1 Academic Program Development 2614 University Hall (MC 10) 601 South Morgan Street Chicago, Illinois March 25, 2015 TO: FROM: Ilene Harris, Chair Senate Committee on Educational Policy Dana Wright, Director of Academic Program Development I am submitting for the information of the Senate Committee on Educational Policy the attached Proposal to Revise the Admission Requirements for the Registered Nurse / Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) Program. The proposal was approved by the College of Nursing Curriculum Committee on February 12, 2015 and the college faculty on February 27, ATTACHMENT
2 Title: Proposal to Revise the Admission Requirements for the Registered Nurse / Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) Program Sponsor: Office of Academic Programs, College of Nursing Executive Summary: Description: The College of Nursing through the School of Continuing Studies offers the RN-BSN Program which is designed for registered nurses who wish to pursue a bachelor s degree in nursing. The College proposes to revise the admission requirements for the Registered Nurse / Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) Program to eliminate organic/ biochemistry as an admission requirement and amend the requirement for a general chemistry course to allow for either introductory or general chemistry coursework. These changes reflect the current admission requirements for associate degree prepared registered nurses who are now pursuing bachelor s degrees in nursing (RN-BSN programs) across the nation. These changes are limited to the RN-BSN admission requirements and do not affect the admission requirements to the BSN program for pre-nursing students. The RN-BSN program offered by the College of Nursing through the School of Continuing Studies is designed for registered nurses pursuing higher education. Students who have graduated from a state-approved associate s degree in nursing (ADN) program and who hold a current license as registered progressional nurses receive semester hours of proficiency credit towards the BS in Nursing. UIC s RN-BSN curriculum is a nationally recognized online degree completion program consisting of 6 required courses (25 hours) and five hours of electives, totaling 0 credit hours. The remaining credits for the degree are comprised of proficiency credits, prerequisite requirements, and general education courses for a total of 120 credit hours, as summarized below. RN / BSN Program Requirements Proficieny Credits Pre-Nursing Studies (Prerequisite and General Education courses) RN-BSN Required Courses Total Hours RN / BSN Program hours 57 hours 0 hours 120 hours The College of Nursing does not admit first year students to the BSN program as there are two years of college-level prerequisite and General Education courses required. Students considering the traditional BSN or RN-BSN program can earn the pre-nursing coursework at UIC or other instituitions. Currently, RN-BSN students must meet the same admissions requirements as students applying for the traditional BSN program: they must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75/4.00, a natural science GPA of 2.50/4.00, and must complete the same pre-nursing coursework with a grade of C or higher. This pre-nursing coursework is summarized below. Courses ENGL 160 Academic Writing I: Writing for Academic and Public Contexts Hours 1
3 ENGL 161 Academic Writing II: Writing for Inquiry and Research BIOS 50 General Microbiology CHEM 112 General College Chemistry I 5 CHEM 10 Survey of Organic and Biochemistry 5 KN 251 Human Physiological Anatomy I 5 KN 252 Human Physiological Anatomy II 5 NUEL 250 Human Development across the Life Span HN 196 Nutrition Exploring World Cultures course Understanding the Creative Arts course Understanding the Individual and Society course Understanding the Past course Understanding U.S. Society course One -semester-hour, 200-level, upper-division course in the arts and sciences LAS electives Varies Total Pre-Nursing Studies 57 Two of the pre-nursing requirements for admission are 5 hours of general chemistry (CHEM 112) and 5 hours of organic/biochemistry (CHEM 10). These courses have been identified as perceived barriers for students considering admission to UIC s RN-BSN program. The College of Nursing proposes to revise the admission requirements to eliminate these barriers in order to remain a desirable program for individuals in a competitive market for this student population. Specifically, the organic/biochemistry requirement will be eliminated and students will be required to take at least 4 hours of introductory or general chemistry coursework that can be used to fulfill UIC s General Education requirement in the Analyzing the Natural World category: CHEM 100: Chemistry and Life (5 hrs); CHEM 105: Chemistry and the Molecular Human: An Inquiry Perspective (4 hrs); CHEM 112: General College Chemistry I (5 hrs); CHEM 116: Honors General Chemistry I (5hrs). Students who have taken more advanced chemistry