The Catholic University of America

School of Nursing

Officers of Instruction


Patricia McMullen, Ph.D., J.D., RN, CNS, WHNP-BC (Women's Health Nurse Practitioner), FAANP Ordinary Professor and Dean, Chief Administrative Officer

Janice Griffin Agazio, Ph.D., RN, CRNP (Pediatric Nurse Practitioner), FAANP, FAAN (LTC, USA (Ret))

Associate Professor
and Assistant Dean for Doctoral Programs
Patricia Connor Ballard, Ph.D., RN, ACNS-BC (Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist) Clinical Assistant Professor
Jill Dombrowski, Ph.D., RN Clinical Assistant Professor
Susan Durham, Ph.D., M.P.H., RN Assistant Professor
Mary Flynn, D.N.P., CPNP (Pediatric Nurse Practitioner) Clinical Assistant Professor
Petra Goodman, Ph.D., RN., WHNP-BC, COL (Ret, U.S. Army, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner) Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Research and Professional Development
Elizabeth Hawkins-Walsh, Ph.D., RN, CPNP (Pediatric Nurse Practitioner) Clinical Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Master's Programs and Community Outreach
Lois M. Hoskins, Ph.D., RN, FAAN Professor Emerita
Nalini N. Jairath, Ph.D., M.Sc.N., RN
Associate Professor 
Janet Merritt, Ph.D., RN, CNS-BC (Psychiatric/Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist) Clinical Assistant Professor
Jeanne Moore, D.N.P., CFNP (Family Nurse Practitioner) Clinical Assistant Professor
Barbara Moran,Ph.D., M.S., M.P.H. , RN, CNM,RNC, FACCE (Certified Nurse Midwife) Assistant Professor

Sandra O'Brien, Ph.D., CRNP-F, PHCNS-BC, RN (Family Nurse Practitioner, Public Health Clinical Nurse Specialist)

Clinical Assistant Professor
Sister Mary Elizabeth O'Brien, Ph.D., RN, FAAN Professor Emerita
Mary A.Paterson, Ph.D., RN Ordinary Professor and Assistant Dean for Assessment & Evaluation
Janet S. Selway, D.N.Sc., CANP, CPNP, FAANP (Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner) Assistant Professor
Jane Taylor, M.S.N., RN Clinical Instructor
Jean E. Toth, Ph.D., RN (Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist) Associate Professor
Teresa Walsh, Ph.D., RN Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs

Adjunct Faculty

Anna C Alt-White, Ph.D. RN

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Lisa Banta, MD Adjunct Assistant Professor
Miriam Erice, B.S.N., M.Ed., RN, BC Adjunct Assistant Professor
Mourine Evans, M.S., RN Adjunct Assistant Professor
Brandi Farrell, M.S.N., RN, CPNP (Family Nurse Practitioner) Adjunct Assistant Professor
Allison Greenleaf, M.S.N., RN, CPNP (Pediatric Nurse Practitioner) Adjunct Assistant Professor
Christine Guelcher, M.S., RN, CNPN (Pediatric Nurse Practitioner) Adjunct Assistant Professor
William Howie, D.N.P., RN, CRNA (Nurse Anesthetist) Adjunct Associate Professor
Fredric Lombardo, Pharm.D., M.S., RPh, BCPS, BCNSP, BCOP Adjunct Professor
Marisa Mize, D.N.P., RN, CCRN, CPNP-PC, AC Adjunct Assistant Professor
Alice Myers, M.S. Adjunct Assistant Professor
Megan Podboy, B.S., B.S.N., RN Nursing Admissions Liaison & Counselor
Frank Pucino, Pharm.D., BCPS, FDPGEC, FASHP Adjunct Professor
Rebecca Robert, Ph.D., RN, PNP-BC, FNP-BC (Pediatric Nurse Practitioner & Family Nurse Practitioner) Adjunct Assistant Professor
Janet Southby, Ph.D., RN, ANC Adjunct Assistant Professor
David Want, B.S.N., RN Clinical Coordinator
George Zangaro, Ph.D., RN Adjunct Associate Professor

Clinical Associates

Clinical Associates to the School of Nursing are appointed on a semester basis.


The School of Nursing traces its beginning to the summer of 1932 when The Catholic University of America for the first time offered a group of professional courses in nursing education. Because of the demand, the work was continued during the following academic year and in April 1933 the Board of Trustees authorized a curriculum leading to the degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education. The first degree was conferred in 1934. The Division of Nursing Education, which offered this program, was approved for active membership in the Association of Collegiate Schools of Nursing in June 1935. The Division of Public Health Nursing, offering a curriculum leading to the baccalaureate degree, was initiated in September 1935. In November 1935, the Board of Trustees accepted the recommendation of Bishop James Hugh Ryan that the two divisions be organized as one of the professional schools of the university. The programs of study leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education and Bachelor of Science in Public Health Nursing were approved. The school was subsequently expanded to include basic professional nursing in addition to the program for registered nurses. In 1939 the Providence Hospital School of Nursing, Washington, D.C., became the Providence Division of the School of Nursing Education and during the next decade gradually moved toward complete identification with the university. In 1949 the university assumed full responsibility for the undergraduate program.

In 1951 the degree of Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) was introduced. The current program prepares nurses for advanced practice roles in a clinical specialty, with students prepared as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and educators. A program leading to the degree Doctor of Nursing Science (D.N.Sc) was initiated in 1968.It was one of the first of its kind in the country and graduates hold major leadership positions in education, health care administration and research.

In the spring of 2006, the D.N.Sc. program was transitioned to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program. The focus of the Ph.D. program remains on clinical investigation and development of expert clinicians who can assume leadership positions in many different areas. In 2007 the school added a Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) program that prepares expert clinicians and nursing leaders.  Most recently, the school has added on-line programs for those pursuing an M.S.N. (family nurse practitioner concentration), D.N.P. or Ph.D.

