1 1 STANDARD I PROGRAM QUALITY: MISSION AND GOVERNANCE The mission, goals, and expected aggregate student and faculty outcomes are congruent with those of the parent institution, reflect professional nursing standards and guidelines, and consider the needs and expectations of the community of interest. Policies of the parent institution and nursing program clearly support the program s mission, goals, and expected outcomes. The faculty and students of the program are involved in the governance of the program and in the ongoing efforts to improve program quality. Key Elements I-A. The mission, goals, and expected student outcomes are congruent with those of the parent institution and consistent with relevant professional nursing standards and guidelines for the preparation of nursing professionals. Elaboration: The program s mission statement, goals, and expected student outcomes are written and accessible to current and prospective students. A mission statement may relate to all nursing programs offered by the nursing unit or specific programs may have separate mission statements. Program goals are clearly differentiated by level when multiple degree programs exist. Expected student outcomes are clear and may be expressed as competencies, objectives, benchmarks, or other language congruent with institutional and program norms. The program identifies the professional nursing standards and guidelines it uses, including those required by CCNE and any additional program-selected guidelines. A program preparing students for specialty certification incorporates professional standards and guidelines appropriate to the specialty area. A program may select additional standards and guidelines (e.g., state regulatory requirements), as appropriate. Compliance with required and program-selected professional nursing standards and guidelines is clearly evident in the program. Program Response: The mission of the Auburn Montgomery School of Nursing (AUMSON) is written, based on and congruent with the mission of Auburn Montgomery (AUM). The mission of Auburn Montgomery, the metropolitan campus of Auburn University, is to foster and exemplify excellence in education through instruction, research, and service. The mission statement was approved in September 1989, revised in 2007 and reaffirmed in June Auburn Montgomery blends the traditional view of the University as a community of scholars with the contemporary view of the University as an integral part of the surrounding community, state, and region. The academic programs of AUM are consistent with the
2 2 finest traditions of scholarship and provide support for governmental functions, regional economic growth and cultural enrichment. The complete mission statement of the University can be found at The mission of AUM is to serve the citizens of the State through its instruction, research and service programs. The university provides traditional and non-traditional students broad access to the institution s educational resources. Auburn Montgomery is committed to offering high-quality undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The university emphasizes a broad and superior undergraduate education that imparts the knowledge, skills and values so essential to educated and responsible citizens. Auburn Montgomery is committed to excellence in teaching. This commitment has long been reflected in the diversity of course offerings and in the variety of instructional approaches that are offered. Auburn Montgomery offers over 90 academic programs. Research is the means through which new knowledge is created and new information is developed. As such, research at Auburn Montgomery is an important element in the tripartite mission of instruction, research and service. The primary focus of research is directed to the solution of problems and discovery of the best evidence to improve the quality of life for Alabama citizens. The mission of the university Research Council is to promote research and innovative endeavors across all disciplines. The commitment to this mission is reflected by the following actions of the Research Council: Distinguished Research Professor Award, Research Grant-in-Aid, Research Equipment Improvement Grant-in-Aid, Faculty Research Conference Fee, Faculty Research Publication Fee, and Student Research Fellowship. The research efforts of AUM create a research environment that enhances the state s economic, cultural, social, and intellectual development while also supporting the university s undergraduate, graduate and outreach programs. Service is a major component of Auburn Montgomery s mission. A major service provider is Auburn Montgomery Outreach which includes six divisions; Alabama Training Institute, Center for Advanced Technologies, Center for Business and Economic Development, Center for Demographic Research, Center for Government and Public Affairs and the Division of Continuing Education. Services are offered to individuals, organizations, and the community in an effort to enhance productivity and quality of life for the citizens of Alabama. The School of Nursing offers a traditional baccalaureate track and an Educational Advancement for Registered Nurses (EARN) track (RN to BSN), which have the same mission and expected outcomes. The mission of the School of Nursing is to foster and exemplify excellence in teaching, service and research. The program prepares professional nurses to provide patient-centered, culturally competent, evidence based care for diverse populations in a dynamic health care environment. Baccalaureate graduates are ready to assume leadership roles in the provision of nursing care in all health care settings.
