School of Nursing Student Handbook

 

School of Nursing Policies and Procedures

The link to the UTC School of Nursing Vision, Mission and Core Values can be found here: Vision, Mission, Core Values

The link to the UTC School of Nursing Philosophy can be found here: Philosophy

The link to the UTC School of Nursing ADA Awareness Statement and Core Performance Standards can be found here: ADA Awareness Statement and Core Performance Standards

I.    Policy: The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Nursing admits students of any race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, color, national ethnic origin, disability or age to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School of Nursing. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, color, national or ethnic origin, disability or age, in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other university-­‐administered programs.

II.    Purpose: The purpose of a policy on non-­‐discrimination is to assure the commitment of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Nursing to promoting inclusion, respect and the inherent value of all students.

III.    Procedure: The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Nursing will voluntarily follow policy for non-­‐discrimination and diversity by admitting students of any race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, color, national ethnic origin, disability or age; by affording to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School of Nursing; and by not discriminating on the basis of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, color, national or ethnic origin, disability or age in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs and other university administered programs.  The School of Nursing will accurately exhibit and follow the non-­‐discrimination policy.

It is the policy of the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies (CHEPS) and the School of Nursing (SON) to be in compliance with all policies of the clinical facilities with which the College affiliates for student clinical learning experiences.  The Chattanooga Area Consortium of Healthcare Education requires all students in a health care related program be required to submit to a drug screen for cause.

The purpose of this policy is to provide a safe working environment for students, patients, visitors, healthcare agency staff and university faculty and staff.  In order to participate in the clinical experiences required in the health science programs, the student may be required to undergo drug screening prior to admission to a program. In addition, all students are subject to subsequent testing on a reasonable suspicion that he/she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol such that it impairs the student’s ability to perform competently.

If a student’s behavior demonstrates that he/she is impaired  (functioning in any impaired manner, exhibiting inappropriate behavior in the classroom or clinical setting, or demonstrating any unprofessional conduct or negligence associated with impairment), the faculty academically responsible for that student will document the specific behaviors of the student. This written communication will include any supportive facts and/or documentation of the occurrence (at a minimum: time, places, circumstances, behaviors, witnesses or other persons who possess knowledge of the student’s behavior). A determination of functioning in an unprofessional manner will be established by the professional responsible for the student based standards of the profession.  

The student will sign that he/she has read the documentation completed by the faculty regarding his/her behavior. If the behavior is observed in clinical practice, the student will be immediately removed from the agency for the sake of patient safety. If the behavior occurs in the classroom, the student will be removed from the classroom.  The student may not return to class or clinical until reviewed by the Dean of CHEPS.  

Documentation of behavior will be forwarded to the Dean or Designee for review on the day of the incident. The documentation will become part of the student's record. The Dean or Designee(s) will evaluate the documentation presented, and if warranted, request an immediate drug screen.  The Dean or Designee may ask to meet the student.  The final review will be completed by the Dean or Designee within five days of the incident.

If a student has a positive drug screen, s/he will not be allowed to participate in the clinical courses at the assigned clinical agency or any other clinical agency.  The student will be dismissed from the program.  The student will then be required to complete, at the student's cost, chemical dependency evaluation and treatment to be considered for readmission to the program.  Readmission into a program in the CHEPS will be considered only upon completion of a treatment program, and the recommendations of the program’s student/academic admission committee, the Department Head and the Dean.  Any student with a positive drug screen shall be dismissed from the program and will be immediately withdrawn from all courses.

If the student desires to reapply to the program, he/she must provide proof of a minimum of one year of treatment in a program and documentation of ongoing treatment if readmitted to the program.  If readmitted to a program in the CHEPS, random drug screens will be required and these results must be conveyed to the Department Head.  The student will be required to obtain random drug testing until the student withdraws or graduates from the program. All testing is at the student's expense.

Licensed Students
Licensed students, who test positive on a drug screen, will be reported to Tennessee Professional Assistance Program (TNPAP).  Readmission into a program in the CHEPS will be considered only upon completion of a TNPAP approved rehabilitation program or the recommendation or TNPAP, and the recommendations of the program’s student/academic admission committee, the Department Head and the Dean.    

The CHEPS encourages impaired students to seek assistance voluntarily and assume responsibility for their personal and professional conduct.  

2/22/06; Reviewed 10-4-08

Effective June 1, 2006 applicants for initial licensure in Tennessee (not renewal or reinstatement) must obtain a criminal background check.  Title 63-7-115 gives the board authority to deny a license based on criminal convictions.   Rules 1000-1-.13 (2) lists those convictions for denial of a license and states students are not eligible until five years post-conviction.  However, denial of a license is not limited to those listed convictions.  Students are not to call the Tennessee Board of Nursing office regarding their eligibility for licensure prior to enrolling in school.  The Tennessee Board of Nursing does not make that decision prior to application for licensure and cannot provide students with that information.  
Upon entry to the School of Nursing all students must obtain a criminal background check.  Students with any convictions or discrepancies on their background check must meet with the Professional Advisor to discuss any implications for licensure. 
The School of Nursing BSN, MSN and DNP programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), an autonomous accrediting agency officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency ensuring the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing. The MSN Nurse Anesthesia graduate program is accredited by The Council on Accreditation (COA). The University of Tennessee is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and School (SACS).
The School of Nursing’s learning laboratories consist of the basic skills lab, the Anne P.Y. Chien Learning Resource Lab, the Sim-Man lab, the FNP lab, and computer-testing lab. The basic skills lab has hospital beds, medical equipment, and various audiovisual models for learning nursing skills and physical assessment techniques.  Learning stations equipped with VCR’s and television sets reinforce teaching.  Hours for the basic skills lab and computer lab are posted.  The computer lab has personal computers with various software programs.  All computers in this lab are Internet linked. A printer is available in the lab and utilizes the “GoPrint/MocsPrint pay system”.