The school is recognized for its program offerings, the quality of faculty and commitment to diversity and improving the care of vulnerable populations. Graduates remain the school's greatest strength because of leadership, knowledge, clinical expertise, and commitment to continuous learning and improvement.

All academic programs are fully accredited and approved by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and other appropriate external review bodies.


Strengthened by a rich heritage of Catholic teachings and Christian values, the mission of the School of Nursing is (a) to prepare professionally educated nurses who are capable of the moral, intellectual, and professional leadership needed to provide continuing quality in clinical nursing care, in nursing education, in nursing research, and in nursing service; and, (b) to advance nursing knowledge and skill through scientific inquiry and other scholarly activity.


The four specific educational goals of the School of Nursing, as identified by the faculty, are:

1. Educational programs are implemented to meet the missions of the University, the School of Nursing and the standards set by the profession and societal needs.

2. The climate and environment in the School of Nursing facilitates faculty and student research and scholarly activities.

3. A competitive market position is maintained to enroll a sufficient number of qualified students of diverse backgrounds to support the excellence of the educational programs.

4. Contributions to the health care of people are made through an emphasis on Christian, moral, and spiritual value systems within the context of Catholic teachings.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program


The aim of the baccalaureate program is to prepare students for beginning professional nursing practice. The program provides the general and professional education essential for understanding human beings, their culture, and their environment; for acquiring and utilizing nursing theory upon which nursing practice is based; and for promoting self-understanding, personal fulfillment, and motivation for continued learning. The graduates of this program are prepared to maintain and promote client adaptation in a variety of health care settings, through theory and utilization of the nursing process.

Terminal Objectives

 The graduate of the baccalaureate program in nursing will:

  1. Demonstrate moral integrity in caring for all persons.
  2. Synthesize foundational and theoretical knowledge from religion, philosophy, the humanities, and the natural and behavioral sciences in their practice of nursing.
  3. Integrate the principles of primary health care in the delivery of compassionate, technically competent, holistic nursing care.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of the context in which professional nurses practice, including the biobehavioral, cultural, political, environmental, economic, ethical, legal, scientific, and spiritual dimensions.
  5. Demonstrate effective skills in communicating and collaborating with clients, health care providers, and members of the community.
  6. Demonstrate use of critical thinking skills in making informed judgments in the management of health for individuals, families, groups, and communities.
  7. Apply leadership principles in practice settings, to influence and educate others in providing health care.
  8. Reflect a commitment to self-development and the advancement of the profession of nursing through participation in educational, community, and organizational activities.
  9. Use the nursing process to promote and restore health, and prevent illness in individuals, families, groups and communities, including vulnerable populations.
  10. Evaluate research findings for application to professional nursing practice.
  11. Employ information management, information technology systems and patient care technology supports to improve quality of care and decision-making.

Program of Study

There are two main Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program options: (a) the traditional program option, and (b) the second degree program option. These options differ in terms of the admission requirements and the curriculum plan.

Traditional Program Option

The traditional program, or curriculum plan, is designed for the beginning nursing student; high school graduates or students with limited college transfer credit. The School of Nursing Web site ( contains the newest and most complete information on plans of study and nursing coursework.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the university's general admissions requirements, high school courses in biology and chemistry are required. Submission of SAT or ACT scores is also required. Admission to the school is competitive. Undergraduate admissions to the School of Nursing are coordinated by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.  Students during their first two years at CUA are enrolled in pre-nursing, under the auspices of the School of Arts and Sciences and pre-nursing students are advised by the Central Advising Center. Matriculation into the School of Nursing occurs after sophomore year, when students have completed 60 undergraduate credits of specifically defined coursework, and taken a required entrance exam.  Full details on matriculating from pre-nursing to upper division B.S.N. courses are contained on the school's website:

Transfer Credits into the School of Nursing

All Nursing courses (courses starting with the prefix NURS), in both the traditional and the second degree programs, must be taken in the School of Nursing, with the exception that the School of Nursing will evaluate the transfer of Nutrition (on-line courses will be considered). All Arts and Science courses are evaluated by the Coordinator for Transfer Evaluation in Arts and Sciences. Nutrition courses are evaluated by the Undergraduate Office in the School of Nursing. Transfer courses MUST be evaluated for comparability to CUA courses PRIOR to a student registering for such courses.

The School of Nursing follows the University Transfer Policy. All courses transferred into CUA for transferable credit must adhere to the policy that is articulated below.  The SON allows undergraduates who wish to take a course at another college or university to apply that to their CUA degree provided the following conditions are met:

• The course is completed at a regionally accredited institution

• The course is substantially similar to a CUA course

• The course is completed with a grade of C- (C minus) or better for Arts and Sciences course or a grade of C or better for Nutrition 

• The course does not duplicate, overlap or repeat previous work

• The college or university offering the course allows the course to be used for credit toward its own undergraduate degrees

National standards for online education are used to determine if an on-line course is comparable to a CUA course. Individual Schools have established limits on the numbers of on-line courses which are transferrable. General undergraduate degree requirement policies are available on-line at

The maximum number of courses that are allowed for transfer in a summer session is limited to two (2) per year, only one of which may be a science course taken for remediation purposes. Specially, only one science course can be remediated over the summer.  Students cannot take courses off campus while enrolled in classes at The Catholic University of America. A maximum of eight (8) courses can be transferred into the School of Nursing after enrollment.

Nursing students who are repeating science courses to increase and maintain the minimum standard Science GPA are governed by the following rules regarding cumulative GPA calculation:

When repeating a required course where the grade was F, if the course is offered at CUA and it is retaken at CUA, the higher grade obtained in the course will be calculated into the cumulative GPA. When repeating a required science course at CUA, where the original grade was a D or C-, the cumulative GPA will not be adjusted to include the new grade in calculations.