3 3 Master s graduates are ready to lead in educator and advanced practice nurse roles in health related services to diverse populations. The AUMSON mission statement is published in the AUMSON Faculty Handbook and the AUMSON Nursing Student Handbook (located in the Resource Room). An electronic version of the AUMSON Nursing Student Handbook is also located at As indicated in their mission statements, both the SON and the university are committed to service to Alabama and the nation through instruction, research and service. Consistency of Essentials of Baccalaureate Education Guidelines, AUMSON Goals and Expected Outcomes The goals and expected outcomes of AUMSON are written and congruent with those of AUM and consistent with the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 2008). To achieve the mission of the School of Nursing and the University, faculty have developed a conceptual framework that identifies and defines six skills area (communication and collaboration, critical thinking and clinical judgment in clinical practice, scholarship for evidence based practice, clinical prevention and population health, diversity, and leadership) that are essential to the practice of professional nursing. These skills areas are described in detail in the SON conceptual framework (Appendix A) and are also included in the SON Faculty Handbook and SON Student Handbook. Abbreviated definitions are included below. Communication and collaboration skills of nursing include competencies necessary to deliver patient-centered care. Professional nursing practice requires communication and collaboration among health care professionals based on an understanding of principles of effective communication, patientcentered client teaching, organizational communication and conflict resolution. Application of technology skills is an essential part of communication. Critical thinking and clinical judgment are skills that employ the processes of inquiry, analysis and application to prepare graduates for team work, interprofessional problem solving and patientcentered care. Critical thinking is the process; clinical judgment is the outcome. Ethics and caring are integral parts of critical thinking and clinical judgment, guiding the application of evidence-based knowledge in clinical practice. Scholarship for evidence-based practice fosters patient-centered care that utilizes technology and research in conjunction with clinical expertise and patient values for optimal care. Professional nurses integrate evidence to inform practice, make clinical judgments, and use legal and ethical precepts to safeguard the rights of patients. Clinical prevention and population health skills focus on health promotion, disease prevention, early diagnosis, and disease management throughout the lifespan to maximize health at the individual,
4 4 family and population levels. Clinical prevention refers to individually focused interventions to prevent escalation of diseases. Population focused nursing includes groups, communities or populations as units of care. Nursing of populations is the domain of professional nursing and includes prioritizing primary prevention, reaching out to those who would benefit from service and activating resources for best overall health outcomes for populations. Diversity skills consist of a wide range of knowledge, skills and attitudes including cultural awareness, humility, sensitivity and competency. Diversity includes factors such as age, race, gender, disability, ethnicity, nationality, religious and spiritual beliefs, sexual orientation, political beliefs, economic status, native language, and geographical background. Professional nursing requires an awareness of the unity of body, mind, and spirit, as well as one s own thoughts, feelings and values in cultivating an appreciation for diversity. Leadership skills include ethical and critical decision making, mutually respectful communication and collaboration, care coordination, delegation, team building and conflict resolution. These skills are built on an awareness of complex systems and the impact of power, politics, policy, and regulatory guidelines on these systems. At a complex level, professional nurses are involved in analysis of systems to build strengths and identify factors contributing to less than optimal population outcomes. Moreover, professional nurses practice at the microsystem level within a constantly changing health care system. Professional nurses apply quality improvement concepts to minimize risk of harm to patients and providers within a systems framework increasing the likelihood of quality outcomes. As described in the preceding paragraphs, the conceptual framework is formed from and informed by the mission of AUM and AUMSON and the Essentials Document (AACN, 2008). Flowing directly from the conceptual framework are the goals/expected outcomes (Curricular Outcomes) of AUMSON. There are Curricular Outcomes for each skills area. The Curricular Outcomes are included in Appendix B and are published in the SON faculty handbook and in the SON student handbook. The Curricular Outcomes drive the advancement of the program by guiding curriculum development and implementation. This process will be described in Standard III. The Curricular Outcomes also guide continuous program improvement and are described in Standard IV. Table I.A.1. illustrates the congruence of the AUM/AUMSON missions, the AUMSON outcome objectives and the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education Document. A table illustrating congruence between the AUM Strategic Goals, SON Strategic Goals, Curricular Outcomes and the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education Document can be found in the Resource Room.
5 5 Table I.A.1. Congruence of the AUM/AUMSON missions, the AUMSON outcome objectives and the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education AUM Mission AUMSON Mission Essentials Document AUMSON Expected Outcomes (abbreviated) Instruction Developing in its students the methodological approaches essential to fostering critical thinking. I. Liberal education for baccalaureate generalist nursing practice VII. Clinical prevention and population health ready to assume leadership roles in the provision of nursing care in all health care settings. prepares professional nurses to provide care for diverse populations in a dynamic health care environment. VIII. Professionalism and professional values Critical Thinking and Clinical Judgment in Practice 3. Demonstrate clinical judgment grounded in theories and concepts from liberal and nursing education in the delivery of care. 4. Exhibit ethics, caring and accountability. Diversity Skills 10. Incorporates holistic assessments, awareness of values in care of diverse and vulnerable populations. Communication and Collaboration 2. Use information technologies to promote high quality patient outcomes within microsystems and greater healthcare systems. Leadership Skills 11. Demonstrate ethical and critical decision making skills. Research programs that are characteristic of the finest traditions of scholarship Conducting research that contributes to the advancement of knowledge foster and exemplify excellence in research prepares professional nurses to provide evidencebased care. III. Scholarship for Evidence-Based Practice IV. Professionalism and Professional Values Scholarship for Evidence-Based Practice 5. Implement evidence-based interventions to promote health, prevent disease and manage care. 6. Demonstrate consistent selfreflection techniques to identify learning needs. Diversity Skills 9. Demonstrate a wide range of knowledge, skills, and attitudes including cultural awareness, humility, sensitivity and competency Leadership Skills 11. Demonstrate ethical and critical decision making skills. Communication and Collaboration Skills 2. Use information technologies to promote high quality patient outcomes within microsystems and greater health care systems.
