2009-2010 Nursing Program (NURS)

Mission | Program Goals | Program Requirements | Prerequisite Requirements | Application | Additional Requirements Upon Acceptance | Dismissal from the Program | Nursing Major | Basic Plan of Study | Advanced Standing | Course Descriptions

Dean, Sheryl Steadman
Program Director, Diane Van Os

Philosophy Statement

The faculty at Westminster College School of Nursing function under a philosophy that provides learning opportunities for individuals preparing to engage in the art and science of nursing. We have programs at multiple levels of practice including the BS professional level and the MSN advanced level for family nurse practitioner and nurse educator. We are committed to excellence in teaching through the creation of an active learning environment that promotes inclusiveness and respect for diversity. We feel a deep sense of responsibility to build a foundation of knowledge and develop skills that will prepare students to function as competent nurses in a variety of environmental settings.

We are seeking to help students prepare to become critical thinkers through critical examination of alternatives. We integrate liberal education, theory, research and practice through collaborative learning methods. We encourage teamwork. We enhance self-confidence through positive reinforcement of well-performed clinical skills. We foster leadership development and strive to develop learners with an increased sense of social responsibility and a global consciousness. We continually assess and evaluate student performance and achievement of programmatic and college-wide goals and objectives.

We have adopted Patricia Benner's model of "Novice to Expert" as the conceptual framework for our nursing programs at Westminster College. Within this framework, we define the themes of nursing, person, health and environment. This model, with its domains of practice and proficiency progression is woven throughout the fiber of the nursing courses.

Mission of the Undergraduate Nursing Program

The primary goal of the undergraduate nursing program is to prepare professional nurse generalists whose liberal arts and professional education enables them to meet the health care needs of society and to continue life-long personal and professional development. To this end, the program offers a major in nursing leading to a Bachelor of Science degree. The program is designed to accommodate beginning undergraduate students, transfer students, students seeking a second degree, and licensed practical nurses. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the national licensing examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

The nursing curriculum is designed with the premise that to be excellent practitioners, students must be able to think critically, communicate effectively, understand their own values, and be sensitive to the values of others. In addition, they must have a thorough understanding of the theoretical, empirical, and practical knowledge related to the profession of nursing.

Program Goals

The undergraduate nursing program is structured so that graduates of the program will be able to:

  1. Provide professional nursing care based on knowledge derived from theory and research.
  2. Synthesize the theoretical and empirical knowledge from nursing, life, physical and social sciences, and the arts and humanities in the domains of professional nursing practice.
  3. Apply the nursing process to provide nursing care for individuals, families, groups, and communities in a variety of health care settings.
  4. Accept responsibility and accountability for the effectiveness of their nursing practice.
  5. Influence the quality of nursing and health care within practice settings through the use of leadership skills, management concepts, and knowledge of the political system.
  6. Evaluate research to determine the applicability of research findings in the domains of professional nursing practice.
  7. Collaborate with other health care providers and members of the general public in promoting the health and well being of people throughout the life cycle.
  8. Incorporate professional values with the ethical, moral, and legal aspects in the domains of professional nursing practice.
  9. Recognize the health needs of today's society and function in a changing health care delivery system.
  10. Apply critical thinking skills in personal and professional transitional situations.

Program Requirements

The undergraduate nursing program may be completed in four years. Attending at least one summer term is highly recommended to lighten the student's academic load. Requirements include courses in the humanities, life sciences, behavioral and physical sciences, and nursing. Many of the courses are structured on a sequential basis. Students must be careful to take these sequential courses in the correct order. Following the basic plan of study and obtaining approval of all course registrations from a nursing faculty advisor will prevent a student from having to wait a full year to complete a sequence. Additional information about college policies is provided in the sections "Undergraduate Degree Requirements" and "Academic Policies and Procedures."

Admission & Prerequisite Support Course Requirements

Students who qualify for admission to Westminster College can declare a pre-nursing major. Students apply to progress into nursing courses after completing the prerequisite support classes with a grade of C or higher, including the liberal education classes, ENGL 110, and SOC 105 or SOC 253 or ANTH 252. Students who have a minimum cumulative grade point and prerequisite grade point of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale in both the prerequisite and general education courses will be considered for admission to the undergraduate nursing program. Please refer to the chart below for a complete list of required prerequisite coursework.

All nursing students are encouraged to take the Math Placement Test upon entering Westminster College in order to determine if additional coursework in mathematics is necessary prior to enrolling in MATH 150.

