Nursing

Office: Cowan Hall Room 313

Montana State University-Northern offers multiple-entry/multiple exit nursing programs that include an Associate of Science degree in nursing (ASN) and a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN). LPN’s may apply for advanced standing in ASN nursing courses.

Montana State University-Northern’s bachelor and associate nursing programs are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, (NLNAC), 3343 Peachtree Rd N.E., Suite 500, Atlanta, GA 30326, 1.404.975.5000 and are approved by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. The associate degree program is fully approved by the Montana State Board of Nursing.

Advising Information

Nursing students are encouraged to meet with advisors at the beginning of each semester to confirm plans of study and make any necessary adjustments. Meeting with an advisor before registering for classes each semester will allow students to plan a schedule that will meet student needs and assist in completing requirements in an efficient manner.

The program prepares men and women for entry-level Registered Nurse positions in hospitals and other health care agencies. The ASN qualifies the graduate to write the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become a registered nurse. The ASN degree program is an intense, demanding, accelerated education option for students desiring the opportunity to become RN’s and enter the workforce sooner than the four-year degree.

The prerequisite year of the ASN program is offered in both Havre and Lewistown. Upon admission to the nursing program students will participate in clinical experiences at various sites in their communities. Students who begin the program in Havre can complete their second year in Havre or at the MSU-Northern Great Falls campus. Students who begin the program in Lewistown will complete the program at that site. Placement is determined by grade point average. Placement is limited at each site.

All students in the MSU-Northern ASN program are required to take standardized proficiency examinations during the program. These examinations provide the student, faculty and program with information concerning student comprehension, application of nursing content and academic growth. Nursing students are required to pay fees for these examinations. These fees will be paid during the semester of the examination and are not refundable.

The BSN provides the opportunity for registered nurses to continue their education in the profession. The BSN program follows the Rules and Statutes of the Montana State Board of Nursing and is fully accredited by the NLNAC. The major builds on previous nursing education and is directed toward an expanded educational base in the areas of nursing leadership and management, community health, and advanced clinical practice. The BSN graduate is prepared as a generalist to practice in varied settings and has the foundation for graduate education.

The BSN classes are online and are scheduled innovatively to meet the needs of adult, non-traditional learners. Most BSN students maintain their jobs and residences and are able to attend classes without moving to the university setting. It is usually possible to attain BSN clinical experiences in the student’s geographic area of residence.

Further information and program requirements may be obtained by calling the Department of Nursing office at 406.265.4196 or the University toll-free number, 1.800.662.6132, or by visiting the Department of Nursing Web page at http://www.msun.edu/academics/nursing. Interested BSN students can contact Judy Bricker at bricker@msun.edu for questions concerning admission into the program. The faculty BSN advisor is Lisa Scheresky O’Neil, 406.265.3749.

Associate of Science Degree

Prerequisites for Entering the Nursing Program

The following is the policy for admission to the associate of science degree in nursing (ASN) program:

To be considered for admission the student must:

  1. Be admitted to Montana State University-Northern (a separate application to the University is required).
  2. Submit official copies of all university transcripts to Montana State University-Northern. Please send the official copies to the Department of Nursing for initial processing. Transcripts will be evaluated to determine credit allotment and articulation. No course requirement, including basic skills courses, will be waived simply on the basis that the applicant has a prior college degree.
  3. Required admissions criteria for acceptance into the ASN program:
    1. Applications are accepted from May 1 through May 31st.  If the student is taking a prerequisites during spring semester those final grades must be submitted with the application.  Accepted applicants will be notified by email and mail on or before July 1st.
    2. a minimum extracted GPA of 2.85 is required to apply.  the extracted GPA is calculated from the following courses completed with a  "C" or better, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, College Algebra, English, Nutrition, Chemistry, General Psychology and Introduction to Nursing.
    3. the Kaplan Admittance Exam must be scheduled, taken and passed with at least a 60% prior to applying.  The Kaplan Admittance Exam can be taken a second time if there are any more testing days available that year.
  4. Licensed Practical Nurses may receive advanced standing into Level II nursing courses.  Requiremnts are isted below:
    1. Applications are accepted from May 1-May 31st.  If the student is taking LPN courses during spring semester those final grades must be submitted with the application.  Accepted applicants will be notified by email or mails on or before July 1st.
    2. A minimum extracted GPA of 2.85 (as Described in #3 above) is required to apply.
    3. Must currently be an LPBN or have passed all LPN classes.
    4. Must be able to take and pass the LPN to RN transition course.
    5. the Kaplan Admittance Exam must be schedule, taken, and passed with at least a 60% prior to applying.  The Kaplan Admittance Exam can be taken a second time if there are any more testing days available that year.
    6. Upon acceptance into the ASN program students must take, at the student's expense, and must pass a urine drug test.
  5. Students who desire to transfer into the Associate Degree Program for another school of nursing must meet the required admission criteris listed above and demonstrate competency in clinical skills.  Admission is granted on a space-available basis.
  6. Applicants not admitted into the Nursing Program by their expected date of admission must reapply for future consideration. There is no waiting list.
  7. The following prerequisite courses may be taken at MSU-Northern or at other accredited institutions. None of these courses are waived simply on the basis of a prior college degree. An advisor from the Department of Nursing will evaluate the transcripts from other institutions and will recommend the credit (if any) to be allowed.
    BIOH 201Human Anat Phys I4
    BIOH 211Human Anatomy & Physiology II4
    CHMY 121Intro to General Chemistry3
    CHMY 122Intro to Gen Chem Lab1
    M 121College Algebra3
    NRSG 100Introduction to Nursing1
    NUTR 121Clinical Human Nutrition2
    PSYX 100Intro to Psychology3
    WRIT 101College Writing I3
  8. Prior to starting NRSG courses the student must meet the following requirements:
    1. The student must provide proof that s/he:
      1. Had a physical examination verifying good health
      2. Had immunizations that are current for, or has documented proof of immunity to, the diseases of measles, mumps, and rubella (applied to students born after 1956)
      3. Is current for tetanus and diphtheria vaccination (Td) according to the Center for Disease Control guidelines
      4. Had the hepatitis B vaccination series, including titer, or has a valid waiver on file
      5. Is free of tuberculosis (annual update)
      6. Has professional liability insurance (provided by the Department of Nursing) (annual update)
      7. Has health insurance (annual update)
      8. Has current class C CPR certification (CPR for Health Care Providers) (annual update)
    2. Health standards must be met as required by participating clinical facilities. Additional tests must be taken as required by these facilities and the Department of Nursing faculty document that such standards are met
  9. Students are expected to participate in clinical experiences in hospitals, nursing homes, and other community agencies at varied time schedules. Students who are employed must arrange with employers to allow for flexibility in meeting their academic and clinical schedules. The clinical schedule may involve day, evenings, and weekend assignments.
  10. Participation in the clinical area is dependent upon space availability. Those students having the highest academic achievement will be selected first, if the space is limited.
  11. Faculty members have an obligation to the client to ensure that nursing students who care for them are competent to do so. In the interest of safeguarding the client’s welfare, students must meet the criteria detailed in the Nursing Student Handbook. To be allowed to participate in clinical assignments the student must:
    1. Demonstrate good health status and practices and be free from any condition that could jeopardize client safety and comfort
    2. Demonstrate emotional stability
    3. Demonstrate sensitivity to client safety and comfort
    4. Practice within legal standards and demonstrate regard for professional ethics
    5. Comply with agency requirements pertinent to student participation
    6. Carry out client care assignments with the required knowledge and skill as determined in classroom theory and laboratory demonstrations
    7. Complete fingerprint and background checks

Students Note: You cannot participate in clinical experiences if you fail to keep current your proof of requirements. Failure in clinical experience also results in failure in the nursing course(s). Also, please note that all Associate Degree Nursing students pay a $185/semester program fee.

