College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Linda K. Young, Dean and Educational Administrator (Nursing 103)
Debra Jansen, Associate Dean (Nursing 103/215)
 

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire College of Nursing and Health Sciences educates nurses at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels.  We offer various options for earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Our traditional pre-licensure undergraduate program is taught both at our main campus in Eau Claire and at our distance education site at Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, Wisconsin.  We offer a BSN Completion program for registered nurses with associate degrees or diplomas in nursing interested in earning a BSN degree. At the graduate level we offer the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. 

Department:

Nursing

Mission Statement of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences provides undergraduate and graduate programs for Nursing. Building on a foundation of excellence, the college prepares liberally educated individuals for professional practice. Creative educational experiences, scholarship, and service to our communities enhance the personal and professional growth of students and faculty and promote life-long learning. As a college, we value a caring spirit, ethical practice, and advocacy for policies and actions that contribute to the improvement of the human condition.

Accreditation

The nursing programs are approved by the Wisconsin State Board of Nursing. The baccalaureate and master’s programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791, through December 31, 2021. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is accredited by CCNE through December 31, 2026.

Baccalaureate Program

The nursing programs are oriented toward the belief that a broad liberal education is an essential foundation for the preparation of professionals. Through the biological and social sciences, the humanities, and the nursing science courses, the concepts of humanity, health, environment, and nursing are interwoven in a curriculum that clinically addresses nursing across the lifespan of health-care recipients.

Marshfield Site

In addition to the Eau Claire campus, the nursing program of study is available in Marshfield, Wisconsin in cooperation with Marshfield Clinic. Persons interested in further information about the Marshfield Site should contact the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Marshfield Site Coordinator.

Program/Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from UW-Eau Claire with the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree demonstrate accomplishment of the AACN Baccalaureate Essentials* through:

  1. Integration of liberal and nursing education, with particular distinction in:
    • leading change in complex health care environments.
  2. Organizational and systems leadership for patient safety and quality care, with particular distinction in:
    • developing effective working relationships for quality improvement and optimizing patient care outcomes.
  3. Scholarship for evidence-based practice, with particular distinction in:
    • providing leadership in the synthesis and application of evidence with integration into changing standards of care.
  4. Information management and application of patient care technology.
  5. Understanding of health care policy, finance and regulatory environments, with particular distinction in:
    • advocacy for individuals, families, and communities.
  6. Interprofessional communication and collaboration for improving patient health outcomes, with particular distinction in:
    • delivery of evidence-based, patient-centered care;
    • coordination of care across settings and through the health-illness trajectory.
  7. Clinical prevention and population health for optimizing health, with particular distinction in:
    • analysis of population health needs, determinants, and resources, and development of action strategies.
  8. Professionalism and professional values, with particular distinction in:
    • ethical practice, social responsibility, a commitment to social justice, and global citizenship;
    • delivery of culturally competent care within diverse settings and/or populations.
  9. Beginning competence in baccalaureate generalist nursing practice, with particular distinction in:
    • holistic, relationship-based care incorporating therapeutic use of self;
    • integration of nursing concepts, human responses, and safe and competent nursing care;
    • use of nursing process to effect highest quality health outcomes.
*The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice, AACN, 2008

Costs

Nursing is a professional discipline, and students enrolled in the nursing program must anticipate some additional costs that are directly related to the nursing program. These include, for example, uniforms, nursing textbooks, health requirements, background checks, application and course fees, some clinical equipment (e.g., stethoscope, skills laboratory supplies), and transportation associated with clinical experiences. Note that textbook costs can be high, particularly in the early nursing courses; however, many of the books continue to be utilized in subsequent semesters. Additionally, admitted students should have wireless laptop access. Courses at the Marshfield Site carry fees in addition to the typical undergraduate tuition. Contact the Associate Dean or Marshfield Site Coordinator for details.

