Nursing Program Requirements

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Sheryl Steadman, Dean

Jon Worthen, Program Director

Nursing Courses

Philosophy Statement

The faculty at Westminster University’s School of Nursing provide learning opportunities for individuals preparing to engage in the art and science of nursing. 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 nurse leaders in a variety of settings.


The undergraduate nursing program prepares 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 serve the learning needs of undergraduate students. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the national licensing examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Liberal education, theory, research, and practice are integrated through collaborative learning methods. We encourage professionalism, teamwork, and interprofessional collaboration. We foster leadership development and strive to develop learners with knowledge of healthcare delivery systems and healthcare policy on a local and global level.

The nursing curriculum is designed with the premise that to be excellent nurses and leaders, 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 theoretical, empirical, and practical knowledge related to the profession of nursing. A professional nurse maintains the standards and ethics of the profession, advocates for patients, reflects on practice for improvement, and utilizes innovation and technology in the delivery of care.

Program Goal and Outcomes

The program goal is to prepare professional nurses who are competent, caring, ethical, critical thinkers, scholarly, and effective communicators. Graduates of the undergraduate nursing program will be able to:

  1. Synthesize the theoretical and empirical knowledge from nursing, life, physical, and social sciences, and the arts and humanities in professional nursing practice.
  2. Integrate critical thinking, innovation, and creativity to provide evidence-based nursing care for individuals, families, groups, and communities in a variety of health care settings.
  3. Incorporate professional values and life-long learning in the practice of professional nursing.
  4. Influence the quality of nursing, patient safety, and health care within practice settings through the use of leadership skills, management concepts, and knowledge of the political system.
  5. Collaborate with healthcare professionals in disease prevention and promotion of health for diverse individuals and populations throughout the life cycle.
  6. Integrate inter-professional communication and collaboration to improve patient health outcomes.
  7. Examine health care policy, finance, and delivery systems that meet the health needs of society.
  8. Integrate informatics and technology in the delivery of quality nursing care.

Program Requirements

The undergraduate nursing program may be completed in four years. Requirements include courses in the humanities, life sciences, behavioral and physical sciences, and nursing. Refer to the plan of study listed below. Additional information about university policies is provided in the sections “Degree Requirements” and “Academic Policies and Procedures.”

Students must meet the university-wide graduation requirements in addition to the nursing major:

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • WCore or Honors College requirements

Admission and Prerequisite Support Course Requirements

Students who qualify for admission to Westminster University 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 WCore courses, SOC 105 or SOC 253. Students must have a minimum cumulative grade point of 2.80 and a minimum prerequisite grade point of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale in order to be considered for admission to the undergraduate nursing program. Please refer to the chart for a complete list of required prerequisite coursework.

Application to the Nursing Program

In addition to applying for admission to Westminster University, students apply to progress into the Nursing Program. Acceptance is determined by the Nursing Program’s Admission and Progression Committee, which bases its decisions on the following criteria:

  1. Completion of all prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better and an average GPA of 3.00 or higher; cumulative GPA from all institutions of higher education attended of at least 2.80.
  2. Three completed recommendations from professionals indicating qualifications for success in nursing. Examples include employers, professors, instructors, or teachers.
  3. Previous enrollment at Westminster University is beneficial to qualified applicants.
  4. A typed letter of intent, which includes statements related to the candidate’s skills and qualifications. The letter is evaluated on content, clarity, motivation to become a nurse, spelling, and grammar.
  5. Applicants to the nursing program are required to obtain necessary screening through a certified background check company as a part of their application. The applicant will agree to release all of the required information from the certified background check company to the dean of the nursing program. The certified background check must be free of criminal arrest history. If there is a criminal arrest history, arrests must be expunged prior to submission of the application. Drug test results must be negative.
  6. Ability to meet the State of Utah Student Nurse Physical Demands Policy requirements.

Additional Requirements Upon Acceptance

  1. Upon admission to the program, health information will be required by the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Students will be responsible for providing updated health information on a yearly basis. Students must have personal health insurance and maintain health insurance throughout the nursing program. Proof of health insurance will be required prior to the beginning of classes each semester.
  2. Proof of completion of a course or licensure as a CNA, LPN/PN, MA, or EMT is required prior to starting nursing courses. Proof of certification must be provided. If an admitted student is not currently licensed, he/she will need to complete a course. Admitted students have until the following dates to provide proof of requirement completion:

For Fall semester start: August 1

For Spring semester start: December 1

  1. Malpractice insurance will be purchased by Westminster University and billed to each student. Nursing students are required to have their own health insurance throughout the duration of the nursing program. Students are required to submit proof of coverage on a yearly basis.
  2. Students need to be able to provide their own transportation to clinical sites and may need to travel long distances. 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.
  3. For successful continued progression through the program, nursing students are required to maintain high academic, ethical, and professional standards. Elaboration of progression policies are published in the Undergraduate Nursing Student Handbook.

