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Academic Policies and Program Requirements

Effective Matriculation Date – Revised May 2024

Academic Policies and Program Requirements

The academic policies and program requirements contained in this document apply to all students enrolled in the BSN and ABSN programs.  Knowledge of and compliance with these policies and requirements is the responsibility of the student.  These policies are also available online on the Nursing website under “students”-” undergraduate” (https://nursing.tcnj.edu/nursing-undergraduate-student-resource-guide/academic-policies-and-program-requirements/)

Given the nature of the nursing curriculum, course sequence is very important.  To avoid delays in entering nursing courses and graduation, students must follow the established curriculum plan. Students need to work closely with faculty advisors before scheduling courses.

The established minimum grade requirements stipulated below must be met in foundation courses, critical content courses, and other required courses for the BSN (see below item I. A, B, C and tables that follow). Students are strongly advised to review their Academic Requirements Report in PAWS and the 4-Year BSN Curriculum Plan provided upon entrance and see their advisor for clarification.  Students are reminded of the TCNJ academic policy that requires the “Attainment of a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 overall and within the major.”

Students are expected to demonstrate patterns of behavior consistent with safe and ethical professional nursing practice. Students who do not demonstrate such behavior and standards may be removed from clinical courses and are subject to failure in the course and dismissal from the program. Guidelines for Student Behavior in Clinical Settings are outlined on the TCNJ Department of Nursing web page under “Policies” and are contained on pages four and five of this document; they are reviewed and discussed in clinical courses. These guidelines are congruent with the American Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements (2015) and Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice (2021).

Professional status is reflected in appropriate attire.  Students are required to purchase the TCNJ Department of Nursing uniform and to adhere to the dress code of TCNJ and each clinical agency.  Refer to the TCNJ Department of Nursing Undergraduate Student Handbook.

  1. PROGRAM ENTRY, RETENTION, AND EXIT/GRADUATION STANDARDS

To delineate these standards, coursework for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing is divided into three categories.

  1. Foundation Courses – set the standards for students currently at TCNJ in the nursing major and those who wish to transfer into the program (if available)..

These courses are foundations for study in the major and are predictive of success in the program.

Criteria for transfer into the Nursing Major:

  1. Overall GPA of 3.0 at the time of request for transfer into Nursing.
  2. Science GPA of 3.0 (must have taken at least one science course at TCNJ)
  3. Must complete one of the foundation courses and achieve a minimum grade of B

Internal transfer students are admitted into the Nursing major once a year following the end of the spring semester for entry the following fall semester depending on available space. Internal transfer students will follow the Academic Policies and Program Requirements of the Department of Nursing effective for the fall of their entry into the major. 

    2.. Critical Content Courses – set the standard for students’ retention in the program.  These courses represent the essential nature of the discipline or are ones upon which advanced courses are based.

  1. Other BSN Specific Courses – include remaining supportive and nursing courses required for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Please see the chart below for the required grades in each course. 

 

Foundation Courses Critical Content Courses Specific to Degree Courses
PSY 101 – Psychology I (B) NUR 200 – Pharmacological Interventions (C) BIO 141, BIO 142 (C+)
NUR 110 – Development of  Unitary Man and Environment Across the Life Span (C) NUR 210 – Professional Role Development I (C) BIO 144; CHEM 111; STAT 115 (C-)
NUR 230-Holistic Health Assessment  (C)
NUR 240 – Holistic Health Interventions Across the Life Span (C)
NUR 202, 220, 310, 320, 324

328, 330, 334, 340, 344

420, 424, 440, 444, 460

(C)

  1. SUPPORT COURSES

 

  1. The non-nursing courses identified in the previous table (i.e. BIO 141, 142, 144, CHE 111, PSY 101, STA 115) are considered supportive to the nursing major.

 

  1. Once students are matriculated into the nursing major, three of the four support science courses (BIO 141, 142, CHE 111) must be taken at TCNJ, only Microbiology (BIO 144) may be taken at another institution with prior approval from the Department of Nursing and completion of the Course Authorization Form. Microbiology courses that are taught entirely online are not considered equivalent and will not be accepted for transfer credit by the Department of Nursing.  Courses that combine online coursework with supervised on-site lab instruction are permissible with prior approval. **Students who fail to earn the minimum grade in BIO 144 AND/OR who take it elsewhere may risk not earning enough credits for graduation**

 

  1. If a student wishes to take permitted support courses at an institution other than The College of New Jersey, written permission must be obtained from the Chairperson of the Department of Nursing. It is the student’s responsibility to have an official transcript of the completed course grade sent to the Office of Records and Registration to receive transfer credit. Transfer credit must be received before the start of the semester in which the nursing course, for which it is a prerequisite, is to be taken.

