WCSU Undergraduate Catalog 2018-19 : School of Professional Studies



Joan Palladino, Chair
White Hall 107A, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8651
(203) 837-8550 (fax)

Terri-Ann Tilquist, Department Secretary
White Hall 107, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8556
(203) 837-8550 (fax)


J. Palladino, Chair E. Abate D. Bennett
K. Bridges D. Brown S. Burger
E. Campbell P. Cumella L. Dalessio
M. E. Doherty D. Graham J. Lupinacci
M. Nielson J. Ort B. Padykula
B. Piscopo T. Puckhaber C. Rice
M. Sousa L. Warren


The Department of Nursing strives to provide a nursing education that is aimed at preparing beginning and advanced practice nurses to meet the ever-changing health care needs of Connecticut and the surrounding region. This is achieved through:

  • A dynamic curriculum that is responsive to students and community needs;
  • Clinical competence, scholarship and research;
  • Service to the university, the public and the profession;
  • Accommodation of diverse values and interests;
  • A commitment to a caring culture.

Program Information

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master’s degree program in nursing at Western Connecticut State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791. http://www.ccneaccreditation.org/

Course Restrictions

For a complete list of prerequisites, corequisites and other restrictions for all courses, please consult the Course Description section of this catalog.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Completion of all general education requirements, including exercise science, and requirements in nursing and foundational sciences specified in the program outlined below, to total a minimum of 120 semester hours.

All courses identified in the following eight-semester sequence are requirements in this major. Completion of the program within four academic years requires that the biology and chemistry courses be completed in the semesters shown. The remaining credits to meet general education requirements and additional free electives for a minimum of 120 SH, including exercise science, may be scheduled at the student’s discretion with approval of the departmental adviser.

First Year
Fall Semester Spring Semester
BIO 105 4 SH BIO 106 4 SH
CHE 120 4 SH CHE 121 4 SH
SOC 100 3 SH PSY 100 3 SH
COM 162 3 SH Writing Intensive course 3 SH
Elective 3 SH Gen Ed 3 SH
Total Credits 17 SH Total Credits 17 SH
Sophomore Year
Fall Semester Spring Semester
NUR 201 4 SH NUR 225 2 SH
NUR 205 4 SH NUR 235 5 SH
BIO 215 4 SH NUR 300 4 SH
HPX 205 2 SH MAT 115 or 120 3 SH
Gen Ed 3 SH HPX 177 2 SH
Nursing elective
— NUR 105 1 SH
Total Credits 17 SH Total Credits 16 SH
Junior Year
Fall Semester Spring Semester
NUR 255 6 SH NUR 335 8 SH
NUR 361 2 SH NUR 374 2 SH
Gen Ed 3 SH Gen Ed 3 SH
Gen Ed 3 SH Elective 3 SH
Total Credits 14 SH Total Credits 16 SH
Senior Year
Fall Semester Spring Semester
NUR 325 7 SH NUR 375 5 SH
NUR 327 6 SH Gen Ed 3 SH
Gen Ed 3 SH Elective 3 SH
Elective 1 SH Elective 3 SH
Total Credits 17 SH Total Credits 14 SH

Note: NUR 300 may be taken of sophomore year or Fall of Junior year.

Note: NUR 335 and NUR 374 (taken together) and NUR 325 and NUR 327 (taken together) can be take Spring or Fall.

Admission, Retention and Graduation Requirements


Students interested in majoring in nursing at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) must complete a dual admission process. Initially, students must be accepted into the University as pre- nursing. Once accepted into the University, application for admission to the Department of Nursing (DON) is made at the beginning of the spring semester of the Freshman year. Applications are available on-line or in the nursing department at the end of December and due to the Nursing Office the first Monday of February.

  • Incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed by the Department of Nursing.
  • All students must be admitted to the university prior to applying for admission to the nursing major.  The applicant pool is not limited to pre-nursing students.  The decision to admit an applicant to the Nursing major is made by the Department of Nursing.
  • Admission to nursing is competitive with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 being the minimum considered for acceptance. Students are ranked according to GPA and successful completion of all prerequisites. Qualified students may not be accepted because of a limited number of clinical placements and limited Department of Nursing resources. Admission is limited to 60-85 students.
  • In evaluating students for acceptance into the nursing program the following criteria are used: GPA, evaluation of overall academic record including number of course withdrawals, prerequisite course failures, and academic success at other colleges and universities. Students must earn at least a C in the four science prerequisite courses (BIO 105, 106, and CHE 120, 121).  Sciences cannot be more than 5 years old. Consistent with WCSU admission requirements, preference is given to those candidates who, in the judgment of the DON, have academic and personal qualifications with the greatest potential for program success.
  • Applicants must have successfully completed or be enrolled in the following courses:
    Writing Intensive Course (W)
    COM 162 Interpersonal Communication
    PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology
    SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
    BIO 105 and BIO 106 or equivalent with a grade of “C” or better
    CHE 120 and CHE 121 or  equivalent with a grade of “C” or better
  • Students are ineligible to apply for admission to the WCSU nursing program if they have been dismissed for either academic or clinical reasons from another nursing program.
  • Students newly accepted into the program must adhere to the Health Policies of the DON. The following information must be submitted on or before June 1 prior to starting nursing classes:
    Current health form
    Results of either PPD skin test or chest x-ray or quantiferrin blood test
    Evidence of rubella, rubeola, mumps and varicella vaccinations or antibody titers
    Evidence of measles vaccination
    Evidence of Hepatitis B vaccination, Hepatitis B titre or signed declination to receive vaccine
    Tdap vaccine completed within the last 10 years
    CPR certification for professional rescuers

Students without documentation of health requirements and/or CPR certification will not be allowed to participate in clinical experiences.

  • Transfer students coming into the University must first apply to the admissions department and must meet the same standards listed above.  Western students wishing to change their major to Nursing must apply to the department for admission to the Nursing major and must meet the same requirements as pre-nursing students.  Please refer to the above criteria.


1. In order to remain in the Nursing program, students must earn at least a “C” grade in all courses with a NUR 200 or NUR 300 designation and BIO 215. **Please be reminded that sophomore nursing students who are transitioning between the fall and spring semester are required to complete a Medication Math Test and must pass with > 85**.  This is administered during the Fall exam for NUR 105.

2. In order to remain in the Nursing program, nursing students must fulfill academic requirements and must also show evidence of meeting the behavioral objectives (cognitive, psychomotor and affective) of preparation for professional nursing as described and distributed in each nursing course with a NUR 200 and NUR 300 designation.

3. A student who receives a grade of “C-” or lower in a NUR 200 or NUR 300 level Nursing course, whose cumulative grade point average has dropped below 2.50, who has withdrawn from a NUR 200 or NUR 300 level nursing course, who has taken a leave of absence from the Nursing program (whether medical or otherwise), or who has withdrawn from the Nursing program must apply for readmission to the Nursing program. The student may be readmitted to the program provided that, in the judgment of the nursing faculty, the student meets the criteria for readmission.

4. Any student who receives more than one course grade below “C” in any of the NUR courses will not be readmitted to the Nursing program.  In addition, any student who has for any reason reapplied and been admitted and then subsequently withdrawn or fails, will not be allowed to reapply a second time.

5. Students who demonstrate an unsafe level of patient care will not be permitted to continue in the clinical area.

6. Under provisions of Public Act 86-365, students whose ability to function is impaired or who have engaged in unethical or illegal acts, or whose behavior does not conform to accepted standards of the Nursing profession may jeopardize their eligibility for obtaining or retaining professional nurse licensure in the State of Connecticut. (A copy of the act with explanatory material is available for review in the department office.) Such conduct or behavior may also be grounds for disciplinary action, including suspension or dismissal from the program, by the Nursing faculty or departmental administrator.


