Jul 16, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

College of Nursing - Radford Site and Radford University Carilion Site

Dr. Wendy Downey, Interim Dean of College of Nursing


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degree prepares graduates for the professional roles of a registered nurse. Graduates of the B.S.N. program are prepared to deliver and evaluate patient-centered care while demonstrating clinical competency, critical thinking skills and caring behaviors. The B.S.N. program builds upon a strong foundation of general education courses and prepares students to take the National Council Licensure Exam-RN (NCLEX-RN).

The B.S.N. graduate:

  • promotes health to individuals, families, groups and communities
  • implements evidenced-based interventions when health is altered
  • works in a variety of health care and community settings
  • is prepared to pursue graduate education

There are three programs at Radford University College of Nursing with which to earn a B.S.N. degree: Traditional B.S.N. (TB.S.N.), Accelerated B.S.N. (AB.S.N.), and RN-to-B.S.N. Each has its own program of study, and these are not designed for students to transfer between tracks. Students in the T.B.S.N. and A.B.S.N. programs need to maintain continuous registration for nursing major courses.

Vision Statement
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 Statement
Radford University College 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.

Core Values

  • Advocacy: We intervene on behalf of vulnerable populations and the nursing profession to address ethical and healthcare issues through legal, administrative, and legislative pathways.
  • Safe Caring: We exemplify compassion for others in an altruistic manner through presence and safe, holistic practice.
  • Cultural humility: We honor traditions and beliefs of diverse populations through intentional and inclusive engagements of those in our care while supporting health promotion in the patients we serve.
  • Excellence: We utilize rigorous evidence-based methodologies to instill competency and inspire professionalism and leadership in our graduates.
  • Interprofessionalism: We demonstrate respect in interdisciplinary, collaborative practice to achieve the highest quality outcomes.
  • Innovation: We engage our students in the discovery of healthcare technology to support implementation of the nursing process while providing person-centered care.

Accreditation and Licensure Requirements

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at Radford University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

The practice of professional nursing in every state in the United States requires licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN). Successful completion of the pre-licensure 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. Application to take the NCLEX-RN examination requires proof of completion of an accredited nursing program and a criminal background check.

The RU Nursing Program maintains approval by the Virginia Board of Nursing, other state Boards of Nursing may have other requirements. Graduates are strongly encouraged to take the NCLEX-RN examination and obtain their initial licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Other state boards of nursing may have other requirements for licensure. RU cannot guarantee that students can gain initial licensure in other states due to differing requirements. Registered Nurses may then transfer licensure to another state, if desired. Applying for licensure in Virginia will require a Virginia address, and proof of residency (Virginia driver’s license, voter registration card). Specific requirements are subject to change. For more information, contact the Virginia Board of Nursing:

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/

Student Learning Outcomes for All B.S.N. Programs

  1. Integrate life-long learning strategies into professional nursing practice.
  2. Assume leadership role within complex healthcare systems to promote holistic health and diverse populations.
  3. Utilize evidence-based processes in collaboration with other members of the healthcare team to improve nursing practice and healthcare outcomes.
  4. Utilize technology and information systems to enhance clinical decision making.
  5. Advocate for policies and legislation that promote a safe, affordable, patient-centered healthcare environment.
  6. Utilize effective communication strategies to create a positive professional work environment.
  7. Collaborate in the design, implementation, and evaluation of a health promotion program.
  8. Exemplify the core values of nursing as a collaborative member of the healthcare team.
  9. Facilitate coordination of care within a variety of healthcare settings.

Pre-licensure 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.

BSN Program Offered with multiple locations:

Radford University
  • Undergraduate Pre-licensure BSN
  • Undergraduate Post-licensure RN-BSN (fast-track, online)
Radford University Carilion
  • Undergraduate Pre-licensure BSN
  • Undergraduate Pre-licensure Accelerated BSN

Graduate Programs

The graduate programs in Nursing offer courses leading to the Doctor of Nursing Practice and the Master of Science in Nursing degrees. The program is designed to provide advanced knowledge in nursing theory, research, and practice. For more information about the Doctor of Nursing Practice and the Master of Science in Nursing degree programs, please consult the Radford University Graduate Catalog.

Radford University

Undergraduate Pre-Licensure BSN

The undergraduate nursing program leads to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. This major includes the development of a broad foundation in liberal arts and the physical, behavioral, and social sciences obtained through completion of the REAL Curriculum for general education. Pre-licensure 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.