When repeating a required science course at another University (during a time period when it is not available at CUA, i.e.. summer session), the following will apply. The appropriate department evaluation and approval must occur thru the Transfer Coordinator in Arts and Sciences’ and the School of Nursing must also authorize retaking the course prior to the student’s enrollment in that course. Once the course is completed, the grade obtained in the course will be used to evaluate whether the minimum standard science GPA required in the curriculum has been achieved. Grade calculations for courses taken off site that are traditionally offered at CUA (but limited due to time constraints) will not be used in the calculation of the cumulative GPA on CUA official transcripts.

International Students

Baccalaureate nursing programs have intensive academic requirements and a heavy practice component. They require proficiency in written and spoken English and familiarity with the educational system in the United States, particularly in terms of teaching and testing methods. In addition, a broad background in liberal studies and the humanities is necessary to develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills required to function as a professional nurse in the health care system in the United States.

Admission into the School of Nursing, subsequent course load, and length of program will be determined based on a review of the transcript evaluation, TOEFL score, and an English placement examination. Enrollment in intensive English courses may be necessary to progress in the nursing program.

Requesting a transcript evaluation from an approved educational evaluation service is the responsibility of the student and this evaluation must be submitted directly to the Office of Admissions by the transcript evaluation service. It must include an English translation and a course-by-course evaluation, as well as credential evaluation.

All students for whom English is a second language must complete the English placement examination offered by the university regardless of the completion of English courses at other institutions. Recommendations based on the English placement examination must be satisfied for progression into the nursing program. 

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (Traditional Program Option)

Pre-Nursing (First two years in the School of Arts and Science)


During the first two years of study at CUA in the School of Arts and Sciences, students are advised by the central advising center and the School of Nursing's nursing liaison.  Those students who meet requirements for admission into the upper division of the school will be assigned a nursing faculty adviser who is available for consultation on academic matters.  Full-time and part-time study is available.  Students who attend classes on a part time basis will require more than 4 years to complete all degree requirements. 

The complete program consists of 120 credits that are articulated below. The program course plan requirements may be modified in instances of individual academic program progression issues, which may be limited and are authorized by The School of Nursing and the School of Arts and Science.

Advance Placement course credits for courses taken in High School are evaluated by the School of Arts and Sciences for potential transfer as CUA college credit.

Natural Science and Math - 18 credits

Chemistry (inorganic and organic
chemistry content)
4 credits
Human anatomy and physiology 8 credits
Microbiology 3 credits
Statistics 3 credits

English-3 credits

All students are required to take one English writing course. The particular course is grounded on the English placement criteria at the time of admission to the university. Transfer credit will be evaluated on an individual basis. All students for whom English is a second language must complete the English placement examination offered by the university. English 101 is part of the first year experience and the freshman learning communities (LC).

Philosophy-6 credits

All students are required to take Philosophy 201 and 202, both of which are a part of the first year experience and learning communities (LC).

Religion-9 credits (6 credits while in A&S)

Of the three required religion courses, the first must be TRS 201, "Faith Seeking Understanding", a learning community course (LC).  The second Theology course can be any sequence of courses in the School of Theology   The third required theology course is a biomedical ethics course; either Theology 333 or Philosophy 303 (*this course is taken after matriculating into the School of Nursing; junior year).  Bioethics must be taken at CUA and is not transferable from another university. 

Humanities/Liberal Studies - 18 credits

All students are required to take the following coursework before matriculating into the School of Nursing:

Psychology 3 credits
Human Growth and Development 3 credits
Electives 12 credits

Required Pre-Nursing courses (before matriculation into the upper division of the School of Nursing)

Introduction to Health Systems and Professions 3
Population Health 3
Health and Wellness across the Lifespan 3
Nutrition 3
Total number of credits in A&S
Upper Division Courses (required after acceptance into the School of Nursing)  
Health Assessment 4
Pathophysiology/Pharmacology 6 (3/3)
Community and Environmental Nursing Lecture and Clinical Applications 3 (2/1)
Fundamental Applications 4
Mental Health Nursing (Lecture & Clinical) 5 (3/2)
Adults in Health and Illness I (Lecture & Clinical) 5 (3/2)
Adults in Health and Illness II (Lecture & Clinical) 5 (3/2)
Women in Health and Illness (Lecture and Clinical) 5 (3/2)
Children in Health and Illness (Lecture & Clinical) 5 (3/2)
Adults in Health and Illness III (Lecture & Clinical) 4 (2/2)
Management of Health Care Delivery 2
Transition to Professional Practice 2
Adults in Health and Illness III (Lecture & Clinical) 3 (1/2)
Strategies for Professional Practice 2
Evidence Based Care/Health Informatics 2
Nursing Research 3
(Optional - Practicum in Complex Nursing) (2)
Total number of credits in Nursing 60

Nursing Courses in the 2nd half of the program after matriculation.

Course descriptions are available on the Web at

Introduction to Health Systems, Population Health, Health and Wellness & Nutrition are open to non-nursing students on a space available basis. Students from other schools should check with the School of Nursing before registering for these courses.

