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Nursing

Director: Dr. P. Lea Monahan
Office: Waggoner Hall 339
Telephone: (309) 298-2571 Fax: (309) 298-2270
E-mail: PL-Monahan@wiu.edu
Website: wiu.edu/nursing

Faculty: Auger, Bartlett, Baylor, Diefendorf, Eathington, Kooken, Monahan, Nash, Saddler, Whitehouse.

The School of Nursing at Western Illinois University is obligated to educating future professional nurses who are clinically competent using evidenced based practice as the norm, capable of critical thinking using information and information technology to design and redesign care and care systems, and ethically and legally accountable for their actions. The School offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) for pre-licensure students as well as a completion program for those students who are registered nurses.

Acceptance into the nursing major involves three stages:

  1. Be admitted to Western Illinois University.
  2. Complete all general education and nursing support course requirements.
  3. Make formal application to the nursing major.

GradTrac is available. See more information about GradTrac.

Pre-Licensure Program

Prospective nursing students must apply for and be granted regular admission to Western Illinois University and declare the Pre-Licensure program.

Admission to the Pre-Licensure Program

Individuals who wish to enter the Pre-Licensure program will declare their intent with admissions and must make an appointment with the nursing adviser. The student is then placed in a program where the general education and nursing support course requirements can be completed. All general education and nursing support courses must be satisfactorily completed by August 1 for fall semester admission and January 2 for spring semester admission into the nursing major.

There is no guarantee that students who are in the Pre-Licensure program will be admitted to the Nursing major. Please note that admission to the nursing major is highly competitive.

Students who have completed 60 semester hours of the general education and support courses or are in the final semester of completing the requirements may formally apply to the School of Nursing for admission to the nursing major.

Admission to the Nursing Major

Pre-Licensure Program: Students who wish to apply to the School of Nursing for admission to the major as a nursing student must:

  1. Have a completed application on file in the School of Nursing no later than March 1 for admission to the next fall semester and October 1 for admission to spring semester.
  2. Complete the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). The School of Nursing must receive the exam scores by March 1 for fall semester admission or by October 1 for spring semester admission.
  3. Provide evidence of English language proficiency by obtaining a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and successfully completing the English as a Second Language Program through the WESL Institute by August 1 for fall semester admission or by January 2 for spring semester admission. A satisfactory minimal passing TOEFL score is 560-paper based, 220-computer based, or an 83 on the internet Based Version (iBT). Only students whose native language is English are exempt from the English proficiency requirements.
  4. Complete all general education and nursing support course requirements by August 1 for fall semester admission or January 2 for spring semester.
  5. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all post secondary work. The following courses must have a grade of C+ (2.33) or better. All nursing support courses must be completed within the last five years. For nursing support courses over five years old, the student must submit a portfolio to the School of Nursing Committee for Admission, Progression and Retention detailing their work experiences and continuing education (CE) (requires documentation) since completing the course(s). The five year requirement for nursing support courses may be waived for those students who have maintained continuous work experience related to the nursing support courses or have continuous continuing education (CE) in nursing related to the nursing support courses since completing the courses. Individuals without documented current knowledge may have to take current nursing support courses.
    Nursing Support Courses
    1. ZOOL 230: Human Anatomy and Physiology I
    2. ZOOL 231: Human Anatomy and Physiology II
    3. CHEM 101: General Chemistry I
    4. CHEM 102: General Chemistry II
    5. FCS 109: Introduction to Nutrition
    6. FCS 121: Introduction to Life Span Development
    7. MICR 200: Introductory Microbiology
    8. STAT 171: General Elementary Statistics
    In addition, only one of these courses may be repeated if a grade of C+ (2.33) is not achieved. A student may repeat one course one time. Admission will be denied to any student who receives a second grade of less than C+ (2.33) for any nursing support course.
  6. Secure letters of reference from two professional references: one academic (i.e., instructor or professor) and one employer (i.e., supervisor). If there has been no employment, students may submit letters from two instructors/professors.
  7. By August 1 before fall semester admission or January 2 before spring semester admission, provide documentation to Beu Health Center verifying that all health requirements for admission to the School of Nursing have been met. Health requirements are different from the standard University requirements. (Students are responsible for all costs incurred for admission as well as ongoing health requirements.)
  8. By August 1 before fall semester admission or January 2 before spring semester admission, provide documentation to the School of Nursing verifying that all safety requirements have been met. (Students are responsible for all costs incurred for admission as well as ongoing safety requirements.)
    1. Criminal background check—All applicants are required to submit a criminal background check. Details will be given to the student upon admission to the program.
    2. Drug screen—All applicants are required to be drug tested on admission with random drug screens thereafter.
    3. Applicants with a felony conviction or a positive drug screen may be denied entry into the clinical facility for clinical practice. If a student is denied entry into a clinical facility due to a felony conviction or positive drug screen, the student must withdraw from the program.