The School of Nursing policy related to student complaints and grievances mirrors the University policy. As noted in the Faculty Handbook (Chapter 5: Faculty-Student Relationships http://www.utc.edu/Departments/fcouncil/FacultyHandbook/Ch5Handbook.pdf), disputes “will arise occasionally in the faculty-student relationship and should be clarified at the earliest possible time and at the level closest to the locus of the complaint. Students who have such complaints are urged to address them directly to the faculty member in an appropriate setting. It is understood that some issues may need to be addressed to the nearest administrator, generally the department or program unit head. Every effort should be made to resolve such matters informally by conversation. A matter unresolved on the departmental level may be brought to the appropriate dean and, after that, the provost. Specific policies for grade appeals and for allegations of sexual harassment are found elsewhere in this hand book and the Student Handbook.”

In accordance with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) definition, a formal complaint is a written statement of dissatisfaction that initiates the formal complaint process.

The following steps shall be followed within the School of Nursing:

 

1.    Student meets with faculty member involved to discuss the written document outlining the formal complaint. The meeting must be initiated within five (5) business days after the student became aware, or could have reasonably been expected to become aware, of the complaint.  If resolved, faculty will write a report outlining the resolution and submit it along with the student’s written formal complaint to the BSN Professional Advisor to place in the formal written complaint file for undergraduate students or to the Coordinator of Nursing Programs and Business Operations for the graduate students.

2.    If the formal complaint is not resolved in step 1, the student must submit the written document outlining the formal complaint to the Director within 5 business days of meeting with the involved faculty member.  The Director will request the faculty member involved submit a written account of the issue within five (5) business days.

3.    The Director will meet separately with the student and faculty member to discuss the formal written complaint.  If the faculty member is the Director, the student will meet with the Dean to address the formal written complaint.

4.    The Director will make a decision and shall inform the student and the faculty member in writing via official UTC email of his/her decision within five (5) business days of the completion of Step 2.

5.    If either student or faculty is not satisfied with the Director’s decision, the student or faculty may file the formal written complaint and the faculty’s written account with the Dean of CHEPS within five (5) business days of the receipt of the Director’s e-mail.

6.    The Dean will make a decision and notify the student, the faculty member, and the Director of the SON via official UTC email of his/her decision.

7.    The student, the faculty member or the Director of the SON may appeal the decision of the Dean to the Chancellor in writing within 5 business days following notification via official UTC email of the Dean’s decision.

8.  The decision of the Chancellor shall be final and all involved parties will receive official UTC email notification of the decision.

The link to the UTC Policy for Computer Use can be found here: UTC Policy for Computer Use

The link to the UTC School of Nursing Clinical Occurrence Policy and Form can be found here: Clinical Occurrence Policy and Form

The link to the UTC School of Nursing Infection Control Policy can be found here: Infection Control Policy

 

BSN Policies and Procedures

Exhibit Characteristics of Nursing Agency

  1. Demonstrate a repertoire of effective communication skills with patients, families, communities, and colleagues.
  2. Incorporate knowledge of teaching and learning principles consistent with developmental self-care requisites to guide transformative teaching.
  3. Respect differences in culture, attitudes, values, and expectations of others.
  4. Embrace values of altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, and social justice when engaging with and on behalf of patients, families, and communities.
  5. Act to prevent unsafe, illegal, or unethical practices.
  6. Promote a positive image of nursing by modeling the values and articulating the knowledge, skills and attitudes of the nursing profession.
  7. Pursue practice excellence, lifelong learning, and professional engagement to foster ongoing professional growth and development.
  8. Exercise leadership in creating a culture of quality, safety and caring in a variety of settings with diverse populations.
  9. Participate in the development of imaginative, creative strategies, and/or evidence based strategies to enable systems to change.

 

Demonstrate Power Components in the provision of nursing care

  1. Synthesize theoretical and empirical knowledge from the natural, behavioral, and nursing sciences, and the humanities in understanding the human health experience and in making decisions about nursing practice.
  2. Incorporate knowledge of basic conditioning factors, power components, and self-care requisites (universal, developmental, health deviation) to promote self care agency for patients, families, communities.
  3. Integrate skills of inquiry, analysis, and information literacy to address practice issues.
  4. Tolerate ambiguity, and unpredictability of the world and its effect on the healthcare system as related to nursing practice.
  5. Incorporate Orem’s Power components into professional practice: *See Level Objectives.*
Each semester, while in the nursing major, achievement tests will be given. The tests have costs that are identified to students at the beginning of each semester. Testing policies are made available in relevant course syllabi. The purpose of achievement tests is to measure the degree of mastery of nursing content. Test results provide an indication of the degree of success on the licensing examination to become a registered nurse. The test results also identify content areas, which need additional study prior to taking the examination for licensure.

Didactic Course Grading Scale:

The following numerical grading scale will be used in all didactic nursing courses:

92-100  A

84-91    B

83-78    C

77-70    D

<70       F

 

Clinical Course Grading:

S = Satisfactory

NC = No Credit

In order to receive a grade of “C” or better in the combined course and clinical, a student must have a satisfactory evaluation from the clinical component of the course. If 78% is NOT achieved for the course grade, the student will receive, at most, a “D” for the course and will not progress to the next level in the nursing program.