The number of hours of meeting/contact time per week is determined by the type of nursing course and credits and does not include out of class study time or work on out of class assignments. P/F indicates the course is graded with either Pass or Fail.  The following ratios are used:

Didactic Course 1 credit=1 hour/week
Clinical/Lab Course 1 credit= 3 hours/week
NURS Title (credit hours)
151 Introduction to Health Systems & Professions (3) *
2xx Population Health (3) *
254A Health and Wellness across the Lifespan (3) *
257 Nutrition and Health (3) *
258 Health Assessment (4)
2xxb Fundamental Applications (4)
275D Adults in Health and Illness I : Lecture (3)
275C Adults in Health and Illness I :Clinical (2) P/F
371 Pathophysiology (3)
370 Community & Environmental Nursing Lecture (2)
372 Community & Environmental Nursing Clinical Applications (1)
310 Pharmacology (3)
375 Mental Health Nursing Lecture (3)
377 Mental Health Nursing Clinical Applications (2) P/F
376D Adults in Health and Illness Intermediate II : Lecture (3)
376C Adults in Health and Illness Intermediate II : Clinical (2) P/F 
378 Health Informatics (2)
403 Introduction to Nursing Research (3)
420 Child and Adolescent Health and Illness Lecture (3)
421 Child and Adolescent Health and Illness Clinical Applications (2) P/F
423 Women in Health and Illness Lecture (3)
428 Women in Health and Illness Clinical Applications (2) P/F
424 Management of Health Care Delivery (2)
4xx Adults in Health and Illness Lecture & Clinical Leadership (4 - 2/2) Graded & P/F
427 Transition to Professional Practice (2)
438 Practicum in Complex Nursing (2) - OPTIONAL
448 Guided Study in Nursing (1) P/F  
449 Guided Study in Nursing (2) Graded  
450 Guided Study in Nursing (3) Graded
452 Guided Study in Nursing (3) P/F
454 Guided Study in Nursing (4) P/F
469 Spirituality and Care of the Sick (3)
480 Strategies for Professional Practice (2)
 * All * courses are taken during the first 2 years of study under the managment of Arts and Sciences

Curriculum Plan for Basic Program Option 

A total 120 credits are needed to graduate.The plan noted below may be modified to meet an individual student's program. NB: The curriculum and this plan are subject to modification by the School of Nursing.

Freshman Year (in School of Arts and Sciences)

Course # Course Title 1st 2nd
NURS 151 Introduction to Health Systems & Professions * 2* 2*
BIOL 232/233 Anatomy/Physiology 4 4
CHEM ** 109/119 Organic and Biochemistry for Allied Health ** - 4**
- OR - -
BIOL 223 ** Microbiology ** - 3**
PHIL 201/202 Classical Mind, Modern Mind 3 3
ENG 101 Rhetoric and Composition or Composition and Literature 3*  3*
TRS 201 Faith Seeking Understanding 3* 3*
Electives Electives 3 or 6 3
  Total 16 16 or 17

* Courses may be taken in either the Fall or Spring semester

** One course taken in Spring


 Sophomore Year (in School of Arts and Sciences)

Course #

Course Title



CHEM ** 109/119

Organic and Biochemistry for Allied Health **



- OR - -

BIOL 223 **

Microbiology **



PSY 201




MATH 114




TRS 2xx, 3XX

Theology Elective







NURS 2xx

Population Health



NURS 257




PSY 379   or    

EDU 261

Human Growth and Development





16 or 15


  ** One course taken in Fall    

Junior Year (in School of Nursing)

Course #

Course Title



NURS 258 Health Assessment 4  
NURS 371 Pathophysiology 3  
NURS XXX Fundamental Applications 4  
NURS 375* Mental Health Nursing Lecture* 3* 3*
NURS 377* Mental Health Nursing Clinical Applications* 2* 2*
NURS 370* Community Health Lecture** 2* 2*
NURS 372* Community Health Clinical** 1* 1*
NURS 310 Pharmacology   3

TRS 333 or

PHIL 303

Bioethics   3


Adults in Health and Illness I: Lecture



NURS 275C Adults in Health and Illness I: Clinical -  2



14 or 16

14 or 16

  * Courses may be taken in either the Fall or Spring semester, but not concurrently    

 Senior Year (in School of Nursing)

Course # Course Title 1st 2nd
NURS 420* Child and Adolescent Health and Illness Lecture * 3* 3*
NURS 421* Child and Adolescent Health and Illness Clinical Applications* 2* 2*
NURS 423* Women in Health and Illness Lecture* 3* 3*
NURS 428* Women in Health and Illness Clinical Applications* 2* 2*
NURS 403 Nursing Research 3  
NURS 427 Transition to Professional Nursing Practice 2  
NURS 376D Adults in Health and Illness Lecture II 3  
NURS 376C Adults in Health and Illness Clinical 2  
NURS 424 Management of Health Care Delivery - 2
NURS 378 Nursing Infomatics - 2
NURS 4xx Adults in Health and Illness III Lecture and Clinical - 4
NURS 480 Strategies for Professional Practice - 2
NURS 438 Complex Honors Practicum (Optional) - (2)
  Free Electives    
  Total 15 15
  * Courses may be taken in either the Fall or Spring semester, but not concurrently    


All undergraduate nursing students in the 4 year plan BSN program must take 12 credits of electives. The requirments for these electives is consistent with the School of Arts and Sciences.  Please see specific school announcements for particular degree requirments.

Second Degree Program Option

The second degree program option is a five semester sequence that leads to a B.S.N. degree. It is available to students who already possess a baccalaureate or higher degree in the liberal arts or sciences, including the required pre-requisite courses. Because the second degree program depends upon a specific time sequence, unsuccessful performance in any nursing course (a grade of "W" or less than "C") will typically extend the length of time needed to complete the program

Admission Requirments for Second Degree Program

Admission requirements is based upon the following:

  • A baccalaureate or higher degree earned within the past 10 years, with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or greater.
  • An official transcript which reflects courses in human anatomy and physiology, microbiology, chemistry (with organic chemistry content), statistics, nutrition, human growth and development and humanities. Please refer to the School of Nursing home web page for more information.
  • An average grade point average of 2.75 is required for anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and chemistry. 
  • A composite entrance A2 HESI score average of 75% or higher within the past 6 months prior to dated application.
  • Applicants are encouraged to obtain professional letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant's academic ability and professional performance.  All applications are reviewed on an individual case by case basis.  Please consult the School of Nursing for specific prerequisite course requirements.