6 6 Service integral part of the surrounding community, state, and region. foster and exemplify excellence in service/outreach II. Basic Organization and Systems Leadership for Quality Care and Patient Safety Communication and Collaboration Skills 1. Collaborate and communicate effectively to ensure high quality outcomes. responsibility of the University to provide support for the functions of government, regional economic growth and cultural enrichment providing students with an understanding of the issues, ideas, and values that have a significant impact on the development of society Prepares professional nurses to provide patientcentered, culturally competent care (provides) care for diverse populations in all health care settings. Baccalaureate graduates are ready to assume leadership roles in all health care settings. IV. Information Management and Application of Patient Care Technology V. Health Care Policy Finance and Regulatory Environment VI. Interprofessional Communication and Collaboration for Improving Patient Health Outcomes 2. Use information technologies to promote high quality patient outcomes within microsystems and greater healthcare systems. Leadership Skills 12. Facilitate patient-centered transitions of care. 13. Coordinate and manage care for diverse individuals, families, groups and populations. 14. Demonstrate an understanding of the complex factors affecting health care including local, national, and global trends on equitable care of vulnerable populations. understanding contemporary society VII. Clinical Prevention and Population Health Clinical Prevention and Population Health 7. Implement patient-centered care emphasizing health promotion and disease prevention to individuals, families and populations. 8. Use clinical judgment with attention to effectiveness, efficacy, and equality in providing nursing care. I-B. The mission, goals, and expected student outcomes are reviewed periodically and revised, as appropriate, to reflect: professional nursing standards and guidelines; and the needs and expectations of the community of interest. Elaboration: There is a defined process for periodic review and revision of program mission, goals, and expected student outcomes. The review process has been implemented and resultant action reflects professional nursing standards and guidelines. The community of interest is defined by the nursing unit. The needs and expectations of the community of interest are reflected in the mission, goals, and expected student outcomes. Input from the community of interest is used to foster program improvement. The
7 7 program afforded the community of interest the opportunity to submit third-party comments to CCNE, in accordance with accreditation procedures. Program Response: The Evaluation Plan outlines the process for reviewing and revising the mission, goals, and student outcomes to ensure that professional nursing standards and the community of interest are reflected and can be found in the Standard One Notebook in the Resource Room. The mission and expected outcomes of the program are reviewed and revised at least annually by the Curriculum Oversight and Program Evaluation (COPE) Committee. In addition to the annual review, reviews and revisions are made as appropriate. For example, in the academic year , the dean appointed an ad hoc committee to develop a new undergraduate curriculum based on the new Essentials of Baccalaureate Education. During this process the mission was revised and received unanimous faculty approval in August of To ensure that the mission, goals and expected outcomes reflect the needs of the communities of interest, AUMSON works closely with groups identified as our community. The communities of interest described in this section include students, graduates, community members, employers of graduates and the Alabama Board of Nursing (ABON). Feedback from the community of interest is solicited on an ongoing basis formally and informally. The feedback is discussed and acted on by appropriate groups such as the Dean s Advisory Council, Faculty Council and the COPE Committee. Input from faculty and students as a community of interest will be addressed in I-D. Additional information about how input from the community of interest is utilized in the teaching-learning practices is described in III-E. In an effort to formalize input from our community, two advisory boards have been formed and meet at least semiannually. The Clinical Advisory Board consists of representatives from clinical agencies in the area where students have clinical experiences and/or graduates are employed. The Community Advisory Board includes community members from the Auburn and Montgomery areas that have a special interest in the SON, including alumni, and are health care consumers. Minutes from these advisory board meetings reflect input from these groups in accomplishing our expected outcomes. For example, the Clinical Advisory Board identified the need for preceptors in their agencies to receive more feedback from AUMSON and the need for graduates to be more aware of bedside nurses role in reimbursement and nurse sensitive core measures. They also expressed an interest in having some of their nurse managers and other staff present course content based on their areas of expertise. A plan of action related to this feedback was implemented in Spring The course leader of the preceptorship course established regular communication with the preceptors in addition to regular phones calls and site visits in the local area. Reimbursement issues including a presentation from a hospital administrator from the community was included in NURS 4810 Professional Nursing Leadership in Microsystems (Fall, 2011). A nurse manager from the community discussed development of a budget for a nursing unit. Core
8 8 measures are included as a component of NURS 4810 as a part of the discussion related to The Joint Commission. A risk manager from one of the local hospitals was the guest speaker. Additionally, for the past three years, faculty have provided on-site preceptorship workshops at two of the local hospitals and presented the workshop at the Alabama State Nurses Association annual Faculty and Clinical Education Session (FACES) and state convention. In January 2012, letters were mailed to all members of the Community Advisory Board, the Clinical Advisory Board and other affiliates of the School of Nursing asking for written comments to be submitted to CCNE before March 1, A notification was also posted on the AUM website asking for anyone interested to submit comments as well. A copy of the letter, along with a list of those receiving the letter, can be found in the Resource Room. In order to meet the needs of students, faculty continually improve and advance the program with reviews at the end of each semester in addition to a detailed annual review and ongoing evaluation of the entire program. These reviews include student and faculty evaluation of courses, instructors and clinical sites. Comprehensive assessment of curriculum and teaching learning practices are described in III.G. Students provide input through membership on the Faculty Council and Student Affairs committees. The Dean meets periodically with the SON council which is composed of elected officers from each class and Auburn Montgomery Association of Nursing Students (AUMANS). Input from AUMSON graduates is gathered through the exit survey at the time of graduation. Input from the Alabama Board of Nursing (ABON) is evidenced in two ways. First, the Dean and/or Associate Dean meet with the Alabama Council of Deans and Directors of Professional Schools of Nursing twice a year. The Executive Director and Education Consultant from the ABON are invited members of this group and routinely give a presentation and respond to questions. For example, minutes from the October 19, 2011 COPE meeting reflect updates to the Course Summary form based on information gained from the ABON at the October meeting of the Alabama Council of Deans and Directors of Professional Schools of Nursing. The second way in which input from the ABON is utilized by AUMSON is through adherence to guidelines for Nursing Education Programs set forth by the ABON in the Administrative Code Chapter 610-X-3 (available in the Resource Room). Table I.B.1 includes selected Standards from the ABON Nursing Education Programs Administrative Code and examples of AUMSON s compliance with the code.