Financial Assistance

Nursing students applying for financial assistance will be considered by the Financial Aid Office on the same basis as other university students. Funding specific to nursing students is also available. Application forms for financial assistance are available from Blugold Central. Information regarding scholarships available to students after admission to the nursing program is available on the College of Nursing and Health Sciences website, in the Eau Claire Nursing Learning Resource Center (Room 154), in the Marshfield Site program office, and on the university's scholarship page.

Clinical Experiences

Various health and social agencies and institutions are utilized for student learning experiences. Experiences are provided through facilities such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes, public health agencies, child day-care centers, and other community health agencies. Students are responsible for transportation to and from clinical experiences. Some clinical experiences are in other communities.

Organizations and Activities

Membership in the National Student Nurses’ Association and the Wisconsin Student Nurses’ Association is achieved through joining the Eau Claire Student Nurses’ Association. The organization meets regularly to promote the aims of nursing education and provide students experience with respect to the issues and operations of the professional nursing organizations.

Sigma Theta Tau International is the Nursing Honor Society. Membership is by invitation to juniors, seniors, and graduate students who demonstrate outstanding scholarship and leadership potential.

Study Abroad Program

INTA 329 Study Abroad-Health Care in Costa Rica is a program of special interest to students in nursing and other majors with an interest in health care. Students expecting to take first semester senior nursing courses during a fall term may consider a nursing study abroad opportunity available through the University of Evansville at Harlaxton, England.

Academic Regulations

Students who are enrolled in nursing courses are expected to arrange for make-up of all class and laboratory work missed, regardless of the reason for the absence. If the absence is anticipated, arrangements for make-up should be made prior to the absence. Students who have missed an excessive portion of the course may be advised to withdraw.  Please also refer to the College Admission Requirements and the College Graduation Requirements for additional academic regulations.

Incompletes

A grade of “incomplete” is allowed only when illness or other extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control have interfered with completion of the course, and the plan for completion is a clearly viable alternative for meeting the course objectives. Students may not progress to courses that have a prerequisite course in which a mark of “incomplete” has been received. For the traditional undergraduate nursing program, students are not allowed to progress further in the nursing program until the course with the incomplete grade is successfully completed.

Unsatisfactory Grades in Nursing Courses (Grade of less than C)

Any of the following may result in an unsatisfactory grade in a nursing course:

  • Clearly unsatisfactory achievement in either the theoretical or the practicum component of a nursing course.
  • Failure to meet clinical behavior expectations.
  • Failure to submit course assignments or projects.
  • Failure to meet make-up requirements in relation to course work missed.
  • Failure to appear for the final examination, unless prevented by illness or other emergency from taking the examination at the scheduled time.
  • Offenses as defined by the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents in chapter UWS 17 and published on the Dean of Students website.
  • Failure to comply with attendance policy as stated in writing by the instructor.

Nursing Student Progression

  1. Students must receive a satisfactory clinical evaluation in each of the critical areas on a summative clinical evaluation of a course. These areas are:
    1. Effective noticing (focused observation, recognizing deviations from expected patterns, and information seeking);
    2. effective interpreting (prioritizing data and making sense of data);
    3. effective responding (calm, confident manner, clear communication, well-planned intervention/flexibility, and being safe and skillful);
    4. effective reflecting (evaluation/self-analysis and commitment to improvement);
    5. respectful and professional behavior;
    6. professional attire;
    7. professional values; and
    8. accountability and responsibility for own professional behavior.
  2. If a student demonstrates deficiencies that the instructor determines are clearly unsafe or unprofessional behaviors, the student will be immediately removed from the clinical situation.
  3. Allowing students to do remedial work in a required nursing course is a course faculty decision.
  4. Remedial work not completed before the end of a semester will result in the student receiving an incomplete or a failing grade.
  5. A student may repeat only two required nursing courses. Only one of these repeated courses may be a clinical course. Failure in or withdrawal from a third nursing course, or a second clinical course, will result in dismissal from the program.
  6. When a faculty member has determined that a student has failed a clinical component of a course at any point during the semester, a course grade of F will be assigned and the student cannot withdraw from the course.