During each semester, all grades will be recorded to two (2) decimal places. At the end of the semester, the final grade will be calculated to two (2) decimal places and rounded mathematically:

  1. Less than 0.50 – Round down to next whole number, example 91.49 = 91
  2. 0.50 or greater – Round up to next whole number, example 91.50 = 92"

Approved by faculty vote 08/15/17

To progress in nursing, students are required to:

i.Make a minimum grade of “C” or “S” in all nursing and required courses

ii.Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0

iii.Maintain active clinical requirements:

To provide for student safety and to meet the contract agreements with area health care agencies, students must have current CPR certification, up-to-date immunizations, yearly TB skin tests and personal health insurance among other requirements. Failure to have all clinical requirements on file in the School of Nursing office by 5:00pm the second Monday of the semester will result in an absence for each day the requirement is not completed. For example, an outstanding requirement at 5:00pm on the second Monday means you will receive your first absence at 8:00am on Tuesday. Part of being a professional is assuming the responsibility for keeping these current. I understand as the student:

It is my responsibility to check my expiration dates for CPR, TB skin test and other immunizations and to keep these requirements current, submitting documentation of updates.

Failure to keep health requirements current will mean that I will be excluded from clinical areas and that I will incur an absence.

Approved by faculty 03/13
  • Students in the Nursing major may earn a grade of “D” or “F” or “NC” in only one course with a nursing (N) designation. If a student earns a second “D”, “F”, or “NC”, the student will be dismissed from the program, even if the second “D”, “”F”, or “NC” is earned in the same semester as the first failed grade.
  • Students who make a grade of “D”, “F”, or “NC”, in an undergraduate nursing course, and who are eligible to repeat a course, are permitted to register for that course on a space-available basis. If there are more students than positions available, the student(s) with the highest nursing major GPA will be given priority for the position(s) available. To be considered for progression the student must submit a letter of intent to the BSN Professional Advisor within 5 business days of grades being posted.
  • Students who make a grade of “D”, “F”, or “NC”, in a 1st level undergraduate nursing course, and who are eligible to repeat a course, are permitted to register for that course the following fall semester, unless a space becomes available in the spring nursing class.
  • Students who must withdraw from a nursing (N) course for medical reasons must submit the signed form from their healthcare provider stating they cannot continue in the nursing courses for medical reasons.  This form can be obtained from the clinical instructor or BSN Professional Advisor.
  • If a student wishes to withdraw from a nursing course for non-medical reasons, s/he must withdraw from all the nursing courses for the semester s/he is enrolled. Students withdrawing for non-medical reasons will only be allowed to re-enroll in the nursing courses on a space available basis. If there are more students than positions available, the student(s) with the highest nursing major GPA will be given priority for the position(s) available. To be considered for progression the student must submit a letter of intent to the BSN Professional Advisor within 5 business days of grades being posted.
  • Reapplication to the School of Nursing is required for students who withdraw from level 1 nursing courses for causes other than documented medical, personal or family reasons. Students must submit a completed application packet by the published application deadline in order to be considered for readmission. Enrollment is limited and the number of qualified applicants often exceeds the number of students who can be admitted. Previous admission does not guarantee acceptance. If in the judgment of the professor there is reason to question the emotional or physical condition of a student or the safety or quality of nursing care provided, the professor has the right and obligation to exclude the student from the clinical area.

Policy:  Students withdrawing from the UTC School of Nursing program may be at-risk for readmission to the program.  Withdrawal from any nursing course seriously jeopardizes progression in the nursing program.  Please review the School of Nursing Program/Course(s) Withdrawal Procedure carefully.

 

Procedure:  Students considering withdrawing from the School of Nursing Program/Course(s) must:

  1. Meet with the School of Nursing BSN Professional Advisor to discuss the withdrawal process and considerations for readmission prior to initiating withdrawal process.  If a student wishes to withdraw from a nursing course for non-medical reasons, s/he must withdraw from all the nursing courses for the semester s/he is enrolled.   Students withdrawing for non-medical reasons will only be allowed to re-enroll in the nursing courses on a space available basis.  Reapplication to the School of Nursing is required for students who withdraw from level 1 nursing courses for causes other than documented medical, personal or family reasons.  Students must submit a completed application packet by the published application deadline in order to be considered for readmission.   Enrollment is limited and the number of qualified applicants often exceeds the number of students who can be admitted.  Previous admission does not guarantee acceptance.
  2. Provide a letter to the School of Nursing BSN Professional Advisor stating s/he is withdrawing from the School of Nursing Program/Course(s).  In the letter, the student should include if or when s/he might anticipate returning to the program.  This letter will be kept in the student’s permanent nursing file.
  3. If withdrawing for medical reasons, the required form signed by the healthcare provider must be included with the letter from the student.
  4. Turn in the School of Nursing name badge to the School of Nursing BSN Professional Advisor upon withdrawal.

Dismissal Policies-- Students may be dismissed from the School of Nursing BSN program when:

  1. they earn a second course grade of “D”, “F”, or “NC”

AND/OR

  1. they are found guilty of unprofessional conduct, negligent habits, unsafe behaviors, or other cause as may be specified in the Tennessee Board of Nursing Rules and Regulations of Registered Nurses

AND/OR

  1. they are found guilty of a violation of the ANA Code of Ethics

                                AND/OR

  1. they are found guilty of a violation of the UTC Honor Code

 

Dismissal Process

Dismissal for grades—When a student earns a course grade of “D”, “F”, or “NC”, in an undergraduate nursing course, the course faculty will

  1. notify the School of Nursing (SON) BSN Professional Advisor via official UTC email within 3 business days. A copy of this notification will be kept in the student’s file in the SON.
  2. After the BSN Professional Advisor is notified of a second earned grade of “D”, “F”, or “NC”, s/he will send notification to the Director of the SON and the Chair of the SON Academic Affairs Committee via  UTC email within 3 business days.
  3. The Chair of the SON Academic Affairs Committee will notify the student of his/her dismissal from the SON via UTC email within 3 business days of official posting of grades for the semester.

