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Entry-Level Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student Handbook 2016–17

Download a PDF of the Entry-Level Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student Handbook 2016–17

Entry-Level Nursing Student Handbook 2016Download Handbook


The purpose of this handbook is to provide foundational material on the organization, resources, and policies of the School of Nursing to guide students on the journey though the entry-level BSN program. Information contained in this Entry-Level Nursing Student Handbook is supplemental to the:

  1. Notre Dame of Maryland University Undergraduate Catalog: Women’s College and College of Adult Undergraduate Studies
  2. School of Nursing Course Syllabi

The information contained within this Handbook reflects current policies; therefore, it is subject to modification.  Students will be notified of any changes through announcements distributed in class, NDMU e-mail, Joule, and/or U.S. Mail.  Students are responsible to keep themselves up-to-date with the current information and are accountable to the policies herein.

History of the School of Nursing

1974—The Faculty and Administration of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland (now Notre Dame of Maryland University) identified that many adult workers needed more innovative schedules and teaching methods to enable them to pursue baccalaureate education.  In response to this need, the Weekend College was initiated. This format, which was the first of its kind in Maryland, combined traditional on‑campus classroom experience with guided independent study.

1979-1981—The first registered nurses enrolled in the program in September 1979 with nursing courses first offered in Summer 1980.  By August 1981, 30 of the 47 students who finished the nursing courses had completed all the requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree and received their degrees. During the first 10 years of the program, approximately 1,000 RNs earned their BSN degrees through the Weekend College.

2003—The faculty submitted changes to the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and the Maryland Board of Nursing (MBON) for a redesigned curriculum. The new curriculum was approved by both agencies and the first students were admitted to both accelerated options. To date, sixteen hospitals throughout Maryland now partner with the University for education of students in the RN-BSN program:Anne Arundel Medical Center, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Carroll Hospital Center, Harford Memorial Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Kernan Hospital, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, Mercy Medical Center, Meritus Medical Center, Southern Maryland Hospital Center, St. Agnes Hospital, St. Joseph Medical Center, and Upper Chesapeake Medical Center.

2008—MSN program began, enrolling students in two concentrations: Leadership in Nursing Administration and Leadership in Nursing Education. Thirty-six students graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing in May 2009.

2009—RN-BSN program received full (eight years) continuing accreditation

MSN program received initial accreditation (five years)

The National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (now Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, ACEN)
3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850
Atlanta, Georgia 30326

2011—College of Notre Dame of Maryland became Notre Dame of Maryland University; Nursing Department became School of Nursing. The Entry-level BSN program accepted students into the pre-nursing curriculum.

2013—School of Nursing accepted its first students into the entry-level nursing major. The Center for Caring with Technology opened to support the curriculum with simulation and other clinical nursing practice opportunities.

2014—Entry-Level BSN program received initial accreditation; RN-BSN received continuing accreditation. 

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (formerly National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission)


2015—Graduation of first Entry-Level BSN students.

Faculty and Staff

All full-time faculty and staff offices are located in the University Academic Building (UAB).

Kathleen Wisser, PhD, RN, CNE, CPHQ, Dean

Amy Rohrs, BS, Administrative Assistant
410-532-5526 (office)
410-532-5783 (FAX)

Brittany Howard, AA, Administrative Assistant
Undergraduate Programs
410-532-5236 (office)
410-532-5783 (FAX)

Jenna Hoffman, MS, Retention and Success Specialist

Zane Hunter, AA, Simulation and Technology Support Specialist

Jane Balkam, PhD, RN, APRN, CPNP, IBCLC, Assistant Professor

Janice Brennan, MS, RN-BC, CNE, Director of the Center for Caring with Technology, Assistant Professor

Erica Brinkley, DNP, RN, Assistant Professor

Hannah Murphy Buc, MSN, RN, Assistant Professor

Virginia Byer, MS, RN, Assistant Professor

Fairuz Lutz, PhD(c), RN, Assistant Professor

Roxanne Moran, PhD, RN, CNE, Associate Professor
410- 532-5586

Deborah Naccarini, DNP, RN, CNE, Assistant Professor

Mary O’Connor, PhD, RN, FACHE, Coordinator, MSN Program and Associate Professor

Mary T. Packard, PhD, RN, Chair, Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor

Sabita Persaud, PhD, RN, APHN-BC, Assistant Professor

Ronna Schrum, DNP, RN, CRNP, Assistant Professor

Marleen Thornton, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor

Mark Walker, RN, CNL, MS, Assistant Professor

Mission and Philosophy

The School of Nursing offers three programs:  an entry-level BSN program through the Women’s College, an accelerated RN-BSN program through CAUS and a MSN program through the College of Graduate Studies. The School of Nursing is one of 4 schools in the university’s Office of Academic Affairs.  All nursing programs are grounded in and inspirited by the mission and philosophy of the School of Nursing and Human Caring Science Theory. Program Outcomes/Valued Ends bring the philosophy to a practical reality and guide evaluation of the program.  

Mission of the University

Notre Dame of Maryland University educates women as leaders to transform the world.

Embracing the vision of the founders, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the University provides a liberal arts education in the Catholic tradition.  Distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs challenge women and men to strive for intellectual and professional excellence, to build inclusive communities, to engage in service to others, and to promote social responsibility.

Mission of the School of Nursing

The School of Nursing educates students to transform nursing and healthcare through authentic presence, caring connections with patients, students, colleagues, and the discipline of nursing, and by preserving care and compassion as the ethical foundation of nursing practice and scholarship.


Nursing and the teaching of nursing is a journey through deep caring connections with patients, students, colleagues, and the discipline of nursing.  Nursing is imagined and known through caring authentic presence with others and multiple ways of knowing. Nursing is a presence to life lived with those entrusted to our care, a beacon, attentive to the extraordinary in the mundane and boldly entering questions of meaning.  All stories of individuals and of the discipline are valued as necessary to the growth and advancement of the profession. Healing practice is possible in partnership relationships; nursing creates safe welcoming places, encouraging growth, seeking to understand, and knowing each other’s hearts.

Nurses are called to care through advocacy, action, ‘power-with’ and trusting relationships with persons and groups in diverse settings. Nursing embraces diversity and commitment to social justice.  With perseverance and fortitude, caring and compassion are preserved as the ethical foundation of nursing practice and scholarship.

 A nursing way of being requires reflective practice, a listening, that allows for meaning-making in all dimensions of academic and practice endeavors. Nursing practice is characterized by thoughtfulness and necessarily lived out with intention.  This way of being a School of Nursing in all aspects allows for possibilities for our mission to be realized—educating nurses to transform the world.

Program Outcomes/Valued Ends

The program outcomes are lived by graduates as:


preparing a space for being-with patients, families, communities, and health care colleagues that reveals authentic nursing presence—opening possibilities for meaning-making, cultural understanding, and reflective practice in diverse settings.


engaging in and cultivating excellence in praxis through the synthesis of an active thoughtful commitment to the watchfulness of safety and quality interwoven with an authentic confident professional demeanor that is rooted in the foundation of arts and sciences.


responding to the call to be an active voice for patients, families, and communities around health policy and social justice, leading professional lives as valued by the Code of Ethics for Nurses, and demonstrating positive partnerships with other disciplines in the spirit of the welfare of our patients.


curiosity to deepen and broaden one’s continuous learning, a lively spirit of critical inquiry, aesthetics and additional ways of knowing, an ongoing quest for salience in practice, and unlimited potential for discovery of knowledge.


valuing professional development of self and others through reflective practice, civility, and resilience.


the courage to integrate interpretation of evidence with lived experiences through the lens of reflection leading to promotion of excellence in nursing practice and advancement of the profession.

