Undergraduate Nursing Student Handbook
        The Valdosta State University Undergraduate Nursing Handbook provides
        information on the Nursing Program. The statements set forth in this Handbook
        are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as the basis of
        a contract between a student and the institution.

        While the provisions of this Handbook will ordinarily be applied as stated,
        Valdosta State University College of Nursing and Health Science reserves the
        right to change any provision listed in this Handbook, including but not limited to
        academic requirements for progression and graduation, without actual notice to
        individual students. Every effort will be made to keep students advised of any
        such changes. Information on changes will be available on the College of
        Nursing and Health Science website. It is especially important that all students
        note that it is their individual and personal responsibility to keep themselves
        apprised of current progression and graduation requirement for their particular
        degree program.

      “No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, sex, religion,
      creed, national origin, age, veteran status, or handicap, be excluded from
      employment or participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be
      subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the Board
      of Regents of the University System of Georgia or any of its several institutions
      now in existence or hereafter established.”
Welcome Future Nurses!
          elcome to the School of Nursing! We want you to be successful in your academic
          career at Valdosta State University. We hope you will complete your program of
          study and look back on this experience with joy and pride. The faculty,
administration, and staff of the School of Nursing are here to assist you.
       This handbook was prepared to assist you during your program of studies. It contains
policies, procedures and general information relative to the School of Nursing. In addition, you
are referred to the VSU Undergraduate Catalog for other information.

                        “Professional nursing can make a

                        difference in the lives of those for

                        whom we care and that is the

                        greatest reward of all.”

    Professional nursing is a challenging academic program. Each course is built upon
previous ones, so it is necessary for you to attain and retain the content and skills required in
each course. The learning environment includes the use of state-of-the art technology in the
classroom, clinical, and laboratory settings. You must demonstrate critical thinking as you use
your repertoire of skills to deliver care with a high degree of accuracy in a constantly changing
clinical environment.
    Professional nursing is also a very rewarding career. The career choices in nursing offers
many opportunities for professional growth. Nursing can make a difference in the lives of
those for whom we care, and that is the greatest reward of all.
    Your prior academic record has been carefully reviewed. You were admitted to the
program because you meet or exceed the qualifications the faculty has determined necessary
for you to be successful. Still, you may find the nursing curriculum, and the speed at which
you must learn it, challenging.
    The faculty will assist you to become the best professional nurse you can be. Best wishes
as your progress through the program.

Students should contact the School of Nursing (229-333-5959) if they have any questions
about the information contained in this handbook.
   Table of Contents

I. The College of Nursing and Health Sciences
       Mission                                        Student Remediation of Psychomotor
       Expanded Statement of Purpose                                       Skills
       Core Values                                    Confidentiality
       Philosophy                                     HIPPA Statement
       Concepts of the Curriculum                     Permitted Uses and Disclosures of PHI
       Definition of Terms                            Student Responsibility when Working with
       Junior Level Objectives                                              a Preceptor
       Baccalaureate Program Objectives
                                                   IV. Class Information
II. Admission, Progression, And Graduation                Academic and Class Policies
      Admission                                           Academic Integrity
      Progression                                         Class Attendance
      Enrollment Limitations                              Tests and Test-Taking
      Performance Standards                               Review of Test Achievement
      Course Withdrawals/Failures                         Test Absence
      Additional Expenses                                 Written Work
      Applying for Graduation                             Grading Scale
      Preparation for Licensure
                                                   V. General Information
III. Clinical Information
        Clinical Requirements                      VI. The Honor Code
        Uniforms                                         Honor Code
        Personal Adornment and Aesthetics                Expected Behavior
        Classroom, Meetings, and Ceremonial              Unacceptable Behavior
        Attire                                           Dispositional Expectations
        Items Needed for Clinical Experience             Actions Necessitating Completion of
        Professional Liability Insurance                 Disposition Forms
        Basic Cardiac Life Support Certification         Procedures for Assessing Dispositions
        Health and Accident Insurance
        Health/Immunization Requirement            VII. Appendices
        Infectious Disease                                Confidentiality Statement
        HIV, Hepatitis B, and Tuberculosis Work           Affirmation of the Honor Code
        Restrictions                                      Student Rights and Responsibilities
        Clinical Preparation
        Clinical Attendance
        Grading for Clinical Courses
“The College of Nursing and Health Sciences develops regional leaders for health care excellence.”

Expanded Statement of Purpose
The College of Nursing and Health Sciences embraces the core characteristics of Valdosta State
University as a comprehensive university. We strive to meet the needs of a diverse student population
within the framework of the needs of nursing and health care in the region. In addition, the pursuit of
excellence in the teaching/learning process and in interdisciplinary collaboration is essential to all we
do. The administration, faculty and staff are committed to the creation and development of a student-
centered, professional, supportive environment in which:

Baccalaureate students, prepared for entry level professional nursing, demonstrate critical thinking in
the provision of ethical and holistic health care to individuals, families and communities. Emphasis is
placed on the art and science of nursing as well as on the application of knowledge from the
humanities and the physical and behavioral sciences.

Graduate students, prepared for advanced professional nursing practice, demonstrate critical thinking
in the provision of ethical and holistic specialized health care to individuals, families and

Professional development, continuing education programming and community service activities are
provided to meet the needs of the region.

Faculty advances the educational program and the profession of nursing through excellence in
teaching, research, scholarship and creative work.

Core Values
Civility – a Blazer shows courtesy and compassion, as well as respect, for the dignity of every human

Integrity – each Blazer is responsible for his or her own actions, and our community is stronger when
we contemplate the context of our decisions and uphold the principles of trust and honesty.

Citizenship – each Blazer has an interest in the community and, therefore, a duty to stay informed to
make positive contributions and to support those who need help.

Excellence – each CONHS Blazer is dedicated to creating a culture where transformation is embraced
and reflected in evidence-based teaching and learning and is achieved by both faculty and students. All
stakeholders value and benefit from exemplary scholarship, service, teaching, and practice.

Success – each CONHS Blazer pursues growth through life-long learning, goal attainment, and
collaborative partnerships among all stakeholders who serve to optimize the health of the region.