 

Dismissal for reasons other than grades—When a faculty member determines that a student has exhibited either unprofessional conduct, negligent habits, unsafe behavior, or other cause as may be specified in the Tennessee Board of Nursing Rules and Regulations of Registered Nurses and/or violated the ANA Code of Ethics, that faculty member

    1. notifies the Level Facilitator who calls a level sub-committee meeting within 5 business days to discuss the student’s behavior. 
    2. If the Level Sub-Committee deems that the student’s behavior justifies dismissal from the SON, the level facilitator will notify the School of Nursing (SON) BSN Professional Advisor via official UTC email within 3 business days of the decision.  A copy of this notification will be kept in the student’s file in the SON.
    3. After the BSN Professional Advisor is notified, s/he will send notification to the Director of the SON and the Chair of the SON Academic Affairs Committee via official UTC email within 3 business days.

 

Appeal Procedure -- Students dismissed from the School of Nursing for grades may remain in nursing courses during the grade appeal and appeal for program dismissal.  If the final decision is that the grade appeal and/or School of Nursing program dismissal is upheld the students must immediately withdraw from the nursing course(s).

 

Students who wish to appeal a course grade, will follow the procedure as outlined in the University grade appeals procedure as outlined in the UTC Student Handbook. A second grade of ‘D”, “F”, or “NC” will result in dismissal from the School of Nursing.  If the course grade stands after the grade appeal and the student is dismissed from the School of Nursing, they have 5 days to appeal program dismissal to the Academic Affairs committee (see #2 below).

 

Students who wish to appeal program dismissal for grades

  1. The student must submit the School of Nursing Appeal of Program Dismissal form to the Academic Affairs Committee Chair within 5 business days of receiving official UTC email notification of SON dismissal from the Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee.
  2. The Academic Affairs Committee Chair will call a meeting upon receiving the appeal within 5 business days. The Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee will notify the student by official UTC email of the committee decision within 24 hours of the meeting. 
  3. If the student appeal is denied and the student wishes to continue the appeal process, s/he may request the Academic Affairs Chair forward all materials and the School of Nursing Appeal of Program Dismissal form to the Director of the SON. This request must be within 5 business days of receiving  UTC email notification of the Committee's decision from the Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee.  The Director will make a decision and notify the student and the Academic Affairs Committee Chair via  UTC email within 24 hours of the request explaining the basis for the decision.
  4. The student or the Academic Affairs Committee may appeal the Director’s decision to the Dean of the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies in writing within 5 business days following receipt via UTC email of notification of the Director’s decision. The written document to the Dean must explain the basis for the appeal. 

 

Students who wish to appeal program dismissal for reasons other than grades

  1. The student must submit a written document that explains the basis for the appeal to Director of the SON within 5 business days of receiving official UTC email notification of SON dismissal from the Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee. The Director will make a decision and notify the student and the Academic Affairs Committee Chair via official UTC email within 24 hours explaining the basis for the decision. 
  2. The student may appeal the Director’s decision to the Dean of the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies in writing within 5 business days following receipt via UTC email of notification of the Director’s decision. The written document to the Dean must explain the basis for the appeal.  If an appeal is made to the Dean, the Director will forward all relevant documentation pertinent to the appeal to the Dean. 
  3. The Dean will make a decision and notify the student, the Academic Affairs Committee Chair, and the Director of the SON via UTC email stating the decision and explaining the basis for the decision.
  4. The student or the Director of the SON may appeal the decision of the Dean to the Chancellor in writing within 5 business days following notification via official UTC email of the Dean’s decision. The written document to the Chancellor must explain the basis for the appeal.  If an appeal is made to the Chancellor, the Dean will forward all relevant documentation pertinent to the appeal to the Chancellor.
  5. The decision of the Chancellor shall be final and all involved parties will receive official UTC email notification.
Approved by SON Faculty Committee, 10/11/16

Appeal Form for BSN Program Dismissal

The process for admission for students transferring from a nursing program to the UTC nursing program:

  1. Admitted to UTC by the School of Nursing application deadline.
  2. Student must turn in a complete nursing application, letter of good standing from previous school, transcripts and copies of syllabi of all previous nursing course(s) taken to BSN Professional Advisor prior to the application deadline.
  3. BSN Professional Advisor reviews the syllabi to see who the appropriate faculty member is to approve and distributes them for approval.
  4. BSN Professional Advisor completes a student profile sheet and an advisement sheet with the nursing courses approved.
  5. BSN Professional Advisor brings all of the information to the next Academic Affairs admissions meeting for a decision to be made on placement in the nursing program.  All nursing transfer students must adhere to required pre-requisite courses for progression in the nursing program. 
  6. Students who have earned a D or F in any designated nursing course will not be eligible for nursing admission. 
 Approved by faculty, 1/13/09

Policy:  Students who have withdrawn from the School of Nursing will be considered for readmission based upon:

  1. Space available, unless withdrawal was for medical reasons or military service.  Priority for registration in nursing courses will be given to the student who has failed a course then to those who have withdrawn.
  2. Eligibility to return to any other college attended during withdrawal period.
  3. Ability to meet UTC continuation standards.
  4. Ability to meet core performance standards.

 

Procedure:  The process for readmission for students who have withdrawn from the UTC School of Nursing:

  1. Submit a letter requesting readmission to School of Nursing BSN Professional Advisor by February 1 for the fall semester and September 1 for the spring semester.
  2. If student has received credit for additional nursing courses since withdrawal, s/he must submit official transcripts, a letter of good standing from previous school and copies of syllabi of all previous nursing course(s) taken to School of Nursing BSN Professional Advisor.
  3. Students who withdrew for medical reasons must submit the School of Nursing Return to Clinical form with their healthcare provider's signature.
 Approved by faculty, 1/13/09; Update 1/10/12

Students are expected to be present and prepared for all learning experiences planned by the School of Nursing.  Promptness is expected for all classes and clinical laboratory/practicum.  Attendance for didactic courses is determined by the course faculty.  Attendance at clinical laboratory/practicum is mandatory.  Absences may necessitate review of the student’s record by course faculty to determine need for make-up days.  Tardiness is not acceptable.  Students must follow course policies for clinical absences and tardiness.  Students may be asked to leave the clinical area due to lack of preparation or inappropriate attire or behavior.  Students are to follow the course syllabus for further information.