Entry-Level Nursing Program—Curriculum Plan

Entry-Level Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

Suggested Curriculum Plan



*MAT-100/MAT-103 Algebraic Applications OR
Applied Algebra (unless waived)
4/3 CHM-108 Survey of General, Organic & Biochemistry 4
NDMU-100 First Year Seminar 3 BIO-253 Microbiology 4
ENG-101 College Writing 3 ENG- English Literature gen ed 4
BIO-111 Fundamentals of Biology 3 PHL-201 Introduction to Philosophy 4
  General Education Course (General Education requirements are specific to nursing, see requirements on the back of page) 3 PSY-101 Introductory Psychology 4
[13/17 credits] [18 credits]


BIO-260 Genetics and Genomics for Clinical Practice 3 BIO-282 Human Anatomy & Physiology II 4
NUR-250 Nutrition for Wellness (Online) 3 SOC-101 Introductory Sociology 4
PHL-339 Medical Ethics 3 PSY-233 Human Growth & Development 4
BIO-281 Human Anatomy & Physiology I 3 MAT-215 Basic Statistics 4
  General Education Course (General Education requirements are specific to nursing, see requirements on the back of page) 3   General Education Course (General Education requirements are specific to nursing, see requirements on the back of page) 4
[16 credits] [16 credits]


NUR-301 Holistic Health Assessment 3 NUR-304 Healthy Aging 4
NUR-305 Foundations of a Caring Profession 3 NUR-311 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult I 4
NUR-303 Nursing Informatics 3 NUR-410 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing 4
NUR-310 Pathopharmacology 3 NUR-407 Nursing Research 4
[15 credits] [14 credits]


NUR-408 Maternal and Infant Nursing 3 NUR-432 Caring Nursing Leadership 4
NUR-409 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult II 3 NUR-431 Community Health Nursing 4
NUR-312 Nursing Care of Children and Families 3 NUR-461 Clinical Practicum 4
NUR-406 Contemporary Trends and Theory in Nursing 3 Total General Education Credits 63/67
  Total Nursing Credits 58
[15 credits] [121/125 total credits]

* Math Requirement

If pre-nursing students place into MAT-100 Algebraic Applications on the math placement test, then they are required to take MAT-100. If pre-nursing students place into MAT-103 Applied Algebra, then they are required to take MAT-103, however if they place into MAT 107 or higher, then MAT-103 may be waived.

* General Biology Requirement

BIO-111 General Biology requires permission of instructor to take without pre-requisite BIO-110 Exploring Concepts of Biology.

Remaining General Education Requirements:

  • History
  • RST-201 Introduction to Biblical Studies 
  • RST-300/400 Level
  • Gender Studies
  • Cross-Cultural Studies

Students who take both MAT-100/103 and BIO-110, will need to fit a general education requirement into a winterim or summer semester (these students will meet with their advisor to make a plan for completing the requirement).

Scholarly Writing in Nursing Courses

Written work in all nursing (NUR) courses follows the guidelines set forth by the American Psychological Association in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Resources and tutorials for APA HELP are available in course Joule sites, LNDL website, and APAstyle.org.

University Resources for Writing Assistance

University Writing Center

Services are available for all students by appointment or on a drop-in basis. Peer tutors are available to help in the development of essay topics, increase significance and depth of presentation, improve and support development of ideas, better organize material for writing/presentation cohesiveness, and more.

Gibbons Hall
Room 504
Dr. William Davis, Director


Smarthinking is an online tutoring program connecting students to live educators from any computer that has Internet access. Students work one-one in real time with a tutor communicating using a virtual whiteboard technology. Students can submit a paragraph or essay for individualized critique by expert writing tutors.


Turnitin is an Internet-based plagiarism-detection service that allows both students and instructors to check written work for originality of text. The purpose of Turnitin is to aid in the detection and monitoring of plagiarism. By checking the originality of text, students and instructors can work together to improve the level of scholarly work and limit the dangers of plagiarism.

Please refer to course syllabus for requirements of each course.

Web-Enhanced student Resources

A variety of on-line learning opportunities are available through nursing courses. Nursing students are eligible to take advantage of any courses that offer on-line learning experiences.  Informatics and Nutrition are the only Nursing courses that are given totally on-line. All of the remaining NUR courses incorporate some on-line classes and/or on-line assignments, using the Joule program.

Disability Support Services

Support services and accommodations are available to students covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. For more information and to begin the process contact Laura Mathabel, Director of Disability Support Services at 410-532-5401 at lmathabel@ndm.edu. It is extremely important that you begin this process at the

beginning of the semester. Please do not wait until the first test or paper.

Academic Advisement

All students are assigned a nursing faculty advisor upon admission to NDMU. Our Retention and Success Specialist collaborates with nursing faculty toward implementation of success plans.

Nursing Student-Faculty and Staff Communication

Pertinent messages for students in the School of Nursing may be provided through NDMU e-mail, Joule site, or through the U.S. Mail.  Notices may also be announced in relevant courses.

All email communication will be through NDMU student e-mail accounts.  Email is the primary means of communication.  Students are expected to check NDMU email on a daily basis and notify relevant SON staff and faculty if email/internet access is disrupted for any reason.

Students may send messages to nursing faculty/staff through the University voice mail or e-mail systems (see numbers and addresses above); email is the preferred method of communication.

Academic Policies

  • Progression and Admissions Policy

Pre-Nursing to Nursing Major

Students are admitted to Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU) as pre-nursing students. During their first and second years, students take liberal arts and sciences, general education requirements, and support courses for the nursing major. Admission to NDMU does not automatically ensure progression to the nursing major; however, all students who meet the minimum criteria will be accepted to the nursing major. Students will meet the following criteria for acceptance to the nursing major:

  •   Cumulative grade point average of 3.0
  •   Each of the following courses must be completed with a minimum grade of  “C:”
    • BIO-111 Fundamentals of Biology
    • BIO-281 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
    • BIO-282 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
    • CHM-108 Survey of General, Organic & Biochemistry
    • BIO-260 Genetics and Genomics for Clinical Practice
    • NUR-250  Nutrition for Wellness
    • BIO-253 General Microbiology
    • ENG-101  College Writing
    • MAT-100  Algebra Applications or MAT 103  Applied Algebra  (unless waived)
    • MAT-215 Basic Statistics
    • PSY-233 Human Growth and Development
    • PHL-339 Medical Ethics
  • Only one science course (BIO or CHM designation) may be repeated one time (for grade less than C) and students may withdraw from one science course one time.
  • Students who need to take BIO-110 Exploring Concepts of Biology must receive a grade of C+ or better to advance to all subsequent Biology courses. BIO-110 Exploring Concepts of Biology is a non-repeatable course.
  • The following prerequisite courses must be completed in order to progress to the nursing major:
    • NDMU-100 First Year Seminar
    • ENG- Literature general education requirement
    • PHL-201  Introduction to Philosophy
    • PSY-101  Introductory Psychology
    • RST-201  Introduction to Biblical Studies
    • HIS- History general education requirement
    • SOC-101 Introductory Sociology
    • RST-300/400 Elective
  • Completion of the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) V exam is required as part of the application process. Applications will not be reviewed without the TEAS V exam results.  The score received on the test will be included in the admissions process.  Register for TEAS V at https://www.atitesting.com/Home.aspx
  • Interview upon request
  • Academic records of all students are reviewed every semester by the Admissions and Progression Circle. A student will be placed on program probation when her  record reveals:
    • overall cumulative GPA below  3.0
  • Students placed on program probation must re-establish overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 to be eligible for the nursing major.
  • Successful applicants typically have GPAs of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale). If GPA is lower than 3.0, but the student believes that her grades do not accurately reflect her abilities, the student may still apply. The Nursing Admission and Progressions Circle will carefully review and consider each application on a case-by-case basis.