Acceptance into the second degree program option is not based solely on GPA, entrance HESI score or the number of transfer credits, but also on evaluation of the applicant's goal statement and references. Interviews may be requested by the School of Nursing.

Students enrolled in the traditional nursing program at CUA, who obtain a non-progressing grade in any course are not permitted to apply, enroll in or be accepted into the second degree nursing program at CUA.

Curriculum Plan

The standard curriculum plan for the Second Degree Program is outlined below:

First Year

Course # Course Title 1st 2nd
NURS 241 Principles and Applications of Nursing 3 -
NURS 260 Health Assessment for Second Degree Students 4 -
NURS 276 Nursing Care of Adults 3 -
NURS 370 Community and Environmental Nursing Lecture - 2
NURS 372 Community and Environmental Nursing Clinical Applications - 1
NURS 310/371 Pathophysiology/Pharmacology 4 3
TRS 333 Biomedical Eithics in and Health Care Issues (Religion or Philosophy) - 3

Adults in Health and Illness II: Intermediate : Lecture

- 3

Adults in Health and Illness II: Intermediate : Clinical

- 2
NURS 378 Evidence-based Care/Health Informatics 1 -
NURS 403 Introduction to Nursing Research - 3
  Total 15 17

Summer Session

Course # Course Title Credits
NURS 375 Mental Health Nursing Lecture 3
NURS 377 Mental Health Nursing Clinical Applications 2
  Total 5

Second Year

Course # Course Title 1st 2nd
NURS 420 Child and Adolescent Health and Illness Lecture * 3 * 3 *
NURS 421 Child and Adolescent Health and Illness Clinical Applications* 2 * 2 *
NURS 423 Women in Health and Illness Lecture* 3 * 3 *
NURS 428 Women in Health and Illness Clinical Applications* 2 * 2 *
NURS 424 Management of Health Care Delivery - 2
NURS 427 Transition to Professional Nursing Practice 2 -
NURS 479 Adults in Health and Illness Advanced Clinical Applications 3 -
NURS 426 Adults in Health and Illness Clinical Leadership - 2
NURS 480 Strategies for Professional Practice - 3
NURS 438 Complex Honors Practicum (Optional) - (2)
  Free Electives 3 3
  Total 13 15
  * Courses are taken in either the Fall or Spring    

 Academic Minors

A number of nursing students elect to pursue an academic minor.  Students should refer to the individual school or department offering the minor for specific program requirements.

University Honors Program

Nursing students are eligible to apply to several of the honors programs housed within the university.  Interested students may find additional honors program information at:



BSN to MSN / DNP / PHD Program Option for Registered Nurses

The School of Nursing offers on-line programs in the family nurse practitioner (FNP) track, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program and a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) program to students. Only those students who reside outside of the Washington Metropolitan area may apply to the FNP track.The traditional on-campus FNP track continues to be offered to eligible applicants. Currently CUA does not offer a RN to BSN on-line degree.

Admission for Out of Region Students
Students seeking admission to the on-line FNP track, DNP program or PhD program at The Catholic Univesity of America School of Nursing should refer frequently to the School of Nursing home page ( for the most current updates and application information.

Policies and Regulations

These policies and regulations apply to all students enrolled in the B.S.N. program, which includes the Traditional Program and the Second Degree Program.

Grading and Progression Policies

A student is eligible for admission into the CUA School of Nursing from the School of Arts and Sciences after meeting the following requirements:

  1. A student must obtain and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher. Students must pass required pre- or co-requisites to progress to the next level (i.e., 100-200-300-level courses).
  2. Before a student in the traditional B.S.N. program can enroll in junior  level nursing courses, a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA is required in the following basic natural science courses : chemistry, anatomy and physiology (I & II), and microbiology. A science GPA calculator is available on the School of Nursing Home Page at:
  3. Students may raise this cumulative science GPA to 2.75 by repeating a maximum of one basic science courses, typically the course in which the lowest grade was obtained.  In repeating a science course to increase the science GPA, the priority course for remediation is the course where the grade is the lowest. Students may only repeat one science course (out of the cohort of 4 science courses).  A repeated science course must be pre-approved by the appropriate department & the Coordinator of Transfer Evaluations in the School of Arts and Sciences. Students must attempt each science course (A&P I, A&P II, Chemistry with lab, Microbiology) at CUA.
  4. An attempt is defined as enrollment in a class with the following indication on a transcript (a) Course Grade (b) Incomplete = I (c) Withdrawal = W
  5. Students may only attempt to retake one science course out of the four required total science courses listed above (A&P I, A&P II, Micro, Chem (w/ lab).  
  6. Only one required science course or one course in the nursing major (beginning with the prefix NURS) may be repeated throught the course of a student's studies, including any course with a designation of withdrawal or audit.
  7. Successful completion of the HESI Nursing Entrance Exam during the  sophomore year, with a minimum composite score of 75%.
  8. Students must complete the 60 credits outlined in the CUA-SON Announcements before transfer is authorized.
  9. The policy on the Nursing Exploratory Good Academic Standing critiria can be viewed at the Central Advising Web Site.

Once a student has been obtained the requisites for transfer into the School of Nursing, the following standards are required:

  1. A minimum grade of C (73.00) is required in all nursing courses( i.e., 73.00 or higher is passing).  The SON does not allow rounding of final course grades.
  2. A student may repeat only one nursing "clinical/performance" course in which a grade of F was earned and must pass that course on the second attempt. A satisfactory clinical/performance evaluation is necessary to pass clinical/performance courses.
  3. Two failures in any course with an NURS prefix will result in dismissal. Failure in a (Nursing) course with a NURS prefix is defined as obtaining a grade that is a C- or below.
  4. Required courses in the nursing major (beginning with the prefix NURS) may be repeated only once, including withdrawal and audit.
  5. A student in the traditional and second-degree B.S.N. programs must be successful in their first attempt of all nursing courses in order to meet the specified time sequence.

