Anderson College of Nursing
The Anderson College of Nursing (ACON) offers the baccalaureate of science in nursing (BSN) degree, the bachelor of science in applied health science (AHS) degree, and the master of science in nursing (MSN) degree. The ACON is structured into two departments: the Traditional Department (TD) which consists of the on-campus (BSN) option, the accelerated (BSN) option, and the applied health science program (nonclinical option). The Online Department (OD) consists of the RN-BSN option designed specifically for registered nurses seeking the BSN degree, RN-MSN option which allows a RN to substitute nine graduate hours for nine hours of undergraduate credit, and the MSN which offers two options for registered nurses:
- Students in the Nursing in Teaching-Learning Environments option will receive preparation in advanced teaching methodologies that provide graduates with tools necessary to facilitate the education of nursing students, health care clients, and health care colleagues.
- Students in the Nursing Leadership in Organization Environments option receive education preparation that will enable them to function at an advanced level in the health care environment concerning politics and legislation, budgeting and economics, and leadership and management such that these nurses may positively influence the management aspects of nursing and health care in society (see the Graduate Catalog for additional information on the MSN program).
Vision and Mission
The ACON vision is to improve health in the community by effecting change in systems and policies, and to promote research and scholarly activities that advance nursing knowledge. The ACON mission is to graduate nurses who are prepared to professionally assume nursing roles in diverse health care environments.
Program goals for Anderson College of Nursing (ACON) - Traditional (TD) and Online (OD) Departments
|1||ACON||Provide high quality, innovative educational nursing programs.|
|TD||Offer a high quality, traditional baccalaureate nursing degree program.|
|OD||Offer high quality online BSN and MSN nursing degree programs.|
|2||ACON||To build and maintain a student-centered nursing program.|
|TD/OD||Graduate nurses who are prepared to practice nursing in global healthcare environments.|
|3||ACON||Provide a culturally diverse environment for students, faculty and staff.|
|TD/OD||Promote a culturally diverse learning environment designed to eliminate barriers to learning.|
|4||ACON||Develop partnerships with community agencies to expand healthcare to the community.|
|TD/OD||Develop and nurture a strong relationship with community health facilities and health professionals.|
|5||ACON||Promote research and scholarly activities that advance nursing knowledge.|
|TD/OD||Foster scholarly activities, research, teaching, service, and practice that advance the knowledge base of nursing.|
Nursing Student Outcomes
Graduates of the baccalaureate program in nursing will:
|1||TD||Function as beginning practitioners in professional nursing.|
|OD||Function in professional nursing roles;|
|2||TD/OD||Possess a foundation for graduate study.|
|3||TD/OD||Synthesize knowledge from a broad educational foundation upon which professional nursing practice is based.|
|4||TD/OD||Communicate and collaborate with members of the health team and other interested groups in identifying and meeting the health needs of individuals, families, and communities.|
|5||TD/OD||Demonstrate an understanding of the need for continuous personal and professional growth.|
|6||TD/OD||Possess basic knowledge about research and its application to practice.|
|7||TD/OD||Develop interpersonal and technological skills necessary to assume leadership roles within the BSN scope of practice.|
Upon satisfactory completion of the program the student is awarded the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and may be eligible to take the state licensing examination for qualification as a registered nurse (RN).
Approval and Accreditation
The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at the University of North Alabama is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation).
- The Anderson College of Nursing retains the right to make modifications in its program/policies as deemed necessary by its faculty based on recommendations and mandates from the Alabama Board of Nursing and the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education. Students currently enrolled in the nursing program will be required to adhere to any modifications made during their enrollment as a nursing major.
- To progress in the professional nursing courses, students must possess a functional level of competence to perform the basic skills of a professional nurse. Skills include (but are not limited to):
- Hearing ability (e.g., must be able to discern various health assessment sounds with a stethoscope);
- Visual ability (e.g., must be able to read small print or medication vials);
- Fine and gross motor skills (e.g., must possess physical stamina to perform full range of required client care activities for the duration of work role)
- Emotional stability (e.g., must be able to assume responsibility and accountability for own actions);
- Critical thinking (e.g., must demonstrate sound judgment regarding the provision of safe, ethical care in a variety of health care settings).
- Students are expected to adhere to standards of professional conduct as described in the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses and the Code of Conduct delineated in the UNA Catalog and the current Nursing Student Handbook (available on the campus nursing server). Other sources for information can be obtained at ANA The Center for Ethics and Human Rights Code of Ethics for Nurses Provisions Approved as of June 2001, http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/EthicsStandards.aspx, and the International Council of Nurses Code for Nursing Ethical Concepts Applied to Nursing 2001, http://www.nursing world.org/.
