Undergraduate Catalog
Colleges

Department of Nursing

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

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

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 Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, 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, course 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.

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.

Minimum requirements for acceptance into the upper division (Level 0) 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 or BIOL 2404, BIOL 3054, BIOL 3074 or BIOL 2414, CHEM 1113 and CHEM 1111, PSY 2003, SOC 1003, and NUR 2303.
  3. Completion of the following courses: American History or Government - 3 hours, Social Sciences 0-3 hours, Fine Arts & Humanities - 6-9 hours; Speech 0- 3 hours, Elective - 1 hour, Physical Education - 1 hour, TECH 1001. (See General Education Requirements for specific course alternatives.)
  4. Criminal background check.
  5. Students who have not attended Arkansas Tech University during the past year must apply for readmission to the University.
  6. 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.
  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.
  2. Do not admit at this time.

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

Applications will be ranked according to GPA with preference given to ATU students. Admission will be determined by the resulting rank order.

Applicants completing prerequisite requirements at an institution other than ATU 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.

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

Minimum requirements for continuation into Level 1

  1. 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 with the exception of CPR certification that is valid for two years.
  2. Two of the three injections in the Hepatitis B Vaccine series.

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 3402, NUR 3513, NUR 3606, 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” or “F” in two (2) upper division nursing courses. The Department Head will consider exceptions on an individual basis .

Any student who withdraws from a clinical nursing course (NUR 3404, NUR 3805, NUR 4405, NUR 4804) after the fifth (5th) day of clinicals 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 clinicals. A grade of “F” will count as a failure (“F”) for progression purposes.

All seniors are required to pass the NCLEX Review Exam as part of NUR 4903 requirements. 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 the corresponding theory course.
  2. Completing NUR 3792, Theoretical Competency I or NUR 4792, Theoretical Competency II with a grade of "C" or better.

Readmit Policy

Any student that fails an Upper Division nursing course (with the exception of nursing electives), withdraws, or has a break in enrollment must reapply for progression in the nursing program by June 30, for readmission to the fall semester, or Janurary 5, for readmission to the spring semester. To reapply, the student must complete "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. The reapplicant must also submit a letter of recommendation from a nursing faculty member. Reapplication will be based on the availablility of positions within the repeating level, letter of intent and current GPA. Should several students reapply for the same level and there are a limited number of positions, GPA ranking, in conjunction with their letter of intent will guide the committee decision-making process.

Students who have not attended Arkansas Tech University during the past year must apply for readmission to the University.

The nursing program must be completed within four years of entry into level one of the nursing curriculum.

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 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 NLNAC accredited program may receive credit for 17 hours of nursing courses (NUR 3103, NUR 3204, NUR 3213, NUR 3404, NUR 3513) if they meet the following specific requirements:
    1. Have a current LPN or LPTN license in Arkansas.
    2. Graduated less than 12 months prior to entry into the upper division of nursing.
    3. 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.
    4. Have completed all nursing prerequisite courses, NUR 2023, NUR 3303, and NUR 3402 with a "C" or better 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:
    1. Complete the generic curriculum in baccalaureate nursing, or;
    2. 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 38 hours of nursing courses (NUR 2023, NUR 2303, NUR 3103, NUR 3204, NUR 3213, NUR 3402, NUR 3404, NUR 3513, NUR 3606, NUR 3802 and NUR 3805) if they meet the following specific requirements:
    1. Have a current RN license in the state where they are practicing.
    2. Have graduated less than 12 months prior to entry into the upper division.
    3. 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.
    4. 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 38 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 NUR 2023, NUR 3103, NUR 3204, NUR 3213, NUR 3402, NUR 3404,NUR 3513, NUR 3606, NUR 3802 and NUR 3805 for 35 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 38 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