 

  1. Support courses are prerequisites or corequisites to specific nursing courses. Students may not enroll in a specific nursing course for which there is a prerequisite unless they have achieved the required minimum grade in the prerequisite course. Students will be required to withdraw from the nursing sequence if the required grade is not achieved.  (See item V of this document for the Procedure to follow.)

 

  1. Students enrolled in a corequisite support course along with identified nursing courses may not drop or withdraw from the corequisite course without specific permission to do so from the Chairperson, Department of Nursing. This permission will be documented on the student’s advisement log. Students who drop a co-requisite support course without permission will be required to withdraw from the nursing course or will incur an unsatisfactory grade in the nursing course.

 

  1. Upon the first instance of a grade less than the established minimum in any of the physical sciences (CHE 111, BIO 141, 142, 144), the student will be placed on Department of Nursing probation. Probationary status will not be removed until all remaining science courses are satisfactorily completed.
  2. Upon the second instance of a grade below the established minimum in any of the physical sciences (CHE 111, BIO 141, 142, 144), the student will be dismissed from the Nursing Major. Matriculation status will be changed to “Open Option –Undesignated Transitional” and the student will be assigned an interim advisor in the Center for Student Success.
  3. THERE IS NO READMISSION TO THE NURSING MAJOR. 
  1. The identified support courses are prerequisite or corequisite to specific nursing courses as indicated below:

Prerequisite Support Courses                                 Nursing Courses

CHE 111, BIO 141, BIO 142

NUR 200  Pharmacological Interventions    and

NUR 230  Holistic Health Assessment Across the Life Span

PSY 101 (pre- or corequisite)

NUR 240  Holistic Interventions Across the Life Span

STA 115 (pre- or corequisite) NUR 328  Research for Health-Related & Social Sciences

 

 

III.   NURSING COURSES (NUR)

  1. The following nursing courses identified on the left are pre- or corequisites for the nursing courses listed on the right.

Prerequisite Nursing Course                                              Nursing Course

NUR 110                   NUR 210, 220 and 230
NUR 200  (pre- or corequisite)

NUR 202 (pre- or corequisite)

NUR 210, 220 and 230 shall be taken only in  the fall semester immediately preceding anticipated entry into NUR 240 and successfully passed; are prerequisites for spring NUR courses

                  NUR 240
All 100 and 200 level nursing courses                   NUR 310, 320 and 324, 330,

                   334,340, 344                  

NUR 310, 320 and 324   

                   NUR 330 and 334

NUR 310, 320, 324, 330, 334, 340, 344                   NUR 420 and 424
NUR 328, 420 and 424                   NUR 440, 444, and 460

 

  1. Students must earn a WEIGHTED average grade of “76” on all examinations in all NUR           courses.

 

  1. If a student does not earn a weighted average exam grade of 76 in an NUR course, the

         student will be required to repeat the course before progressing in the program. The student

         must repeat the course even if their overall average in the course meets the minimum

         required grade of a ‘C’. A weighted exam average of less than 76 constitutes a failure to

         earn the minimum required exam grade, and the student will be placed on probation with a 

         retroactive W assigned for the course until it is repeated. If this is the student’s second 

         failure to earn an adequate grade in a nursing or required science course, the student 

         will be dismissed from the program. This document serves as notice for this

         requirement

 

  1. When the nursing course includes a college laboratory and/or clinical practice experience,

       the classroom and the college laboratory and/or clinical practice experiences must be passed.

 

  1. If a “nursing practice” course or the nursing practice component of a “mixed” course, is not

       passed with the required minimum grade or better, the student may not take any further

       nursing courses that are part of a DYAD or have a practice component until the failed

       practice or mixed course is repeated with the required minimum grade or better.

