Decker School of Nursing Undergraduate Student Handbook 2014-2015


Table of Contents


Part A: General DSON Information

Mission Statement

Philosophy of the Decker School of Nursing

End of Program Outcomes

Professional Ethics and Academic Honesty Policy for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Decker School of Nursing Office Information

Advisement for Assistance in Program Planning

Part B: Academic Policies, Procedures, and Requirements

Academic Load

Academic Minors and/or Concentrations



Current Level (Senior, Junior, Sophomore, Freshman)

Double Degree

Financial Aid and Scholarships


Leave of Absence

Official Transcripts

Petitioning for Exceptions to Policies and Requirements of the DSON

Preparation of Written Assignments

Registration, Course Adds, Drops, and Grade Change Options

Removal of Incomplete Grades

Withdraw from Nursing Courses After Drop-Delete Deadline

Withdrawal from the Decker School of Nursing

Part C: Academic Standards for UG Program

Repeating a Course

Awards for Graduating Seniors

Dean's List

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements for Students with Baccalaureate and or Higher Degrees

Graduation with Honors

Part D: Undergraduate Transfer Student Information

Credit by Exam for General Education and Pre-requisites

Intra-University Transfers

Nursing Course Transfer Credit for Registered Nurse (RN) students

Transfer Credit

Transfer of Undergraduate Upper Division Credit Policies and Procedures

Transfer of Prerequisite Course Credit

Policy for transfer of nursing prerequisite courses for junior level Traditional Track nursing students

Part E: Undergraduate Curriculum

General Education Requirements

General Electives

Required Prerequisite Courses to the Nursing Curriculum

Exception for Licensed RNs to the DSON Required Prerequisite & Co-requisite Policy

Credit by Examination Policy for Selected Nursing Courses

Guidelines for Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Nursing Courses

Nurs 497 Independent Study Guidelines for Undergraduates

Undergraduate Nursing Elective Policies

Summer Clinical Nursing Programs

Part F: Policies and Procedures related to Undergraduate Clinical Experiences

Additional Expenses

On-Campus, and Off-Campus Laboratory Cancellations

Clinical Laboratories

DSON Innovative Simulation Practice Center

Laboratory Attendance (Absences)

Evaluation of Laboratory Performance


Uniform Policy

Criminal Background Screening and Drug Screening Administrative Policy

Policy and Procedure Guidelines for Occupational Post-Exposure Prophylaxis

Policy and Procedure Guidelines for Universal Precautions

Policies for Student Clinical Practice

Responsibilities of Patient Care

Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Essential Skills

Policy and Procedure for Student Incident Reports

Part G: Additional Information

Decker School of Nursing HIPAA Policy

Decker School of Nursing Honors Program

Second Read Policy

Grievance Procedure

DSON Student Organizations

Professional Career Information

Application for State Board and NCLEX-RN exam



The purpose of the Undergraduate Student Handbook is to clarify DSON academic policies, procedures, and curricular requirements to new and continuing students. In addition the DSON undergraduate handbook will be used to facilitate students' progress in meeting degree requirements.

Undergraduate students currently enrolled in DSON will use this handbook to find general, convenient, and pertinent information necessary to be successful while maximizing the resources of Binghamton University.

Additional information regarding academic policies and procedures can be found in the Binghamton University Bulletin on-line at and in specific policies of the Decker School within the Decker School on-line handbook. Students are also expected to become familiar with the University Rules Governing Academic Life for Students, also found in the on-line University BulletinF. Finally, the student should also be familiar with the Decker School of Nursing Website that will provide additional information and policy updates:

As a student preparing for practice in a distinguished field, you will encounter legal and professional obligations specific to becoming a professional nurse. These obligations include the requirement of all current nursing students to maintain their annual Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification. You are also responsible for maintaining an annual background check.

In addition students are required to submit an annual Student Health Evaluation form, before being permitted to participate in clinical experiences involving any client care. A students’ basic knowledge and skill level may need verification before assignment to clinical areas. Specific dress codes are mandatory for certain clinical agencies.

You are a member of a select group of students who have qualified for admission DSON. You are entering a challenging, rigorous, demanding, and rewarding program. Upon satisfactory completion of your program of study, you will enter into professional nursing practice as a distinguished, caring, and competent graduate of Binghamton University.

DSON faculty, administrators, and staff offer our warmest welcome to you and wish you every success. Our University motto is to learn, to search, and to serve. At DSON we work as a team to foster an environment promoting academic and individual growth.


Part A: General DSON Information

Mission Statement

Approved Fall 2013 by Faculty Council

Our mission is to disseminate and advance knowledge about human health care, health promotion and the treatment of illness in individuals, families and communities, with an emphasis on rural and other vulnerable populations. Students educated in our programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels will be able to practice Nursing from an evidence base. Consistent with its tradition as a public institution, the School will provide educational access and support to culturally and economically diverse students in an established culture of diversity, respect, and success with coursework and clinical experiences designed to promote socially just and competent care of all persons.

The ultimate goals of the School are to prepare future leaders in Nursing, healthcare, and healthcare research, and to promote the research and scholarship of its faculty and students, with a particular focus on solving the most challenging health problems in rural and other vulnerable populations, consonant with the goals of a research-intensive University. Finally, using additional strategies, the School will continue to educate the public and other professionals about emerging and established healthcare regimens.

Philosophy of the Decker School of Nursing

Approved Fall 2013 Faculty Council

The philosophy of the Decker School of Nursing (DSON) emphasizes the search for meaning, freedom of choice, integrity, personal responsibility, self-awareness, caring, and compassion for self and others. The Faculty is in accord with the stated mission of Binghamton University, a premier public institution, that is ". . . dedicated to enriching the lives of people in the region, nation, and world through discovery and education and to being enriched by its engagement in those communities."

The Faculty views nursing as an art and a science actuated by humanistic values. Nursing, as a science, is grounded in knowledge, generated through discovery, and implemented in evidence-based practice. Nursing, as an art, seeks to synthesize scientific, aesthetic and self-knowledge in providing direct care that promotes health, prevents illness, and maximizes the quality of life.

The focus of nursing is on human systems that consist of individuals, families, and communities, each existing interdependently with their environments. These systems experience ever-changing and complex states of health and require nursing care at various times along the life cycle. Nursing promotes self-actualization through health promotion, prevention of disease, restoration of health, and a peaceful and dignified death.

The Faculty believes in the essential dignity and worth of every person, family, and community as a unique and dynamic system. Human systems have aspects that are physical, social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual in nature, culminating in a greater whole. The Faculty views all human systems as evolving, on a purposeful journey through the wide dimensions of human experience.

The Faculty believes that human systems are ultimately responsible for their own growth, values, and search for fulfillment, while recognizing that self-actualization takes place in relationship with other human systems and the broader ecosystem. To this extent human systems interact with society at large and become stewards of their environment.

People should have the opportunity to exercise freedom of choice in determining and attaining their goals without interfering with the freedom and well-being of others. The Faculty values the promotion of social justice, whereby the necessary resources for growth, development, and actualization are available to all people and communities.
Health is a complex phenomenon characterized by dynamic interaction between the internal and external environments of every human system. Human systems experience health, illness, and death in unique and varying ways. The Faculty associates good health with the harmonious balance among all aspects of the human system throughout the continuum of life. Any human system functioning at a high level of health will also be maximizing that system's creative potential. Groups such as families, communities, and societies follow a similar pattern of relationships, capacity for growth, respect for diversity, and balance needed for optimal health. The health of rural and other vulnerable populations is of special interest to the students and Faculty of the DSON, whether caring for a rural client in an urban system or influencing the community or health care systems of rural areas.

The health of human systems is nursing's greatest concern. Nurses respect the principles of social justice; realizing health care resources in some environments are limited and need to be distributed fairly. To provide comprehensive health care, nursing must be cognizant of health values, beliefs, and perceptions of human systems and their effect on well-being in the context of complex environments and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Caring, trust, compassion and mutual respect are fundamental to the nurse-client relationship. The nurse incorporates knowledge and self-awareness in the development of a therapeutic approach. Nursing has its own knowledge built on theory and discovery, and shares a knowledge base with other disciplines to generate and utilize the best evidence for effective care.

Within professional nursing there are multiple levels of practice. The nurse generalist, prepared at the baccalaureate level, applies theory and research from the physical, behavioral, and nursing sciences to the practice of nursing. The baccalaureate-prepared nurse becomes an intelligent consumer of research, uses research-based evidence to support clinical practice, and participates collaboratively to manage comprehensive health services for a diverse and multicultural population. Baccalaureate-prepared nurses demonstrate beginning leadership and management skills in the coordination of resources for client systems within a value system consistent with professional nursing. The nurse specialist prepared at the graduate level solves complex client care problems through a multiplicity of roles using theoretically driven strategies of advanced nursing practice. The master's-prepared nurse participates in research, uses evidence-based practice, assumes a leadership role in the planning, management, and improvement of health care, influences health policy, and promotes the continuing development of nursing as a profession. The terminal degrees in nursing are at the doctoral level, including the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). The PhD graduate from the DSON is actively engaged in designing original research to generate and test theory. The DNP graduate evaluates and implements research into evidence-based practice. Both degrees make an effort to enhance nursing practice in rural and other vulnerable populations and to develop policies that optimize the health of these populations. Together the nurse generalist and nurse specialist collaborate to advance the profession of nursing.

Nursing education is achieved through the active participation in discovery, practice and scholarship. The Faculty views education as a continuous lifelong process of becoming, aimed at the development of intellectual, aesthetic and professional interests that advance each learner towards personal and professional goals. The essence of learning and growth for both teacher and learner is the Faculty-student relationship. The Faculty prepare culturally, ethnically, and racially diverse nurses to strengthen the professions ability to meet the needs all people. The Faculty recognizes and supports the need for international collaboration and experiences for both students and Faculty, as we seek to generate a global vision in relation to health and nursing.

Additional units of the DSON such as Health and Wellness, serve to educate on the importance of healthy lifestyles. Health and Wellness and Nursing faculty can bring synergy to research into issues of health promotion and disease prevention.


End of Program Outcomes

Approved Fall 2013 Faculty Council

The Decker School uses the AACN Essentials for Baccalaureate Nursing Practice (2008) as an organizing curricular framework.  End of program outcomes are listed with the corresponding baccalaureate core essential.

BS Essential I: Liberal Education for Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice
  • Synthesize concepts and principles from science, nursing, and humanities into nursing practice.
BS Essential II: Basic Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Care and Patient Safety
  • Use leadership skills to enhance the quality of nursing and health practices.
BS Essential III: Scholarship for Evidence-Based Practice
  • Critique research findings for applicability for evidence based nursing practice.
  • Provide professional nursing care at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of prevention based on knowledge from theory, evidence-based practice, and research.
BS Essential IV: Information Management and Application of Patient Care Technology
  • Participate in efforts to meet emerging health needs through implementation of evolving nursing roles.
BS Essential V: Healthcare Policy, Finance, and Regulatory Environments
  • Exhibit basic knowledge of healthcare policy, finance, and regulatory environments that influence nursing practice.
BS Essential VI: Interprofessional Communication and Collaboration for Improving Health Outcomes
  • Participate collaboratively with other health care providers and members of the community in promoting the health, safety, and well-being of all.
  • Participate in efforts to meet emerging health needs through implementation of evolving nursing roles.
BS Essential VII: Clinical Prevention and Population Health
  • Provide professional nursing care at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of prevention based on knowledge from theory, evidence-based practice, and research
  • Apply nursing process to assist diverse client systems in a variety of settings to achieve optimal health.
BS Essential IX: Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice
  • Demonstrate accountability for professional standards of moral, legal, and ethical conduct.
  • Use communication processes effectively with individuals and groups
BS Essential VIII: Professionalism and Professional Values
  • Demonstrate accountability for professional standards of moral, legal, and ethical conduct.


Professional Ethics and Academic Honesty Policy for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Students are responsible for maintaining the integrity of and hold individual responsibility for their course assignments. Failure to do so is a violation of the Academic Honesty Policies of both the University and the Decker School of Nursing. See bulletin for the University's policies on Academic Integrity and the Student Academic Honesty Code. This link will also allow students to review violation category definitions per the University's Academic Honesty policies. See DSON Academic Honesty Policy for department specific procedures re: Academic Honesty. For more information on Academic Honesty at the University level including forms, please see the Provost's web site.

Decker School of Nursing Office Information

Administrative, faculty, and staff offices of the Decker School are located in the Nursing Building. Administrative office rooms and phone extension follow:

Office Room Extension
Decker School of Nursing Dean 's Office AB-108 7-2311
Graduate Programs AB-110 7-4964
Undergraduate Programs AB-112 7-4954
Student Services AB-114 7-4954
Clinical Site Coordinator AB-116 7-4845
Kresge Center for Nursing Research AB-315 7-4625


Advisement for Assistance in Program Planning

The Director of Student Services and Senior Academic Advisor serve as faculty advisors for freshmen and sophomore nursing students. Decker School faculty members advise students once they are ready to enter the upper-division nursing major courses. The faculty advisor is most qualified to answer questions pertaining to the nursing curriculum to insure that requirements are being fulfilled and to provide information on graduate study.

The faculty advisor is the best resource person for the student. Each faculty member has office hours and an appointment may be arranged by telephone to see one's advisor. Students are urged to consult their faculty advisor on a regular basis as they progress through the nursing curriculum.

The Director of Student Services and the Senior Academic Advisor serve as a resource for information on transferring credit, for monitoring students' academic progress and for clarifying rules, regulations, and academic policies. Students will receive a Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) report before Advance Registration each semester.