Philosophy of Nursing

        Nursing is a caring, client-centered profession, grounded in a body of knowledge based on theory
and research, using humanistic values of altruism, equality, justice, and human dignity to care for people.
Functioning within a professional community, nursing values evidence-based practice, ethical codes, an
interdisciplinary culture, self-regulation, and authority over practice. Providing an important, unique service,
the nursing profession uses a body of theoretical knowledge from analytic and engaged ways of knowing
applied to practice. Professional registered nurses are inherently concerned with persons as whole beings in
continuous interaction within multiple contexts and systems.

        Health is defined by individuals, groups, families, and communities within the context of their
unique environments. Environment refers to socioeconomic, sociopolitical, physical, psychosocial and
health care changes that create the dynamic world which provides our daily context of living. The essence of
nursing is to help persons attain and maintain wellness in every dimension of their being. Professional
registered nurses foster healing environments for diverse populations and strive to promote wellness and
improve quality of life for people across the lifespan.

        As regional leaders for nursing excellence and learner-centered education, we believe education
transforms all involved, including a diverse population of learners, faculty, and clients. Nursing education is
committed to a technologically-enhanced learning community that promotes learner success. We believe
learners should be actively engaged, self-directed, accountable, and committed to lifelong learning. Faculty
members strive for instructional excellence, offer academic assistance, facilitate learning, and provide
enrichment for learners by coaching, guidance, and mentorship. Our purpose is to educate and graduate
registered nurses who are competent, caring, holistic, and reflective.

           Baccalaureate nursing education prepares safe, beginning generalists for entry into
professional nursing practice. Among the important roles of professional registered nurses educated at
the baccalaureate level are: competent care provider, health care coordinator, manager, leader, change
agent, and research consumer.

        Graduate nursing education builds on baccalaureate nursing education and prepares professional
registered nurses for advanced nursing practice in specialized clinical and functional roles. Advanced
nursing practice demands complex intellectual analysis, effective management and leadership,
scholarship, and interpersonal competencies. Graduate nursing education operationalizes the roles of
advanced nursing practice and lays the foundation for doctoral study.

Concepts of the Nursing Curriculum
Holism                                              a specific aspect and yet perceive themselves as
   Individuals are more than the sum of their       healthy.
parts. The mind, body, and soul function
together and cannot be separated. Because the       Teaching-Learning
whole person lives within a socio-cultural              Teaching and learning are life-long activities
context, the concept of holism is concerned with    that begin at birth and end at death. Life is a
the environment and the individual’s                continuous process of teaching and learning.
relationship to physical, emotional and spiritual   Nurses are responsible for educating individuals
aspects of living. Existence provides the essence   in need of health care instruction. The whole
of being and the framework for becoming             context of the teaching-learning interaction must
whole.                                              be considered for the occurrence to be beneficial
                                                    to all involved.
   Caring is a conscious nature concerned with      Cultural Competence
the well-being of others. Being aware of the           Cultural competence is the ability to deliver
wholeness of life, in the interactions and          health care with knowledge of and sensitivity to
meaning that are present in every occurrence.       cultural factors that influence the health
This concern and awareness provides a basis for     behavior of a person.
empowerment of self and others. Ethical
behavior is a foundation of this concept.           Nurse
                                                        Nurses recognize and integrate body-mind-
Competence                                          spirit holistic principles and modalities in daily
    Competence means being skillful in              life and clinical practice; and create healing
providing care using appropriate theory and         spaces within themselves that allow purpose of
management style. The nursing process is used       helping others feel safe and more in harmony;
to plan and implement safe,                         and share authenticity of unconditional presence
cost-effective, ethical care-based on theoretical   that helps to remove barriers to the healing
foundations. The application of scientific and      process.
mathematic principles and technological skills is
imperative for the nurse.                           Human Caring Process
                                                       The human caring process is the moral state
Health                                              in which the holistic nurse brings his or her
   Health is a dynamic concept that has             whole self into relationship to the whole self of
different meaning for individuals. Using a prism    significant beings which reinforces the meaning
as an analogy, the whole person has many facets     and experience of oneness and unity.
and angles, and within the facets and angles
may be imperfections                                Intuition
(impairments of health). The imperfections             Intuition is the perceived knowing of things
change the light as it is refracted through the     and events without the conscious use of rational
prism; however, there are some facets that          processes; using all the senses to receive
remain unchanged. The beauty of the refracted       information.
light may not be marred. Therefore, an
individual may have an impairment of health in
Definition of Terms                                 Family
Assessment                                              Family refers to persons connected by
   Assessment is the first step in the evaluation   biological, psychological, cultural, economic,
process. Assessment is the careful collection of    and legal bonds who perceive a sense of
data that becomes part of an organizational         connectedness and/or interdependence. The
whole. Assessment is measurable and is              family may be the environment or focus of
performed holistically with individuals,            client care.
families, and communities.
Community                                              Habilitation is the process of enabling, and
    Communities are groups of people who are        empowering persons or groups to acquire skills
organized together for common purposes or           and abilities not previously attained.
interests. Communities have common beliefs,
traditions, functions, and organizations.
Members of communities live together in             Health Promotion
interdependent relationships. Communities              Health promotion is a process enabling
influence the life processes of its members         people to exercise control of their health
based on the availability of resources and the      behaviors within their environment and to
ability to identify and mobilize various groups     recognize that health is a resource. Health
or forces within the global community.              promotion is more than healthy lifestyles, its
                                                    purpose is well-being.
   Consumers are the recipients of nursing care;    Disease Prevention
and choose the services which they believe will        Disease prevention refers to behaviors and
promote their health.                               interventions designed to protect persons from
                                                    actual and potential illnesses, and to decrease
Delegation                                          the likelihood of developing specific diseases.
    Delegation is the act of empowering one or      These behaviors and interventions include
more persons to represent you. Empowerment          primary, secondary and tertiary prevention
includes relationships with others nurtured by      activities:
collaboration, focusing on strengths, rights, and
abilities in a learning process. Negotiation is     Primary Prevention
utilizing a web, as a metaphorical structure,           Activities designed to promote healthy
helps to empower relationships as a process to      lifestyles and to prevent specific diseases from
facilitate communication and effective              occurring
                                                    Secondary Prevention
Evaluation                                             Early detection and prompt management of
    Evaluation entails judgment of data to what     diseases
is known. The process of evaluation utilizes
critical thinking, a complex mental process         Tertiary Prevention
including intuition and logic, to make accurate        Prevention of complications and further
nursing decisions in professional practice.         progression of diseases

