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Course Descriptions

Department of Nursing

Dr. Merle E. Mast, Head

Phone: (540) 568-6314
Web site:

M. Mast, J. Rocchiccioli

Assistant Professors
M. Eaton, L. Hulton, V. Martin, J. Preston, L. Sobel, S. Strang

C. O’Neill, C. Webb

Adjunct Assistant Professor
S. Hopper

Adjunct Instructors
E. Akerson, M. Bettner, E. Metzler Sawin, N. Patterson, T. Crickenberger

Mission Statement
The primary mission of the nursing department is to provide quality, professional, undergraduate nursing education that is relevant for a changing profession, society, health care system and global health needs.

In order to support and accomplish this mission the nursing faculty has identified the following purposes:
  • Prepare competent nursing professionals who provide culturally competent, holistic, research-based, nursing care to individuals, families, aggregates and communities in a wide variety of settings.
  • Promote student awareness of the integral nature of the environmental context of individuals, families, aggregates, and communities, and its contribution to health and illness.
  • Provide a learning environment that promotes scholarship, creativity and leadership among faculty and students, and where students are accountable for meeting education goals and becoming life-long learners.
  • Develop and deliver programs that are responsive to changing consumer and community needs, potential student interest, and that promote the nursing profession.
  • Promote a community of learning that models professional values, fosters professional development for both faculty and students, and encourages a life style balanced with professional productivity.
  • Participate and provide leadership in collaborative, interdisciplinary initiatives and partnerships between nursing education and the practice arena so the future health needs of consumers will be adequately met.

  • Foster an environment that promotes creativity, critical thinking, scholarly activity, effective decision making, clinical competence and a dedication to lifelong learning.
  • Enable students to clarify their own values and to value cultural diversity.
  • Provide, through collaborative partnerships with community health care professionals, interdisciplinary experiences and scholarly activities, a stimulating context for learning and dialogue between nursing service and education.
  • Stimulate exploration of innovative models for nursing education and practice so that the nursing needs of individuals, families and communities will be adequately served in the 21st century.

Career Opportunities
  • Preparation as a professional nurse leading to a Bachelors in Nursing degree.
  • Eligibility to take the National Certification and Licensure (NCLEX) exam to become a registered nurse (R.N.).
  • Preparation for entry-level positions in a wide range of health care settings.
  • Preparation for graduate study in nursing.

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations
  • Nursing Student Council
  • JMU Chapter of the Virginia Nursing Student Association
  • Pi Mu At-Large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, International
  • Nurses Christian Fellowship

The JMU nursing program is fully accredited by the Virginia Board of Nursing and the Center for Credentialing Nursing Education (CCNE).

Special Admission and Retention Requirements
Admission to the nursing major is limited and competitive. Admission as a nursing major includes the completion of a supplemental application. Students can seek early admission to the nursing program following completion of 25 credit hours and selected prerequisite courses. Or students can seek general admission at the completion of the fall sophomore semester. Admission criteria are available on the department of nursing Web site ( or from the department.

Each year, 60 students are enrolled in junior-level nursing courses. All students, including transfer, second-degree and registered nurse students, must apply for admission to the university in addition to completing the supplemental nursing application. Admission to the nursing major is contingent upon admission to the university.

Initial enrollment in required nursing courses is in fall semester only and is contingent upon meeting all prerequisite course requirements and achieving and maintaining a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.7. Students must achieve and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.7 by the end of the spring semester prior to beginning nursing courses to retain their position.

They must also complete all prerequisite courses at the prescribed level (grades of "C-" or above in specified courses) and meet all admission requirements as outlined in the catalog. Students who do not have a 2.7 cumulative average by the end of the spring semester lose their guarantee of beginning nursing courses that fall.

Students must meet the department's Technical Standards for nursing practice. Technical standards are basic physical, cognitive, and psychosocial skills and abilities that are required for nursing practice. The technical standards are available on the department of nursing Web site ( or from the department.

The nursing curriculum is designed as a full time program, but students desiring part-time study can request and negotiate an individualized program with the department head. The nursing program consists of sequences of courses. The beginning courses in a given sequence must be completed satisfactorily before moving to the next course in that sequence. The department head must approve any deviation from the full time enrollment pattern as outlined in the catalog.