This report lists requirements that have been fulfilled as well as those that must be completed for the Bachelor of Science degree with the major in nursing. Students are responsible for making sure that they are following a program of study that leads to the completion of degree requirements.

Part B: Academic Policies, Procedures, and Requirements

Academic Load

Reviewed April 2014, EPC

Students are considered to have full-time status by the University if they are carrying 12 or more credits per semester with letter or Pass/Fail grading option. Most students carry 16 to 17 credits (4 courses) per semester. Students are considered to have part-time status if they are carrying less than 12 credits. Undergraduate students are allowed to register for no more than 18 credit hours unless they have filed an academic petition for an overload.

Undergraduate students with a 3.3 GPA will receive automatic approval for credit overload up to 22 credits. Eligible students requesting credit overload should contact Student Services. First semester freshman, first semester transfer students, and students on probation may not overload credits. Students who do not meet the 3.3 GPA or who want to take more than 22 credits must submit a petition through the Educational Policies Committee. Students should attend class until they can register officially online. (See the section on Petitioning for Exceptions to Policies and Requirements.)

Students may matriculate on a part-time or full-time basis.

Academic Minors and/or Concentrations

Reviewed April 2014, EPC

An academic minor or concentration is an approved course sequence within an area of study outside of the nursing curriculum that provides a program of specialization in that area. Students are encouraged to consult the Binghamton University Bulletin for specific information regarding minors. The area in which a student takes a minor is recorded on the transcript upon graduation. Students interested in this option are urged to contact Decker Student Services for academic advising regarding a program plan soon after enrollment in the Decker School and prior to nursing courses in the third year.


Reviewed April 2014, EPC

DSON adheres to the University policy pertaining to attendance in class. Please refer to the University Bulletin for details. Attendance for all clinical and laboratory experiences is mandatory. Students must notify their instructors if they are unable to meet this commitment because of illness or other circumstances beyond their control. All course-related assignments must be completed as indicated in course syllabi unless prior arrangements are made with course faculty. DSON will attempt to make reasonable accommodations for students with scheduling conflicts related to religious observance, performing arts sessions, debates, or Division I athletic obligations. Students are expected to contact the instructor of record for the course affected as soon as possible if there is need for an accommodation due to scheduling conflicts. The DSON will make every attempt to ensure students have an opportunity to learn with reasonable alternative formats when selected schedule conflicts occur.


Students may satisfy their interest in a subject area or explore a new area of study through a course audit. By auditing a course, students participate in but do not receive credit for the course. Course Audit Petitions are available in the Registrar's Office, the undergraduate advising offices, and the Graduate School. Students may register for audits within the course add period only. Credit-bearing courses may not be changed to audit courses after the course add deadline. In addition audited courses may not be changed to credit courses after this deadline. Audited courses do not satisfy degree requirements.

Prospective auditors are advised of the following:

  • ANY nursing student who wants to audit a nursing course must acquire prior approval from the Director of Undergraduate Programs before registering for the course.

**“Prior approval” is defined as placing one's request to audit before the semester begins in which the course being considered for audit is offered**

  • Students who audit a course must pay full tuition.
  • Audit students are expected to attend class regularly and to fulfill course requirements. Successful completion is listed on the transcript with a notation of AU in place of the grade; the course is expunged from the record if the student fails to meet the requirements.
  • A course taken on an audit basis will not be counted in determining full-time status for financial aid eligibility, student loan deferments, NCAA eligibility, assistantship or fellowship eligibility, on-campus housing, or for some health insurance coverage.

Current Level (Senior, Junior, Sophomore, Freshman)

DSON considers the student to have senior standing when junior year nursing courses have been satisfactorily completed and the student is enrolled in senior nursing courses.

Students are considered to have junior standing upon satisfactory completion of the 66 credits of liberal arts and sciences and prerequisite courses and enrollment in junior-level nursing courses.

Students who have completed 30 credits of classroom study are considered sophomores in DSON.

A student who has completed less than 30 credits is considered a freshman.

Double Degree

DSON students may earn the degree in nursing and a degree offered in another discipline at Binghamton University at the same time by completing a minimum of 156 credits, 28 credits beyond the 128 required for nursing, and fulfilling all requirements for both degree programs. Students who wish to participate in the Double Degree Program may apply by completing and submitting to the Undergraduate Admissions Office the Application for a Double Degree form available from the Student Services Office or the Admissions Office. Students are also urged to contact the Director of Student Services for academic advising regarding a program plan to facilitate successful completion of both degrees. Students are required to have a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA for consideration.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Binghamton offers a variety of need-based grants and loans to eligible students including federal nursing student loans. Students may apply for assistance by completing the Federal Government's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) indicating on the form that the processing agency send information to Binghamton University (SUNY), code number 002836. In addition, New York State residents should complete the current edition of the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Application. Students may contact the Office of Financial Aid and Student Records at 607-777-2428 for information on financial aid eligibility.

The Decker School of Nursing has a limited number of scholarships available with specific eligibility criteria including merit and, in some cases, residency requirements. These awards are given annually to admitted and enrolled students depending on funding availability.

An application and additional information for admitted and enrolled students will be available online. For returning students the deadline to apply for these scholarships is March 1.

A committee reviews scholarship applications, and applicants are notified about the scholarship funds before the beginning of the fall semester.

Students may contact the Student Services Office at 607-777-4954 for more information and for applications.

Applications will be considered beginning in March and all decisions are made by May 1 each year. Applications received after the May 1 deadline may be considered for an award on an individual basis.

A list of scholarship descriptions:

Alumni Scholarships

Scholarships funded by the alumni of the Decker School of Nursing are given to undergraduate students based on need and/or merit.

Arkell Hall Foundation Scholarships

Scholarships funded by the Arkell Hall Foundation, Inc., are given to students from Montgomery, Fulton, Schoharie, and Herkimer Counties in New York State. Students from Montgomery County receive first preference. Awards are reserved for students who intend to pursue their nursing careers in one of these counties.

Binghamton General Hospital School of Nursing Scholarship

This scholarship, funded by the Binghamton General School of Nursing Alumni Association, is given to registered nurse students who are pursuing a baccalaureate degree in the Decker School of Nursing. Preference is given to residents of Broome, Chenango, Delaware, and Tioga Counties in New York and in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. FAFSA required.

Broome County Charities Nursing Scholarship Fund

Awarded to a Broome County resident; second preference given to a student residing within a 60-mile radius of Broome County. Student must show an interest in living and working in the Broome County area and demonstrate financial need. The recipient can be a full-time or part-time undergraduate or graduate student.

Charles S. Wilson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association Scholarship

Reserved for matriculated DSON undergraduate full- and part-time students with a preference given to Wilson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing (WMHSON) alumni or relatives of WMHSON alumni. Preference is given to New York or Pennsylvania residents living within a 60-mile radius of the University. Financial need determined in consultation with the Office of Financial Aid and Student Records. FAFSA required. 

Dr. G. Clifford and Florence B. Decker Foundation Scholarships

Scholarships funded by the Dr. G. Clifford and Florence B. Decker Foundation are given to nursing students who reside within a 60-mile radius of Broome County. First priority is given to Broome County residents.

Lester Casper Nursing Scholarship

This scholarship for nursing students with financial need. Preference for incoming Decker School of Nursing freshmen students with demonstrated financial need as determined in consultation with the Office of Finacial Aid and Student Records. FAFSA required.

Mark and Ann O'Neil Scholarship Fund

Established to benefit graduate students demonstrating financial need DSON Recipients must be matriculated full- or part-time master's degree students. Preference is given to financially needy students pursuing a specialty in primary care or gerontology who have an interest in serving community-based elder or rural elder patients. Financial need is determined by the scholarship selection committee in consultation with the Office of Finacial Aid and Student Records.

United Health Services Nursing Scholarships

Scholarships funded by United Health Service Hospitals, Inc., are given to area minorities and immigrants and their children who wish to pursue a nursing education at the DSON.

William H. Lane Incorporated Scholarship

Scholarships funded by William H. Lane, Incorporated, are given to full-time students based on academic merit and proven need for financial aid. Awards are reserved for New York State residents with first preference to those residing in upstate New York. FAFSA required.


Grades in courses offered by the University are normally recorded as follows: A, A–, B+, B, B–, C+, C, C–, D and F.

A grade of C- or higher in nursing courses is required for progression in the nursing curriculum. A grade of D or less in a nursing course will require repeating that course.

Numerical equivalents of the assigned letter grade that are traditionally used in the undergraduate program for consistency are:

A  =      93 – 100   

A-  =     90 - 92

B+ =     87 - 89

B  =      83 - 86

B-  =     80 - 82

C+ =     77 - 79

C  =      73 - 76

C-  =     70 - 72

D  =      60 - 69

F    =      Below 60

Grades of I (Incomplete), W (Withdrawn), and AU (Audit) may be given. These grades are not included in cumulative totals.

Leave of Absence

There is no official University procedure for taking a leave of absence.

However, if the student plans to leave Binghamton University and not register for classes in a given semester, the student should notify the DSON Student Services Office in writing. Students who wish to return to Binghamton University after an absence of two major semesters (or longer) will need to reapply for admission with the University Admissions Office, and may find that their return is complicated by program changes or enrollment space availability (See Readmission). More information on the process of withdrawing from one course or all courses in a semester may be found on the Registrar's website.

Official Transcripts

Many employers and some State Boards of Nursing require official transcripts prior to employment and application for licensure. Official transcripts are available only from the Registrar's Office and must be requested by the individual student. The DSON cannot request transcripts for forwarding to any individual, agency or institution. For more information see Registrar website.


Petitioning for Exceptions to Policies and Requirements of the DSON

Reviewed April 2014, EPC

If the student thinks she/he has good reason to be granted an exception to a policy or requirement, the student may petition the Educational Policies Committee (EPC) of DSON. The committee will decide outcomes of student petitions for exceptions to education policy. Appeals of petitions denied by the committee are made to the Dean.

Process of Petitioning:

  • Students should discuss their situation with their assigned adviser, the Student Services Office, or the EOP or CSTEP adviser.
  • If the situation indicates the need for a policy exception, the student must complete a petition form online. Students should read the EPC petition form carefully, and fill it out completely. Describe the request for exception and give reasons for making the request. Attach appropriate supporting documents such as catalog course descriptions, course outline or syllabus, letters from instructors or department chairpersons, supporting statements from advisors or instructors, or any additional information that will help committee members decide how best to meet the educational interests of the student. Supporting documentation will be returned to the student after the committee makes its decision. Petitions that are unclear or give insufficient information will be returned to the student for clarification.
  • Students should consult the Student Services Office for information on meeting dates and the name of the chair of the committee. Students must submit their petition and supporting material to the Student Services Office one week before the next scheduled meeting date for the committee to take action on the petition. Meeting dates are subject to change. Students may attend the meeting to provide additional information or may have an advocate speak for them. The petition will usually be acted upon within a month.
  • Consult DSON Student Services (AB 112/114) if you have other questions about the petition process.


Preparation of Written Assignments

Reviewed April 2014, EPC

Students in nursing courses are required to type all written assignments unless specifically advised otherwise. It is assumed that students begin the nursing major with strong writing skills. In addition, the School has adopted the use of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, latest edition, by the American Psychological Association.


Registration, Course Adds, Drops, and Grade Change Options

 This policy is especially critical and most often implemented when considering clinically based course enrollments. DSON has a responsibility to provide an environment in which all students can safely and successfully perform in clinical settings.

The University Bulletin provides students with policies and deadlines as they relate to course registration, the course add/drop period, and the individual course grade option change process. The Registrar's web site also provides course registration-related instructions, policies, and information.

For information on withdrawing from a DSON course, see Withdrawal in this publication. Please see the University Bulletin for withdrawal from non-nursing courses; select Dropping a Course or Withdrawing for a Semester from the drop down menu.

Note that if a class is closed, students may contact the department or school offering the course for information on how to petition for a space in the class at the discretion of the department.

The DSON Undergraduate Late Add/Drop Petition form is available online and also in the Student Services Office, AB 112/114.  For all course adds or drops after published deadlines, a petition must be completed and signed by the petitioning student, the Director of Student Services in DSON, and the faculty instructor of record for the course. Once all signatures are obtained, the student may submit an approved Late Add/Drop petition with appropriate late fee payment to the Student Accounts Office.

Approved petitions must be submitted to Student Accounts within two weeks of approval to be accepted. It is the student's responsibility to pick up the approved form from the Decker School Student Services Office within a week after the date of the approval and submit the form to Student Accounts with the appropriate late fee payment.

Students should always discuss adding or dropping a class with their adviser before doing so since this may affect their program plan. If students need to Late Add or Late Drop a course, they should also discuss the situation with their adviser. If students stop attending class without officially dropping a course, they receive an "F" on the transcript. Students must drop all courses for which they have registered and have not attended. NOTE: Students who drop a course or courses in a semester resulting in a credit total that falls below full time status (E.g., below 12 credits) will be required by Student Accounts to request a tuition refund. A refund is pro-rated based on the Student Accounts Tuition Adjustment/Refund Schedule.

The student who wishes to change a grade option should be aware of the Decker School grading policies (see Academic Standards and Grading). Only electives and physical education courses may be taken "P/F" unless "P/F" is the only grade option available.

Students are expected to consult with an adviser, if they have questions. If the student decides, after consultation with the adviser to change the grading option to "P/F" or "audit" before the drop deadline, the student may do so via BU Brain.

If the drop deadline has passed, the student will need to obtain an Undergraduate Late Add/Drop petition form, and seek approval for the change of grade option from the instructor, an adviser, and the Director of Student Services.