Assisted Care                                       Research
   Assisted care involves using collaborative           Research is a systematic process of
relationships in the performance, direction, and    investigation for development and verification
supervision of therapeutic intervention.            of theory. Scientific procedures designed to
                                                    promote the collection, analysis, and
Management/Leadership                               interpretation of data to contribute to
   Management and leadership are the                development of nursing knowledge and practice.
empowerment of persons to accomplish goals
by using time and other resources effectively.      Junior Level Objectives
Managers and leaders use knowing, caring,
moral responsibility, networking, reciprocity,         1. Analyze theoretical, empirical, and
cooperation, intuition and logic activities to             experiential knowledge gained from the
promote health.                                            liberal arts, human and natural sciences,
                                                           and nursing to develop holistic plans of
Negotiation                                                care for individuals, families, and
   Negotiation is the process of viewing                   populations throughout the lifespan.
empowerment and relationships as the means to          2. Collaborate with other health care
facilitate communication, effective delegation of          partners to assess, plan, implement, and
authorities and responsibilities, or person-to-            evaluate safe effective care.
person resolution.                                     3. Demonstrate critical thinking and
                                                           effective communication with evidence
Professionalism                                            of sound decision-making.
        Professionalism is a learned pattern of        4. Identify evidence from research and
behavior based upon a code of ethics. The                  nursing practice to plan, implement, and
behavior of the professional nurse is motivated            evaluate nursing care.
by an altruistic sense of commitment,                  5. Apply the nursing process to primary,
responsibility, and accountability to our global           secondary, and tertiary care.
community. Professional nurses are members of          6. Adhere to ethical principles and
an association of practitioners engaged in                 professional standards of nursing
continual efforts to improve the quality of                practice.
nursing practice. Nurses are participants in the       7. Apply teaching/learning principles that
development and implementation of public                   consider gender, age, development,
policy that promotes and protects the health and           education, and culture in promoting
well-being of society.                                     optimal health and wellness.
                                                       8. Identify trends and issues that affect
Rehabilitation                                             health, access to health care, advocacy,
    Rehabilitation is the process of assisting a           and human dignity.
person’s adaptation from one state of being to         9. Examine ethical and legal issues
another. The focus is on assisting patients and            affecting professional nursing practice
groups in modifying themselves or their                    and patient advocacy.
environment toward optimum function and                10. Incorporate technology in planning and
health.                                                    delivering nursing care.

Baccalaureate Program Objectives                   ADMISSION, PROGRESSION &
   1. Synthesize theoretical, empirical, and
       experiential knowledge gained from the      Pre-Licensure BSN Admission Criteria
   2. liberal arts, human and natural sciences,
       and nursing to develop holistic plans of       1. Applicants must be accepted into
       care for individuals, families, and               Valdosta State University as
       populations throughout the lifespan               undergraduate students prior to
   3. Coordinate with other health care                  application submission. Please note that
       professionals to assess, plan, implement,         acceptance to the nursing program is
       and evaluate safe, effective care                 separate from, and conditional to,
   4. Deliver holistic care using critical               acceptance to Valdosta State University.
       thinking, sound decision-making, and              Students will be required to provide a
       effective communication                           valid VSU student identification number
   5. Integrate evidence from research and               on their nursing application.
        nursing practice to plan, implement, and
       evaluate nursing care                          2. Minimum cumulative overall GPA of
   6. Apply leadership and current                       2.8 based on all attempted coursework,
       management principles as a novice                 and a minimum nursing GPA of 3.0
       professional nurse in the effective               based on prerequisite course required for
       delivery of health care                           the nursing major. Nursing GPA is
   7. Integrate professional standards and               calculated based on courses listed on the
       ethical principles into nursing practice          core curriculum worksheet. If a course
   8. Promote health for individuals, families,          is repeated, only the most current grade
        and populations throughout the lifespan          will be calculated, whether the grade is
       incorporating teaching/learning                   better or worse than the first. See
       principles                                        special requirements for areas DIIB and
   9. Demonstrate knowledge and awareness                F below.
       of trends and issues that affect health,
       access to health care,                            All prerequisites must be completed
       advocacy, and human dignity                       prior to the start of the program.
   10. Advocate for persons, groups, and                 (Effective February 1, 2020. Prior
       populations throughout the lifespan               applicants refer to previous handbook)
       based on awareness of issues and
       trends that affect health
   11.Integrate technology in planning,
      delivery, and evaluation of nursing care.