Undergraduate Post-Licensure (RN-to-BSN) Track - Online

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 30 credit hours in specific nursing courses at Radford University and transfer credit hours are awarded for prior work from regionally accredited institutions per the transfer policy. Students must complete a total of 120 credit hours at the baccalaureate level. Students are admitted each six times per academic year following the fast-track schedule.

Students in the RN-to-BSN have been prepared for licensure as a Registered Nurse through an associate or diploma program. Students will provide transcripts to demonstrate their prior educational experiences.

Radford University Carilion

Undergraduate Pre-Licensure BSN

The undergraduate nursing program leads to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. This major includes the development of a broad foundation in liberal arts and the physical, behavioral, and social sciences obtained through completion of the REAL Curriculum for general education. Pre-licensure 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.

Undergraduate Pre-Licensure Accelerated BSN

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. 

Radford University 

Academic Advising

Starting in Spring 2021, during their freshman and sophomore years, Pre-Nursing students are advised in the Highlander Success Center in Young Hall. 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.

Policies and Procedure for Admission to Upper Division Nursing Major

On the main campus in Radford, the program is structured as a traditional journey to a degree, with students entering as Pre-Nursing majors during their first year, then applying to the College of Nursing during their sophomore year for the following semester.

The semester of admission to the College of Nursing will determine the campus where their upper division classes will be primarily taken: Fall admission is to the Radford University main campus site, and Spring admission is to the Roanoke Higher Education Center campus. Admission to the upper division on both campuses is limited and competitive. This path allows students to explore academic opportunities and enjoy a traditional college life on campus.
Main Campus Admission Requirements for Pre-Nursing Students

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.8 or above (competitive GPA for admission may be considerably higher)
  • At the time of application deadline, students may have no more than two (2) of the following science courses to complete: Chemistry 120, Biology 334 Microbiology, Biology 310 A&P and Biology 311 A&P.
  • All pre-requisite courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or above before students can start the nursing major.
  • Students offered admission to Nursing must maintain the 2.80 GPA in order to start the nursing major.

Priority Admission
Students who enter Radford University as full-time freshmen with a declared pre-nursing major who maintain the following requirements will receive a priority admit status at the end of the second semester of enrollment:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.50 on a minimum of 24 semester hours credit at Radford University
  • No prior history (either while a student at Radford University or prior to enrollment) of violations involving honor code, conduct, criminal charges or convictions, alcohol or substance violations
  • Completing coursework according to the School of Nursing Guidelines (listed in the catalog).

The College of Nursing Admission Progression & Graduation (APG) Committee reserves the right to revoke a student’s priority admission status any time additional information is provided that would indicate a violation of the above-mentioned selection criteria.

Pre-requisite Grade Requirements
All pre-requisite courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or above before students can start the nursing major.

  • Students offered admission to the Nursing major Fall semester, must earn a grade of “C” or above on pre-requisite courses taken during Spring or Summer semesters. If student earns a grade of  “C-” or below or withdraws from pre-requisite courses prior to Fall semester, the offer of admission can be revoked by the College of Nursing.
  • Students offered admission to the Nursing major Spring Semester, must complete all pre-requisite courses with a grade of “C” or above at the end of the Fall semester. If a student earns a grade of “C-” or below or withdraws from pre-requisite courses during the Fall semester, the offer of admission will be revoked by the College of Nursing.
  • If offer of admission is revoked, the College of Nursing will notify student by e-mail or phone call.

Application Deadlines for the Main Campus Traditional B.S.N. Program
    Fall admission (Main campus in Radford): November 15 by 5pm for following the following fall

Radford University Carilion Campus

Nursing, B.S.N. – RUC BSN Tracks

All course requirements for nursing majors studying at the Radford University Carilion campus are outlined below.

  • Pre-licensure BSN Traditional Track
  • Pre-licensure BSN Accelerated Track

Pre-licensure BSN Policies and Procedure for Admission

For RUC nursing students 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.
  5. Applicants applying for the Accelerated BSN track who have been unsuccessful in a nursing program at a university or community college will not be eligible for admission.
  6. Applicants who have been unsuccessful in a nursing program at a university or community college will be reviewed on an individual basis for the Traditional BSN Program and must meet the following requirements:
  • 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 College 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.