Progression Policy in the Nursing Major

Once enrolled in the nursing major, students must meet the following criteria in order to progress in the major:

  • Students adhere to the NSNA Code of Ethics for Nursing StudentsCode of Academic and Clinical Conduct
    • Advocate for the rights of [patient]s
    • Maintain [patient] confidentiality
    • Take appropriate action to ensure the safety of [patient]s, self, and others.
    • Provide care for the [patient] in a timely, compassionate and professional manner.
    • Communicate [patient] care in a truthful, timely and accurate manner.
    • Actively promote the highest level of moral and ethical principles and accept responsibility for our actions.
    • Promote excellence in nursing by encouraging lifelong learning and professional development.
    • Treat others with respect and promote an environment that respects human rights, values and choice of cultural and spiritual beliefs.
    • Collaborate in every reasonable manner with the academic faculty and clinical staff to ensure the highest quality of [patient] care.
    • Use every opportunity to improve faculty and clinical staff understanding of the learning needs of nursing students.
    • Encourage faculty, clinical staff, and peers to mentor nursing students.
    • Refrain from performing any technique or procedure for which the student has not been adequately trained.
    • Refrain from any deliberate action or omission of care in the academic or clinical setting that creates unnecessary risk of injury to the [patient], self or others.
    • Assist the staff nurse or preceptor in ensuring that there is a full disclosure and that proper authorizations are obtained from [patient]s regarding any form of treatment or research.
    • Abstain from the use of alcoholic beverages or any substances in the academic and clinical setting that impair judgment.
    • Strive to achieve and maintain an optimal level of personal health.
    • Support access to treatment and rehabilitation for students who are experiencing impairments related to substance abuse and mental or physical health issues.
    • Uphold school policies and regulations related to academic and clinical performance, reserving the right to challenge and critique rules and regulations as per school grievance policy. (National Student Nurses’ Association, Inc., 2009)
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.8 in nursing courses.
  • Successfully complete each nursing course in the level before progressing to the next level. Achievement of a grade of C or better in a nursing course is considered passing. A clinical failure constitutes failure of the entire nursing course.
  • Students are expected to enact the Code of Ethics for Nursing Students (2009).
  • Only one nursing course (NUR designation) may be repeated—and only one time. Withdrawal from a course in a failing status counts as a course failure.
  • Students are limited to two withdrawals from nursing courses during their course of study.
  • Students are limited to repeating one science course (for a grade less than C) and one nursing course (for a grade less than C) throughout the entire program of study.

Academic Program Probation

Students will be placed on academic program probation if:

  • A grade less than C is earned in any nursing course (A student who earns a grade less than C in any nursing course must repeat the course).
  • Cumulative GPA is less than 2.8
  • Students have one semester to raise their GPA to 2.8. If a student is unable to raise her GPA after her probationary semester, she will be dismissed from the nursing major.

Re-acceptance after Withdrawal from Program

  •   Students who withdraw from the program with a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or above will be reviewed for re-acceptance on a case-by-case basis. University admission policies are followed.

Dismissal from the Nursing Major

  • Students who earn a second grade less than C in a nursing course will be dismissed from the nursing major.
  • Students who do not achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.8 by the end of their probation semester will be dismissed from the nursing major.
  • Any violation of the Code of Ethics for Nursing Students (2009), in addition to any violation of the Standards of Conduct found in the NDMU Student Handbook (Section VI, pp 8-12), could lead to dismissal from the Nursing major. Violations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • In accordance with the University policy on academic dismissals (Undergraduate Catalog), students may appeal their dismissal within seven days of receipt of the notification. Students who choose to appeal their dismissal must write a letter to the Chair of Undergraduate Studies. An appeals committee composed of nursing faculty will review the appeal and make a recommendation to the Chair of Undergraduate Studies and the Dean of the School of Nursing.  The final decision is made by the Chair of Undergraduate Studies and the Dean of the School of Nursing.
  • Students that are dismissed from the nursing major are not eligible for re-admission and are unable to re-apply.


Carrick, J. A. (2011). Student achievement and NCLEX-RN success: Problems that persist. Nursing Education Perspectives, 32(2), 78-83.

(2009). Code of ethics: Part II. Retrieved from National Student Nurses website: http://www.nsna.org/Portals/0/Skins/NSNA/pdf/NSNA_CoC_Academic_Clinical_Interp_Statements.pdf­­­­

Davenport, N. (2007). A comprehensive approach to NCLEX-RN success. Nursing Education Perspectives. 28(1), 30-33.

(2011). University of Minnesota School of Nursing. Retrieved from


Olson, M. A. (2012).  English as a second language (ESL) nursing student success: A Critical Review of the Literature.  Journal of Cultural Diversity, 19(1), 26-32.

Wade, R. J. (2010). Predicting NCLEX-RN pass rates: A regional study in the United States. (Doctoral dissertation, Capella University) Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/884793010/fulltextPDF/1330F43C1E24916C179/11?accountid=12164

  • Grade Appeal

Only final grades may be appealed. A final grade may be appealed if there is evidence that the grade was not given in accordance with the grading policies set forth in the course syllabus or announced syllabus modifications. The principle of seeking a reasonable, fair and speedy resolution prevails throughout the process. All information related to the appeal and the appeals process will remain confidential.

Students should make every effort to settle academic appeals with the involved faculty member.  In the event that a satisfactory solution is not reached with this informal process, the student may initiate the Appeals Procedureoutlined in the current University Undergraduate Catalog: Women’s College and College of Adult Undergraduate Studies. http://catalog.ndm.edu/undergraduate/academicinformation/#Appeals

  • Honor Code

The Honor Code at the Notre Dame of Maryland University is based on respect for the individual, personal responsibility, and honesty.  By registering at the University, all students accept and are bound by the Honor Code.  Students are expected to follow this Code as it is described in the current University Undergraduate Catalog, University Student Handbook, and NDMU website. Students commit to the Honor Code as follows:

With a keen sense of responsibility, I accept this symbol of my entrance into the world of scholarship. And I give this pledge of my purpose to wear it worthily.
I shall try to follow all truth. I shall try to see all beauty. I shall try to be all goodness. And thus to come to that eternal wisdom, which is the word of God.