Termination from Program

A student may be terminated from the nursing program for any of the following reasons:

  • Failure to regain good standing.
  • A second instance of probation.
  • Failure to demonstrate the potential for consistently safe and responsible nursing practice.
  • Likelihood that a student’s condition or prior experience will adversely affect the student, other persons, the university, an agency or unit used for clinical practice, or the patients or clients served.
  • Failure in or withdrawal from a third nursing course or a second clinical course.

A student who has been notified of termination may appeal for reinstatement. Termination from the program constitutes dismissal from the nursing program only. A student’s status within the university is not affected provided the university standards for good standing are met.

Dean’s List

At the end of each semester, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences recognizes excellence in scholastic achievement by publishing the Dean’s List. To be eligible, a student must:

  1. be in good academic standing;
  2. have a minimum semester GPA of 3.70;
  3. have completed at least 12 credits during the semester, with no incompletes, no courses below the 100 level, no repeats, and no Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory registrations (except in degree credit-bearing courses that are offered only on the S/U grading system in which a grade of S has been earned).  Course withdrawals do not count as completed credits.

Students who meet this standard of achievement receive personal letters of notification and congratulations from the dean.

Credit by Examination Policy

Selected undergraduate nursing courses are available to eligible students for credit by examination. Credit for a maximum of two clinical nursing courses may be earned by examination. No more than 20 credits in nursing may be earned through credit by examination. Prerequisite courses must be completed prior to pursuing credit by examination. Each clinical nursing course examination will include instructor observation of student clinical performance, along with other examinations, check-offs, or portfolio reviews, as needed. Objective and/or essay components of the examination must be completed successfully before assignment, clinical examination, and/or portfolio evaluation are attempted.

Students interested in receiving credit by examination for nursing courses should see the nursing department chair for more information.

Certificates, Minors, Second Majors

The nursing major is comprehensive; therefore minors or certificates are not required.  Nevertheless, interested students may select a certificate, minor, or second major in a non-nursing field. The Spanish for Health Professionals minor (Code 320-408) is designed for students in nursing or other health-care related professions who desire a proficiency in the Spanish language. (See Department of Languages for program requirements.) Completion of a certificate, minor, or second major will require credits beyond the minimum necessary for graduation from the university. Scheduling difficulties may be encountered when attempting to complete a certificate, minor, or second major. See the major/minor concentration policies in the section on University Graduation Requirements. Students who select a minor or second major must obtain an academic adviser in that area.

Independent Study

Under the course numbers 399 and 499, the Department of Nursing in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences provides students with opportunities for student-initiated independent study in areas of special interest with guidance of a faculty member.

Eligibility. Independent Study courses are open only to juniors and seniors. A student with a nursing major may elect an Independent Study, provided the student has at least 3.00 resident and total GPAs. Registration requires the permission of the faculty member who agrees to supervise the project and of the department offering the course.

Restrictions. One to three credits of Independent Study (399 or 499) may be elected during any semester. A total of no more than six independent study credits in nursing may be counted toward graduation. Independent Study courses may not be applied toward completion of the liberal education requirements.

Procedure. The student shall obtain the Independent Study form from the Registrar's Office website and complete the form in consultation with the supervising faculty member. Initial approval by the department chair is required prior to enrollment.

Directed Study

Courses numbered 295, 395, and 495 offered by the Nursing Department in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences are designed to permit individual students or groups of students to undertake special projects related to their educational interests and goals.

Eligibility. Registration for a Directed Study course requires the permission of the faculty member who agrees to supervise the project and of the department offering the course. Any further conditions of eligibility may be established by the department or published as part of the course description.