General Requirements for Progression and Graduation

To assure progression through the program, the student must meet the academic and clinical requirements. Satisfactory classroom academic performance within a nursing course does not by itself assure progression through the program. When assigned to clinical situations, the student must meet the criteria that assure safety and welfare. Graduation is dependent upon nursing students meeting the professional standards and criteria for safe and effective nursing care as prescribed by the curriculum.

Grades and How They Apply to Placement and Continuation in the Program

  1. To continue in the program without interruption the student must maintain
    1. An overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.25 or better on a 4.00 scale
    2. A grade of “C” or better in each required course
  2. Students progressing in uninterrupted sequence through the major and maintaining a 2.25 cumulative GPA or above have clinical space priority.
  3. If there are more students than places available at the extended campuses, students with the highest extracted cumulative grade point averages will be selected first for placements.
  4. Students who receive a grade lower than “C” in any required course may repeat the course one time on a space available basis. Level II nursing students who receive a grade less than a “C” in any nursing course will be required to become a part-time student. If a student receives a grade lower than a “C” in the same course twice, that student will be dropped from the nursing major.
    1. A student who has less than a “C” in any required non-nursing course is required to retake the course and pass with a “C” or better before progressing. Any such course may be repeated only once.

Reinstatement after Withdrawal from the Nursing Major

Reinstatement to the nursing major is not automatic. A former student must submit a petition to the Director of Nursing before the beginning of the semester. The petition must state the reason the student was unsuccessful and what has been done to increase the chances for success if readmitted. Students petitioning for reinstatement may be required to pass a written test and a practical performance exam for placement into the nursing program. Students who have left the program for non-academic reasons, and have been out for one year or less, may be reinstated without testing on a space available basis.

Additional information regarding student policies and guidelines may be found in the Nursing Student Handbook, which is updated annually.

Faculty Academic Advisors

  1. Faculty advisors are assigned to each student upon admission to the nursing program. As students’ progress to Level II, new advisors may be assigned. New advisors may also be assigned as students’ progress to the BSN program.
  2. A student is expected to meet with his/her advisor a minimum of twice per semester to discuss grades, academic plans or problems, course changes, etc. The student or the advisor has the right to initiate a change in the advising assignment. Students are encouraged to confer with advisors as academic problems, conflicts, or concerns arise.

Transportation

Students must provide their own transportation to and from the classroom and the clinical areas.

Program Fee

All students admitted into the ASN program pay a $185 program fee per semester.

Summary

If the above criteria are not met, or if there is any circumstance that may constitute an unreasonable risk to the safety and well being of the patient/client, a student may be removed from the program. The final decision regarding removal will be based on the judgment of the Nursing faculty and Director.

Bachelor of Science Degree

Prerequisites for Entering the Nursing Program

The following is the policy for admission to the Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN) program:

  1. Be a graduate of an approved associate degree or diploma program of nursing. Graduates from a diploma program may be required to take additional general education coursework, depending on the transferability of completed work. Diploma graduates will receive 30 credits of advanced placement upon completion of general education requirements and 15 upper division nursing credits. The diploma graduate must document 2000 hours of nursing experience as a registered nurse.
  2. Be licensed as a RN or eligible to sit for the NCLEX (Licensure required for clinical practicum courses).
  3. Submit official copies of all university transcripts to Montana State University-Northern. Please send the official copies to the Department of Nursing office for initial processing. Transcripts will be evaluated to determine credit allotment and articulation. No course requirement, including basic skills courses, will be waived simply on the basis that the applicant has a prior college degree.
  4. Have at least a 2.25 cumulative GPA
  5. Applications are considered on an ongoing basis. The first courses of the major sequence are offered each summer and fall semester. Students may take up to nine (9) credits prior to admission. However, students must be licensed registered nurses and be fully admitted into the nursing program PRIOR to enrolling in any practicum course.
  6. Students who desire to transfer into the Bachelor of Science program from another RN-to-BSN program may apply by submitting a petition to the Director of Nursing. Placement in the program is determined on an individual basis through transcript and/or course evaluations. Applicants may be asked to take a standardized or teacher-constructed test, and demonstrate specific skills in the university nursing laboratory or in a clinical setting. A grade of “C” or better in each required nursing and support course is necessary for admission to the nursing curriculum.
  7. The following required general education courses may be taken at MSU-Northern or at other accredited institutions. None of these courses are waived simply on the basis of a prior college degree except as provided by the Montana Board of Regents policy. An advisor from the Department of Nursing will evaluate the transcripts from other institutions and will recommend the credit, if any, to be allowed
    CAPP 120Introduction to Computers3
    M 121College Algebra3
    Select one of the following:3-4
    Introduction to Statistics
    Interm Statistical Concepts
    Business Statistics & Research
    WRIT 101College Writing I3
    Cultural Diversity elective3
    Humanities/Fine Arts elective6
    History/Social Science electives6
  8. Prior to starting the clinical practicum courses the student must meet the following requirements:
    1. The student must provide proof that s/he
      1. Had a physical examination verifying good health
      2. Had immunizations that are current for, or has documented proof of immunity to, the diseases of measles, mumps, and rubella (applies to students born after 1956)
      3. Is current for tetanus and diphtheria vaccination (Td) according to the Center for Disease Control guidelines
      4. Had the hepatitis B vaccination series, including titer, or has a valid waiver on file
      5. Proof of freedom from tuberculosis (annual update)
      6. Has professional liability insurance (provided by the Department of Nursing) (annual update)
      7. Has health insurance (annual update)
      8. Has current Class C CPR certification (CPR for Health care Providers) (annual update)
      9. Has current RN licensure in the state where the clinical practicum will be conducted
    2. Health standards must be met as required by participating clinical facilities. Additional tests must be taken as required by these facilities and the Department of Nursing faculty to document that such standards are met.

General Requirements for Progression and Graduation

NOTE: RN licensure, or eligibility to sit for RN licensure, is required for admission to the Bachelor of Science program.

To assure progression through the program, the student must meet the total academic and clinical requirements. Satisfactory classroom academic performance within a nursing course does not by itself assure progression through the program. When assigned to clinical situations, the student must meet the criteria that assure patient/client safety and welfare. Graduation is dependent upon nursing students meeting the professional standards and criteria for safe and effective nursing care as prescribed by the curriculum.

Grades and How They Apply to Placement and Continuation in the Program

  1. To continue in the program without interruption the student must maintain
    1. An overall grade point average (GPA of 2.00 or better on a 4.00 scale)
    2. A GPA of 2.25 or better in the major
    3. A grade of “C” or better in each required course
  2. Students progressing in uninterrupted sequence through the major and maintaining a 2.25 cumulative GPA or above have clinical space priority.
  3. Students who receive a grade lower than “C” in any required course will be required to repeat the course and continue on a part-time basis. Students who drop out of the nursing program must petition for reinstatement (See Nursing Student Handbook for Procedure).
    1. A required nursing course may be repeated only once on a space available basis. Students accumulating two grades below “C” in a required nursing course will be dropped from the program and may not be readmitted. The faculty reserves the right to review each case on an individual basis.
    2. A student who has less than a “C” in any required non-nursing course is required to retake the course and pass with a “C” or better before progressing. Any such course may be repeated only once.
  4. Students must complete the BSN degree within five (5) years of beginning the program. If the student is unable to complete the program within five (5) years and is making progress toward the degree, faculty will review each case on an individual basis.