courses (CHEM 114: General College Chemistry II, CHEM 118: Honors General Chemistry II, or CHEM 10: Survey of Organic and Biochemistry) can use these courses to fulfil the chemistry admission requirement. Students applying for the traditional BSN program would still be required to complete both general chemistry and organic chemistry, for reasons highlighted in the justification section below. Justification: The Institute of Medicine s Future of Nursing (2010) report has called for seamless pathways to nursing education. However, unnecessary admission requirements can serve as barriers to students pursuing additional education, especially among practicing registered nurses. Requiring organic chemistry and general chemistry for admission creates needless actual and perceived barriers to prospective students, especially underrepresented students, applying to and enrolling in our highly ranked RN-BSN degree program. As a result, prospective students choose to pursue their degree elsewhere among programs that do not have these chemistry courses as a part of their admission requirements. Proposed Elimination of Organic Chemistry Comparison of the top 15 peer institutions (garnered from NIH rankings) and top 20 competitors (N = 5) in nursing shows that none of them require organic chemistry for admission to RN-BSN programs. While some still require a general chemistry course, it tends not to be as advanced as UIC s General Chemistry requirement. Given that other quality programs, and some less rigorous programs, do not require both organic and general 2
4 chemistry courses, students elect these programs over the additional tuition costs and time needed to complete the requirements for acceptance into UIC s RN-BSN Program. Even students whose first choice is UIC opt for other programs. It is also important to note that additional time is not just a matter of inconvenience. More associate degree prepared registered nurses are finding that they cannot be employed until they are enrolled in a BSN degree program. Therefore the longer it takes for them to be accepted to our program, the longer it may take to become eligible for employment. Organic and general chemistry are deemed requisite content to support biological science and clinical nursing courses such as pathophysiology and pharmacology, and the technical, clinical content for individuals who are completing courses to become registered nurses. Therefore chemistry courses remain appropriate for a student audience that has not already studied this material. In contrast, RN-BSN students are registered nurses who have already demonstrated this knowledge through successful completion of the licensure exam to become registered nurses (NCLEX). The UIC RN-BSN program teaches advanced concepts, theory, processes, and evidence, beyond the technical, clinical component of nursing. Beyond NURS 210 Health Assessment, students do not study any further clinical skills or bioscience courses in the RN-BSN program. Their clinical nursing education, nursing licensure, and nursing practice are recognized by UIC through the granting of proficiency credits, which appear on the student s UIC transcript for the following courses. NURS 215 Pathophysiology and Applied Pharmacology I 4 CR NURS 217 Pathophysiology and Applied Pharmacology II CR NURS 225 Introduction to Clinical Concepts and Processes 5 CR NURS 5 Clinical Concepts and Processes in Adult Heath 6 CR NURS 45 Clinical Concepts and Processes in Women s and Family Health 5 CR NURS 55 Clinical Concepts and Processes in Children s and Family Health 5 CR NURS 65 Clinical Concepts and Processes in Mental Health 5 CR Proposed Change in General Chemistry Requirement Currently, applicants to the RN-BSN online degree completion program must complete a General Chemistry course equivalent to CHEM 112. However, among the 5 institutions reviewed that require a general chemistry (some required no chemistry), the equivalent of an introductory chemistry course, such as UIC s CHEM 100 is acceptable. UIC s General Chemistry (CHEM 112) course is more advanced than what other institutions require. Therefore, trying to match it creates a situation where a prospective student for UIC s RN- BSN program, who does have an Introductory Chemistry course on their college transcript must take yet another chemistry course in order to meet our General Chemistry requirement. In almost all cases, assoicate degree prepared nursing students have had an Introductory Chemisty course because it was a prerequisite for their required courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and nutrition. In order to prevent unnecessary duplication of coursework, the College proposes that students who have completed an introductory, general or more advanced chemistry course equivalent to UIC s CHEM 100, 105, 112, 114, 116, 118 or 10 will meet the chemistry requirement for admission. These chemistry courses were selected because they fulfill UIC s General Education requirement for Analyzing the Natural World.
