2023-2024 General Catalogue 
    
    May 20, 2024  
2023-2024 General Catalogue

Ira D. Pruitt Division of Nursing | 5


Ira D. Pruitt Division of Nursing


MARY HANKS, CHAIRPERSON

General Information

The Ira D. Pruitt Division of Nursing provides nursing programs designed to meet the growing learning needs of the region and contemporary society. Nursing presents an opportunity to care for, serve, and help others. At its core, nursing provides for the well-being and basic care needs of an individual or community of individuals. 

The degree options in the Division of Nursing are designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to seek a career as a registered nurse.  Programs in the Division of Nursing are granted approval by the Alabama Board of Nursing and accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).  The nursing program offers a traditional two-year associate degree option and the online RN-to-BSN option. Upon completion of the initial 68 hours of associate degree related coursework, students qualify to receive the degree of Associate in Science and are eligible to apply for the National Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). After licensure is obtained, students may seek employment and/or continue their education in the online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Registered nurses who have graduated from an accredited nursing program and hold an unencumbered nursing license may apply for admission to the RN-to-BSN program.

The legal requirements established by the Alabama Board of Nursing for licensure as a registered nurse are detailed in the Alabama Board of Nursing Administrative Code. Applicants who have been found guilty of any offenses listed in the Code may be denied licensure by the Alabama Board of Nursing. Any applicant with prior criminal conviction, alcohol and/or drug abuse/treatment or documented mental illness must provide the Alabama Board of Nursing with a full explanation and the appropriate court/treatment records at the time of application for examination and licensure. The Alabama Board of Nursing will determine whether the applicant may write the examination and be licensed as a registered nurse. Applicants for licensure may request licensure by examination in any state by following that state's board of nursing's procedures.

The Division of Nursing meets all requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the Chairperson of the Division of Nursing of any reasonable accommodations necessary for successful completion of the nursing program.

Students admitted to the Division of Nursing are required to comply with the Alabama Infected Health Care Worker Management Act. This legislation mandates that any health care worker infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or the hepatitis B virus (HBV) who performs invasive procedures shall notify the State Health Officer, or his designee, of the infection.

WHY AN ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN NURSING?

An associate degree allows you the opportunity to complete the nursing program in 2 or 3 years and begin your nursing practice. You will learn hands-on, experiential knowledge that will prepare you to take your career to the next level. While you are earning experience, and a livable wage, you can enroll in an online 1-year RN-to-BSN degree program. The RN-to-BSN program will provide management, leadership, and beginning research skills that you will use to apply for a promotion, or return to school to become a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse educator, or other advanced practice role.

Mission

To bring about positive change in the field of healthcare through nursing education, service-learning projects, and community outreach.

Admission Requirements

ASSOCIATE OF SCIENCE IN NURSING

 

All applicants that meet minimum requirements for admission are presented to the Nursing Faculty Committee for consideration regarding admittance into the nursing program. Admission into the Division of Nursing is highly competitive. Meeting eligibility requirements DOES NOT guarantee admission into the nursing program.


Applicants must first be admitted to the University of West Alabama. Additionally, applicants for admission to the Ira D. Pruitt Division of Nursing must meet the following criteria:

 

 
  1. Division of Nursing Application. Submit a completed online Division of Nursing Application for admission by July 15th deadline. Only completed applications will be considered for admission.

  2. Cumulative GPA on all post-secondary coursework must be 2.5 of higher (incoming freshmen and transfers).
  3. General Education Course GPA of 3.0 preferred. It is best for a student to maintain a "B" or higher in each prerequisite general education course required for the nursing major (Written English I, Anatomy & Physiology I, General Psychology, and a Fine Art or Humanity.) A point-based system will be used to rank students for admission into the nursing program (see Admissions Scoring Tool). It should be noted that if students earn a grade of "C" in a course or if a course is repeated, no points will be awarded. 
  4. HESI A2 (Health Systems, Inc. Admission Assessment) Entrance Exam Score of 75% or higher. HESI A2 cumulative score includes Reading Comprehension, Grammar, and Vocabulary modules. The HESI A2 exam may be taken two (2) times in one twelve-month period (January to December) to achieve a passing score. All scores expire in December. *If a student scores higher than 85% on the HESI 2, the exam will remain valid for two years from the date taken.
  5. ACT Composite Score. Submit a copy of the ACT composite to the Division of Nursing. Licensed Practical Nurses with a minimum of one-year clinical experience who hold an unencumbered license and individuals who with professional employment status for one year who have completed a BA, BS, or graduate degree are not required to submit an ACT score.
  6. UWA 104, Freshman Seminar in Nursing. Complete this course with a score of 70% or higher before entering the first nursing course.

