Apr 25, 2024  
2015 - 2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015 - 2016 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Nursing

Dr. Anthony R. Ramsey,* Director

Undergraduate Program

Radford University School of Nursing embraces its tradition of innovative education, practice and scholarship to prepare excellent professional nurses who, by blending knowledge with caring, meet the changing health care needs of the region and beyond. The undergraduate nursing program leads to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. This major includes the development of a broad Core Curriculum foundation in liberal arts and the physical, behavioral, and social sciences. Nursing courses are concentrated in the junior and senior years (upper division) of the four-year academic program and include classroom, laboratory and clinical learning experiences.

The mission of the Radford University School of Nursing is to educate professional nurses to meet the changing health care needs of the region, state, nation, and world. Educational experiences are designed to prepare students to provide nursing care sensitive to client’s diversity. Students are responsible and accountable for nursing practice in keeping with the American Nurses Association’s Standards of Clinical Nursing Practice.

The teaching and learning process involves a mutual partnership between students and faculty to develop a knowledge base in the liberal arts, sciences, and the discipline of nursing. This partnership exists to promote critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and lifelong learning. Theory and skills learned in the classroom are applied through a variety of learning experiences. Faculty models the professional nursing role through teaching, scholarship, community service, and practice. Students are expected to develop a professional identity and professional values.

The curriculum is based on the faculty’s beliefs regarding nursing’s four metaparadigm concepts: client, environment, health, and nursing. The client is viewed as a holistic entity: a dynamic, interacting, irreducible whole. Clients can be individuals across the lifespan, families, aggregates, communities, and populations. Clients are diverse in such variables as age, gender, sexual orientation, culture, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, lifestyle, values, and functional ability. There is constant interaction between the client and environment. Environment refers to all internal and external conditions, circumstances, and influences – including professional nursing – that interact and affect the client’s safety and holistic health. Holistic health, a state of wholeness and a process of becoming increasingly integrated, is associated with evolving awareness of self and enhanced quality of life. The nurse and client form a partnership, and both are informed and flexible in negotiations to promote the client’s holistic health.

Nursing is both an art and a science. Caring is the essence of professional nursing. The nursing process is utilized to provide evidence based nursing care across the lifespan. Professional nursing involves interdisciplinary collaboration and forming partnerships with clients to facilitate growth and life processes through effective communication and therapeutic nursing interventions.

Community based nursing practice provides for continuity of care and focuses on delivering the levels of care needed by the client. To reach this goal, professional nurses assume multiple roles, including clinician, educator, collaborator, advocate, information manager, consumer of research, manager, and leader. Nurses must possess the necessary knowledge and skills in health care and information technologies to carry out these roles. Professional nurses influence legislation and policy to advance health care and nursing on a regional, state, national and global level.

Graduate Program

The graduate program in Nursing offers courses leading to the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. The program is designed to provide advanced knowledge in nursing theory, research and practice. For more information about the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with a major in Nursing, consult the Radford University Graduate Catalog.

Academic Advising

During their freshman and sophomore years, Pre-Nursing students are advised in the Waldron College Advising Center. When students are accepted into the upper division nursing sequence, they are assigned to a faculty advisor within the department. Students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor regularly to facilitate smooth progress towards completion of their degree.

Accreditation and Licensure Requirements

The nursing program has been approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing and has full national accreditation. The practice of professional nursing in every state in the United States requires licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN). Successful completion of the nursing program requirements and the awarding of a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree qualify the graduate to take the national NCLEX-RN examination for registered nursing in the state of their choice. Opportunity to take this required licensure examination is obtained by application to the appropriate regulatory board of the state in which the applicant plans to practice nursing. The requirements include personal and character criteria and may include criminal record check. The specific requirements are subject to change and vary from state to state. For more information about these requirements in Virginia, call or write:

Board of Nursing
Department of Health Professions
Commonwealth of Virginia
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233-1463
Telephone: (804) 367-4515
Fax: (804) 527-4455

Functional and Technical Standards


The following serves to notify prospective students of standards for safe nursing practice. It is the student’s responsibility to utilize a critical thinking process to assess, implement, and evaluate their ability to learn and fulfill these standards throughout the educational process and the act of professional nursing.

A student who has a documented disability and is seeking academic accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act must register with Radford University’s Disability Resource Office (DRO). Once an accommodation package has been culminated by the DRO, the student will deliver the appropriate documents to each faculty member that instructs the classes in which the student is enrolled to discuss applicability and course/program standards. This will be an interactive discussion and agreement between each faculty member and the student. If there are questions regarding reasonable and appropriate accommodations, the student and/or faculty member should contact the DRO for consultation to ensure equity and access.