The Honor Code bestows upon students the privilege to write her tests without proctoring by the instructor. Students write the Honor Pledge on every examination and written assignment to remind them of their personal responsibility for their own and Notre Dame’s academic integrity.

  • Exam Grade Policy

A 70 exam average is required in all clinical courses and other nursing courses as specified in the syllabus. 

Academic Service-Learning

Educational experiences are also directed toward enhancing multidisciplinary collaboration, strengthening professional integrity, and deepening the social and ethical commitments of the student.  Integrating service learning in the teaching-learning process may promote personal transformation for the student—often strengthening empathy, deepening social commitments, and creating a deeper and broader understanding of complex societal issues. 

The School of Nursing is committed to providing experiences for academic service-learning. Through service-learning projects/opportunities, academic course work is linked with service to select community agencies. The teaching and learning process is enriched for students and faculty, and the agencies receive valuable resources from the students and faculty.

Study Abroad

There are study abroad opportunities that partially fulfill requirements for select entry-level nursing courses such as NUR-431 Community Health Nursing. During the 2015-2016 academic year students have the opportunity to serve and learn in Jacmel, Haiti. For information on this study opportunity, please contact Mary Packard, Chair of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Nursing.

Student Association of Nursing at Notre Dame

The Student Association of Nursing at Notre Dame (SANND) is a local chapter of the National Student Nurses’ Association. This student-led organization lives NSNA’s mission “to mentor students preparing for initial licensure as registered nurses, and to convey the standards, ethics, and skills that students will need as

responsible and accountable leaders and members of the profession” (http://www.nsna.org/AboutUs.aspx).  Student leaders, in conjunction with faculty and staff advisors, organize activities that promote scholarship and camaraderie within the School of Nursing student body.  Regular meetings are scheduled throughout the school year in addition to special events.

Sigma Theta Tau International
Honor Society of Nursing, Mu Eta Chapter

The mission of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, is advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service.In 1922 six nurses founded The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, at the Indiana University Training School for Nurses, now the Indiana University School of Nursing, in Indianapolis, Ind., USA.The founders chose the name from the Greek words Storgé, Tharsos and Timé meaning "love," "courage" and "honor." 

Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society of Nursing, Mu Eta Chapter, is open to baccalaureate nursing students who have demonstrated superior academic achievement and leadership potential.  Membership encourages, fosters, and actively supports further professional development, thus promoting nursing scholarship, leadership, creativity and commitment to nursing.

There are three classifications of membership:

  1. Undergraduate Student—Junior or senior students enrolled in our baccalaureate programs who have completed at least 1/2 of the nursing curriculum, rank in the upper 35 percent of their graduating class and have achieved academic excellence (at schools where a 4.0 grade point average system is used, this equates to at least a 3.0).
  2. Graduate Student—Master's students enrolled who have completed at least 1/4 of the  nursing curriculum, have achieved academic excellence (at schools where a 4.0 grade point average system is used, this equates to at least a 3.5).
  3. Nurse Leader—The candidates are legally recognized to practice in their countries, have at least a baccalaureate degree in nursing or other field and demonstrate achievement in nursing.

Celebration of Milestones

Lighting of the Lamp Ceremony

This ceremony, held in September, officially welcomes new nursing students in the entry-level program into the School of Nursing in the presence of faculty, staff, and the School Sisters of Notre Dame.  In the tradition of Florence Nightingale, each student lights a flame to symbolize their decision to devote themselves to the care of others through the art and science of nursing. 

Blessing of the Hands

The School Sisters of Notre Dame gather to anoint with oil the hands of all graduating nursing students in the entry-level BSN, RN-BSN, and MSN programs the week of commencement.  Students are blessed individually as they prepare to embark on the next phase of their nursing career.

Pinning Ceremony

This ceremony encourages faculty, staff, students, and loved ones to rejoice in the accomplishments of our BSN graduates.  Students don the NDMU School of Nursing pin in celebration of their program completion and graduation. 


Graduation Awards

Students are recognized for outstanding achievement at a School of Nursing awards reception during graduation week.

Latin Honors

Degrees with Latin honors are conferred on undergraduate students who achieve the following grade point average based on work at Notre Dame of Maryland University:

  • 3.90 for the distinction Summa Cum Laude
  • 3.70 for the distinction Magna Cum Laude
  • 3.50 for the distinction Cum Laude

To earn honors at graduation, students must earn a minimum of 60 credits in graded coursework at Notre Dame.  This excludes credits earned in Pass/Fail courses (including standardized testing, petitioning for credit and transfer). Students are limited to four Pass (P) grades on graded courses.



The School of Nursing has adopted the use of Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) to support students’ learning throughout the nursing program (See Appendix A for the blueprint of ATI products for use in the NDMU Nursing program). These materials are a supplement to the caring curriculum, encouraging students to reinforce nursing content in various ways through technology. The support resources include tutorials, review materials, practice assessments and proctored assessments geared toward content and concept mastery. Students also take the RN Comprehensive Predictor Exam toward the end of their final semester to help predict their probability of passing NCLEX-RN and to identify specific areas in need of remediation. Students will be provided with an orientation to the ATI product line prior to or at the start of the nursing program.

While ATI products are not a replacement for theory or clinical portions of any nursing course, students may be assigned ATI materials to complement the learning that takes place in the classroom as noted on the course syllabi. The practice and proctored assessments will be given periodically throughout the program as noted on course syllabi. Because we believe that these products are effective in supporting students as they progress toward NCLEX-RN readiness, participation is required and will count toward course grades as indicated in the nursing course syllabi.


ATI tutorials provide instruction and testing relevant to specific clinical content areas, professional issues in nursing and strategies for academic success. These tutorials may be assigned or recommended by faculty in accordance with student learning within a nursing course, or based on identified student needs. Students may initiate completion of tutorials independently, at their own discretion based on self-identified learning and growth needs.

ATI Content Mastery Series® Review Materials, Practice, & Proctored Assessments are offered as part of the following courses:

Nursing Course

ATI Content Mastery Series®

NUR305 – Foundations of a Caring Profession


NUR310 – Pathopharmacology


NUR312 – Nursing Care of Children & Families

Nursing Care of Children

NUR311/NUR409 – Professional Nursing Care of the Adult I & II

Adult Medical/Surgical

NUR408 – Maternal & Infant Nursing


NUR410 – Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing

Mental Health

NUR431 – Community Health Nursing

Community Health

NUR432 – Nursing Leadership


Final Semester

NCLEX Comprehensive Predictor



Practice Assessments

These assessments allow students to gauge their own progress in a specific content area. Once they have completed the majority of the course content (usually about 75%), students will take the practice assessment associated with that course. This assessment may be taken anywhere (such as at home or in the library) the student has a computer with Internet access. Students are encouraged to spend time with the ATI review materials in preparation for proctored assessments. There is no specific number of practice hours required for completion; however, the more hours a student practices, the greater the likelihood is for success. Students are required to complete the practice assessments for each content area, per the course syllabi, but results are for feedback purposes, and will not be factored into the course grade.

After the completion of a practice assessment, students are advised to generate a focused-review document through ATI that identifies areas for remediation. Remediation of these areas is expected to improve mastery of content and enhance performance on the associated proctored assessments.

