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Dr. Rebecca Burris, Head
Dean Hall, Suite 224
(479) 968-0383
rburris@atu.edu

Professors:
Burris, Helms, C. Smith
Associate Professors:
Daily, C. Jones, McKown
Assistant Professors:
Ellis-Bosold, Buckholtz, Christie, Coleman, K. Cox, Darnell, Davis, Harless, Kennedy, Self

Arkansas Tech University’s nursing curriculum is designed to prepare students for beginning professional responsibilities in a variety of health-care settings and to provide the necessary foundations for graduate study.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. The program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Telephone: 404-975-5000.

The Department of Nursing offers undergraduate study in nursing to qualified high school graduates, graduates of diploma and associate degree programs in nursing, licensed psychiatric technician nurses, and licensed practical nurses. The baccalaureate program leads to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Satisfactory completion of eight semesters of general education, pre-requisites, and upper-division professional nursing courses is required.

Upon completion of degree requirements, the student may be eligible to take the national examination (NCLEX-RN) for licensure as a registered nurse. All nursing students should be aware that the State Board of Nursing requires all applicants for the NCLEX-RN to have a criminal background check performed. If the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime, the Board will review the application and make a decision as to whether the applicant is eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam and to practice nursing in the State of Arkansas. Any student who has been convicted of a crime should notify his or her advisor before taking the prerequisite courses. This information will be kept strictly confidential. The student will be advised of the method of petitioning the Board and counseled regarding the process. A registered nurse may be subject to losing his or her license if the conviction is discovered after the license is granted.

The Department of Nursing reserves the right to make changes, without prior notice, in the curriculum and program requirements. Changes are made in keeping with the changing health needs of society and/or the best interests of the students and the department to maintain quality professional nursing education.

The Department of Nursing utilizes the clinical facilities and services of the Arkansas River Valley area; however, in order to meet the objectives of certain courses, the student should be prepared to travel out of this area. Students are required to provide their own transportation.

In addition to the on-campus program, ATU offers an RN to BSN completion program on the Web.

Admission

Admission into lower division foundation courses is open to any Arkansas Tech University student who meets the prerequisites for each course. Nursing majors are encouraged to seek academic advising from the nursing faculty immediately upon acceptance to the University.

Admission to the upper division nursing courses is competitive and subject to evaluation by the Nursing Department’s Admission and Progression Committee. Students are considered for admission the spring and fall preceding the semesters they plan to enter upper division nursing courses. All transcripts and/or credentials along with an Application to Upper Division must be submitted to the Department of Nursing by March 1 for fall admission or by October 1 for spring admission. Eligible repeating students applying for readmission must submit all materials by June 30 or January 5.

All students except registered nurses accepted to upper division nursing are required to take a RN entrance exam. This exam must be taken prior to the beginning of Level I nursing courses. Exam results will be used solely for academic advising at this time. Entrance exam dates and information will be posted on the department bulletin board by Dean Hall Room 224.

Minimum requirements for acceptance into the upper division nursing courses are:

  1. Prerequisite grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students will be admitted according to the criteria for selection of upper division students.
  2. Completion of the following courses with a grade of “C” or better in each: ENGL 1013, ENGL 1023, MATH 1113, BIOL 2014, BIOL 3054, BIOL 3074, CHEM 1114, PSY 2003, SOC 1003, and NUR 2303. Students who attempt the 3000 and 4000 level courses listed above more than twice without achieving a “C” or better will not be considered for upper division. An attempt is “any enrollment in any course and dropping it after the first day of the 10th week of the semester for any reason, and/or failure (grade of “D”, “F”, or “FE”) of the course.
  3. Completion of the following courses: Social Science - 3 hours, American History or Government - 3 hours, Humanities - 3 hours; Fine Arts - 3 hours; Electives - 5 hours, and two semester hours of physical education. Six hours of those listed may be outstanding. (See General Education Requirements for specific course alternatives.)
  4. Acquisition of professional/student liability insurance, criminal background check and current certification of Basic CPR for adults, children, and infants as taught by the American Heart Association, or persons currently certified in CPR instruction. These must be renewed each year.
  5. Initiation of Hepatitis B Vaccine series.
  6. Any student that fails an upper division nursing course (with the exception of nursing electives), withdraws, or has a break in enrollment must apply for readmission into the nursing program by June 30 for readmission to the fall semester, or January 5 for readmission to the spring semester. To reapply, the student must complete the “Reapplication to Upper Division” form and submit a letter of intent addressing reasons for past failure and a plan of action to enhance future success within the nursing program. Readmission will be based on the availability of positions in the level to which the student is applying, letter of intent and current GPA. Should several students reapply for the same level and a limited number of positions are available, GPA ranking, in conjunction with their letter of intent will guide the committee decision-making process.
  7. Students who have not attended Arkansas Tech University during the past year must apply for readmission to the University.
  8. The nursing program must be completed within four years of entry into level one of the nursing curriculum.