- Students may be denied approval for an Alabama Board of Nursing license as identified in the “Grounds for denial” statements by the Board (Refer to: Code of Alabama, 1975, Section 34-21-25; Alabama Board of Nursing Administrative Code 610-X-8-.01 and 610-X-8-.05). http://www.abn.state.al.us.
- Following admission to the ACON, students must:
- Provide proof of physical examination
- Present current immunization records (including Hepatitis B series). (An administrative clinical “unsatisfactory” grade will be issued to any student who fails to submit these requirements on time).
- Demonstrate proof of CPR certification, nursing student liability insurance (purchased through the ACON approved vendor), tuberculosis testing (PPD) results, and OSHA updates.
- Undergo an initial drug screening prior to beginning classes.
- Additional drug screenings may be required at any time while the student is in the nursing program.
- The ACON strongly encourages students to have personal health insurance as students are responsible for health related costs incurred when clinical accidents (i.e., needle sticks) occur.
- Standard achievement exams are given at various intervals throughout the nursing program at the student’s expense.
- Students may refer to information published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/guidelines.html and the Occupational Safety Hazards (OSHA) guidelines https://www.osha.gov/law-regs.html.
First Time Freshman Early Admission (EAdm) Option
The Anderson College of Nursing (ACON) will offer early admission (EAdm) to a select group of highly qualified high school seniors who plan to seek a career in nursing. Applicants must be admitted to UNA and apply for the EAdm option by February 1. This select group of students will be guaranteed admission into the traditional nursing option as long as all requirements are met. A dedicated nursing advisor will be assigned to all EAdm students to help them develop a course schedule each semester. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission into the EAdm option.
EAdm Admission Requirements
- Students must apply for and be accepted into the University Honors Program;
- Minimum high school GPA requirement of 3.5, based on a 4.0 system at the time of application;
- Admitted and enrolled full-time in courses at UNA, by the fall semester immediately following high school graduation;
- Complete an EAdm application for the ACON, located on the ACON website by February 1;
- Along with the EAdm application, students must submit an essay (see EAdm application for details).
Requirements for EAdm Students
Students selected for the EAdm option must complete all pre-requisite nursing coursework listed in the UNA Undergraduate Catalog while maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Additionally, students must complete the requirements listed below to be guaranteed early admission placement.
- Maintain good standing in the University Honors Program;
- Meet with assigned advisor at least once per semester;
- Be continuously enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester, (excluding summer);
- Make acceptable progress with expected date of entry into the traditional nursing option in 4-5 semesters, (excluding summer);
- Meet all current nursing application requirements;
- Students must complete an application for the traditional nursing option to the ACON during the last semester (fall or spring) of their prerequisite coursework;
- If students maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA at the time of application, the entrance exam requirement will be waived. EAdm students who do not maintain the required cumulative GPA of 3.5 will be required to complete the entrance exam.
- If cumulative GPA is 3.25-3.49 during the application cycle, the EAdm student must take the entrance exam and pass by 85% minimum cumulative score to qualify for guaranteed placement.
Students who do not meet these criteria are eligible for admission, but will be placed in the general traditional application pool.
*Requirements and conditions are subject to change.
Admission for Traditional Option
Initial admission is based on requirements for admission to the University; however, admission to the University does not assure admission to the program in nursing. Requirements for admission to nursing courses are:
- Submit a formal application to the Anderson College of Nursing to include a $35 application fee. Applications are available on the Anderson College of Nursing website February 1 for the fall admissions and must be submitted by March 1; September 1 for spring admissions and must be submitted before October 1. Decisions for the fall and spring classes will be made and applicants will be notified before April 1 and November 1, respectively, and depends on the Anderson College of Nursing Admission Committee’s recommendation and space availability. Students previously enrolled in another nursing program must provide a letter of eligibility to return to the program without stipulation by the dean or director. If ineligible to return to the program, student is ineligible to apply to the Anderson College of Nursing. Students must be eligible to participate in rotations in all clinical facilities to be eligible for admission to the program.
- Possess a minimum overall grade point average of 2.8 (4.0 scale) or higher in required BSN courses, including a “C” or higher in all required prerequisite courses as listed in the General Studies Component for nursing majors. An admission cumulative index based on admission assessment exam scores, overall GPA, and completed coursework at UNA is used to determine admission to the upper-division nursing major. Special accommodation to allow honorably discharged veterans, who do not have a 2.8 overall GPA but do have a 2.8 or greater GPA on all prerequisite core nursing courses and a C or higher on UNA’s general requirements, to be permitted to make application to the nursing major and be included in the admission process. Admission to the Anderson College of Nursing is competitive, and meeting all admission requirements does not guarantee admission.
- Complete a criminal background check as specified on the application for admission.