Proctored Assessments

These assessments are a summative assessment of the student’s mastery of particular content area. Once they have completed the majority of the course content (minimum of 85%), students will take the proctored assessment associated with that course. This assessment will be offered in an on-campus computer lab at a pre-determined time. Students should refer to the syllabi for testing times and locations for each course. Students are encouraged to spend time with the ATI materials in preparation for this assessment, specifically their focused review, in preparation for this assessment. Students are required to complete the proctored assessments for each content area, per the course syllabi. Proctored ATI assessments will count towards 5 % of the course grade in the Junior Year/1st semester, and 10% in all subsequent semesters.

Results on ATI proctored assessment for each student will include a raw score and proficiency level of 3, 2, 1, or 0. Proficiency levels are defined by ATI, based on raw scores, and offer the following conclusions:

  Level 3 – Student is considered to be exceeding most expectations for content in this area; student is likely to exceed NCLEX standards in this content area

  Level 2 - Student is considered to be exceeding minimum expectations for content in this area; student is fairly certain to meet NCLEX standards in   this content area

  Level 1 - Student is considered to be meeting absolute minimum expectations for content in this area; student is just meeting NCLEX standards in this content area

  Level 0 - Student is considered to be below minimum expectations for content in this area; student is at significant risk for not meeting NCLEX standards in this content area

After completion of an ATI proctored assessment, students will receive a grade for the assessment based on proficiency level as follows:

  • Proficiency Level 3 = 95%
  • Proficiency Level 2 = 85%
  • Proficiency Level 1 = 75%
  • Proficiency Level 0 = 65%

ATI proctored assessment scores will be factored into the course grade after the student has achieved the required 70% exam average on all other course exams. Students who receive a proficiency level of 1 or below are encourage to consult with faculty and resources to remediate identified content deficiencies.

Comprehensive RN Predictor Exam

The RN Predictor Exam will be given toward the end of the senior year in NUR451 - Senior Seminar. This assessment will be offered in an on-campus computer lab at a pre-determined time. Students should refer to the syllabi for testing times and locations for each course. Students are encouraged to spend time with the ATI materials in preparation for this assessment, specifically their focused review, in preparation for this assessment.

Prior to the proctored assessment, students are required to complete the ATI RN Comprehensive Predictor Practice Examination and achieve 85% Individual Score. Students are required to complete the Comprehensive RN Predictor Exam per the course syllabi that will account for 10% of the course grade.

1st Attempt – ATI Proctored RN Comprehensive Predictor Examination

Students achieving a score on the RN Comprehensive Predictor that indicates >94% probability of passing NCLEX-RN will receive a grade of 95% for the assessment, which will account for 10% of the course grade. Students achieving a score that indicates <94% probability of passing NCLEX-RN will be required to remediate and take a second proctored RN Comprehensive Predictor examination.

2nd Attempt – ATI Proctored RN Comprehensive Predictor Examination

Prior to re-testing, students are expected to meet with course faculty to discuss and devise an individualized remediation plan. The second proctored RN Comprehensive Predictor Examination will be a different version than the first test, and it is recommended to permit 14 days between the first and second proctored examinations in order to permit time for remediation.

1. Students achieving a score on the second ATI RN Comprehensive Predictor that indicates > 94% probability of passing NCLEX-RN will receive a grade of 85% for the assessment, which will count for 10% of the final course grade.

2. Students achieving a score on the second ATI RN Comprehensive Predictor that indicates in the range between 75% and 93% predicted probability of passing NCLEX-RN will receive a grade of 75% for the assessment, which will count for 10% of the final course grade.

3. Students earning a score on the second ATI Comprehensive Predictor below 75% probability will receive a grade of 65% for the assessment, which will count for 10% of the final course grade.

ATI Live NCLEX Review

All students who successfully complete the nursing program are required to attend a review course provided by ATI to prepare for the NCLEX. The Comprehensive Live NCLEX Review is an all-inclusive, live study session covering essential nursing content that aligns with the NCLEX test plan. The review is led by

nurse educators through ATI and includes interactive format reviews of all content areas as well as test-taking strategies, critical-thinking exercises and Q&A practice.

Upon completion of the ATI NCLEX Review course (and the nursing program), students will be authorized to sit for the NCLEX. Student scores on any assessments associated with the ATI Comprehensive Live NCLEX Review are not factored into any NDMU courses or authorization to sit for the NCLEX.


Clinical/Campus Center for Caring with Technology

  • The student must notify the faculty with as much time as possible prior to the start of clinical or simulation lab experience if she will be absent.  Students are expected to give at least 24 hours notice for any absence, and should notify via email or preferred phone number given by the faculty.
  • The student should make every attempt to notify the faculty if she will be late. Students will receive a Clinical Variance Report for more than one lateness regardless of faculty notification.
  • An excused absence from a clinical or simulation lab experience is defined as an absence with notification of the faculty and which is unavoidable such as:
    1. Death of a loved one
    2. Personal illness (a primary health care provider’s note may be requested)
    3. Jury duty
  • Written verification of excused absence may be requested by the faculty.
  • Students will receive a Clinical Variance Report for an unexcused clinical absence. A repeated unexcused clinical absence may result in failure of the course. 

    Examples of unexcused absences are:

    -Absence from clinical without notification of the faculty

    -Leaving the clinical area prior to the completion of the clinical day without permission of the clinical faculty member

  • Failure to meet course requirements will result in an unexcused absence. (For example, not being appropriately registered for the course, failure to comply with non-academic requirements for clinical courses, such as not having a valid CPR card or up to date PPD.)
  • All clinical/lab/simulation absences, excused or unexcused, regardless of reason may require an alternate experience to meet clinical objectives. Examples may include: full clinical day, simulation experience, clinical observation experience, or written assignment.  Please note that students may only have make-up experiences for one absence during a clinical rotation. More than one absence during a clinical rotation will require consultation with the clinical instructor and may result in the student not being able to complete clinical course objectives.
  • All alternate experiences must be completed prior to the end of the course. Students will receive an Incomplete as a course grade until the make-up experience is completed.  A timeframe for the completion of the alternate clinical experience will be determined by the clinical instructor.
  • Absence due to Religious Holidays—The School of Nursing honors the celebration of our diverse student body. Absence for religious holiday is considered an excused absence. Students who miss class or clinical due to observance of religious holidays must give prior notice to faculty at the beginning of the semester. As with all clinical absences, students may receive a grade of Incomplete (I) until missed time can be completed.
  • Absence due to Cancellations or Delays—In the event of inclement weather, cancellation or delays in classes and campus laboratories will be announced through selected media (radio, television, campus hot line, web site).

    -Classes and clinical will be cancelled when the university is closed. In the event that the university opens late due to weather-related or other emergency conditions, classes and clinical will commence at the announced opening time and resume the normal schedule thereafter for the remainder of the day. Alternative arrangements for clinical time may be made by the clinical faculty.  In an instance where clinical starts before the university announcement has been made, the course faculty and clinical instructor will issue guidance concerning clinical.

    -Students and faculty engaged in clinical placements may not attend clinical until the university has opened and therefore should discuss the handling of emergency situations and university opening late at the beginning of the clinical rotation.  Both the requirements of the program and the safety of persons involved should be considered in planning a course of action in those cases where students are expected to report to off-campus locations.  Additional learning experiences may be scheduled to facilitate achieving course outcomes.

