Expected Program Completion for Full-Time and Part-Time students

  • FT students are expected to complete the program within 3 semesters (including a summer session)
  • PT students are expected to complete the program within 5 semesters (including a summer session)

Deferment/Leave of Absence

Students who wish to take a deferment or leave of absence will be required to complete the following:

  • Notify the program coordinator and their faculty program adviser of the requested leave or deferment
  • Once approved, complete the required documentation noted on the registrar’s student page by the deadlines listed here
  • Notify the program coordinator, faculty program adviser, and the operations coordinator of upcoming return.

Program Completion/Tracking:

Students must complete the RN-BSN program following either a full or part-time semester sequence based on when they entered the program in either the fall or spring.  Specific course sequencing is noted under the Curriculum Section. All students must take a minimum of two courses per semester in nursing unless otherwise approved by the RN-BSN Program Coordinator for extenuating circumstances. Co-enrollment students must take one course each fall and spring semester before transitioning into the degree-seeking RN-BSN Program unless otherwise approved by the RN-BSN Program Coordinator for extenuating circumstances.

Students must complete all program requirements within 5 years. Students whose accounts are deactivated due to a two-year lapse in course work and later reactivated will have 5 years from the date in which their account was reactivated to complete program requirements.


The following scale is used for all course final grades in the School of Nursing. The grading policy is consistent with that of the university. The School of Nursing will use plus and minus grades and no grade will be rounded upward. The scale is as follow

Grading Scale

Grading Scale


93.00 to 100 C 73.00 to 76.99


90 to 92.99 C- 70.00 to 72.99
(minimum passing)


87.00 to 89.99 D+ 67.00 to 69.99


83.00 to 86.99 D 63.00 to 66.99


80.00 to 82.99 D- 60.00 to 62.99


77.00 to 79.99 F 59.99 and lower

Incomplete Grade Policy

If, under extraordinary circumstances, such as illness, a student is unable to complete course work in a class, they may request an Incomplete be given from the instructor of the course before the end of the semester in which the course is being taken. The letter “I” represents on transcripts incomplete work in a given course.

Final coursework for a course in which a student receives a grade of “I” must be completed by the end of the next regular semester or the grade is recorded permanently as “F.” It is the student’s responsibility to contact and communicate with the instructor to make arrangements to resolve incomplete work. If the student is unable to finish coursework, they may request an extension from the instructor. It is the instructor’s prerogative to choose to grant or deny an extension. If the instructor chooses to allow an extension, they must file an extension with the Registrar’s Office.

An “I” that is not resolved by the due date will revert to an “F” for a course grade.

Faculty will give an “I” only for illness or other compelling reasons that they clearly document. Unsatisfactory work is not a basis for an incomplete grade. The faculty member and student must agree on a feasible plan to complete the course work. When a faculty member assigns a grade of “I” they communicate to the program coordinator and/or head of School:

  • Rationale for assigning the “I.”
  • Conditions for course completion.
  • Date(s) for accomplishing each condition and for completing the course.

Program Progression

  1. Degree-seeking students are not required to maintain a minimum GPA in the nursing program.* However, nursing students must earn a grade of C- or better in all graded nursing courses. For the Community Practicum Course, students must earn a grade of Pass to progress in the program. A grade of D, F, Fail, or WF (Withdraw Fail) is considered a failure in the nursing program.*Co-enrollment students are required to maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA while they are concurrently enrolled in their associate degree nursing program.
  2. A student who receives a grade of Fail or less than a C- in a nursing course for the first time must seek departmental approval to repeat the course. Courses must be retaken when they are next scheduled in the curriculum and as space allows. If a grade of Pass or C- or better is achieved when the first failed course is repeated, the student will be allowed to continue in the nursing program
  3. A student who receives a second grade of Fail or less than a C-, in a repeated nursing course, will not be allowed to continue in the program. Students will not have the option of repeating failed courses following a second failure.
  4. A satisfactory clinical performance using the performance evaluation tool is mandatory for a passing grade. Students must achieve a Pass rating in every outcome on the Practicum Evaluation Tool (PET) in order to pass the clinical course.  Students must demonstrate satisfactory development of knowledge and skills.  Objectives must be met consistently and comprehensively, with progressive independence and self-direction.  Students must show insight into strengths and areas for growth. A student may fail a practicum course and receive a grade of ‘fail’ (for pass/fail clinical courses).  Depending upon the type and seriousness of the problem, the student may be put on probation or asked to withdraw from the course and/or program prior to the end of a semester. Unsatisfactory performance occurs when the student:
    • Consistently fails to meet clinical objectives.
    • Does not take initiative and/or takes initiative inappropriately, thereby endangering client's safety and well-being.
    • Is insensitive to client's needs.
    • Is consistently unable to develop communication skills and form therapeutic relationships with patients, families and coworkers, even with guidance.
    • Exhibits negligent behavior causing potential irreversible damage to the client.
    • Violates professional ethics through behaviors such as:
      • Carelessness with client confidentiality.
      • Inconsistency in complying with agency policies.
      • Failure to recognize implications of behavior for the professional role.
      • Violation of therapeutic nurse/client relationship.
      • Gross violation of agency policies.
      • Consistently fails to meet obligations.
      • Inability or unwillingness to acknowledge errors or areas of weakness, even when identified by the faculty.

