Undergraduate Catalog

Nursing

Director: Dr. P. Lea Monahan
Office: Currens Hall 510
Telephone: (309) 298-2571; Fax: (309) 298-3190
Email: PL-Monahan@wiu.edu
Website: wiu.edu/nursing

Program Offering and Locations:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Macomb, Online (RN–BSN Completion emphasis)

For student learning outcomes, please see wiu.edu/provost/learningoutcomes.

Faculty: Bartlett, Baylor, Eathington, Fox, Harden, Made Gowda, Monahan, Nash, White, Whitehouse, Wolfe.

The School of Nursing at Western Illinois University is committed to educating future professional nurses who are clinically competent using evidence based practice as the norm, capable of critical thinking using information and information technology to design and redesign care and care systems, and ethically and legally accountable for their actions. The School offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) for pre-licensure students, as well as an RN-BSN Completion Program for those students who are registered nurses. The baccalaureate degree in nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 887-6791.

GradTrac is available to Nursing majors. See more information about GradTrac.

Honors Curriculum—Academically qualified students in this School are encouraged to complete an honors curriculum in University Honors, Honors in the Major, or General Honors. All Honors students must complete the one-hour honors colloquium (G H 299). General Honors includes General Honors coursework. Honors in the Major includes honors work in the major. University Honors combines Honors in the Major and General Honors. View more information about honors curricula or visit the Centennial Honors College website at wiu.edu/honors.

Acceptance into the Nursing Major

  1. Upon being admitted to Western Illinois University, students indicating a desire to be considered for admission into the School of Nursing will be granted one of the following options:
    1. Early admission into the Nursing major
    2. Accepted in the Pre-Nursing program and required to complete criteria for admission to the Nursing major
  2. Complete all General Education and Nursing support course requirements.
  3. Students in the Pre-Nursing program must submit a formal application to the Nursing major.

Pre-Licensure Program

Prospective Nursing students must apply for and be granted regular admission to Western Illinois University and declare Pre-Nursing after acceptance to the University.

Admission to the School of Nursing

Individuals who wish to major in Nursing and enter the Pre-Nursing program will declare their intent with Admissions. New freshmen students will be accepted as a Pre-Nursing major if they have an ACT composite score of 20 or higher or SAT composite score of 1020 or higher, and a high school academic GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher. For new transfer and current WIU students, their applications to the School of Nursing will be reviewed on the basis of all their previous collegiate coursework.

If a student is not selected for early admission to the School of Nursing or placed in the Pre-Nursing program, the student is placed in a program where the General Education and Nursing support course requirements can be completed. All General Education and Nursing support courses must be satisfactorily completed by August 1 for Fall semester admission and January 2 for Spring semester admission into the Nursing major.

Students who wish to transfer to the Pre-Nursing program but were not eligible to be placed in Pre-Nursing at the time of admission to the University may do so after they successfully complete at least 24 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), including at least three (3) of the Nursing support courses with a C+ or better and with permission from the Nursing advisor.

There is no guarantee that students who are in the Pre-Nursing program will be admitted to the Nursing major. Please note that admission to the Nursing major is highly competitive. Students who have completed 60 semester hours of the General Education and support courses or are in the final semester of completing the requirements may formally apply to the School of Nursing for admission to the Nursing major.

Individuals who are registered nurses with either an Associate’s degree in Nursing or a Diploma in Nursing will first be admitted to Western Illinois University and request the RN–BSN Completion Program. RN students may formally apply to the School of Nursing for admission to the Nursing major after all General Education and support course requirements have been satisfied. Special consideration may be given to prospective students with documented extenuating circumstances.

Early Admission to the Nursing Major

New freshmen may be selected for early admission to the Nursing major on the basis of their application to the School of Nursing. Students selected for early admission into the Nursing major typically have an ACT composite score of 24 or higher or SAT composite score of 1160 or higher. Students are accepted into the major on a competitive and selective basis; however, students selected for early admission are guaranteed placement into the Nursing major. To maintain early admission into the Nursing major status, students must maintain an overall WIU GPA and a Nursing support course GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher. Any student not adhering to the above criteria will be moved to University Advising major status and will need to reapply to the Nursing major during specified time periods. A student admitted via the Early Admission classification must be enrolled full-time at Western Illinois University while completing his/her prerequisite coursework and General Education requirements unless the student receives prior approval from his/her academic advisor. Failure to do so could result in dismissal from the program. The number of students admitted into the major may vary from year to year, depending on program capacity and qualifications of students in the pool. Students granted early admission into the major will complete the admission packet and submit the required paperwork by March 1 but will not be placed in the new applicant pool, as they have already been admitted.