Restrictions. One to three credits of Directed Study (295, 395, or 495) may be elected during any semester. A total of no more than six directed study credits in nursing may be counted toward graduation. Directed Study courses may not be applied toward completion of the liberal education requirements.

Procedure. The student shall obtain the Directed Study form from the Registrar's Office website and complete the form in consultation with the supervising faculty member. Initial approval by the department chair is required prior to enrollment.

Departmental Honors in Nursing Program

The purpose of the Departmental Honors in Nursing Program is to provide an opportunity for students to discover nursing knowledge in a specific topic area using advanced scholarship abilities beyond the student learning outcomes of the baccalaureate nursing program.  The program is offered as resources allow.  Nursing Honors students will:

  1. Demonstrate professional motivation and commitment to the contribution of nursing knowledge by participating in a scholarly project that engages the student in any of the following formats: research, evidence-based practice, service project with a health care/community partner, and/or leadership.
  2. Demonstrate some or all of the following scholarly behaviors with abundant depth and breadth through the scholarly project:
    1. Formation of a focused practice/academic/management problem or need
    2. Retrieval, appraisal, analysis, and synthesis of scholarly literature/evidence
    3. Collaborative design of a scholarly project to meet the identified need
    4. Implementation of the scholarly project
    5. Dissemination of the results of the scholarly project in a professional format (oral or poster presentation, manuscript, or other).
  3. Cultivate professional relationship(s) with Nursing Honors Advisor and/or other significant professional partners.

Eligibility. Nursing students with resident and total GPAs of 3.50 or higher may be admitted.

Application. A written application shall be approved by the Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the Nursing Honors Committee.

Requirements for Completion. See college website and Blugold Insider for the most up-to-date requirements, guidelines, and availability of the program.

Admission

All students interested in nursing must first apply for admission to the university following the regular university admission procedures and are assigned an academic adviser by the university.  Application for admission to the nursing program is a subsequent step and depends upon meeting specific admission requirements.

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences welcomes the opportunity to give guidance in program planning to students in high school who have chosen nursing or are considering it as a career. These students are encouraged to include courses in high school which provide the best foundation for study at the university and in the major field. Recommended are:

English4 units
Chemistry1-2 units
Physics1 units
Biology1-2 units
Foreign Language 12 units
Algebra2 units
Geometry1 units
History1-2 units
Social Studies3 units
Speech1 units
1

Two units of one language, e.g., French, German, Spanish.

Admission to the Traditional Undergraduate Pre-licensure Nursing Program

Formal application to the traditional undergraduate pre-licensure nursing program must be made. A student must first be admitted to UW-Eau Claire as a pre-nursing student before applying to the nursing program. Students are encouraged to apply to the nursing program during the semester in which 30 credits will be completed. The deadlines for filing applications to the College of Nursing and Health Sciences nursing program are May 1 and December 1 for the Eau Claire campus; May 1 and December 1 for the Marshfield site. In order to be considered for admission to the nursing program, one must have:

  1. been accepted as a pre-nursing student in the University in good standing.
  2. completed at least 30 semester credits, not including courses for nursing assistant certification, with a total cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.
  3. completed at least three of the five required natural science courses, two of which are laboratory science courses, with a GPA of at least 2.50.
  4. earned a grade of C or above in all courses required for nursing.
  5. completed all application materials including quality essay, and submitted a nonrefundable application fee.
  6. completed health record, CPR certification, and background check at the time of admission to the program.

Note: Evidence of certification as a Nursing Assistant must be submitted prior to registration for sophomore nursing clinical courses (NRSG 267) following admission to the Nursing Program.

Other data utilized by the Admissions Committee are derived from a variety of sources that include applications for admission to the University and the nursing program, high school transcript showing rank in class, previous collegiate records, and standardized tests such as ACT or SAT. International, non-native speakers of English applying to an undergraduate nursing program must have a TOEFL score as follows: TOEFL Written >560 (or IELTS score of 6.5); or TOEFL (CBT) >220; or TOEFL (iBT) >83.