5 Catalog Statement: Current Catalog Statements Admission Requrements Students applying to the BSN program must meet the following minimum requirements: /4.00 cumulative transfer grade point average /4.00 natural science grade point average. Completion of all pre-nursing course work (see Course Requirements Pre-Nursing Studies) with a grade of C or higher prior to enrollment. Proposed Catalog Statements Pre-nursing course work can be completed at UIC through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or at another college or university. For information on course equivalencies for various colleges in Illinois, consult the UIC transfer guides at In addition, all students will be required to have a background check and drug test upon admission. If the results of either requirement indicate that a student would not be eligible for placement at the college s practicum agencies, the student s admission will be rescinded. RN/BSN Program In addition to meeting the admission requirements listed above, students applying to the RN/BSN program must have a current RN license. Students who apply for admission directly from a nonbaccalaureate nursing program must take the NCLEX-RN licensure examination at the first opportunity after graduation and present the RN license to the college prior to enrollment. Failure to pass the NCLEX-RN examination will result in cancellation of admission. Students who have graduated from a stateapproved associate s degree in nursing (ADN) program and who hold a current license as registered professional nurse will receive semester hours of proficiency credit. The credit will be awarded upon successful completion of NURS 210 and 4
6 NURS 242 in the RN/BSN program. Course Requirements Pre-Nursing Studies Courses Hours ENGL 160 Academic Writing I: Writing for Academic and Public Contexts ENGL 161 Academic Writing II: Writing for Inquiry and Research BIOS 50 General Microbiology a CHEM 112 General College Chemistry I b 5 CHEM 10 Survey of Organic and Biochemistry b 5 KN 251 Human Physiological Anatomy I 5 KN 252 Human Physiological Anatomy II 5 NUEL 250 Human Development across the Life Span HN 196 Nutrition Exploring World Cultures course c Understanding the Creative Arts course c Understanding the Individual and Society course cd Understanding the Past course c Understanding U.S. Society course cd One -semester-hour, 200-level, upperdivision course in the arts and sciences ef LAS electives Varies Total Pre-Nursing Studies 57 a BIOS 100 is a prerequisite for this course. b This course is approved for the Analyzing the Natural World General Education category. c Students should consult the General Education section of the catalog for a list of approved courses in this category. d For the Understanding the Individual and Society requirement, PSCH 100 Introduction to Psychology is recommended; for the Understanding U.S. Society requirement, SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology is recommended. e This requirement may be completed after admission to the BSN program. f Students may choose a course from one of these categories: physical sciences, life sciences, mathematical sciences, social sciences, fine arts, performing arts, or humanities. Course Requirements Pre-Nursing Studies Courses Hours ENGL 160 Academic Writing I: Writing for Academic and Public Contexts ENGL 161 Academic Writing II: Writing for Inquiry and Research BIOS 50 General Microbiology a CHEM 112 General College Chemistry I bg 5 CHEM 10 Survey of Organic and Biochemistry bg 5 KN 251 Human Physiological 5 Anatomy I KN 252 Human Physiological 5 Anatomy II NUEL 250 Human Development across the Life Span HN 196 Nutrition Exploring World Cultures course c Understanding the Creative Arts course c Understanding the Individual and Society course cd Understanding the Past course c Understanding U.S. Society course cd One -semester-hour, 200-level, upperdivision course in the arts and sciences ef LAS electives Varies Total Pre-Nursing Studies 57 a BIOS 100 is a prerequisite for this course. b This course is approved for the Analyzing the Natural World General Education category. c Students should consult the General Education section of the catalog for a list of approved courses in this category. d For the Understanding the Individual and Society requirement, PSCH 100 Introduction to Psychology is recommended; for the Understanding U.S. Society requirement, SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology is recommended. e This requirement may be completed after admission to the BSN program. f Students may choose a course from one of these categories: physical sciences, life sciences, mathematical sciences, social sciences, fine arts, performing arts, or humanities. g Students applying for the RN/BSN Program are required to take a total of 4-5 hours of chemistry. This requirement can be fulfilled by taking any of the following UIC courses which are approved for the Analyzing the Natural World General Education category: CHEM 100, CHEM 105, CHEM 112, CHEM 114, CHEM 116, CHEM 118, or CHEM 10. 5
7 Course Requirements in the College of Nursing: RN/BSN Required Courses Hours NURS 210 Health Assessment NURS 242 Concepts and Processes for Contemporary 4 Nursing Practice NURS 22 Introduction to Nursing Research and Statistics for 4 Evidence-Based Practice NURS 85 Clinical Concepts and Processes in Population-Focused 5 Nursing NURS 90 Nursing Leadership 6 and Management in Healthcare NURS 97 Issues in Nursing Practice Nursing Electives 5 Total Hours Course Requirements in the College of 0 Nursing: RN/BSN Minority Impact Statement: Budgetary and Staff Implications: Library Resource Implications: The proposed changes in admission requirements will allow the College of Nursing to reduce perceived barriers for students applying to the RN-BSN degree completion program, especially those from underrepresented groups. Both minority and non-minority prospective RN-BSN student will be positively affected by these changes. Removing these barriers should allow the RN-BSN to be more desirable, resulting in an increase in enrollment. While an increase will have budgetary and staff implications, these will be positive. As an online program, there is sufficient capacity allowance that can handle an enrollment increase. No additional library resources are needed. Current library resources are sufficient. Space Implications: There will be no impact on space. Unit (e.g. department) approval date: College (educational policy committee, faculty) approval dates: College Curriculum Committee Approval Date February 12, 2015 College of Nursing Faculty Approval February 27,
8 Contact Person: Proposed Effective Date/Term: Linda D. Scott, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Nursing Fall
University of Illinois at Chicago 1 College of Nursing Contact Information: Campus Location: 118 College of Nursing (NURS) (312) 996-7800 www.uic.edu/nursing Administration: Dean, Terri E. Weaver 102 NURS
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