9 9 Table I.B.1 Examples of AUMSON s Compliance with Alabama Board of Nursing Education Program s Administrative Code Standards from ABON Administrative Code 610-X (3) The governing institution shall provide financial support and resources sufficient to meet the outcomes of the nursing education program. Resources include, but are not limited to: (a) Financial; (b) Educational facilities; (c) Equipment; (d) Learning aids; (e) Technology; (f) Administrative, instructional, and support personnel. (7) The governing institution and nursing program administrator shall provide sufficient numbers of qualified faculty to assure that curriculum implementation and expected program outcomes are achieved. Minimum qualifications of nurse faculty shall include: (a) an active unencumbered Alabama registered nurse license. (b) at least one graduate degree in nursing or health-related field. (c) be academically and experientially qualified to teach in the area assigned. (6) A nursing education program shall be administered by a qualified program administrator who is accountable for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the program. Minimum qualifications of a nursing program administrator shall include: (a) an active unencumbered Alabama registered nurse license. (b) a master s or higher degree in nursing. (c) be academically and experientially qualified to administer a nursing program. (d) prior experience in nursing education and nursing practice. (9) Faculty are accountable for curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation. 610-X (3) Programs shall adhere to their written plan for the systemic evaluation of the total program that is comprehensive, demonstrates ongoing evaluation, based on program outcomes and incorporates continuous improvement. Location of Documentation of AUMSON s Compliance Within This Document Standard II.A,B,D,E,F Standard II. D Standard IV. E Standard II.C Standard III.A,B,C,D,E,F Standard III.G Standard IV. A,B,C,D,F I-C. Expected faculty outcomes in teaching, scholarship, service, and practice are congruent with the mission, goals, and expected student outcomes.
10 10 Elaboration: Expected faculty outcomes are clearly identified by the nursing unit, are written, and are communicated to the faculty. Expected faculty outcomes are congruent with those of the parent institution. Program Response: Faculty roles in teaching, service and research are clearly identified in the mission of AUMSON and linked to AUM s mission. The Auburn University Montgomery Faculty Handbook details expectations for faculty in terms of promotion and tenure. The University Faculty Handbook is accessible at Faculty Senate is the group responsible for the handbook and the School of Nursing has a faculty member serving on the Faculty Handbook ad hoc committee which is currently making revisions. In the SON there are two instruments, which are based on principles related to faculty performance, promotion and tenure in the AUM Faculty Handbook, that assist in guiding and evaluating faculty performance and outcomes. Faculty are evaluated by the Faculty Annual Evaluation or FAE (Appendix C) instrument by the Dean. This instrument was jointly developed by administration and faculty and approved by the entire faculty in April 2009 with minor revisions in April The instrument explicitly defines outcomes for faculty in each of the mission areas: teaching, scholarly activity/professional development and service. Behaviors in five different levels ranging from weak to outstanding are defined for each area. All faculty must perform at the expected level to build their cases for promotion and/or tenure. Additionally, a Third Year Review process is in place for tenure track faculty to assess progress toward tenure. Congruent with the FAE instrument is the Workload Policy Statement (Appendix D) which was approved in February Generally, workload is distributed among the major mission areas by percentage over the academic year. Another consideration is whether faculty have a 9-month or 12-month appointment. The typical workload for tenure track faculty is 65% teaching, 20% scholarship, and 15% service. For clinical track faculty, the workload is generally 80% teaching, 10% scholarship, and 10% service. The School of Nursing was one of the first schools on campus to develop specific SON Promotion and Tenure Guidelines in February This document (Appendix E) specifies criteria for promotion to each rank in the tenure and clinical tracks. Using the explicit behaviors required for expected performance in the FAE instrument and the Promotion and Tenure Guidelines, combined with the workload policy, faculty outcomes are clear, congruent with the mission and goals and assure that human resources are sufficient to meet expected student outcomes. I-D. Faculty and students participate in program governance. Elaboration: Roles of the faculty and students in the governance of the program, including those involved in distance education, are clearly defined and promote participation.
