School of Nursing

  • Deborah Chyun, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Dean
  • Angela Starkweather, Ph.D., R.N., ACNP-BC, CNRN, FAAN, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
  • Thomas Van Hoof, M.D., Ed.D., Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Pedagogy

The School of Nursing offers two pre-licensure programs: a traditional 4-year baccalaureate program and a 2nd degree post baccalaureate program, Certificate Entry into Nursing/B.S. (CEIN/B.S.). The traditional undergraduate program provides an opportunity to combine a general education with professional preparation in nursing. This curriculum requires four academic years. The post baccalaureate program, CEIN/B.S., is a one-year program designed for individuals with baccalaureate degrees in other areas. The programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Connecticut State Board of Nurse Examiners.

Preclinical Requirements for Pre-Licensure Programs

In addition to pre-entrance University requirements, students admitted to the School of Nursing must present evidence of the following prior to clinical experiences: color blindness testing, TDAP (Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) booster with tetanus immunization in the past 10 years; one poliomyelitis booster following initial immunization; physical examination; tuberculin test (with chest x-ray for positive reactors); rubella, rubeola, hepatitis B titers (with vaccine if titer is negative); and varicella titer, an annual flu vaccine and any other requirements of affiliating agencies.

It is mandatory that all students carry comprehensive health insurance when they are involved in practice in clinical areas.

A current certificate in cardio pulmonary resuscitation (professional level: covering infant, child, adult, and two-person) is a prerequisite for entry into the clinical courses and must be current through graduation.

Requirements for Clinical Practice

In addition to academic qualifications, UConn nursing students must possess the ability to consistently demonstrate a proficiency in five core areas for nursing students: motor, sensory, communication, behavior and critical thinking skills. These areas reflect the reasonable expectations of a nursing student performing the common functions of a registered nurse or an advanced practice nurse.

The ability to consistently demonstrate these personal and professional competencies are essential from admittance to graduation. Students must be capable of performing the skills of a nursing student.

Therefore, each nursing student must have the ability to learn and perform the following competencies and skills:

  1. Motor: The student must possess sufficient motor capabilities to execute the movements and skills required to provide safe and effective nursing interventions. These include, but are not limited to:
    1. Coordination, speed and agility to assist and safely guard (protect), with safe and proper body mechanics, patients who are ambulating, transferring, or performing other activities.
    2. Ability to adjust and position equipment and patients, which involves bending or stooping freely to floor level and reaching above the head.
    3. Ability to move throughout the classroom or clinical site, and sit and stand for long periods of time to carry out patient care activities.
    4. Ability to perform patient care duties for up to 12 hours at a time, day or night.
    5. Ability to move or position patients and equipment, which involves lifting, carrying, pulling up to 30 pounds.
    6. Ability to guide, resist, and assist patients, or to provide emergency care, which involves standing, kneeling, sitting, or walking.
    7. Ability and dexterity to manipulate the devices used in giving nursing care.
    8. Ability to administer CPR without assistance.
  2. Sensory: The student must be able to obtain information in classroom, laboratory, or clinical settings through observation, auscultation, palpation and other measures, including but not limited to:
    1. Visual ability (corrected as necessary) to recognize and interpret facial expressions and body language, identify normal and abnormal patterns of movement, to read or set parameters on various equipment, to discriminate color changes, and to interpret and assess the environment.
    2. Auditory ability (corrected as necessary) to recognize and respond to soft voices, auditory timers, equipment alarms, call bells, and to effectively use devices for measurement of blood pressure, breath sounds, etc.
    3. Tactile ability to palpate a pulse and to detect changes or abnormalities of surface texture, skin temperature, body contour, muscle tone, and joint movement.
    4. Sufficient position, movement and balance sensations to assist and protect patients who are ambulating, transferring, or performing other activities.
  3. Communication: The student must be able to communicate effectively with peers, faculty, patients and their families, and other health care providers. This includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Ability to read at a competency level that allows one to safely carry out the essential functions of an assignment (examples; handwritten chart data, printed policy, and procedure manuals).
    2. Ability to effectively interpret and process information.
    3. Ability to effectively communicate (verbally and in writing) with patients and their families, health care professionals, and others within the community.
    4. Ability to access information and to communicate and document effectively via computer.
    5. Ability to recognize, interpret, and respond to nonverbal behavior of self and others.
  4. Behavior: The student must be capable of exercising good judgment, developing empathic and therapeutic relationships with patients and others, and tolerating close and direct physical contact with a diverse population. This will include people of all ages, races, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, as well as individuals with weight disorders, physical disfigurement and medical or mental health problems. This also includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Ability to work with multiple patients, families, and colleagues at the same time.
    2. Ability to work with classmates, instructors, health care providers, patients, families and others under stressful conditions, including but not limited to providing care to medically or emotionally unstable individuals, situations requiring rapid adaptations, the provision of CPR, or other emergency interventions.
    3. Ability to foster and maintain cooperative and collegial relationships with classmates, instructors, other health care providers, patients and their families.
  5. Critical Thinking: The student must possess sufficient abilities in the areas of calculation, critical problem solving, reasoning, and judgment to be able to comprehend and process information within a reasonable time frame as determined by the faculty and the profession. The student must be able to prioritize, organize and attend to tasks and responsibilities efficiently. This includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Ability to collect, interpret and analyze written, verbal, and observed data about patients.
    2. Ability to prioritize multiple tasks, integrate information, and make decisions.
    3. Ability to apply knowledge of the principles, indications, and contraindications for nursing interventions.
    4. Ability to act safely and ethically in the college clinical lab and in clinical placements within the community.