ENGL 1101- Composition I                      4. Successful completion of the required
   ENGL 1102 _ Composition II                       standardized entrance examination. The
   BIOL 2651 – Human Anatomy &                      entrance exam may be repeated no more
                Physiology I*                       than twice in the 12 months prior to the
   BIOL 2652 – Human Anatomy &                      application deadline. Scores submitted
                Physiology II*                      for the entrance exam must reflect a test
   BIOL 2900 – Microbiology in health and           date no more than 12 months prior to
                disease*                            application to the nursing program.
   MATH 2620 – Statistical Methods*                 Students taking the exam at an
   NURS 2700 – Pathophysiology*                     institution other than VSU are
   PSYC 2103 – Human Growth and                     responsible for contacting the testing
                 Development                        agency to have the results submitted
   One Science Sequence in area DIIB.               directly to VSU.
   Choose from one of the following
   sequences:                                 Important Considerations:
   CHEM 1151 – Survey of Chemistry I*         Applicants who have attended another nursing
   CHEM 1151 – Survey of Chemistry II*        program must petition the undergraduate
                         Or                   nursing program’s Admissions & Progressions
   CHEM 1211 & 1211L – Principles of          Committee PRIOR to application for eligibility
   Chemistry I & Lab*:                        consideration into the program. Any nursing
   CHEM 1212 & 1212L – Principles of          student who fails to disclose previous exclusions
              Chemistry II & Lab*             from a previous program is subject to immediate
                    Or                        dismissal from the current program.
   BIOL 1010 & 1020L – Introduction to
   Biology: The Evolution and Diversity of    Students are considered for admission based on
            Life & Biodiversity Lab*          academic performance in required pre-nursing
                                              core curriculum, performance on a standardized
   BIOL 1030 & 1040L – Introduction to        entrance test, and availability of resources.
   Biology: Organismal Biology &              Meeting minimum admission standards does not
   Organismal Biology Lab*                    guarantee acceptance into the program.
                                              Admission decisions are based on a
                                              COMPETITIVE process using a nursing GPA
                                              calculation based on the student’s prerequisite
3. Minimum of ‘C’ in each math and            coursework. Transfer grades from other colleges
   science course in Areas DIIB and F.        and universities that meet the criteria for the
   NURS 2700 is considered as a science       required nursing Core Curriculum courses will
   requirement. Math and science courses      be used in the computation of the overall and
   in area DIIB and F may not be repeated     nursing GPA for the School of Nursing.
   more than one time. Courses in Area F
   older than 5 years at time of program
   application deadline must be retaken for
   consideration into the program.

•   The undergraduate nursing program
                                                        Validation of Physical Examination;
There are two types of admission:                       ➢ Documentation of vaccination,
Full acceptance is offered when all criteria are          immunity or exemption status of
met and a seat is available. Students who meet            Measles, Mumps and Rubella
all admission criteria, but for whom there is not       ➢ Tetanus toxoid,
an available seat, will be notified and their           ➢ Hepatitis B vaccination,
applications will be held active until after the        ➢ Varicella titer
first week of classes in which the cohort begins        ➢ TB (students should receive TB
the upper division nursing program. If seats              screening annually for students with
become available students will be notified                negative test). Accepted tests include:
immediately. It is therefore critical that                a single blood assay for M.
applicants keep the School of Nursing updated             tuberculosis (BAMT) QuantiFERON-
with current address, email and phone number.             TB Gold blood test (QFT-GIT or T-
                                                          Spot); or 2 step tuberculin skin test
Contingent acceptance is predicated upon                  (TST); or
successful completion of unmet criteria.                ➢ Chest X-ray followed by a symptom
Applicants not selected for admission who wish            check list annually;
to be considered for future cohorts will need to        ➢ Flu Vaccine
complete the entire admission process again for
the next available cohort prior to the next         •   Drug testing as requested by clinical
application deadline as well as the completion          agencies or School of Nursing;
of academic and applicant advising. An              •   Maintain current certificate in BLS for
applicant will not be considered an active              Healthcare Provider (Basic CPR) by
applicant if he or she does not complete the            American Heart Association or a
entire application process. All applicants must         comparable certifying agency;
meet admission criteria in place at time of         •   Maintain current malpractice insurance
application, which may be different from                with minimum coverage of
previous application period.                            $1,000,000/$6,000,000;
                                                    •   Maintain current health insurance.
Progression                                             Nursing students are mandated by the
                                                        USG to maintain health insurance.
Progression in the nursing curriculum is based          Registration will be automatic and the
on the progression criteria of Valdosta State           charge will be applied to your student
University. Nursing students must submit prior          bill unless waived. The approximate cost
to the first day of every semester, to include          is $2,676.00 Waivers may be applied for
Junior I semester:                                      via the USG waiver portal. See
   •   Documentation of a current physical              information. Please note you must be
       examination by a licensed health care            registered for courses prior to
       provider affirming that they are free            applying for a waiver.
       from communicable disease and able to
       function safely in a clinical environment.

Comprehensive Testing Policy
Proof of each of these progression requirements           In addition to successful completion of
is due the first class day or as otherwise noted      coursework, students are required to participate
on master calendar.                                   in the Comprehensive Testing Program. The
                                                      Comprehensive Testing Program includes
 In addition, a student must:                         independent review of selected nursing content
Attain a minimum of C in each nursing course          and completion of standardized tests. Specific
including a weighted exam average of at least 74      standardized tests have been selected for
in selected course. A student will receive the        progression in nursing and require attainment of
letter grade D or F based on the weighted exam        a designated score.
average earned in the course, if the grade is < 74.
[Student is referred to “Grading Policies for         Pre-Licensure BSN Student Comprehensive
Clinical Course”].                                    Testing Policy
                                                          The testing program correlates with success
Many courses have a lab/clinical component.           in nursing by using scheduled exams that are
For successful completion of courses with a           required for progression. Students are required
lab/clinical component, students must attain a        to achieve a target score (identified through
minimum of C including a weighted exam                psychometric analysis) on standardized tests
average of at least 74 and a “satisfactory”           throughout the nursing curriculum. This score is
lab/clinical evaluation. If the lab/clinical          identified through psychometric analysis as
component of the course is “unsatisfactory”, a        consistent with success in nursing and reflects
grade of D will be assigned for an exam average       VSU School of Nursing’s academic standards
of 66 or greater and a grade of F will be             for student performance. As data on test
assigned for an exam average below 66. Grades         performance is developed and as the
will not be rounded.                                  benchmarks for academic achievement in the
                                                      nursing program advance, this score may
Only one nursing course may be repeated.              change. The actual score is also dependent upon
Failure to achieve a grade of C or better in a        which version of the test is administered.
repeated nursing course or in any subsequent          Students may request information regarding the
nursing course constitutes dismissal from the         required score for each test administered by
program.                                              contacting the School of Nursing Administrative
Achieve satisfactory score on standardized tests.
(See testing policy).                                 Enrollment Limitations
                                                          Enrollment limitations are necessary in order
Demonstrate ethical and professional behaviors        to ensure appropriate, supervised clinical
consistent with the VSU Student Government            experiences. Admitted students who decide not
Association Code of Ethics, the VSU School of         to enter the nursing program are requested to
Nursing Student Honor Code, the American              notify the School of Nursing department
Nurses Association (ANA) Scope and Standards          immediately, so their place in the class can be
of Practice (as applied to their level) and the       reassigned. In fairness to all applicants, the
ANA Code of Ethics.                                   admission offer is valid only for the time
                                                      specified in the acceptance letter.