11 11 Program Response: The roles of faculty and students in the governance of the program are detailed in the Constitution of the Faculty Council found in the AUMSON Faculty Handbook. The bylaws of the AUMSON Faculty Council state that the functions include: (a) Make decisions, which will facilitate achievement of the goals and outcomes of the School of Nursing (b) Provide a means of sharing information with peers, students, and administration (c) Implement a plan of ongoing program evaluation and revise as appropriate (d) Formulate policies within the framework of the outcomes and purposes of Auburn Montgomery (e) Act on the recommendation of all School of Nursing committees. School of Nursing faculty attend monthly Faculty Council meetings during the academic year. Standing committees for the undergraduate program of the Faculty Council are Curriculum Oversight and Program Evaluation (COPE), Instructional Technology, Student Affairs, Admissions and Promotions, and Scholarship and Awards. Standing committees meet at least once a semester and committee reports are included at the monthly meetings of the Faculty Council. All committee minutes are available in the School of Nursing Committee Minutes course located in Blackboard. The Associate Dean appoints faculty to the standing committees, based as much as possible on faculty preference and expertise. The Dean s Advisory Committee is an ad hoc committee appointed by the Dean and includes the Associate Dean, the coordinator of the Educational Advancement for Registered Nurses (EARN) program, a tenured faculty, a non-tenured faculty and a clinical track faculty. This committee functions in an advisory role to the Dean including budgetary matters. The functions and membership of each committee can be found in the Faculty Handbook located in the resource room. Committee appointments will be reflected in faculty vitas which are also located in the Resource Room. Ad hoc committees are formed as the needs arise. For example, the COPE committee appointed an ad hoc committee to review and update the Clinical Practice Policy which was approved at the September 16, 2011 Faculty Council Meeting. In summary, faculty have opportunities for input into the program at Faculty Council meetings, committee meetings and the annual evaluation retreat. Faculty are also encouraged to send written requests to the appropriate committee when a concern or issue arises. For example, the COPE minutes from November 19, 2009 reflect a called meeting to discuss a special request from faculty related to a one-time exception for a grading policy. Other minutes reflect faculty discussion and vote on academic policies. For example, the Faculty Council Meeting minutes of July 16, 2010 reflect an extensive discussion and faculty vote related to changing the external testing program as well as the minimum course grade coming from exams. Faculty also play an active role in the SON strategic plan. For example, the minutes of April 15, 2011 reflect updates and clarifications of the plan. School of Nursing faculty participate in University governance with at least one representative on every university committee. The Standard II notebook in the resource room includes a list of faculty university committee service. The
12 12 School of Nursing has two representatives on the university Faculty Senate and a third faculty is serving as parliamentarian. Currently, a School of Nursing faculty represents Auburn Montgomery at the Auburn Board of Trustees meetings. Students from each traditional and EARN cohort serve on the Faculty Council and the Student Affairs Committee as non-voting members. Faculty and students are deeply and directly involved in the governance of the program and ongoing efforts to improve program quality. For example, the COPE Minutes from September 7, 2011 reflect a discussion of issues and ideas voiced by several students. The Faculty Council minutes from September 16, 2011 reflect the decision to develop alternative activities for students who are financially unable to attend out of town conferences. Input from students evaluations of courses are reviewed at the biannual evaluation retreat and curricular revisions are made if appropriate. The EARN program is offered as either hybrid or online and the EARN coordinator is in contact with all students at least weekly via and/or Wimba. The class president s both cohorts related to matters of concern. I-E. Documents and publications are accurate. References to the program s offerings, outcomes, accreditation/approval status, academic calendar, recruitment and admission policies, transfer of credit policies, grading policies, degree completion requirements, tuition, and fees are accurate. Elaboration: A process is used to notify constituents about changes in documents and publications. Information regarding licensure and/or certification examinations for which graduates will be eligible is accurate. Program Response: The Auburn Montgomery Undergraduate Catalog is the primary source for general information about the university s offerings, outcomes, accreditation/approval status, academic calendar, admission policies, grading policies, degree completion requirements, tuition and fees. Students can access the catalog online at More specific information about SON courses, grading policies and outcomes are in the AUMSON Student Handbook and every course syllabus. Each traditional student receives this handbook in Nurs 2020 Professional Nursing: The Foundations of Health Care and it is also available online at Students in the EARN program also have access to the handbook at the website listed above. The EARN coordinator disseminates the handbook during hybrid orientation and through webcasting for the online cohort. The academic advisor s office generates information packets (Resource Room) to distribute to potential students that provide concise information about each program and also oversees the information on the AUMSON web site at related to admission requirements.
