Four-Semester (Two Year) Program
Purpose: The associate degree program is designed to prepare a student to utilize the art and science of nursing to provide care to patients in a variety of health settings by serving in the roles of caregiver, teacher, advocate, and coordinator of the nursing team. Graduates of the program are eligible to apply to take the examination required for licensure as a registered nurse (RN).
Occupational Objectives: Employment opportunities include Clinics • Civil Services • Health Departments • Home Health Care • Hospitals • Hospice • Industries • Long-Term Care Facilities • Physicians’ Offices • School Systems
Application and Admission to the Clinical Component: Admission to the nursing program is a process that occurs separately from, and in addition to, admission to the college. Because the number of applicants to the nursing program generally exceeds the clinical capacity of the program, some applicants may not be accepted even if the minimum requirements for admission are met. Therefore, acceptance to the college does not guarantee admission to the clinical component of the associate degree nursing program.
Applicants should note that the Virginia Board of Nursing has the authority to deny licensure to an applicant who has violated any federal, state, or other statute. Examples include conviction of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, and alcohol or drug-related issues.
A prospective student who has been convicted, or pled guilty or nolo contendre to any illegal offenses other than minor traffic violations should contact the program director prior to making application to the program. Additional information may be obtained from the Virginia Department of Health Professions, Virginia Board of Nursing, located at Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico, VA 23233 (phone 804-367-4515).
Applicants should note that all health care agencies require a criminal background report and a negative urine drug screen prior to participating in clinical activities. A health care agency may deny clinical participation for findings on the reports. Some health care agencies also require that students be finger-printed. Affiliation agreements prevent the placement of a student who is denied clinical participation at one facility into a clinical group at another agency. Inability to meet the clinical requirements prevents the student from satisfactorily achieving the course objectives, resulting in failure of the course. Criminal background checks will be completed as part of the admission process and prior to beginning the clinical component of any nursing classes. Both criminal background checks and urine drug screenings must be done adhering to a specific policy and process, and data provided by other means are not acceptable. Further information will be provided on actions to take to complete the two requirements. Prospective students are responsible for all associated costs.
Nursing is a physically, emotionally, and intellectually demanding profession. Students engaged in clinical experiences while enrolled in the program perform in the role of a registered nurse. The chart below, based on expectations published by the Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing, describes activities associated with class and clinical requirements.
|Examples of Clinical Competencies and Responsibilities*
|Analytical and Critical Thinking
|Read and understand written documents in English (e.g. protocols), focus attention on task in distracting/chaotic environment, identify cause-effect relationships, use long and short-term memory, prioritize tasks.
|Deal with the unexpected (e.g. patient crisis), handle strong emotions of others while controlling personal responses.
|Communicate in English with patients, families, and agency staff members (both orally and written).
|Move within confined spaces, reach above shoulders (e.g. I.V. poles) and reach below waist (e.g. plug in electrical appliances), walk six to eight hours, stand at bedside up to 60 minutes to assist with procedures.
|Perform CPR, operate a fire extinguisher, key/type (e.g. use a computer), manipulate a syringe, manipulate an eye dropper.
|Hear faint body sounds (e.g. blood pressure, heart, lung, and abdominal sounds), hear monitor alarms, hear in situations when not able to see lips (e.g. when masks are used).
|See objects near (e.g. computer screen), see objects far (e.g. patient at end of the hall), distinguish color intensity (e.g. flushed or pale skin), read digital displays, read graphic printouts, read small medication labels.
|Use sense of touch to gather assessment data (e.g. palpate pulses, detect warmth vs. coolness).
*Examples are intended as clarification, not as an exhaustive list.
The college offers two options for the prospective student seeking admission to the nursing program:
- AAS Nursing Degree
- Advanced Placement Option
Nursing Degree AAS - Information
The college offers an opportunity for recent high school graduates and other eligible adults to complete the associate degree nursing program in two years of full-time study, beginning in August. This is a rigorous and academically challenging program.
The following must be completed for consideration for AAS Nursing Degree program:
- Requirements for general admission to the college, completed by February 15 for fall admission;
- An application to the college specifying an intent to be considered for admission to the nursing program. Completed applications for the ADN program are accepted until February 15 for fall enrollment. An application checklist can be found at www.nr.edu/nursing/pdf/admissioninfo.pdf. Applications completed after February 15 will be considered for fall admission the following calendar year;
- Official copy of high school transcript or certificate of a GED.