Admission to the Nursing Major

Students who wish to apply to the School of Nursing for admission to the Nursing major must:

  1. Have a completed application on file with the Nursing Centralized Application Service (Nursing CAS) no later than the following deadlines:
    Pre-Licensure Program: March 1 for admission to the next Fall semester and October 1 for admission to Spring semester.
    RN–BSN Completion Program: August 1 for admission to Fall semester.
  2. Provide evidence of English language proficiency by obtaining a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) by August 1 for Fall semester admission or by January 2 for Spring semester admission. A satisfactory minimal passing TOEFL score is 560 paper-based, 220 computer-based, or an 83 on the internet Based Version (iBT). Only students whose native language is English are exempt from the English proficiency requirements.
    Pre-Licensure Program: Students must also successfully completing the English as a Second Language Program through the WESL Institute by these deadlines.
  3. Complete all General Education and Nursing support course requirements by August 1 for Fall semester admission.
    Pre-Licensure Program: Deadline for Spring semester is January 2.
    RN–BSN Completion Program: Students may also transfer courses to WIU by the August 1 deadline. There are 60 semester hours of General Education and Nursing support course requirements. Special consideration may be given to prospective students with documented extenuating circumstances.
  4. Have a minimum cumulative GPA as indicated below. The Nursing support courses must have a grade of C+ (2.33) or better. In addition, only one of the Nursing support courses may be repeated if a grade of C+ (2.33) is not achieved. A student may repeat one course one time. Admission will be denied to any student who receives a second grade of less than C+ (2.33) for any Nursing support course.
    Pre-Licensure Program: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all post-secondary work and for all Nursing support courses. The Nursing support courses must have a grade of C+ (2.33) or better.
    RN–BSN Completion Program: 2.33 on a 4.0 scale for all post-secondary work. Students may substitute equivalent courses.
  5. All Nursing and Nursing support courses must be completed within the last five years. For Nursing courses and/or Nursing support courses more than five years old, the student must submit a portfolio to the School of Nursing Committee for Admission, Progression and Retention as specified below. The five-year requirement for Nursing and Nursing support courses may be waived as indicated below.
    Pre-Licensure Program: Portfolio is to detail the student’s work experiences and continuing education (CE) (requires documentation) since completing the course(s). May be waived for those students who have maintained continuous work experience related to the Nursing support courses or have continuous continuing education (CE) in Nursing related to the Nursing support courses since completing the courses. Individuals without documented current knowledge may be required to take current Nursing support courses.
    RN–BSN Completion Program: Portfolio is to detail the student’s practice and continuing education (CE) (requires documentation) since graduation from Nursing school. May be waived for those students who have maintained continuous practice or have continuous continuing education (CE) in Nursing since graduation from their Associate’s or Diploma program. Nurses without continuous practice or continuous continuing education (CE) in Nursing may be required to take current Nursing support courses. The CHEM 101 and CHEM 102 Nursing support course requirement may be waived if the Chemistry course the student completed [at least a C+ (2.33)] was at the college level and included organic chemistry, and the Natural Sciences and Mathematics General Education requirement has been met. The credit hour requirement is not waived, and the student must complete the 125 semester hours required for the degree.
  6. Secure letters of reference from two professional references: one academic (i.e., instructor or professor) and one employer (i.e., supervisor). If there has been no employment, students may submit letters from two instructors/professors.
  7. By August 1 before Fall semester admission, provide documentation to Certified Background for verification that all University health and safety requirements have been met. (Students are responsible for all costs incurred for admission as well as ongoing health requirements.)
    Pre-Licensure Program: Deadline for Spring semester admission is January 2. Students must document that all health and safety requirements for admission to the School of Nursing have been met. Health requirements are different from the standard University requirements.
    RN–BSN Completion Program: Students must document that all University health and safety requirements have been met.
  8. Pre-Licensure Program: Students are responsible for all costs incurred for admission as well as ongoing safety requirements.
    1. Criminal background check—All applicants are required to submit to a criminal background check. Details will be given to the student upon admission to the program.
    2. Drug screen—All applicants are required to be drug tested on admission with random drug screens thereafter.
    3. Applicants with a felony conviction or a positive drug screen may be denied entry into the clinical facility for clinical practice. If a student is denied entry into a clinical facility due to a felony conviction or positive drug screen, the student must withdraw from the program.
      Students who do not meet the March 1 and/or the January 2 deadlines may be allowed to begin in the Fall semester if space is available. If space is not available, the student must reapply during the next admission process.
      This program is highly competitive. Meeting or exceeding the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.
  9. RN–BSN Completion Program: Submit a current copy of the License as a Registered Professional Nurse issued by the state of current residence and practice.