Suggested Sequence of Courses
Freshman Sophomore
Fall Spring Fall Spring
ENGL 10131,T 3 ENGL 10231,T 3 Fine Arts & Humanities1,T 6 BIOL 3803/NUR 3803T 3
MATH 11134, T 3 Social Sciences/Fine Arts/Humanities/Speech1,T 3 BIOL 3054T 4 PSY 3813 T 3
CHEM 1113 and CHEM 1111T 4 U.S. History/Government1,T 3 BIOL 3074 or BIOL 2414T 4 NUR 2023T 3
SOC 1003T 3 BIOL 2014 or BIOL 24041,2,T 4 NUR 2303T 3 NUR 3103 3
Physical ActivityT 1 PSY 2003T 3 NUR 3303 3
TECH 1001 1
Total Hours 15 Total Hours 16 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 3213 3 NUR 3802 2 NUR 4303 3 NUR 4804 4
NUR 3402 2 NUR 38053 5 NUR 4405 5 NUR 4903 3
NUR 34043 4 Elective 1
NUR 3513 3
Total Hours 16 Total Hours 13 Total Hours 15 Total Hours 13
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 or BIOL 2404.
3One credit hour equals 3 contact hours.
4MATH 1113 or higher level MATH course.
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)
Theories and Concepts in Nursing I (NUR 3204)
Care of the Older Adult (NUR 3213)
Practicum in Nursing I - Nursing the Individual Client (NUR 3404)
Nursing Skills II (NUR 3513)

Curriculum in Baccalaureate Nursing for LPNs

Suggested Sequence of Courses for LPNs
Freshman Sophomore
Fall Spring Fall Spring
ENGL 10131 3 ENGL 10231 3 Fine Arts & Humanities1 6 BIOL 3803/NUR 3803 3
MATH 11134 3 Social Sciences/Fine Arts/Humanities/Speech1 3 BIOL 30545 4 PSY 3813 3
CHEM 1113 and CHEM 1111 4 U.S. History/Government1 3 BIOL 30745 or BIOL 2414 4 NUR 2023 3
SOC 1003 3 BIOL 2014 or BIOL 24042 4 NUR 2303 3 NUR 3303 3
Physical Activity 1 PSY 2003 3 NUR 3402 2
TECH 1001 1
Total Hours 15 Total Hours 16 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 38053 5 NUR 44053 5 NUR 49033 3
Elective 1
Total Hours 13 Total Hours 15 Total Hours 13
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.
3One credit hour equals 3 contact hours.
4MATH 1113 or higher level MATH course.
5If course is repeated, grades will be averaged when compiling GPA for upper division application.

Nursing Curriculum for Registered Nurses

General Education Requirements

English Composition I, II (ENGL 1013, ENGL 1023)1
College Algebra (MATH 1113 or higher level MATH course)
Science with Lab (4 hours)
Human Anatomy (BIOL 2014) or Human Anatomy & Physiology I (BIOL 2404)
General Psychology (PSY 2003)
Introductory Sociology (SOC 1003)
Social Sciences1 (3 hours)
Fine Arts & Humanities1 (6 hours)
U.S. History/Government1 (3 hours)

Additional Nursing Major Requirements

Microbiology (BIOL 3054)
Human Physiology (BIOL 3074) or Anatomy & Physiology II (BIOL 2414)
Lifespan Developmental Psychology (PSY 3813)
Health Assessment (NUR 3303)
Applied Pathophysiology (NUR 3803/BIOL 3803)

Arkansas State Articulation Agreement2

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

Senior Level Nursing for Registered Nurses Courses4

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 Elective3 3 NURN 4045 5
NURN 4013 3 Elective3 3
NURN 4303 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
Elective3 3 NURN 4303 3 Elective3 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 NLNAC accredited at the time of graduation may receive credit for 38 hours of nursing courses if they meet specific requirements.
3Electives to be approved by Nursing advisor.
4All general education requirements must be completed before enrolling in Senior Level Nursing for Registered Nurses courses unless granted an exception by the department head. All additional nursing major requirements must be completed with a GPA. ≥ 2.75 prior to enrolling in Senior Level Nursing for Registered Nurses courses.