    -In the event that a clinical faculty must cancel a clinical day due to illness or some other emergency, the faculty will make every effort to notify students as early as possible.  The clinical faculty member will then arrange for a clinical make-up day/assignment with the clinical group.

  • Medical Clearance Note

    Students are required to have medical clearance before returning to school from childbirth, injury, surgery, or other restricted health issue.  The note must specify that there are no restrictions for participation in the clinical component of the program.


The Maryland Nurse Practice Act states that the Nursing Program Administrator and faculty are responsible for:

developing and implementing a written plan that provides that all students participating in clinical practice settings are physically and mentally competent at all times to provide safe patient care.

Any student participating in a clinical experience is expected to demonstrate behaviors that lead faculty to believe that the student is physically and mentally competent to provide safe patient care.  Examples of behaviors that might be indicative of potential threats to patient safety include: slurred speech, uncoordinated movements, ineffective attention, inability to follow simple commands, and/or an odor of alcohol.  Inappropriate behaviors, including repeated violation of critical behaviors identified on the clinical evaluation tool, will be considered detrimental for patient safety, trust, and security.  The jeopardy to the patient’s physical

and psychological safety will be immediately addressed at the discretion of the clinical faculty and the student may be asked to leave the clinical setting. Nursing faculty will be available to the clinical agency via cell phone for consultations, emergencies or issues of inappropriate student conduct.

A decision to re‑enter the clinical setting will be decided on a case-by-case basis.  Recommendations from the student’s health care provider may be requested and considered in the final decision.  See Classroom and Clinical Policies and both the University’s and School’s Substance Abuse Policy for additional information.


Fees are necessary to cover the costs of standardized tests and digital and hard copy resources throughout the nursing major to prepare students for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. Fees also pay for access to an electronic health records online learning system and some lab costs. Fees are charged at the time of registration for the following courses:

NUR-305  Foundations of a Caring Profession - $545

NUR-311 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult I - $250 

NUR-312 Nursing Care of Children and Families - $250

NUR-408  Maternal and Infant Nursing - $265

NUR-409  Professional Nursing Care of the Adult II - $265

NUR-410 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing - $265 

NUR-451  Senior Seminar - $250


All students must comply with the following requirements prior to the start of NUR-305 Foundations of a Caring Profession clinicals.  Students are responsible for all fees/payments associated with these clinical requirements, as well as for submitting all data to Certified Background.

  • Current CPR Certification – Must be the American Heart Association’s or an approved CPR provider’s, Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Provider Course or its equivalent. This course includes the skills of CPR for victims of all ages (including ventilation with a barrier device, a bag-mask device, and oxygen); use of an automated external defibrillator (AED); and relief of foreign body airway obstruction (FBAO).  Students must submit a copy of both the front and back of the card verifying this certification; all signatures, including the student’s, must be present. Certification must remain current while in the program.
  • Immunity to Hepatitis B – May either submit evidence of vaccine series with follow-up positive titer, or signed School of Nursing declination form.
  • Immunity to Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) – If born after 1957, must submit proof of both initial MMR vaccine and second measles vaccine following second birthday.  If born prior to 1957, must provide titer results which show immunity to the three diseases. Any student may provide titer results. If titers do not demonstrate immunity, vaccine is required.
  • Immunity to Varicella – May provide positive titer results or documentation of the dates Varicella Vaccine was received.  If titer does not demonstrate immunity, vaccine is required.
  • TB Status Report – Evidence for this can be either a negative PPD within the last year or, if unable to have PPD done, a negative chest X-ray and a negative symptom list within the last year.  If PPD results are positive, a follow-up Chest X-ray is required. Must submit two-step PPD skin test or quantiferron TB Gold In-Tube blood test.
  • Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) Vaccine – Must provide documentation that vaccine was received within the last 10 years.
  • Influenza Vaccine – Must submit documented evidence of annual flu vaccination that includes student name, date of vaccination, location administered (actual vaccination slip must be submitted).
  • Indemnity and Hold Harmless Form - All students must sign a Nursing Clinical Rotation Release, Waiver and Indemnity Agreement prior to beginning their clinical experience.
  • Standard Precautions - All students must sign a form indicating they have received instruction and will use Standard Precautions.
  • Confidentiality Form – All students must sign a Confidentially Agreement prior to beginning their clinical experience.
  • Physical Examination –Required to be completed prior to the start of the nursing major
  • Drug Screening/Background Checks –The dominant accrediting body for healthcare organizations and programs, The Joint Commission (TJC), mandates that criminal background checks be performed on all persons having any opportunity for patient interaction at its accredited organizations.  This includes employees and volunteers as well as students. A criminal background check revealing a conviction for certain crimes could result in a ban from participation in clinical rotations and thus prevent graduation/completion of the nursing program.  Based on the updated TJC accreditation standards, the Notre Dame of Maryland University has put into place the following policy:

    All students entering the nursing program will be subjected to a criminal background check. Students will be directed to use Certified Background when submitting a criminal background check.  Students may not request to be assigned to sites that do not require a criminal background check and/or drug screening. Students are responsible for all costs incurred with the criminal background check and drug screening.

    The criminal background checks must be completed prior to participating in clinical rotations. This may also be the case if a drug screening is requested by the clinical site.

    A positive test on the drug screening could result in dismissal from the clinical site with the result of preventing completion of the course/clinical objectives and ultimately graduation from the nursing program.  The same would hold true for a criminal background check which may affect a student’s eligibility to participate in a clinical rotation, practicum or other clinical experience and ultimately the ability to graduate from or complete the nursing program.

    Both the criminal background check and the drug screening will be performed just prior to the beginning of clinical coursework. Background checks must be done annually. The student will be responsible for all costs incurred. Each student will still be required to meet any request to complete additional criminal background checks and/or drug screenings from specific clinical sites they are assigned for clinical experiences. Students are encouraged to contact the Clinical Placement Coordinator in the School of Nursing if they have questions.

    The clinical agency will make the decision to accept or deny the student for clinical placement.  If a student is rejected by a clinical agency, the clinical faculty will make one additional attempt to place the student at another clinical agency. If the student is rejected by the second clinical agency, the student will not be able to meet the program requirements and will not be able to continue in the nursing major.

  • Health Insurance – All students are required to show proof of health insurance. If desired, insurance may be obtained through the university.
  • Mandatory Clinical Site Training – Some clinical agencies may require documentation of additional health-related requirements. Health-related requirements could include, but are not limited to, mandatory events training. Students will be notified of these requirements as soon as possible and payment will be embedded in the student’s nursing fees.  Students will complete annual training modules through Learning Harbor, a web-based program that healthcare professionals and students use to comply with mandatory regulations.

    Students who do not present updated documentation in a timely manner will be unable to attend clinical until the proper documentation is recorded on Certified Background.


A course specific Clinical Evaluation Tool (CET) is used to document the student’s clinical performance.  This tool reflects the program outcomes and documents the student’s progression in the clinical setting. A student with a passing grade for the clinical experience will receive the theory grade earned for the course grade.  A student with a final failing grade for the clinical experience will fail the course and receive an F for the final course grade, even if the theory grade is passing.  A failure of either clinical or theory will require the student to repeat the entire course.