  1. Once a student is matriculated, all nursing courses (NUR) must be taken at TCNJ.
  2. With the first instance of a grade of less than the minimum required in a nursing course or 

       withdrawal from a nursing course as per nursing academic policy, the student is placed on 

       Department of Nursing probation. Only one nursing (NUR) course may be repeated. 

 

  1. If a student fails to achieve the minimum required academic performance  

       in either the  practice (clinical component) or the science (classroom theory) in a DYAD

       course, the student is immediately prohibited from further attendance in both courses in the

       DYAD. If the failure occurs before the college’s deadline for course withdrawal, the

       student must immediately withdraw from both courses and will receive a “W” grade in

       both courses.  If the failure occurs after the college’s course withdrawal deadline, the student

       will be permitted to retroactively withdraw from the other course with

       assistance from the Assistant Dean. Regardless, the student must repeat both courses in

       the DYAD together in the same semester and achieve the required minimum grade in

       both to progress in the major. This document serves as notice

        for this requirement

 

  1. If a student receives an unsatisfactory grade in any nursing (NUR) course and is

        carrying a previous failure in any one support science course (BIO 141,142, 144, or

        CHE111) the student will be dismissed from nursing. This document serves as notice

        for this requirement.

 

  1. If a student receives unsatisfactory grades in two or more nursing courses at any time, 

         the student will be dismissed from the nursing major. This document serves as notice

         for this requirement.   Matriculation status will be changed to “Open Option – 

         Undesignated Transitional” and the student will be assigned an interim advisor in the

         Center for Student Success. There is no readmission to the nursing program after

         being dismissed.

  1. GUIDELINES CONCERNING BEHAVIOR IN PRACTICE SETTINGS

Definitions of Safe, Satisfactory or Acceptable Performance:

The student will demonstrate patterns of professional behavior that follow the legal and ethical codes of nursing; promote the actual or potential well-being of clients, healthcare workers, and self; demonstrate accountability in preparation, documentation, and continuity of care; and show respect for the human rights of individuals.

Indicators To Be Used As Guidelines For Evaluating Practice Are:

 

  1. Regulatory:

The student practices within the boundaries of The College of New Jersey Department of Nursing, the guidelines and objectives of the Department of Nursing, and follows the rules and regulations of the healthcare agency.

Examples of unsafe, unsatisfactory or unacceptable performance include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Failure to promptly notify the agency, clinical instructor, and course leader of a clinical absence, as outlined in course syllabi;
  2. Presenting for clinical practicum under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol;
  3. Attendance is mandatory for all clinical dates. One excused clinical absence (as determined by the course leader/clinical faculty) will require a makeup at the end of the semester. More than one clinical absence may result in a clinical failure.
  4. Unexcused tardiness (more than 5 minutes) to clinical assignments will result in the student being dismissed from clinical for the day and will count as an absence;
  5. Failure to report abuse or neglect.
  1. Ethical:

The student practices according to the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, and The Nurse Practice Act governs practice in the state where the clinical learning experience occurs. 

Examples of unsafe, unsatisfactory, or unacceptable performance include but are not limited to

The following:

  1. Refuses assignment based on client’s race, culture, lifestyle, or religious preference,

diagnosis, or condition of the client;

  1. Inappropriate behavior in any assigned activity related to clinical practice such as:
  1. a) Not reporting known errors in practice,
  2. b) Falsifying documents, signatures, or assignments;
  1. Ignoring unethical behavior(s) of other healthcare persons which affects clients’ welfare

 

  1. Promote the well-being of clients, other healthcare workers, and self:

The student’s practice strives to meet the needs of the client considering the biological,

psychological, sociological, and cultural perspectives.

Examples of unsafe, unsatisfactory or unacceptable performance include but are not limited to the following:

  1. failure to recognize and seek treatment for mental, physical, or emotional behavior(s)

            which may affect the well-being of others;

  1. failure to follow through on suggested referrals or interventions to correct deficit areas

             which may result in harm to others;

  1. Omission of appropriate care, such as, but not limited to, medication errors;
  2. Abuse of clients, such as, but not limited to: physical, mental, or emotional abuse; failing to recognize, or correct or contributing to hazardous conditions or circumstances;
  1. Interpersonal relationships with agency staff, co-workers, peers, and faculty resulting in miscommunications and disruptions of client care and/or functioning.
  1. Accountability:

The student’s practice demonstrates the expected level of responsibility in the preparation,

implementation, documentation, and promotion of continuity in the care of clients.