If a nursing applicant or student is unable to meet one or more of these areas due to a long-term or short-term disability, they may request consideration for an accommodation through the Center for Students with Disabilities. Prompt notice is essential for full consideration. The requirements for clinical practice apply for all programs which include a clinical component.

Criminal Background Check

Students who fail to provide written documentation that they have met the above stated health requirements will not be allowed in the clinical areas.

Clinical practice experiences in healthcare and other agencies are a required component of program completion and graduation with a baccalaureate degree in nursing. Students must meet all standards and requirements necessary to complete required clinical placements including, but not limited to health requirements, drug testing, fingerprinting and/or criminal background checks. Failure to do so will result in an inability to complete the program.

The School of Nursing requires all students to have a criminal background check prior to the start of each academic year in which clinical placement is a required component of the program.

The School of Nursing contracts with an outside entity to obtain relevant background check information. The ‘satisfactory’ or ‘needs further follow-up’ outcome of the background check will be released to the School and to the agencies where clinical experiences are planned. Students must apply directly to the outside entity and pay all associated costs. The outside entities’ contact information, as well as the costs associated with the criminal background check, can be found in the student handbook.

It is important to note that the results of a student’s criminal background check may prevent a student from completing a clinical placement. The agency of clinical placement will make the determination whether a student can receive experiences within that site. The School cannot guarantee that a student will be accepted into any required clinical placement sites. Failure to complete all required clinical activities will prevent a student from graduating from the School of Nursing.

The following is a partial list of crimes and offenses that may negatively impact a student’s ability to complete required clinical placements: any sexual crime, any crime of violence, any drug crime, any weapon crime, property crimes, theft, robbery, burglary, embezzlement or fraud, public intoxication or substance abuse, other felonies or serious offenses which would not be appropriate in a healthcare/patient care environment.

Drug Testing

Use of drugs, prescribed or otherwise, may create a risk of being denied a clinical placement. This includes, but is not limited to, prescribed medical marijuana or opiates. If the findings of a required drug screening prevent you from being placed in a clinical agency for your experience, you will not be able to complete the nursing program. If you have any concerns about your current prescriptions in relation to securing a clinical placement, please contact your health care provider.

Faculty reserve the right to recommend a student’s withdrawal from the program for reasons of health.

Transportation

Students must have a means of reliable transportation and cover cost of travel and parking to the clinical agencies. There is no guarantee that a student’s clinical site will be on a bus or train line or near other students for carpooling. Carpooling, cab, Uber or other similar services are not a form of reliable transportation to use for clinical rotations. Students without a means of reliable transportation cannot enroll in clinical courses, and risk dismissal from a clinical course if not able to meet clinical requirements due to transportation issues.

Computers

All students are required to have their own laptop computer with wireless capability prior to the start of second semester sophomore year for baccalaureate students and prior to the start of the CEIN/B.S. program.

Licensure

Under the provisions of Sec. 19a-14(a) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Public Act 86-365, the Department of Public Health and Addiction Services of the State of Connecticut may deny licensure to applicants who have been convicted of a felony or are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Copies of this law are available in the School of Nursing Admission and Enrollment Services Office. Students are responsible for being aware of what the licensure requirements are in the State in which they intend to apply for a license.

Books, Uniforms and Professional Equipment

All pre-licensure students are expected to purchase books, uniforms, and the professional equipment required before beginning the clinical experiences.

Students in the Pre-Licensure program who return from a Leave of Absence during the clinical component of the program are required to complete a one day mandatory reorientation/skill refresher in the clinical resource lab (simulation lab).

Admission Requirements

See Admission to the University. Student applications for admission to the School of Nursing are accepted only for the Fall semester. Qualified students are admitted directly to the School of Nursing as freshmen. See Freshmen Admission. Admission is competitive and applicants should have credentials placing them in the upper range of their high school graduation class. Freshman, transfer, and petition students must have completed a high school (or college) course in chemistry, physics, and algebra for admission consideration.

Transfer students should see Transfer Admission. Such students should have made substantial progress toward completing the freshman 1000-level requirements, particularly those courses that are an indication of their academic ability in math and science. Number of credits earned, grade point average in all courses taken, and space availability are key considerations in the school’s admission decision.

Students not admitted into the School of Nursing at the time of entry to the University may apply for admission through the School of Nursing School Change procedures. Such students should submit a completed School Change Petition form as well as a statement as to why they desire the School change to the School of Nursing, Admission and Enrollment Services Office, Storrs Hall Widmer Wing, Room 17. Change of School petitions are due by February 1 for fall acceptance consideration. Decisions will be based on several criteria including the applicant’s academic record, courses taken and space availability. School Change applicants are expected to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 as well as a math/science GPA that is equal or higher than a 3.0 in two or more math/science prerequisite courses and physics in high school or college to be competitive in the petition or transfer process.