** DSON reserves the right to alter section enrollment limits and student placement within a course section or sections based on Department and School operating needs**


Removal of Incomplete Grades

An incomplete grade in a nursing course that is a prerequisite to a subsequent nursing course must be converted to a letter grade by the beginning of the following semester or the grade will convert to an "F."

The course instructor of record must approve exceptions to this policy in writing with copies to the student file, the Director of Undergraduate Programs, the faculty adviser, and the Office of the University Registrar. Incomplete grades earned in nursing electives will be subject to and follow University policy regarding incompletes.

An incomplete in a course other than nursing will convert to an "F" at the end of the next semester unless an official extension has been filed with the Office of the Registrar. The appropriate form, “Request for Extension of Incomplete Grade in an Undergraduate Course,” is available in the Registrar's Office. The student must initiate the request for an extension after reaching agreement with the instructor for an alternate completion date.

Withdraw from Nursing Courses After Drop-Delete Deadline

Approved by DSON Faculty Council 2/3/97

Reviewed 5-14-2012 EPC

With the permission of the course instructor of record, a student may petition to drop a nursing course after the withdrawal Deadline.

A student who drops a nursing course after the withdrawal deadline will receive a grade of W (withdraw).

This withdrawal grade indicates that the student has made an attempt to complete the course, and a student will be allowed a maximum of two attempts. (See Academic Dismissal)

If a student retakes a nursing course in which a withdrawal grade was received on the first attempt and again seeks permission to withdraw, the instructor of record will assign a grade of F and the student will be dismissed from the School of Nursing (See Academic Dismissal). 

Withdrawing grades will not be used to compute the grade point average.

In a course with a clinical nursing component, the clinical instructor with the concurrence of the course instructor of record and/or the Director of Undergraduate Programs may require that a student petition for withdrawal if a serious or repeated problem involving health or safety occurs. 

The student will not be permitted to return to the clinical site. In such cases, refusal to petition for a withdrawal grade prior to the last day of classes will result in a grade of F in the course.

The decision to apply for a withdrawing grade must be made, documented on the appropriate petition form, and received by the University Office of Financial Aid and Student Records prior to the closing of that office on the last day of classes in the semester in which the course was taken.

A student who is concerned about the impact of a withdrawal or failing grade on her or his financial aid status is advised to meet with a counselor at the University Office of Financial Aid and Student Records.


Withdrawal from the Decker School of Nursing

Reviewed 5-14-2012, EPC

Students who withdraw during the semester must obtain a Binghamton University Withdrawal Form from the University Office of Financial Aid and Student Records and have it signed by all offices indicated.

Failure to follow this procedure will result in grades of F on the transcript for that semester for all courses not attended. Students must return I.D. cards to Student Accounts upon withdrawal from the University.

There is no academic penalty for withdrawal from the University up to the last day of class in any given semester. Students who withdraw prior to the Drop-Delete Deadline will have all courses deleted from their record.

Students who withdraw after the Drop-Delete Deadline will have grades of W
for all courses, and the notation of the withdrawal date will appear on the official transcript.

Part C: Academic Standards for UG Program

Academic Warning/Probation/Dismissal

Reviewed 5-14-2012, EPC

Students in the Decker School of Nursing must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0. Students whose end-of-semester GPA is below 2.0 or whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 will receive one of the following academic actions:

 Academic Warning

  • Students whose GPA at the end of a current semester falls below a 2.0 for that semester, but whose cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher, will receive a letter of academic warning. The purpose of the academic warning letter is to notify the student that initial academic probation will result if the cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 in the next semester.
  • If a Decker School of Nursing student completes the first semester of freshman year with a GPA of less than 2.0, the student will receive a letter of academic warning rather than being placed on initial academic probation (see 2). This exception will apply only in this case, and after the first semester, academic policies will apply as per the Student Handbook.


Initial Academic Probation
If the student's cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 at the end of the semester, the student will be placed on academic probation. The designation “Academic Probation” will be placed on the student's internal transcript. The purpose of academic probation is to serve notice to students that the quality of their work is below an acceptable level and that continuation of unsatisfactory work will result in academic dismissal from the Decker School of Nursing.


Continuing Academic Probation

If the student has been placed on initial academic probation in the preceding semester and the GPA of the current semester is at least 2.0 but the cumulative GPA is less than 2.0, the student will be placed on continuing academic probation. The designation “Academic Probation” will continue to be placed on the student's internal transcript, and the student will remain on continuing academic probation until the cumulative GPA is at least 2.0.


Academic Suspension/Dismissal

If the student has been placed on academic probation and fails to achieve a GPA of at least 2.0 in the next semester, the student will receive notice of academic suspension. This suspension prevents enrollment in all University courses for a period of one semester, excluding Summer Session. If the student receives a failing grade or a withdrawal grade in any core nursing course with a subsequent D, W, or F the student will receive notice of academic dismissal from the program and may seek inter-University transfer if desired.


A full-time student normally completes the degree in the Decker School in a four- to five-year period. The requirements to complete the nursing degree must be met within six years from the time the student is enrolled in the first nursing course.

Nursing courses in which a student receives a W may be repeated only once for one core nursing course, regardless of the number of credits the course carries. Failure to pass the course on the second attempt results in the student's dismissal from the Decker School.


Repeating a Course

Revised: 5-21-12, EPC, Faculty Council

Students may repeat a general education course or elective course if they receive a withdrawn (W) or failed (F).

  • Students must repeat a prerequisite liberal arts or science course if they receive a D, W or F. 
  • Students who wish to repeat an equivalent prerequisite course at another college or university may do so according to the transfer credit policy (See Transfer Credit).
  • Students may repeat two core nursing courses if they receive a D, W, or F in the course on the first attempt. (See Academic Dismissal). 
  • A grade of D, W, or F in will require that a student complete a Plan for Academic Success. 
  • Students would be required to meet with the course coordinator and their advisor, and to create a plan for remediation.
  • Any subsequent D, W, or F in core nursing courses will result in dismissal from the School of Nursing. 

Awards for Graduating Seniors

The following awards have been created for graduating seniors to recognize their achievements as students in DSON. Additional information on the awards is available in the Student Services Office. The awards are:

Dennis Jimenez Memorial Award - Presented to a graduating nursing student in memory of Dennis Jimenez. Dennis was a nursing student who we sadly lost in 2003. Not only was he dedicated to his nursing studies, but he was also an accomplished musician and composer. Many have memories of Dennis sitting at his piano sharing his gift of music with others. This award is given by the graduating class to a senior who demonstrates ability not only in nursing but also in the performing arts.

Jessica Mally Memorial Award - presented to the graduating senior who most possesses class spirit, independence, and a strong dedication to nursing. This award, created by the Class of 1981, is a memorial to Jessica Mally, a classmate who died in an automobile accident. (Voted by senior class according to the stated criteria)

Martha Harnick Bress '69 Nursing Award - The Martha Harnick Bress '69 Nursing Award is presented to a student completing nursing as a second degree who has demonstrated clinical excellence or is completing nursing as a non-traditional age student.

Mary E. Mahoney Leadership and Service Award - Presented to the graduating senior who demonstrates outstanding leadership and service to both the Mary E. Mahoney Support Group and to DSON. (Voted by student members of the Mary E. Mahoney Support Group)

Mary Pillepich Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice - Presented to a graduating senior. The Pillepich Award recognizes excellence in clinical practice. (Voted by faculty and based upon clinical excellence)

Sara Ainspan Memorial Award - presented to a graduating senior in good academic standing in the baccalaureate accelerated program. This award is voted upon by both the senior and junior classes and awarded to the individual whose sense of humor and adventuresome personality enhances the practice of nursing. This award, created by the Class of 1997, is a memorial to Sara Ainspan, a classmate who died in a skydiving accident.

The Decker Foundation Award for Academic Excellence - Presented to a graduating senior in the baccalaureate accelerated track program. The award recognizes academic excellence based on a Binghamton University GPA of 3.7 or above in all upper division nursing course work.

The Decker Foundation Award for Clinical Excellence - Presented to a graduating senior in the baccalaureate accelerated track program. The award recognizes academic excellence based on a Binghamton University GPA of 3.7 or above in all upper division nursing coursework and excellence in clinical practice. (Voted by faculty)

The Registered Professional Nurse (RN) Baccalaureate Award­­­ - presented by DSON annually to a graduating senior who currently is a registered professional nurse. This award recognizes academic achievement and clinical excellence as well as exceptional leadership and dedicated service to the nursing profession by a registered nurse completing the Baccalaureate Degree. The winner of this award not only supports the mission and embodies the philosophy of the Decker School of Nursing but also meets the following criteria:

  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or better
  • Clinical excellence in the Registered Nurse student role
  • Service and leadership in professional nursing organizations
  • Preceptor and mentor of generic nursing students and new nurses


The following awards are given by Binghamton University, the Binghamton University Foundation, and the Chancellor of the State University of New York to recognize excellence of graduating students:

Binghamton University Award for Academic Excellence - Any current undergraduate or graduate student at Binghamton who is in good academic standing is eligible. The student will have enriched the Binghamton community through leadership and accomplishment in such areas as research, teaching, scholarship, student life, and community life, all of which reflect the University's purposes and priorities.

Binghamton University Foundation Award for Academic Excellence - Awarded to the graduating senior with the highest GPA at the end of the seventh semester, based on cumulative GPA.  Recipient determined by the Academic Standards Committee of the Decker School of Nursing. Students must have taken at least 28 credits for a letter grade at Binghamton prior to the spring semester of the senior year to be eligible for the award.

Chancellor's Awards for Student Excellence - Chancellor's Awards are presented annually and are based on the student's outstanding academic record and significant contributions to the University community. Each honoree has excelled in academic achievement and at least one of the following areas: leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts or career achievement. Recipients are given a framed certificate and medallion, which may be worn at Commencement.

Dean's List

A Dean's List is compiled at the end of each semester. In order to qualify, students must meet the following conditions:

  • Minimal acceptable GPA of 3.5
  • Student must be matriculated in DSON
  • Student must be taking at least 8 credits with letter grades for the semester
  • No incompletes or missing grades are allowed on a student's transcript when being considered for Dean's List.

The designation "Dean's List" will be placed on the student's official transcript.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in nursing, the student must:

  • Complete a minimum of 32 academic courses (128 semester hours)
  • Complete the general course requirements for the degree
  • Take the last 7 1/2 courses (30 credits) toward the degree at Binghamton University. Students who wish to transfer any part of the last 30 credits must petition the Educational Policies Committee for an exception to this policy. (See Petitioning for Exceptions to Policies and Requirements.)
  • Complete all degree requirements within six years from the time the student enrolled in the first nursing course
  • Achieve an overall cumulative GPA of 2.0, with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in nursing courses
  • Pay or satisfactorily adjust all fees and bills
  • Not be under any disciplinary action
  • Be duly recommended by the University faculty
  • Have been admitted to the degree by formal action by the State University Trustees

Degree Requirements for Students with Baccalaureate and or Higher Degrees

Approved 8/26/91  

In order to fulfill requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in nursing, students who hold the baccalaureate or higher degree in another field must complete nursing course requirements and, only those general requirements that are prerequisite to the nursing course sequence.

Graduation with Honors

Approved 10/07

Students with outstanding academic records receive college-wide honors upon graduation. To qualify students must meet the cumulative grade-point averages specified below, have at least 48 graded Binghamton University credits and have no missing grades or Incompletes. Honors are awarded as follows:

  • 3.50-3.69 GPA: cum laude
  • 3.70-3.84 GPA: magna cum laude
  • 3.85-4.00 GPA: summa cum laude

The appropriate graduation honors are indicated on the diploma and on the final transcript.

Residence Requirements

Students in the Decker School are required to take the last 7 1/2 courses (30 credits) toward the degree at Binghamton. Students who wish to transfer any part of the last 30 credits must petition the Educational Policies Committee for an exception to this policy (See Petitioning for Exceptions to Policies and Requirements).


Part D: Undergraduate Transfer Student Information

Credit by Exam for General Education and Pre-requisites

Updated 9/2011, EPC

Options for credit by examination for general education and prerequisite science courses include the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Excelsior College Examinations (ECE). CLEP and ECE scores must meet guidelines established by Binghamton. To learn more about this method of receiving credit, contact the Student Services Office or the Undergraduate Program Office in the Decker School.

Intra-University Transfers

Students who wish to transfer to another Binghamton University school may apply by completing an Intra-University transfer application obtained from the Admissions Office or by going online to the Admissions web site at Students are expected to remain in DSON for a minimum of two semesters. Students should notify the Student Services Office in writing if they plan to transfer from DSON to another school within the University.

Nursing Course Transfer Credit for Registered Nurse (RN) students

DSON has no limit on the number of transfer credits allowed given coursework is completed with a grade of C- or better. Transfer credits include 20 credits of nursing coursework to meet upper division nursing course requirements for students that are licensed graduates of Associate Degree programs in nursing. An additional 32 credits of nursing course work is required and must be completed at Binghamton University in order to meet degree requirements. The remaining credits required for the degree will be made up of general education courses, prerequisite courses, and general elective courses to total 128 credits.

Registered nurse students graduating from hospital diploma programs may earn up to 24 credits for prior nursing knowledge through Regents College Examinations. Registered nurse students with associate degrees in nursing from out-of-state community colleges will have nursing transfer credit evaluated on an individual basis.

Registered nurse students who transfer nursing credit or use the examination process to meet 20 of the 52 nursing major credits will take 32 credits of course work at DSON. These credits exceed the residency requirement of 30 credits.

