Dr. Barbara H. Schaffner, Chairperson; Dr. Patricia Keane, Director of Graduate Studies
Department Office: Schear-McFadden Science Hall
The Department of Nursing is committed to quality nursing education which fosters critical thinking within the context of a caring framework. Our mission encourages the personal and professional development of faculty, staff and students. An appreciation for diverse perspectives and humane values is central to this mission. Building on a liberal arts education and a strong science foundation, the goal of the Nursing Program is to prepare lifelong learners who are committed to the profession, the community and to meeting the changing health care needs of society.
Students are assigned a faculty member as their academic advisor. The advising process is an ongoing series of consultations between the student and the advisor. This advisor will help the student with decisions concerning courses and class scheduling. Advising involves both the development and communication of accurate information regarding degree programs, courses, resources, academic policies/procedures and career opportunities intended to help students in achieving their educational goals. Both the advisee and the advisor share the responsibility of being active participants in the advising process. However, the student is responsible for making decisions regarding personal and educational goals and satisfying all graduation requirements.
Academic Standing Policy
Academic standing policies apply to all degree and non-degree students. For graduate level courses, please refer to the section on Academic Policies in this catalog. For undergraduate level courses, please refer to the Academic Standing Policies in the Undergraduate Course Catalog.
The following program policies are in addition to the College’s Academic Standing policies. For a description of the college policy please refer to the Academic Policies section of the catalog.
Master of Science in Nursing Program
A minimum grade of B- (80%) is required in all graduate course work except for capstone requirements (thesis or scholarly project or comprehensive examination for all MSN students; or NURS 708 for NP students only). If a grade lower than B- is earned, this course must be repeated in order to enroll in subsequent nursing courses. Students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (B) to receive the Master of Science in Nursing degree. For capstone requirements, students must achieve a passing grade (P) at a level equivalent to a B or higher.
Any student receiving two (2) grades of C+ or lower in the original attempt of all required graduate course work, will no longer be able to continue in the MSN program.
A student may attempt only one graduate course twice in the MSN program. An attempt is defined as being enrolled in a course beyond the twenty-fifth class day. Receiving a grade of C+ or lower or a W (Withdrawal) in the original attempt of any graduate course will constitute an attempt.
Post Masters Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthesia and Post Masters Advanced Practice Nurse Educator Program
A minimum grade of C+ (77%) is required in all Post Masters course work. If a grade lower than C+ is earned, the course must be repeated in order to complete the program.
Any student receiving two (2) grades of C or lower in the required Post Masters course work, will no longer be able to continue in the Post Masters program.
A student may attempt only one nursing course twice in the Post Masters program. An attempt is defined as being enrolled in a course beyond the twenty-fifth class day. Receiving a grade of C or lower or a W (Withdrawal) in the original attempt of any nursing course will constitute an attempt.
Time Limit for Program Completion
After a student has been admitted to the graduate program, continuous progress toward completion of the degree is expected. The time limit for the completion of graduate course work is six years for the Master of Science in Nursing program (three years for the Post Masters programs). The time limit is computed from the first date credit is recorded on the college transcript until the program curriculum requirements are completed. Petitions requesting extension of the time limit may be submitted to the Nursing Curriculum Committee for consideration. Extensions are only considered if there is adequate and unusual cause, beyond the control of the student, for failure to meet the time limit policy.
Interruption in Attendance
The program requirements of the College in effect at the time of the student’s first enrollment are those which must be met for completion of a program. Subsequent changes in program requirements may be substituted with the approval of the department chairperson or Academic Council, whichever is appropriate.
Students who interrupt their enrollment at Otterbein College for a period of one year must meet the requirements for the program as published in the catalog in effect at the time of re-enrollment. Students who have not been enrolled for one year or more must be readmitted. Please refer to the section on readmission.
In some instances, changes in departmental requirements must be applied to students who have already enrolled. In such instances, the new requirements will apply in a manner that will not require a student to carry more than a full-time load otherwise not required in any quarter and will not prolong the time required to complete the program requirements. Students should be aware that there is a time limit for program completion. Please see the section on Time Limit for Program Completion.
Students are expected to enroll in their first graduate level course upon acceptance into the Graduate Nursing Program in accordance with the identified major and site location. If a student does NOT enroll in their designated first class the student’s admission to the Graduate Nursing Program will be withdrawn and the admission process will have to be restarted.
