Jul 22, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing: RN-BSN

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Department Contact:

Chair: Rita Trofino, DNP, MNEd, RN, rtrofino@francis.edu, 814-472-3185
Program Director: Regina Barr, MSN, RN, rbarr@francis.edu, 814-472-3146

Program Description:

The RN-BSN program is an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing program for nurses who already hold the RN licensure. The BSN program prepares generalists in nursing to assist persons, families, and communities toward the goal of health throughout life. A baccalaureate education in nursing provides each student with the knowledge base for practicing professional nursing. The curriculum is based on a liberal arts foundation in the Judeo-Christian tradition and utilizes the AACN Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice within an integrated caring curriculum.

The faculty of the Department of Nursing has embraced the concept of the learner as an individual who has acquired the self-concept of being responsible for one’s self and of being self-directed. We view learning as a self-motivated and voluntary endeavor on the part of our nursing students. We also have, in response to our caring curriculum, moved away from the traditional role of teacher to that of facilitator of learning. Upon completion of the curriculum, the graduate possesses a foundation for graduate study.

Accreditation Statement:

The baccalaureate nursing program at Saint Francis University has full approval by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and the master’s degree programs in nursing at Saint Francis University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

Student Learning Outcomes:

Graduates of the program will be able to:

  • Synthesize knowledge from the humanities and sciences, advanced nursing concepts, and applicable evidenced-based practice to enhance the art and science of nursing care;
  • Espouse a life-giving mode of being derived from The Prayer of Saint Francis for use in interprofessional communication and collaboration to establish therapeutic and human caring relationships with individuals, families, and communities;
  • Utilize technology and informatics to improve the delivery of nursing care, quality of care, health care outcomes, and the delivery of health education to multiple populations;
  • Employ the caring-nursing process to maximize wellness in the delivery of culturally competent professional nursing care for individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations across the lifespan and across the continuum of health care environments;
  • Affirm professionalism in the art and science of nursing care by understanding the ramifications of health care policy, finance, and regulatory environments on nursing care;
  • Assume the professional nursing roles of caregiver, teacher, advocate, and care manager by utilizing basic organizational and systems leadership skills to promote quality patient-centered care and patient safety.

Estimated Completion Time:

Full time: 11 months; Part time 15 months

Admission Requirements:

  1. Current, active, and unrestricted license as a Registered Nurse in the state or commonwealth to complete clinical practicum coursework. Active current practice is required. (If a student plans to relocate out of the state or commonwealth of practice, while enrolled in the program, the student must immediately inform the RN-BSN Program Director, to discuss the impact on completion of clinical coursework.)
  2. Graduate of an accredited Diploma or Association Degree Nursing Program with a minimum GPA 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is required.
  3. Official transcript from each institution from which the student has earned college credits.
  4. The applicant must be in good academic standing at the most recent institution attended.

Admission Deadline:

The program has rolling admission.

Technical Standards or Essential Functions:

Students are required to satisfactorily achieve program outcomes. Therefore, consideration is given to scholastic aptitude, academic achievement, personal qualities, emotional health and minimum functional requirements/technical standards, necessary to fulfill the objectives of the program.

Nursing education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of skills and professional attitudes and behaviors. The nursing degrees awarded by Saint Francis University at the completion of the educational process certifies that the individual has acquired a base of knowledge and skills requisite for the practice of nursing at the respective undergraduate or graduate level.

To this end, all courses in the curriculum must be completed successfully. In order to acquire the knowledge and skills to function in a variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care, candidates for the undergraduate in nursing must have abilities and skills in five areas:

  • Observation
  • Communication
  • Motor
  • Conceptual Integrative
  • Behavioral- Social

Technological compensation can be made for some disabilities in certain of these areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner and exercise independent judgment.

  1. Observation

The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and participate in didactic courses and simulated learning opportunities. A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation requires the use of common sense, as well as the functional use of the senses of vision, audition, olfaction, and palpation.

  1. Communication

Candidates must communicate effectively using English in clinical and classroom settings. A candidate must be able to elicit information from patients, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. A candidate must have sufficient speaking and listening skills to take a medical history, respond to monitor alarms, emergency signals, call bells from patients, and orders in a rapid and effective manner.  Additionally, candidate must possess adequate hearing to accurately assess blood pressure, heart, lung, vascular, and abdominal sounds.  Candidates must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, faculty, preceptors, and all members of the healthcare team during learning experiences and practicum experiences. Communication includes not only speech, but reading and writing. The candidate must be able to use, interpret, and verbally report and/or document information from assessment techniques/maneuvers such as those involved in a head to toe assessment, vital signs, blood sugar monitoring, laboratory values, etc. to appropriate members of the health care team and/or the patient.  