Transfer Credit

If you received college credit for course work completed at a degree-granting institution, or if you have enrolled in any post high school formal education that is not credit bearing, you are considered a transfer student. Course work for which credit has been received is evaluated through the Student Services Office.

DSON has developed policies and procedures by which students with baccalaureate nursing credit from another program may transfer some portion of that credit to meet nursing course requirements at Binghamton University. Credit for this upper-division course work will be evaluated on an individual basis (See Policies and Procedures for Transfer of Upper Division Nursing Credit).

General education courses may be transferred to fulfill general and elective course requirements if a grade of "C-" or higher was earned in courses completed at accredited colleges or universities. DSON will also transfer credit hours to fulfill elective requirements for a course where the grade option was Pass/Fail and a grade of Pass was earned.

The DSON has no limit on the number of transfer credits allowed given coursework is completed with a grade of C- or better. Generally, no more than 76 transfer credits are accepted from all previous college work as the University policy is to accept only those courses necessary for completion of degree requirements. Course credit for transferred courses is recorded on your Binghamton transcript; grades are not recorded. Courses must be worth at least 3 credits to fulfill a humanities, social science, statistics, or science requirement. Science courses such as human anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and chemistry are expected to include a laboratory component. Other transferred credits that do not fulfill DSON prerequisites or general education requirements will count as electives.

You are urged to speak with a DSON adviser if you plan to take summer school courses at another college or university. You must first complete a Petition to Transfer Credit from Another Institution form (also available in the Student Services Office). You must also provide a catalog course description or outline as requested by the reviewing office. Approval of this petition is your contract that the courses you plan to take will be acceptable for transfer credit. You must receive a grade of "C-" or better in order for the transfer credits to be awarded.

Upon completion of summer school courses, you must contact the Registrar at the college or university and arrange to have an official transcript mailed to the Student Services Office in DSON. The credit, but not the course title or grade, will be recorded on your Binghamton transcript. Note that the grade(s) earned will not be included in the Binghamton University grade point average (GPA). Credit for all course work taken cannot be awarded without the official transcript.

If you are taking prerequisite coursework during the summer prior to entering the nursing major and are unable to obtain an official transcript, you must submit grade reports or a letter from the instructor as proof of successful completion of the prerequisite course work to the Student Services Office before the beginning of fall classes. Your registration in the nursing course work may be cancelled if adequate documentation is not submitted as requested.

**Please note transfer of credit to Binghamton**

  • DSON transfers credits as earned at another institution. A 3-credit course transfers for 3 credits but will fulfill a 4-credit requirement.
  • Quarter credits are not the same as semester credits. Binghamton University is on a semester-credit system. If you take quarter-credit courses, you receive two semester credits for each three quarter credits you successfully complete.
  • DSON awards transfer credits upon receipt of official transcripts. Students are responsible for contacting the credit-granting institution for these transcripts.


If you completed 65-66 credits of liberal arts and science requirements, it will take you a minimum of two years to complete the nursing course sequence. Generally, it is expected that nursing courses be completed at Binghamton University. The policies and procedures for transfer of nursing credit can be found in Policies and Procedures for Transfer of Upper Division Nursing Credit.

Transfer of Undergraduate Upper Division Credit Policies and Procedures

Updated: 2/2012

DSON has developed policies and procedures by which students with nursing credits from another program may transfer some portion of that credit to meet Decker School nursing course requirements. Designated credits can be used to fulfill a limited number of credits required to complete the nursing major.

In order to have nursing credit taken in another program considered for transfer credit, the following criteria must be met.

  1. The student has been admitted to DSON.
  2. Course(s) for which transfer credit is sought must have been taken in a CCNE or NLN accredited nursing program.
  3. Course(s) may be transferred if the student has received a grade of C- or better (as documented on the official transcript).
  4. Student must present a course syllabus which clearly identifies the focus, objectives, assignments, etc. of the course.
  5. Course for which transfer credit is requested must have been completed in the last 10 years.


Transfer of Nursing Credit to Meet Core Curriculum Requirements of DSON

  • Students may petition to have selected courses taken in another nursing program accepted to meet a limited amount of core curriculum course requirements in DSON. These courses must be completed prior to admission to DSON.

  • The general criteria for transfer of credit identified in the Preamble to these policies and procedures must be met.

  • The student must complete a minimum of 28 of the 52 credits in the nursing curriculum. (Binghamton University requires that the last 30 credits toward the degree be in residence.)

  • Nursing courses which must be taken at Binghamton University include: NURS Socialization Courses (NURS 320, 360, 470) (10 credits total); The Client System of Nursing (NURS 322; 4 credits); Practice of Nursing V (NURS 471 (for traditional track and BAT students), 8 credits; NURS 380, 382, 384, & 484 (8 credits) for licensed RNs; and at least one of the third level Practice of Nursing courses--Nursing 352, 353, 362 or 363 (4 credits each).

  • Courses for which transfer credit is requested must be equivalent in content and objectives to a specific course in the nursing curriculum (e.g., 321, 351, 352, 353, 361, 362, 365, & 363)


** Determination of the appropriate course (NURS 352, 353, 362 or 363) would be made after review of the student's total program to assure that end of program objectives of DSON would be met**

  1. A petition must be filed with the Educational Policies Committee.
  2. The petition must be accompanied by information which documents that the general criteria for transferring nursing credit have been met.
  3. Educational Policies Committee will seek consultation from course heads and/or the Director of Undergraduate Programs before taking action on the petition.
  4. Exception to this procedure: If the Educational Policies Committee has approved a course for transfer credit within the past 5 years, the Chair of the Educational Policies Committee or a member of the Student Services office has the discretion to approve the petition without requiring another committee vote.


**DSON recognizes the distinctiveness of nursing curricula; however, individual courses taken in another program in nursing may be equivalent to DSON courses. Therefore, the above policy on transfer credit was established to serve a small number of students who may wish to transfer nursing credit to DSON**

Transfer of Nursing Credit to Meet Nursing Elective Credit Requirements.

  1. Student may request to have selected nursing credit taken in another program accepted as nursing elective credit given the coursework was completed within the last ten years.
  2. The general criteria for transfer of credit is identified in the preamble to this policy and procedure. In addition to the general criteria, the course for which credit is being requested must fulfill the expectations held for nursing electives in the DSON undergraduate curriculum.
  3. The course(s) for which transfer credit is requested must reflect advanced concepts or an in-depth study of an area of nursing that is integrated into the core curriculum of the Decker School of Nursing.


Students who wish to have nursing credit taken in another program accepted as nursing elective credit at DSON must petition the Educational

Policies Committee

An exception to this procedure exists for previously approved electives. Consultation with Student Services is recommended.

The Educational Policies Committee will seek consultation from faculty in DSON who teach similar courses and/or the Director of the Undergraduate program coordinator before taking action on the petition.

Transfer of Prerequisite Course Credit

Policy for transfer of nursing prerequisite courses for junior level Traditional Track nursing students:

1. Official or unofficial transcript(s) for all prerequisite courses must be received by DSON Student Services by noon on Wednesday of the second week of the fall semester. Official transcript(s) must be received before credit can be transferred.

2. If official or unofficial transcript(s) are not received by the deadline specified above, the student will be withdrawn from all nursing classes and given two options of:

• Registering for non-nursing courses.

• Withdrawing from the University; if the student chooses to withdraw, the student must complete the University's withdrawal form and submit it to the Registrar's Office by the add/drop deadline.

Policy for transfer of nursing prerequisite courses for Baccalaureate Accelerated Track nursing students:

         1.  Official or unofficial transcript(s) for all prerequisite courses must be received by DSON Student Services by 5 p.m. on Monday of the final week of summer Term I. Official transcripts must be received before credit can be transferred.

         2.  If the official or unofficial transcript(s) are not received by the deadline specified above, the student must withdraw from all summer Term II and fall nursing classes, prior to the start of summer Term II. Withdrawal from Summer Session must be processed by the Registrar’s Office.

Part E: Undergraduate Curriculum

Information regarding program plans of study for the traditional student, baccalaureate accelerated track student, and the RN (post-licensure) student may be found on the DSON website and the University Bulletin.

General Education Requirements

General Education Requirements are waived for students earning a second bachelor's degree. Gen Ed courses are identified in the Schedule of Classes each semester. Decker requirements may differ from other schools within Binghamton University. Courses taken for Gen Ed requirements must be taken under normal letter grading option (e.g., A, B, C) except where courses are mandatory pass/fail.

General Electives

Revised: 02/13/2012

These credits may be taken at any school within Binghamton University or may be transferred from other accredited colleges or universities. Students are urged to explore areas outside the field of nursing to meet elective requirements. Elective credits with the exception of the required nursing elective may be taken pass/fail. Students who choose to take additional nursing electives may take these courses pass/fail at the discretion of the instructor.

Students may elect to take an independent study that meets their educational interests and needs and are encouraged to contact the appropriate professional school or department in Harpur College for academic advising.

The total general elective credits required for each student for degree completion may vary widely depending on each student's curriculum plan and variation in transfer credits.

Exception to the current policy for students with catalog years prior to 2012: Staff in Student Services may approve petitions to exceed the current total of 8 credits from the Department of Health Wellness.

Required Prerequisite Courses to the Nursing Curriculum

The following courses must be completed prior to taking upper division nursing classes: 

  • Two composition courses in any discipline (e.g., PHIL, ENG., ANTH, etc.)

  • One descriptive statistics course (M). (MATH 148 or PSYC 243)

  • Eight science courses including:

• 1 course in introductory biology (BIOL 118)*

• 1 course in microbiology (BIOL 224)

• 2 courses in human anatomy and physiology (BIOL 251 & 252)

• 2 courses in general chemistry (L) that includes principles of inorganic, organic, and biochemistry (Students' background in science courses will be considered on an individual basis) (CHEM 101/102)

• 1 course in introductory psychology (PSYC 111)

• 1 course in developmental psychology (PSYC 220)

**Introductory biology is waived for students who have successfully completed microbiology and two semesters of human anatomy and physiology at another institution** 

In addition, students are expected to complete approximately 66 credits toward the degree prior to beginning the nursing major. Note that in order for licensed RNs to begin NURS 384 and/or NURS 484, proof of licensure must be submitted to Decker Student Services and the Clinical Site Coordinator.

Exception for Licensed RNs to the DSON Required Prerequisite & Co-requisite Policy:

There are two exceptions to the completion of prerequisites rule that apply only to those licensed RNs enrolling in non-accelerated program tracks. RNs enrolling in non-accelerated program tracks may opt to complete statistics prior to or concurrently with NURS 360 (Socialization II: Nursing Research) and also may opt to complete the chemistry prerequisites (CHEM 101 and CHEM 102) prior to or concurrently with the respective pathophysiology/psychopathology required courses, NURS 351 (Patho I) & NURS 361 (Patho II).

Credit by Examination Policy for Selected Nursing Courses

DSON Council Approval 04/12/2010

DSON acknowledges and validates student’s prior education and practice. DSON provides credit by examination for the following courses for all nursing students: NURS. 360 (Socialization II: Nursing Research).

For admitted and enrolled Registered Nurse (RN) students only: NURS 351 and 361 (Pathophysiology/Psychopathology I and II, respectively), and NURS 365 (Pharmacology in Nursing).

  • Students requesting this option must register and pay tuition for the course in the semester in which the course is being offered.

  • Materials for review for the examination, if available, will be made available to students one month prior to the beginning of the semester.

  • The examination must be scheduled and taken prior to the add deadline in the appropriate semester. The student may choose to attend the class during this time frame and may elect to withdraw the request for credit-by-examination and continue in the course as a regular student.

  • The examination will be graded within two working days of the date of the examination. The letter grading policy of DSON will apply. The student will be notified of the grade. That grade will be recorded at the end of the semester and will appear on the transcript. The student who is successful using the credit-by-examination process may not continue as a regular student in the course for the purpose of increasing the passing grade to a higher level. The student may continue to attend the class without taking examinations.

  • If the student is not successful using the credit-by-examination process, he/she will be eligible to continue in the course as a regular student. There will be no opportunity for a second attempt at credit-by-examination in the same course at any time in the future or access to review the examination. Feedback on areas of weakness will be provided.

  • NURS 351, 361, and 365, students must show proof of licensure as a registered nurse in order to be eligible for credit-by-examination to meet these program requirements.

  • It is advisable that the credit-by-examination process for NURS 351, NURS 361, & NURS 365 be taken in sequence; however, there are no constraints should the student decide to attempt credit-by-examination for the above listed courses in a different sequence.

  • Registered nurse students must successfully complete the credit-by-examination for the courses listed above prior to enrollment in NURS 472/484, Practice of Nursing V for Registered Nurses. Exceptions will be made for students who are in an accelerated program where NURS 351 may be taken concurrently with NURS 472/484.

  • A registered nurse student who has been duly enrolled in a course for which there is a credit-by-examination and then fails the course may not exercise the option of credit-by-examination at a later time.

Guidelines for Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Nursing Courses

Approved by DSON Council 2/18/91

** RN students may petition the Decker School Graduate Office to enroll in graduate nursing courses**

1. Undergraduates considering enrollment in graduate level courses must be prepared for more demanding effort and more challenging requirements than in their undergraduate courses. Greater independent initiative and responsibility for learning are also expected.

2. Eligibility requirements for enrollment in a graduate nursing course include: a) a minimum of a 3.0 nursing GPA; b) senior level standing; c) assessed potential for success based on adviser's statement of student's ability, interest, and past experiences; and d) permission of the instructor and approval of the Director of Undergraduate Programs and the Director of Graduate Programs.