Students with prior conviction of a felony
charge may not be allowed to sit for the
National Council Licensure Examination upon
graduation. Graduation from an approved
nursing program is but one requisite for
applying for licensure. The jurisdictional Board
of Nursing makes the final decision on
eligibility. Before applying to the undergraduate
nursing program any student who has a
conviction for a felony or misdemeanor offense
is strongly encouraged to seek the advice of the

Drug Screening
A drug screen may be required prior to and
during placement in clinical sites. Placement in
health care agencies for clinical experiences is
contingent upon meeting the rules and
regulations of each facility. All students are
required to submit a criminal background check
prior to admission to clinical practica. Results of
criminal background checks are sent directly to
the clinical facility in which the student is
placed; the School of Nursing staff, faculty and
administration do not have access these reports.
If a clinical agency determines that a student is
not eligible to be placed in their facility due to
results of a criminal background check or drug
screening, the School of Nursing will be notified
that a student may not be placed but the reason
will not be communicated. The Associate Dean
will attempt to place students in an alternative
setting, but this is not guaranteed. If a student
cannot be placed in a clinical setting the student
may be referred to the Admissions and
Progression Committee for possible dismissal
from the program.

Core Performance Standards
 Nurses have an obligation not only to
themselves and the profession but also to the
public to provide safe, competent and
responsible care.

Core performance standards for admission and
progression as recommended by the Southern
Regional Educational Board (SREB).

Critical thinking ability for effective clinical
reasoning and clinical judgment consistent with
level of educational preparation.

Interpersonal skills sufficient for professional
interactions with a diverse population of
individuals, families and groups.

Communication skills sufficient for verbal and
written professional interactions.

Psychomotor skills sufficient for providing safe,
effective nursing care.

Assessment skills sufficient for providing safe,
effective nursing care.

Reasonable Accommodations

If an applicant or student self-reports that he or
she cannot meet one or more of the core
performance standards without
accommodations, the nursing program, in
consultation with the Student Access Office,
will determine what accommodations can
reasonably be made. Applicants and students are
responsible for making disabilities known and
formally seeking accommodations.
  Students requesting classroom accommodations
  or modifications because of a documented
  disability should contact the Access Office for
  Students with Disabilities located in Farbar Hall.
  The numbers are 245-2498 (voice) and 219-1348
  (tty). Website:

Course Withdrawals/Failures                          documenting these courses must accompany the
                                                     readmission application. When a student is
Voluntary student withdrawals from a course(s)       readmitted, written notification of the curricular
are limited to a single semester. If a student       requirements for graduation will be provided
wishes to voluntarily withdraw, the student must     with the acceptance notice. The student will be
first notify the course instructor(s) and academic   responsible for abiding by policies and
advisor. The academic advisor will develop an        procedures in effect at the time of readmission.
action plan in collaboration with the student and
course instructor(s). If a student withdraws from    Additional Expenses
one or more courses within the same semester,        Nursing students will incur expenses throughout
the withdrawal limit established by the BSN          the program above the fees identified in the
program of study will be met.                        Valdosta State University Undergraduate
For example, if a Junior 1 student chooses to        Bulletin. Additional costs may include but are
withdraw from one or more courses at midterm,        not limited to:
the student will no longer have the option of         • Transportation to and from clinical practica
withdrawing from any Junior 2, Senior 1, or               is the responsibility of the student. Travel
Senior 2 courses.                                         to some clinical agencies may require 1 to 2
                                                          hours of time and public transportation is
Students who withdraw or attain a final grade of          not available. It is necessary therefore, that
less than a 74/C in a nursing course and wish to          students have (or can arrange for)
continue in the nursing program are considered            dependable transportation.
to be “out of sequence” and must submit a             • Student professional liability insurance
course override                                           must be purchased and maintained
(           throughout the School of Nursing academic
health-sciences/forms/override-request-                   program. Proof of insurance coverage is
form.php) requesting permission to register for           required before students can participate in
course(s) in the subsequent semester. Students            clinical experiences. The cost is
who are out of sequence and eligible for                  approximately $35/year.
reenrollment will be enrolled in courses              • Certification in BLS for Healthcare
contingent upon space availability. The three             Provider (Basic CPR) is required. The cost
year program duration limit is also applicable.           of the certification is determined by the
Consideration will be given to students with              training agency. The current cost is
hardship and/or medical withdrawals that are              approximately $50-$60.
validated and documented according to the VSU         • Immunization Tracker (approximately $35)
policy for hardship and medical withdrawals.              and Drug Screen (approximately $37) via
Any student who has received an unsatisfactory        • Criminal Background Check is
clinical evaluation for a course that was due to          approximately $ 49.50 Proof (receipt)
unsafe, irresponsible or unprofessional behavior          should be uploaded into the Immunization
may not be eligible for readmission.                      Tracker.
                                                      • Testing-related costs:
If courses have been taken at another college or           Testing will be conducted via Examplify
university during the time the student is out of           from ExamSoft. The approximate cost
the VSU School of Nursing, transcripts                     is $40/semester.

