinical at any time during the clinical experience for documented unsafe practice or at the end of the clinical experience for failure to meet outcomes. Failure of any clinical rotation will result in failure of the course. The student will receive a grade of “F” for the entire course.
  2. A student is allowed to repeat only one nursing course.
  3. All required nursing courses must be repeated on campus.

Clinical or Course Failure

  1. All students with a first time, single course failure, will be placed on Nursing Program Academic Probation by the Executive Director of Nursing for at least one semester.
  2. Student will prepare an individualized success plan and must meet with nursing faculty advisor to review and obtain approval of this success plan.
  3. Plan will be placed in student file, and it is expected that the student follow through with the plan.
  4. For the purpose of progression, the failed/remediated nursing course will be considered the one allowed course failure throughout the student’s program.
  5. A second failed course or clinical will result in dismissal from the nursing program.

Transferring in to the BSN Program


 

Internal Applicants:

Change of major applicants for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree will pertain to matriculated freshman only. Vetting for acceptance into the nursing program will be done through the Executive Director of Nursing. Slots are limited and are not guaranteed. Only a select number of students may be granted or none at all, depending on availability.

In order to apply to the nursing program as a current Merrimack College freshman, minimum qualifications include the following:

  1. Achieve a grade of “B” or higher in all science courses
  2. Minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.3
  3. Minimum score of 80, as per grading rubric, on submitted essay
  4. Minimum score of 80 on interview as per the nursing transfer interview rubric 
  5. Official transcript required
  6. Prerequisite Courses: Anatomy & Physiology I & II, Human Development

Other requirements include:

  1. Application submitted to the nursing program
  2. An essay submitted to the Executive Director of Nursing that discusses:
    1. your reasons for wanting to pursue a nursing career.
    2. your individual skills and strengths as well as foreseen challenges that you might have to overcome to be successful in the nursing program.
    3. An Interview with the Executive Director of Nursing

External Applicants:

Students from outside Merrimack College will not be allowed to transfer into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program.

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