3. Undergraduates who meet the eligibility requirements will be registered for graduate courses on a space available basis, with first preference given to graduate students.

4. Since final notification of space in the course may be uncertain up until the "add" deadline, undergraduate students planning to have the graduate course(s) meet elective credit requirements for the undergraduate degree should consider alternate course enrollment plans.

5. Students who complete graduate courses may be permitted to count these courses toward baccalaureate degree requirements. If these courses are used to meet baccalaureate degree requirements, they cannot be counted toward graduate degree requirements.

6. Undergraduates who have completed all but two courses (8 credits) required for graduation may register for up to two courses for graduate credit. At registration, students must designate those courses for which they wish to receive graduate credit. Courses submitted for graduate credit by such students are not counted toward their undergraduate degree.

Undergraduates' Eligibility and the Procedure to Petition taking a Graduate Course for Graduate Credit:


 Undergraduate students who have successfully completed all but eight credit hours toward their undergraduate degree may complete a petition to take a maximum of up to TWO graduate courses for graduate credit as long as the credit hours are not needed for the bachelor's degree. These graduate courses would be charged at the undergraduate rates.


Student should register for the course(s).

Student completes the “Undergraduate Receiving Graduate Credit” petition no later than the add deadline. Petitions are available in the Office of the Registrar, Graduate Office, and Advising Office of each School.

Student submits completed form and most recent DARS report to the Registrar's Office for approval and obtains the appropriate signature. Students must notify Student Services when they register for graduate nursing courses to count for graduate credit .

Nurs 497 Independent Study Guidelines for Undergraduates

DSON approved 7/17/2001


This accommodates students who wish to pursue individual study under the direct supervision of a faculty member.


  • Student must be upper division in the DSON
  • Student must demonstrate the ability to study independently (GPA, past papers, projects)


  1. Independent study may be taken for one, two, three, or four credits. These credits may be used to meet general elective or nursing elective credit requirements. An independent study's hours of work double in relation to credit. For example, a two-credit independent study would require four (4) hours per week of work on the project. If a clinical focus is undertaken, the student needs to calculate a 3:1 ratio so that a 2-credit independent study would require 6 hours per week of study. Nursing elective credit requires a letter grade option (A, B, C, D, F). General elective credit may be taken Pass/Fail.
  2. The student needs to find a sponsor for the study from the DSON faculty, based on the interest and expertise of the potential sponsor in relation to the student's topic.
  3. The student prepares a plan of study that is presented to the sponsor. Collaboration occurs and the student and sponsor reach a mutually agreed upon plan of study which includes a timeline for consultation and assessment of progress.
  4. All research involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved prior to initiating any research. Human Subject Review Forms can be obtained at The level of the review (expedited review within the Decker School of Nursing, expedited review at the University level, or full review at the University level) depends on the type of research needed for your particular study.

Undergraduate Nursing Elective Policies

Approved UCC, Faculty Council 11/2011 


The School of Nursing in keeping with its existential-humanistic philosophy and organizing framework offers a variety of nursing electives. These courses, as a required component of the curriculum, are taken while the student is enrolled in the nursing program.

Elective courses are designed to assist the student in the exploration of advanced concepts of nursing and/or the in-depth study of a selected area of application to the health care system. Interest in specific electives is expected to develop as core concepts of nursing are introduced in the curriculum at levels II and III.

Nursing electives are viewed as a part of the synthesis of nursing experience and are expected to assist the student in meeting program and personal objectives.

See the Bulletin for nursing electives offerings in the Decker School of Nursing

General Guidelines Regarding Nursing Electives:

  • There may be specific nursing electives that specify required nursing courses as prerequisite.
  • Nursing electives may be designated as appropriate only to senior level students.
  • Nursing students may take independent study (Nurs. 497) to meet the nursing elective requirement of the curriculum.
  • Any nursing elective that meets the seven point justification criteria, whether advanced concepts or in-depth study of an area applicable to the health care system, may be offered as an elective as long as it does not significantly overlap with a major nursing core course.
  • A nursing elective may or may not originate in the School of Nursing. It may be cross-listed in other schools or departments.
  • Upper division majors from other departments within the University may register for an elective course under the Nursing rubric (NURS) with nursing departmental approval on a space available status. Scheduling preference will always be given to nursing students.
  • The number of electives offered will be determined by student and departmental needs to meet enrollment targets.
  • The DSON may offer a certificate of completion for completion of multiple courses in a specialty area, for example the Forensic Health series.


Summer Clinical Nursing Programs

Many Binghamton University nursing students have found it beneficial to enroll in a summer clinical nursing course or program in a health care institution during the summer between their junior and senior years. Generally, students find the experiences valuable, even though quality of experience varies a great deal.

While many programs are sponsored by hospitals and do not offer college credit, some are awarded college credit by a college or university school of nursing. If a student wishes to receive credit toward the baccalaureate degree at Binghamton for such a course, she/he should be aware of the following policies:

  • The course must be awarded credit from a four-year college or university.
  • The credits received for the course may be considered for credit toward the Binghamton degree only as general electives because it is hard to measure the "content" of a practice experience and the grade is generally "P/F," which we allow only for P.E. and general electives.
  • If the student wants special consideration to use clinical nursing credits taken at another college or university as Binghamton nursing elective credits, the student may petition the Educational Policies Committee.

In seeking to obtain credits for a summer clinical program where college credit is granted by another college, the student must apply to the Student Services Office during the spring semester for prior written approval or denial for credit. The student should complete a Petition to Take Courses at Another Institution form and supply a course description or outline, as with any summer course.

Part F: Policies and Procedures related to Undergraduate Clinical Experiences

Additional Expenses

Students in the nursing program are required to have the following items and should expect to incur costs for such items:

  • Uniforms—approximately $200 in the junior year
  • Equipment: sphygmomanometer, stethoscope, bandage scissors, hemostat, pen light, pharmacology pack, and student name pin—approximately $100 in the junior year
  • Transportation in junior and senior years to off-campus clinical laboratories is the responsibility of the student. See transportation costs.
  • Malpractice insurance in junior and senior years—approximate cost is $70 per year ($35 per semester). This fee is subject to change.
  • Annual Student Health Evaluation (Variable cost depending on health care provider and services needed (e.g., physical exam, titers, etc.)
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) Certification at the Professional Rescuer Level or equivalent required annually—fees may vary from $50 to $100 or more
  • Textbooks and course supplements required for nursing courses—approximately $2000 in the junior year and $450 in the senior year
  • NCLEX RN Test Preparation Program: This program provides an NCLEX-RN test program to all pre-licensure students. The anticipated cost for this mandatory program will be approximately $450. Resources associated with the program will be integrated into all course work and continue to be available post-graduation to prepare for the licensure exam.
  • Health Care Insurance is mandatory for State University of New York students. The cost is variable depending on coverage selected. Students have the opportunity to buy insurance through the University or to opt out given they provide proof of other health insurance coverage to Student Accounts.
  • A simulation fee of $300 is charged per semester for all undergraduate students enrolled in at least one of the following courses: NURS 321, 352, 353, 362, 363, 471.
  • For more information about standard tuition and fees, see Binghamton University's Student Account Homepage.
  • Click here to see costs associated with program enrollment that students incur beyond University tuition and fees. NOTE: The figures itemized on the attached are estimated costs and are typically less than portrayed based on variations in the students' actual cost to purchase insurance coverage, textbooks, medical supplies, their distance traveled to clinical sites, etc.

On-Campus, and Off-Campus Laboratory Cancellations

  • If roads are legally closed, off-campus nursing laboratory experiences are canceled.
  • If roads are legally open but driving is hazardous where an individual student or instructor resides, the person will avoid taking risks, remain at home, and notify appropriate individuals. If conditions become safe at a later hour, every effort should be made to meet scheduled laboratory obligations.
  • Students are responsible for notifying instructors if there is doubt about their ability to meet scheduled laboratory obligations. Instructors are responsible for notifying students if there is doubt about their ability to meet scheduled laboratory obligations. Plans for this communication are worked out in advance.
  • If an agency to which some students are assigned is closed, the laboratory session for that day is cancelled and will be rescheduled, if necessary.
  • The above rules for off-campus assignment apply whether or not campus classes are held. Campus classes in nursing are held in accordance with official University policy.
  • If campus classes are canceled for reasons other than poor weather, students are expected to fulfill off-campus laboratory obligations unless otherwise arranged with individual instructors.
  • The University recognizes selected religious holidays. Students who observe other religious holidays that affect their clinical responsibilities must make special arrangements with their instructors well in advance of anticipated observed religious holidays.

Clinical Laboratories

Students in DSON have certain responsibilities to patients and personnel when they visit community agencies and hospitals. For this reason, DSON has adopted policies on Laboratory Attendance (Absences ), the Cancellation of Class, On-campus and Off-campus Laboratories , Evaluation of Laboratory Performance, Summer Clinical Nursing Programs, Policy for Student Clinical Practice, and Use of the DSON Learning Laboratory.

DSON Innovative Simulation and Practice Center

The DSON Innovative Simulation and Practice Center is to be used only by students enrolled in the undergraduate and graduate programs and by faculty and staff. Individuals who are not enrolled in the Decker School of Nursing are not to use the Innovative Practice Center without express permission of the IPC coordinator or Director of Undergraduate Programs.

Students may be recorded on videotape, film, audiotape, paper, digital medium, or otherwise, by the University, its agents, servants, or employees.  By agreeing to attend the Decker School of Nursing, all students authorize the use of such recording for any proper and legitimate educational or commercial purpose by the university, either on or off campus.  Students acknowledge the University's ownership of recorded material and further agree that student names, likeness and biography may be used for the purpose of promoting the program.  Those students wishing to opt out of being recorded should contact the Innovative Simulation and Practice Center Coordinator.

Laboratory Attendance (Absences)

DSON policy is that attendance at all laboratory experiences is required.

In the event of an absence:

  • The student must call lab instructor before laboratory begins.
  • The student must meet with the instructor before the next laboratory to discuss whether it is possible to meet course objectives.
  • A form will be obtained on-line or in the Student Services Office will be filled out by the student and submitted to the instructor explaining the reason for absence. Individual faculty will choose appropriate actions in relation to mastery of objectives. Faculty will send copies to the course coordinator, the Director of Undergraduate Programs, and the student. A copy will also be attached to the clinical evaluation form.
  • Faculty will log all absences in laboratory courses (NURS 321, 322, 323, 352, 353, 362, 363, 382, 384, 470, 471, and 484) and share at Course Coordinators meetings.
  • Absences may prevent students from meeting course objectives. Failure to meet course objectives will result in course failure.

Evaluation of Laboratory Performance

The Decker School has adopted the following policy regarding the evaluation of laboratory performance. The laboratory performance is an integral part of the course and is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Specific expectations of performance are identified for each course. When the evaluation is satisfactory, the letter grade for the didactic or theoretical component is the grade assignment for the course. If the clinical performance is not satisfactory, the grade for the course is "F".

  • The instructor shall give students a written statement of the criteria for passing the laboratory component.
  • The methods of evaluation of laboratory learning are stated in terms of behavioral outcomes and made known to students at the beginning of each course.
  • An evaluative statement about achievement of laboratory objectives is on file for each student in the Decker School upon completion of the laboratory component of each course. Students may request a copy of the evaluation and will be asked to sign the file copy. A signature indicates that the student read the report. Students are encouraged to make comments.

Transportation Approved

2-14-2011, Faculty Council

The University assumes no responsibility for providing transportation for travel from campus to the clinical health agencies used for student clinical experiences. Students arrange their own transportation to clinical agencies and affiliated sites. Some clinical experiences require students to travel up to a 150 mile distance away from campus. There may be parking costs at some clinical agencies.

Uniform Policy

Approved By: Faculty Council November 2011
Implemented: January 2012

When a uniform is required, the following applies:

    1. Uniform: The uniform for women and men is a hunter green, v-neck scrub top and black slacks.
    2. Additional layered clothing is not to be worn with the uniform. A white, black, or green, clean, freshly laundered long-sleeve shirt is acceptable in lieu of a sweater.
    3. A white, long-sleeved laboratory coat of three-quarter length to full length is acceptable and should only be worn over street clothes. The lab coat is not considered a uniform.
    4. White or dark socks are worn under the pant uniform.
    5. Shoes must be white or black. All white sneaker-style or vinyl or leather shoes are acceptable. Clogs, sandals, and high heels are prohibited. Shoes must be clean and worn exclusively for clinical. No open toe, open heel shoes or canvas shoes are allowed.
    6. Fingernails are to be short and clean. Nail polish and acrylic (or otherwise artificial) nails are not acceptable.
    7. Hair must be well groomed and worn in a controlled style. Long hair must be pulled back. Hair accessories must be white, tortoise shell, or the same color as the hair. Hair accessories must not detract from the professionalism of the role. Moustaches and beards must be clean and trimmed.
    8. A wedding ring is the only acceptable ring to be worn in the clinical area. Small, single, non-dangling post earrings are acceptable: two per earlobe, no cartilage piercings, and no gauges. Wrist and ankle bracelets and necklaces are not acceptable. Nose, tongue, and any other facial jewelry are not acceptable.
    9. Tattoos must be covered.
    10. Sweaters are not to be worn when giving direct patient care.   Green or black scrub jackets are acceptable. Black, white or off-white, cardigan style sweaters without decoration are acceptable for non-patient care activities. Hooded sweatshirts are not acceptable.
    11. Student ID cards are worn as a name badge and must be visibly displayed as a required piece of the student nurse uniform. Plastic holders are used to display the ID card and are attached to the uniform with a pocket clip or on a break-away lanyard worn around the neck, available for sale at the University Bookstore.
    12. In an agency or nursing unit where a uniform is not required, the student ID card will be worn per No. 11 of the Uniform Policy.
    13. Clothes must be neat, clean, washable, and conservative in style or as dictated by agency requirements. Jeans, shorts, sweat suits, tank tops, mid-riff tops, sleeveless blouses, and overalls are not acceptable.
    14. The student must wear either a uniform or a laboratory coat when going to a hospital to obtain the clinical assignment. In certain circumstances the uniform or lab coat is not required, and the student will be advised of appropriate attire by faculty or as dictated by agency policy. The student ID card must be visibly displayed per No. 11 of the Uniform Policy.
    15. At no time is unsuitable clothing or footwear to be worn in the hospital or community agency.
    16. Licensed RN students shall follow the undergraduate student uniform code with the exception that they may wear a white uniform or as dictated by agency policy.
    17. Failure to comply with this procedure may result in being dismissed from clinical as a clinical absence, with make-up being at the instructor’s discretion.