The College may find it necessary to deny admission to a qualified applicant because of enrollment limits in the professional program. Depending on the number of qualified applicants, it is likely that the GPA required to be competitive for admission may be well above the 3.00 minimum cumulative GPA.

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Marshfield instructional site is not approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to issue I-20s or host F visa holders.

The Nurse Scholars Program provides conditional admission to the nursing program for those high achieving pre-nursing students who have been invited to enter the Nurse Scholars and University Honors programs (see University Honors) at the time of admission to the University. Students eligible for the Nurse Scholars Program are identified at the time of admission to the University and must accept the offer when invited. The Nursing Dean’s office contacts the students who are eligible for the program. Eligibility is determined by identified major, high school class rank, ACT score, and admission to University Honors. To maintain Nurse Scholar eligibility for admission to the nursing program, the student must meet specific credit, GPA, and Honors course criteria, as well as additional admission requirements as applicable to all pre-nursing students. Further information is available from the Associate Dean for the college. Pre-nursing students participating in University Honors who believe they mistakenly may not have received a Nurse Scholar invitation must contact the Associate Dean no later than mid-August, prior to starting courses at UW-Eau Claire.

Admission to the BSN Completion Program

The BSN Completion Program is for practicing registered nurses with an associate degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited nursing program who wish to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Formal application to the BSN Completion Program must be made in the semester prior to enrolling in nursing courses. To be considered for admission to the BSN Completion Program, students must have:

  • Graduated with an associate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited (e.g., NLN, NLNAC, and ACEN) nursing program with a minimum grade point average of 2.50.
  • A current Wisconsin RN license.
  • Been admitted to UW-Eau Claire in good standing.
  • Completed at least 30 credits of transferable liberal education/general education courses with a total grade point average of at least 2.50.
  • Completed at least three of the five required science courses, with a grade point average of at least 2.50.
  • Earned a grade of C or above in all courses required for nursing.
  • Submitted and completed all application materials (including but not limited to: application, application fee, official transcript from associate degree or diploma program, evidence of Wisconsin RN licensure). 

Health Requirements

Admitted students must present evidence of having met current health requirements, such as immunity against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, varicella, rubeola (measles), mumps, rubella, and hepatitis B, annual influenza vaccination, and tuberculin skin testing (evidence of two-step TB skin test is required if the student has never been tested for TB). Please refer to the specific health requirement information delineated on the College website. Additional testing including laboratory titers and medical follow-up may be required. To secure admission acceptance, all health requirements, evidence of CPR certification, background check information, etc. must be submitted, along with the appropriate fee(s).

Admitted students must maintain their immune status against infectious diseases. Tuberculin skin tests are offered at the Student Health Service. Any student whose skin test converts from negative to positive while enrolled in the program must have a chest X-ray and a medical evaluation, and provide a statement of the clinician’s findings and recommendations. Students at the Marshfield Site must follow the health requirements of Marshfield Clinic to participate in clinical rotations. Annual interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) including QFT-Gold and T-Spot results may be acceptable in lieu of TB skin test results. Students are not permitted to participate in clinical course work unless all immunizations, TB tests, CPR certification, and background checks are current. Clinical facilities may have additional requirements which must be met.

All expenses associated with health surveillance and care are borne by the student unless the Student Health Service specifically indicates otherwise. Students are not covered by health or accident insurance by UW-Eau Claire, the practicum facility, or the practicum institution. In addition, workers’ compensation insurance does not cover students while engaged in clinical practice. If a student suffers a needle stick or is hurt while in practicum, he or she will need personal health insurance to cover medical bills.  Some clinical sites may require students to have proof of health insurance.

CPR Certification

All applicants must hold Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification at the Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (American Red Cross) or Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider (American Heart Association) level. Evidence of CPR certification must be submitted at the time of admission. Admitted students must keep their certification current.