If a student is not enrolled in their academic program for more than four (4) consecutive quarters (12 calendar months) the student must submit a new application as an indication of reenrollment into the Graduate Nursing Program. The application should include an updated resume and an updated transcript if additional course have been taken at another institution of higher learning.
If a student is not enrolled in their academic program for more than five (5) consecutive quarters the student will no longer be enrolled in the Department of Nursing Graduate Programs and will have to reapply for admission. A new application must be submitted for consideration of acceptance by the Department of Nursing’s Professional Review Committee and should include an updated resume and an updated transcript if additional courses have been taken at another institution of higher learning. Admission to the Nursing Graduate Programs will be based on a space availability and meeting current admission criteria.
Change in Major
Students who wish to change their declared major should talk with their faculty advisor to explore what this change will mean in relation to required course work. After making the decision to change majors, students should contact the Graduate School office at (614) 823-3210 to request the appropriate form for making the change.
Additional Requirements: MSN and Post Masters Programs
Students are required to complete the American Heart Association CPR Basic Life Support Course for Health Care Providers (BLS-C) before beginning a clinical course. Certification from the American Heart Association is valid for two years. Before expiration, a recertification course must be completed. Proof of certification must be filed in the Department of Nursing prior to entry to a clinical course.
***American Red Cross CPR classes are NOT accepted for this requirement.
A medical history and physical examination are required prior to enrolling in the first clinical course. Students must provide proof of up-to-date immunizations as specified by the Student Health Center. This includes current written documentation of two annual successive TB skin tests; if not available, a two-step Mantoux TB skin test is required (or chest x-ray if recommended by the health care provider). The Hepatitis B vaccine series or a waiver (available from the Nursing Department) is also required. Students are NOT allowed to participate in clinical experiences until all health requirements are met and on file at the Nursing Department office and Student Health Center.
Graduate students are strongly encouraged to carry their own personal coverage for professional liability.
Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) Clearance
Students who have lived in the state of Ohio during the past 5 years must complete a BCI clearance prior to enrolling in the first clinical nursing course. Students who have lived outside of the state of Ohio during the past 5 years must complete both a BCI and an FBI clearance prior to enrolling in the first clinical nursing course. Prior clearance through an employer is NOT accepted. Distant students may request application materials from the Nursing Office to use with their local police department by calling (614) 823-1614. Local students may wish to go to Secure Check, a company in the Columbus area. They can be contacted for hours and location by calling (614) 252-7300. Students are responsible for associated fees. Caution: Mail-in applications (done by the police department) take 6-8 weeks; computerized screening (such as at Secure Check), usually take 1 week. The Nursing Department MUST receive the official report of clearance prior to your initial enrollment in a nursing course. Unsuccessful BCI clearance may result in an inability to successfully progress in the nursing program, all such cases will be evaluated on an individual basis.
Adequate health insurance coverage is strongly recommended. Students are financially responsible for any testing or treatment needed following a course-related injury or illness.
Essential Performance Requirements
In order to accomplish the objectives of the nursing program safely, students must possess the ability and fitness to perform in a manner that will not jeopardize safety and well-being of their patients or themselves. The Nursing Department may require nursing students who pose a threat to the safety of others or to themselves in the health care environment to withdraw from the nursing program pursuant to the policy in the Otterbein College Course Catalog/Graduate Course Catalog on withdrawal and subject to the Grade Policy in the Department of Nursing Undergraduate/Graduate Student Handbook. All students admitted to the nursing program must be able to meet the essential performance requirements with or without accommodations. Each situation will be reviewed on an individual basis.
These essential performance requirements include but are not limited to the following five areas of ability:
- Observation: Must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences. Must be able to observe a patient accurately to identify cyanosis or absence of respiratory movement and when a patient is in imminent danger; perform equipment calibrations; read small print on medication containers, physician’s orders and equipment monitors; and perform physical assessments.
Communication: Must be able to speak, hear and observe patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in the patient, and perceive nonverbal communications. Must be able to hear monitor alarms, emergency signals, patients’ calls for help, call bells from patients, stethoscope sounds originating from a patient’s blood vessels, heart, lungs, and abdomen, etc. Must have verbal and language capabilities to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients regarding their nursing plan of care. Must have reading and writing skills sufficient for patient communication, record keeping and professional health care team interactions.