Students enrolled full time in the BSN program in the School of Nursing may need to work. Based on our experience, it is often difficult to accommodate the demands of academic and work schedules concurrently. We recognize that work in clinical setting may positively affect students’ professional development. However, students must balance academic demands in the School of Nursing and work demands in order to be successful in the BSN Program. While the School of Nursing does not have a policy limiting the number of hours a student enrolled full time in the program may be employed, we recommend the following.

 

  1. Limit work dealing as much as possible to insure students can meet academic responsibilities. The nursing program is full time Monday through Friday. The scheduling of clinical and classroom experiences may change during the semester depending on opportunities and needs, therefore, outside work should be limited to weekends.
  2. The literature and experience reveals that full-time undergraduate nursing students who attempt to work more than 12 hours per week are most likely to jeopardize academic performance
  3. Students who exceed a total of 12 hours of employment need to make an appointment with their advisor or the Undergraduate Coordinator to discuss their situation. Students who fail to meet the established academic standards in the School of Nursing due to employment will not receive special consideration on appeal. Employment shall not be considered a reason for students not achieving academic responsibilities and performance.
  4. Students who need to work should discuss their situation with an advisor/mentor before risking academic jeopardy. Students may need to temporarily defer academic course work and/or explore various loans and scholarships. UTC Financial Aid Office is available to discuss loan options. Scholarships from the School of Nursing are available, and an annual call for applications is conducted each fall for disbursement. All students are encouraged to apply. Some awards are based on need and others on merit/scholarship.

A certain level of English proficiency is necessary for academic success in nursing as well as for patient safety.  As nursing involves public safety, requirements are in place to ensure that nursing students can understand, read, and speak English well enough to safely exchange written and verbal information with other health care providers and with patients from a wide range of backgrounds.

If an ESL student is unable to meet the communication core performance standard necessary to be successful in the nursing program, s/he may be required to complete additional activities, for example:

 

  1. Complete a Rosetta Stone English language course
  2. Complete the Medical Terminology course, PHTH 3020
  3. Work in a healthcare environment that allows for communication with patients and the healthcare team.
  4. Complete or repeat the TOEFL achieving or exceeding the following benchmarks:

550 on the paper-based examination

220 on the computer-based examination

5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Information on the TOEFL can be found at The Educational Testing Service www.ETS.org and information on the International English Language Testing System can be found at www.ietls.com.

 

The faculty member will initiate a Performance Improvement Plan outlining the additional requirements.

 3/24/25 Approved by Academic Affairs Committee; 4/14/15 Approved by Full Faculty

It is the policy of the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies (CHEPS) and the School of Nursing (SON) to be in compliance with all policies of the clinical facilities with which the College affiliates for student clinical learning experiences.  The Chattanooga Area Consortium of Healthcare Education and healthcare facilities affiliated with this group require all students in a health care related program to complete a N 95 Fit Test and respirator clearance.

 

The unique environment of an acute care setting has been identified as a high risk direct care provider environment, and the safety of the patient and the care provider must be maintained.  The use of an N95 mask and its proper fit is an OSHA standard implemented for the protection of workers in “dangerous respiratory environments” including the health care setting.  The requirement to complete the N95 Fit Test and respirator clearance is based on a need to protect the students as well as other patients from the spread of debilitating and/or fatal diseases to which the student could be exposed.

 

Thus, as a student who must meet all clinical requirements in order to participate in clinical courses, a N 95 Fit Testing and respirator clearance must be completed for a fee.

 

2/22/06; Reviewed 9/07/10

The official uniform consists of: 

Navy blue uniform pants and navy embroidered shirt purchased from the uniform store designated by the School of Nursing.  Shoes must be all white with white laces, closed toe with a back.  Must wear white socks, athletic and colored socks are not allowed.  Students have the option to purchase a grey crew neck t-shirt from the designated uniform store to wear under the uniform top.  No other type of shirt may be worn under the uniform top.

UTC id with the BSN student identification credential badge attached on the SON issued badge clip must be worn with the uniform.

Miscellaneous items: 
1.  Plain white lab coat (optional) – must be purchased from contracted vendor. 
2.  Bandage scissors (optional) 
3.  Watch with second hand 
4.  Pen (black ink) 
5.  Stethoscope 
6.  Small pocket calculator (optional) 

General guidelines: 

1. Jewelry limited to one set of very small stud type earrings in the ear  
and wedding bands only (no stones allowed in wedding bands).  No necklaces or bracelets may be worn in clinical.  Facial or tongue piercing jewelry are not allowed.  A nude nose plug can be worn to keep piercing in nose open but nothing that is visible. No gauge (button) piercing.  

2. No visible tattoos.   

3. Nails: 

  • No nail polish. 
  • Clean and trimmed short, smoothly filed, no longer than 1/8 of an inch. 
  • No artificial nails or nail decorations.  Artificial nails are defined as any material applied to the nail for the purpose of strengthening or lengthening, including wraps, acrylics, or tips. 
  • Clean and trimmed short, smoothly filed, no longer than 1/8 of an inch. 
  • Nails must be trimmed short, smoothly filed, no longer than 1/8 of an inch. 


4. Beige or white undergarments must be worn.  No cleavage, midriff, lower back or buttocks should be visible upon bending or other movements.   

5. Shoes and uniforms must be neat and clean at all times. 

6. Dress uniform length should be no shorter than knee length. 

7. Hair must be groomed in accordance with the policy of the clinical agency.   

  • Hair that is shoulder length or longer will be secured back from the face so as to not fall forward when providing clinical care.   
  • Well-groomed beards, mustaches, and goatees are allowed, as long as the facial seal for the particulate respirator mask necessary for the care of TB patients is not compromised. 
  • Hair must be a naturally occurring color. 