Advanced Placement Credit

The registered nurse who has graduated from a state-approved Associate of Applied Science in Nursing or Diploma Nursing program will receive 30 semester hours of “advanced placement credit” provided he/she: 1) graduated within the last five years or 2) graduated more than five years ago and maintained continuous practice or have continuous continuing education (CE) in Nursing since graduation from his/her Associate’s or Diploma program, and 3) successfully completed (C+ or better) the first nine (9) credits of Nursing courses in the RN–BSN Completion Program. The registered nurse who graduated more than five years ago and does not have continuous practice as a registered nurse or continuous continuing education in Nursing must take the RN Comprehensive Predictor from Assessment Technologies Institute to validate current Nursing knowledge. Upon successful completion (C+ or better) of the first nine (9) credits of Nursing courses in the RN–BSN Completion Program, advanced placement credit will be placed on the student’s WIU transcript in lieu of the 30 semester hours of transferred clinical courses required by pre-licensure students.

Retention in Nursing Major

  1. All students who are admitted to the School of Nursing must attend a mandatory orientation session to be held on the first day of classes. This is an all-day session. Failure to attend orientation will result in the student being dropped, and the student will have to reapply the following admission cycle.
  2. A student must earn a minimum grade of C+ (2.33) in all Nursing and support courses. If a student fails to earn a minimum grade of C+ (2.33) in any Nursing or support course, the student may repeat only a single course and only one time. If a student earns less than a C+ (2.33) in more than one support course and one Nursing course, the student will be dismissed from the Nursing program.
  3. After acceptance into the Nursing program, each student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the coursework in the Nursing major to remain in the Nursing program. Students with less than a 3.0 GPA for coursework completed after admission to the Nursing major will be dismissed from the Nursing program. In addition, students must meet the standards of professionalism and safe clinical practices as identified in the Western Illinois University School of Nursing Student Handbook. Students who fail to meet the policies and standards outlined in the School of Nursing Student Handbook will be dismissed from the Nursing program. A student who has been dismissed from the program may appeal to the School of Nursing Committee for Admission, Progression, and Retention for readmission to the program. If the committee grants readmission, the student will develop a plan for remediation and continued success with the Nursing academic advisor subject to approval by the Committee for Admission, Progression, and Retention.
  4. To register for Nursing courses, students are required to have up-to-date health and safety data on file with Castle Branch. Students will not be allowed in the clinical courses without up-to-date health and safety requirements met.

Nursing Licensure

Upon graduation, pre-licensure students must successfully pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX–RN) in order to become a licensed Registered Nurse. Students should plan to take the NCLEX–RN as soon after graduation and completion of their review course as possible.

Nursing Support Courses

ZOOL 330: Human Anatomy and Physiology I
ZOOL 331: Human Anatomy and Physiology II
CHEM 101: Principles of Chemistry I
CHEM 102: Principles of Chemistry II
EDS 121: Introduction to Life Span Development
MICR 200: Introductory Microbiology
NUTR 109: Introduction to Nutrition
STAT 171: General Elementary Statistics

Degree Program

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

All students seeking the Bachelor of Science in Nursing must complete I, II, III, and IV below, and the foreign language/global issues requirement for the major#. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 125 s.h.