Academic Advising

Students on the RUC campus are directly admitted into the Nursing program, and are thus assigned a faculty advisor throughout the program. For the freshman and sophomore years, the students are assigned to the TBSN academic advisor. Once students progress into upper division nursing courses, they are assigned to another faculty advisor within the department. All advisors are focused on supporting the growth and development of the students and assist them in utilizing Academic Support Services as needed. Students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor regularly to facilitate smooth progress towards completion of their degree.

Progression in Prelicensure Undergraduate Nursing Programs

Details for progression in all undergraduate Nursing programs can be found in the College of Nursing Progression and Graduation Policy.

Medication Mathematics Testing
All students in every level of upper division nursing must successfully complete a standardized medication math test at each level of the pre-licensure nursing curriculum. Tests will cover typical drug dosage calculations for the patient populations encountered at each level and will be given during the initial week of each academic semester. Students will be also required to pass dosage calculations in selected nursing courses throughout the curriculum. For more details on testing and general rules for rounding in math calculations, please see the College of Nursing Medication Mathematics Testing Policy.

Students are expected to participate in all scheduled learning experiences, including but not limited to classroom, laboratory, simulation, clinical, and preceptorship (see College of Nursing Attendance Policy and current Radford University Standards of Student Conduct).  Children, family and friends are not permitted to attend or visit classes, lab or clinical. Family members or friends are not permitted to visit students in clinical areas even if the family member or friend is an employee of that agency.

Kaplan Standardized Testing
Standardized specialty exams and case studies are assigned to each level within the Upper Division, College of Nursing Curriculum. Students in all levels are required to purchase Kaplan testing and case study products, and students bear the financial responsibility of paying for these tests and case studies. See College of Nursing Examination Policy for details.

Changing Cohorts
Students will not be moved from their original cohort until these three conditions are met:

  1. The Change of Cohort Request form has been completed and signed, AND
  2. The current semester comes to an end, AND
  3. Their position in a new cohort has been assigned

If a pre-licensure nursing student fails or withdraws from one nursing course on the Program of Study, the student will be dropped from their current cohort.  
Students desiring to change cohorts are placed on a waiting list to be moved into their desired cohort, if space is available, in the following order of priority:

  1. Students who have already started nursing courses but must slow their progression due to non-academic reasons
  2. Students who need to repeat one nursing course, have at least a 2.50 GPA, and have fallen back in progression
  3. Students who have failed a sequenced prerequisite course (e.g., science course)
  4. Students who wish to accelerate their Plan of Study will be considered on a first-come-first-served basis according to date requested (date of advisor’s signature)

After the semester ends, the academic advisor will notify the student as to whether or not the Change of Cohort Request was approved. If a student’s change of cohort is approved, the advisor will assist the student in revising their Plan of Study to reflect the change.

College of Nursing Grading

Minimum Passing Grade for Nursing Courses
A minimum final letter grade of “B-” is required in each Nursing course (see Radford University College of Nursing Undergraduate Grading Policy). A final grade of “C” or below requires the student to re-take the course. Unsuccessful clinical performance will result in course failure.

In courses combined with theory, laboratory and/or graded clinical components, a passing grade of 80 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.

Faculty will measure theory grading component with clearly measurable assessment instruments (tests, proctored quizzes, final exam).

  • Numeric scores from these instruments will stand alone as the course grade if less than 80 is achieved.
  • Papers, projects and other course work will not be calculated until the minimum score of 80 is achieved.
  • If the testing portion grade is lower than the 80, then the grade in the course will be a D or F depending on the average test grades regardless of the points or grades in the other parts of the course.

College of Nursing Grading Scale
The undergraduate Nursing programs use the Radford University grading scale except the minimum passing grade for all upper division (NURS) nursing courses is 80 (B-).

Letter Grade Numeric Grade Point Value  
A 93.00 to 100 4.0 points  
A- 90.00 to 92.99 3.7 points  
B+ 87.00 to 89.99 3.3 points  
B 83.00 to 86.99 3.0 points  
B- 80.00 to 82.99 2.7 points Minimum passing grade = 80
C+ 77.00 to 79.99 2.3 points  
C 73.00 to 76.99 2.0 points  
C- 70.00 to 72.99 1.7 points  
D+ 67.00 to 69.99 1.3 points  
D 63.00 to 66.99 1.0 points  
D- 60.00 to 62.99 0.7 points  
F 59.99 and lower 0 points  

Clinical Requirements

Pre-licensure Nursing students receive direct, hands-on experiences through participation in experiential learning activities (clinical rotations) at healthcare partner sites across the New River and Roanoke valleys and through simulated experiences at our state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Centers. A minimum of 500 hours of direct client care, supervised by qualified faculty, is provided to our students as required by the Virginia Board of Nursing (Regulation 18VAC90-27-100). For details of all requirements of clinical, uniforms, and dress code, please refer to the College of Nursing Classroom and Clinical Policy and the College of Nursing Dress Code Policy.