Examples of unsafe, unsatisfactory, or unacceptable performance include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Failure to provide concise, inclusive, written and verbal communication;
  2. Failure to accurately record comprehensive client behaviors;
  3. Failure to report to instructor questionable nursing practice(s) which affect client welfare;
  4. Dishonesty.
  1. Human Rights:

The student’s conduct shows respect for the individual client, health team member, faculty and

self.

Examples of unsafe, unsatisfactory, or unacceptable performance include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Failure to maintain confidentiality of interactions;
  2. Failure to maintain confidentiality of records;
  3. Dishonesty in relationships;
  4. Utilization of stereotypical judgments that are detrimental to patient care;
  5. Failure to recognize and promote every patient’s rights. 

Violations of these guidelines, as determined by the course faculty will result in an immediate ‘F’ and dismissal from the course and any relevant dyad course. Further, for egregious violations, faculty may submit through the TCNJ student conduct policy. 

  1. Lab Class/ Open Lab / Simulation Labs

Maintaining professionalism and upholding academic integrity within the laboratory setting is required. All individuals are expected to conduct themselves with the highest level of ethical standards, demonstrating respect for themselves, colleagues, mentors, and staff. Any form of plagiarism, falsification, or inappropriate behavior is strictly prohibited and will be submitted through the Academic Integrity Violation process. The lab aims to foster an environment of intellectual honesty, accountability, and mutual respect to provide a positive, safe space to learn and practice. There will be zero tolerance for violations of this policy, and appropriate disciplinary measures will be enforced.

LAB GUIDELINES: See the Syllabus of courses requiring lab. 

  1. PROCEDURE AFTER UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE IN A REQUIRED COURSE

If a student has not achieved the required grade in any supportive course, or if a student has

not achieve the required minimum grade or above in a nursing course, the following process

must be initiated by the student.

  1. Withdraw from the nursing course if the student has failed to meet prerequisites for that course and the dyad.

 

  1. Meet with the advisor to discuss a plan to remedy the course failure.
  2. Repeat the required course. Please remember that only one physical science course or one NUR course may be repeated before the student is dismissed from the major. Additionally, by TCNJ policy, courses may repeated only once. 
  3. When the required grade is achieved, the student must make an appointment to discuss their progress with their advisor and/or the Chairperson of the Department of Nursing.
  4. Students will be required to complete remediation prior to the start of the next nursing course. If this remediation is not completed successfully the student will be unable to continue in the course, and the student must withdraw from the course. This will constitute a second nursing course failure and thus dismissal from the nursing program.
  5. When a course is repeated, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the Office of Records and Registration to request that the original grade be removed from the calculation of the student’s Grade Point Average and the more recent grade included. Note:  This must be initiated by the student; it is not done automatically.
  1. WRITING ASSIGNMENT CITATION REQUIREMENTS

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition) is the required professional format for papers written for nursing courses. This manual is a required textbook, available in the library and in the college bookstore.

VII.   GRADING POLICIES FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF NURSING

The numerical range for each letter grade in NUR courses was approved by the nursing faculty:

Letter Grade    Percent                        GPA        Letter Grade  Percent                        GPA

A                     100-95             4.00

A-                    94-90               3.67

B+                   89-87               3.33

B                     86-83               3.00                 C-             75          1.67

B-                    82-80               2.67                 D+           74-70     1.33

C+                   79-78               2.33                 D            69-65     1.00

C                     77-76               2.00                 F            64 and below  0.00

VIII.         NURSING STUDENT CLINICAL COMPLIANCE

As healthcare workers, nursing students must meet requirements, beyond those mandated by the College, before enrollment in nursing courses with a clinical practicum component (NUR 240, 320/324, 330/334, 340, 344, 420/424, 440/444, 450, 460).  These requirements protect students, promote patient safety, decrease institutional liability, and comply with affiliation agreements. Clinical compliance requirements conform to current American Association of Colleges of Nursing standards, New Jersey Board of Nursing regulations, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations relevant to healthcare workers. As such, these requirements are not open to exemptions or negotiations. These requirements are also subject to change without prior notice as new regulations emerge based on existing scientific evidence. Current requirements are detailed below.