  1. University General Education Curriculum: 45 s.h.
    (To include CHEM 101, 102; NUTR 109; PHIL 120; PSY 100; SOC 100; STAT 171)
  2. Core Courses: 17 s.h.
    NURS 302, 312, 316#, 408†, 415, 461
  3. Emphasis of Study (Select A or B)
    1. Pre-Licensure
      1. NURS 305, 309, 310, 322, 326, 327, 328, 410, 422, 424, 425, 428: 45 s.h.
      2. Select one course from: NURS 379, 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 436, 438, 440: 3 s.h.
    2. RN–BSN Completion
      1. NURS 300, 308, 405, 409†: 13 s.h.
      2. Select two courses from NURS 379, 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 436, 438, 440: 6 s.h.
      3. Transfer Nursing courses from Associate’s degree or Diploma in Nursing: 30 s.h.
  4. Other Requirements: 15 s.h.
    EDS 121; MICR 200; ZOOL 330, 331

# The foreign language/global issues graduation requirement may be fulfilled by successfully completing NURS 316.
† NURS 408 fulfills the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) graduation requirement for the Pre-Licensure emphasis.
NURS 408 and 409 fulfill the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) graduation requirement for the RN–BSN emphasis.

Course Descriptions

NURSING (NURS)

300 Theoretical and Conceptual Foundations of Professional Nursing. (3) The theoretical and conceptual foundations of professional nursing practice are explored. The evolving roles of nursing are analyzed in terms of role preparation, scope of practice, certifications, and career mobility and advance opportunities. Prerequisite: admission to the RN–BSN Completion Program.

302 Health Assessment. (3) This course presents the basic elements of health assessment of all body systems as well as recording a patient’s medical history. Physical and psychosocial assessment will be practiced. A clinical/laboratory component course. Prerequisite: admission to the BSN program or permission of program director.

305 Introduction to Professional Nursing. (3) This course provides the foundation for professional nursing practice by explaining the American Nurses Association scope and standards of practice as well as the code of ethics for nurses. Prerequisite: admission to the BSN program.

308 Ethical and Legal Issues in Professional Practice. (3) This course examines the legal foundations of nursing practice and the ethical decisions nurses have to make. Prerequisite: NURS 300.

309 Concepts in Community Health Nursing. (1) This course provides an overview of the focus and roles of nurses in community-based practice. Students will explore the development of health educational activities and nursing interventions that are appropriate for nursing care in the community. Prerequisite: NURS 302, 305, and 310.

310 Fundamentals of Nursing. (6) This course introduces the novice nurse to the basic processes, skills, and practice needed to provide care for clients of all ages using a self-care framework. Includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical learning experiences. Corequisites: NURS 302 and 305.

312 Genetics in Nursing Practice. (1) The focus of this course is the use of genetic/genomic information in nursing and health care. Prerequisite: ZOOL 331.

316 Transcultural Nursing. (2) (Global Issues) Students will examine health care systems from a variety of cultures and countries. A global perspective should help students provide culturally appropriate care for clients and also prepare them for the myriad of perspectives they will encounter in professional practice. Prerequisite: admission to the BSN program or permission of the program director.

322 Adult and Child Nursing I. (5) Students provide nursing care for clients from childhood through old age with acute and chronic needs related to circulation and oxygenation. Clinical experiences will occur in various settings. Prerequisite: NURS 310 and 461.

326 Pharmacology I. (3) This course introduces the pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of agents used in patient care and education. Prerequisite: NURS 310.

327 Pharmacology II. (2) This is the second course in a two course series and continues the discussion of pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of agents used in patient care and education. Prerequisite: NURS 326.

328 Mental Health Nursing. (3) Students provide nursing care for clients from childhood through old age with acute and chronic needs related to mental health. Clinical experiences will occur in various settings. Prerequisite or Corequisite: NURS 322.

405 Nursing and the Community. (4) This course focuses on understanding and practicing public health and community health nursing, including epidemiology, client system, health behavior, health accommodation, stress and adaptation, and levels of prevention, immunizations, home care, clinics, and community agencies. A clinical component course. Prerequisite: NURS 408.

408 Nursing Research. (3) An examination of research methods as they pertain to nursing including the role of theory, modes of inquiry, research models, and ethical issues. Applying research in the development of patient care plans. Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) course. Prerequisites: ENG 280, STAT 171. Corequisite: NURS 322, or credit for NURS 300.