Essential Criteria for Progression in the Baccalaureate Nursing Program

Baccalaureate nursing students are expected to demonstrate beginning level cognitive and psychomotor skills in early courses and increasing competence as they progress through the program. The clinical evaluation tool specifies these performance expectations.

Standardized testing

During the course of undergraduate study, the School of Nursing requires completion of nationally normed diagnostic and evaluative standardized tests. Completion of these tests is part of the requirements in most nursing courses and in most schools of nursing throughout the U.S.  Additionally, all BSN students are required to pass a comprehensive diagnostic exam  to assess student readiness to enter professional nursing study or to take the nursing licensure examination (NCLEX). The School of Nursing may require students scoring below a certain percentile to successfully complete additional remediation and retesting as a condition of program entry, course completion, graduation or as a condition of endorsement for the NCLEX licensure examination. Students will be given complete testing information, including study and review information, prior to any scheduled test.

Policies Concerning Probation and Dismissal from the School of Nursing

A 2.0 minimum GPA must be achieved each academic semester and a 2.0 cumulative GPA must be maintained. Any student who fails to achieve at least a 2.0 GPA at the end of any academic semester or whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 will be placed on academic probation. A student on academic probation is allowed to register for no more than 14 hours per semester and may not progress in nursing clinical courses. Participation in any extracurricular activities, such as student government or intercollegiate athletics, will be reviewed and may be restricted.

A student on probation may not graduate from the School of Nursing until she/he has achieved a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

Students placed on probation may be required to attend study skills and test-taking skills workshops prior to removal from probation.

The following are grounds for academic dismissal from the School of Nursing:

  1. Failure to achieve a 2.0 cumulative GPA after one semester on probationary status.
  2. Failure in three pre-nursing courses in any given semester.
  3. A cumulative GPA of less than 1.5 at the end of any academic year.
  4. Inability to attain a grade of C (2.0) or higher in a nursing course following two attempts in such nursing course.
  5. Failure in any two attempts in any of the nursing courses (Nursing courses have the prefix NURS; failure in a nursing course is considered a below 2.0 or a grade of C; an attempt is defined as an award of a course grade, a withdrawal from a course "W", or an incomplete "I" posted on a student's transcript).
  6. Violation of any published policies (see Undergraduate Announcements regarding criminal background checks, candor, health history and past criminal history). Additional school policies are noted in the CUA SON Undergraduate Student Handbook.

The School of Nursing administrative group monitors student progress and makes decisions concerning probation, academic dismissal, and subsequent appeals.  Appeals policies are located centrally at:

A student may request readmission or relief from the restrictions imposed by probation by appealing in writing to the Assistant Dean for Assessment and Evaluation in the School of Nursing.  This individual may refer the request to the School of Nursing Committee on Grades and Appeals.

Students dismissed from the School of Nursing may request and be considered for retention at the university if they satisfy minimum university requirements and if they are accepted by another School for internal transfer.

Clinical Policies

Eligibility Requirements For Placement In Clinical Settings

Pre-registration: Pre-registration is required for clinical courses in order to ensure guaranteed course enrollment. Students who do not pre-register by the last day of class in the semester previous to the planned clinical course will be placed on a waiting list and are not guaranteed admission to the course.

Criminal Behavior And Background Check Policy: Background checks are required prior to entering clinical coursework for students in the undergraduate program and may be required as the student progresses in their program of study.

Criminal background checks are mandatory for all undergraduate nursing students prior to the start of their clinical coursework.  The SON and clinical agencies reserve the right to review the results of the criminal background check and to deny placement in a clinical setting on the basis of these results.

Evidence of past or present criminal behavior identified through the background check or through other documented evidence of criminal behavior may lead to administrative sanctions, up to and including dismissal from the School of Nursing. The procedures for conducting criminal background checks are provided to students through the Office of the Dean.

Following admission to the School of Nursing, students will have a continuing duty to disclose any activities which involve criminal behavior, including any arrests or citations for criminal violations, regardless of whether or how they are adjudicated, until the date of their graduation. Failure to disclose any such activity during this time period may result in dismissal.

Health And Basic Life Support Requirements: Students must submit a History & Physical Evaluation Form, along with documentation of current immunizations prior to commencement of the semester a student is enrolled in any clinical class.  Students who fail to meet this requirement may be denied clinical placement for that semester.

All students are required to submit a 9 panel urine drug screen (THC, Cocaine, PCP, Opiates, Methamphetamine, Methadone, Amphetamines, Barbiturate, Benzodiazepines) before commencing clinical rotations.

Annually, all students must submit documentation of PPD status and an updated certificate of current health. 

All students must have current CPR that is administered by the American Red Cross or American Heart Association for 2 man rescue and for child and infant rescue.  Internet CPR certification is not acceptable.

All students must report to the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs, immediately in writing, any changes in health status which impact their safety, the safety of patients or those whom the student encounters, or which significantly affects their progression in the program.

Students are expected to comply with all agency requirements for placement in the clinical setting, which may include influenza immunizations.

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in withdrawal from clinical courses, with resultant effect upon progression in the program.


 Treatment of Information Regarding Health History and Past Criminal History

As a condition of placement in the clinical setting, the SON reserves the right to require that students sign a waiver allowing the SON to release pertinent health or background information to the supervising faculty member or clinical associates and to the clinical placement site if any of the following conditions exist: (a) removal from prior clinical placements due to behavior or health concerns, (b) past health history suggesting elevated risk for substance abuse, (c) a past or chronic health condition or an acute exacerbation that may affect the student's ability to provide safe care, (d) a non-academically based disciplinary action by the SON or the University or (e) any criminal convictions that may compromise the student's eligibility to work at a particular clinical placement site.