The Nursing Student Clinical E-Portfolio (NSCEP) is used to collect documents from each nursing student to verify that they have met the initial and annual Department of Nursing clinical compliance requirements. Completed E-Portfolios will be maintained by the Nursing office in a confidential database.  According to HIPAA regulations, health information cannot be shared between Student Health and the Department of Nursing. Therefore, students must submit certain health records to both departments to comply.

Rising sophomore students will be enrolled in the Clinical Placement Center course on Canvas in the spring of their freshman year.  This course provides specific instructions for completing and submitting requirements for clinical placements. It is the responsibility of each student to submit documents on or before established deadlines. Traditional BSN students submit requirements over the summer months. ABSN students submit initial requirements before starting their program. Submitted documents must be valid for the entire upcoming clinical cycle, whenever possible. It is also the responsibility of each student to update required information in their E-Portfolio as necessary. Students who cannot meet the listed vaccination and TB screening requirements for health-related reasons must provide documentation with rationale from a healthcare provider. Requests for exemptions will be reviewed by the Clinical Site Coordinator and Department Chair, in advance of any clinical placement.

Students who fail to submit or update documents by established deadlines OR who submit false or altered documents OR for whom required screenings reveal prohibited behavior can be subject to:

  • Not being permitted to participate in clinical practice experiences, including simulation and skills labs,
  • De-registration from clinical courses,
  • Grading penalties in related courses and clinical assessments,
  • Being reported to the Academic Integrity Officer,
  • Failure to progress in the nursing program, and/or
  • Dismissal from the nursing program
  • Other appropriate disciplinary action

Physical examinations, vaccinations, and TB Testing can be obtained from a healthcare provider of the student’s choice or at Student Health Services. The costs associated with clinical compliance requirements are the responsibility of the student. Refer to the Student Health Services webpage for information on appointments and associated fees.

  1. Physical Exam – ANNUAL

A history and physical examination is required within 12 months prior to entering the first clinical course (NUR 240: Holistic Health Interventions) and annually thereafter.  The examination must be performed by a physician (MD/DO), advanced practice nurse (APN), or physician assistant (PA). Students must submit documentation verifying that they are able to participate in nursing clinical rotations.  This clearance is documented on the TCNJ Nursing Student Physical Examination Form.

  1. Tuberculosis (TB) Screening – ANNUAL

Within 12 months before entering the first clinical course, students must have a 2-step Tuberculin Skin Test (TST), (also called a Mantoux test or PPD).  The 2-step TST requires one test with results read in 48-72 hours and then a second test performed in 7-21 days with results read in 48-72 hours (a total of 4 visits to the healthcare provider). Students must submit documentation of a negative 2-step TST. A QuantiFERON®-TB Gold (IGRA blood test) can be obtained as an alternative to the TST.

If students receive a negative result after the initial TB screening, students must submit documentation of a negative single TST or IGRA blood test (QuantiFERON®-TB Gold or T-SPOT®) annually thereafter.

If students receive an equivocal or positive result after the initial TB screening, then ALL of the following are required to be completed and submitted within 12 months prior to entering the first clinical course

  1. An evaluation by an MD/DO, APN, or PA that rules out active contagious TB infection and is documented on the TB Screening Questionnaire/Physician’s Evaluation for Tuberculosis,
  2. A QuantiFERON®-TB Gold blood test,
  3. A baseline chest x-ray that is “Negative” for active/contagious TB, and
  4. Documentation of any treatment for the positive tuberculosis testing.

For students who are known to have false-positive reactions to TB testing,  

ALL of the following are required to be completed within 12 months prior to entering the first clinical course and submitted:

  1. An evaluation by an MD/DO, APN, or PA that rules out active contagious TB infection and is documented on TB Screening Questionnaire/Physician’s Evaluation for Tuberculosis,
  2. AQuantiFERON®-TB Gold blood test,
  3. A baseline chest x-ray that is “Negative” for active/contagious TB,
  4. Documentation of any treatment for the positive tuberculosis testing.

After completing the first clinical course, students with past false-positive results must submit an evaluation by an MD/DO, APN, or PA annually thereafter that rules out active contagious TB infection. This is documented on the TB Screening Questionnaire/Physician’s Evaluation for Tuberculosis.