*After meeting all admissions requirements, applicants will be rank-ordered using the point-based system. Applicants may be admitted on a conditional basis pending official transcript receipt of fall grades and order ranking.

*The number of seats available annually will be determined by the availability of clinical space.

   
Admissions Scoring Tool
After meeting all admissions requirements, applicants will be rank-ordered using the following point-based system.
Name Student ID Date
       
Criteria Calculation of Points Student's Data Points Earned
Cumulative HESI score One point for every point above 75.    
Overall UWA GPA

3.8-4.0 = 6 points

3.5-3.7 = 5 points

3.3-3.4 = 4 points

3.0-3.2 = 3 points

2.5-2.9 = 2 points

<2.5     = 0 points

   
Overall Transfer GPA

3.8-4.0 = 4 points

3.5-3.7 = 3 points

3.3-3.4 = 2 points

3.0-3.2 = 1 point

2.5-2.9 = 0 point

   
LPN Exemption Score

38 preferred points.

Must have unencumbered LPN license, minimum 1 year clinical experience

   
Professional Employment Exemption Score

38 preferred points.

Must have completed BA, BS, or graduate degree, minimum 1 year experience in professional field

   

Grade achieved in EH 101

*0 points for repeated course

A = 6 points

B = 3 points

C = 0 points

   

Grade achieved in PY 100

*0 points for repeated course

A = 6 points

B = 3 points

C = 0 points

   

Grade achieved in BY 231

*0 points for repeated course

A = 10 points

B = 5 points

C = 0 points

   

Grade achieved in UWA 104

*0 points for repeated course

A = 4 points

B = 2 points

C = 0 points

   
ACT Score One point for every point above 18    
Completed all courses at UWA 10 points (enter "yes" or "no")    
No prerequisite courses (EH101, PY100, BY231) have been repeated for a higher grade. 5 points (enter "yes" or " no")    

**If a student takes additional general education courses required for the nursing major, and receives a grade of "B" or higher, additional points may be accrued. 

**At this time the DON does not require a specific ACT score. However, points are given for a score greater than 18. (LPNS and professionals who hold a BA, BS, or higher degree are exempted from the ACT requirement and may substitute UWA 101  for the UWA 104  course requirement. UWA 101  may be taken concurrently with nursing courses.)

Transfer Students

 

All transfer students must meet the admission criteria of the nursing program. Students may transfer credit from an accredited institution for general education course requirements for which a minimum grade of "C" was achieved. All nursing course work must be completed at the Ira D. Pruitt Division of Nursing.

Transfer students who have failed to successfully complete a nursing program or programs elsewhere will be placed into one of the following categories in terms of admission status:

 

1. A student who has one failure in a nursing course at another institution with such failure occurring greater than five years prior to application to the Division of Nursing will be required to apply as a new admission.

2. A student who has one failure in a nursing course at another institution with such failure occurring within five years of application to the Division of Nursing will be considered for admission. The applicant must present a letter from the nursing program in which he/she was enrolled validating eligibility for readmission. If the applicant is admitted to but fails to successfully complete the curriculum requirements of the Ira D. Pruitt Division of Nursing, the student will be ineligible for readmission.

3. A student who has twice failed a nursing course prior to applying to the Ira D. Pruitt Division of Nursing will be ineligible for admission.

 

The Division of Nursing offers a Clinical Exemption Plan for Licensed Practical Nurses. Further information about the Clinical Exemption Plan for Licensed Practical Nurses is available in the Ira D. Pruitt Division of Nursing Student Handbook.

