Oct 27, 2020  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Nursing - All Campus Locations

Dr. Iris Mullins,* Interim Director

Radford Campus and Roanoke Higher Education Center

For information on the Radford University Carilion Campus click here. For more information on the RN to BSN program click here.

Undergraduate Program

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 Vision of the Radford University School of Nursing is in blending the art and science of nursing to prepare enlightened, compassionate professionals who will meet the diverse needs of the local and global community.

Mission: The Radford University School of Nursing is committed to excellence in the development of professional nurses to meet changing local and global health care needs through education, research, practice, and community engagement. Students are responsible and accountable for nursing practice in keeping with the American Nurses Association’s Nursing: Scope and Standards of 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.


  • Advocacy: Intervening on behalf of vulnerable populations to address ethical issues, care needs, and resources.
  • Caring: Showing compassion for others in an altruistic manner through presence and a holistic practice.
  • Cultural humility: Honoring traditions and spiritual beliefs through intentional engagement and openness to promote acceptance of those in our care.
  • Excellence: Using rigorous evidence-based methodologies to instill competency and inspire professionalism and accountability in our graduates.
  • Interprofessionalism: Utilizing interdisciplinary, collaborative practice and demonstrating respect to achieve the highest quality outcomes.

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 with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). 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 Virginia Board of Nursing. This will require a criminal background check. Radford University School of Nursing does not have approval in all states. Individual states could require the School of Nursing to obtain approval for a new graduate to obtain initial licensure in that state. This would require months of an approval process. It is therefore highly recommended that new graduates obtain initial RN licensure in Virginia. If you then wish to move and practice in another state, you can transfer your license to another state. Obtaining initial licensure in Virginia will require a Virginia address, and proof of residency (Virginia driver’s license, voter registration card). The specific requirements are subject to change. For more information about these requirements in Virginia, call or write:

Board of Nursing
Department of Health Professions Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Richmond, Virginia 23233
Phone: (804) 367-4515
Fax: (804) 527-4455
Web Site: https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing/

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.

Students seeking academic accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act must register with Radford University’s Center for Accessibility Services (CAS). The policies regarding students with disabilities may be found at http://www.radford.edu/content/cas/home.html.  Website: www.radford.edu/cas Phone: 540-831-6350 Email: cas@radford.edu. Students qualified for academic accommodations should meet with each course professor during office hours, to review and discuss accommodations.

Essential Mental Abilities:

  • Follow instructions and rules.
  • Demonstrate safe nursing practice within the defined clinical time period.
  • Maintain reality orientation accompanied by short and long term memory.
  • 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.
  • Utilize sufficient critical thinking abilities for clinical judgment.
  • Appreciate the diversity of people relative to age, gender, sexual orientation, culture, ethnicity, religion, socio economic level, lifestyle, values and functional ability.

Essential Communication Skills:

  • Organize thoughts to communicate effectively through written documents that are correct in style, grammar, and mechanics.
  • Speak clearly in order to communicate with patients, families, healthcare team members, peers and faculty.
  • Effectively utilize interpersonal abilities to interact with diverse individuals, families and groups.
  • Establish interpersonal rapport sufficient to communicate, collaborate, and relate effectively with individuals, families, community groups, and health care professionals.
  • Read and accurately interpret written communications (i.e., test questions, provider orders etc.).

Essential Physical Abilities:

  • 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.
    • Demonstrate eye/hand coordination for manipulation of equipment.
  • 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.
  • Sensory Ability:
    • 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.
  • Motor Ability:
    • Manipulate equipment appropriately to provide nursing care to clients, e.g., syringes, infusion pumps, life support devices, and stethoscopes. Use of hands for grasping,, pushing, pulling and fine manipulations.
    • Move unassisted from room to room, maneuver in small spaces, and stand and walk for six to twelve hours per day. Maintain balance while standing and able to reach below the waist and overhead. Able to bend, squat and kneel.
    • 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.
    • Perform CPR (i.e., move patient to compress chest and manually ventilate patient).
    • 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.
  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, who have achieved a Kaplan Nursing Admissions Test (KNAT) overall score of 65 or greater 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. The test should be taken in the month prior to the application deadline and can only be taken once.