Students who do not meet the March 1 and/or the January 2 deadlines may be allowed to begin in the fall semester if space is available. If space is not available, the student must reapply during the next admission process.

This program is highly competitive. Meeting or exceeding the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

RN-BSN Completion Program : Individuals who are registered nurses with either an associate’s degree in nursing or a diploma in nursing will first be admitted to Western Illinois University and request the RN-BSN Completion program. RN students may formally apply to the School of Nursing for admission to the nursing major after all general education and support course requirements have been satisfied.

RN students who wish to apply to the School of Nursing for admission to the nursing major must:

  1. Have a completed application on file in the School of Nursing no later than August 1 for admission to fall semester.
  2. Submit a current copy of the License as a Registered Professional Nurse issued by the state of current residence and practice.
  3. Provide evidence of English language proficiency by obtaining a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and successfully completing the English as a Second Language Program through the WESL Institute by August 1 for fall semester admission or by January 2 for spring semester admission. A satisfactory minimal passing TOEFL score is 560-paper based, 220-computer based, or an 83 on the internet Based Version (iBT). Only students whose native language is English are exempt from the English proficiency requirements.
  4. Complete (or transfer in) all general education and nursing support course requirements by August 1 for fall semester admission. There are 60 semester hours of general education and nursing support course requirements.
  5. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.33 on a 4.0 scale for all post secondary work. The following courses (or comparable courses) must have a grade of C+ (2.33) or better. All nursing and nursing support courses must be completed within the last five years. For nursing courses and/or nursing support courses over five years old, the student must submit a portfolio to the School of Nursing Committee for Admission, Progression and Retention detailing their practice and continuing education (CE) (requires documentation) since graduation from nursing school. The five year requirement for nursing courses and nursing support courses may be waived for those students who have maintained continuous practice or have continuous continuing education (CE) in nursing since graduation from their associates or diploma program. Nurses without continuous practice or continuous continuing education (CE) in nursing may have to take current nursing support courses.
    Nursing Support Courses
    1. ZOOL 230: Human Anatomy and Physiology I
    2. ZOOL 231: Human Anatomy and Physiology II
    3. CHEM 101: General Chemistry I*
    4. CHEM 102: General Chemistry II*
    5. FCS 109: Introduction to Nutrition
    6. FCS 121: Introduction to Life Span Development
    7. MICR 200: Introductory Microbiology
    8. STAT 171: General Elementary Statistics
    In addition, only one of these courses may be repeated if a grade of C+ (2.33) is not achieved. A student may repeat one course one time. Admission will be denied to any student who receives a second grade of less than C+ (2.33).
    *The CHEM 101 and CHEM 102 requirement may be waived if the chemistry course the student completed [at least a C+ (2.33)] was at the college level and included organic chemistry and the Natural Sciences and Mathematics General Education requirement has been met. The credit hour requirement is not waived and the student must complete the 125 semester hours required for the degree.
  6. Secure letters of reference from two professional references—one academic (i.e., instructor or professor) and one employer (i.e., supervisor). If there has been no employment, students may submit letters from two instructors/professors.
  7. By August 1 before fall semester admission, provide documentation to Beu Health Center verifying that all University health requirements have been met. (Students are responsible for all costs incurred for admission as well as ongoing health requirements.)

Advanced Placement Credit

The registered nurse who has graduated from a state approved Associates of Applied Science in Nursing or Diploma nursing program will receive 30 semester hours of “advanced placement credit” provided they: 1) graduated within the last five years or 2) graduated more than five years ago and maintained continuous practice or have continuous continuing education (CE) in nursing since graduation from their Associates or Diploma program and 3) successfully completed (C+ or better) the Gateway Nursing Courses identified below. The registered nurse who graduated more than five years ago and does not have continuous practice as a registered nurse or continuous continuing education in nursing must take the RN Comprehensive Predictor from Assessment Technologies Institute to validate current nursing knowledge. Upon successful completion (C+ or better) of the Gateway Nursing Courses NURS 300 Theoretical and Conceptual Foundations of Professional Nursing, NURS 302 Health Assessment, and NURS 301 Systems of are in Professional Nursing, advanced placement credit will be placed on the students’ WIU transcript in lieu of the 30 semester hours of transferred clinical courses required by prelicensure students.