8. Hair Accessories: 

  • Should coordinate (tastefully, professionally) with uniform color. 
  • Hair accessories must be simple, small, conservative clips, barrettes, or combs, headbands without attachments and bows. 
  • Loose end of ribbons or bows must be restrained. 

9. Make-up should be conservative.   

10. Use of scented body products, such as perfumes, lotions and aftershaves, are prohibited.  The odor of cigarette smoke on your person is not allowed.   

11. Complete nursing uniforms are to be worn in the School of Nursing clinical sites unless otherwise specified.  A student inappropriately dressed may be asked to leave the clinical area and this will be considered an unexcused clinical absence. 

12. Student uniforms are only to be worn when students are functioning under the auspices of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Nursing. 

Approved by faculty, 4-21-09; rev’d 9/2011; rev’d 11/11/2014; rev’d 10/27/15; rev'd 3/23/17

 

Graduate Policies and Procedures

 

MSN Program Outcomes

  1. Synthesizes concepts and theories from nursing and related sciences into the delivery of advanced nursing care to diverse groups. (Essential I, Essential IX)
  2. Understands how healthcare delivery systems are organized and financed, the impact of healthcare delivery systems on patient care, and identify economic, legal, and political factors that influence healthcare. (Essential II, Essential VI)
  3. Promotes a professional environment that includes accountability, high-level communication skills, advocacy for patients, and abilities to analyze information regarding quality initiatives for improvement of patient care across nursing and interprofessional teams. (Essential III, Essential VII)
  4. Integrates theory, evidence, clinical judgment, research, practice guidelines and translational processes to improve practice and patient outcomes. (Essential I, Essential IV, Essential V, Essential VIII)
  5. Examines impact of national and state policy, legal, and regulatory processes on nursing practice and population or patient health outcomes. (Essential VI)
  6. Advocates for the value and role of the profession nurse while employing collaborative strategies in the design, coordination, and evaluation of patient-centered care. (Essential VII)
  7. Synthesizes social determinants of health and research data to design and deliver evidence-based, culturally relevant clinical interventions and strategies. (Essential III, Essential IV, Essential VIII, Essential IX)
  8. Incorporates the best available evidence from nursing and related sciences to build a foundation for practice. (Essential I, Essential IV, Essential IX)
  9. Includes core scientific and ethical principles in identifying potential and actual ethical issues arising from practice to assist patients and members of the health care team to address these issues. (Essential II, Essential VI, Essential VII)
  10. For Advanced Practice Registered Nurse MSN: Demonstrates the ability to assess, diagnose, plan, intervene, evaluate, and revise patient care to positively impact health outcomes using advanced knowledge in health assessment, pharmacology, pathophysiology, cultural competency, organizations and systems theories, communication, healthcare policy, advocacy, and inter-professional practice. (Essential I, Essential VIII, Essential IX)

 DNP Program Outcomes

  1. Practice in a specialized advanced nursing role.
  2. Apply evidence-based practice and prevention recommendations.
  3. Employ organizational and leadership competencies.    
  4. Critically appraise information systems and advanced technical resources.       
  5. Integrate knowledge from nursing and other sciences.
  6. Influence proposals for health policy.
  7. Stimulate effective system change.

In addition to faculty, each graduate student will be advised by the Coordinator of Nursing Programs and Business Operations who handles graduate student advisement.  The primary role of this coordinator is to help the student understand the academic and administrative processes of the School of Nursing and the University.  Academic advising issues such as submitting a petition, course registration, graduation planning, or discussion of life issues related to the student’s program of study can be discussed with the coordinator. Below is a guideline of various entities and questions that students may need to seek advisement from the coordinator.

  • Petition
  • Registration Holds
  • Graduation Applications
  • Pin Number & other registration issues
  • Program related issues
  • Financial Aid Issues
  • Probation Issues/Academic Standing
  • Progression Issues
  • SON or University Policies
  • Issues with Nursing Courses
  • Concerns/Grievances related to SON/Graduate School/University Policies
  • Available University Resources

Each graduate student in the nursing program must complete and submit a Program of Study and Graduation Application following the appropriate timelines. During the first semester in the program, the Program of Study Form must be completed.  The student must complete a Graduation Application Form prior to the semester of graduation.  These forms can be found on the Graduate School website at http://www.utc.edu/graduate-school/student-resources/forms.php. The coordinator will send an announcement with the appropriate forms to students prior to the deadline, but the student is ultimately responsible for ensuring their forms are submitted.

The School of Nursing Grading Scale has been approved by faculty for all programs.  Grading Scale: The following numerical grading scale will be used in all nursing courses:

  • 92-100: A
  • 84-91: B
  • 78-83: C
  • 70-77: D
  • <70: F

During each semester, all grades will be recorded to two (2) decimal places. At the end of the semester, the final grade will be calculated to two decimal places and rounded mathematically:

  • Less than 0.50 – Round down to next whole number ex. 91.49 = 91
  • 0.50 or greater – Round up to next whole number ex. 91.50 = 92

(Approved by Graduate Committee 8/17/2010; Approved by School of Nursing Faculty 9/21/10)

To continue in the graduate nursing program, students must follow the policies and procedures for progression.  Any of the following violations may subject a student to dismissal from the program.