Application to the Nursing Program

In addition to applying for admission to Westminster College, students apply to progress into the Nursing Program during the sophomore year of study. Acceptance is determined by the School of Nursing and Health Sciences Admission and Progression Committee, which bases its decisions on the following criteria:

  1. In order to apply to the School of Nursing, prerequisite courses must have a grade of C or better and an average GPA of 2.7 or higher, and your cumulative GPA from all institutions of higher education you have attended must be at least 2.7.
  2. Three completed recommendation forms from professionals indicating qualifications for success in nursing. Examples include employers, professors, instructors, or teachers. Transfer students (excluding licensed practical nurses) transferring from another school of nursing must also submit a letter of recommendation from the transfer school's Dean of Nursing.
  3. Previous enrollment at Westminster College is beneficial to qualified applicants.
  4. Criteria for the LPN are the same as for basic students except that the applicant must be a graduate of an accredited practical nursing program and submit proof of a valid current Utah practical nurse license in good standing.
  5. A typed Letter of Intent, which includes statements related to the candidate's skills and qualifications. The letter is judged on content, clarity, motivation to become a nurse, spelling, and grammar.
  6. Students will be required to provide proof of state and federal background checks at time of application. Both state and federal background checks must be free of criminal arrest history. If there is a criminal arrest history expungement must be completed prior to submission of the application.
  7. Students will be required to provide negative drug testing results from an approved laboratory prior to submission of application.
  8. Students must meet the State of Utah Student Nurse Physical Demands Policy requirements.

Additional Requirements Upon Acceptance

Upon approval to progress, students are asked to present a current health certificate indicating health status and current immunizations as required by the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. A negative TB test or its equivalent is required. All students are required to present evidence of current CPR certification and current immunizations before they can begin clinical coursework. CPR certification and immunizations must be kept current throughout the program. Students will be responsible for providing documentation for their file on a yearly basis. Malpractice insurance will be purchased by Westminster College and billed to each student. Nursing students are required to have their own health insurance. Students will be required to notify the School of Nursing and Health Sciences of any changes in federal or state background check status.

Students need to be able to provide their own transportation to clinical sites. Students are expected to wear the official nursing student uniform to clinical experiences and to abide by the dress standard as outlined in the Undergraduate Nursing Student Handbook.

For successful continued progression through the program, nursing students are required to maintain high academic and personal standards. Elaboration of progression policies are published in the Undergraduate Nursing Student Handbook.

Clinical rotations are scheduled during day, evening, or weekend shifts.

Students need to be aware they:

  1. Are required to notify the School of Nursing and Health Sciences of any changes in federal or state background check status.
  2. Are expected to be honest, responsible, dependable, and mature. The nursing faculty expects that students will be responsible for maintaining integrity in meeting course requirements. This includes being responsible for their own learning, making appropriate contacts when unable to meet clinical assignments, and honesty in written work and exams. The college policy on academic honesty outlines actions that may be taken in the event of dishonesty.
  3. Must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.3 or higher in nursing coursework in order to graduate.
  4. Must fulfill the required prerequisites before enrolling in a course. Can repeat only one clinical course one time only, including withdrawal from the course for failure.
  5. Are required to achieve a grade of C or higher in nursing coursework. To achieve the minimum grade requirement, a grade of C or higher is necessary in both theoretical and clinical components of each nursing course. Grades of C- and below are not acceptable.

    Nursing Program Grading System

    A (4.0) 95-100%
    A- (3.7) 90-94%
    B+ (3.3) 87-89%
    B (3.0) 83-86%
    B- (2.7) 80-82%
    C+ (2.3) 78-79%
    C (2.0) 75-77%
    C- (1.7) 73-74%
    D+ (1.3) 69-72%
    D (1.0) 65-68%
    D- (0.7) 62-64%
    F (0.0) 61 & below

Progression in the Program

The student must:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.3.
  2. Receive a grade of C or higher in all nursing courses. A grade of C- or lower in two nursing courses will result in dismissal from the program.
  3. Cumulative test/quiz scores must average 75% or higher, or the student will not be able to progress. If a student does not achieve a 75% or higher, the course grade will reflect only the average test/quiz scores achieved by the end of the course.
  4. In identified nursing courses, a math test must be passed at 85% or higher to progress in the nursing program.
  5. Once students have been admitted into the nursing program, they have 8 semesters in which to complete the program.
  6. Maintain a negative drug screen and have no criminal arrest.
  7. Complete required HESI exams.
  8. Participate in a required NCLEX review course.