•   Nursing Students will be required to         The purchase of Nursing Skills Pack
       furnish an iPad (accessories optional) for   (approximate cost $136) is required prior to the
       use for the duration of the program. This    first semester. The pack contains the equipment
       iPad is also available at VSU Bookstore      and supplies need to practice selected nursing
       and can be purchased on the day of           skills. Two sets of uniforms are also needed.
       orientation.                                 These must be purchased from bookstore.
       The requirement of the iPad Equipment:
       Required:                                    The School of Nursing uses a Standardized
       • MLMN2LL/A 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-            Assessment Package with an NCLEX-RN
           Fi 32GB or better                        Review Course. This standardized assessment
                                                    package will be used during orientation and
        Recommended:                                throughout the entire nursing program as an
        • 2-Year AppleCare+ for iPad                academic measuring tool and as a focused
        • MM1Y2AM/A Silicone Case for               remediation tool.
           9.7-inch iPad Pro
        • MM2L2AM/A Smart Keyboard for              There is a charge of approximately $800-$900
           9.7-inch iPad Pro                        to cover the costs of the assessment package.
                                                    This fee will be paid directly to the company
        • MK0C2AM/A Apple Pencil for iPad
                                                    providing the assessment package and will be
                                                    divided into 4 payments (1 payment/semester).
        • MLMV2LL/A 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-
                                                    Please note that additional testing charges
           Fi 128GB
                                                    may be incurred for repeating courses/tests
 Note: Students can get a 10% Educational
                                                    that are not passed.
Discount for the iPad itself by purchasing
directly from Apple at: Apple Education
                                                    All pre-licensure students are required to
                                                    attend an external NCLEX Review course.
                                                    Applying for Graduation
Students will be required to follow policies
                                                    Students should apply for graduation at least
related to using BlazeVIEW, email, and
                                                    two full semesters in advance of the anticipated
computing resources on campus. Information
                                                    graduation date. Students should complete an
related to requirements for using BlazeVIEW
                                                    Electronic Graduation Application or pick up a
may be found on the VSU Distance Learning
                                                    form from the Registrar. The application fee is
web site at:
                                                    approximately $25.00.
and the Information Technology website on
                                                    Preparation for Licensure
policies at
                                                    Near the end of the program students will
                                                    submit an application to take the nursing
The purchase of textbooks and related materials
                                                    licensure examination (NCLEX-RN®). Though
is required each semester. The approximate cost
                                                    the cost for the licensure examination (NCLEX-
for books and materials per semester is:
                                                    RN®) is consistent for all jurisdictions, the cost
     Semester 1 - $442.26 (Added to Fee &
                                                    of the application depends on the state in which
     Tuition as “DayOne”)Students may opt out
                                                    the examination is taken, and varies from $40 to
            Semester 2 - $404.94
                                                    $275. The application cost is in addition to the
            Semester 3 - $218.70
                                                    actual testing fees for the licensure examination.
            Semester 4 - $162.43
CLINICAL INFORMATION                                  Health agencies may be determined by the
                                                      specific agency. The VSU name badge/ID is
Clinical Requirements                                 always required in any clinical setting.
VSU Nursing Uniforms
   The following constitutes general policies            In all other cases, however, dress is to be
regarding professional attire. These uniforms or      conservative and the following guidelines
dress requirements are subject of change at the       should be observed (along with the guidelines
discretion of the clinical instructor in order that   for Personal Adornment and Aesthetics in the
we maintain consistency with the dress code of        student handbook):
our affiliating clinical intuitions.
                                                      Female Students:
   VSU nursing students are required to wear             1. Blouses of a conservative style covering
the approved VSU uniform (white tunic top                   shoulders, back, stomach, and upper
with red pants) name tag, and lab jacket. These             arms, and cleavage
items must be purchased from the VSU                     2. Dress slacks or pressed khakis (no jeans,
Bookstore. Sizing is available in the bookstore.            capris, leggings, or ankle pants) are
Uniforms must be ordered and paid in advance.               preferable to skirts; skirts should be
Skirts may be worn by female students who                   below the knee to mid-calf in length
have religious or cultural preferences. Skirts           3. Closed-toe flats or comfortable loafers
must conform to the fabric and color of uniform             or dress shoes of a conservative style,
pants. Students must also purchase a name tag.              with a heel no higher than 1 and 1/2
                                                            inches (no sandals, flip-flops, or tennis
      Dress requirements may vary from course               shoes)
to course, depending upon CDC Personnel                  4. The VSU name badge/ID is always
Health Guidelines and policies of facilities.               required in any clinical setting
                                                         5. If required, white lab coat with V
    To meet OSHA safety requirements for                    State logo
shoes in settings in which fluid exposures may
occur, with uniforms, students should wear            Male Students:
shoes that: are leather OR impervious to fluids;        1. Short or long sleeve dress shirt or golf-
have rubber soles and closed toes and heels; and            style collared shirt
flat or low heels. They should be solid white or        2. Dress slacks or pressed khakis (no jeans)
solid black in color. The requirements for shoes        3. Closed-toe loafers or comfortable dress
in certain agencies may be more specific and if             shoes of a conservative style, with socks
so, must be observed by the student. The VSU            4. The VSU name badge/ID is always
Bookstore does NOT carry nursing shoes.                     required in any clinical setting
                                                        5. If required, white lab coat with V
Dress Code for Community Health Agencies                    State logo
    The attire for public health and public-school
settings is the same as for hospital settings.        Dress for Mental Health Agencies
Students are to wear their VSU student nurse             The attire for clinical in mental health
uniforms; and the guidelines for Personal             agencies will be determined by the specific
Adornment and Aesthetics are to be observed as        agency. In all cases, however, dress is to be
outlined in the student handbook. The attire for      conservative and the following guidelines
any other clinical experiences in Community           should be observed:
All students should dress in a professional          artificial nail surfaces may not be worn.
manner.                                              Jewelry must be limited to a wedding band
1. General guidelines: Street Clothes                and/or one (1) small stud in lobe of pierced ears.
         a. No tight fitting, nor revealing          Perfumes, aftershave, and other scented
             clothing;                               products are prohibited. False eyelashes are
         b. No exposed shoulders                     prohibited.
         c. No cleavage
         d. No exposed skin showing torso.           Guidelines for Classroom Attire in the
         e. No capris                                College of Nursing and Health Sciences
         f. No denim of any color                    Undergraduate Programs
2. Flat, comfortable shoes, no exposed toes,             Socialization into the health professions
     heels or ankles                                 includes attention to personal appearance. The
3. Hose or socks are required                        School of Nursing encourages students to
4. Nothing around the neck: no neckties, or          project an image of professionalism not only in
     scarves or dangling jewelry                     clinical settings; but also on campus and in the
5. No body jewelry of any type any place             community when representing Valdosta State
     visible on the head, neck, mouth, and           University.
     extremities                                         Specifically, clothing that exposes buttocks,
     (Exception: one pair of stud earrings for       cleavage, or midriff; or that displays offensive
      pierced ears)                                  wording or profanity is unacceptable in the
6. Hair for both genders must be away from           classroom setting.
     face and pulled back if below shoulders
7. No visible tattoos and/or other body art on       Guidelines for Professional Meetings
    arms, hands, neck and extremities                   During a professional meeting, a polished
8. No sharps (scissors, Swiss Army Knife,            and poised image is important. Attire for such
     etc.) allowed                                   an occasion is different from attire worn to a
9. No incendiary devices (lighters) or               club, a party or on a date.
    cigarettes are allowed                           1. For men, appropriate business attire for a
10. No pagers, cell phones, or smart phones are          professional meeting includes khaki or dark
     to be taken on the units (family are to             pants, short or long-sleeved dress shirt with
     contact the College of Nursing and Health           tie, polo or golf shirt, a belt and dress shoes
     Sciences for emergencies 229-333-5959)              with dark socks. Neatness is imperative.
11. No book bags, or purses are allowed on the           Clothes must be clean and pressed. Hats are
   units                                                 discouraged unless part of religious
Personal Adornment and Aesthetics                    2. Women are expected to wear knee-length
    For safety, disease control, and patient              skirts or dresses; or tailored pants, sweater
comfort there are specific requirements related           sets or jackets with blouses. Extreme shoe
to adornment and appearance. Hair must be neat            styles, including but not limited to stilettos,
and secured back away from the face, so as not            should be avoided. Off-the-shoulder styles,
to create a hazard while caring for clients. Large        clothing that is excessively tight or that
hair bows, jewelry, or other adornment may not            exposes buttocks, thighs, cleavage, or
be worn in the hair. Fingernails should be                midriff is discouraged.
trimmed to an appropriate length so as not to be
hazardous to clients. Fingernail polish or
Guidelines for College of Nursing and Health        be counted as a clinical absence. It is the
Sciences Ceremonies                                 responsibility of the student to maintain
For College of Nursing and Health Sciences          coverage throughout the nursing curriculum and
Recognition/Pinning Ceremonies,                     to have the documentation available upon
undergraduate students are required to wear the     request of any authorized person. Students are
VSU nursing uniform, a white lab coat worn          encouraged to develop a portfolio of this and
over the uniform, and appropriate shoes.            other related documentation.