Withdraw/Fail Policy

Student’s academic adviser or RN-BSN program coordinator is available to assist students if they are considering withdrawal from a course(s) or the program. 

The RN-BSN program will follow the JMU Dean of Students withdrawal from the University policy

Students who withdraw from the university or a course after the end of the course adjustment period, and who do not have documented extenuating circumstances that justify withdrawal, will receive either:

  • a grade of “WP” in the course or courses they are passing
  • a grade of “WF” in the courses they are failing (a failing grade in the RN-BSN program courses is an average below 70%) at the time of withdrawal and will not receive tuition reimbursement.
  • a grade of “WF” constitutes a failing grade and will be treated as a grade of “F”

Students who have two F grades (including WF’s) for courses will not be allowed to continue in the program.

Students must track through the program with a minimum of two courses per semester (see Program/Completion Tracking policy within this handbook.) 

Grade Review Policy

The RN-BSN program adheres to the JMU policies for Grade Review Procedure, Grade Change Procedure, and Grade Review Process. You may access this information in the current academic year JMU Student Catalog under Academic Policies and Procedures.


  1. When a student withdraws from the nursing program for personal, performance, or academic reasons, readmission is not automatic and priority is not necessarily given on the basis of previous enrollment. A personal interview with the RN-BSN Program Coordinator and/or the Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs is required prior to readmission. The student must:
  2. Submit a request in writing to the RN-BSN program coordinator and RN-BSN Admissions committee during the semester prior to the semester of desired enrollment.
  3. Students seeking readmission after leaving the RN-BSN program due to unsatisfactory performance must:
    • Acknowledge responsibility and accountability for the problem that resulted in dismissal.
    • Show evidence of initiative to correct the problem. For example, activities that promote academic growth and insight while not enrolled in the program
    • Provide documentation to demonstrate readiness to perform beyond the minimal standard if readmitted through medical or counseling reports; letters of recommendation; new grade reports; employment records; special projects or volunteer work; evidence of academic remediation, and/or statement of personal goals and a plan of action.
  4. Students must complete the nursing program within 3 years from return to program.
  5. Complete nursing courses in existence at the time of re-entry.
  6. Student applications for readmission after a lapse of one or more years will be reviewed at the discretion of the RN-BSN Admission and Progression committee.

RN-BSN Program Dismissal Policy

The School of Nursing reserves the right to interpret, maintain, and enforce the standards of conduct and professional performance for nursing. The program also reserves the right to recommend dismissal or refuse enrollment in the program to any student who in the judgment of the RN-BSN Admission and Progression Committee, by a majority vote, has violated the standards of ethical/professional behavior.

A student may be dismissed from the program if he or she:

  • Demonstrates behavior which conflicts with safety essential to nursing practice
  • Presents a threat to others, or a threat of disruption of the program
  • Is unable to meet the School of Nursing’s Technical Standards
  • Engages in conduct which violates the Virginia Nursing Practice Act
  • Fails the drug screen or has a background check that shows criminal activity that would disqualify the student from continuation
  • Engages in conduct which violates the Code of Ethics for Nurses of the American Nurses’ Association which has been adopted by the School of Nursing as its standard for ethical conduct by faculty and students
  • Engages in conduct which threatens or has the potential to threaten the physical, emotional, mental, or environmental health or safety of a client, a client’s family member, another health care provider, or the student himself or herself
  • Fails to participate in or complete clinical work for any reason or fails to perform clinical work which is consistent with professional nursing practice, including satisfactory performance of all critical behaviors specified on the evaluation tool for each course
  • Fails to adhere to University, College, School and clinical site policies and procedures

All students are regularly evaluated against the above standards in relation to clinical practice and may be dismissed from any course or from the nursing program upon violation of any of the stated standards, regardless of course grades.