13 13 The requirements and information specific to the EARN track can be found at All interested applicants are referred to the EARN coordinator and the academic advisor. Annual and ongoing review for accuracy of SON publications takes place in several ways. For example, the COPE Committee reviews the AUMSON Student Handbook annually and makes revisions as appropriate. If any changes are made between annual revisions, updated information is placed in students boxes with instructions to update their copy of the handbook. For example, at the September 2011 Faculty Council meeting, revisions to the Clinical Practice Policy were approved with an implementation date of January Copies of the new policy were placed in student boxes in November (see Faculty Council Minutes of September 16, 2011 in the resource room). Admission to pre-nursing at Auburn Montgomery is congruent with admission to other schools at the university. Pre-nursing students apply to the professional program at the junior level after completion of lower division courses, generally at the end of the sophomore year. Admission to the traditional Professional Program in the SON is competitive, based on an objective formula including pre-nursing grade point average, hours at AUM and interview scores. The criteria are included on the SON website, in the pre-nursing student handbook which can be accessed online at and in the orientation packet given to every pre-nursing major at freshman orientation. The academic advisor also encourages every pre-nursing major to make an advising appointment each semester to review progress toward achieving admission. Interviews are granted to the top students in the applicant pool and typically twice the number of students we plan to admit are interviewed. Applicants with the highest scores according to the formula are admitted to the professional program. Admission to the EARN program is based on GPA and completion of prerequisites. Students must possess a 2.5 grade point average in order to be considered for admission into the SON; however, average GPA of successful applicants is generally 3.3. AUMSON tends to attract a diverse population as reflected in Table IV.A.4. Beginning in the Fall of 2010, the SON implemented a new curriculum and twice a year admission for the traditional track. The twice a year admission was designed in part to increase enrollment in the traditional track in light of the high demand for the major. The SON actively began communicating this change via to all pre-nursing majors, on the AUMSON website and through presentations at the Community Advisory Board and the Clinical Advisory Board meetings. The AUM Catalog includes information related to twice a year admissions and application deadlines. Upon entering the upper division, all students in the traditional program are required to successfully complete NURS 2020 Professional Nursing: The Foundation of Health Care. During this course, the SON Student Handbook which includes admission, retention and progression policies and
14 14 procedures is discussed at length. All course syllabi (Resource Room) include the following statement, For successful completion of the course students are expected to adhere to policies, guidelines and codes in the Auburn University Montgomery Undergraduate Catalog, the AUMANAC, Auburn University Montgomery Student Handbook and the Auburn University Montgomery School of Nursing Handbook. Students are admitted to the EARN program in the summer of each year. The program can be completed in three semesters if a student is attending full time. For students desiring a part time option, the EARN coordinator collaborates with the student to develop an individualized plan of completion. Students must complete all course work within 5 years. Progression policies are outlined in detail in the SON Student Handbook and are consistent with the faculty s belief that competency is to be validated formatively and summatively on a regular basis. In order to progress in sequence, students in the traditional track must maintain a C in all coursework, an average of 73% on objective examinations, papers/projects, and clinical assignments and a satisfactory in clinical experiences. Students who do not achieve an acceptable level must meet with the out-of-sequence coordinator to develop a plan and submit a letter of intent to return to the program to the dean. Students in the EARN program must maintain a grade of C or higher to progress. Any student who is unsuccessful in more than one nursing course at any point in the curriculum is not allowed to continue in the SON. In order to prepare for NCLEX, students are required to engage in a sequential evaluation program that assists identifying strengths and weaknesses in their knowledge base. Students are required to take Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) specialty exams in several areas including fundamentals, assessment, pharmacology, pediatrics, mental health, maternity, community, and medical-surgical nursing. These specialty exams are integrated at appropriate points in the curriculum and constitute 5-20% of the course grade. The new ATI Specialty Course Proctored Assessment Policy recommends that the ATI specialty exams comprise 10% of the specialty course grade. Students scoring below the required score must complete an individualized remediation. Minutes of the November 15, 2011 Faculty Council Meeting reflect the updated policy. I-F. Academic policies of the parent institution and the nursing program are congruent. These policies support achievement of the mission, goals, and expected student outcomes. These policies are fair, equitable, and published and are reviewed and revised as necessary to foster program improvement. These policies include, but are not limited to, those related to student recruitment, admission, retention, and progression. Elaboration: Nursing faculty are involved in the development, review, and revision of academic program policies. Differences between the nursing program policies and those of the parent institution are identified and are in support of achievement of the program s mission, goals, and
15 15 expected student outcomes. Policies are written and communicated to relevant constituencies. Policies are implemented consistently. There is a defined process by which policies are regularly reviewed. Policy review occurs and revisions are made as needed. Program Response: As described in key element I-A-1, the mission of AUM is congruent with the mission, goals and expected student outcomes of AUMSON. Likewise, all university policies are congruent with the mission, goals and expected outcomes of the SON and are accessible and applied equally to faculty in each school. Admission to pre-nursing is controlled by AUM admissions. The admission and progression policies that are unique to AUMSON are communicated as described in I-E. The AUM Faculty Handbook contains policies covering topics such as the operation of the University, expectations of faculty and promotion and tenure guidelines. AUMSON faculty participate in the review and revision of the handbook. As an example, one SON faculty member serves on the University Handbook committee and the ad hoc Faculty Handbook committee which is currently making major revisions. The AUM Faculty Handbook is accessible online at The university is currently developing a new university strategic