  Admission into the Division of Nursing is highly competitive. Meeting eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission into the nursing program. Students will receive written notification of admission into the nursing program. 
   

RN-to-BSN Admission Requirements

The RN-to-BSN program at the University of West Alabama is designed for registered nurses who have graduated from an associate in science or diploma program who wish to earn the Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. The curriculum is delivered in an online format that is convenient for the working nurse with a busy lifestyle.  All prerequisite courses (excluding science courses) may be completed online at UWA. In addition to meeting all requirements for admission to the University, applicants must meet the requirements for admission for the RN-to-BSN program. Minimum requirements for admission are:

 

1. Submission of a completed application by deadline

2. Must be graduate of an accredited school of nursing

3. Minimum 2.5 GPA in all prerequisite coursework

4. Must have a current unencumbered registered nursing license in the state for which clinical practice hours will be completed

 

If you reside or intend to seek professional licensure outside of the state of Alabama, please review the requirements for that state prior to applying to this program.

   

Application for admission should be completed online at https://online.uwa.edu/online-degrees/rn-bsn.

Application Submission Term Begins
May 31st Summer
July 31st Fall
December 15th Spring

Students may enroll in 300 and 400 level nursing courses ONLY after they have been accepted into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Exceptions must be cleared by the Chairperson of the Division of Nursing. 

Transfer Students

All transfer students must meet the RN-BSN admission criteria of the nursing program. Students may transfer credit from an accredited institution for general education and associate degree nursing course requirements for which a minimum grade of "C" was achieved. 

Clinical Health Clearance Requirements

The Division of Nursing (DON) is responsible for ensuring that students comply with healthcare agencies' policies and regulatory requirements prior to clinical rotations.

Any course that includes a clinical experience has mandatory health requirements in order to decrease health risks to students, protect patients and other healthcare providers, and comply with healthcare agency contracts.

It is the responsibility of all nursing students to ensure their health clearance remains up to date. If health clearance expires, a student will not be allowed to enter any clinical site. If a clinical day is missed due to expired health clearance, this absence places the student at risk for course failure (refer to Absence Policy in the Division of Nursing Student Handbook.)

All nursing students must submit documentation to the Division of Nursing for the following mandatory health requirements:  

Clinical Health Clearance Requirements
Physical Examination
  • Physical exams must be completed by a physician, certified registered nurse practitioner, or physician's assistant.
  • Documentation must be completed on the Division of Nursing's Physical Examination form (found on the DON webpage.)
CPR Certification
  • American Heart Association (AHA) BLS (Basic Life Support) card (or eCard) is required.
  • We do not accept any other CPR certification, as per clinical facility requirements.
  • Copy of current CPR card or eCard must be provided.
  • Students are responsible for renewal of CPR certification.
  • BLS cards are valid for 2 years, but must remain current for the duration of the semester. 
  • If your card has an expiration date that falls during a semester, you must renew prior to the start of the term.
  • Military issued CPR cards that use the AHA for healthcare workers curriculum will be accepted.
Tb Skin Test
  • Proof of negative Tb skin test, blood test, or chest x-ray must be provided on initial admission to the nursing program (must be within a year of admission).
  • Initial documentation must be completed on the Division of Nursing's Immunization Certificate form (found on the DON webpage.)
  • If the skin test is positive, a chest x-ray will be required.
Immunizations
  • Immunizations must be documented on the Division of Nursing's Immunization Certificate (found on the DON webpage.)
  • Required immunizations are outlined in the chart below and on the Immunization Certificate.
Health Insurance
  • Current health insurance is required by our clinical facilities. Health insurance must be effective for the entirety of the nursing program. Any changes to health insurance must be submitted to the DON.
  • If you are covered under another person's policy, you must submit a copy of that card, along with a letter from the insurance company stating you are covered under the policy.
  • If uninsured, students are responsible for purchasing health insurance.
Liability 
  • The DON purchases liability insurance on behalf of the student.
Drug Screen
  • Drug screenings are coordinated by the DON and should not be done in advance by the student (refer to Drug Screening Guidelines.)
Background Screen
  • Background screenings are coordinated by the DON and should not be done in advance by the student (refer to Background Screening Policy.)