Admission for Accelerated Option
The accelerated BSN option is available for students who have previously completed a baccalaureate degree. Applicants will be admitted to the accelerated BSN option after completion of the BSN traditional program prerequisites as listed in the catalog. Applicants must be admitted to UNA and have all transcripts submitted to the Admissions Office by the application deadline. In addition, international applicants must have met all University requirements regarding TOEFL/English proficiency by the application deadline. A baccalaureate degree from another country is acceptable, provided a WES evaluation has deemed the courses as acceptable and the applicant is given credit for the degree through the University’s Office of Admissions. There is no time limit on prerequisite courses. The student must be aware; however, that they are responsible for the information in the prerequisite courses as the nursing curriculum builds on prior learning.
Applications will be accepted September 1 – 30 of each year for admission to the spring term. Applications are available on the ACON website during this time. Decisions will be made and students notified by November 1 of each year.
In addition to the current traditional BSN admission requirements, with the exception of the general education component, the following admission criteria will be applied:
- Completion of baccalaureate degree in another field.
- Completion of required prerequisites prior to entering the program.
- Minimum 3.0 GPA for first degree or prerequisite courses.
- Students who do not meet the admission requirement of 3.0 GPA (first degree or nursing prerequisites) may apply and if accepted, the acceptance shall be conditional. Students admitted conditionally in the Accelerated BSN option, who fail (below C or 75) in two courses or more, are ineligible for readmission.
It is suggested that applicants have the following:
- Willingness to limit or cease working during this period, as necessary
- Flexible schedule for class and clinical
- Literacy in computer applications and a functional home computer
- Transportation to clinical site
Admission for RN-TO-BSN Option
Initial admission is based on requirements for admission to the University; however, admission to the University does not assure admission to the nursing program. Requirements for admission to the online program are: Completion of a formal application to the Anderson College of Nursing. Applications are available on the ACON website at http://www.una.edu/nursing/.
- Registered nurses must submit official proof of a current license and be in good standing with the Board of Nursing.
- Graduation from an accredited associate degree in nursing program or from a diploma program in nursing.
- Possess a minimum of “C” or higher in all required math, science, and Area V courses.
- Upon successful completion of one semester of nursing coursework, credit will be awarded to the student based on prior nursing knowledge and on previous academic work in basic nursing.
Admission for RN-TO-MSN Option
The RN-to-MSN option allows the substitution of nine semester hours of graduate nursing courses for nine hours of undergraduate nursing courses:
NU 508, Advanced Physical Assessment (3) in lieu of NU 305R, Health and Physical Assessment and both NU 509 Diversity, Ethics, Health Promotion and Informatics in Patient Centered Care (3) and NU 502 Health Policy, Social Issues, and Theory in lieu of NU 418 Concepts, Theory, and Issues in Nursing (6). Students who are enrolled in the RN-to-BSN option may opt to follow the RN- to-MSN option provided they meet the following requirements:
- A minimum 3.0 GPA after completing 12 credit hours of undergraduate nursing courses at UNA.
- Advisor permission to register for graduate nursing courses.
After successful completion of all requirements for a BSN, including application for graduation, the student may apply for acceptance into the MSN program and must meet all requirements as described in the Graduate Catalog.
Retention in the traditional/accelerated program is based on continued satisfaction of health requirements, certification, liability requirements, and appropriate academic progress with a grade of C or higher in each nursing course.
- Appropriate academic progress with a grade of C (75) or higher in each professional nursing course and satisfactory in the clinical component of the course to receive a C (75) or higher.
- Students must be eligible to participate in rotations in all clinical facilities to be eligible for admission/retention in the program.
- Satisfactory completion of nursing courses done in sequence. When a student receives a grade of less than C (75) or a clinical failure, the student may not progress to any clinical course until the failed course is retaken and requirements are met. Progression to a nonclinical course will only be granted with permission of the department chair.
- For Level One, Health and Physical Assessment (NU 305) is the prerequisite and/or co-requisite for Foundations of Nursing (NU 301). Therefore, if a student withdraws from Health and Physical Assessment (NU 305), the student must also withdraw from Foundations of Nursing (NU 301) until Health and Physical Assessment (NU 305) enrollment is resumed and/or completed. Foundations of Nursing (NU 301) is the prerequisite and/or co-requisite for (NU 302). A student withdrawing from Foundations of Nursing (NU 301) must also withdraw from (NU 302) until Foundations of Nursing (NU 301) enrollment is resumed and/or completed.
- A student who has failed a nursing course may repeat the failed course only once. In the Anderson College of Nursing, no student will be permitted to use the Repeat/Recompute Policy or the Second Chance Provision for any nursing course (NU designation). A student in the nursing program can receive no more than one course failure throughout the nursing program. After two course failures, the student will be dismissed from the program.
