The policies in this section of the handbook are applicable to baccalaureate students enrolled in the nursing programs. These policies are consistent with and supplement Bowie State University policies. The Bowie State University Undergraduate Catalog is the principle document governing policies and procedures for students. The Office of Student Services also provides a student handbook, The Agenda. Students are responsible for accessing and reviewing the documents that govern undergraduate students.
Traditional BS Nursing Admission Requirements
Freshman and transfer students are required to apply each spring semester of the academic year. All applicants admitted will matriculate each fall semester. The admission criteria effective for students admitted into the sophomore year:
The admission process is competitive with a maximum admission of 120 students to upper level nursing courses.
Accelerated BS Nursing Admission Requirements
Transfer and 2nd Degree students are required to apply at the start of of each spring semester. All applicants admitted will matriculate each summer to this program track.
RN to BS Admission Requirements
Applicants interested in this program track may apply and matriculate each fall and spring semester of the academic year.
Academic Honesty and Dishonesty- Nursing students are expected to conform to a strict standard of academic honesty. In addition to the Bowie State University Undergraduate Catalog, academic dishonesty includes exhibiting unethical or illegal behaviors including falsification of documents. Students are required to sign the Academic Honesty and Dishonesty form, which is placed in the student’s academic folder in the nursing department. Students will be recommended for dismissal from the nursing program when academic dishonesty is confirmed. Please refer to the BSU Undergraduate Catalog for policies about academic dishonesty.
Communication Methods – The faculty and staff provide program and curriculum information through the use of Bowie email accounts, Blackboard, and the Nursing Department web site. Students are expected to review these electronic sources at least weekly. Technology is an integral part of the nursing curriculum.
Financial Aid – Financial assistance at BSU is available through various sources. Opportunities are available to students to receive funds if they meet the specified criteria. Personnel in the Financial Aid Office will assist students in exploring financial assistance for which they may be eligible. The Financial Aid Office is located in the Henry Building.
Governance – It is expected that students will participate in governance within the Department of Nursing (DON) and in the University. The mechanism for participation in governance of the University is through the BSU Student Government Association. The mechanism for participation in the governance of the department of nursing is through the Student Nurses Association and student representation on the DON Curriculum Committees. Input from students is encouraged and welcomed regarding the courses and activities of the DON. It is therefore the responsibility of students to serve as representatives to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. The Student Nurse Association will hold elections annually, in the fall to select representatives to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC). The Student Nurse Association shall elect one student representative from each cohort admitted. The Student Nurse Association shall have one vote through its collective student representatives.
Office Hours – The Department of Nursing Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. All faculty maintain office hours, which are listed on course syllabi. A listing of the office hours for each faculty member is available for review in the nursing office, and also on the bulletin board next to the office door of the faculty member.
Request for Leave of Absence – Students may request a leave of absence for personal or family medical emergencies. Students requesting a leave of absence for medical emergencies must have official documentation to support the request. The request must be made in writing 14 days prior to the start of the intended leave. The student must also meet with their advisor regarding this request. The approval for the leave request will be made by the Faculty Organization. Student progression in the nursing program will be based on course availability.
Required Fees – Throughout the nursing program, students are required to pay for the following items:
• Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI)
• Nursing Entrance Exam
• Comprehensive Exit Exam
• Clinical Laboratory
These fees are collected as part of the semester charges and are in addition to any and all charges for tuition, room, board, and other general BSU student fees.
Class Attendance – Students are expected to attend and to participate in all class sessions. Students are required to notify faculty of absences or delays. Students are responsible for all academic content covered at all times.
Clock Hours and Credit Hours – In lecture courses one credit hour is equal to a 50 minute time period per week. In clinical courses one credit hour is equal to four (4) clock hours of clinical per week. In lab courses one credit hour is equal to three (3) clock hours.
Cancellation of Classes – Any cancellation of classes by the University is broadcast over local radio and television stations. When classes are cancelled clinical experiences are also cancelled.
Grading Criteria – The grading scale for undergraduate students in the Department of Nursing is as follows:
Late Assignments – Assignments turned in late will not receive credit unless a specific authorization has been granted by the faculty for health or other reasons. In the event of illness or emergency, students are responsible for making arrangements with the appropriate faculty member.
