2018-19 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Apr 20, 2024  
2018-19 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]


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The Northwestern College Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is a 132-semester hour program designed for students who are interested in practicing as a professional nurse. A cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.70 is required for admission, progression and graduation from the BSN program. Related program fees are listed under the financial information portion of the NWC catalog. The BSN program is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing. The board can be contacted as follows: Iowa Board of Nursing, 400 SW 8th St., Suite B, Des Moines, IA 50309-4685. Tel: (515)281-3255 or www.iowa.gov/nursing. The program is also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC  20036. Phone: (202)887-6791 Fax: (202)887-8476.

The mission of the department of nursing is to promote shalom (health, wholeness and peace from a biblical perspective), hope and healing by developing practitioners who are committed to continuing Jesus’ healing ministry and who advocate for social justice, healthy environments and healthy communities. It is based on a biblical framework of health and healing as described in Matthew 25:35-40, by other accounts of Jesus’ healing ministry and supported by other scholarly works. This mission is accomplished through collaborative partnerships with colleagues, other educational organizations, health care facilities, social and faith-related organizations, and the larger community. This mission is lived primarily, but not exclusively, in educating bachelors-prepared nurses within a Christian academic community and by accomplishing the following purposes:

  1. Facilitating personal, interpersonal and professional development;
  2. Preparing nurses who are committed to Jesus’ healing ministry as they promote, restore and maintain the holistic health of persons in a variety of settings;
  3. Developing nurses grounded in a Christian worldview and ethic, who serve as servant leaders as they advocate for local, national and global health policies and practices that promote shalom for the public;
  4. Promoting critical thinking and the development, integration and evaluation of new or expanded knowledge into practice;
  5. Providing a foundation for life-long learning and graduate education in nursing.

The philosophical underpinnings of the nursing department are rooted in a theology of nursing as a healing ministry, human science and performing art including the concepts of person, environment and health.

The person is created in God’s image to glorify God, reflect his love and mercy and to enjoy being in God’s presence for all of eternity. Persons are dependent on God, even if they do not recognize this aspect of their nature. A client may be an individual, family, group or community and is viewed holistically and respected and honored as an image-bearer of God.

The environment includes all factors or influences surrounding and interacting with the person. Environmental influences can contribute to health and healing or to the development of disease.

Health is a holistic process in which all dimensions are centered in and in harmony with a transcendent relationship with God. Shalom is a dynamic experience of health, wholeness and peace that pervades all aspects of life and is lived in relationship to the Triune God. Shalom is experienced personally, but this experience is lived in community. The faculty believes access to health care is a human right, persons have a moral obligation to care for their health as faithful stewards, and nurses have a sacred duty to advocate for healthy environments and for just allocation of health and social-related resources. In this way, nurses are able to be partners in promoting Shalom.

Nursing is identified as a professional practice discipline and is characterized by a unique body of knowledge oriented to the facilitation of a client’s health and wholeness, hope and healing by health promotion/risk reduction/disease prevention (primary prevention), health restoration/illness and disease management (secondary prevention), and/or maintenance of health and wholeness (tertiary prevention). The concept of health is described as the Biblical concept of Shalom: health, wholeness and peace in a living relationship with God.

Nursing as a healing ministry is anchored in Christian compassion and in pursuing Shalom and sees Jesus in the face of all persons. It seeks to promote health, hope and healing, alleviate distress and live in a ministry of presence to persons in need. Nursing relationships include relationships with clients and their families, other health care, faith-based and social service providers, and governmental and non-governmental socio-political structures.

Nursing as a human science is the unique body of abstract knowledge pertaining to the relationships between persons, the environment and their health. It is discovered by conceptual development and scientific inquiry.

The performing art of nursing relates to the application of nursing and related knowledge in the care of persons. Specifically, nursing as art is the creative and distinctive application of this scholarship in service to individuals, families, groups and communities within a context of Christ-center compassionate care.


Northwestern College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or handicap in admission to the nursing program. Admission criteria do not discriminate against persons with disabling conditions except that all applicants for admission to the nursing major must meet minimum standards to provide safe nursing care. The following general abilities have been identified at Northwestern College as necessary to meet the standard to provide safe nursing care:

  1. The student must possess the functional use of sense of sight, touch, hearing and smell.
  2. He/she must possess a sense of equilibrium along with sufficient motor function to carry out activities required in nursing.
  3. The student must possess the ability to perform the assessment and intervention activities required in providing safe nursing care.