Course Probation and Dismissal Policy

A student may receive a clinical/classroom warning of probationary status at any time during a clinical or classroom experience if the instructor determines that the student's performance is unsatisfactory. The written warning will outline what the student must do to meet the course requirements. Students who have been placed on course probation will be formally evaluated at the end of that course. Course probation will be removed if the student is able to successfully meet the objectives by the end of the course. Students must be removed from course probation to progress to the next course. However, any program probationary status will be documented in the student record.

A student will be dismissed from the nursing program for any of the following reasons:

  1. Violations of the academic honesty policies (see below).
  2. Violation of the American Nurses Association "Code for Nurses" guidelines for ethical practice, or the National Student Nurses' Association "Code of Academic and Clinical Conduct."
  3. Failure to maintain a grade point average (GPA) appropriate to the program.
  4. A documented pattern of unprofessional behavior in the classroom or clinical setting.
  5. Unsafe practice in the clinical area.
  6. A grade of C- or below in a second nursing course OR a repeated nursing course during the entire program.
  7. Failure to notify the School of Nursing of changes in a criminal arrest history.

Students dismissed from the nursing program related to clinical/classroom deficiencies must petition the Admission and Progression Committee for readmission if they wish to reenter the program. Matters of personal concern to the student will be considered at this time. The Admission and Progression Committee will make a recommendation to the Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences regarding readmission to the nursing program.

Students have the right to appeal decisions of academic evaluation or dismissal from the program through the Academic Grievance Process of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. The procedure for appeal is outlined in the Undergraduate Nursing Student Handbook.

Nursing Major

Liberal Education Courses Credit Hours
The following courses, which fulfill LE requirements, are also nursing prerequisites:

BIOL 103 Human Anatomy and Lab
BIOL 104 Human Physiology and Lab
BIOL 111 Clinical Microbiology and Lab
(The above three courses combined fulfill Life Sciences LE requirement.)

CHEM 103 Introduction to Chemistry, LE
ENGL 110 Composition and Research, LE
MATH 150 Elementary Statistics, LE

SOC 105 Introduction to Sociology, LE
SOC 253 Sociology of the Family, LE
ANTH 252 Cultural Anthropology, LE



Requirement Description
Credit Hours
I. Foreign Language Requirement 4
. All nursing majors must complete 4 hours of foreign language. See Foreign Language Requirement for equivalencies, AP and CLEP credit policy. 4
II. Prerequisite Courses 41
. BIOL 103 Human Anatomy and Lab
BIOL 104 Human Physiology and Lab
BIOL 111 Clinical Microbiology and Lab
CHEM 103 Introduction to Chemistry and Lab, LE
CHEM 201 Organic and Biochemistry
ENGL 110 Composition and Research, LE
NURS 210 Nutrition
NURS 280 Pathophysiology
PSYC 303 Life Span Developmental Psychology

SOC 105 Introduction to Sociology, LE (4)
SOC 253 Sociology of the Family, LE (4)
ANTH 252 Cultural Anthropology, LE (4)

*MATH 150 must be taken prior to enrollment in Junior-level nursing courses. MATH 105 or higher or equivalent is a prerequisite to MATH 150.

III. Required Nursing Courses 57
. NURS 220 Pharmacology
NURS 302 Health Assessment
NURS 303 Introduction to Professional Nursing
NURS 304 Medical-Surgical Nursing
NURS 306 Gerontological Nursing
NURS 308 Nursing of the Childbearing Family
NURS 309 Child Health Nursing
NURS 390 Nursing Theory and Research
NURS 404 Advanced Medical-Surgical Nursing
NURS 405 Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing
NURS 408 Community Health Nursing
NURS 409 Nursing Leadership

Remaining Liberal Education Requirements

English 110 and the Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Science II and the Diversity liberal education requirements are fulfilled by nursing prerequisites and may not be taken for credit/no credit. See "Academic Policies and Procedures" for further explanation of the college's credit/no credit policy concerning the following LE requirements.

Learning Community
All full-time freshmen will be required to complete one Learning Community. .
Writing and other Communication Skills  
Information Literacy 0
Information Literacy (new workshop required for students who have not taken ENGL 110 at Westminster College) .
Basic Speech Course 3
SPCH 111 Public Presentations (3) .
Courses with strong emphasis on critical, analytical, and integrative thinking in historical, literary, and philosophical contexts.
History (choose one course) 3-4
HIST 112 Western Civilization (3)
HIST 113 Western Civilization (3)
HIST 212 World History to 1500 (4)
HIST 220 United States History (3)
Literature 4
ENGL 220 Introduction to Literature (4) .
Philosophy/Religion (choose one course) 3-4
PHIL 100 Introduction to Philosophy (3)
PHIL 102 Critical Thinking (4)
PHIL 206 Introduction to Ethics (3)
REL 101 Religions of the World (3)