Progression – Nursing course content is planned in a sequential manner so that each course builds upon previous course content. Students must complete all courses sequentially as outlined in the progression plan. Students must be enrolled into the corresponding clinical nursing courses when enrolled into the didactic course. Students must satisfactorily complete the clinical and didactic courses to progress to the next level. Students who are unsuccessful in one of the courses must retake the didactic and corresponding clinical course.
In order to progress in the nursing program, students must earn a “C” or better in the general education courses.
Progressive testing with standardized exams will be used to evaluate student competence of completed course materials. Students must achieve minimal proficiency level in order to progress in the nursing program.
Students must complete the nursing program within five (5) years from the date of admission into the nursing program.
Academic Standing – All students are required to complete a minimum of 62 credits in the nursing major according to the progression plan. Nursing students must earn a grade of “C” or higher in all nursing courses and maintain a 2.5 grade point average (GPA) to be in good academic standing.
Student Advisement – All students must meet with their advisor to prepare for registration each semester and in a proactive manner throughout the semester. Advisement sessions are used for planning student progression, discussing professional issues and concerns, and obtaining assistance that may be needed. Students are encouraged to make an appointment for advisement.
Academic Warning – Students earning a grade less than “C” in a nursing course at mid-term must meet with the course faculty member to develop a written plan of action to assist the student to improve academic standing. The plan of action will be documented on the progress report form. This document is placed in the student’s Department of Nursing record and the student receives a copy. Students will receive a mid-semester grade report from the School of Professional Studies Retention Coordinator.
Dismissal from the Program – When a student is recommended for dismissal from the nursing program, the Department Chairperson will provide written notification of dismissal. Students will be recommended for dismissal from the undergraduate nursing program under the following conditions:
Grade Appeal – Students should follow the procedures outlined in the BSU Undergraduate Catalog for grade appeals.
Grievance Policy –Students should attempt to resolve all grievance issues at the lowest level. Discuss the issue with the faculty. In the event that the issue needs further review, the chain of command within the DON should be followed. If there is no resolution within the DON, then sources outside the Department may become involved. The grievance process pertains to all matters except grades. The time frame for initiating a grievance is within five (5) weekdays of the event. The process must be followed in the sequence listed:
Grievances of Clinical Faculty decisions - if not resolved at this level notify Course Coordinator of continuation of the grievance process within 5 weekdays of the event.
Grievances of Course Faculty decisions or any progression issues - if not resolved at this level notify the Admission Progression and Graduation Committee (APG) Chairperson within 5 weekdays of the decision. The grievance must be typed and include a description of the original event. Submit to the chair of APG committee. The APG Committee may invite other nursing student representatives to hear grievances related to clinical practice. The recommendation of the APG Committee will be referred to the DON Faculty Organization for final decision.
Prior to rendering a decision, the Faculty Organization will invite the student to present all documents and other evidence during the Faculty Organization meeting. A decision will be rendered within 30 days.
Students who wish to continue the grievance process outside of the DON must follow the BSU policy related to grievance.
Chain of Command beyond the DON
Application for Graduation – Students who anticipate meeting all requirements for graduation must apply for graduation by the deadline date as posted by the registrar on the BSU website. The University establishes graduation fees and set deadline dates. The Office of Admission, Registration, and Records can assist you in matters related to this issue.
English Proficiency Examination – The English Proficiency Examination (EPE) is a graduation requirement that must be satisfied by all students receiving a bachelor’s degree from BSU. All students should take the examination upon completion of English 102. However, transfer students who completed their English requirements at another university should take the examination during their first semester of enrollment at Bowie State University. Students must successfully complete the English Proficiency Exam prior to enrollment into nursing courses with clinical experiences.
Graduation Requirements – Graduation requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BS) degree are:
Exit Survey – Graduating students will participate in an exit survey during their final semester of study. The survey is designed to obtain information about your experiences in the nursing program.