Reinstatement after Withdrawal from the Nursing Major

Reinstatement to the nursing major is not automatic. A former student must direct a petition to the Director of the Department of Nursing before the beginning of the semester. The petition must state the reasons the student was unsuccessful and what has been done to increase the chances for success if readmitted. Students petitioning for reinstatement may be required to pass a written test and a practical performance exam for placement into the nursing program. Students who have left the program for non-academic reasons, and have been out for one year or less, may be reinstated without testing on a space available basis.

Additional information regarding student policies and guidelines may be found in the Nursing Student Handbook, which is updated annually.

Courses to be Taken and Where They Are Offered

This information is provided in sample curriculum plans for the BSN degree. These are available as separate documents and should be included in the packet of application materials.

Faculty Academic Advisors

Faculty advisors are assigned to each student upon admission to the program. A student is expected to meet with his/her advisor a minimum of twice per semester to discuss grades, academic plans or problems, course changes, etc. The meeting may be face-to-face, by e-mail, or by telephone. The student or the advisor has the right to initiate a change in the advising assignment. Students are encouraged to confer with advisors as academic problems, conflicts, or concerns arise.

Transportation

Students must provide their own transportation to and from the classroom and the clinical areas.

Requirements Prior to Starting Clinical Courses (NRSG 304, NRSG 360, NRSG 486)

The student must meet the following requirements prior to starting any clinical practicum and maintain currency throughout the nursing program. Students cannot participate in the clinical experiences if they fail to keep the proof of requirements current. This will result in failing the nursing course(s).

  1. The student must provide proof that s/he:
    1.  Had a physical examination verifying good health.
    2.  Had immunizations that are current for (or has documented proof of immunity to the diseases of measles, mumps, and rubella). This requirement applies to students born after 1956.
    3. Carry out patient/client care assignments with the required knowledge and skill as determined in classroom theory and laboratory demonstrations.
    4. Is current for tetanus and diphtheria vaccine (Td) according to the Center for Disease Control guidelines
    5. Had the hepatitis B vaccination series including titer or has a valid waiver on file.
    6. Is free of tuberculosis.
    7. Has professional liability insurance (provided by the Department of Nursing).
    8. Has health insurance.
    9. Has current Class C CPR certification (Basic Life Support for Health Professionals).
  2. Students are expected to participate in clinical experiences in hospitals, nursing homes, and other community agencies at varied time schedules. Students who are employed must arrange with employers to allow for flexibility in meeting their academic and clinical schedules. The clinical schedule may involve day, evenings, and weekend assignments.
  3. Participation in the clinical area is dependent upon space availability. Those students having the highest academic achievement will be selected first, if the space is limited.
  4. Faculty members have an obligation to the patient/client to ensure that nursing students who care for them are competent to do so. In the interest of safeguarding the patient/client’s welfare, students must meet the criteria detailed in the Nursing Student Handbook. To be allowed to participate in clinical assignments the student must:
    1. Demonstrate good health status and practices and be free from any condition that could jeopardize patient/client safety and comfort.
    2. Demonstrate emotional stability.
    3. Demonstrate sensitivity to client safety and comfort.
    4. Practice within legal standards and demonstrate regard for professional ethics.
    5. Comply with agency requirements pertinent to student participation.
    6. Carry out patient/client care assignments with the required knowledge and skill as determined in classroom theory and laboratory demonstrations.

If the above criteria are not met, or if there is any circumstance that may constitute an unreasonable risk to the safety and well-being of the patient/client, a student may be removed from the program. The final decision regarding removal will be based on the judgment of the nursing faculty and Director.

Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes: Synthesize knowledge from the humanities, technological sciences, and arts and sciences to provide competent client-centered care with sensitivity and respect for individuals, groups and communities. Demonstrates skill in actively collaborating with other health care professionals and clients by fostering open communication, mutual respect, and sound nursing judgement Utilize nursing evidence based practice to make clinical decisions based on the science of nursing and knowledge of other disciplines to promote safe quality care. Analyze and implement client safety goals that minimize risk of harm to clients, providers and communities. Create health promotion, wellness and personal growth strategies for self, clients, families groups and communities Incorporates leadership skills while taking individual responsibility and accountability for nursing decisions and actions based on ethical codes and standards of nursing practice.