- Students in the Anderson College of Nursing who have received 3 unsatisfactories in a clinical course for any reason (administrative or otherwise) will receive a clinical failure and get an “F” in the course. There are reasons other than three clinical unsatisfactories for which a student might fail clinical and these include critical incidents found in the Disciplinary Policies of the current Nursing Student Handbook. The clinical failure is an “F” for the course no matter when/if the student withdraws. This includes any time within the University’s withdrawal (“W”) period. Should this be a second course failure for the student, the student will be required to withdraw from all nursing courses at the time of the second course failure.
- In accordance with University policy, students who withdraw from a course by the designated midterm date will receive a “W” for the course, unless the student has a clinical failure. After the midterm deadline drop date, courses dropped with averages of less than a 77 will be a “WF”. In nursing courses, a “WF” for any reason is considered a course failure.
- Any student who withdraws from Level I of the program will be required to submit a formal application during a future application period, Section IV-D of the current Nursing Student Handbook.
- Once admitted into the ACON, a student with a failing average in any nursing course may not withdraw from the course to prevent course failure. This includes any time within the University’s withdrawal (W) period. Any student who drops a course with an average of less than 75 will receive a WF in nursing courses. A WF for any reason is considered a course failure. Students who are eligible to repeat a failed course will be readmitted to the course on a “space available” basis.
- After a second withdrawal from the same course (without extenuating circumstances), a student will be required to wait one semester (excluding the summer semester) before retaking the course. Extenuating circumstances are to be determined by faculty on an individual basis.
- Students eligible to return to a nursing course after a withdrawal “W” or course failure “D/F” from a required nursing (NU) course will be readmitted to the course on a “space available” basis.
- Maintenance of 2.0 GPA throughout the nursing program.
- Once the student is “out of sync”, he/she must adjust to any curriculum changes occurring at that time.
Retention and progression in the online RN-BSN option or RN- MSN option is based on continued satisfaction of health requirements, certification, liability requirements, and appropriate academic progress with a grade of C or higher in each nursing course.
- Appropriate academic progress with a grade of C (73) or higher in each professional nursing course is required.
- Clinical is graded as “Pass” or “Fail”. Satisfactory clinical consists of participating for the required number of hours, meeting clinical requirements specific to each course, behaving in a professional manner. Note: Students must complete all required clinical hours and all required clinical assignments in order to receive a passing course grade.
- A student who has failed a nursing course for any reason may repeat the failed course only once. In the Anderson College of Nursing, no student will be permitted to use the Repeat/Recompute Policy or the Second Chance Provision for any nursing course (NU designation). A student in the nursing program can receive no more than one course failure throughout the nursing program. After two course failures, the student will be dismissed from the program.
- In accordance with University policy, students who withdraw from a course by the designated deadline in the UNA catalog will receive a “W” for the course. After the designated deadline, courses dropped with averages of less than a 73 will be a “WF”. In nursing courses, a “WF” for any reason is considered a course failure.
- All general education requirements must be met or be in progress prior to completion of the last required nursing course.
- A 2.0 GPA is required for graduation
- Students in the RN-MSN option must achieve a minimum 3.0 GPA after completion of 12 credit hours of undergraduate nursing courses at UNA and meet the requirements for successful completion of, Health Policy, Social Issues, and Theory (NU 502), Advanced Nursing Theory (NU 503), and Advanced Health Assessment (NU 508) (as described in the Graduate Catalog) to continue in the RN-MSN option.
Dismissal All Options
After two course failures, the student is dismissed from the program. A situation in which the student places the client’s life in danger or shows severe behavioral misconduct toward the client and family, clinical facility staff, faculty or other students will result in immediate Administrative Dismissal of the student from the program. In such cases, the student’s transcript will reflect the University’s grade system as outlined in the university catalog. Behaviors for which the ACON have zero tolerance and result in dismissal from the program are listed in the appropriate nursing student handbooks.
Readmission All Options
The student who has failed two nursing courses may petition the appropriate Anderson College of Nursing Admissions, Readmissions, and Progressions Committee Chairperson for readmission after being dismissed from the program. Students may seek readmission to the ACON only one time, after the second course failure. Any readmitted student who earns a grade below C in a nursing course will be permanently dismissed from the program. Guidelines for readmission may be found in the Nursing Student Handbook that is specific to the student.
The Anderson College of Nursing offers:
- Traditional Option
- Accelerated Option
- RN-to-BSN Option
- RN-to-MSN Option
- MSN: Complete information concerning graduate work is contained in the Graduate Catalog. Inquiries and requests for the catalog should be directed to the Office of Admissions.