Students are expected to report to the clinical setting on time (specific time as defined by the faculty in the course). Students must provide appropriate notification of lateness or absence to the clinical instructor, preceptor, and/or clinical site. If a student is late, the clinical instructor or preceptor has the right to tell the student that they cannot participate in clinical activities for that day. Lateness will be converted to absences. The following formula will be used to convert lateness to absences:
2 Occurrences of lateness in a 2 credit course = 1 absence
Clinical courses must be taken concurrently with the corresponding theory course. All undergraduate students must achieve a grade of “C” or above in the theory course and clinical course in order to progress to the next level in nursing.
All students are required to be covered by professional student liability insurance. The University purchases insurance on the student’s behalf. Fees for the insurance are included in the student’s tuition bill. Registered Nurse students are also encouraged to independently purchase professional liability insurance.
Students may purchase liability insurance from any company of their choosing. The following company provides insurance policies for nursing students.
NSO (Nursing Service Organization) Malpractice Insurance
159 E. County Line RD
Hartford, PA 19040
Phone: 1-800-247-1500 Fax: 1-800-739-8818 Email: email@example.com
The Department of Nursing (DON) does not discriminate on the basis of physical disabilities. However, any applicant with a physical or emotional problem that may impact clinical or classroom performance must notify the academic advisor in the DON upon submission of application to the DON.
The DON requires submission of the following information prior to enrolling into clinical nursing courses:
Some services, including PPD tests and immunizations are available to students at the Wellness Center on campus for a nominal fee. Contact the wellness center at (301) 860-4171 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
All of the above documentation must be submitted to the course faculty by the date assigned. The deadline will be strictly enforced; there is no grace period. Students will be notified in writing if they do not meet the above requirements. Students will not be allowed to attend clinical if the above requirements have not been met (these will be counted as absences/ see absence policy).
Professional Documentation for Clinical Experiences – Prior to starting the clinical all students are required to submit and maintain a copy of:
Clinical Course Policies – The following policies apply to BS clinical courses:
All students will purchase the designated BSU nursing student uniform (pants with tops or dress) with BSU patch in the semester before beginning clinical. The BSU patch must be sewn on the Left sleeve at the shoulder line.
All skirts or dresses must be at an appropriate length for bending and stretching activities. Students will be dismissed from clinical if the instructor considers the uniform too short.
Uniforms during Community Health and Psychiatric Mental Health Experience
Failure to adhere to these uniform requirements may result in dismissal from the clinical area, and will be reflected in the clinical evaluation.
Equipment Required for Clinical Experiences
Accidents During Clinical Experience
If a nursing student is injured during the clinical experience he/she should report immediately to the faculty and charge nurse on the unit. Students may be required to go to Employee Health or the Emergency Department depending on the severity of the injury and the policies of the agency.
Fees for these visits may not be covered by the agency and students are required to maintain their own health insurance.
Standard Precautions – Students are required to implement Standard Precautions in all clinical settings where they may come into contact with blood and other body fluids. Standard Precautions should be used when in contact with human tissues, cerebrospinal, synovial, pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and amniotic fluids. Students who are exposed to body fluids while in the clinical/practicum setting should notify the preceptor, responsible faculty, and the appropriate supervisory person in the agency. The student should follow-up with procedures available for employees of the clinical facility. This includes the right to request patient testing, individual counseling, and obtaining follow-up information for health care.
Procedures for Handling Blood and Body fluids:
Reporting of Illness/Absence:
The Department of Nursing reserves the right to update and change the above policies at any time. A copy of the policies is posted on the department’s web site. It is the students’ responsibility to stay current and informed of the changes. If any changes occur students will be notified and they will be able to view the changes on the department’s web site. Significant changes made to the policies will require students to sign and date a new acknowledgement form. All new nursing students are to read the policies and sign and date the acknowledgement form attached. This must be submitted on your first day of class.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. (2001). Occupational exposure to blood borne pathogens. Federal Register (66 FR 5325). Washington, D.D.: retrieved August 24, 2004 from: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS &p_id=10051
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (1997). Position statement policy and guidelines for prevention and management of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Hepatitis B Virus infection in the nursing education community. The Journal of Professional Nursing, 13, 325-328.