Items Needed for Clinical Experiences               Basic Cardiac Life Support
   Students must obtain equipment and                   Students enrolled in clinical nursing courses
uniforms needed for clinical laboratory             must acquire and maintain current certification
experiences within the first 2 weeks of the         for Basic Cardiac Life Support for Health Care
semester in which they enter nursing. These         Professionals - adult one and two rescuer,
items include:                                      infant, and child CPR and obstructed airway. It
                                                    is the nursing student’s responsibility to acquire
   1. Nursing Skills Pack (available at the         this certification and maintain it at all times. The
      VSU Bookstore)                                cost of certification is determined by the agency
   2. Stethoscope                                   providing the training and currently cost
   3. Watch with a second hand                      between $50-$60. Proof of current certification
   4. Uniforms (minimum of 2)                       must be submitted to the nursing instructor or
   5. White lab coat                                designee prior to the first day of each clinical
   6. Approved nursing shoes                        course, with a copy to be placed in the student’s
   7. VSU nursing patches (available at the         file at the College of Nursing and Health
      VSU Bookstore)                                Sciences.
   8. VSU Name Badge (available at the VSU
      Bookstore)                                    Health and Accident Insurance
   9. VSU OneCard ID                                    Students are responsible for the cost of
                                                    treatment of any accident or injury occurring
Professional Liability Insurance                    while enrolled in nursing coursework whether
    Students enrolled in clinical nursing courses   the incident occurs in the classroom, clinical
must show proof of professional liability           experiences, or personal activities. Students
insurance, minimum amount of $1,000,000/            enrolled in nursing courses must maintain
$3,000,000, on the first day of each clinical       personal health/accidental insurance. Students
nursing course, the student must show proof of      may be required to submit a health screening,
insurance coverage.                                 physical examination, and/or drug testing at the
    The student may purchase such liability         clinical agency in which they are placed for
insurance from a carrier of his/her choice. The     education experiences. Unless designated to the
School of Nursing has plan information that is      contrary, costs for these services are the
available on request. The School of Nursing         responsibility of the students.
does not endorse any particular carrier. Any
student without insurance, or without the
required proof, will not be allowed to attend
clinical, including mandatory orientations, until
this requirement is met. The missed time will

Student/Faculty Clinical

Health/Immunization Requirement
The goal of these requirements is to protect students, faculty, patients and staff from diseases and harm.
Published standards from the CDC were used to create these recommendations and are referenced
      Evidence                                                             Reference
                                                     Measles, Mumps and Rubella*
      Documentations of 2 doses of MMR Laboratory evidence of immunity                  MMWR, October 13, 2006
      Documented history of disease                                                     MMWR, June 1, 2006
      Born before 1957 except if no documentation of mumps vaccination or
      immunity should receive 1 dose of MMR
      Documentation of immunization with 2 doses of vaccine                             MMWR, June 2007
      Laboratory evidence of immunity
      History of varicella disease (date, age, description)
      Diagnosis of herpes zoster by healthcare provider
                                                                    Hepatitis B*
      Documentation of 3 doses of Hepatitis B vaccine with post vaccination             MMWR, December 23, 2005
      laboratory evidence of immunity
      Laboratory evidence of immunity
      Declination signed
      Proof of immunization including at least 1 dose of Tdap if received Td >2         MMWR, December 15, 2006
      years ago, otherwise Td within 10 years.
                                                             Annual TB Screening*
      Two-step tuberculin skin test (TST) 1-3 weeks apart if 1st is negative.           MMWR, December 30, 2005
      If previous documented negative TST within last 12 months, single TST.
      Previous BCG vaccination – TST as above
      If previous documented positive TEST – n TST.
      Baseline chest x ray or result documented. Annual symptom screen if
      previous positive TST
                                                                Influenza Vaccine
      Annual vaccination against influenza is recommended for health care               MMWR, August 8, 2008
      personnel to reduce risk of contracting the flu and to reduce the risk of         Recommendations of Advisory
      transmitting it to others                                                         Council on Immunization Practices
                                                   Health Exam*
      Performed by healthcare provider (physician, NP, PA) upon NS admission and when change in physical health
      occurs that may affect ability to fulfill educational requirements. Thereafter, a health form is completed by
      student/faculty including TB screening questions and change in health status .

      CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly reports can found at

Note:                                                For more information visit,
   • Mantoux tuberculin skin test (2 step 1 – or call (404)639-6101.
      3 weeks apart OR 2 years of annual
      testing) OR QuantiFERON-TB Gold
      blood test (QFT-GIT or T-spot) is              It is the policy of the School of Nursing that
      required annually.                             standard precautions must always be utilized by
   • If you have a history of positive TB test,      all students and faculty.
      proof of a negative chest x-ray (within
      five years) with an annual symptom
      questionnaire is required.                     HIV and Hepatitis B work restrictions:
   • Other immunizations may be required by            • Do not perform exposure-prone invasive
      the affiliating agencies unless a                    procedures until counsel from an expert
      documented medical contraindication                  review panel which recommends
      exists.                                              procedures that may be performed (CDC
                                                           Personnel Health Guidelines).
Infectious Disease                                     • If an expert panel is not available at the
   Any student or faculty member with patient              specific clinical agency or at the local
care responsibilities who knows, or has reason             health department, the Dean of the
to believe, that he/she has Human                          College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis,                   (or designee) will consult the CDC and
Tuberculosis, or any other infectious disease,             obtain an expert recommendation from
has the professional responsibility to report this         them for any procedure/ practice
information to the Associate Dean of the School            restrictions.
of Nursing. Students must also inform clinical
instructors.                                         Tuberculosis work restrictions (CDC):
                                                       • Active – exclude from duty until proved
The School of Nursing conforms to state and                noninfectious.
federal regulations regarding HIV status               • PPD converter – no restriction.
disclosure and discrimination toward students or
faculty members with HIV infection. All                 For all other diseases or conditions, see CDC
information disclosed by a student or faculty        Personnel Health Guidelines.
member regarding HIV status will be considered
as; AIDS Confidential Information (O.C.G.A.              Exposure-prone procedures are those which
24-9-47).                                            present a recognized risk of percutaneous injury
    Students and faculty members must also           to the health care worker, and, if such an injury
satisfy clinical agency requirements for             should occur, the health care worker’s blood is
disclosure and/or practice restrictions. If a        likely to come in contact with the patient’s body
clinical agency has no policy governing practice     cavity, subcutaneous tissue, and/or mucous
restrictions for a specific disease or condition,    membranes (CDC). Whenever a healthcare
then the current Centers for Disease Control         worker’s fingers and a sharp instrument, such as
(CDC) Personnel Health Guidelines will be            a needle or scalpel, are simultaneously in a
utilized.                                            poorly visualized or confined anatomic site, the
                                                     procedure is considered “exposure-prone.”

Clinical Preparation                                 situation as defined by the Unsafe Student
    Students are expected to prepare for all         Practice Policy, fails to submit/resubmit a
clinical experiences prior to the clinical day.      clinical assignment, or fails to complete all
Each student is responsible for securing             clinical hours. The reasons above are examples
information on assigned clients prior to the         and are not meant to be inclusive of all reasons
clinical practicum as well as supplying the          for receiving a “U”. Refer to Student
instructor, on the clinical day, with any required   Disposition Policy for details and examples of
written clinical preparation as required by          unsatisfactory performance.
instructor. At the beginning of the course, the
instructor will notify the class members of the      Grading for Clinical Courses
procedure for obtaining assignments.                    Many undergraduate courses have two
    When obtaining information from a clinical       components, both of which must be completed
site, students should identify themselves to the     successfully to result in satisfactory course
Charge Nurse as soon as they arrive on the unit;     credit of C or better. The grade for the theory
any questions concerning the patient should be       component is the result of course examinations,
addressed to the Charge Nurse. Any other             a comprehensive final examination, and other
questions should be addressed to the VSU             assigned work, indicated in the course syllabus.
instructor.                                          Each student must achieve an examination
    To meet hospital requirements, only the          average of ‘C ‘or better before other assigned
student may go to the units to secure                work is applied to the theory component of the
assignments. No children, friends, or family         grade. If a ‘C’ average is not achieved, the
members are allowed to accompany students.           course grade will be assigned solely on the
Proper attire must be worn to any clinical site,     examination average.
as directed by course faculty (see section on
clinical attire).                                       Clinical/lab work is given a “satisfactory” or
                                                     “unsatisfactory” evaluation. The student must
Clinical Attendance                                  achieve a satisfactory evaluation by the end of
    Students are expected to attend all              the course. If the clinical/lab component of the
clinical/laboratory experiences, and to arrive on    course is “satisfactory” and the student achieves
time. Clinical absences will result in an            the minimum 74% weighted exam calculation,
unsatisfactory clinical grade for the day missed     then the final course grade will be calculated
unless the absence is excused by the instructor.     using the weighted percentages stipulated in the
Students may be required to make up clinical         Course Grade section of the course syllabus.
absences. Students must notify the appropriate
faculty or agency personnel as soon as possible         If the clinical/lab component of the course is
when absence or late arrival at clinical is          “unsatisfactory”, a grade of D will be assigned
anticipated. If a student’s tardiness requires       for an exam average of 66 or greater and a grade
patient reassignment, the student may be             of F will be assigned for an exam average below
dismissed and given an unsatisfactory                66. Grades will not be rounded.
evaluation for the day.
                                                     Student Remediation of Psychomotor Skills
   Students will receive a "U" (unsatisfactory)         Students unable to perform certain clinical
grade for the clinical portion of the course if      skills may be offered the opportunity to relearn
he/she has two or more documented                    the skills(s) using learning activities available at
unsatisfactory lab/simulation or clinical days,      the School of Nursing.
violates HIPPA, participates in any unsafe act or                                                      19
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