To remain in good standing in the nursing program, the student must earn a grade of "C-" or better in each required nursing course. A grade of "D" or "F" is considered a failure. Students may not progress in the program with a grade lower than a "C-." A student who for the first time receives a grade of less than a "C-" in a nursing course may, with department approval, repeat the course. If a "C-" or better is achieved the student will be allowed to continue. A student receiving a grade of less than a "C-" when repeating a nursing course for the first time or in any further nursing course will not be permitted to continue in the program.

Other academic and related policies in effect for students in the nursing program are outlined on the Department of Nursing Web site.

Degree and Major Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Requirements

Credit Hours
General Education courses1 41
Nursing courses 61
Other supportive courses 14
Electives 5-8


1 The General Enducation program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

Major Requirements

Nursing Core Course Sequences
Health Assessment I-IV
Nursing Applications I-IV
Nursing Skills Laboratories
The Profession and The Professional I-IV
Pathophysiology and Pharmacology I-III
Nursing Practicum I-XI

The majority of students can complete general education and prerequisite courses in four semesters, but some students find it necessary to enroll in summer school or an additional year to complete the work satisfactorily. The courses outlined meet the requirements for the JMU nursing major and most other accredited baccalaureate nursing programs.

Recommended Schedule for Majors
The sequence listed is only a suggestion and may be modified.
First Year Credit Hours
Cluster One: Skills for the 21st Century 9-12
Cluster Three: The Natural World 10
CHEM 120. Concepts of Chemistry 1,2,3 3
MATH 220. Elementary Statistics 1,2 3 3
BIO 290. Human Anatomy 1 4


1 Must be completed prior to enrollment in nursing courses with a minimum grade of “C -.” 2 This requirement may be satisfied by courses (or their equivalents) from selected packages in general education Cluster Three. 3 Must be taken prior to BIO 270 and BIO 280

Second Year Credit Hours
Cluster Two: Ideas and Expressive Forms in the Human Community 9
Cluster Four: Social and Cultural Processes 3
Cluster Five: Individuals in the Human Community 2 3
BIO 270. Physiology 1,2 3
BIO 280. Allied Health Microbiology 1 3
NUTR 280. Nutrition for Wellness 1 3


1 Must be completed prior to enrollment in nursing courses, with a minimum grade of “C-” 2 Transfer, second degree or other students not completing General Education Cluster 5 requirements at JMU are required to have PSYC 160 and a course in ethics or philosophy as additional requirements.

Third Year Fall Semester Credit Hours
NSG 321. Health Assessment I 3
NSG 331. Pathophysiology/Pharmacology I 2
NSG 341. Nursing Applications I 4
NSG 351. Profession and Professional I 2
NSG 371. Nursing Practicum I 3
NSG 372. Nursing Practicum II 1


Third Year Spring Semester Credit Hours
NSG 322. Health Assessment II 3
NSG 332. Pathophysiology/Pharmacology II 2
NSG 342. Nursing Applications II 2
NSG 352. Profession and Professional II 4
NSG 362. Nursing Skills Lab II 2
NSG 373. Nursing Practicum III 2
NSG 374. Nursing Practicum IV 1


Fourth Year Fall Semester Credit Hours
NSG 423. Nursing Assessment III 1
NSG 433. Pathophysiology/Pharmacology III 2
NSG 443. Nursing Applications III 3
NSG 444. Nursing Applications IV 2
NSG 453. Profession and Professional III 2
NSG 475. Nursing Practicum V 2
NSG 476. Nursing Practicum VI 2
NSG 477. Nursing Practicum VII 2


Fourth Year Spring Semester Credit Hours
NSG 424. Health Assessment IV 1
NSG 445. Nursing Applications V 3
NSG 454. Profession and Professional IV 4
NSG 479. Nursing Practicum IX 2
NSG 480. Nursing Practicum X 2
NSG 481. Nursing Practicum XI 1
Nursing elective1 2


1 The nursing elective may be taken any semester or summer session when a nursing elective is offered.

Credit by Examination
Registered nurses returning to earn a baccalaureate degree in nursing should contact the head of the nursing department for information regarding program modifications and the process of earning credit using the credit by examination procedure.

Special Expenses
Additional expenses for nursing students include transportation, uniforms, assessment equipment, laboratory fees and organizational membership fees.

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Last Modified: 6/11/2003