Retention in Nursing Major

  1. All students who are admitted to the School of Nursing must attend a mandatory orientation session to be held the week before classes begin. This is an all-day session. Failure to attend orientation will result in the student being dropped and the student will have to reapply the following spring semester.
  2. A student must earn a minimum grade of C+ (2.33) in all nursing and support courses. If a student fails to earn a minimum grade of C+ (2.33) in any nursing or support course, the student may repeat the course one time. If a student earns less than a C+ (2.33) in more than one support course and one nursing course, the student will be dismissed from the nursing program.
  3. After acceptance into the nursing program, each student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for coursework in the nursing major to remain in the nursing program. Students with less than a 3.0 GPA for coursework completed after admission to the nursing major will be dismissed from the nursing program. A student who has been dismissed from the program may appeal to the School of Nursing Committee for Admission, Progression, and Retention for readmission to the program. If the committee grants readmission, the student will develop a plan for remediation and continued success with the nursing academic adviser subject to approval by the Committee for Admission, Progression, and Retention.
  4. To register for nursing courses, students are required to have an up-to-date health form on file with Beu Health Center and an up-to-date safety requirement form in the School of Nursing. Students will not be allowed in the clinical courses without up-to-date health and safety requirements met.

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

All students seeking the Bachelor of Science in Nursing must complete I, II, III, and IV below, and the foreign language/global issues requirement for the major#. The minimum semester hour requirement for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is 125 s.h.

  1. University General Education curriculum : 45 s.h.
    (To include CHEM 101, 102; FCS 109; PHIL 120; PSY 100; SOC 100; STAT 171; Multicultural Studies Elective)
  2. Core Courses: 21 s.h.
    NURS 301, 302, 303, 316, 405, 407, 408†
  3. Emphasis of Study (Select A or B)
    1. Pre-Licensure
      1. NURS 305, 310, 318, 322, 324, 328, 422, 424, 425, 428: 41 s.h.
      2. Select one course from: NURS 430, 431, 432, 433: 3 s.h.
    2. RN-BSN Completion
      1. NURS 300, 308, 409†: 9 s.h.
      2. Select two courses from NURS 430, 431, 432, 433: 6 s.h.
      3. Transfer nursing courses from associate’s degree or diploma in nursing: 29 s.h.
  4. Other Requirements: 15 s.h.
    FCS 121; MICR 200; ZOOL 230, 231

#The foreign language/global issues graduation requirement may be fulfilled by successfully completing one of the following: 1) an intermediate foreign language requirement; 2) a General Education global issues course; 3) any major’s discipline-specific global issues course; or 4) an approved study abroad program.

†NURS 408 fulfills the Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) graduation requirement for the Pre-Licensure emphasis.

†NURS 408 and 409 fulfill the Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) graduation requirement for the RN-BSN Completion emphasis.

Course Descriptions

NURSING (NURS)

300 Theoretical and Conceptual Foundations of Professional Nursing. (3) The theoretical and conceptual foundations of professional nursing practice are explored. The evolving roles of nursing are analyzed in terms of role preparation, scope of practice, certifications, and career mobility and advance opportunities. Prerequisites: admission to the RN-BSN completion program.

301 Systems of Care in Professional Nursing. (3) This course examines the development and current directions of the U.S. health care system as it relates to professional nursing. It explores the contexts of political, social, financial, and geographic differences as they pertain to the nursing profession. Prerequisite: NURS 300 or 305.

302 Health Assessment. (3) This course presents the basic elements of health assessment of all body systems as well as recording a patient’s medical history. Physical and psychosocial assessment will be practiced. A clinical/ laboratory component course. Prerequisite: admission to the BSN program or permission of program director.

303 Pathophysiology and Psychopathology. (3) Disease processes are discussed within the context of underlying pathology, clinical presentation and manifestation, and treatment alternatives. Diagnostic techniques, common therapies, nursing interventions, and review of body systems are included. Both physical and psychological manifestations of disease are discussed. Prerequisite: admission to the BSN program.

305 Introduction to Professional Nursing. (3) This course provides the foundation for professional nursing practice by explaining the American Nurses Association scope and standards of practice as well as the code of ethics for nurses. Prerequisite: admission to the BSN program.