Clinical shifts may be up to twelve (12) hours and may include days, evenings, nights, and weekends. Clinical rotations are subject to last minute changes each semester. Requests for placement into a specific clinical site cannot be accommodated. Therefore, students’ personal commitments must remain flexible to accommodate program requirements. Each student is responsible for providing their own transportation to meet the requirements for clinical.

Nursing students are required to complete orientation and training at assigned clinical agencies throughout the nursing program. College of Nursing staff and faculty will notify students electronically and/or in person when and where orientation/training will be held (or if online training is to be utilized) and any associated due dates. Students may be required to complete online training when school is not in session because of agency deadlines. Students are expected to check email frequently and comply with the requests in the email.  Some clinical agencies require an additional fee for clinical placements. The payment for clinical placements will go directly to the agency and will be the sole responsibility of the student.

RN-to-B.S.N. Fast Track, Online Program

The post-licensure track of the undergraduate nursing program, or “RN-to-B.S.N.,” provides flexible online learning opportunities in short 7-week terms for students who are graduates of community colleges or diploma schools and are licensed registered nurses (RN). Co-enrollment options are available as well. This curriculum is designed to accommodate RNs who are employed and/or involved with family, community, and other responsibilities.

A total of 120 semester hours are required for graduation including general education and nursing major requirements:

  • 30 credit hours minimum at Radford University: ten (10) 3-credit hour nursing courses
  • All RN-to-BSN students will need to complete the following courses, or their transfer equivalencies, with a grade of “C” or better prior to degree completion: Anatomy/Physiology (equivalent to 8 total credit hours), Microbiology with lab, Statistics (this is a prerequisite to Nursing Research), Developmental Psychology and Nutrition.

RN-to-B.S.N. Program - Admission Requirements

Eligibility criteria options:

Option 1:  Full-time or part-time studies

  • An Associate Degree or Diploma in Nursing from a State-approved program
  • An active license as Registered Nurse with the Virginia Board of Nursing or a Nurse Licensure Compact state; OR an active license as Registered Nurse in another state and eligible for licensure in the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on all nursing courses attempted and on all cumulative college work

Option 2: Concurrently Enrolled VCCS Students

  • Enrolled in an Associate of Applied Science Nursing Program in any Virginia Community College System (VCCS) school
  • Completed at least one year of program
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on all nursing courses attempted and on all cumulative college work
  • Limited to one course per term while concurrently enrolled

REAL General Education Curriculum

Students in this program will likely be bringing in more than 60 credit hours of transferrable credit from their associates’ program; the additional nursing requirements will map to cover R and A and students will need an additional course to cover E to fulfill the transfer requirements for REAL. The College of Nursing will allow nursing courses from regionally accredited programs to transfer in as NURS 1ELE in the equivalent number of credit hours.

Course Enrollment
Students may only enroll in one RN-to-B.S.N. course per semester if:

  • The student has 5 or more non-nursing required courses to be completed (Core or Additional Requirements) OR
  • The student is concurrently enrolled at a Virginia Community College AAS in Nursing (RN) program

RN-to-B.S.N. Program of Study

Professional Portfolio

During the last semester of RN-to-B.S.N. program, students are required to submit a professional portfolio. The portfolio represents the best of a student’s work and is concrete evidence of individual talent, skills, abilities and interests. The student is advised to retain all student work completed during nursing major in preparation for completion of this requirement. If clinically relevant information is used in the portfolio, all potential patient identifying information must be removed from all work.

Academic Advising

Students in the RN-to-BSN program are advised by the track coordinator/RN-BSN faculty. All students should make advising appointments upon admission and anytime necessary to help modify a program of study or discuss program progression.  All advisors are focused on supporting the growth and development of the students and assist them in utilizing Academic Support Services as needed. Students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor regularly to facilitate smooth progress towards completion of their degree.