A student who has been dismissed should not expect to be readmitted. In very rare cases when in the judgment of the administration and RN-BSN Admission and Progression Committee, there is clear evidence of probable future academic success, a letter of request for readmission may be considered.

In no case will readmission be considered until at least two full semesters have elapsed from the semester of dismissal.

  • Students must submit reentry application according to the following deadlines:
    For spring readmission: November 1
    For fall readmission: July 1

For further information see https://www.jmu.edu/acstudserv/reentry.shtml

Graduation Requirements

All requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) must be met. In addition, a grade of C- or better must be earned in each nursing course. Students must follow the JMU policy for Intent to Graduate and fulfill all JMU requirements for graduation.

In order to qualify for graduation, baccalaureate degree candidates must complete all the requirements on the following checklist.  A student deficient in any area will not receive a diploma until the requirement is complete.

  • Schedule a meeting with adviser to review academic progression prior to the graduation application deadline.
  • Submit a completed Graduation Application to the Office of the Registrar by the posted deadline.
  • Successfully complete a minimum of 120 semester hours of credit (includes transfer credit from pre-licensure nursing program and any experiential learning credit that has been awarded).
  • Complete all required coursework with a minimum of C- or better.
  • Make certain that official transcripts for all transfer and affiliated courses are on file in the Office of the registrar.
  • Make sure that all holds are removed from student account.
  • Fulfill all financial obligations to James Madison University.
  • Complete any exit interview or online evaluations.

Graduation with Honors Distinction

RN-BSN students are ineligible to graduate with honors distinction. Before becoming eligible for graduation with honors, a student must successfully complete the following:

  • Enrollment at JMU for a minimum of four semesters (fall and spring).
  • Completion of a minimum of 60 attempted and earned credit hours at JMU.

A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.50 on all course work completed at James Madison University, including any work completed at JMU as a dual enrollment student prior to undergraduate matriculation and/or any work attempted and earned beyond four semesters or 60 credit hours.
This means that a student needs 60 hours of completed course credit from JMU. The RN-BSN program only supplies 30 hours, and the 37 hours of experiential learning credit DO NOT count as course work completed at JMU.

If a student has attended JMU in the past and graduated with a degree, they are not able to count those course hours towards their new degree - therefore they cannot be assigned Honors Status for graduation.

The Exception

If a student completed courses at JMU and withdrew from the university before receiving their degree, but has returned to JMU to complete their RN-BSN, they may graduate with Honors so long as they have met the 60 hours of coursework and other GPA criteria. Below is the university policy statement:

Honors Requirements from Registrar's Office

To be considered for graduation honors, students who enter JMU for the first time in Fall 2015 and thereafter need at least four regular semesters (fall and spring) at JMU, a minimum of 60 attempted and earned credit hours at JMU, and a minimum grade point average of 3.50 at JMU (including any work completed at JMU as a Dual Enrollment student prior to undergraduate matriculation, and/or any work attempted and earned beyond four semesters or 60 credit hours). For students who entered JMU for the first time prior to Fall 2015, please consult the undergraduate catalog for information regarding graduation with honors for the year in which you first enrolled at JMU. Graduation honors noted in the commencement program will be based on the grade point average at the end of the semester preceding the semester in which final graduation requirements are met. For students who participate in the May ceremony but complete requirements in summer session, the honors noted in the commencement program will be based on the grade point average earned at the end of the preceding fall semester. Final graduation honors recorded on the diploma and transcript will be determined by the grade point average at the end of the semester in which all graduation requirements are met.

Honors Requirements from Registrar's Office



Cum laude

3.5 - 3.699

Magna cum laude

3.7 - 3.899

Summa cum laude

3.9 and above


All RN-BSN students are, however, eligible for entry into the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society. Students who meet the GPA requirements will be offered membership once they have completed half of the program. Sigma graduates receive honor cords and distinction at graduation, as well as entry to a professional organization. Learn more about Sigma.

Second Degree, Second Major, or Minor Policy

Students entering the RN-BSN program as first-time students at JMU may not declare a second degree program, second major, or minor. Only previously enrolled, continuing students at JMU, who have an officially declared plan (major or minor) prior to declaring the RN-BSN program, may complete that plan(s). Consultation with the second major or minor adviser or coordinator will be required to ensure timely completion of the declared plan(s). Students must complete their BSN, and any additional plan, within 5 years from start of RN-BSN program.

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