  1. Motor

Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other assessment techniques.  A candidate should be able to perform nursing skills requiring the use of gross and fine motor skills (e.g. IV insertion, venous blood draw, urinary catheter insertion). A candidate should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide nursing care and emergency response to patients.

Examples of emergency responses reasonably required of nurses are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, medication administration, and application of pressure to stop bleeding. Candidates must perform actions which require the use of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision. Candidates should also be able to assist and/or participate in various lifting activities.

  1. Conceptual-Integrative

These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, synthesis, and retention of complex information. The candidate must possess the ability to calculate medication dosages and program intravenous infusion pumps in a rapid and safe manner as in emergency situations.  Critical thinking requires all of these intellectual abilities in order to provide optimal nursing care. In addition, the candidate should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

  1. Behavioral-Social

Candidates must possess the emotional health required for the full use of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress in the classroom and clinical area.

They must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical environment. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admissions and educational process.

Reasonable accommodations will be considered on a case by case basis for individuals who meet eligibility under applicable statutes. Any person expecting to need accommodations should request them prior to beginning the program, as some accommodations may not be considered reasonable and may impact an applicant’s ability to complete all components of the program.

Reference: https://www.aacnnursing.org/Education-ResourcesAccommodating-Students-with-Disabilities

*Refer to Minimal Functional Requirements/Technical Standards Policy for details - BSN Student Handbook

Students in the Nursing program must comply with the requirements of the Professional Nursing Law of Pennsylvania. Students are required to submit to PA criminal clearances, FBI fingerprinting clearance, child abuse history clearance, drug testing, immunizations, physical exam and other requirements. Healthcare agencies have the right to refuse clinical placement or deny employment based on background checks. A graduate of the Nursing program who has been convicted of a felony, is or was involved in drug abuse or has violated other rules of the licensure body, may not be permitted to take the licensing examination regardless of the student’s ability to complete college educational requirements. The student is required to notify the BSN Program Director of any changes to the criminal record. The Nursing program reserves the right to require appropriate documentation as requested regarding previous felonies or violations.

The PA Board of nursing shall not issue a license or certificate to an applicant who has been convicted of a felonious act prohibited by the Act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64) known as the “The Controlled Substance Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act” or convicted of a Felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States or any other state, territory or country unless: (1) at least ten (10) years have elapsed from the date of conviction; (2) the applicant satisfactorily demonstrated to the Board that he/she has made significant progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure of the applicant should not be expected to create a substantial risk of harm to the health and safety of patients or the public or a substantial risk of further criminal violation (3) the applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications contained in or authorized by this act. As used in this subsection, the term “convicted” shall include a judgment, an admission of guilt or a plea of nolo contendere. An applicant’s statement on the application declaring the absence of a conviction shall be deemed satisfactory evidence of the absence of a conviction unless the Board has some evident to the contrary (Amended June 29, 2002, P. L. 651, No. 99).

Progression and/or Retention Criteria:

  1. The BSN program requires 128 credits for graduation.
  • A total of 98 credits may be transferred into Saint Francis University, and thirty (30) credits must be completed at the University.
  • The RN nursing program advanced-standing credits will be evaluated for transfer credit and may vary among schools.
  • The RN-BSN nursing courses will comprise 25 credits, and the student will be required to take RLST 105 and a 2-credit elective to complete the required 30 credits for the RN-BSN completion program.
  1. Non-Nursing Collateral Pre-Requisite course requirements must be completed within the last 10 years:
  • PSYCH 101:  Introduction to Psychology
  • SOC 101:  General Sociology
  • MATH 107: College Algebra or higher
  • STATS 205: Essentials of Statistics
  1. Natural Science Collateral Pre-requisite course requirements must be completed within the last 5 years:
  • BIOL 214: Microbiology with Lab (4 credits)
  • BIOL 205: Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab (4 credits)
  • BIOL 206: Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab (4 credits)
  1. All RN-BSN nursing courses must be completed with a B grade or higher.
  2. Must maintain current RN licensure.

Capstone Requirement:

Students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program are required to complete CORE 407  General Education Keystone Seminar.

Other Information:

Transportation to and from clinical sites is the responsibility of the student.

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