Any cargo style pants & jeans including but not limited to see-through fabric or material is unacceptable.

Scrub bottoms must allow for freedom of movement

Criminal Background Screening and Drug Screening Administrative Policy

Reviewed 6/2010 

Clinical agencies are beginning to require criminal background checks for everyone working in the facility, including students. All DSON students participating in a clinical experience are required by clinical agencies used by the DSON to undergo a criminal background screening and/or drug screen. In addition, some agencies may require more stringent screening than indicated below, including fingerprinting.

The student will be required to submit to DSON results of a criminal background screening by Certified or another approved agency as determined by the DSON (such as Federal military clearance) done within the past calendar year. This documentation will be due prior to the start of the semester in accordance with the due dates for all other clinical requirements (health forms, proof of CPR, etc). The student is responsible for all costs associated with these requirements. The Criminal Background Screening will be required annually while attending DSON. For more information about this process and its costs, please see

Results will be disclosed to the agency/clinical site to determine if the student can attend clinical within the facility. Any student that delays, fails or refuses to provide a Criminal Background Screening to the DSON by its due date, will be unable to attend clinical, which may result in a failure for the course. Positive Criminal Background Screening results may hinder a student's opportunity for state licensure.

DSON recommends a student contact his/her state board of licensure to clarify any concerns regarding licensure. Should a student be convicted of a criminal offense between the first and second background screening, he/she must immediately disclose this to the DSON for review with the clinical site. The clinical site will determine whether the student will be permitted to continue to participate in clinical. Any such incident may jeopardize the student's enrollment at the University and licensure.

Reports from Criminal Background Screening will be stored with the student's health file in the Clinical Site Coordinator's locked filing cabinet. After the student signs a release each year, the DSON will assume responsibility for releasing written verification of a clear criminal background check to the clinical agency. Again, failure, delay or refusal to sign the release, allowing the DSON to provide the results to the agencies, will prevent the student from attending clinical, which may result in a failure for the course.

All documentation from the Criminal Background Screening reports will be destroyed upon graduation or dismissal from the program.

**Disclaimer: The Criminal Background Screening procedure does not ensure the security of students, patients, faculty or staff. **

Policy and Procedure Guidelines for Occupational Post-Exposure Prophylaxis

Reviewed 8/2012 

Purpose: To provide a process for access to evaluation and treatment for any Decker School of Nursing (DSON) student sustaining an occupational exposure. Prompt evaluation and treatment of health care workers following occupational exposure enhances positive outcomes. Evaluation and treatment of the exposure should be made by a health care professional as soon as possible, ideally within one hour, and no later than thirty-six hours post-exposure.

“Health Care Worker” - any person (e.g. employee, student, contractor, attending clinician or volunteer) whose activities involve contact with patients or with blood or other body fluids from patients in a healthcare or laboratory setting.

“Exposure” - percutaneous injury (e.g. a needlestick or cut with a sharp object), contact of mucous membrane or nonintact skin (e.g. when the exposed skin is chapped, abraded, or afflicted with dermatitis), or contact with intact skin when the duration of contact is prolonged (e.g. several minutes or more) or involves an extensive area, with blood, tissue, or other body fluids.

“Body Fluids” - includes a) semen, vaginal secretions or other body fluids contaminated with visible blood that have been implicated in the transmission of HIV infection; and b) cerebrospinal, synovial, pleural, peritoneal, pericardial and amniotic fluids which have an undetermined risk for transmitting HIV.


  • All DSON students will receive the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard and NYSHD Infection Control Mandatory Training annually and demonstrate successful completion of a test on the required content prior to entry into the clinical setting. RN and graduate students who can provide documentation of having received such training from their work sites will be excused from the DSON training.
  • If a student sustains an exposure, the student shall immediately notify the supervising faculty member and the nurse or nursing supervisor in charge of the clinical practice setting.
  • Wash exposure site with soap and water.
  • The need for emergent wound care (e.g. laceration) should be determined with prompt follow-up if indicated.
  • The student (under the direction of the faculty member) and the nurse from the agency will complete the appropriate incident reports and/or risk assessment questionnaire. A copy of this/these report(s) will be forwarded to the DSON for inclusion in the student's personal health file.
  • Assessment of Exposure Risk- the student and the source patient should be evaluated to determine the need for postexposure prophylaxis. The exposure should be evaluated for potential to transmit HIV based on the type of body substance involved and the route and severity of exposure (See attached diagrams from MMWR, 05/15/98, pp. 14-15). Should there be a question on either the part of the student, faculty member or supervisor regarding need for further evaluation for possible treatment, the Employee Health Officer or Infection Control Department of the involved clinical agency should be consulted. The source patient should be evaluated as per agency policy and procedure.
  • Should the exposure be assessed to be high-risk, Employee Health or Infection Control at the clinical agency will be notified.
  • The appropriate agency staff will review the incident with the student, provide counseling specific to HIV and Hepatitis B and C testing, risk assessment and need for postexposure prophylaxis. A copy of these recommendations should be obtained for inclusion in the student's health file. The faculty member or appointed designee will act as a support and resource person for the student during this process.
  • If the student elects postexposure prophylaxis, it should be obtained as soon as possible (Employee Health at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital; United Occupational Medicine at UHS). Documentation of the treatment plan should be forwarded to the DSON for inclusion in his/her health file. The student should also include a statement regarding plans for treatment compliance. The student is advised to seek counseling during the treatment period. Resources to be identified for the student as needed.
  • Any accrued costs in evaluation and treatment will be the responsibility of the student. If cost is prohibitive, the student is encouraged to discuss the issue with the Clinical Site Coordinator at the DSON.
  • If the student declines recommended treatment, he/she must state in writing that he/she is aware of possible negative consequences of the decision. A copy of this refusal will be included in the student's health file.
  • Documentation of health clearance by a health care provider is necessary before the student will be allowed to return to the clinical area.
  • If the exposure is assessed to be at low risk, the student should be informed that follow-up is not recommended at this time. If there is further concern on the student's part— referral to the local health department or a private health care provider will be made.
  • The content of this policy should be reviewed annually and evaluated for current standard of care.


Policy and Procedure Guidelines for Universal Precautions

Reviewed 8/2012

Purpose- Medical history and examination cannot reliably identify patients infected with HIV or blood-borne pathogens. Blood and body fluid precautions should be consistently used for all patient contacts when exposure to blood and body fluid is anticipated.


“Health Care Worker” — any person (e.g. employee, student, contractor, attending clinician or volunteer) whose activities involve contact with patients or with blood or other body fluids from patients in a healthcare or laboratory setting.

“Exposure” — percutaneous injury (e.g. a needle stick or cut with a sharp object), contact of mucous membrane or non-intact skin (e.g. when the exposed skin is chapped, abraded, or afflicted with dermatitis), or contact with intact skin when the duration of contact is prolonged (e.g. several minutes or more) or involves an extensive area, with blood, tissue, or other body fluids.

“Body Fluids” — includes a) semen, vaginal secretions or other body fluids contaminated with visible blood that have been implicated in the transmission of HIV infection; and b) cerebrospinal, synovial, pleural, peritoneal, pericardial and amniotic fluids which have an undetermined risk for transmitting HIV.

Procedure: The following precautions are taken from the MMWR, August 21, 1987, published by the Center for Disease Control.

    1. All health care workers should routinely use appropriate barrier precautions to prevent skin and mucous membrane exposure when contact with blood or other body fluids of any patient is anticipated. Gloves should be worn for touching blood and body fluids, mucous membranes, or non-intact skin of all patients, for handling items of surfaces soiled with blood or body fluids, and for performing venipuncture and other vascular access procedures. Gloves should be changed after contact with each patient. Masks and protective eye wear or face shields should be worn during procedures that are likely to generate droplets of blood or other body fluids to prevent exposure of mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and eyes. Gowns or aprons should be worn during procedures that are likely to generate splashes of blood and or other body fluids.
    2. Hands and other skin surfaces should be washed immediately and thoroughly if contaminated with blood or other body fluids. Hands should be washed immediately after gloves are removed.
    3. All health care workers should take precautions to prevent injuries caused by needles, scalpels, other sharp instruments or devices during procedures; when cleaning used instruments; during disposal of used needles; and when handling sharp instruments after procedures. To prevent needle stick injuries, needles should not be recapped, purposely bent or broken by hand, removed from disposable syringes, or otherwise manipulated by hand. After they are used, disposable syringes and needles, scalpel blades, and other sharp items should be placed in puncture-resistant containers for disposal; the puncture-resistant containers should be located as close as practical to the use area. Large-bore reusable needles should be placed in puncture-resistant container for transport to the reprocessing area.
    4. Although saliva has not been implicated in HIV transmission, to minimize the potential risk associated with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, mouthpieces, resuscitation bags, or other ventilation devices should be available for use in areas in which the need for resuscitation is predictable.
    5. Health care workers who have exudative lesions or weeping dermatitis should refrain from all direct patient care and from handling patient care equipment until the condition resolves.
    6. Pregnant health care workers are not known to be at greater risk of contracting HIV infection than health care workers who are not pregnant; however, if a health care worker develops HIV infection during pregnancy, the infant is at risk of infection resulting from perinatal transmission. Because of this risk, pregnant health care workers should be especially familiar with and strictly adhere to precautions to minimize the risk of HIV transmission.
    7. The content of this policy should be reviewed annually and evaluated for current standard of care.

Policies for Student Clinical Practice

Reviewed 8/12

Health/ Practice Requirements
All students participating in clinical laboratory experiences must meet standards regarding health status as outlined by the New York State Department of Health Code- Section 405.3 (2002). Inclusive in the code is a regulation that states that the health status of all persons involved in direct patient care must be assessed prior to the individual's assumption of patient care duties. The evaluation needs to be “of sufficient scope to ensure that no person shall assume his/her duties unless he/she is free from a health impairment which is of potential risk to the patient or which might interfere with the performance of his/her duties, including the habituation or addiction to depressants, stimulants, narcotics, alcohol or other drugs or substances which may alter the individual's behavior”. Student health status should be evaluated at least annually with reassessment as frequently as judged necessary. The information provided must be of sufficient quantity and quality to allow a decision to be made that supports quality patient care and safe practice.

Students participating in clinical courses in the nursing major are required to submit a completed Annual Student Health Evaluation form to Certified Background. The clinical site coordinator for DSON manages all health requirements through Certified Background. The health/practice requirements as outlined below must be fulfilled and be completed prior to beginning clinical course work.

The DSON will not provide opportunities for clinical experiences for students who fail to meet the following requirements/ responsibilities. A completed physical examination documented on the DSON form and submitted to Certified Background and to Decker Student Health Services. University requirements are less stringent than those of the DSON; therefore, students cannot assume that meeting Binghamton University requirements is sufficient. University Health Services will accept the DSON documentation. Annual Student Health Evaluation forms are available from the Clinical Site Coordinator and on the DSON website.

Two intradermal Mantoux Tuberculin tests are required for the first semester before entering the clinical setting and then one annually thereafter. Students with a positive Mantoux Test will be required to have a chest x-ray and show satisfactory (to the University) evidence of follow-up health care. A TB screening form must be completed annuallly for those with a positive Mantoux history.

DSON students must provide proof of immunity to specific communicable diseases as outlined on the Annual Student Health Evaluation form. In addition, the DSON recommends the Hepatitis B immunization series. Hepatitis B infection is a major occupational hazard for health care workers because the procedures performed may involve contact with blood or blood-contaminated body fluids. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, the risk of acquiring Hepatitis B infection is often highest during professional education programs and immunization should be completed during study in schools of nursing, medicine, dentistry and other health professions. If for personal reasons, a student elects not to receive Hepatitis B vaccine, a statement of declination needs to be signed by the student and on file with Certified Background. Students are also required to show immunity to Varicella by one of the following:

  • A positive titer
  • Two (2) varicella immunizations or
  • Documented history of the disease by a healthcare provider

Students who do not have immunity to varicella are at risk for contracting the disease and may be delayed/declined/denied community agency placement.

The health care agencies used by the DSON for clinical experiences require that students have bi-annual certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. Students must assume responsibility for obtaining and maintaining annual CPR certification. The level of certification required is equivalent to that of “Professional Rescuer”. Students will be required to show evidence of CPR certification prior to the beginning of the nursing sequence and annually in order to participate in nursing courses with a clinical component. While the Decker School does not require evidence of CPR for freshman and sophomore nursing students, certification for these students is recommended.

**DSON does not accept online certification for CPR**

Malpractice insurance is required by Binghamton University in the amount of $3Million/$3Million and it is required that all nursing students registered in clinical courses purchase this coverage through the University at a nominal charge. Students may elect to carry private insurance as additional coverage.