These general abilities will be required to achieve the outcomes of nursing courses and the Bachelor of Science degree in nursing program outcomes. The student abilities will be evaluated by the faculty throughout the program. Appropriate auxiliary aids and services for persons with impaired sensory, physical or speaking abilities will be provided unless providing the same would fundamentally alter the course or program or would result in an undue burden for Northwestern College.

I. Pre-Licensure BSN Program Admission Guidelines and Policies

The Pre-licensure nursing major is designed to prepare students to practice Christian nursing and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) for the purpose of becoming a registered nurse (R.N.)

  1. The admission capacity for the program is thirty students.
  2. Students admitted to the college may formally apply for admission to the nursing major. Application is made by April 10 of the freshman year. Application forms are posted in MyNWC or they may be obtained from the department of nursing.
  3. The Nursing Faculty Organization will assess admission to the program based on a holistic review of applicants. Decisions regarding acceptance to the nursing major will be made by the Nursing
    Faculty Organization (NFO). NFO will formally act on the applications upon registrar’s office notification of final grades. The student will receive official written notification of admission status from the nursing department.
  4. Requirements for admission to the nursing major are:
    1. Completion of the following prerequisite courses: 
  • NUR160, Discerning Your Vocation
  • BIO121, Introduction to Human Anatomy
  • BIO122, Introduction to Human Physiology
  • CHE108SN, General Organic Biological Chemistry
  • PSY221SS, Developmental Psychology: Childhood

The following courses must be completed prior to NUR260, Fundamentals of Nursing:
BIO203, Microbiology
PHI214BR, Contemporary Moral Issues
REL150, Christian Story I: Biblical Tradition

2. A cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 2.70.

3. Submission of the following documents:

  • Application to the nursing program form and approval by the department of nursing faculty;
  • Signed intent to adhere to the professional conduct standard;
  • A declaration of major form
  • Results of a psychological inventory administered by a licensed professional;
  • Statement of the student’s ability to provide safe nursing care;
  • A satisfactory national criminal background check and adult and child abuse record. Any felony convictions or abuse findings will be evaluated by the department of nursing faculty using the Iowa Board of Nursing guidelines for initial licensure. The failure to provide the chair the results and/or falsification of any required documentation are grounds for dismissal from the nursing program. Students are responsible for the cost of the national criminal background check;
  • A complete Northwestern College health form and a signed HIPPA release form must be on file in the wellness center prior to beginning the first clinical nursing course. The student must submit the following: 1. A record of immunization including a 2nd MMR (or MMR titer), a 2nd Varicella (or a Varicella titer), tetanus (within the past 5 years), and Hepatitis B series (or waiver) 2. Mantoux test or chest x-ray within the last 12 months (annual Mantoux tests required) 3. An annual seasonal influenza vaccination.
  • American Heart Association CPR for health care providers certification (BLS or ACLS) prior to beginning clinical experiences. CPR certification must be maintained for all clinical experiences;
  • Pre-admission testing may be offered to academically at-risk students before they begin the nursing sequence. The extent of the testing will be based on the student’s academic needs.
  • The student will receive official written notification of admission status from the nursing department.
  • The department of nursing requires that all nursing students hold a CNA certificate prior to NUR220, Nursing and Shalom.

II. Transfer Policies

  1. The department of nursing follows all transfer/previous preparations policies found in the Northwestern College catalog.
  2. The department of nursing may accept nursing credits earned at another accredited college or university. Transfer credits are recorded with no grade or honor points assigned. Courses not considered for transfer credit are those in which the grade was an incomplete, a withdrawal, less than a C, or the course was taken as an audit.
  3. The department of nursing will accept transfer credit from a CCNE or NLNAC accredited program based upon evaluation and approval by the nursing faculty.
  4. The department of nursing will accept college level non-nursing courses, provided they cover the same breadth and depth of content.
  5. Transfer nursing students who have successfully completed a 3- or 4-semester hour lifespan human development course need to complete PSY225, Developmental Psychology: Adulthood; but not PSY221, Developmental Psychology: Childhood.
  6. Northwestern College may award blanket elective credit for a CNA course completed at regionally accredited institutions with a grade “C” or better.
  7. The chairperson of the department of nursing evaluates transcripts of transfer students and can grant departmental approval for cognate courses. Official Northwestern College approval for all transfer courses is at the discretion of the registrar.