Students who plan to complete the BSN degree must first earn an ASN degree at MSU-Northern or another approved nursing program (first and second year nursing course requirements are met). Registered nurses who earn their nursing diploma will be evaluated on an individual basis.

General Education Core33
Required Courses
BGEN 253Business Statistics & Research3
or STAT 216 Introduction to Statistics
NRSG 303Community Nursing5
NRSG 304Community Nursing Clin1
NRSG 321Theoretical Foundation of Nurs3
NRSG 325Health Assessment3
NRSG 343High Acuity Nursing3
NRSG 362Health Education3
NRSG 420Nursing Research3
NRSG 452Case Managment in Nursing3
NRSG 485Nursing Leadership & Mngmnt5
NRSG 486Nursing Leadrshp & Mngmnt Clin1
PSYX 100Intro to Psychology (Meets CAT IV Requirement)3
COMX 111Intro to Public Speaking (Meets CAT I Requirement)3
or COMX 115 Intro to Interpersonal Communc
CAPP 120Introduction to Computers3
or CAPP 151 MS Office
Select one of the following: *3
Nursing Ethics
Cultural Diversity in Hlthcare
Gerontological Nursing
End of Life Care
Comp Therapies & Alt Healing
Total minimum credits required for degree120
*

Courses used to meet general education requirements cannot be used to meet the Nursing elective requirement.

PLEASE NOTE: Students enrolled in this program will pay between $50-$60/semester in standardized testing fees and $185/semester in program fees. These fees are in addition to tuition and other mandatory fees.

Associate of Science

This program is for students who began Fall Semester 2008 and thereafter.

General Education Core33
Required Courses Credits
BIOH 201Human Anat Phys I (Meets CAT III Requirement)4
BIOH 211Human Anat Phys II (Meets CAT III Requirement)4
BIOM 250Microbiology for Hlth Sciences (CAT III)3
BIOM 251Microbiology Hlth Sciences Lab1
CHMY 121Intro to General Chemistry3
CHMY 122Intro to Gen Chem Lab1
M 121College Algebra (Meets CAT II Requirement)3
NUTR 121Clinical Human Nutrition2
NRSG 100Introduction to Nursing1
NRSG 130Fundamentals of Nursing7
NRSG 131Fundamentals of Nursing Lab0
NRSG 135Nursing Pharmacology3
NRSG 138Gerontology for Nursing2
NRSG 139Gerontology for Nursing Clncl0
NRSG 140Core Concepts of Adult Nursing7
NRSG 141Core Adult Nursing Clinical0
NRSG 142Core Maternal Child Nursing3
NRSG 143Core Maternal Chld Nursng Clin0
NRSG 144Core Mental Health Nursing2
NRSG 250LPN to RN Transition *3
NRSG 252Cmplx Care Maternal/Child3
NRSG 253Cmplx Care Maternal/Chld Clncl0
NRSG 254Complex Care Mental Health2
NRSG 255Cmplx Care Mental Health Clncl0
NRSG 256Pathophysiology3
NRSG 262Complex Care Adult4
NRSG 263Complex Care Adult Clncl0
NRSG 265Advanced Clinical Skills Lab1
NRSG 266Managed Client Care4
NRSG 267Managed Client Care Clinical0
PSYX 100Intro to Psychology (Meets CAT IV Requirement)3
SOCI 101Introduction to Sociology (Meets CAT IV Requirement)3
WRIT 101College Writing I (Meets CAT I Requirement)3
Total minimum credits required for degree72-75
*

Course only for LPNs articulating into the ASN program.

After graduation from ASN program students are eligible to sit for NCLEX for RN licensure.

PLEASE NOTE: Students enrolled in this program will pay $500.00 program fee. This fee are in addition to tuition and other mandatory fees.