ACADEMICS

  • Nursing - Track I

    Accreditation

    • Full approval status from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing located at 239 Causeway St., Boston, MA 02114
    • Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
    • One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, D.C. 20036
    • Member of the Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing (MACN)

    General Information

    Admissions
    The nursing program leads to a Bachelor of Science degree. The program offers 3 tracks in the undergraduate major in nursing: 

    • Track I is for the student who is seeking initial baccalaureate education in nursing.
    • Track II is for the student who has obtained licensure as a registered nurse, graduated from an associate-degree or diploma-accredited program, and is pursuing a baccalaureate degree in nursing. 
    • Track III is for the student who has obtained licensure as a licensed practical nurse, graduated from an accredited program, and is pursuing a baccalaureate degree.

    Mission Statement
    The mission of the Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Department of Nursing is in keeping with the Worcester State University mission with the emphasis on developing the professional nurse who values lifelong intellectual growth and global awareness. The Department of Nursing fosters the professional growth of faculty and students through excellence in teaching and learning, rooted in scholarship and community service related to the discipline of nursing.

    Undergraduate Program Outcomes

    1. Provide comprehensive, holistic care that is grounded in the biological sciences, the arts, and humanities.
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of organizational structures, missions, visions, philosophies, and values.
    3. Utilize current theoretical, scientific, and research knowledge toward evidence-based professional practice.
    4. Demonstrate competence in utilizing information technology resources to advance professional practice.
    5. Comply with the Standards of Professional Nursing Practice.
    6. Implement effective inter-professional communication when working with the health-care team.
    7. Implement evidence-based practice to guide the nursing process toward culturally sensitive, individual, and population-focused care.
    8. Apply the professional standards of moral, ethical, and legal conduct to practice.
    9. Demonstrate clinical competency, accountability, and ethical decision-making as an entry-level, novice professional nurse.

    The Nursing Department has department-specific policies which are found in the Department of Nursing Undergraduate Student Policy Handbooks. These policies include, but are not limited to, the following: progression and retention, classroom and clinical behavior, academic honesty, professional behavior, and CORI/drug screening/health requirements. The department reserves the right to modify policies and the curriculum during the students' enrollment. Sufficient notice of any change will be provided to students. Progression in the program requires successful completion of all pre- and co-requisite courses, sequential nursing courses, and all clinical placements offered in each course.

    Good Moral Character Required for Licensure
    In compliance with policy of the Massachusetts State Board of Nursing, all applicants/students are informed that completion of the BS degree does not guarantee admittance to the registered nurse licensure examination. According to Board Licensure Policy 00-01, any individual convicted of a felony or misdemeanor conviction, and/or who has been disciplined by a licensure/certification body must be evaluated by the Board to determine a licensure applicant's compliance with the "good moral character" licensure requirement established at Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 112 , section 74 and 74A. Any individual who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor conviction, and/or who has been disciplined by a licensure/certification body, or whose ability to practice professional nursing is adversely affected by a physical or mental disability/illness that may endanger the health and/or safety of a person, should seek special advising prior to enrolling in any professional nursing program in Massachusetts. Individuals convicted of certain criminal convictions are permanently excluded from nurse licensure in Massachusetts. All students in the nursing program will be required to have periodic CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) checks requested by the department and/or clinical agencies. This background check is a computerized search to determine if an individual has any convictions, outstanding warrants or pending complaints. The information from these records is confidential and is destroyed when a student graduates. Progression and mandatory clinical placements in the nursing program are contingent on a "no report" CORI check result. Clinical agencies may independently perform CORI checks on students and do not have to accept a student with a CORI report indicating that an offense exists. The department is not responsible for alternate clinical placements for students who cannot be placed in an agency related to a CORI offense report. Students have an obligation to inform the department chair if any legal issues arise, while in the program, that are reportable on a CORI.

    Health Care Agency Requirements: Health, Drug Screening and Other
    Nursing students will be placed in a variety of health care settings. Each agency has requirements which the student must fulfill before they are allowed placement. This list may include, but is not limited to, the following; physical exam, immunizations, agency specific orientation, CORI, SORI and drug screening. Progression and mandatory clinical placements in the nursing program are contingent on meeting all agency requirements. If a student is denied placement by the agency for any reason, including a positive drug or CORI report, the nursing department is not responsible for providing alternate clinical placements.