III. Retention, Progression and Graduation Policies

The program outcomes of the curriculum shall be the basis for evaluating student achievement in each course of study. Each course carrying clinical credit includes learning experiences in the classroom, as well as in the clinical laboratory on/or off-campus clinical setting.


  1. A GPA of 2.70 on a 4.00 scale must be maintained.
  2. The department of nursing grading scale is used for nursing courses (see below)
  3. The student must earn an average examination score of at least 75%. Failure to meet the 75% on exams will constitute a D for final course grade.
  4. Students must achieve a C in the theory portion and pass in the clinical portion of a nursing course in order to receive a C or better in the course. A student functioning below the C level in theory or is at risk for failing in clinical will receive an academic alert and he/she must comply with the instructions on the academic alert.
  5. The clinical portion of the course is graded on a pass/fail basis. Failure to successfully complete the clinical component of any nursing course constitutes failure in the course and the student will receive a grade of D for the course.
  6. All pre-licensure nursing students will be assessed using standardized nationally-normed exams. Students will be responsible for the costs associated with test administration (funded by the nursing program deposit/fees). All such exams will be reflected in the final course grade.

Nursing Program Grading Scale 




95 - 100




79 - 81



92 - 94




75 - 78



89 - 91




72 - 74



85 - 88




68 - 71



82 - 84




00 - 67


  1. A GPA of 2.70 on a 4.00 scale must be maintained for progression. A Grade of C or above must be attained in all cognate and nursing courses.
  2. Pre-licensure students who fail to obtain a C in a nursing course shall not be allowed to progress to a higher level nursing course which has a prerequisite of the course in which a C was not received. RN-BSN students are allowed to take additional coursework but must repeat any courses with a grade less than a C.
  3. As students register for nursing courses, pre-requisites must be completed by the first class period of each subsequent course. If not, the student will be dropped from the class by the professor. Because some courses are taught sequentially, a period of one year may lapse before re-enrollment is possible.
  4. Students who fail to attain a C in a nursing course are permitted to repeat the course only one time. Failure to attain a C in a nursing course when taken a second time shall constitute dismissal from the nursing major. Dishonesty, cheating or plagiarism shall result in an automatic failure of the course.
  5. Students who fail to maintain a 2.70 CGPA will be placed on department of nursing academic probation. The student’s CGPA will be reviewed at the end of each semester and students who do not meet the 2.70 CGPA will be notified in writing that they are being placed on department of nursing academic probation. If a nursing student is placed on department of nursing academic probation, the student must meet (within one month following the start of the next academic session) with their academic advisor or the chair of the nursing department to develop a written academic success plan. Pre-licensure students may only be on departmental probation for one semester before stopping out of the major. The pre-licensure student may re-apply for admission once their CGPA is 2.70 or greater. However, re-admittance is on a space available basis.
  6. Any student placed on departmental probation or dismissed from the nursing program shall receive written notification.
  7. The student has the right to appeal decisions on any of the above matters by following the department of nursing and Northwestern College academic appeal process.


  1. Students must achieve a C or better in all cognate courses prior to graduation. The Nursing Faculty Organization or the Nursing Department Chair can grant waivers of this requirement.
  2. All nursing majors are required to complete:
    1. Pre-licensure: A minimum of 700 hours of clinical, RN-BSN: a minimum of 120 hours of clinical:
    2. An electronic portfolio including the BSN program’s philosophy, conceptual framework, program outcomes, and capstone projects across the curriculum and the student’s associated reflection;
    3. Oral and written communication competencies;
    4. The health-related service learning/mission (HRSLM) experience. Students will complete a thirty hour (30) service/mission experience approved by the Department of Nursing based on such a service/mission experience meeting the related program outcomes. Students will submit a HRSLM proposal to their advisor for approval.

 IV. Degree Completion Policy

The BSN is designed to be completed in a typical 8-semester sequence including all course work and clinical experiences. A 5-year BSN plan of study is also available. Students must complete the requirements for the BSN degree within 6 years of enrolling in NUR 220, Nursing and Shalom.

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