Clinical Standards for Admission, Academic Progression, and Graduation

By accepting admission and enrolling in the School of Nursing, the student certifies that he/she understands, meets at the time of admission, and continues to meet the essential eligibility requirements for clinical placement. These requirements pertain to (a) candor, (b) health-related behavioral standards, and (c) eligibility for placement in clinical settings.  Additionally, students have an ongoing duty to disclose to SON any arrests or citations for any offenses including traffic offenses involving possible use of alcohol or drugs, or any arrest, citation, or conviction for any other non-traffic offenses, regardless of how any court or municipality disposes of the allegation.


Candor is defined as full disclosure of pertinent information as well as correction of inaccuracies or misperceptions. All students must complete a health clearance form which requires disclosure of any health conditions which may affect the student's ability to enter clinical settings or the ability of the School to secure clinical placements.

Students in nursing programs with a clinical component are required to submit to a criminal background check and to fully disclose relevant health history that may impact their health or safety in a clinical setting, or the health or safety of those around them. This may include, but is not limited to, any history of chemical dependency/substance use (i.e., alcohol, drugs, controlled substances).

Whether or not they represent a current threat to practice, disciplinary action or dismissal from the School of Nursing may result from failing to fully disclose relevant health history, criminal background and/or falsification or material omission of information. The student's duty to disclose the aforementioned information remains throughout the student's enrollment in the School of Nursing.

Health-Related Behavioral Standards

In accordance with the law and University policies, no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of that disability, be excluded from participation in The Catholic University of America programs or activities. The SON, in accord with University policy, will provide reasonable accommodation to a qualified individual with a disability. To obtain accommodations, an individual must request them from the University Office of Disability Services.

Admission and continuation in SON programs is contingent on general abilities, behavioral and social attributes, and the ability to professionally manage stressful situations. The required behavioral attributes are outlined below:

General Abilities: The student is expected to possess functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing, and smell so that data received by the senses may be integrated, analyzed, and synthesized in a consistent and accurate manner. A student must also possess the ability to perceive pain, pressure, temperature, position, vibration, and movement all of which are important to the student's ability to gather significant information needed to effectively evaluate patients. A student must be able to respond promptly to urgent situations that may occur during clinical training activities and must not hinder the ability of other members of the health care team to provide prompt treatment and care to patients.

Observational Ability: The student must have sufficient capacity to make accurate visual observations and interpret them in the context of laboratory studies, medication administration, and patient care activities. In addition, the student must be able to document these observations and maintain accurate records.

Communication Ability: The student must communicate effectively to elicit information and to translate that information to others. Each student must have the ability to read, write, comprehend and speak the English language to facilitate communication with patients, their family members, and other professionals in health care settings. In addition, the student must be able to maintain accurate patient records, present information in a professional, logical manner and provide patient counseling and instruction to effectively care for patients and their families. The student must communicate effectively verbally and in writing with instructors and other students in the classroom setting as well. This requires verbal abilities , control of non-verbal behaviors which limit communication and the ability to respond to non-verbal cues from patients, fellow students, and instructors.

Motor Ability: The student must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements with sufficient coordination needed to perform complete physical examinations utilizing the techniques of inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A student must develop the psychomotor skills reasonably needed to perform or assist with procedures, treatments, administration of medication, management and operation of diagnostic and therapeutic medical equipment, and such maneuvers to assist with patient care activities such as lifting, wheel chair guidance, and mobility. The student must have sufficient levels of neuromuscular control and eye-to-hand coordination as well as possess the physical and mental stamina to meet the demands associated with satisfactory and safe performance in the clinical and classroom settings including performing CPR if necessary.

Intellectual, Conceptual, and Quantitative Abilities: The student must be able to develop and refine problem-solving skills that are crucial to practice as a nurse. Problem solving involves the abilities to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize objective and subjective data, and to make decisions, often in a time urgent environment, that reflect consistent and thoughtful deliberation and sound clinical judgment. Each student must demonstrate mastery of these skills and possess the ability to formulate sound judgment in patient assessment, intervention, evaluation, teaching, and setting short and long term goals.

Behavioral and Social Attributes: Compassion, integrity, motivation, effective interpersonal skills, and concern for others are personal attributes required of those in the nursing programs. Comfort with and acceptance of the role of a nurse functioning under supervision of a clinical instructor or preceptor is essential for a nursing student. The student must possess the skills required for full utilization of the student's intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment; the prompt completion of all responsibilities in the classroom and clinical settings; and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and other members of the health care team. Each student must be able to exercise stable, sound judgment and to complete assessment and interventional activities. The ability to establish rapport and maintain sensitive, interpersonal relationships with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds is critical for practice as a nurse. The student must be able to adapt to changing environments; display flexibility; accept and integrate constructive criticism given in the classroom and clinical settings; effectively interact in the clinical setting with other members of the healthcare team; and learn to function cooperatively and efficiently in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice.

Ability to Manage Stressful Situations: The student must be able to adapt to and function effectively under stressful situations which may occur in both the classroom and clinical settings, including emergency situations. Students will encounter multiple stressors while in the nursing programs. These stressors may be (but are not limited to) personal, patient care/family, faculty/peer, and or program related.

Unsafe Practice: Unsafe practice is defined as behavior which threatens, or has the potential to threaten, the safety of a client, a family member, another student, a faculty member, or other health care provider in the clinical placement.

Students are not allowed to practice in a clinical setting without the knowledge or supervision of a faculty member.

Students who exhibit potentially unsafe practice during a clinical experience may be immediately withdrawn from the clinical setting. This decision may be made by the clinical faculty or at the request of the clinical agency.