    Track I Courses

    • Prerequisite courses to be successfully completed by the end of spring semester first year:
    • BI 161 & BI 162 Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II
    • CH 112 Survey of Chemistry
    • EN 101 & EN 102 English Composition I and II
    • BI 206 Medical Microbiology

    Co-requisite courses to be successfully completed by the end of Spring semester sophomore year:

    • HE 120 Health and Nutrition
    • MA 150 Statistics
    • CS 124 Health Informatics

    Co-requisite courses to be successfully completed by the end of Fall semester sophomore year:

    • PS 101 General Psychology
    • SO 100 Introduction to Sociology

    *Students must achieve a grade of 2.0 in each of these courses. Each course may be repeated only ONCE to obtain minimum required grade. A student not meeting the minimum grade requirement will not be considered for transfer acceptance into or allowed continued progression in the nursing program.

    A student who fails to complete any prerequisite and/or co-requisite course on time will remain as a nursing major; however, progression in the nursing program will depend on satisfactory completion of these courses and space availability.

    Required Nursing Courses (60 credits) 
    All nursing courses must be taken in sequence.

    • NU 200 Introduction to Professional Nursing I (5 credits)
    • NU 205 Pathophysiology (3 credits)
    • NU 210 Introduction to Professional Nursing II (5 credits)
    • NU 215 Pharmacology (3 credits)
    • NU 310 Nursing Science I (9 credits)
    • NU 315 Group Communication Seminar I (1 credit)
    • NU 340 Nursing Science II (9 credits)
    • NU 415 Group Communication Seminar II (1 credit)
    • NU 430 Research Seminar (3 credits)
    • NU 440 Nursing Science III (8 credits)
    • NU 450 Leadership in Nursing (3 credits)
    • NU 460 Nursing Science IV (8 credits)
    • NU 470 Capstone (2 credits)

    Students must achieve a minimum grade of 80 in each nursing course and each section of the course when a course has two distinct class/clinical components (NU 310, NU 340, NU 440). The Department of Nursing has additional policies and procedures which are binding for nursing majors. Included in these policies are standards for progression in the nursing major. They are found in the Nursing Department’s Student Handbook. Foundation courses, nursing courses, prerequisite and co-requisite courses may not be taken pass/fail.

    Transfer Students: Students taking general education courses in another college or university are required to contact the Admissions Office regarding matriculation and transfer of credits. Transfer students are accepted to the nursing major on a very limited, space-available-only basis. Students are admitted into the freshmen or sophomore class level only depending on prerequisites taken.

    All transfer student applicants for Track I who have previously been enrolled in a nursing program in another college or university must submit, as part of their application, a letter from the dean or director of the nursing program indicating that they left in good standing and were eligible for readmission to that program.

    Transfer students may only apply 2 times for admission into the nursing major.

    Clinical Course Requirements for All Tracks
    Prior to registering for a clinical practicum course, students must submit written verification of:

    • Complete physical examination — updated annually — form available from Nursing Department secretary (508-929-8129), for Tracks 2 and 3. Track 1 students should access forms from www.certifiedbackground.com. 
    • Documentation of an initial 2-step tuberculin skin test (TST) is required first year, then an annual TST. A TST may be available through the Worcester State University Student Health Service — follow up x-rays may be required.
    • Positive varicella titre level or 2 doses of Varicella vaccine
    • 2 MMR (measles [rubeola], mumps and rubella) vaccines, or titre levels for each (measles, mumps, and rubella) which indicate immunity 
    • 1 dose of tetanus-diptheria-pertussis (Tdap) vaccine if it has been 5 or more years since the last does of the tetanus-diptheria (T-D) vaccine administered. Evidence of Tdap and/or T-D must be submitted.
    • Series of 3 vaccinations for Hepatitis B and positive titre level 
    • Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) (adult and child) for the health-care provider/professional rescuer certification must be maintained throughout the program. No online courses are allowed. 
    • CORI is required for all students. 
    • SORI and/or drug screening may be required by health-care agencies. 
    • Seasonal flu immunizations is required. 
    • In addition to the above requirements, RN students must submit a photocopy of an unencumbered MA nursing license. 
    • Professional liability insurance is renewed annually provided by Worcester State University. 
    Student Organizations