  1. Students who do not conform to the “Continuation Standards” as stated in the UTC Graduate Catalog are subject to dismissal. This means maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on all courses taken for graduate credit.
  2. Students earning a “C” or less or a “No Credit” in any course will be required to repeat the course. Any student who earns a “C” or less and/or a “No Credit” in two courses during their enrollment will be considered for dismissal from the School of Nursing. Students must also meet the standards of the Graduate School related to academic progression. See Graduate Catalog http://www.utc.edu/Administration/Records/Catalogs/ for Graduate School Standards related to academic progression. (Approved by Graduate Committee 10/19/2010 – unanimous; Approved by School of Nursing Faculty 11/9/10 – unanimous)
  3. Students who fail to achieve professional skills/behavior/fitness or violate the ethical code of conduct governing members of the professional organization for the program’s discipline are subject to dismissal.
  4. Students who do not maintain active clinical requirements while in the program are subject to dismissal. Clinical agencies such as hospitals, health departments, clinics etc., have certain criteria with which the school must comply and certify that the students in clinical agencies as part of clinical courses meet these requirements.

The Grade Appeal Policy is the same as the Graduate School Grade Appeal Policy.  Each faculty member has the prerogative and responsibility to determine in accordance with his or her best judgment the grade for each student. Whenever a student feels that his/her rights and interests have been seriously jeopardized by unfair, arbitrary, or malicious exercise of faculty grading prerogative, the student may appeal a grade. Failure to receive the grade desired or expected is not sufficient reason to appeal a grade. If at any step in the appeals process the University fails to respond to the student within the time specified, this shall be treated as a denial of the appeal and the student may proceed to the next step of the process.

The appeal procedure is designed to provide graduate students with a clearly defined method for appealing a grade which is deemed to have been assigned unfairly, arbitrarily, or maliciously. The following procedure is to be followed for all grades (including comprehensive examinations) that are included on a student’s transcript. In all cases, the instructor shall be presumed to have assigned the proper grade and the student appealing shall have the burden of proof to the contrary.

Step 1. The student shall consult with the instructor within 5 working days after grades are made electronically available to students. If an agreement is reached, the appeal process ends.

Step 2. If the student cannot reach the professor or if the complaint is not resolved, the student must contact the department head or director within 10 working days of the date grades were made electronically available. The department head/director will attempt to resolve the complaint in consultation with the instructor and the student individually or together. Within 5 working days of the initial contact by the student, the department head/director will notify or confirm in writing to the student the results of this consultation. The department head/director will also notify the graduate coordinator of the program in which the student is enrolled. If an agreement is reached, the process ends. If the department head/director is the instructor of the course involved in the complaint and the problem cannot be resolved through Step 1, the department head/director will notify the student in writing of his/her decision, and the student may proceed with Step 3.

Step 3. If an agreement is not reached at the departmental level and the student wishes to appeal, the student must obtain, complete, and return to The Graduate School office a grade appeal form within 10 working days after being mailed notification or confirmation by the department head of the departmental decision. The form includes a place for the signature of the department head or director indicating that the first two steps have been followed, the signature of the Dean of the appropriate college or school, a request for a hearing before the Grade Appeals Committee, and supporting information to justify the student’s appeal.

Step 4. The Dean of The Graduate School will arrange a grade appeals meeting to be held within 10 working days after receiving the grade appeal form. Present at the meeting will be the Grade Appeals Committee (the Chair of the Graduate Council and three members of the Council), the student, the faculty member, the Dean (or his/her designated representative) of the college or school in which the appeal originated, the Dean of The Graduate School, and up to two non-voting faculty members of the department affected. The student will be given time to present his/her case with a question-answer period following. The faculty member will then present his/her response followed by another question-answer period. The student and faculty member may be present during both presentations and during both question-answer periods, and both presentations must adhere to the issues covered in the written appeal. When the committee deems it has sufficient information to determine the case, the student, faculty member, and visiting members of the department will be asked to leave, and the committee will begin its deliberation and make its decision. If the committee decides that additional information is needed, the chair may request such information orally or in writing before the committee makes a decision.

Step 5. The committee will recommend that 1) the grade previously assigned be upheld; or 2) the faculty member be asked to change the grade; or 3) the grade of I be assigned until completion of specified requirements agreed upon by faculty and student. The Dean of The Graduate School will send a copy of the recommendation to the student, the faculty member, the graduate coordinator, the department head/director, and the Dean. Within 10 working days after being mailed the recommendation, the student and faculty member must each notify the Dean of The Graduate School of an intention to accept or reject the recommendation. If both faculty and student agree to accept the recommendation of the committee, the process ends. If that recommendation includes a grade change, the faculty member will make the necessary change and notify the Dean of The Graduate School that the change has been made. The Dean of the Graduate School will then notify the student of the change.  If no response is received after 10 working days, then the recommendation of the grade appeal committee is upheld as the final decision.

Step 6. If either the student or faculty chooses to reject the recommendation and wishes to continue the appeal process, the Dean of The Graduate School will notify the faculty member as well as the graduate coordinator, the department head or director, and the Dean. The Dean of The Graduate School will then submit all materials to the Chancellor who may request additional information/materials from either/both parties. The Chancellor’s decision is final, and a copy of that decision will be mailed to the student, the faculty member, the graduate coordinator, the department head/director, the Dean, and the Dean of The Graduate School.

A copy of the Graduate Student Grade Appeals Form, the results of the hearing, and the Chancellor’s decision (if applicable) will become a part of the student’s file. A permanent record of all grade appeals reviewed by the Grade Appeals Committee shall be maintained in The Graduate School office.

 

A recommendation for dismissal can be made by a majority vote of the UTC School of Nursing Graduate Committee if a student earns a semester GPA below 3.0 while on academic probation for low institutional cumulative GPA, fails to achieve professional skills/behavior/fitness, violates the ethical code of conduct governing members of the professional organization for the program’s discipline, or fails to progress in the program due to grades. Such recommendation shall be made in writing to the Director of the UTC School of Nursing. Before communicating with the student, the Director of the UTC School of Nursing will consult with the academic Dean of the college where the program resides and the Dean of the Graduate School. Other university administrators may be consulted as necessary. Upon the concurrence of the academic Dean and the Dean of the Graduate School (and others if consulted) with the decision to dismiss, the Director of the UTC School of Nursing shall provide written notification through UTC email of dismissal to the student within five working days of the consultation with the academic Dean and the Dean of the Graduate School. Such notice shall inform the student of the right to appeal and direct them to the policy for dismissal and appeal.