308 Ethical and Legal Issues in Professional Practice. (3) This course examines the legal foundations of nursing practice and the ethical decisions nurses have to make. Prerequisite: NURS 300.

310 Fundamentals of Nursing. (6) This course introduces the novice nurse to the basic processes, skills, and practice needed to provide care for clients of all ages using a self-care framework. Includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical learning experiences. Corequisites: NURS 302 and 305.

316 Transcultural Nursing. (2) The student will examine health beliefs and health practices of a variety of different groups in order to be able to provide culturally appropriate care for clients. Field trips will be used to reinforce learning. Prerequisite: admission to the BSN program or permission of the program director.

318 Nursing Theory and Trends. (2) The novice nurse examines major theoretical models of nursing. Selected frameworks will be discussed for their usefulness in providing individual, family, and community nursing care. Prerequisite: NURS 305.

322 Adult and Child Nursing I. (5) Students provide nursing care for clients from childhood through old age with acute and chronic needs related to circulation and oxygenation. Clinical experiences will occur in various settings. Prerequisites: NURS 303, 310, 316. Corequisite: NURS 324.

324 Pharmacology. (3) This course introduces the students to the pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of broad categories of pharmacologic agents. Prerequisite: NURS 310.

328 (formerly NURS 423) Mental Health Nursing. (3) Students provide nursing care for clients from childhood through old age with acute and chronic needs related to mental health. Clinical experiences will occur in various settings. Prerequisite or corequisite: NURS 322.

405 Nursing and the Community. (4) This course focuses on understanding and practicing public health and community health nursing, including epidemiology, client system, health behavior, health accommodation, stress and adaptation, and levels of prevention, immunizations, home care, clinics, and community agencies. A clinical component course. Prerequisites: NURS 302, 303; STAT 171.

407 Management in Nursing. (3) This course focuses on the analysis, integration, and application of principles of leadership and management to health care organizations. Emphasis is placed on the skills needed for nurses to succeed as leaders and managers in today’s global health care environment. Prerequisites: NURS 301 and STAT 171.

408 Nursing Research. (3) An examination of research methods as they pertain to nursing including the role of theory, modes of inquiry, research models, and ethical issues. Applying research in the development of patient care plans. Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) course. Prerequisites: NURS 300 or 305; NURS 304 or 318; STAT 171; ENG 280.

409 Professional Seminar. (3) This capstone experience course explores the role of baccalaureate preparation for contemporary nursing practice, focusing on the influences of professional organizations, institutional support, and personal change. A professional portfolio will be developed. Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) course. Prerequisites: NURS 304, 405, 407; ENG 280.

422 Adult and Child Nursing II. (5) Students provide nursing care for clients from childhood through old age with acute and chronic needs related to metabolic, elimination, and mobility needs. Clinical experiences will occur in various settings. Prerequisite: NURS 322.

424 Adult and Child Nursing III. (7) Students provide nursing care for clients from childhood through old age with acute and chronic needs related to cell growth and neurosensory needs. Clinical experiences will occur in various settings where complex care needs are met. Prerequisites: NURS 328, 422. Corequisite: NURS 425.

425 Senior Seminar. (3) Graduating senior nursing students analyze and synthesize content and experiences from all previous and concurrent nursing courses. Prerequisites: NURS 328, 422. Corequisite: NURS 424.

428 (formerly NURS 323) Maternal Child Nursing. (4) Students provide nursing care for women of childbearing age and young children. Clinical experiences will occur in various settings that provide health care services for women of childbearing age and young children. Prerequisite or corequisite: NURS 322.

430 Geriatric Nursing. (3) This course covers issues of health policy, financial and psychosocial support for young elders, functionally able elders, and frail elders. Assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of common health problems of the elderly will be addressed. A clinical component course. Prerequisites: NURS 405, or NURS 405 concurrently, or permission of the program director.

431 Rural Nursing. (3) An examination of rural nursing, focusing on need, delivery, access, availability, acceptability, and types of health care in rural areas. A clinical component course. Prerequisites: NURS 301; NURS 405, or NURS 405 concurrently, or permission of the program director.

432 Nursing Informatics. (3) This course examines the manner in which information, data, facts, and figures are developed, utilized, and analyzed for patient improvement. Prerequisites: NURS 408 and STAT 171 or permission of program director.

433 Community Mental Health Nursing. (3) Explores population-specific mental health issues including access, treatment modalities, and follow-up, and drug and alcohol abuse in the context of community health nursing. A clinical component course. Prerequisite: NURS 328 or permission of program director.