1. The student must have earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 based on at least 120 credits earned.

2. The student must have at least a “C” grade in all 200- and 300-level Nursing courses.

3. The student must have sustained evidence of academic and behavioral characteristics acceptable for professional nursing as set forth in the philosophy and objectives of the Department of Nursing.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Synthesize knowledge from the arts, sciences, and humanities with nursing theory as the basis for making nursing practice decisions.
  2. Exercise critical thinking in using the nursing process to assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate the care provided to individuals, families and communities.
  3. Apply the nursing process to design, implement, and evaluate therapeutic nursing interventions to provide preventive, curative, supportive, and restorative care for individuals, families, and communities in both structured and unstructured settings, using a variety of techniques.
  4. Use a variety of communication techniques, including written documentation, in the process of assessment, counseling, and therapeutic interventions with individual clients, families, groups and communities.
  5. Develop and implement a variety of teaching-learning strategies in the provision of health teaching for individuals, families, and groups in a variety of settings.
  6. Use the process of scientific inquiry and research findings to improve nursing care delivery.
  7. Manage information, human resources, and material resources to achieve optimum client outcomes in a cost-effective manner.
  8. Use leadership, management, and collaborative skills as a member of a multi-disciplinary team within the health care delivery system to develop, implement, and evaluate health care provided to clients.
  9. Exercise independent judgment and ethical decision-making, and act as an advocate for consumers of health care services.
  10. Demonstrate accountability in learning and in nursing actions, based on accepted standards of nursing care and in accordance of professional nursing practice.

Professional Nurse Licensure

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to apply to the State Board of Examiners for Nursing in Connecticut, or in any other state of their choice, for examination for Professional Nurse licensure. Each state board may have additional criteria for eligibility according to the laws of the state. In Connecticut, the limitations to eligibility for licensure are delineated in Public Act 86-365. A copy of this act is available for review in the department office.

Health Policies and Other Requirements

Because of the nature of the clinical experiences and regulations of various clinical agencies utilized in the nursing program, all Nursing students are required to adhere to departmental policies in addition to the immunizations required of all university students. This information may be obtained directly from the department.

In addition to the above stated health requirements, students must meet any additional requirements identified by a clinical affiliating agency, including a criminal background check. Clinical agencies reserve the right to refuse clinical placement to students who do not pass the background check.

Students may also be required to submit fingerprinting as part of their clearance for community/pediatric rotations. If students are flagged in background check or fingerprinting, they may or may not be able to complete the nursing program.

If a student’s physical or emotional health status is deemed unsafe for clinical laboratory experiences by the Nursing faculty, the student may not attend clinical laboratories. Appropriate clearance may be required prior to the student returning to the clinical laboratory.

Additional Requirements

Students are required to furnish their own uniforms and to provide their own transportation to clinical facilities. Students may also be required to have health insurance and are responsible for any medical care administer as a result of clinical assignment.

All students must be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as a healthcare provider prior to entering sophomore year, and must maintain current certification to be eligible to attend clinical experience.  It is recommended that students obtain their CPR certification from the American Heart Association and/or the American Red Cross.  In addition to liability protection under the Statutes of Connecticut [Chapter 170, Section 10-235(a)], the university carries professional liability insurance coverage for nursing students.

Western at Waterbury

The Nursing Department also offers courses for the RN-BS degree completion program at Western’s Waterbury program located on the grounds of Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury. This program is available only to students who hold a current RN license. A current RN license is required from the state in which clinical affiliations are scheduled.

Some courses offered at Waterbury are also open to students taking classes at Danbury. For more information on this program, contact WCSU at Waterbury, Founders Hall 129, (203) 596-8777.

Registered nurse graduates of associate degree and hospital diploma nursing programs who hold a current RN license in Connecticut or another state are encouraged to apply to this program. A current RN license is required from the state in which clinical affiliations are scheduled. These students must complete all college and department course requirements satisfactorily to be eligible for the B.S. degree with a major in Nursing. Western Connecticut State University is a participant in the Connecticut Articulation Model for Nurse Educational Mobility.