  1. Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella Titers – ONCE

Students must submit documentation of positive IgG titers for Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Rubella (German Measles), and Varicella (Chicken Pox) prior to entering the first clinical course. If titers are negative, students must submit documentation that they have received age-appropriate vaccines.  

 4.Hepatitis B Immunization Records and Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Titer – ONCE

Students must submit vaccination records demonstrating completion of the primary Hepatitis B vaccine series (2, 3, or 4 doses depending on the manufacturer) AND positive post-vaccine series Hepatitis B surface antibody titer prior to entering the first clinical course.

If a student has completed the primary vaccine series but has a negative Hepatitis B surface antibody titer, the student must follow these steps:

  1. Discuss results with the primary healthcare provider and determine treatment/testing options.
  2. Submit documentation of the treatment plan on official letterhead or prescription from the healthcare provider.
  3. Submit documentation of any vaccines received as part of the treatment plan.
  4. Submit documentation of positive Hepatitis B surface antibody titer or Hepatitis B non-responder documents on or before the beginning of the next compliance cycle.

Students are also required to report past infection or carrier state for Hepatitis B.

  1. Tdap Vaccination – INITIAL & WHEN EXPIRES

Students must submit a vaccination record for Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) received within the 10 years before entering the first clinical course and when the vaccine expires. DTAP and Td are NOT acceptable substitutions.

  1. Influenza Vaccination – ANNUAL

Students must submit a vaccination record for seasonal Influenza (flu) that is valid between September 1st and April 30th prior to entering the first clinical course and annually thereafter. The only acceptable exemptions are for students with severe allergies or medical contraindications documented by a healthcare provider. No personal or religious exemptions will be accepted.

  1. COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster – ANNUAL & AS REQUIRED

Students must submit documentation of being up to date for the COVID-19 vaccine. A student is considered up to date when they have received their primary series COVID-19 vaccine and at least one booster dose. The only acceptable exemptions are for students with severe allergies or medical contraindications documented by a healthcare provider. No personal or religious exemptions will be accepted.

Only the following documents will be accepted as proof of vaccination:

  • CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card
  • Docket™ immunization record screenshot – must include your name on the record
  • An official record of COVID-19 vaccination from the New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS) or other State immunization registry.
  • A record of COVID-19 vaccination on office letterhead signed by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, registered nurse, or pharmacist.
  • A military immunization or health record from the United States Armed Forces documenting COVID-19 vaccination.
  1. Urine Drug Screen – ANNUAL

A negative 10 panel urine drug screen is required within 60 days before entering the first clinical course and then each consecutive fall semester. Students can obtain urine drug screens through a healthcare provider/laboratory of their choice or any accredited drug testing agency. In either case, results must be sent directly from the lab to the Department of Nursing. The Department of Nursing is aware that in many states, including New Jersey, medical marijuana is now legal. The Department also understands that marijuana is classified as Schedule 1 drug under federal law. We cannot accept a positive drug screening even if a medical marijuana card is presented.

If a student is on a prescribed medication that will cause a positive urine drug screen, they are required to submit a note from their healthcare provider explaining the positive drug screen results. These situations will be reviewed by the Department Chair to determine if they will be accepted.

  1. Fit Testing – ANNUAL

Students must participate in annual fit testing when it is offered by the College. Some clinical agencies may require additional fit testing. 

  1. American Heart Association Basic Life Support CPR Certification – INITIAL & EVERY 2 YEARS

Students must submit a current American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) Healthcare Provider card prior to entering the first clinical course and on or before the expiration of the certification thereafter.  It is the student’s responsibility to obtain and maintain BLS certification while enrolled in the nursing program. The Department of Nursing only accepts certification through the American Heart Association.

  1. Individual Student Liability Insurance – ANNUAL

In keeping with the New Jersey Board of Nursing regulation N.J.A.C. 13:37-1.11, all nursing students must obtain their own student liability (malpractice) insurance prior to entering the first clinical course and renew their coverage annually thereafter.  Student liability insurance is available through Nurses Service Organization (https://www.nso.com) or Healthcare Providers Service Organization (https://www.hpso.com).  Students must submit the Certificate of Insurance page to document that insurance coverage is current.

  1. Personal Health Insurance – ANNUAL

Students must submit documentation of personal health insurance coverage prior to entering the first clinical course and annually thereafter.