A student must be able to:

  • Assimilate knowledge acquired through lectures, discussion, readings and self-directed studies and effectively apply that knowledge in clinical settings for a variety of client needs and problems.
  • Locate, retrieve, and utilize information from a variety of resources, e.g., electronics, libraries, people, and organizations.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply basic mathematical skills accurately, including, but not limited to, ratio proportion concepts, use of conversion tables, and calculations of drug dosages and solutions.
  • Comprehend and apply abstract concepts from biological, sociological, and psychological sciences.
  • Organize thoughts to communicate effectively through written documents that are correct in style, grammar, and mechanics.
  • Visual Acuity: Be able to read charts, records, scales, small print, handwritten notations, and detect changes in skin color or condition accurately. Be able to draw up the correct quantity of medication in a syringe, accurately read a syringe, and any other measuring device.
  • Auditory Ability: Demonstrate the ability to distinguish tonal differences and the ability to use the telephone. Included in this policy, but not    limited to, is the ability to communicate effectively with patients in English, detect sounds related to bodily functions using a stethoscope, and detect audible alarms generated by mechanical systems used to monitor patients.
  • Distinguish odors, e.g., drugs, solutions, body fluids, smoke, and chemicals.
  • Demonstrate sufficient tactile ability to differentiate changes in sensation, with or without the use of protective gloves, e.g., pulse, temperature, and skin irregularity.
  • Manipulate equipment appropriately to provide nursing care to clients, e.g., syringes, infusion pumps, life support devices, and stethoscopes.
  • Move unassisted from room to room, maneuver in small spaces, and stand for long periods of time. Maintain balance while standing and able to reach below the waist and overhead.
  • Provide a safe and clean environment, and be able to assist others in activities of daily living, e.g., walking, bathing, eating, toileting, transferring, and lifting.
  • Appreciate the diversity of people relative to age, gender, sexual orientation, culture, ethnicity, religion, socio economic level, lifestyle, values, and functional ability.
  • Establish interpersonal rapport sufficient to communicate, collaborate, and relate effectively with individuals, families, community groups, and health care professionals.
  • Complete assignments with specified time periods, e.g., technical procedures, health assessments, written work, tests, and client documentation.
  • Perform multiple tasks accurately in rapidly changing situations. 
  • Take responsibility for personal safety in laboratory and clinical environments.
  • Adhere to the School of Nursing dress and professional behavior policy. Must be well-groomed, clean, showered with no perfumes or strongly scented lotions of any kind. Included in this policy, but not limited to, are expectations that hair will be kept up and away from the face, fingernails will be kept short, body art will not be visible, and a maximum of one body piercing (small metal stud only) in each earlobe.

Policies and Procedure for Admission to Upper Division Nursing Major

(NOTE that requirements for admission into the School of Nursing are based on requirements in place at the time of application to the B.S.N. Program.)

  1. Students electing to enter the School of Nursing enter as pre-nursing students. Students must apply for admission to the upper division nursing major by the deadline date for the semester desired. All students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of no less than 2.8 to apply to the upper division nursing major; however, the actual G.P.A. required for admission may be significantly higher. Admission is competitive, with admission granted on a space available basis.
  2. Transfer students are advised that after 24 credit hours are earned at Radford University, the Radford GPA is used for admission. Transfer students who have earned less than 24 credit hours at Radford University are advised that the combined GPA for all course work is considered. Credit may be earned for select courses by examination (CLEP, ACT-PEP).
  3. Students who entered Radford University as full-time freshmen with a declared pre-nursing major and have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 on a minimum of 24 semester hours of credit at Radford University and who have no honor code/conduct/alcohol or substance abuse violations will receive a priority admission status at the end of the second semester of the enrollment, contingent upon maintaining a 3.5 GPA, completing coursework according to the School of Nursing Guidelines below and having no infractions of the Radford University Honor Code. With the offer of priority admission students must complete and submit the School of Nursing application by the deadline admission date for consideration to the nursing major.
  4. Students will be required to complete a nursing entrance exam as part of the application process.

The application process for the School of Nursing is as follows:

Applicants must be admitted to Radford University prior to admission to the upper division major.

Submit application to the School of Nursing for fall admission by the deadline date of November 15 or for spring admission by the deadline date of August 1.

Students are required to take the Kaplan Nursing Admissions Test prior to application deadline. Students must request to be registered to take the test. Students will receive email notification about this test. The test will be taken in the month prior to the application deadline and can only be taken once.

The School of Nursing can deny a student application if the criminal background, substance abuse and/or health record is such that they would not be successful in meeting the objectives of the School of Nursing. If admitted to the nursing major, students will be required to do a criminal background check, drug screening and a health record. If any of these shows issues of concern, the results will be shared with the clinical agencies the School of Nursing uses for clinical. The clinical agencies will determine whether the student can come to their agency for clinical; if the clinical agency refuses to allow the student in clinical, he or she will be dismissed by the School of Nursing.

Submit official transcripts of all college course work. Transcripts must show completion of the following prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or above:

CHEM 102 - General Chemistry 
CHEM 120 - Chemistry of Life 
PSYC 230 - Lifespan Developmental Psychology 
SOCY 110 - Introduction to Sociology 
NUTR 214 - Introduction to Nutrition 
STAT 200 - Introduction to Statistics 
BIOL 322 - Human Anatomy and Physiology 
BIOL 334 - Microbiology 
NURS 321 - Pathophysiology  

All students must be within 6 hours of completing Core Curriculum requirements when they begin the upper division nursing major. Students are advised that failure to complete all Core Curriculum courses prior to enrollment in the upper division major may result in the necessity of attending summer school or an additional academic year or semester(s).