Students taking non-degree course work in a non-matriculated fashion may petition for a change of classification to degree-seeking matriculated status.

Admission requirements for CEIN/B.S.

Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree with cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better. The following required science courses must be completed prior to admission with B or better grades in each: Human Anatomy and Physiology (PNB 2264 and 2265 or equivalent), Chemistry (CHEM 1122 or equivalent), Biology (BIOL 1107 or equivalent), Genetics (MCB 2400 or equivalent and must be taken within five years of enrollment in the program), Microbiology (MCB 2610) or equivalent). An undergraduate statistics course and a formal undergraduate research methods course must be completed with grades of C or better.

Curricula in Nursing for the Traditional Undergraduate

I. University General Education Requirements

The University has adopted General Education requirements, which must be satisfied as part of every bachelor’s degree program. These requirements are listed in the General Education Requirements section of this Catalog.

II. School Requirements

Nursing students must complete the following courses (38 credits). Students should note that some of these courses may also fulfill University General Education requirements: BIOL 1107; CHEM 1122; MATH 1020Q, 1030Q, 1040Q or 1060Q; MCB 2400 or 2410; PNB 2264 and 2265; PSYC 1100; STAT 1000Q or 1100Q; HDFS 1070 plus any other Content Area 1 or 2 course (for a total of six credits) in fulfillment of the general education requirements of the university.

Writing in the Major

All students in the School of Nursing are required to pass NURS 4250W

Information Literacy

All students in the School of Nursing fulfill this area of competency by the successful completion of NURS 3130, 3205, 4250, and 4282.

Quantitative Competency

Students in the School of Nursing fulfill this area of competency with the following courses: MATH 1020Q or higher and STAT 1000Q or 1100Q. Quantitative competency is also met by successful completion of math competency exams in each clinical course.

III. Baccalaureate Student

Nursing students must complete the following nursing courses (79 credits): NURS 1130, 1131, 3100, 3110, 3120, 3205, 3220, 3225, 3234, 3334, 3444, 3554, 3664, 4230W, 4250, and 4282.

IV. Additional Requirements

To be eligible to enroll in NURS 3234 (first clinical course) in the fall semester, students must have completed the coursework described in the “School Requirements” section above and the following courses by the end of the preceding spring semester: ENGL 1010 or 1011; NURS 1130, 1131, 3100, 3110, 3120.

If a grade of C– or less is earned in PNB 2265, MCB 2400 or 2410, NURS 3110 or 3120, the student may still be considered for NURS 3234 enrollment in the fall if the course is retaken and a grade of C or better earned by July 1.

V. Program Requirements: Registered Nurses

Registered nurses who graduated from an approved associate degree or diploma program in nursing, who enroll in the School of Nursing and earned a C or higher in all nursing courses, may earn 30 transfer credits in nursing under the Connecticut Articulation Model for Nurse Educational Mobility.

Registered nurses must complete the following nursing courses: NURS 3205, 3225, 4230W, 4250, 4282, 5012, 5020 and 6 credits of electives.

Supplementary Scholastic Standards

A student in the School of Nursing must have a grade of C or better in the courses listed in the “School Requirements” and “Additional Requirements” sections above.

Students admitted to the School of Nursing must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 at the end of the semester in which they have completed 26 calculable credits of graded coursework at the University of Connecticut. In order to progress in the 3000-level nursing courses, students must complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better. In order to progress, a cumulative GPA of 2.7 is required prior to enrollment in NURS 3220, 3234. Students lacking a 2.7 total grade point average at this point in the program will be dismissed from the School of Nursing.

Students must earn a C (2.0) or better in all nursing courses (those with NURS designation) in order to earn credit toward graduation. No student may take a course in the nursing curriculum without having completed prerequisite courses with a grade of C or higher. No courses required for graduation as a nursing major may be taken more than twice before achieving a passing grade. Students may be dismissed if there is more than one semester in which they earn a semester grade point average below 2.5 in required nursing courses. A cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or above in all required nursing courses is required for graduation. Students are permitted to repeat only one required nursing course once throughout their nursing education and remain in the School of Nursing when all other standards are met.

Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

Upon the recommendation of the faculty the degree of Bachelor of Science is awarded by vote of the Board of Trustees to students who have met the following requirements:

  1. Earned a total of 120 degree credits;
  2. Earned at least a 2.5 grade point average for all calculable course work;
  3. Met all the requirements of the School of Nursing and University General Education Requirements. (See Scholastic Standing Requirement.)

VI. CEIN/BS: B.S. Certificate Entry into Nursing

A one-year program designed for individuals with baccalaureate degrees in other areas. Students complete up to 45 credits of didactic and clinical experience. In order to progress in the program, students must complete the following coursework with a C or better: NURS 4300, 4301, 4304, 4305, 4414, 4424, 4434, 4544, and 4554.

A second baccalaureate degree in nursing is awarded at the successful completion of the CEIN/BS program.