  1. New Jersey Fingerprint-Based Criminal History Record Check 

Students are required to obtain a New Jersey fingerprint-based criminal record check before the first clinical course and periodically thereafter. Students must follow all procedures, submit all forms, and pay fees to ensure that valid documentation of a clear criminal history records check is received by established deadlines. Results must come directly to the Department of Nursing.

Every student has the responsibility to self-report past violations and any subsequent violations while enrolled in the nursing program. Students must report any legal issues that may or will affect their background check within 72 business hours AND before any clinical encounter. These violations must be reported to the Assistant Dean and Department Chair for review.  Students with prohibited behavior or self-reported disclosures on their background checks will be evaluated individually by the Assistant Dean and Department Chair, in consultation with the Dean, and legal counsel, when necessary, to determine whether they will be allowed continued progression in the nursing major. Background check results showing criminal hits may also be required to be shared with clinical agencies.  

  1. Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance – ONCE

Students must submit documentation of a negative Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance prior to starting NUR 344: Caring in Child Health. This clearance is free the first time it is obtained and can be obtained online. Annual documentation may be required depending on student clinical placement. Students will be responsible for the cost. Positive results will be handled as outlined under New Jersey Fingerprint-Based Criminal History Record Check.

  1. Other Background Checks

Additional background checks including, but not limited to  New Jersey Department of Education, National Sex Offender Registry, healthcare sanctions, OIG/GSA reports will be performed as required by affiliation agreements.. Positive results will be handled as outlined under New Jersey Fingerprint-Based Criminal History Record Check.

  1. Site Onboarding – ANNUAL

Clinical agencies have additional site-specific training and onboarding requirements. Students must complete the required training and submit required forms on or before established deadlines or they will not be able to participate in clinical experiences.

  1. ADDITIONAL ACADEMIC POLICIES                                                 

Please Note:  Completion of all program requirements and attainment of the BSN qualifies graduates to take the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX-RN) for licensure as registered nurses.  Application for licensure, in accordance with regulations of the New Jersey Board of Nursing, also requires the submission of an affidavit that the applicant “has never been convicted or has not pleaded nolo contendere, non vule contendere or non vult to an indictment, information, or complaint alleging a violation of any federal or state law involving moral turpitude or relating adversely to the nursing profession.”  Boards of nursing in other states have similar requirements.  In addition, New Jersey Board of Nursing rules, N.J.A.C. 13:37-1.8(h) stipulate the following: “Before an individual is admitted to a nursing education program, the program shall inform the individual that a criminal history background check is a prerequisite for licensure as a registered professional nurse or a licensed practical nurse.”

  1. Standardized Assessment:

Throughout the program, students are required to take the standardized assessments offered by Assessment Technologies Institute LLC (ATI).  Each student must achieve the criterion score (Competency Level II) established on the ATI Content Mastery Assessments.  The secure assessments are designed to identify strengths in specific areas of content as well as knowledge deficits for the individual student and for the entire class. Students who do not meet the criterion score on the secure assessment are required to complete remedial work on a non-secured assessment until a minimum score of 90 percent is achieved.  Deadlines for completion of remedial work will be established by course faculty, however, in all cases, remedial work must be completed before the start of the next semester.  There are additional student fees associated with these standardized assessments and examinations. 

  1. Uniforms:

Each nursing student is required to wear a TCNJ Department of Nursing uniform for specified clinical experiences.

Students are to purchase the required uniform prior to entry into NUR 240 (Holistic Interventions Across the Life Span).  Details about the purchase of uniforms and the Department of Nursing Dress Code can be found on the Department of Nursing website

  1. Clinical Site Attire / Dress Code / Hygiene Standards

Students are representatives of the College of New Jersey Department of Nursing whenever involved in off-campus study or clinical experiences.

All students are required to purchase a standard TCNJ white lab coat and name badge the semester prior to taking Health Assessment. These items must be worn during all clinical experiences with a few exceptions (such as a pediatric practice where the preceptor requires business attire instead of a uniform). In such cases, the TCNJ name badge must be worn at all times. Information on ordering the uniform can be found in the Department of Nursing Office.