 

Immunization Requirements
MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
  • 2 doses of the vaccine, OR
  • Laboratory evidence of immunity (Titer)
  • History of disease DOES NOT satisfy this requirement
Varicella
  • 2 doses of the vaccine, OR
  • Laboratory evidence of immunity (Titer)
  • History of disease DOES NOT satisfy this requirement
Tdap (Tetanus-Diptheria-Pertusis) or Td
  • Taken within the past 10 years
Hepatitis B (recommended)
  • 3 doses of the vaccine, OR
  • Laboratory evidence of immunity (Titer)
  • Booster may be required to restore immunity
Influenza
  • All students are required to submit proof of an annual influenza vaccination
  • The influenza vaccine is not available until late August/early September
  • Documentation MUST include:  date given, manufacturer and lot number, expiration date, site of injection, and provider administering
COVID-19
  • The DON will follow the current CDC and ADPH guidance as it relates to the COVID-19 vaccine and presence of clinical faculty and students in health care agencies.
  • Each clinical agency provides updated written guidance on COVID-19 immunization requirements.
  • Students must provide proof of one of the following vaccines or an approved exemption request as approved by the clinical agency
    • Johnson & Johnson, single dose
    • Moderna and Pfizer, both required doses

These requirements may differ from those posted by UWA, but they are REQUIRED for ALL nursing students.

Progression Requirements

Associate in Science

  In order to progress in the nursing program, students must:
 
  1. Achieve a minimum grade of "C" (80%) in each nursing course attempted.

  2. Achieve a minimum grade of "C" in each general education course.

  3. Achieve a clinical laboratory grade of "satisfactory" in each nursing course.

  4. Achieve a minimum grade of 80% on the dosage critical administered in NS 102 NS 103 NS 202 , and NS 204 .

  5. Meet all requirements of the Division of Nursing and its clinical agencies as stated in the Ira D. Pruitt Division of Nursing Student Handbook.

 

Failure to meet any of the above admission and progression requirements will result in academic dismissal from the nursing program. In addition to academic dismissal, the student's enrollment in the nursing program may be terminated at any time if, in the judgment of the nursing faculty, the student demonstrates behaviors inappropriate to nursing practice. Students whose health status and/or clinical performance jeopardize the clients assigned to his/her care may also be dismissed from the nursing program.  The Division of Nursing reserves the right to require a student to submit to: (A) drug screening and/or other professional evaluation for chemical addiction*; (B) psychological testing and/or counseling; (C) physical examination by a licensed physician at the student's expense and to submit a report of the outcome to the Division of Nursing. Results of such reports will be reviewed by the nursing faculty to determine the progression status of the student. Progression in the nursing program may also be terminated if the student has falsified information submitted on the application for admission to the University and/or the Division of Nursing. Dismissal for misconduct will be handled according to the Code of Student Conduct as outlined in the University of West Alabama Student Handbook, Tiger Paw, at http://tigerpaw.uwa.edu/ and the Progression Policy of the Division of Nursing.

*Guidelines established by the Alabama Board of Nursing and guidelines established in the chemical abuse policies of affiliating clinical agencies are utilized by faculty in determining probable cause for requiring professional evaluation for substance abuse. Drug screening is required by health agencies prior to students participating in clinical experiences

 

RN-BSN

  Progression in the RN-to-BSN degree program of study is dependent on a minimum theoretical grade of C (70%) and a clinical performance evaluation of satisfactory, in clinical courses. Students will be evaluated in multiple ways in each distance course.
 