plan. The Dean, Associate Dean, EARN Coordinator and another faculty represent the School of Nursing on the Strategic Planning Committee. The SON Faculty Handbook is provided to all faculty and contains policies specific to the School of Nursing. This handbook is reviewed annually by the COPE committee and revisions are presented to Faculty Council for faculty approval. For example, when the SON criteria for promotion and tenure were approved by faculty it was added to the Faculty Handbook. Every faculty has a copy of the SON Faculty Handbook and it is also accessible in the Blackboard SON Curriculum course. All policies and documents are published and reviewed as appropriate. As reflected in the Faculty Council Minutes from December 3, 2010 faculty participate in the review and revision of academic policies. I-G. There are established policies by which the nursing unit defines and reviews formal complaints. Elaboration: The program s definition of a formal complaint and the procedure for filing a complaint are communicated to relevant constituencies. The program follows its established policies/procedures for formal complaints. Program Response: The School of Nursing recognizes the rights of students to voice grievances about any aspect of the School of Nursing through appropriate channels. The procedure for filing a grade appeal can be found in the School of Nursing Student Handbook and is accessible online at
16 16 development-center/nursing-student-handboook pdf and in the AUM Student Handbook at Other concerns are to be initiated at the source of the concern. If the concern is not resolved at that level students may proceed to the next level as follows: Clinical Associate, Faculty Member, Associate Dean, Dean, Provost, Chancellor. This process is also outlined in the School of Nursing Student Handbook. As an endorsement of the communication and trust between faculty and students, the Associated Dean and Dean rarely receive even minor concerns and there are no current or outstanding formal complaints. Analysis of Compliance with Standard I Consistency of the mission, goals and expected outcomes of AUMSON with AUM and professional nursing standards and guidelines Responsive to communities of interest as appropriate Annual review of the program mission, goals, and student outcomes Continuing to implement measures to increase alumni response rates Faculty roles in instruction, research and service are clearly identified in the mission and philosophy of the School of Nursing and linked to the AUM mission Faculty Annual Evaluation and Faculty Workload guidelines and Promotion and Tenure Criteria are written and followed Participation by faculty and students in the governance of the program is well developed and documented SON publications are reviewed regularly and revised in a timely manner Academic policies including recruitment, admission, retention and progression policies of the SON are congruent, consistent and support the mission, goals and expected outcomes of AUM AUMSON policies are congruent and consistent with university policy in terms of student complaints or grievances
17 17 STANDARD II PROGRAM QUALITY: INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENT AND RESOURCES The parent institution demonstrates ongoing commitment and support for the nursing program. The institution makes available resources to enable the program to achieve its mission, goals, and expected aggregate student and faculty outcomes. The faculty, as a resource of the program, enables the achievement of the mission, goals, and expected aggregate student outcomes. II-A. Fiscal and physical resources are sufficient to enable the program to fulfill its mission, goals, and expected outcomes. Adequacy of resources is reviewed periodically and resources are modified as needed. Elaboration: The budget enables achievement of the program s mission, goals, and expected student and faculty outcomes. The budget also supports the development, implementation, and evaluation of the program. Compensation of nursing unit personnel supports recruitment and retention of qualified faculty and staff. Physical space is sufficient and configured in ways that enable the program to achieve its mission, goals, and expected student and faculty outcomes. Equipment and supplies (e.g., computing, laboratory, and teaching-learning) are sufficient to achieve the mission, goals, and expected student and faculty outcomes. There is a defined process for regular review of the adequacy of the program s fiscal and physical resources. Review of fiscal and physical resources occurs and improvements are made as appropriate. Program Response: Auburn University at Montgomery School of Nursing s financial and physical resources are sufficient to enable the SON to meet its mission and expected student and faculty outcomes. The SON has a total budget of 1.45 million dollars which is managed by the Dean and utilized to pay faculty and staff as well as general support for the undergraduate and graduate programs. Faculty have routes of input to budgetary decisions. The physical space is adequate and utilized efficiently. Budget Process The University determines the budget for each of the schools, based on prior years and anticipated needs. Resources for the School of Nursing are adequate and are provided in the form of operating budgets, physical facilities, technological infrastructure, library access, student services, and faculty support. Our budget is sufficient to support instruction, faculty travel, support staff, and operations and maintenance given that there are many additional resources available in the University.
18 18 Traditionally each unit receives the budgeted amount from the previous year plus any salary increases. The School of Nursing has the opportunity to request one-time funding for technology equipment and other expenses from the Provost and Instructional Technology. For example, in 2011 Instructional Technology purchased a complete technology podium for one classroom. The Chancellor approved funds to replace all tables and chairs for two classrooms to facilitate twice a year admissions. Additional funding was also made available to update two classrooms, purchase two laptops, a technology podium and a new grading machine. The School of Nursing has also received two AUM intramural outreach grants totaling over $25,000. Similar to other institutions of higher education, Auburn Montgomery is experiencing decreased revenues from the state resulting in the inevitable budget cuts. Due to the economic downturn, state funding for Auburn Montgomery has been decreased over the past three years. As a consequence, no increases in salaries were possible in the and academic years. In December 2010, the Board of Trustees approved a 3%, one-time supplement pool, awarded on the basis of merit, for all full time faculty and staff. In , a 3% permanent raise, again awarded on the basis of merit, was approved by the Board of Trustees. This increase did little more than off-set an increase in faculty/staff contributions required by the retirement system. The Board approved another 3% allocation to once again provide a one-time supplement based on merit for faculty and staff in December Through careful management of resources no positions have been cut. Faculty continue to be given an annual stipend of $300 for professional development and up to $3000 (this