The Clinical Evaluation Tool (CET) will be used to evaluate the student’s performance in meeting the clinical course outcomes and the related clinical behaviors.  Documentation will indicate that the student either met clinical outcomes (Pass) or did not meet the clinical outcomes (Fail). To achieve a passing grade in clinical courses, students must meet all clinical outcomes. Students will receive a progress check at the midpoint of the course and a final grade at the end. Individual conferences will be held as necessary to advise students of their clinical performance status.

Criteria for Clinical Evaluation

Fail, Pass, and Pass with Distinction

Critical behaviors include behavior and conduct, safety, medication safety, infection control, and confidentiality (refer to individual course CETs).

Students must meet all clinical objectives in the CET by the final evaluation. If clinical objectives are not being met at any time in the course, the student will be counseled and remediation initiated.  A significant or repeated breach in a clinical objective, e.g., lack of being able to perform previously learned skills or apply previously learned theory to the clinical situation, or a lack of maintaining critical behaviors will result in a Clinical Variance Report. If a Clinical Variance Report is received, the student will be counseled and a remediation plan initiated. The remediation plan must be completed by the designated date. Failure to complete the remediation plan or to correct the variance in behavior may result in immediate clinical/course failure and dismissal from the program.


Students are placed in clinical rotations in an effort to ensure an optimal learning experience in a variety of settings.  It may be deemed advisable to separate siblings, family members and/ or close friends into separate clinical groups. Student requests for placement in the clinical area should not be expected based on child-care needs, parking fees, proximity to employment site, car pool requests, or other personal preferences. Clinical days and hours may vary from course to course. The student is responsible for providing her own transportation to all clinical sites.  Fees that are incurred during the clinical rotation are the responsibility of the student (i.e., parking, badges, and deposits).

Please note that a minimum grade of B must be achieved in both NUR 311 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult I and NUR 409 Professional Nursing Care of the Adult II in order for the student to be placed in a non-medical/surgical environment for NUR 461, Clinical Practicum.

Clinical Assignment/Preparation

Clinical preparation is individualized by course as described in each course syllabus. Students are expected to be prepared and in appropriate uniform/clothes for each clinical day.

For the students’ own protection, it is recommended that students who are pregnant notify their clinical faculty.

Students may be requested to leave the clinical area for the following reasons (not all-inclusive):

  1. Being inadequately prepared for clinical assignments.
  2. Being unable to apply knowledge and skills from previously completed units/courses.
  3. Being mentally or physically unable to perform nursing care safely.
  4. Seeking supervision from other than the NDMU nursing faculty member, without permission, when performing nursing interventions
  5. Not adhering to the policies as stated in the NDMU Student Handbook.
  6. Being unable to apply knowledge and skills expected at the appropriate course level.


Information concerning patients is privileged and must remain confidential.  Appropriate information regarding patients, which needs to be shared among team members or for educational purposes, will only be discussed in a private setting away from patient care areas.  Nursing students must abide by Nurses Code of Ethics as well as state and federal laws, and agency regulations to safeguard patient information. Students may be held legally responsible for disclosure of information. Faculty will maintain strict confidentiality with regard to both personal and academic information about students.


Dosage in NUR 305

Nursing students in NUR 305 Foundations of a Caring Profession, must master nursing dosage calculations prior to progressing to second semester courses in which medication administration is required. Students will complete the Dosage Learning Module during the Foundations course.  After completing the Dosage Learning Module, students will have three attempts to pass a mastery dosage test with a score of 95% or greater. After each unsuccessful attempt, students will have the opportunity to meet with a math tutor and/or instructor for remediation. 

Continuing Students

Prior to each semester, students must pass a dosage master test in order to continue with courses. 

Students will have three attempts to pass a dosage mastery test with a score of 95% or higher. Students will be encouraged to take only one test per day.  If students begin testing on the first testing date, they will have three opportunities to pass.  Students who do not achieve a grade of 95% or higher after three attempts will be required to drop the course.  Scheduling of dosage examination is forthcoming prior to each semester.

Students may use a calculator during testing.  A maximum of 60 minutes will be allowed for the completion of each test.  It is the student’s responsibility to start testing at the first scheduled opportunity in order to take advantage of all three tests.


Clinical Setting

In order to maintain a professional demeanor and presence, it is the responsibility of each student to maintain a complete, properly fitting, clean, and pressed student uniform.  Students are required to follow the uniform policy for each course.  The appearance of the student must meet the approval of the faculty in the clinical practice area including laboratory simulation.  Students will be asked to leave the clinical site if faculty or

agency official has determined the attire is not appropriate. Students who are not in compliance with the uniform dress code will receive a Clinical Variance Report. Repeated offenses may result in failure of the clinical course.  Full uniform is required for clinical and simulation days. Laboratory jacket over appropriate attire is required upon entry to the lab on practice and testing days.

Uniform  – The NDMU Nursing program designated uniform is to be worn. Closed toe athletic shoes in solid colors are acceptable. Please no sandals, Crocs, clogs, or hightops! Undergarments must be worn.  Students working in special rotations (i.e. pediatrics, day care, mental health, long term care, or community health) may require special exceptions to the uniform dress code.  Students will be notified of the exceptions prior to the planned experience as outlined in specific course syllabi.  Students are only permitted to wear the NDMU scrub jacket for additional warmth in the clinical environment, but may not wear long-sleeve shirts or sweatshirts.

An NDMU Picture ID badge must be clearly displayed for clinical experience. Students may also be required to wear an ID badge from the clinical agency to which they are assigned.

Other required items – Students are required to bring the following to the clinical practice setting: bandage scissors, curved or straight hemostat, pen with black ink, pocket-sized notebook, watch (must record seconds), pen flashlight, and dual headed stethoscope.

Jewelry – A watch with a second hand is required. Other jewelry should be limited to a band ring, and a single small set of post/stud pierced earrings (no larger than a dime).  No dangle or loop earrings are permitted.  No jewelry is to be worn in any other pierced areas (i.e., nose, lip, eyebrow, or tongue).  No other observable jewelry is allowed.

Grooming – Uniform will be clean and intact.  Hair will be neat, controlled, out of the face, off the collar, and held back to prevent contamination of the work field. Make-up may be worn in moderation. Nails will be short and clean. Acrylic nails, tips, or overlays are not permitted. Tattoos must be covered. Chewing gum is not permitted.  Proper hygiene is essential to avoid body odor. Fragrances of any kind are not permitted (e.g., perfume, strongly scented lotions).  Please note that individual clinical facilities may have additional policies, which must be followed.

The use of electronic devices is permitted in the clinical setting or simulation laboratory for educational uses only. Students are encouraged to put the devices in silent mode so as not to disturb the patient care and teaching/learning environment.  The clinical instructor may advise students regarding agency policy for electronic devices in the clinical setting.

Classroom setting

Dressing with a professional image in mind is a simple act which may have a transformative effect on students and the larger university community. As students begin the journey to the practice of professional nursing, it is wise to consider that one’s outward appearance and manner of dress convey a message that may be judged by

others. Students are encouraged to dress in a casual yet professional manner when in and around the School of Nursing classroom environment. 