Motor: Must be able to stand for prolonged periods of time, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, quickly move about and transport patients during emergencies, carry infants, maneuver quickly in confined spaces, etc. Other motor requirements include carrying equipment, pushing, pulling, stooping, kneeling, bending, and climbing stairs. Must be able to lift, push and pull with assistance (mechanical or co-worker) the weight of the average patient specific to the clinical area working in. Other motor skills include eye-hand-foot coordination, repetitive arm and hand movements and finger dexterity, using sterile techniques, inserting catheters, preparing and administering medication (oral, intramuscular, intravenous), and numerous other invasive procedures.
Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, a critical skill for nurses, requires all of these intellectual abilities. Must be able to collect data pertinent to a patient’s health, analyze the assessment data, identify outcomes for an individualized plan of care for the patient, develop a plan of care that prescribes strategies to attain the expected outcomes, and evaluate the achievement of the expected patient care outcomes. The ability to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the professional literature in formulating diagnoses and care plans is essential.
Behavioral, Social and Ethical Attributes: Emotional stability and the ability to accept responsibility and accountability is essential. Must be capable of developing mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients from diverse social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Must have awareness of ethical actions related to the well being of others and as part of the direct patient service role required of registered nurses. Must be able to tolerate physically and mentally taxing workloads and function effectively under stress.
Must have a valid Ohio Driver’s License or access to transportation to local/regional clinical and observational sites.
The Nursing Department may require nursing students with special needs who pose a threat to the safety of others or to themselves in the health care environment to withdraw from the program. Each situation will be reviewed on an individual basis.
The Office of Disability Services (ODS) at Otterbein College is charged with ensuring that all qualified students with disabilities have equal access to an education and to campus life. This access is provided to students through the provision of legally mandated (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act) services, accommodations, and advocacy. Accommodations might include extra time for exams, distraction reduced test space, note taking assistance and priority registration. ODS provides services to students with obvious physical disabilities such as visual impairments, hearing impairments and mobility impairments as well as to students diagnosed with learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and psychiatric disorders.
Reasonable accommodation in course work or clinical experiences will be made for students with special needs on an individualized basis. In order to receive accommodations, students must provide ODS with appropriate documentation of their disability. After reviewing the documentation of a student’s disability, ODS staff will determine appropriate academic services and accommodations, depending on the disability. When students are enrolled in nursing courses, they have the responsibility to discuss their special needs with course faculty so that reasonable accommodations can be made in a timely manner. Nursing faculty and ODS work together to determine appropriate accommodations that allow students to succeed in the program without jeopardizing the essential requirements of the program.
Health Problems Policy
Students are responsible for informing faculty about health alterations which may affect safety and competency in the clinical setting. Students are required to submit a faculty specified doctor’s/health professional’s statement on appropriate letterhead regarding status of this health condition before participating in clinical experiences to her/his instructor. Students are also responsible to inform clinical instructors about any conditions (e.g., pregnancy, skin not intact, immunocompromised condition) which may affect their clinical assignment to clients with serious communicable diseases.
Special Needs Policy
Reasonable accommodation in course work or clinical experiences will be made for students with special needs on an individualized basis. Requests for such services must be made through the Academic Support Center (614) 823-1362. When students are enrolled in courses that require clinical experiences, they also have the responsibility to discuss their special needs with course faculty so that reasonable accommodations can be made in a timely manner. Special needs include, but are not limited to, physical, emotional or learning disabilities. For students with English as a second language, please refer to the Nursing Department policy for Extra Time on Examinations.
Registered Nurse Licensure
Distance students who plan clinical experiences outside Ohio must be licensed as a registered nurse in both Ohio and the state of the clinical site.
Additional fees are required. Fees are listed on the Otterbein website at www.otterbein.edu/resources/business_office/fee_schedule.asp.
Department of Nursing Handbook
Each student has the obligation to become familiar with the contents of the Department of Nursing Graduate Handbook. This handbook, containing guidelines and policies specifically related to graduate study in nursing, can be accessed on the intranet at www.otterbein.edu by selecting Nursing under Department Intranet Sites.