amount is inclusive of the $300 professional development allotment) to cover the cost of presenting at professional conferences. If faculty are presenting a research paper, a request for the conference fee can be submitted to the University Research Council. Auburn Montgomery has imposed tuition increases in each of the last three years, but remains competitive in the region among like schools. In Fall 2009, the Auburn Board of Trustees approved a clinical fee of $200/semester hour for the School of Nursing. The fee will generate $4800 additional dollars per student over the five semester professional curriculum. These fees are used to increase enrollment through twice a year admissions by hiring additional faculty, supporting 12 month faculty appointments and supporting the operation and maintenance for the SON. Admissions have increased from 88 in 2009 to 134 in Plans are to increase admissions incrementally to 160 per year. In addition to state revenue and tuition and fees, a third source of funding is through development efforts. The SON shares a development officer with the Auburn School of Nursing, and pays 20% of this salary. Examples of funds raised due to development efforts include a three-year commitment for a total of $75,000 to fund a mental health faculty consultant. Our annual fund raiser, the Blue Jean Ball, netted $58,000 in Of this money, 43% was donated to AUM nursing student scholarships (43% was
19 19 donated to Auburn SON scholarships), 3.6% to endowments and 11% to development. Although development efforts are fairly robust given the economy, more funds from this source are needed. In this economic environment, and in light of the fact that the university is entering the public phase of a capital campaign, it is imperative that the Dean has opportunities to focus on securing external funding. In the past, when faculty lines have been vacant, the school was able to retain those dollars, creating a budget reserve that could be used by the dean, with input from the faculty, to meet emerging needs. Recently, the Provost s Office changed this policy, so that unspent salary dollars go back to the central administration. This change in policy will affect our ability to be nimble in challenging economic times. Faculty Standards II-E, II-F and IV-E include more information about faculty resources. A faculty search in 2011 to replace one tenure track faculty, two clinical track faculty, and an additional clinical track faculty funded by fees was successful. Stimulus funding in 2010 had supported a part-time position for a Mentor to Educate, Retain and Empower future Nurses (MEREN) Coordinator to focus on retention. When the stimulus funding ended, the role of MEREN Coordinator was made the responsibility of one of the clinical track faculty. Physical Space The School of Nursing is located in Moore Hall which was built in 1988, and is currently the newest academic building on the AUM campus. Medical technology occupies half of one of the three floors with the remainder of the space being occupied by the School of Nursing. The first floor houses the Dean s suite with a large reception area, two offices, a conference room, a file room and a copy room. The Nursing Care Center, a nurse practitioner run student health center, is located on the first floor across from the Dean s office. There is a 250 seat auditorium and a student lounge also located on the first floor. Two small classrooms on the first floor can be used for seminars but are primarily devoted to the Medical Technology program. Half of the second floor is occupied by the Medical Technology program. The other portion of the second floor includes a computer lab with 30 computers, a large Nursing Resource Center (NRC), a simulation lab, and a debriefing room. There is a large faculty research/multi-purpose room on the third floor along with 20 faculty and staff offices, a break room and two 50-seat classrooms. A third small classroom is also available for seminars. Located just outside of Moore Hall is a large tree surrounded by a deck which is often used for class and social gatherings. The facility is adequate to meet the current needs, but strategic planning goals to increase enrollment will require additional space for class, simulation and faculty offices.
20 20 Staff Support There is a faculty administrative associate and a full-time lab coordinator. Additional support staff includes the Dean s senior administrative associate, a full-time pre-nursing academic advisor/recruiter, a part-time assistant advisor and a part-time admissions coordinator/data specialist. Additional staff support will be needed as enrollment increases. Equipment and Supplies All faculty have fully furnished private offices with updated computers, printers and telephones. A copy machine is accessible from all faculty computers. Faculty have access to two fax machines, two copy machines and a variety of office supplies. Clinical Contracts The School of Nursing has 47 contracts with clinical agencies throughout the state and 23 contracts with clinical agencies outside of Alabama. These contracts are maintained by a faculty member and the Dean s senior administrative associate. Auburn Montgomery is not associated with a major medical center, but appropriate clinical experiences are identified throughout the state. There are three major hospitals within a 10 mile radius of the SON where our students gain much of their clinical experience. Less than one mile from campus is Baptist East, a 150-bed acute care hospital that was ranked in the nation s 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters and one of the 15 Top Health Systems. This institution received the 2010 HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award which places them in the top 5% in the nation for patient safety. Services include general medical/surgical, pediatrics, 24-hour emergency services, labor and delivery, level II NICU, Medical/Surgical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and general and specialized surgical services. Baptist South in Montgomery is a 454-bed regional referral center with an accredited sleep disorders center, a regional neonatal ICU, chest pain center, emergency services (level 1 trauma), a behavioral health treatment facility and family centered maternity care. A third Montgomery agency is Jackson Hospital which is licensed for 344 beds and provides cardiac, cancer, neurosciences, orthopedics and women s and children s care, along with 24-hour emergency services. Clinical experiences are also scheduled at Children s Hospital in Birmingham and at several rural hospitals in the area. Clinical rotations expose the students to a variety of areas including acute care, long term care, home health, school health, community health, and professional organization activities. Each semester students also complete 12 hours of community service. Agencies currently under contract with AUM along with their locations and type of clinical experience provided can be found in the Resource Room. Over recent months, obtaining and maintaining clinical contracts has become very time intensive, due in part to more requirements from the health care agencies. Competition with other schools of nursing for clinical sites has also increased as enrollment numbers rise. As competition increases, simulation will
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