Students will register through Kaplan and Examity to take the test.  Register through Kaplan at https://www.kaptest.com/nclex/partner/radford-university. Students will receive email from Kaplan that they are registered for the test.   After registering with Kaplan students must register through Examity at:  https://prod.examity.com/kaplan/Radfordlogin.aspx to complete their profile and pick test date.  Need to put in the correct time zone to take the test.  On test day, student will sign into their Kaplan account and go back to the link above to start the Examity Proctoring Session.  Students need to have a photo ID to verify their identity to start the test.  Examity will have live proctoring while testing.  Students will pay for the Kaplan Nursing Admission Test at the start of the exam.  If student does not show up to take the KNAT test at the time chosen they will have to register again through Examity and pay another fee.

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 professional standards 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 112 - General Chemistry  or 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  or STAT 130 - Understanding Statistics in Society  
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 pre-requisite 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 complete 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 each semester 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 are 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, Radford, Virginia which admits students for upper division in Fall Semester and the Roanoke Campus, Roanoke Higher Education Center, located 50 miles northeast of Radford in Roanoke, Virginia, 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 1 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.

Radford University Carilion Campus

Policies and Procedure for Admission

For students starting in the Fall 2019 the admission and progression process is as follows:

  1. On the Radford University Carilion campus, students are admitted to the nursing program as freshmen
  2. Students must have a 2.8 GPA on a 4.000 scale to be considered for admission to the nursing program
  3. Throughout the program, students must meet progression criteria in order to progress
  4. The program in nursing is demanding both academically and physically. Students must meet the ethical and technical standards of professional nursing. Health records, criminal background checks and urine drug testing are required. Due to the rigorous program students are discouraged from working outside of school for more than 10 hours per week. Progression to upper division nursing courses is not guaranteed and is competitive
  5. Applicants who have been unsuccessful in a nursing program at a university or community college will be reviewed on an individual basis after a minimum of 2 years from the last date of enrollment. This includes students who have:
  • The student must not have had any conduct or honor code violations and must provide a letter of good standing from the previous nursing program director.
  • The student should provide a letter with the application explaining the previous experience in the nursing program and how the student plans to be successful in the future. All transcripts from the previous nursing program must be supplied.
  • If the student is accepted, the student will be required to take all nursing courses. The School of Nursing may request further documentation from previous nursing program.

Admission is not guaranteed and the student will need to start at the beginning of the nursing program. A letter of good standing is required from the previous nursing program director.

Progression Criteria

  1. Students in their 3rd semester must file an INTENT TO PROGRESS. In order to file an INTENT TO PROGRESS, students may have no more than two (2) of the following science courses to complete: Chemistry, Micro, A&P
  2. Students must maintain a 2.800 GPA to progress. If the GPA falls below 2.800, the student will not progress in the program
  3. Once in upper division nursing courses, two nursing course failures will result in program dismissal
  4. Students must earn a grade of “C” on all prerequisite courses. If a student earns a grade lower than a C or withdraws from prerequisite courses, they must retake the course and pass with a minimum grade of “C” before progressing
  5. Students are required to complete the Kaplan Nursing Admission Test (KNAT) in their sophomore year. The KNAT can be taken one time only and is to be completed by November 15 for students admitted in the Fall semester and by August 1 for students admitted in the Spring semester. It is the student’s responsibility to submit their KNAT score to the SON
  6. Students who enter RUC campus as full-time freshmen with a declared nursing major who have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.400 on a minimum of 24 semester hours credit, who have achieved a KNAT overall score of 65 or greater and have no prior history of violations involving honor code, conduct, criminal charges or convictions, alcohol or substance violations, will receive a guaranteed progression to upper division nursing courses