- Official copies of all college transcripts submitted to Admissions and Records Office;
- Attendance at a general information session for students interested in the associate degree nursing program;
- Satisfactory completion of BIO 101 or BIO 141 prior to February 15;
- One unit of high school chemistry, CHM 5, or a college-level chemistry course completed prior to February 15;
- NRCC placement tests for reading, writing, and mathematics. Scores on placement tests must indicate readiness for ENG 111 and proficiency on modules 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 on the Virginia Math Placement Test. Placement testing to evaluate reading and writing must be completed before taking ENG 111. Placement testing for mathematics must be completed by February 15 for fall admission. The score on the math placement test is valid for one year in the February 16 to February 15 application period. Applicants may substitute a college-level math class (course number greater than 100 and aligns with current MTH course numbers) successfully completed within two years prior to February 15;
- All necessary developmental math studies identified by the placement test must be completed by February 15;
- Admission Test: Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) scores in the 45th national percentile or higher. TEAS assessments taken at NRCC must be completed by January 9 for fall admission. A student may take the TEAS one time per year. The TEAS assesses knowledge and skills in reading comprehension, science, English, and math. Priority is given to students who score higher on the TEAS test. NRCC will also accept HESI or NLN test scores at or above the 45th national percentile;
- Attend orientation program prior to the start of the first semester;
- Legal residence (in-state domicile) in the NRCC service area will receive priority standing.
Curriculum for AAS Nursing Degree:
Completion of ENG 111, BIO 141, PSY 230, SDV 101, (or SDV 100) and a three credit college level transfer course elective with a grade of C or higher by February 15 for fall admission;
Minimum 2.5 GPA determined using grades earned in ENG 111, BIO 141, PSY 230, SDV 101, (or SDV 100) and a three-credit college-level transfer course elective. Priority is given to students with higher GPAs;
A grade of “C” or better is required in all courses in the curriculum in order to progress to the next semester. A student who withdraws from NSG 106 or NSG 200 must withdraw from NSG 100. A rating of “satisfactory” is required for the clinical aspect of all nursing courses with associated clinical components. A student who receives a grade of D, F, or W, or an unsatisfactory clinical rating will be required to retake the course to attain the minimum passing grade. Progress through the program will be impeded due to course pre-requisites. See Course Descriptions for more information.
Some four-year nursing programs require MTH 155 and/or HLT 230.
Prior to Entering Nursing Program
Total Minimum Credits: 67
Advanced Placement Option - LPN to ADN Information
The Advanced Placement Option is for LPNs who wish to earn an associate degree in nursing. The college values all levels of nursing education and is committed to reducing barriers to educational mobility. Students must complete all other courses in the curriculum. Please note that all criteria described under Application and Admission to the Clinical Component are applicable to the Advanced Placement Option as well to traditional four-semester students.
Students seeking admission to the Advanced Placement Option must complete the following:
- Requirements for general admission to the college completed by November 1 for spring semester admission;
- An application to the college specifying an intent to be considered for admission to the nursing program. Completed applications for the APO program are accepted until November 1 for spring enrollment. An application checklist can be found at www.nr.edu/nursing/pdf/admissioninfo.pdf. Applications received after November 1 will be considered for spring admission the following academic year. Documentation required for admission consideration should be hand-delivered or delivered via postal mail to the Nursing Admissions Advisor in the Admissions & Records Office in Rooker Hall;
- Official copy of high school transcript or certificate of a GED;
- Official copies of all college transcripts submitted to Admissions & Records Office;
- Attendance at a general information session for students interested in applying to the associate degree nursing program advanced placement option;
- Satisfactory completion of BIO 101, or BIO 141, prior to November 1;
- Hold a current unrestricted license to practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) by November 1;
- Current professional-level CPR card. CPR card must be valid to begin clinicals during the first week of class in spring semester and must be submitted prior to the start of the semester. Certification must be kept current throughout enrollment in the program. CPR certification courses must be either American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider or Red Cross CPR for Professional Rescuers;
- Completion of NRCC placement test for mathematics. Placement test must indicate proficiency in mathematics levels 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. The placement testing for math must be within the 1 year application period, from November 2 to November 1.
- Completion of all necessary developmental studies identified by the placement tests by November 1;
- Admission Test: The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) assesses knowledge and skills in reading comprehension, science, English and math. Minimum scores are expected to be at least in the 45th national percentile. Priority is given to students who score higher on the admission assessment. A student may take the TEAS one time per year. NRCC will also accept HESI or Kaplan test scores at or above 45th national percentile;
- Legal residence (in-state domicile) in the NRCC service area will receive priority standing.
Curriculum for Advanced Placement Option:
Completion of ENG 111, BIO 141, BIO 142, PSY 230, SDV 101, (or SDV 100) and a three-credit college-level transfer course elective with a grade of C or higher by November 1, for spring admission.
Minimum 2.5 GPA determined using grades earned in ENG 111, BIO 141, BIO 142, PSY 230, SDV 101, (or SDV 100) and a three-credit college-level transfer course elective. Priority is given to students with higher GPAs.
Students are encouraged to complete as many of the general education and support courses within the nursing curriculum as possible prior to beginning the three-semester sequence of nursing courses.