Failure to meet any of the above admission and progression requirements will result in academic dismissal from the nursing program. In addition to academic dismissal, the student's enrollment in the nursing program may be terminated at any time if, in the judgment of the nursing faculty, the student demonstrates behaviors inappropriate to nursing practice. Students whose health status and/or clinical performance jeopardize the clients assigned to his/her care may also be dismissed from the nursing program. The Division of Nursing reserves the right to require a student to submit to: (A) drug screening and/or other professional evaluation for chemical addiction*; (B) psychological testing and/or counseling; (C) physical examination by a licensed physician at the student's expense and to submit a report of the outcome to the Division of Nursing. Results of such reports will be reviewed by the nursing faculty to determine the progression status of the student. Progression in the nursing program may also be terminated if the student has falsified information submitted on the application for admission to the University and/or the Division of Nursing. Dismissal for misconduct will be handled according to the Code of Student Conduct as outlined in the University of West Alabama Student Handbook, Tiger Paw, at http://tigerpaw.uwa.edu/ and the Progression Policy of the Division of Nursing.

*Guidelines established by the Alabama Board of Nursing and guidelines established in the chemical abuse policies of affiliating clinical agencies are utilized by faculty in determining probable cause for requiring professional evaluation for substance abuse. Drug screening is required by health agencies prior to students participating in clinical experiences

Associate of Science Program Reinstatement

  All decisions regarding the reinstatement of students into the Associate of Science in Nursing Program are made by the Nursing Faculty Committee. To be considered for reinstatement, the student must:
 
  1. Have maintained a cumulative GPA of 2.5 in courses (nursing and general education) required for the Associate of Science in Nursing.
  2. Have previously completed, with a C average as calculated by the Division of Nursing, each of the following: NS 101 NS 102 , and NS 103 *.

  3. Complete the Reinstatement Request Form https://eforms.uwa.edu/index.aspx. The Reinstatement Request Form and reinstatement letter must be received within sixty (60) days of the withdrawal/failure date.
  4. If the student is attempting to reinstate due to extenuating circumstance, submit a letter detailing the circumstances of their failure and reasons to be considered for reinstatement.

 

*A student who is unsuccessful in NS 101 NS 102 , or NS 103  courses will not be eligible for reinstatement, unless the student can demonstrate extenuating personal circumstances, as determined by the Nursing Faculty Committee. Students who are unsuccessful in NS 101 NS 102 , or NS 103  may request special consideration from the Nursing Faculty Committee by detailing in their reinstatement letter the extenuating personal circumstances of their failure. The reinstatement letter must be received within sixty (60) days of the withdrawal/failure date. Documentation may be requested to support the reinstatement letter.

Students who fail to meet the requirements of a nursing course OR withdraw during the last two semesters of the curriculum will be considered for ONE reinstatement to the nursing program. The Nursing Faculty Committee will determine reinstatement eligibility. Reinstatement may require the student to audit nursing courses, including courses that the student may have previously completed successfully, to ensure that knowledge is current.

Students must abide by policies in effect at the time of reinstatement in the Ira D. Pruitt Division of Nursing Student Handbook.

Reinstatement to the Nursing Program is not guaranteed by meeting the above criteria. Completion of requirements established by the faculty, availability of space, the student's application, prior record of performance in the nursing program, other information submitted by the student, and other applicable information will be reviewed by the Nursing Faculty Committee to determine reinstatement.

Students may be readmitted or reinstated into the nursing program a maximum of ONE time.

 Readmission

 

Students who are not eligible for reinstatement or meet academic eligibility may apply for admission to the nursing program as a new student.

Students who were dismissed for academic reasons or withdrew for a period of more than one academic period must apply for readmission.

If accepted as a new student, the student must take all nursing courses.

If the student is accepted as a readmission, but fails to successfully complete the program after one attempt, the student will not be eligible for reinstatement at any time during the program, including the final semester. 

Readmission is not guaranteed. Students may be readmitted or reinstated into the nursing program a maximum of ONE time.

 Graduation Requirements

 

Candidates for graduation must have met the progression requirements of the Division of Nursing as well as all University graduation requirements as outlined in the General Catalogue. In addition, a minimum of one academic year in residence and completion of 27 semester hours of credit in nursing must be earned at UWA.

For more information specific to the Divison of Nursing and it's policies visit https://www.uwa.edu/academics/divisionofnursing/prospectivestudents

Programs

Associate in Science in Nursing

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Non-Degree