It is the policy of The College of New Jersey for students to present a professional and positive image appropriate for providing care in a healthcare facility. The College of New Jersey has a bona-fide need to present a professional appearance to the community it serves and abide by the policies of our community partner clinical sites.

  • Uniform of a white top with school identification on the chest and blue pants. Uniform/clothing must be loose enough to provide ease of movement in clinical activities. No scrubs. 
  • White scrub jacket with school identification on the chest.
  • A short- or long-sleeved shirt may be worn under the scrub top and MUST ONLY be Blue or White.
  • Name pins must be worn when in healthcare agencies.
  • Analog watch with second hand; no Smart watches allowed.
  • White, black, or natural socks or hose
  • White or black professional shoes–NO canvas shoes, canvas sneakers, or slingbacks, or clogs may be worn. Shoes must be all white or black, leather, closed toe and heel.
  • Hair must be neatly combed, clean, and styled or contained, pulled back and secured with bobby pins or elastic hair bands, in such a manner that it will not come in contact with the patient or the care field. Style and length of hair should minimize touching/adjusting or handling of hair during patient care.
  • Hair of unnatural color, i.e. blue, purple, pink, etc. is inappropriate and not acceptable in the clinical area.
  • Hats, caps, bandanas, scarves or other head coverings, unless for safety purposes or established religious customs or medical reasons, are inappropriate and not acceptable in clinical areas, course lab settings, and during course exams.
  • Facial hair must be clean and dry, controlled and trimmed, and not interfere with patient care responsibilities and within OSHA standards.
  • Students must be mindful of good personal hygiene. Unclean, unkempt appearance, unpleasant body or breath odors, including smoke odors and perfume/cologne, that may be offensive to patients, families, and other health care providers and are not acceptable.
  • Headphones and earbuds are inappropriate and unacceptable in the clinical area.
  • No facial jewelry or facial acne patches or accessories are permitted. The only jewelry permitted in the clinical practice setting is a plain wedding band and a single post earring may ONLY be worn on the ear lobe. NO neck chains, bracelets, or any other pieces of jewelry may be worn in the clinical practice areas. No tongue jewelry may be worn.
  • No heavy and/or excessive facial makeup is acceptable in the clinical area. No fake eyelashes may be worn.
  • Nails must be clean and well-manicured, no longer than the tip of the finger.
  • Only clear nail polish may be worn, No chipped polish, acrylic nails, or gel polish are permitted as outlined by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) for patient safety reasons.
  • Tattoos on the arms or neck may not be visible when in the clinical practice areas.
  • Student dress in the clinical practice areas outside of the hospital setting must be professional. No jeans, leggings, spandex, halter/tube tops, flip-flops, sandals, etc. Name pins must be worn.
  • To provide safe patient care, students may not have casts/orthopedic braces or assistive devices in the clinical practice areas. Students may have to withdraw from the course if an injury occurs during the semester.
  1. Electronic devices:

Unless expressly permitted by the faculty member, the use of cell phones and other electronic devices is forbidden in the classroom and in the clinical setting.  Several clinical agencies also have policies prohibiting employees and students from using personal phones, and smartwatches, including texting and cameras, in all areas where patients and visitors have access. Students are required to wear an analog watch during lab for NUR 230 and all clinical courses in the curriculum.

  1. Travel to Off-campus Clinical Sites:

Clinical learning experiences require students to travel to off-campus clinical agencies. Students are responsible for arranging their transportation to clinical sites.

  1. Curriculum Plan:

Matriculated BSN and ABSN students are expected to follow the recommended curriculum plan in a timely manner and in consultation with faculty advisors in order to progress toward their expected graduation date.

  1. Policy and Program Requirement Changes:

The Department of Nursing reserves the right to change policy and/or program requirements without prior notice in order to reflect changes in the professional field.

  1. REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION

In addition to the requirements for the nursing major, all students in the college follow the “pattern of degree Requirements” set out in the TCNJ Undergraduate Bulletin.  The minimum requirement for graduation is 32 course units. Satisfactory performance on comprehensive achievement assessments or examinations is required for progression and for graduation.  Based on scores achieved, students may be required to complete designated review activities and retesting.

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TCNJ's Department of Nursing is not accepting transfers into our four year traditional bachelor’s of science in nursing program at this time. We are accepting applications for the ABSN program for May 2025.Learn More
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