Students who are at risk for unsafe practice may also be prevented from attending their clinical practicum or experience, until the unsafe practice concern has been investigated and satisfactorily resolved.

If the concern cannot be resolved, the student may be subject to additional administrative sanctions and may be subject to administrative dismissal from the program and the SON.

The student has the right to follow the published University procedures in the event of course failure or program dismissal.

Students who exhibit any potentially unsafe practice during a clinical, laboratory or academic setting may be subject to drug and alcohol testing with the concurrence of the Director, Associate Dean or Dean.  Students failing to comply with the request may be disciplined or dismissed.  Students who test positive for any non-prescribed medications or substances will be disciplined and / or dismissed.

Eligibility of Clinical Placements

In the event that an agency declines to accept a student for clinical placement because of specific student behaviors, the SON will make a reasonable good faith attempt to place the student in a different setting. If the SON is unable obtain a clinical placement for the student because of specific student behaviors which violate agency policy, the student may be administratively withdrawn from the SON.


Attendance - Clinical

  1. Clinical/Lab attendance is mandatory.
  2. Unexcused absences will not be accepted. Excused absences are those defined in the course syllabus and examination policies of the relevant clinical courses. Students are referred to their course syllabi which establish the maximum number of absences that are allowed for a given course. Students who have more than two clinical absences, whether excused or unexcused, are in jeopardy of not passing the course.
  3. The student is expected to notify the appropriate persons regarding any absences, including an emergency requiring tardiness or absence from the class or clinical experience. Notification procedures are identified in specific course syllabi,. This notification must occur in a timely manner; that is, prior to the beginning of the clinical/lab experience. The student should be aware of the specific requirements for each course and to follow course procedures.
  4. Habitual tardiness to clinical/lab, defined as more than one occurrence, may result in course failure.

Attendance - Lecture

The faculty and administration in the School of Nursing consider attendance in class necessary to master the body of knowledge needed for safe clinical practice and adequate preparation for licensure. Therefore, class and clinical/lab attendance is mandatory. The responsibility for prompt and regular class and clinical/lab attendance rests with the individual student. Professors are responsible for establishing and communicating policies regarding documentation and consequences of absenteeism in their individual classes. This may include requiring authentication of unavoidable absences and the determination of whether a student has met course requirements and if the student has achieved a passing grade.

HIPAA Adherence

All students are expected to comply with the requirements of theHealth Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as applied to clinical education.

Failure to adhere to these expectations may result in immediate removal from a clinical setting and additional academic sanctions, including course failure and dismissal.

Specifically, it is expected that all students in the SON complete on HIPAA prior to participating in clinical practica or rotations.  HIPAA training is provided in class, with web supports suggested at that time. The CUA HIPAA policies are noted at

Students are expected to maintain the privacy of individually identifiable health information (IIHI).

Student Responsibilities


All students are required to check their email at least once a day.  Students also must be cognizant of checking their "junk" mail, and always using their CardinalMail email address for correspondence.  Faculty will not respond to personal email, since Cardinalmail is the official portal for student-faculty communications.

Students are advised to allow 48-72 business day hours for email responses, absent a medical or serious family emergency.

Electronic communications and HIPAA rules

Nursing students may not post any material that could potentially violate patient confidentiality or professional behavior guidelines on social media sites. Although Blackboard and other online tools used in a nursing course are not considered social media sites, students are expected to observe professional standards for communication in all interactions. Students may be subject to disciplinary action by the school and the clinical agency for comments that are either unprofessional or violate patient privacy. HIPAA regulations apply to comments made on social networking sites and Blackboard or other online tools, and violators are subject to the same prosecution as with other HIPAA violations.


1. Social media includes but are not limited to blogs, podcasts, discussion forums, online collaborative information and publishing systems that are accessible to internal and external audiences (e.g., Wikis) through RSS feeds, video sharing, and social networks like MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook.
2. Postings on social networking sites are subject to the same professional standards as any other personal interactions. The permanence, worldwide access, and written and visual nature of these postings make them even more subject to scrutiny than most other forms of communication.
3. Restricted postings include but are not limited to protected health information –individually identifiable information (oral, written, or electronic) about a patient’s physical or mental health, the receipt of health care, or payment for that care.
4. Online postings or discussions of specific patients should be avoided, even if all identifying information is excluded. It is possible that someone could recognize the patient to which you are referring based on the context. Remember, if you would not want YOUR own health information being posted to the Internet, do not post that of anyone else.
5. Under no circumstances should photos or videos of patients or photos depicting the body parts of patients be taken or displayed online.
6. Statements made by you within online networks will be treated as if you verbally made the statement in a public place.

Transportation to Agencies The student is expected to assume responsibility for transportation in connection with the clinical practice, community health practice and field trips. Public transportation is often available at these sites.  Those students who require a clinical experience with public transportation access should notify the clinical coordinator one full semester in advance of beginning a clinical course. 

Insurance All students in clinical programs are required to carry malpractice insurance, which is covered under their student enrollment fees. This insurance applies only to clinical practice while the student is enrolled in University courses. It does not cover students involved in personal employment. (See Fees and Expenses in the General Information section of the current Undergraduate Student Announcements, available on-line at ).

Health Clearance The student is required to meet School of Nursing health requirements prior to admission and prior to entering clinical coursework.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, CPR The student is required to meet basic CPR requirements prior to entering clinical coursework. (American Red Cross or American Heart Association CPR for Professional Rescuers - Internet or on-line CPR is not permitted)

Drug/Alcohol Screen A negative urine drug screen is required prior to entering clinical coursework for students in the undergraduate program and may be required as the student progresses in their program of study.

Security/Background Checks Background checks are required prior to entering clinical coursework for students in the undergraduate program and may be required as the student progresses in their program of study.