Graduate and RN students enrolled in clinical courses must have a copy of their valid license to practice nursing on file with the school.

Students must provide proof of current personal health insurance coverage.

All students will be required to sign a confidentiality statement to be kept on file at the DSON.

Students may be asked to comply with additional requirements of selected clinical agencies (i.e. drug testing; removal of artificial/acrylic nails; more frequent Mantoux testing) in order to participate in clinical experiences in those agencies. Any cost incurred in fulfilling additional requirements will be the student's responsibility. Clinical agencies may request copies of selected information from students' health records. Students will be required to sign a release so that this information may be forwarded to the agencies. Delay or failure to sign a release may lead to a delay/denial of clinical placement.

Students experiencing health problems or a change in their health status which may affect their ability to function safely in the clinical laboratory setting must submit an additional statement from their health care provider. This statement should address any limitation or restrictions resulting from the health problem. This information should be submitted directly to the Clinical Site Coordinator. This must be done prior to the laboratory experience or upon return if the student has been absent due to the health problem. Binghamton University (BU) also may require a student to undergo an appropriate medical evaluation at BU expense prior to readmission or resumption of clinical placement (classes).

Responsibilities of Patient Care

All students of the DSON are expected to provide care to patients to whom they are assigned. Assignments/ placements are to be based on the level of skill and knowledge of the student and the educational objectives of the learning experience. When a clinical instructor is not “on-site”, responsibility for the provision of patient care must be explicitly defined and mutually agreed upon by the clinical instructor and the clinical agency.

In some clinical courses, student preference of clinical site may be considered. Students will not be placed for an educational clinical experience at their work site. Such a situation often contributes to role confusion and the potential for a conflict of interest. In health organizations with multiple sites, a placement at a site other than the student's actual work site within the employing organization may be considered and will be done at the discretion of DSON faculty. The DSON reserves the right to make final clinical placements based upon student, course, preceptor, agency and DSON needs.

DSON faculty and students are expected to practice nursing in adherence to the ANA Code of Ethics (2001)-. Student behavior in the clinical area that is identified by faculty or a clinical agency as unprofessional may result in removal of the student from the clinical placement and further investigation of the student's fitness to practice. Only when the DSON determines that the student is fit to practice will the student be permitted to resume his/her duties and responsibilities in the clinical area.

Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Approved by DSON Council October 18, 1993
Reviewed 8/12

The following document has been developed to assist in the recruitment, admission, and progression of students in the Decker School of Nursing. This document includes a statement regarding Reasonable Accommodation for Students with Disability Related Needs and the Essential Skills required to meet program objectives.

Reasonable Accommodation for Students with Disability Related Needs
In compliance with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, Reasonable Accommodation for Students with Disability Related Needs will be determined on an individual basis taking into consideration the Essential Skills which must be performed to meet program objectives. Decisions regarding Reasonable Accommodation will be directed toward maximizing the student's independence while maintaining personal and client dignity and safety. Note: Please contact course coordinators promptly with special needs.

Disability-related academic accommodations are authorized by Binghamton University’s Services for Students with Disabilities office (SSD), in consultation with the students and their professors. While many accommodations can be easily arranged, some may not be feasible given the accelerated nature of the BAT curriculum. You may wish to discuss your needs in advance with the SSD office to make an informed decision as to whether the accelerated program is the best option for you.  Students should register with SSD and notify faculty as soon as they become aware of the need for an accommodation.  While every effort will be made to accommodate students during the normally scheduled exam time, it may sometimes be necessary to schedule testing accommodations for alternate times when faculty and proctors are available.  Please visit the Services for Students with Disabilities website at for information on accessing their services and support.

Essential Skills

The following activities are representative of essential skills expected of students in the Decker School of Nursing beginning with the first semester. The student will be expected to:

  • Provide evidence of annual Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation certification at the Professional Rescuer level or equivalent.
  • Elicit health history from clients.
  • Position and transfer of clients appropriately.
  • Use correct body mechanics.
  • Use appropriate handwashing techniques.
  • Gown, glove, and mask appropriately.
  • Perform sterile technique.
  • Complete a bedbath, including oral care.
  • Make an occupied bed.
  • Perform range of motion for client. (e.g., perform passive exercises)
  • Assess pertinent body systems. (e.g., cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, musculoskeletal)
  • Auscultate heart, bowel, and breath sounds.
  • Auscultate vital signs. (e.g., pulse, blood pressure)
  • Inspect. (e.g., skin)
  • Palpate. (e.g., pulses)
  • Percuss. (e.g., abdomen)
  • Perform procedures ordinarily requiring manual dexterity and precision. (e.g., insertion of urinary catheter, manipulation of ophthalmoscope and otoscope)
  • Demonstrate focused observational skills in the assessment of body language, territoriality, and speech patterns.
  • Interpret emotions and meanings from client's verbal and nonverbal behaviors accurately.
  • Communicate empathy through the appropriate listening skills.
  • Give and receive relevant verbal and nonverbal feedback.
  • Demonstrate the interpersonal and analytical skills necessary to participate actively in all phases of group development.

Policy and Procedure for Student Incident Reports

Approved 1/29/90; Reviewed 6/2010

Policy for Reporting of Incidents
All incidents involving a student, specifically a student and patient occurring at a clinical site during an affiliation, must be reported to the instructor of record for that experience. An incident is defined as any unusual occurrence, with or without injury, which interferes with the functioning of the system or the patient, e.g. patient fall, incorrect procedure, medication administration error/occurrence, exposure to blood and/or body fluids, delay in treatment.

Incidents that threaten the safety of the patients, students, or staff in an agency are reportable to the New York State Department of Health within twenty-four hours of occurrence. This reporting is the responsibility of the agency in most situations. Each agency will have a policy for such reporting that defines reportable and non-reportable incidents.

Incidents involving students will be investigated by the instructor of record for the affiliation and the results of the investigation as well as any actions taken will be documented.

Procedure for Reporting Incidents

  • Report the incident promptly to the instructor. If the instructor is not immediately available to the student or there is any evidence of immediate danger for the patient or others, report the incident immediately to the appropriate charge nurse or other supervisor of the unit, agency, or system where the incident occurred. Proceed to notify the instructor subsequent to the above action.
  • The student together with the instructor will complete an Incident Report (agency form) as soon as possible following the incident. Both the student and instructor will sign the form and forward to the supervisor within the system. Incidents involving patients where there is real or potential injury or untoward effects must be communicated to the attending physician. The decision as to who will communicate with the physician is usually jointly determined by the supervisor in the agency and the instructor. Most often, it is the student with the guidance and support of the instructor.
  • Incidents that require additional investigation by the agency must be reported immediately to the instructor of record who in turn reports the incident to the appropriate program coordinator. Should the student be questioned about the incident by the agency staff or any other party after the initial reporting process, the student should decline to respond until the instructor is present.
  • In most situations, agency incident reports cannot be photocopied; therefore, the student and instructor will need to write a narrative description of the incident. The description should be sufficiently detailed so as to clearly describe what occurred. A copy of this report should be forwarded directly to the appropriate program coordinator. The report is a confidential document and will be kept in a locked file. It will not become a part of the student's permanent file. (Medication errors may be documented on the Decker School of Nursing form--see attachment.)
  • In addition to completing a Decker Incident Report, a University Policy Incident Reporting form (CS-13 form) must be filed within 3 days of the incident to Environmental Health and Safety.
  • In situations where the agency does not view the situation as a reportable incident but faculty/student believe it to be an unusual occurrence, a narrative report must be completed and forwarded as described under #4.

Part G: Additional Information

Decker School of Nursing HIPAA Policy

Approved Faculty Council May 2014 

Maintaining confidentiality is an integral part of nursing practice.  Federal regulations guide the scope of practice of health care workers to safeguard protected health information (PHI) through the Department of Health and Human Services and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).  Protected Health Information is defined by Health and Human Services to mean demographic and health information that makes the individual identifiable. This information includes but is not limited to names, addresses, date of birth, social security or medical records numbers. This includes all demographic data that is related to the person’s physical or mental health, and/or the provision or payment regarding provision of care (past, present or future). 1

The Decker School of Nursing provides competency training for HIPAA to ensure the student is well versed with these regulations and the required behaviors necessary to ensure compliance. This policy outlines the corrective action for each level of a potential HIPAA violation, which could culminate in dismissal from the Decker School of Nursing. Maintaining HIPAA standards will be a clinical objective and evaluated with each course.

Affiliating agencies who collaborate with the Decker School of Nursing maintain their own HIPAA standards to which students must adhere.  These policies supersede Decker School of Nursing policies.  A HIPAA violation may mean dismissal from a clinical site and could impede placement at other clinical sites, which may prevent meeting requirements for graduation from the Decker School of Nursing. Any student violations requiring legal representation will be at the expense of the student.

The following guidelines are to be followed by students and faculty at the Decker School of Nursing:

  1. Maintain confidentiality by only sharing PHI with those who are considered individuals who need to know
  2. When you need to discuss PHI, hold conversations in private   areas where others cannot hear the conversation.
  3. Shred PHI which is no longer necessary to maintain in approved shredding bins, if shredding bins are not available, destroy the document before disposal.
  4. Do not use patient names, date of birth, medical record number or social security numbers on Decker School of Nursing databases, papers or written assignments.
  5. Do not share PHI with family members, peers or those individuals who are not directly involved with care of the patient.
  6. Information shared during the clinical day and pre/post conference is not to be shared outside of the conference area.
  7. Students may not leave/save any patient, family, faculty, clinical facility or student information on any open access desktop or hard-drive.
  8. PHI is not to be left open in public areas. 
  9. PHI is not to leave the clinical site
  10. Computer screens and electronic health records with PHI are not to be left unattended, students are expected to log out before leaving the workstation.
  11. Students are not allowed to share their personal login or password information. 

The following is a guide to corrective actions related to concerns with HIPAA

Type of Violation

Examples of Violations


Corrective Action and


I. Inadvertent or accidental breaches of confidentiality that may or may not result in the actual disclosure of patient information. For example, sending/faxing information to an incorrect address.

  • Misdirected faxes, e-mails & mail.
  • Failing to log-off or close or secure a computer with protected PHI displayed.
  • Leaving copy of PHI in a non-secure area.
  • Dictating or discussing PHI in a non-secure area (lobby, hallway, cafeteria, elevator).
  • Failing to redact or de-identify patient information
  • Transmission of PHI using an unsecured method.
  • Leaving detailed PHI on an answering machine.
  • Improper disposal of PHI.

Discussion between instructor and student.

  • Re-education and/or process improvement.
  • Verbal or written communication between instructor and student
  • May be reflected on student evaluation
  • faculty of record will be notified of incident
  • written documentation will be placed in student advising file


II. Failure to follow existing policies/procedures governing patient confidentiality. For example, talking about patients in areas where others might hear, failure to obtain appropriate consent to release information, or failure to fulfill training requirements.

  • Requesting another individual to inappropriately access patient information.
  • Inappropriate sharing of ID/password with another coworker or encouraging coworker to shareID/password.
  • Failure to secure data on mobile devices through encryption/password.

Discussion between instructor and student.

  • Re-education and/or process improvement.
  • -Verbal and written (note in advising file) learning contract between instructor and student.
  • Documentation will be included in student evaluation.
  • faculty of record will be notified of incident
  • written documentation will be placed in student advising file

III. Repeat Offense of Type I or II Violation.

Discussion between instructor and student.

May include Re-education and learning contract; to disciplinary sanctions such as: 1) Removal from clinical site; or 2) Probation or other disciplinary action.

-Verbal and written learning contract between instructor, student, and appropriate Program Director

- Documentation will be included in student evaluation.  May result in failure of the course.

IV. Inappropriately accessing a patient's record without a need to know. For example, accessing the record of a friend or family member out of curiosity without a legitimate need to know the information.

  • Releasing or using aggregate patient data without facility approval for research, studies, publications, etc.
  • Accessing or allowing access to PHI without having a legitimate reason.
  • Giving an individual access to your electronic signature.
  • Accessing patient information due to curiosity or concern, such as a family member, friend, neighbor, coworker, famous or “public” person, etc.
  • Posting PHI to social media.

Discussion between instructor and student with course coordinator to address corrective action. Information to be shared with the appropriate program directors and the Dean of the Decker School of Nursing.

May include: a) Re-education and learning contract; to disciplinary sanctions such as: b) Reprimand; c) Removal from clinical site; or d) Probation or other disciplinary action.

-Student Evaluation
-appropriate Program Director.
-Dean of DSON
-Affiliating Agency Privacy Officer

V. Accessing and using patient information for personal use or gain or to harm another individual.

  • Releasing or using data for personal gain.
  • Compiling a mailing list to be sold for personal gain or for some personal use.
  • Disclosure or abusive use of PHI.

Tampering with or unauthorized destruction of information.

Discussion with instructor and course coordinator. Notification to the appropriate program directors, the Dean of the Decker School of Nursing, and appropriate University channels. This may include the Dean of Students and/or the Dean of the Graduate School.  Further action may be taken with Dean of Students

-May include: a) Removal of student from course; to disciplinary sanctions such as: b) Probation; c) Suspension; or d) Expulsion.