       Students with a GPA of 2.800-3.499 and KNAT scores of 64 or below will be ranked for placement on a space available basis

  1. Students eligible for progression to upper division nursing courses are required to complete a Criminal Background check and drug screening. If the Criminal Background Check or drug screening show issues of concern, THE SON may take appropriate action, which can include dismissal from the program

Pre-Licensure Traditional BSN Program Tiered Placement Criteria for Upper Division Nursing Courses

Progression to upper division (300-level) nursing courses is based on meeting the following criteria:

  1. Score at or above the 51st percentile on the Kaplan Admissions test
  2. Pass NURS 340 and NURS 303 on the first attempt with a final course grade of “C” or above
  3. Cumulative Grade Point Average as follows:
  • 3.0 and above:Guaranteed progression
  • 2.5-2.9: Ranked for placement on space available basis
  • Less than 2.5: Not eligible for progression

Pre-licensure BSN Accelerated Track

This four-semester, 16-month program is designed for students looking for an intensive, accelerated path to the BSN. Students entering are expected to have an earned bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field and have the commitment to study full-time for 16 months, including fall, spring and summer semesters. It is a full-time program, and thus students are not encouraged to carry outside employment while enrolled as an ABSN student. We are looking for motivated students with backgrounds that demonstrate the ability to handle challenging work in a fast-paced environment.

Students seeking entry into the Accelerated Baccalaureate Nursing program who have failed any previous nursing courses at any institution, are not eligible for admission to this track. 

Application Deadlines:

  • Fall cohort: January 15 (Previous Bachelor’s degree must be completed by the preceding spring semester)
  • Spring cohort July 1 (Previous Bachelor’s degree must be completed by the preceding summer semester)

Post-licensure (RN-to-BSN) Track - Main Campus and Radford University Carilion

The post-licensure track of the undergraduate nursing program, or “RN-to-BSN,” provides flexible online learning opportunities for students who are graduates of community college or diploma schools and are licensed Registered Nurses (RN). Co-enrollment options are available as well.  Students complete 31 credit hours but are also awarded additional credits for prior learning and work experience.  Transfer credit hours are awarded towards the Core Curriculum requirements for a B.S.N., thus completing a total of 123 credit hours at the baccalaureate level. Students are admitted each fall and spring. 

An individual may be admitted to the post-licensure track based upon the following eligibility criteria if he/she:

  • Option 1:
    • Holds an Associate Degree or Diploma in Nursing from a state-approved program;
    • Holds an active Registered Nurse license with the Virginia Board of Nursing or a Nurse Licensure Compact state or hold an active Registered Nurse license in another state and be eligible for licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia;
    • Has practiced as an R.N. for a minimum of six (6) months and/or plans to practice concurrently while enrolled;
  • Option 2:
    • Enrolled in an Associate of Applied Science Nursing Program in any VCCS school;
    • Within two semesters of completing the AAS in Nursing;
    • Have a letter of recommendation for AAS Nursing faculty (that student has the ability to be successful in second year of AAS along with a BSN program)
  • Has completed the following degree requirements or their transfer equivalencies with a grade of “C” or better: BIOL 322, BIOL 334, PSYC 230, and STAT 130 or STAT 200 (some may be taken concurrently with nursing courses with SON approval);
  • Has at least a 2.50 G.P.A. on all nursing courses attempted and on all cumulative college work;
  • Has not 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 a “C-” or below and one withdrawal from a nursing course at any nursing program; the only exception to this policy is withdrawal from a nursing program for documented extenuating circumstances (i.e. medical withdrawal);
  • Has been admitted to Radford University.

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 Programs

Nursing, B.S.N. - Main Campus  

Nursing, B.S.N. - Radford University Carilion Campus  

RN-to-BSN Track