Student Background Check Requirements

Based on Wisconsin State law, clinical agencies require completed background checks. The College of Nursing and Health Sciences requires students admitted to the nursing programs to complete background check materials which are submitted by the students to CastleBranch.com.

CastleBranch.com conducts Wisconsin and out of state criminal record and healthcare fraud and abuse searches, and includes the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) Background Information Disclosure (BID), a release for a Wisconsin Department of Justice Criminal Background Check. Further information regarding the Wisconsin Caregiver Law can be obtained from DHFS’s Web site. Students participating in clinicals in Minnesota may be required to complete additional background checks (with associated fees). Additional, including out of state, background checks (with associated fees) may be required by the college and by the clinical agencies. Clinical agencies may conduct further background checks. Final admission status to the nursing program is contingent upon return of criminal background check(s) with no findings that would prevent participation in the program. Because of background check or BID findings, clinical agencies may refuse placement of students. This may prevent progression in or completion of the program. The findings also may affect licensure good standing and employment. A criminal history is not an automatic bar to clinical agency placement, program progression, licensure/certification and/or future employment. Admitted students are under a continuing obligation to notify the Dean’s Office at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences of any pending charges or violations of federal, state, and local laws or the campus student conduct code that occur at any future date and during their tenure as College of Nursing and Health Sciences students. Failure to notify the college may result in loss of good academic standing in the college and an inability to progress in the program.

Transfer Students

Any student anticipating transfer to the university for the nursing degree is urged to consult the university Admissions Office as early as possible for information about GPA and course requirements for admission and for the degree requirements (see specific nursing program admission requirements). Official review of the student’s academic record is made by the University Office of Admissions.

Applicants to the nursing program who have completed nursing courses in an accredited baccalaureate nursing program at another college or university setting will be considered on an individual basis, but will likely need to complete the nursing application process. Acceptance will be determined by overall quality of academic record and application, space availability, and the articulation of courses with those offered by the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Readmission to Nursing Program

Students who withdraw from the program and wish to return for completion must send a letter to the Dean requesting readmission to the nursing program at least three months in advance of the desired readmission date. Applicants must meet the current admission requirements of the nursing program.  Students may be asked to reapply to the program, especially if significant time has passed or if curricular changes or other circumstances have occurred.

Readmission consideration will be given to the length of absence, the reasons for withdrawal, the student’s ability to achieve and academic standing, progress made to rectify any previous concerns or difficulties, and the available spaces in the clinical courses in which the student will enroll.  If readmission is granted, the remaining program will be planned as considered best for the student and according to the current curriculum.

College Graduation Requirements

Academic Standards

The following scholastic standards must be maintained by students after admission to the nursing program if they are to be considered in good standing:

  1. Achieve a semester GPA of at least 2.25;
  2. Maintain a resident GPA of at least 2.50;
  3. Achieve a grade of at least C in each specific course required by nursing.

If a student fails to meet any of the academic standards, the student is placed on probation in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. The student who is placed on probation in the college will be officially notified of the change in academic standing and will be required to negotiate a contract designed for regaining good standing with the associate dean of the college. Failure to submit an appeal to continue in the nursing program by the designated due date assumes the student no longer wishes to continue in the nursing program and constitutes withdrawal from the nursing program. Should a grade of less than C in a specific course required by nursing be a factor in the probationary status, the student must repeat that course before earning credit for any course for which the repeated course is a prerequisite. For the traditional undergraduate nursing program, students are not allowed to progress further in the nursing program until the course with the less than satisfactory grade is successfully completed. No more than one instance of probation within the nursing programs is allowed.  Please also refer to the college academic regulations listed in the College Overview and to the nursing student handbooks available in Blugold Insider.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the candidate must present at least 120 semester credits with a total GPA of at least 2.50; must meet all university requirements for graduation; and must meet all nursing program requirements for the degree.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Policy. No course required for the degree in nursing may be taken on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. Audit enrollment is not allowed.