Prior to administering any medication, the nursing student must demonstrate a clear understanding of the drug actions, purposes, indications, expected patient response, possible adverse reactions and/or side effects, contraindications, interactions with other drugs/food, allergic response, necessary assessments or pre-administration nursing actions, and patient teaching needs.

At the time of medication administration the student and faculty member will verify the Seven Rights of Medication Administration (right patient, right medication, right dose, right route, right time, allergies, drug expiration) and identify the patient with two patient identifiers.

Nursing students will document the appropriate outcome on the medical record according to agency policy. All

medication documentation must be reviewed and signed by the clinical faculty member or precepting RN, according to agency policy.

  1. Students will administer medications in consultation with the clinical instructor.
  2. Access to automated medication dispensing system will be provided to the clinical faculty by the clinical agency. This access will not be shared with students.
  3. Students must be knowledgeable of drug actions and monitor the outcome and effectiveness of all drugs received by the assigned patient whether or not administered by the student.
  4. Nursing students will not:
    1. Administer IV cardioactive medications (e.g., Procainamide, Dobutamine)
    2. Administer chemotherapeutic agents
    3. Initiate or titrate medication infusions including but not limited to Heparin, Dopamine, and insulin
    4. Initiate, program, or maintain Pitocin or Magnesium sulfate in Labor and Delivery situations
    5. Initiate, program, or reprogram patient controlled analgesia (PCA) pumps
    6. Administer any medications in an observation experience
    7. Administer controlled substances to children less than two years old

      Please refer to agency policy for central line flushes and infusing central line medications
  5. Due to agency regulations, neither the clinical faculty member nor the student will personally contact the physician for changes to medication orders. Call to physicians regarding medication orders may be made by the charge nurse or primary nurse assigned to the patient.
  6. Although students are expected to review the electronic and/or paper medical record for update orders, clinical faculty and students are not to obtain new orders, transcribe or input new orders, or acknowledge or verify medication orders.
  7. Medication errors must be documented on the agency’s incident form as well as on the NDMU incident form.
  8. Students who fail to adhere to this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.


Students or other individuals who have concerns about the nursing program (that are not addressed by the University Grievance Policy) are encouraged to share them in a constructive manner with appropriate persons in the School of Nursing.

In the event that these concerns are not resolved at the School level, they may be reported to the Nursing Program’s Ombudsperson, who is the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  The Ombudsperson will attempt to

address the complaint and, when possible, mediate it with the Chair of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Nursing and/or involved faculty. In addition, the Ombudsperson will clarify whether the reported concern is a formal complaint.

Written reports will be maintained on all formal complaints and will be summarized in an annual report submitted to the Chair of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Nursing each January.

Formal complaints will be reported to the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) as part of the Program’s Annual Report.


Nursing students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with standard professional and ethical practices and abide by state and federal laws regarding privacy and confidentiality at all times.  Social networking sites can be an effective way to collaborate with colleagues and enhance learning. While this creates

new opportunities for communication and collaboration, it also creates vulnerabilities for individuals and institutions. Violations of privacy and confidentiality may occur intentionally or inadvertently and may result not only in dismissal from the nursing program but also possible civil and criminal penalties.

Use of social media is prohibited while performing direct patient care activities unless social media use in these areas has been previously approved by SON faculty.

Social media includes, but is not limited to:

  • Blogs, and microblogs such as Twitter and Instagram
  • Social networks, such as Facebook
  • Professional networks, such as LinkedIn
  • Video sharing, such as You Tube and vlogs (video weblogs)
  • Audio sharing, such as podcasts
  • Photo sharing, such as Flickr and Photobucket
  • Social bookmarking, such as Digg and Redditt
  • Public comment sections on WebPages (such as those for online news sites)
  • User created web pages such as Wikis and Wikipedia, and
  • Any other internet-based social media application similar in purpose or function to those applications described above.

The following guidelines are intended to assist NDMU nursing students in adhering to professional and ethical standards for social media.

Students will first exemplify the following:

Maintain professional boundaries surrounding the nurse-patient relationship in the online environment in addition to the classroom and testing areas.

Promptly report any identified breach of confidentiality of privacy to clinical faculty.

Familiarize themselves with and use conservative privacy settings regardless of the content on their social media profiles.

Practice restraint when disclosing personal information on social networking sites.  Even seemingly innocuous pictures and comments can impact the respect and trust patients and peers have for students, now and in the future.

In accordance with the Nursing Code of Ethics, it would be a violation of human rights if students:

Take any pictures in any clinical, laboratory, or practice site without approval.

Share, post, or transmit any personal information, health information, or images of other by way of any electronic media. Sharing this information is a violation of patient rights to confidentiality and privacy.

Engage in communication with patients and their family members or legally appointed decision makers on social networking sites.

Post on behalf of NDMU or present as an official representative or spokesperson for the University or School of Nursing.

Refer to anyone or any group in a disparaging, disrespectful, or threatening way, even if the person or group has not been identified. This includes, but it is not limited to patients, families, faculty and staff.

Access websites and/or applications in a manner that interferes with or disrupts classroom, clinical, or simulation lab instruction.

Violate the Information Management policies or clinical agencies.

For more information, please refer to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) White Paper: A Nurse’s Guide to the Use of Social Media found at the website below:

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing. (2011). A nurse’s guide to the use of social media.  Retrieved from https://www.ncsbn.org/Social_Media.pdf


All students are required to abide by the Notre Dame of Maryland University’s HIV‑AIDS policy and current Center for Disease Control Recommendations for Blood and Body Fluid Precautions and other agency policy requirements whichever is more strict.


The Notre Dame of Maryland University’s School of Nursing adheres to the University’s Substance Abuse Policy contained in the NDMU Student Handbook, http://www.ndm.edu/files/resources/ndm-student-handbook-2014-revised-3-26-14.pdf

The School also functions under the parameters of the Maryland Nurse Practice Act, Annotated Code of Maryland Health Occupations Article, Title 8, and Code of Maryland Regulations, Title 10, Subtitle 27.

In accordance with the Maryland Nurse Practice Act (§8-316, [7]), a nurse is prohibited from providing “professional services while (i) under the influence of alcohol; or (ii) Using any narcotic or controlled dangerous substance, as defined in §5-101 of the Criminal Law Article, or other drug that is in excess of therapeutic amounts or without valid medical indication.”

Students in the Notre Dame of Maryland University’s Nursing Program are considered to be providing professional services during all clinical labs and while participating in any and all aspects of designated clinical experiences in NUR431.

Students who are suspected of substance abuse while providing professional services as a nursing student in the Notre Dame of Maryland University’s Nursing Program will be subjected to disciplinary actions that include, but are not limited to:

a. Immediate dismissal from the lab/clinical setting;

b. Reporting the incident to the Dean of the School of Nursing;

c. Presentation of written documentation about the incident to the Nursing Council to determine the specific course of action;

d.  Development and implementation of a course of action in compliance with the NDM Substance

  Abuse Policy and the Maryland Nurse Practice Act;

e. Reporting the incident to the Maryland Board of Nursing.

The student will not be permitted to return to the lab/clinical setting and the corresponding classes until a thorough assessment has been completed and an intervention plan has been developed and implemented.


Documentation of accountability for all academic and clinical policies must be submitted to Certified Background by uploading the signed acknowledgement form by the deadline posted on the Certified Background website.