Applicants will be ranked according to admission criteria for selection of upper division students. Criteria are as follows:

For students desiring entry to spring Upper Division (Level 0-preclinical nursing):

  1. GPA>3.0 at the time of application and at the end of the fall semester. Student has no more than 6 hours outstanding at the end of the spring semester.
  2. Do not admit at this time.

For students desiring entry to fall Upper Division (Level 0-preclinical nursing):

  1. GPA>3.0 at the time of application and at the end of the spring semester. Student has no more than 6 hours outstanding at the end of the fall semester.
  2. Do not admit at this time.

The student must have completed a minimum of 48 hours of required general education and prerequiste courses (see curriculum plan) with a GPA >3.0 before entering level 0-preclinical nursing courses.

Applications will be ranked according to GPA. Admission will be determined by the resulting rank order. Applicants completing prerequisites prior to or during summer sessions are required to submit transcripts prior to the registration period for fall semester.

Applicants completing prerequisite requirements at an institution other than ATU during summer sessions or fall must submit a written note from the course instructor(s) verifying the grade(s) earned in the course(s). These students will sign a form agreeing to have official transcripts on file in the registrar’s office within one month from the first day of the semester.

Should a student have outstanding hours (up to 6 allowed) after completing leve 0-preclincal nursing these courses must be general education courses from the following: Fine Arts, Humanities, History, or electives.

A student position may be filled in a discretionary manner for exceptional reasons as determined by the committee and approved by the faculty.

Progression Policy

Students must achieve a “C” or better in all nursing courses.

A student in the upper division nursing courses may only repeat one nursing course. Following a second failure in any upper division nursing course the student will be dismissed from the program. Upper division nursing courses: 66 hours of course work allotted to the nursing major, inclusive of NUR 2023, all 3000 level nursing courses (with the exception of 3803) and all 4000 level nursing courses (with the exception of 4903).

Students who make less than a “C” in any upper division nursing course may not progress into courses for which that course(s) is a prerequisite until the course(s) has been repeated and the required minimum grade attained.

The following Upper Division required non-clinical courses (NUR 2023, NUR 3103, NUR 3204, NUR 3213, NUR 3303, NUR 3513, NUR 3606, NUR 3402, NUR 3802, NUR 4206, NUR 4303,NUR 4606) must be completed with a grade of “C” or better to graduate. Any students who attempts any one of these courses twice (2 times) and does not achieve a final grade of “C” or better in the course, will be automatically be withdrawn from the Arkansas Tech University Nursing Program and will not be eligible for readmission. An attempt is defined as “any enrollment in any course and dropping it (or changing it to an audit) after the first day of the 10th week of the semester during the Fall or Spring semester, or after the third week of either Summer session for any reason, or failure (grade of “D”, “F”, or “FE”) of the course.”

Readmission will not be considered for any student dismissed from the nursing department who obtained a “D”, “F”, or “FE” in two (2) upper division nursing courses. The Department Head on an individual basis will consider exceptions.

Any student who withdraws from a clinical nursing course (NUR 3404, NUR 3805, NUR 4405, NUR 4804) after the fifth (5th) day of classes must have a passing grade at the time of withdrawal in order to withdraw passing. Students failing (“D” or “F”) at the time of withdrawal will receive an “F” after the 5th day of classes. A grade of “F” will count as a failure (“F”) for progression purposes. See Progression Criteria #2 and #4.

All seniors are required to pass the NCLEX Review Exam. The student must complete the non-proctored exam with a passing score of 80% prior to sitting for the proctored examinations. The student is allowed five attempts to pass the NCLEX Review exam (two ATI, and three HESI). Any student not achieving a passing score on the 1st attempt must complete a review prior to a 2nd attempt on the exam. This review includes completion of the ATI/HESI non-proctored exams, review of material available from the resource drawer, and/or completion of NCLEX review chapters. If a passing score is not achieved on the 2nd attempt the student must meet with faculty to discuss requirements of review course prior to subsequent attempts. The student must wait at least three weeks between the 2nd and 3rd attempts. If a passing score is not achieved on the 5th attempt the student will receive a “0” for that 30% of the grade, a failing grade for the course and must repeat all components of the course, including the preceptorship. If a student desires to take an official review course such as Kaplan, the student may do so and if successfully completes the course, may forego further testing after the first ATI and first HESI attempts are completed.