    National Student Nurses' Association: A student-led organization that is actively involved in outreach leadership development. Membership is mandatory for matriculated students.
    Sigma Theta Tau International, Iota Phi Chapter-at-Large: The International Honor Society for Nurses provides leadership and scholarship in practice, education, and research to enhance the health of all people. Students are selected for membership into the local chapter of the Iota Phi Chapter-at-Large based on academic and personal criteria.
    IHI Open School: The mission of the IHI Open School is to advance health-care improvement and patient safety competencies in the next generation of health professionals worldwide. The IHI Open House School provides inter-professional opportunities for students of medicine, nursing, public health, pharmacy, health administration, dentistry, and other allied health professions with the opportunity to learn about quality improvement and patient safety. IHI is a leading innovator in health and health-care improvement worldwide.

    Requirements for Graduation
    For the Bachelor of Science in Nursing students must have:

    • Completed a minimum of 120 credits 
    • Completed each nursing course (and each component) with a minimum grade of 80 
    • Completed all Nursing Department and Worcester State University requirements 
    Students Who Enter as Freshmen
    •  Must complete all courses listed in freshmen year in order to move to sophomore level. 
    Sophomore year (year 2)
    • Students take some courses with sophomores (Patho and Pharm)
    • Students take 1 course with juniors (Research) 
    • Students take 2 LPN courses (Transition and Health Assessment) 

    Junior year (during the summer between sophomore- and senior-level)
    Progression Sequencing

    • Summer I Session: Med/Surg
    • Summer II Session: Maternity/PEDI 

    Senior year 
    Students are integrated with senior students and follow their schedules.

    Nursing courses must be taken in sequence, but LASC courses can be taken at any time after freshmen year but must be completed prior to Pinning.

    Once LASC requirements are satisfied, students may select general requirements. Students are required to meet with their department advisor to review their upcoming semester academic choices. A minimum of 120 credits is required for graduation.

    • All nursing courses must be taken in sequence.
    • All nursing courses must be completed by the end of each semester. 
    • The 4 required foundation courses, English Composition I and II, and Constitution courses may not be taken on a pass/fail basis, as well as the highlighted items below. 
    • There are 8 prerequisite courses which must be completed prior to starting sophomore nursing courses and are as follows: 
      a. BI 161 Human Anatomy & Physiology I    

     Satisfactory: minimum grade of C  

     b. BI 162 Human Anatomy & Physiology II  

     Satisfactory: minimum grade of C  

     c. CH 112 Survey of Chemistry  

     Satisfactory: minimum grade of C 

     d. EN 101 English Composition I  

     Satisfactory: minimum grade of C 

     e. EN 102 English Composition II  

     Satisfactory: minimum grade of C  

     f. MA 150 Introduction to Statistics   

     Satisfactory: minimum grade of C  

     g. BI 206 Medical Micro 
     

     Satisfactory: minimum grade of C     
     

    h. PS 101 General Psychology 
    or 
    i. SO 100 Intro to Sociology

    Satisfactory: minimum grade of C

    Satisfactory: minimum grade of C 


    • The following 5 prerequisite courses must be completed prior to beginning summer bridge courses: 

     

    a. HE 120 Health and Nutrition 

                            Satisfactory: minimum grade of C 

    b. CS 150 Health Informatics

                            Satisfactory: minimum grade of C 

    c. PS 101 General Psychology 

                            Satisfactory: minimum grade of C 

    or

     

    i. SO 100 Intro to Sociology

                            Satisfactory: minimum grade of C 

    e. CS 124 Health Informatics

                            Satisfactory: minimum grade of C 

    f. HE 120 Health & Nutrition

                            Satisfactory: minimum grade of C 

     
    If the required grade is not met in a prerequisite course, the student will continue as a nursing major. Only one opportunity will be given to retake the course at WSU only. Progression in the nursing courses depends on satisfactory completion of the course.