Students are strongly encouraged to take BIO 150 prior to the spring semester of entering the program.
A grade of “C” or better is required in all courses. A rating of “satisfactory” is required for the clinical aspect of all nursing courses with associated clinical components. A student who receives a grade of D, F, or W, or an unsatisfactory clinical rating will be required to retake the course to attain the minimum passing grade. Progress through the program will be impeded due to course prerequisites. See Course Descriptions for more information.
LPN students in good standing will receive advanced standing for the courses in the first two semesters of the nursing sequence (NSG 106, NSG 152, and NSG 170) upon successful completion of the spring semester and maintenance of an unencumbered license to practice as an LPN. The student will graduate with the same number of credits as the traditional ADN student.
Some four-year nursing programs require MTH 155 and/or HLT 230.
Prior to Entering Advanced Placement Option:
Course Credit Given from LPN Licensure
Total: 12 credits
After successfully completing the above courses in the Advanced Placement Option, the student will join the existing traditional students in the last two semesters of the ADN program.
Student Responsibilities for all Associate Degree Nursing Students
- An initial health form must be completed following acceptance and prior to beginning any clinical. The deadline will be communicated by the program director following admission to the program. To comply with clinical agency affiliation agreements, health screening, immunization documentation (including seasonal influenza vaccine), and a urine drug screen with negative results are required. Drug testing must follow specific date and procedural stipulations. Further information will be provided on actions to take following acceptance to the nursing program. A repeat health form must be completed annually thereafter. It is the responsibility of the student to maintain current records throughout the program. NRCC uses a third party vendor for maintenance of documents. The student is responsible for all associated costs;
- The student is responsible for costs associated with textbooks, uniforms, accessories, lab supplies, supplemental resources, and required achievement testing;
- The student is responsible for transportation to and from clinical sites. Clinical experiences may be scheduled during day and evening hours, and weekday or weekends, depending on availability of clinical facilities and community experiences;
- The student must obtain and maintain current CPR certification throughout the program. Please note: CPR certification courses must be either American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider or Red Cross CPR for Professional Rescuers;
- The student is responsible for the costs of personal medical care incurred as a result of accidents or incidents in the clinical or laboratory setting;
- The student is responsible for fees associated with the application to take the exam for licensure as a Registered Nurse;
- The student is responsible for fees associated with criminal background reports. Criminal background checks will be completed as part of the admissions process and prior to beginning the clinical component of any nursing classes. Background checks must follow specific procedural requirements. Information is provide on actions to take to complete the background check;
- The student is responsible for the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) fee, which is non-refundable;
Readmission Requirements to the Associate Degree Nursing Program
Readmission to the program is dependent upon clinical placement availability in the desired class. Prior to readmission the student must:
- Notify the Director of Nursing Programs in writing with readmission request as soon as possible in the semester prior to readmission;
- Have a 2.5 curricular GPA at the time of readmission. Priority will be given to students with higher GPAs and higher TEAS scores.
Students applying for readmission who have been absent one or more semesters must validate dose calculation competency by completing the Dose Calculation Competency Assessment with 80% accuracy or higher prior to approval for re-admission.
Readmission to the program is not assured. The Director of Nursing Programs will contact the student with a determination on readmission status. Preparation to pass the licensure exam is more than a mere collection of credits. The curriculum is designed in a synergistic manner, intended to be completed in four consecutive semesters. Therefore, students absent from the program for more than two semesters will be required to audit one or more of the previously credited courses prior to readmission or demonstrate competency in nursing content areas in required curricular nursing courses satisfactorily completed previously. Students absent from the program for four semesters must repeat all nursing courses. Students returning to the program are responsible for all program requirements in place at the time of readmission.
Transfer Students Currently Enrolled in Another Nursing Program
Transfer students who are currently enrolled in another nursing program are admitted on a space available basis, if they are currently in good academic standing with the nursing program at the previous college, have satisfactory clinical evaluations, provide a positive recommendation from the program director of the previous program, and meet all other admissions requirements. Nursing students seeking to transfer nursing credits to NRCC should contact the NRCC Director of Nursing Programs. Students from other colleges who are transferring only non-nursing credits should apply through the usual means for new students. All transfer students must validate dose calculation competency by completing the Dose Calculation Competency Assessment with 80% accuracy or higher and demonstrate competency in nursing content areas in NRCC curricular nursing courses for which transfer credit is being evaluated.
Continuing Nursing Education Following Completion of an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing
Articulation agreements with senior colleges and universities facilitate the educational mobility of graduates of associate degree nursing programs into RN-to-BSN completion programs. Most RN-to-BSN programs require students to pass the licensure exam, complete additional general education courses, and enroll in upper division nursing courses. The specific requirements and length of BSN completion programs vary among senior institutions, and students are encouraged to contact senior institutions for advising.