Students must achieve a passing grade “C” in both the Theories and corresponding Practicum courses in order to progress within the program. Students who repeat a Theories course are required to show clinical competency in order to progress. Students who repeat Practicum are required to show theoretical competency in order to progress.

Clinical competence can be attained by:

  1. Taking for credit the corresponding practicum course
  2. Completing NUR 3892, Clinical Competency I or NUR 4892 Clinical Competency II with a grade of “C” or better.

Theoretical competence can be attained by:

  1. Taking for credit corresponding Theories course. Student must maintain a 75% average on all exams.
  2. Auditing corresponding Theories course. Student must maintain a 75% average on all exams.
  3. Making greater than or equal to 75% on corresponding comprehensive Theory exam.

Advanced Placement

The different types of nursing education programs and vocational-technical school programs give rise to unique transfer problems. Each student’s past education is evaluated individually. In addition, the University and the Department of Nursing have established the following policies:

  1. Arkansas Tech University offers a baccalaureate degree program in nursing. Licensed registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and licensed psychiatric technical nurses may challenge, validate, or receive credit for general education and nursing courses that are included in the nursing curriculum. CLEP examinations can be used to challenge or validate the general education courses. The institution’s general policy for awarding CLEP credit is followed in determining the successful challenge of courses by these examinations. Transfer credit will be given for prior challenge or validation tests of nursing content credited on official transcripts from other nursing programs. RNs are permitted to receive transfer credit for NUR 3304/NUR 3303.
  2. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed psychiatric technical nurses (LPTNs) who have met all the lower division nursing curriculum requirements and graduated from an approved Arkansas PN or PTN program or an out-of-state NLN accredited program may receive credit for 17 hours of nursing courses (NUR 3204, NUR 3404, NUR 3103, NUR 3513, NUR 3213 ) if they meet the following specific requirements:
    a. Have a current LPN or LPTN license in Arkansas.
    b. Graduated less than 12 months prior to entry into the upper division of nursing.
    c. Have graduated within more than 12 months prior to entry into the upper division of nursing and have 1000 hours of nursing employment during the 24 months immediately prior to entry into the upper division of nursing.
    d. Have completed all nursing prerequisite courses, NUR 2023, NUR 3303, and NUR 4302 prior to entry into level II nursing (see Curriculum Plan for LPNs).
    NURSING CREDITS WILL BE HELD IN ESCROW PENDING COMPLETION OF THE PROGRAM.
    Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed psychiatric technical nurses (LPTNs) who do not meet the above criteria can challenge or validate 17 hours of nursing courses that are included in the nursing curriculum. LPNs and LPTNs may challenge or validate nursing courses NUR 3204 and NUR 3404 by taking the National League for Nursing ACE I with a decision score of 75 (eight credit hours); NUR 2303 by taking the National League for Nursing Normal Nutrition examination with a decision score of 50 (three credit hours); and NUR 3103 and NUR 3513 by taking a written and demonstration skills test developed by the Department of Nursing faculty with a decision score of 75 (six credit hours). Students must enter upper division within two academic years after passing the challenge examination or the examination will be invalid.
  3. Licensed registered nurses have two options:
    a. Complete the generic curriculum in baccalaureate nursing, or;
    b. Complete the curriculum in baccalaureate nursing for registered nurses.
    Those who have met all the lower division nursing curriculum requirements and graduated from an associate degree or diploma program that was Arkansas State Board approved or NLNAC accredited at the time of graduation may receive credit for 34 hours of nursing courses (NUR 2023, NUR 2303, NUR 3103, NUR 3513, NUR 3204, NUR 3606, NUR 3404, NUR 3402, NUR 3802 and NUR 3805) if they meet the following specific requirements:
    a. Have a current RN license in the state where they are practicing.
    b. Have graduated less than 12 months prior to entry into the upper division.
    c. Have graduated within more than 12 months prior to entry into the upper division of nursing and have 1000 hours of nursing employment during the 24 months immediately prior to entry into the upper division of nursing.
    d. All nursing major prerequisite courses must be completed prior to entry into the program. Up to 6 hours of General Education courses may be outstanding. These courses must come from the following: Fine Arts, Humanities, History, or electives (see Curriculum Plan for Registered Nurses).
    NURSING CREDITS WILL BE HELD IN ESCROW PENDING COMPLETION OF THE PROGRAM.
    Registered nurses (RNs) who do not meet the above criteria can challenge or validate 34 hours of nursing that are included in the nursing curriculum.
    RNs can challenge or validate nursing courses by taking the National League for Nursing ACE II Examination with a decision score of 100 or 50th percentile for Nursing 2023, 3103, 3513, 3204, 3606, 3404, 3402,3802 and 3805 for 32 credit hours; and by the National League for Nursing Normal Nutrition Examination with a decision score of 50 for Nursing 2303 for three credit hours; all of which total 35 credit hours. Students must enter the senior-level nursing courses within two academic years after passing the challenge examination or the examination will be considered invalid.
  4. Students who have had health-care education or experience but are not licensed health-care professionals will be evaluated individually by the Admission and Progression Committee for advanced placement.
  5. Students transferring from another nursing program must submit a letter of good standing to the Admission and Progression Committee with the upper division application.
  6. Nursing students other than Registered Nurses must comply with the general institutional provisos; i.e., the last 30 semester hours of work toward a degree must be done at ATU; and, normally, a maximum of 68 semester hours of acceptable credit may be transferred from community colleges.
  7. Transfer students from senior colleges and universities must comply with the provisions in Item 3 above but are not subject to any credit hour limitations from those institutions.
Curriculum in Baccalaureate Nursing
Degree Completion Plan Beginning in Fall Semester
Freshman Sophomore
Fall Spring Fall Spring
ENGL 10131,T 3 ENGL 10231,T 3 BIOL 3054T 4 PSY 3813 T 3
MATH 1113T 3 PSY 2003T 3 BIOL 3074T 4 NUR 2023T 4
CHEM 1114T 4 BIOL 20141,2,T 4 NUR 2303T 3 BIOL/NUR 3803T 3
SOC 1003T 3 Physical Activity1,T 1 Humanities1,T 3 NUR 3103 3
Physical Activity1,T 1 Elective3,T 3 Fine Arts1, T 3 NUR 3303 2
    Social Sciences1,T 3
Total Hours 14 Total Hours 17 Total Hours 17 Total Hours 15
Junior Senior
Fall Spring Fall Spring
NUR 3204 4 NUR 3606 6 NUR 4206 6 NUR 4606 6
NUR 3513 3 NUR 3802 2 NUR 4303 3 NUR 4804 4
NUR 3213 3 NUR 38054 5 NUR 4405 5 Elective 3
NUR 34044 4 Social Sciences1,T 3 NUR Elective (3000-4000 level) 1 NUR 4903 3
NUR 3402 2            
Total Hours 16 Total Hours 16 Total Hours 15 Total Hours 16
Degree Completion Plan Beginning in Spring Semester
Freshman   Sophomore  
Spring Fall Spring Fall
ENGL 10131,T 3 ENGL 10231,T 3 BIOL 3054T 4 PSY 3813 T 3
MATH 1113T 3 PSY 2003T 3 BIOL 3074T 4 NUR 2023T 4
CHEM 1114T 4 BIOL 20141,2,T 4 NUR 2303T 3 BIOL/NUR 3803T 3
SOC 1003T 3 Physical Activity1,T 1 Humanities1,T 3 NUR 3103 3
Physical Activity1,T 1 Elective3,T 3 Fine Arts1, T 3 NUR 3303 2
    Social Sciences1,T 3
Total Hours 14 Total Hours 17 Total Hours 17 Total Hours 15
Junior Senior
Spring Fall Spring Fall
NUR 3204 4 NUR 3606 6 NUR 4206 6 NUR 4606 6
NUR 3513 3 NUR 3802 2 NUR 4303 3 NUR 4804 4
NUR 3213 3 NUR 38054 5 NUR 4405 5 Elective 3
NUR 34044 4 Social Sciences1,T 3 NUR Elective (3000-4000 level) 1 NUR 4903 3
NUR 3402 2            
Total Hours 16 Total Hours 16 Total Hours 15 Total Hours 16
1See appropriate alternatives or substitutions in "General Education Requirements".
2Depending on previous preparation, student should recognize that prerequisites may be required before enrolling in BIOL 2014.
3Nursing students must have 6 hours of electives which could include NUR 1001. (ENGL 2053 recommended).
4One credit hour equals 3 contact hours.
TDesignates a block of courses that would provide for a seamless transfer into this program if equivalent courses are taken at another college or university.