409 Professional Seminar. (3) This capstone experience course explores the role of baccalaureate preparation for contemporary nursing practice, focusing on the influences of professional organizations, institutional support, and personal change. A professional portfolio will be developed. Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) course. Prerequisite: ENG 280. Corequisite: NURS 415.

410 Public Health Nursing. (3) This course focuses on understanding population-based nursing care and public health nursing concepts including the role of public health nurses, levels of prevention, population-based education, epidemiology, family-based care, immunizations, and specialty areas of population-based care. Prerequisite: NURS 408. Corequisite: NURS 422.

415 Nursing Leadership, Management and Policy. (4) This course focuses on the analysis, integration, and application of principles of leadership and management in health care organizations. Emphasis is placed on skills needed for nurses to succeed as leaders in the professional nursing arena in today’s global care environment. Corequisite: NURS 424.

422 Adult and Child Nursing II. (5) Students provide nursing care for clients from childhood through old age with acute and chronic needs related to metabolic, elimination, and mobility needs. Clinical experiences will occur in various settings. Prerequisite: NURS 322.

424 Adult and Child Nursing III. (7) Students provide nursing care for clients from childhood through old age with acute and chronic needs related to cell growth and neurosensory needs. Clinical experiences will occur in various settings where complex care needs are met. Prerequisites: NURS 328, 422. Corequisite: NURS 425.

425 Senior Seminar. (3) Graduating senior Nursing students analyze and synthesize content and experiences from all previous and concurrent Nursing courses. To be taken in the student’s final semester of coursework. Prerequisites: NURS 327, 328, 410, 422; special permission of the Director, School of Nursing. Corequisite: NURS 415, 424.

428 Maternal Child Nursing. (4) Students provide nursing care for women of childbearing age and young children. Clinical experiences will occur in various settings that provide health care services for women of childbearing age and young children. Prerequisite or Corequisite: NURS 322.

430 Geriatric Nursing. (3) This course covers issues of health policy, financial and psychosocial support for young elders, functionally able elders, and frail elders. Assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of common health problems of the elderly will be addressed. A clinical component course. Prerequisite: NURS 405, or NURS 405 concurrently, or permission of the program director.

431 Rural Nursing. (3) An examination of rural nursing, focusing on need, delivery, access, availability, acceptability, and types of health care in rural areas. A clinical component course. Prerequisite: NURS 405, or NURS 405 concurrently, or permission of the program director.

432 Nursing Informatics. (3) This course examines the manner in which information, data, facts, and figures are developed, utilized, and analyzed for patient improvement. Prerequisites: NURS 408 and STAT 171 or permission of program director.

433 Community Mental Health Nursing. (3) Explores population-specific mental health issues including access, treatment modalities, and follow-up, and drug and alcohol abuse in the context of community health nursing. A clinical component course. Prerequisite: NURS 328 or permission of program director.

434 Geropsychiatric Nursing I. (3) This course is part one of a two-part series examining nursing care for mental health promotion and nursing care management of adults aged 65 and older. Prerequisite: NURS 302. Corequisite: NURS 405 or 410, or permission of the instructor.

436 Geropsychiatric Nursing II. (3) This course is part two of a two-part series examining nursing care for mental health promotion and nursing care management of adults aged 65 and older. Prerequisite: NURS 434 or permission of the instructor.

438 Forensic Nursing. (3) An introduction into forensic nursing practice. Discusses historical framework of forensic nursing, analyzes concepts, and synthesizes theory and practice. Identifies assessment tools and interprets assessment findings. Discusses management of forensic populations. Prerequisite: NURS 302 or permission of the instructor.

440 Electrocardiographic Monitoring and Dysrhythmia Management. (3) Focuses on the identification and nursing care management for patients with cardiac dysrhythmias. This course is for students who have completed a medical surgical nursing course where cardiac care was discussed. Prerequisite: NURS 322 or permission of the instructor.

461 (Cross-listed with ZOOL 461) Pathophysiology. (4) Alteration in physiology, pathogenesis of structure and function of the human body leading to disease, and manifestations of disease states are discussed. In addition, body system interaction is analyzed in maintaining physiological homeostasis during disease/altered states. Not open to students with credit in ZOOL 461. Prerequisites: MICR 200 (C grade or better), ZOOL 330 and ZOOL 331; or consent of instructor.