The student may continue to attend classes during the appeal process or register for subsequent semesters unless the student’s presence poses a continuing threat to persons or property, an ongoing risk of disrupting the academic process, or health/safety concerns. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The Director of the UTC School of Nursing and instructors will outline specifically what the student must do to be allowed to continue to attend classes, internships, and clinical rotations and may limit the student to an observer’s role in clinical situations. Any such determination shall be included as part of the Director of the UTC School of Nursing’s written notification through UTC email to the student. If the student does not comply with the requirements outlined in this written notification, the student may be immediately removed and may not attend classes while his/her appeal is in process.

Appeal Procedure: Following written notification through UTC email of dismissal from the program by the Director of the UTC School of Nursing, the student has the right to appeal. Students who wish to appeal their dismissal should complete the Program Dismissal Appeal Form included in this policy.  The appeal form and relevant documentation must be submitted to the Director of the UTC School of Nursing through UTC email within five working days of notification of program dismissal. In all cases, the program faculty shall be presumed to have taken appropriate action and the student appealing shall have the burden of proof to the contrary.

Step 1. Within five working days of receipt of the student’s appeal form, the Director of the UTC School of Nursing will meet with the student and review the student’s appeal with him/her. If the student declines such a meeting, the Director of the UTC School of Nursing will proceed to Step 2.

Step 2. Within five working days of the meeting described in Step 1, the Director of the UTC School of Nursing (in consultation with the Dean of the academic college) will notify and confirm in writing through UTC email to the student the results of this appeal. The Director of the UTC School of Nursing will also notify the Dean of the Graduate School regarding the results of this appeal. Copies of this notification will be sent to the faculty.

Step 3. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the Director of the UTC School of Nursing, he/she may appeal this decision to the UTC Graduate Council Appeals Committee (the Chair of the Graduate Council and three members of the Council). Such appeal must be made within five working days of notification of the Director of the UTC School of Nursing’s decision.  The student should contact the UTC Graduate School for information on appealing to the UTC Graduate Council Appeals Committee.

Step 4. Within five working days of receiving the student’s written appeal, the Graduate Council Appeals Committee will meet to hear the student’s appeal. The Chair of the Graduate Council shall preside over this hearing as a non-voting chair. The student may bring such materials and/or witnesses as necessary to support his or her position. The Director of the UTC School of Nursing and/or a representative(s) of the program faculty may also attend this hearing in order to explain the reason(s) for the dismissal and answer questions. After hearing, the Dean of the Graduate School will notify and confirm in writing to the student the results of this appeal. The Dean of the Graduate School will also notify the academic Dean and the Director of the UTC School of Nursing, who will in turn notify the program faculty.

Step 5. If the student remains unsatisfied with this decision, he or she may appeal in writing to the Chancellor of the University. Such request must be made within five working days of notification from the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School shall forward all pertinent information to the Chancellor with a recommendation. The Chancellor’s decision shall be made within ten working days and shall be considered final.

The full policy and form for dismissal appeal is available here: Program Dismissal Policy and Form

 

When a student is accepted to the graduate program, they must follow the process below to complete clinical requirements and submit required documents. 

Background Check and Admission Forms

  • Students must complete and submit the Graduate Acknowledgement Form and the Program of Study Forms upon receiving acceptance into the School of Nursing.
  • Students must complete and submit the background check form and complete the online registration to begin the background check using Verified Credentials upon receiving acceptance into the School of Nursing.

Physical, Drug Screen and Titers

  • Students must submit proof of a physical and 10-panel drug screen*, all requested titers (MMR, HepB, Varicella), most recent flu vaccination, TB skin test and Tetanus booster to Student Health Services (fax to 423-425-2305) to have the appropriate form (Physical Examination and Health Documentation Form) completed clearing them for clinical. 

*The physical must have been completed within six months of the deadline for submitting clinical requirements.  The drug screen for all graduate programs except Nurse Anesthesia must be completed within six months of the deadline for submitting clinical requirements.  Nurse Anesthesia students must wait and complete their drug screen at a random time during their first semester in the program when instructed to do so.

Fit Testing, Joint Commission Testing, CPR, Licensure and Insurance

  • Students must provide proof of fit testing annually.
  • Students must provide proof of current Joint Commission testing.  If a student does not have access to current Joint Commission testing, he/she may request access to use the School of Nursing TCPS system.
  • Students must provide proof of current CPR certification.  Nurse Anesthesia requires BLS, ACLS and PALS.
  • Students must provide proof of current licensure printed from the appropriate state board of nursing site.  Students should NOT submit copies of their actual license.
  • Students must provide proof of current health insurance and proof of payment for student liability insurance annually through the UTC Bursars Office.  Payment for liability insurance must be made on June 1st each year.  Students entering their program in the summer semester who are not participating in clinical prior to June 1st that initial summer semester are permitted to wait to pay for liability insurance and submit it on June 1st.

Step one must be completed upon receiving acceptance into the School of Nursing.  All clinical requirements in steps two and three should be submitted by the specified clinical requirement deadline given at admission with the exceptions to the drug screening and payment of liability insurance noted above.  After this, students must continue to update any requirements that expire prior to their expiration.  Students are not permitted to be in the clinical setting in any form unless clinical requirements are complete and current.  It is the responsibility of the student to ensure their clinical requirements are complete and current.   Below is a checklist to help track all required documents.

The policies for the MSN Nurse Anesthesia Concentration are available here: MSN Nurse Anesthesia Policies
The policies for the MSN Nurse Practitioner Concentration are available here: MSN Nurse Practitioner Policies
 The policies for the DNP are available here: DNP Policies

 

Updated 01/26/17