Clinical rotations are scheduled during day, evening, or weekend shifts. Clinical rotation schedules are non-negotiable: students are expected to accept clinical rotations as assigned, regardless of personal scheduling conflicts (work, child care, etc.).

Students need to be aware that they are:

1. Required to notify the School of Nursing and Health Sciences of any changes in background check status within 24 hours of an incident.

2. Expected to be honest, responsible, dependable, civil, and mature. Nursing faculty expect students will be responsible for maintaining integrity in meeting course requirements. Students are responsible for managing their own learning and making appropriate contacts when unable to meet clinical assignments; they are also responsible for honesty in all written work and exams. The university policy on academic honesty outlines actions that may be taken in the event of dishonesty.

3. 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

4. Must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.3 or higher in nursing coursework in order to graduate.

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. 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.
  3. Complete prerequisite courses before enrolling in a course.
  4. In identified nursing courses, a math test must be passed at 85% or higher to progress in the nursing program. Once students have been admitted into the nursing program, they have 8 semesters in which to complete the program.
  5. Maintain negative drug screens and have no criminal arrests.
  6. Complete required end of course and program exit exams.
  7. Participate in a required NCLEX review course.

Course Probation and Program Dismissal Policy

A student may receive a clinical/classroom warning of probationary status at any time during a clinical or classroom experience if the faculty 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. Any 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 policy.
  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

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 4  

All nursing majors must complete 4 hours of a world language. See External Credit for equivalencies, AP, and CLEP credit policy. ***This course must be taken prior to the first semester junior year. Must be complete prior to starting nursing courses.***

II. Prerequisite Courses 33-37  
BIOL 103 Human Anatomy and Lab- offered Fall 4  
BIOL 104 Human Physiology and Lab- offered Spring 3 BIOL 103
BIOL 111 Clinical Microbiology and Lab 4  
CHEM 105/105L Introductory Chemistry for Nursing & Lab 4 MATH 101 or above
Writing Emphasis Course   3-4  
DATA 220 or Introduction to Statistics or 4  
DATA 150 Data and Society 4  
*Must be taken prior to enrollment in junior-level nursing courses. Completing additional credit hours for math coursework may be necessary prior to enrolling in this course.
NURS 210 Nutrition 3 BIOL 103, 104, and CHEM 105 or 111
NURS 280 Pathophysiology 3 BIOL 103, 104, CHEM 105 co-requisite: BIOL 111
PSYC 203 Lifespan Developmental Psychology 4  
Choose one of the following courses:
SOC 105 The Sociological Imagination 4  
SOC 253 Sociology of the Family 4  
III. Required Nursing Courses 59-61  
NURS 300 Special Topics in Nursing 2-4  
NURS 312 Foundations of Nursing Practice I 4 NURS 280
NURS 313  Foundations of Nursing Practice I Practicum 5 NURS 280
NURS 314 Community and Mental Health Nursing 4 NURS 280
NURS 315 Communication Skills for Nurses 2  
NURS 330 Foundations of Nursing Practice II 4 NURS 312, 313, 314, 315
NURS 331 Foundations of Nursing Practice II Practicum 6 NURS 312, 313, 314, 315
NURS 370 Nursing Scholarly Inquiry and Informatics  3 NURS 315, 330, 331, and 406
NURS 406 Nursing Pharmacology 4 NURS 312, 313, 314, 315
NURS 414 Foundations of Nursing Practice III 4 NURS 315, 330, 331, 406
NURS 415 Foundations of Nursing Practice III Practicum 4 NURS 315, 330, 331, 406
NURS 418 Transitional Care Nursing 3 NURS 315, 330, 331, 406
NURS 419 Leadership in Nursing 2 NURS 370, 414, 415, 417, 418
NURS 425 Ethics in Professional Nursing  2 NURS 370, 414, 415, 417, 418
NURS 430 Capstone Practicum 6 NURS 370, 414, 415, 417, 418
NURS 431 Capstone Synthesis 2 NURS 370, 414, 415, 417, 418
Total Hours for the Nursing Major 96-102  

Recommended Plan of Study

Most courses are offered in the fall and spring.  This Recommended Plan of Study is based on 1st year incoming students completing the degree in 4 years.  Please consult an advisor based upon your individual circumstances.

WCore courses include: Social and Behavioral Sciences (2 courses), Fine Arts and Humanities (2 courses), and Science and Mathematics (2 courses).

The plan outlined above also assumes maximum usage of allowable WCore double dipping.

* Prerequisites

** DATA 150 or DATA 220 must be taken prior to junior year nursing courses.

***MATH 101 is a pre/co-requisite for CHEM 105

May and Summer Terms

Elective courses are offered during May Term, please refer to course schedules for these courses. Nursing students who follow this basic plan of study are strongly encouraged to take WCore courses during the summer to lighten their semester course loads. Clinical requirements in the junior and senior years make it difficult to coordinate WCore 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 of 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.