Nursing Curriculum for Licensed Practical Nurses

Arkansas State Articulation Agreement for LPNs

Nursing Skills I (NUR 3103)
Nursing Skills II (NUR 3513)
Theories and Concepts in Nursing I (NUR 3204)
Practicum in Nursing I - Nursing the Individual Client (NUR 3404)
Care of the Older Adult (NUR 3213)

Curriculum in Baccalaureate Nursing
Suggested Sequence of Courses for LPNs
Freshman Sophomore
Fall Spring Fall Spring
ENGL 10131 3 ENGL 10231 3 NUR 2303 3 PSY 3813 3
MATH 1113 3 PSY 2003 3 BIOL 3074 4 NUR 2023 3
CHEM 1114 4 BIOL 20142 4 Fine Arts1 3 BIOL/NUR 3803 3
SOC 1003 3 Physical Activity1 1 Humanities1 3 NUR 3303 3
Physical Activity1 1 Elective3 3 BIOL 3054 4 NUR 3402 2
    Social Sciences1 3
Total Hours 14 Total Hours 17 Total Hours 17 Total Hours 14
Junior Senior
Fall Spring Fall  
NUR 3606 6 NUR 4206 6 NUR 4606 6    
NUR 3802 2 NUR 4303 3 NUR 4804 4    
NUR 38054 5 NUR 44054 5 NUR 49034 3    
Social Science1 3 NUR 3000-4000 1 Elective 3    
Total Hours 16 Total Hours 15 Total Hours 16    
1See appropriate alternatives or substitutions in "General Education Requirements".
2Depending on previous preparation, student should recognize that prerequisites may be required before enrolling in BIOL 2014.
3Nursing students must have 6 hours of electives which could include NUR 1001. (ENGL 2053 recommended).
4One credit hour equals 3 contact hours.

Nursing Curriculum for Registered Nurses

ATU and Nursing General Education Requirements

English Composition I, II (ENGL 1013, 1023)1
College Algebra (MATH 1113)
A Survey of Chemistry (CHEM 1114)
Human Anatomy (BIOL 2014)
Fine Arts1 (3 hours)
Humanities1 (3 hours)
Social Sciences (12)

Introductory Sociology (SOC 1003)
General Psychology (PSY 2003)
U.S. History or Political Science1 (3 hours)
Social Sciences1 (3 hours)

Physical Activity1 (2 hours)
Electives (6)

Required Nursing Major Prerequisites

Microbiology (BIOL 3054)
Human Physiology (BIOL 3074)
Lifespan Developmental Psychology (PSY 3813)
Health Assessment (NUR 3303)
Applied Pathophysiology (NUR/BIOL 3803)

Arkansas State Articulation Agreement2

Nutrition (NUR 2303)
Introduction to Professional Nursing (NUR 2023)
Nursing Skills1 (NUR 3103)
Nursing Skills II (NUR 3513)
Theories and Concepts in Nursing I (NUR 3204)
Practicum in Nursing I - Nursing the Individual Client (NUR 3404)
Theories and Concepts in Nursing II (NUR 3606)
Practicum in Nursing II - Nursing the Family (NUR 3805)
Pharmacology I (NUR 3402)
Pharmacology II (NUR 3802)
Care of the Older Adult (NUR 3213)

Licensed registered nurses who have met all of the lower division nursing curriculum requirements and graduated from an associated degree or diploma program that was NLN accredited at the time of graduation may receive credit for 35 hours of nursing courses if they meet specific requirements.

Curriculum in Baccalaureate Nursing for Registered Nurses4
Arkansas Tech University Nursing Courses Specific to Curriculum in Baccalaureate Nursing for Registered Nurses
Spring Start
Junior Senior
Spring Summer I, II Fall
NURN 4002 2 NURN 4024 4 NURN 4034 4
NURN 4003 3 NURN 4303 3 NURN 4045 5
NURN 4013 3 Elective3 3
Elective 3
Total Hours 11 Total Hours 7 Total Hours 12
Summer Start
Junior       Senior  
Summer I, II   Fall   Spring  
NURN 4002 2 NURN 4013 3 NURN 4034 4
NURN 4003 3 NURN 4024 4 NURN 4045 5
Elective 3 NURN 4303 3 Elective 3
Total Hours 8 Total Hours 10 Total Hours 12
1See appropriate alternatives or substitutions in "General Education Requirements".
2Licensed registered nurses who have met all of the lower division nursing curriculum requirements and graduated from an associate degree or diploma program that was NLN accredited at the time of graduation may receive credit for 35 hours of nursing courses if they meet specific requirements.
3Electives to be approved by Nursing advisor.
4 All nursing major prerequisite courses must be completed prior to entry into the program with a GPA>2.75. Up to 6 hours of General Education courses may be outstanding. These courses must come from the following: Fine Arts, Humanities, History, or electives (see Curriculum Plan for Registered Nurses).