2008-09 Catalog 
    Jun 23, 2024  
2008-09 Catalog [Archived Catalog]


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The Northwestern College Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is a 135-semester hour program designed for students who are interested in practicing as a professional nurse. A cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.50 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 kweinbe@mail.bon.state.ia.us.

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 and supported by other accounts of Jesus’ healing ministry. 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.


The 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.).

I. BSN Program Admission Guidelines and Policies

  1. Students admitted to the college may apply for admission to the nursing major. Application is made by April 10 of the freshman year. Application forms may be obtained from the academic adviser, chair of the department of nursing or at the department webpage www.nwciowa.edu/nursing. Decisions regarding acceptance to the nursing major will be made by the faculty of the department of nursing. The nursing faculty organization will formally act on the applications by May 10th.
  2. Requirements for admission to the nursing major are:

    1. Completion of the following prerequisite courses: 
      BIO121, Introduction to Human Anatomy
      BIO122, Introduction to Human Physiology
      CHE101, College Chemistry
      CHE102, College Chemistry
      ENG184/288, College Writing/Writing in the Professions
      PSY221, Developmental Psychology:Childhood
      SOC101,  Principles of Sociology

      The following courses must be completed prior to NUR260, Fundamentals of Nursing:
      BIO203, Microbiology
      PHI214, Contemporary Moral Issues
      REL110, Introduction to Biblical Studies

      Students with an ACT math score of 26 or above may enroll in CHE111, General Chemistry and then progress into CHE102, College Chemistry. (This option may be especially helpful for nursing students who are considering graduate education in nursing/health sciences.)
    1. A cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 2.50.
    2. Submission of the following documents:
      1. Application to the nursing program form and approval by the department of nursing faculty;
      2. Signed intent to adhere to the professional conduct standard;
      3. Results of a psychological inventory administered by a licensed professional;
      4. Statement of the student’s ability to provide safe nursing care;
      5. A satisfactory criminal background check. Any felony convictions 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 of a criminal background check and/or falsification of any required documentation are grounds for dismissal from the nursing program;
      6. A complete Northwestern College health form must be on file in the health office prior to beginning the first clinical nursing course. The student must submit a record of immunization, including a second MMR if the student was born after 1957, and a recent Mantoux test or report of chest X-ray prior to beginning clinical experience. The student must also submit validation of a Hepatitis B vaccine or sign a waiver prior to the first clinical course. Annual Mantoux tests are required;
      7. A signed Authorization to Use and Disclose Health Information release form;
      8. Basic CPR certification (American Heart Association preferred) prior to beginning clinical experiences. CPR certification must be maintained for all clinical experiences;
      9. Ability to provide safe nursing care standard;
  3. All qualified first-year students with a CGPA of 2.70 or greater who meet the above requirements are assured a place in the BSN nursing sequence.
  4. Pre-admission testing will 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.
  5. The student will receive official written notification of admission status from the nursing department.
  6. After acceptance, during the first nursing course (NUR220, Nursing and Shalom) the student will submit a declaration of major form to the office of the registrar and receive the current nursing studenthandbook.
  7. The department of nursing recommends that all nursing students hold a CNA certificate prior to NUR220, Nursing and Shalom.

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 does 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. They 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 same would fundamentally alter the course or program or would result in an undue burden for Northwestern College.

II. Transfer Policies

  1. 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 audit.
  2. The department of nursing will accept transfer credit from a CCNE or NLNAC accredited program based upon evaluation and approval by the nursing faculty.
  3. Transfer nursing students who have successfully completed a 3- or 4-semester hour lifespan human development course need to complete PSY225, Developmental Psychology: Adulthood.
  4. The department of nursing follows all transfer/previous preparation policies found in the Northwestern College catalog.
  5. Northwestern College may award blanket elective credit for a CNA course completed at regionally accredited institutions with a grade “C” or better.
  6. 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. Progression and Retention Policies

  1. Dishonesty, cheating or plagiarism shall result in an automatic failure of the course.\
  2. CGPA of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale must be maintained for retention, progression and graduation. A grade of C or above must be attained in all cognate and nursing courses. The program outcomes of the curriculum shall be the basis for evaluating student achievement in each course of study. Each clinical course includes learning experiences in the classroom, clinical laboratory and/or off-campus clinical setting. The department of nursing grading scale is used for nursing courses (see below). The student must earn an average examination score of at least 75%. The clinical portion of the course is graded on a pass/fail basis. A student who is functioning below the C level in theory or at risk for failing in clinical will receive an academic alert.

    Nursing Program Grading Scale

    A   95 - 100   C+   79 - 81
    A-   92 - 94   C   75 - 78
    B+   89 - 91   D+   72 - 74
    B   85 - 88   D   68 - 71
    B-   82 - 84   F   00 - 67

  3. Students who fail to maintain a 2.50 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 2.50 CGPA will be notified in writing that they are being placed on probation by the department of nursing. If a nursing student is placed on departmental probation, within one month after receiving the probation letter, the student will need to meet with the chair of the nursing department and academic adviser to develop a written academic success plan. Students must have a CGPA of 2.50 before beginning the junior and senior nursing course sequence. Students may only be on departmental probation for one semester before stopping-out of the major. They may re-apply for admission once their CGPA is 2.50 or greater. They will be re-admitted on a space available basis.
  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.
  5. Failure to successfully complete the clinical component of any nursing course constitutes failure in the course.
  6. 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 the course in which a C was not received.
  7. 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.
  8. Because some courses are taught sequentially, a period of one year may lapse before re-enrollment is possible.
  9. 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.
  10. Junior-level courses (numbered 300) must be taken prior to senior-level clinical courses (numbered 400).
  11. Prior to registering for senior-level nursing courses, the following general education courses or cognates must be completed by BSN students: ENG184/288, College Writing/Writing in the Professions, KIN370, Nutrition, PHI214, Contemporary Moral Issues, REL262, Introduction to Christian Theology and SOC101, Principles of Sociology.
  12. MAT208, Biostatistics must be completed prior to enrolling in NUR420, Nursing Science and Informatics.
  13. Upper division nursing courses can be accepted for transfer only with permission of the nursing faculty.
  14. 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.
  15. Any student being placed on departmental probation or being dismissed from the nursing program major shall receive written notification.
  16. All nursing students will be assessed using standardized nationally-normed tests. Students will be responsible for the costs associated with test administration. All such exams will be reflected in the final course and/or a specific minimum score may be required to pass the course and progress to the next level of nursing courses.  

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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