Courses with strong emphasis on creative and reflective capacities
Creative Arts (choose one course) 2-4
ART 101 Beginning Drawing (2)
ART 103 Beginning Painting (2)
ART 148 Fundamentals of Pottery (3)
ART 180 Photography (3)
MUSC 115 Griffin Chorus (1-3)
MUSC 125 Westminster Jazz Combo (1-3)
MUSC 135 Westminster Chamber Orchestra (1-3)
MUSC 315 Westminster Chamber Singers (1-4)
THTR 127 Stagecraft (2)
THTR 129 Costumes and Makeup (2)
THTR 180 Acting (2)
THTR 228 Beginning Theatre Workshop (2)
THTR 230 Beginning Dance and Movement (2)
Arts Survey (choose one course) 3-4
ART 110 Survey of Art (3)
MUSC 109 Music Fundamentals (4)
MUSC 110 Survey of Western Art Music (3)
THTR 124 Survey of the Theatre (3)
ART/MUSC/THTR 200FN Experiencing the Arts (4)
Social Sciences

Courses with strong emphasis on global consciousness, social responsibility, and ethical awareness in a social science context.
Social Sciences I (choose one course) 4
ECON 105 Introduction to Economics as a Social Science (4)
ECON 253 Elementary Macroeconomics (4)
JUST 101 Introduction to Justice Studies (4)
PLSC 101 Introduction to Political Science (4)
PLSC 121 American National Government (4)
Living Arts

Courses with a strong emphasis on real world, life enhancing knowledge.
Living Arts (choose one course) 2-4
CMPT 100 The Information Age: Society, Computers, and You (3)
EDUC 201 Discovering Creativity thrgh Multiple Intelligences (2)
EDUC 205 Service Learning in Salt Lake (2)
FINC 210 Personal Finance (3)
HPW 156 Exploring Wasatch Mountain Paths (2)
HPW 220 Yoga for Wellness (2)
HPW 250 Fitness for Life (2)
HPW 260 Psychological Aspects of Well-Being (2)
MGMT 110 Historical Traditions of Business and Entrep. (4)
MGMT 205 Leadership Development (2)
PSYC 330 Interpersonal Communication Skills (3)
(taking full advantage of double-dipping)
24-31 credits

Recommended Plan of Study for Nursing

  Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year BIOL 103
CHEM 103
ENGL 110
LE: Creative Arts
LE: Arts Survey/Spch
BIOL 104
CHEM 201
PSYC 303
SOC 105 or SOC 253 or ANTH 252
Sophomore Year BIOL 111
NURS 210
NURS 280
LE: Arts Survey/Spch
LE: Hist, Lit, Phil/Rel,
Soc Sci I or Foreign Language
NURS 220
NURS 302
NURS 303
*MATH 150
LE: Living Arts (2-3)
*MATH 105 or higher is a prerequisite for MATH 150.
Junior Year
Beginning in Spring of junior year, all nursing courses are taught in 7-week blocks.
NURS 304
NURS 306
NURS 390
LE: Hist, Lit, Phil/Rel, Social Science I or Foreign Language
NURS 308
NURS 309
LE: Hist, Lit, Phil/Rel, Social Science I or Foreign Language
Senior Year NURS 405
NURS 408
LE: Hist, Lit, Phil/Rel, Social Science I or Foreign Language
NURS 404
NURS 409
LE: Hist, Lit, Phil/Rel, Social Science I or Foreign Language


May Term

Elective courses are offered during May Term.

Summer Term

Nursing students who follow this basic plan of study are strongly encouraged to take liberal education courses during the summer to lighten their semester course loads. Clinical requirements in the junior and senior years make it difficult to coordinate LE courses.

Options for Advanced Standing

Transfer Students

Program requirements must be met by all nursing students. Transfer students may meet some of their requirements by equivalent transfer credit.

Microbiology and human physiology must have been taken within the past five years. Students who completed these courses longer than five years ago may repeat the courses or submit a current transcript documenting successful completion a pathophysiology course within the last three years.

Nursing prerequisite courses need to be fulfilled by students with prior degrees. Individual evaluations of comparable academic coursework, taken in an accredited college or university, will be made by the nursing program.

Licensed Practical Nurses

LPNs must apply for admission to the nursing program. They will be expected to demonstrate skill competencies and knowledge of the nursing process in the domains of nursing practice to be considered for advance placement.