Applicants who hold a Baccalaureate Degree from an accredited institution have met Core Curriculum requirements.

At the time of application deadline, the student may only have two (2) of the following courses left to complete: Chemistry, Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology. Students transferring from the community college system please note that to receive transfer credit for Chemistry and/or Anatomy and Physiology at Radford University, you must have completed the two (2) course sequence of these courses (i.e.,CHM 101 and 102; BIO 141 and 142).

Students offered admission to the nursing major for Fall Semester, must earn a grade of “C” or above on pre-requisite courses taken during the Spring Semester.  If a student earns below a grade of “C” on pre-requisite courses during the Spring Semester, the offer of admission can be revoked by the School of Nursing.  If the offer of admission is revoked, the School of Nursing will notify the student by e-mail or phone call.  All pre-requisite courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or above before the student can start the nursing major.  

Students offered admission to the nursing major, Spring Semester, must pass all prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or above at the end of the Fall semester. The offer of admission will be revoked if the student does not complete the prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or above.

Students currently enrolled, or have been enrolled, in a nursing program at a university or community college, who have withdrawn from any two nursing courses, earned a grade of “C-” or below in any two nursing courses, or have a combination of one nursing course grade of C- or below and one withdrawal from a nursing course at any nursing program will not be granted admission to the Radford University School of Nursing. The only exception to this policy is withdrawal from a nursing program for documented extenuating circumstances (i.e. medical withdrawal).

Following acceptance to the upper division nursing major, the student will:

Submit a Criminal Background Check through a company the School of Nursing has contracted with to do the background check and set up a tracker for students to submit the required forms the School of Nursing requires.   The cost of the background check is the responsibility of the student.

Students will have a drug screening each semester during a time frame the School of Nursing sets for students to complete.  The drug screening is ordered through the company that does the background check.  Students can be subject to a random drug screening for probable cause.  The cost of the drug screening each semester is the responsibility of the student.

Provide evidence of current certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) through the American Heart Association BLS.  No other CPR course will meet this requirement.  The student is responsible for maintaining current certification throughout the upper division nursing program. If CPR certification has expired, no grace period will be allowed and the student may not attend clinical rotations.  The cost of CPR is the responsibility of the student.

Upper Division Nursing Special Requirements

(Junior & Senior Years)

The upper division nursing courses are offered at two locations: the Radford University campus which admits students for upper division in Fall Semester and the Roanoke site, located 50 miles northeast of Radford, which admits students for upper division in Spring Semester. Students indicate a preference on their applications.

Nursing majors incur financial costs in addition to those already required by the university. A physical examination with updated immunizations, and a current certification in CPR are required prior to beginning upper-division classes. Each student is personally responsible for transportation to and from institutions and agencies utilized for clinical learning experiences.

Upper Division Academic Policies

  Grading Scale:
  A = 93-100
  B = 85-92.99
  C = 80-84.99
  D = 73-79.99
  F = 72.99 and below
  • A minimum grade of “C” is required in each nursing course.
  • The theory grade measured through testing will stand alone as the course grade if less than 80 percent is achieved.
  • In courses with theory, laboratory and/or graded clinical components, a passing grade of 80 percent must be earned in each component in order to pass the entire course. In addition, clinical evaluations must receive a PASS on PASS/FAIL system in order to pass the course.
  • If the student makes below the grade of “C” in any (2) upper division nursing major courses, the student is withdrawn from the upper division nursing program and may not apply for readmission. Students who withdraw from or earn a grade below a “C” in any nursing course must request in writing for continuation in the School of Nursing. The ability to progress is not guaranteed. Students who withdraw from any 2 nursing courses, earn a grade below a “C” in any 2 nursing courses or a combination of a withdrawal and a grade below a “C”, will be dismissed from the nursing program and may not reapply.
  • A minimum grade point average of 2.5 in the nursing major is required for graduation.
  • The credit hour ratio for classroom instruction is 1:1 (One hour of course credit for one hour of instruction.)
  • The credit hour ratio for laboratory instruction is 1:2 (One hour of course credit for two hours of instruction.)
  • The credit hour ratio for clinical instruction is 1:3 (One hour of course credit for three hours of instruction.)
  • Students will be required to pass a Medication Calculations Test on the first day of Upper Division Nursing. Students will purchase a self-study book and will be notified about the specifics when they receive their admissions letter. Students will be required to pass Medical Dosage Calculation Tests in selected clinical nursing courses throughout the curriculum.
  • Nursing students must always be safe in practice; any compromise of safe practice can be a cause for immediate withdrawal from the program. This includes psychomotor and/or psychosocial areas.
  • In addition to meeting the preceding requirements, a student must fulfill other policies outlined in the current School of Nursing Undergraduate Student Handbook.
  • Students who withdraw from or fail upper division nursing courses must request continuation in the School of Nursing. The ability to progress through the remainder of the program is not guaranteed and is on a space available basis.

Honors Program

The School of Nursing participates in the Radford University Honors Academy. For specific requirements contact the director of the Radford University Honors Academy.

Academic Program

Nursing, B.S.N.