- Student Evaluation
-appropriate program directors
-Dean of DSON

-Dean of Students as appropriate

-Dean of the Graduate School as appropriate
-Affiliating Agency Privacy Officer

-University Police

1 US Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Summary of the HIPAA privacy rule. Retrieved from

Adapted with permission by Mary Ellen Murray, Associate Dean, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison HIPAA Disciplinary Action Policy

Decker School of Nursing Honors Program

The purpose of the Decker School of Nursing's Honors Program is to recognize and foster academic excellence in highly motivated undergraduate nursing students. Honors program experiences and seminars will provide enhanced educational experiences to prepare future leaders in professional nursing. The outcome is the completion of a major independent scholarly project or thesis under the guidance and approval of a faculty member. To qualify for admission to the honors program, a student must be an admitted student to the nursing program with junior status and will be enrolled in junior nursing courses. Honors students must have a grade-point average of 3.5 for both cumulative coursework and prerequisites in order to be considered. Applications are accepted in the Fall semester of the junior year with courses in subsequent semesters. Further information related to application process and coursework expectations will be made available in Fall 2013.

Second Read Policy

The second read policy at the Decker School of Nursing applies to papers which are in courses that are taught by multiple faculty members.  This policy does not pertain to assignments other than written work. A second read must be requested within two weeks after the faculty returns the student’s paper.

Students must first discuss the grade and paper with the faculty who graded the paper.

Students may then request a “second read” for a paper if they feel the grade given is not deserved.

If a second read is requested, the faculty of record or the Appropriate Program Director will assign a faculty member to read a clean copy of the paper utilizing the grading rubric developed for the paper.

After consultation with the first reader, the second reader’s grade will reviewed with the faculty of record and the grade will be assigned.  The grade may be lower, higher, or the same as the original grade. 

Students who feel they deserve a different grade on the paper with one faculty of record should review the grade with the faculty of record first.  If they wish to pursue a different grade after meeting with the faculty of record, they may follow the Binghamton University grievance policy.

Grievance Procedure

Approved Faculty Council 2006  

In accordance with our humanistic philosophy, effective interpersonal communication based on mutual trust and respect is an essential part of nursing. The Decker School of Nursing (DSON) strongly supports a climate in which attempts to understand differences are guided by these principles. We believe that most issues can be mutually resolved at the informal level, and that learning can be enhanced through the use of this process.

The following procedure shall be utilized to resolve an academic grievance brought by students or faculty at the Decker School of Nursing. A grievance involves a case in which one party believes another party has harmed him or her directly and seeks some redress or resolution of a perceived harm. Possible cases may include, but are not limited to: disagreements over course or program requirements, the process by which a grade was determined, intellectual property, unfair treatment, or whether due process was followed.

Interpersonal conflicts that do not affect a student's grades, academic progress, intellectual property, and the like cannot be grieved.

The formal grievance procedure is preceded by an informal process for seeking resolution and an informal mediation process. The DSON strongly supports that all efforts to resolve the issue at the informal level are exhausted prior to resorting to the formal process. The informal or mediated process must be completed prior to beginning the formal process.

Informal Process for Seeking Resolution

The complainant first must attempt to find resolution by discussing the issue with the person against whom the complaint is directed. This action constitutes the beginning of the informal process.

Informal Mediation Process

    1. If no mutually agreeable resolution is reached during stage 1A, the complainant must next seek resolution from the Course Coordinator, if the course has one.
    2. If no mutually agreeable resolution is reached during stage 2A, the complainant must then seek resolution from the appropriate Program Director. If a mutually agreeable resolution is not reached in the informal mediation process, the individual may proceed to the formal process of review by the Formal Grievance Committee.
    3. If the complainant feels that meeting with any person will involve reprisals or other unpleasant consequences, then he/she should meet directly with the appropriate Program Director. Following this meeting, the Director must inform the person against whom the complaint is made about the complaint and the issues involved.
    4. The Director shall attempt to mediate the dispute through discussions with each of the persons, together or separately.

Formal Grievance Procedure

If there is no informal resolution as outlined above, the formal grievance process is the next step for redress. Any individual who feels that she/he has an unresolved grievance may request the case be heard by the Grievance Committee. The individual must write a chronology of events leading up to the specific grievance. This chronology should describe the informal ways redress was sought, and detail the specific complaint, i.e. what issue, event, or circumstance is being grieved. This detailed signed charge will be submitted to the Deans Designee who will review it and ensure that all means of resolution through the informal process have been exhausted. If the Deans Designee deems that the informal process has not been completed, she/he will direct the grievant to return to the informal process. Upon receipt of this detailed, signed charge, the Deans Designee will notify in writing all parties involved including the Chairperson of the Voting faculty. Voting Faculty will appoint the members of the Grievance Committee and notify the Dean’s Designee of the composition of the committee. The Grievance Committee shall convene at the earliest convenient time


The Deans Designee will initiate the formal process by convening the Grievance Committee. Composition of the Committee shall include:

  • Three faculty members elected by Voting Faculty Committee. At least one of the faculty members must be tenured.
  • Two student members appointed by the Voting Faculty Committee.
  • The membership shall select the chairperson from among the tenured faculty.
  • Before a hearing begins, if anyone involved in that case accuses a member of being biased, the other members of the Committee shall decide, by a secret ballot, whether that member shall be disqualified from the committee.
  • A Committee quorum shall consist of three Committee members with the proviso that at least one of those be a student and two be faculty.


The Grievance Committee is not a legal or judicial body but an advisory one. The Committee hears and deliberates cases involving grievances but renders no binding verdicts, judgments, or decisions. After evaluating a case, the Committee sends to the Deans Designee of the DSON non-binding findings and recommendation(s) as to the action that might be taken. If the Deans Designee is a party to the case, the Dean will appoint another designee to decide the case. The parties in the case will also be informed of the committee’s recommendation(s) by the Deans Designee with the final disposition. The final disposition of a case is not within the authority of this Committee.

Notification of Parties Involved:

The Deans Designee’s office shall notify all parties of the charges under consideration not less than 7 working days prior to the scheduled hearing. This notification shall be in writing and shall become a part of the grievance record. The notice should be delivered by hand, and a signed receipt obtained. If that is not possible, it should be sent by certified mail. If the return receipt is delayed, then the campus or U.S. mail should be used with the most recent address. This notification shall inform all parties, with sufficient particularity and in sufficient time to ensure opportunity to prepare for the hearing. All parties will be informed of the following:

  • The specific charges brought against him/her (allegation, time, place, and a brief description of the circumstances of the   occurrence and parties involved).
  • The time and place to appear before the Committee for a hearing.
  • His/her right to review documents before a hearing is available or during the hearing.
  • His/her privilege to have one person of one’s own choosing appear with him/her in a support capacity. This support person cannot directly address the committee or parties involved in the grievance.
  • His/her right to be present at any portion of the meeting when evidence is heard with respect to the case.
  • His/her right to bring questions to the committee or address the committee, but not the other party.
  • His/her right to bring witnesses and/or present evidence with respect to the case.
  • His/her right to request that any person involved in the case be present at the time he/she appears before the Committee.
  • His/her right to challenge the impartiality of any member of the Committee, in accordance with Article 3, A, 4.
  • His/her right, after the Deans Designee has made a decision, to appeal the decision.
  • The procedures and policy of the Grievance Committee as outlined in the present document.
  • The fact that proceedings will be taped and tapes will be forwarded to the Deans Designee for his/her review only.

Hearing of the Grievance:

  • The hearing shall consist of at least three parts:
  • The initial presentation of evidence and all relevant information, and discussion with parties bringing evidence.
  • Discussion of the committee members with the involved parties, the grievant’s adviser(s), and witnesses, if appropriate.
  • The deliberations of the evidence by the Committee and the formulation of its recommendation to the Deans Designee.
  • All parties and their adviser(s) have the right to attend and participate in the presentation and discussion phases of the Committee hearing. If a named party is not present at the hearing, then the hearing is conducted with the party absent. As soon as a named party appears before the Committee, the chairperson shall review the named party’s rights and privileges and the chairperson will acquaint the named party with the purpose of the meeting which is to assess the evidence in light of the full context in which the grievance occurred and to render a fair and equitable recommendation to the Deans Designee. During the deliberation phase, no one other than Committee members shall be present and no new evidence may be introduced at that time.

Decision of the Committee

  • A record of the hearing, usually a tape recording, shall be made to allow for review by the Deans Designee of the DSON only. This recording will not include the deliberation phase of the hearings.

DSON Student Organizations

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing

Zeta Iota Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, the international honor society of nursing, recognizes superior academic achievement, academic integrity, professional leadership potential, and/or marked achievement in the field of nursing.
The purposes of the Chapter are to:

  • Recognize superior achievement
  • Recognize the development of leadership qualities
  • Foster high professional standards
  • Encourage creative work
  • Strengthen commitment to the ideals and purposes of the profession

Eligibility for membership in the Zeta Iota Chapter is by invitation. Students who have completed at least one-half of the courses in the nursing major and have a grade point average of 3.0 and rank in the highest 35 percent of the senior class qualify for invitation to membership. Inductions are held during the academic year. An invitation to become a member of the nursing honor society is a distinct honor and privilege.

The Binghamton Nursing Honor Society was founded on April 26, 1980. It became a Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International on April 24, 1982.

Mary E. Mahoney Nursing Support Group

The Mary E. Mahoney Nursing Support Group is chartered by the Student Association and provides support through activities designed to promote success in the Decker School of Nursing. Named after the first formally educated African-American nurse, Mary Elizabeth Mahoney, the group assists members in developing positive self-esteem and provides a forum in which to discuss issues related to professional growth and development.

Peer study groups and individual tutorials assist in promoting academic success. The group provides health promotion and illness prevention programs on campus, such as blood pressure screening and distribution of health-related literature. Members participate in activities with other student groups such as the Nursing Student Association, the Black Student Union, the Caribbean Student Union, and the Latin American Student Union. Members also participate in the New York State Nursing Students Association and the National Student Nurses Association. The group promotes ethnic diversity in nursing and strives to facilitate the personal and professional growth of its members.

Nursing Student Association

All students in the DSON are members of the Nursing Student Association (NSA). This organization promotes professional development of nursing students by providing educational seminars and encouraging participation in local, state, and national conventions. It also plans social activities as well as health-related community services throughout the year. Student representatives are selected to serve on Decker School committees.

Elections for the NSA are held each year in the month of April. Officers and class representatives are inducted following the election. The NSA holds regular meetings during the academic year. Information on the Nursing Student Association is available in the Student Services Office.

DSON Standing and Continuing Ad Hoc Committees Decker's School of Nursing committees are comprised of students, faculty, and administrators. The following describes the purpose, responsibility, and membership of the Decker School of Nursing Faculty Council and its seven standing committees. Students are encouraged to consider membership on Decker School committees.

DSON Faculty Council

Faculty Council is the major deliberative and legislative body of the DSON.

Faculty Council has seven standing committees with additional ad hoc committees established by the Council during the academic year for the purposes defined in the resolutions creating them.

Standing and Ad Hoc Committees:

Committee on Committees:


  • Prepare secret ballots and conduct elections where appropriate for membership on Faculty Council standing committees
  • Prepare secret ballots and conduct elections for the chair of Faculty Council
  • Make appointments to fill vacancies as they arise on standing committees
  • Faculty Membership : 3 Faculty including at least 1 tenured faculty
  • Student Membership : 1 Undergraduate Student and 1 Graduate Student
  • Meetings: Every other month (3 times each semester).


Undergraduate Curriculum Committee:


  • To review the philosophy, objectives, purposes, curriculum, and organization of the undergraduate program and recommend revisions to the DSON Faculty Council.
  • To review curriculum requirements from entry to graduation.
  • To approve proposals for new courses and make recommendations to the DSON Faculty Council.
  • To evaluate program, program outcomes, including NCLEX results and make recommendations as appropriate.

 Voting Members:

  • 4 Faculty, at least 1 of whom is tenured.
  • The associate dean/director of Undergraduate Programs
  • Project directors of active undergraduate level training grants
  • 2 Undergraduate students

Nonvoting Members:

  • Pertinent program coordinators, liaisons, and directors are expected to attend.


  • Monthly


Undergraduate Educational Policies Committee:


  • Develop and recommend to DSON Faculty Council new educational policies and standards.
  • Evaluates existing educational policies and standards and, where necessary, recommend changes to Faculty Council. (Including but not limited to policies for admission, retention, progression, graduation, honors, awards, grievances, and academic dishonesty.)
  • Approve action regarding individual student academic status.
  • Decides outcomes of student petitions for exceptions to educational policy. Appeals would be made to the Dean.
  • Evaluates decisions granting academic credit for prior learning and revises as appropriate.


  • Voting Members
  • 4 faculty—including at least 1 tenured faculty
  • 2 undergraduate students

Non-voting members:

  • Pertinent program coordinators, liaisons, and directors are expected to attend.


  • Monthly

Recognition Committee (ad hoc):


  • Plans and implements the Recognition Ceremony for all graduate and undergraduate students at the Decker School of Nursing.

Student Membership:

  • Junior and senior students (undergraduate) and first- and second-year graduate students preferred.


  • Fall semester, monthly; Spring semester, biweekly.

Professional Career Information

The Career Development Center housed in Bartle Library is a useful and accessible resource for undergraduate nursing students. This office serves as the liaison between the student and future employers. Students are encouraged to set up a credentials file in the Career Development Center during the spring semester of their junior year. This office can provide the student with career materials and information on resume preparation. Health care agency recruiters interviewing on campus schedule their visits through this office.

Application for State Board and NCLEX-RN exam

Upon graduation, students are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN examination for licensure in New York State or any other state. The Decker School will certify students as eligible to take the examination upon completion of the program. Students will need to obtain appropriate application materials from the state in which first licensure is sought and complete as directed. The Dean's signature, University Seal, and notary public witness to the applicant's signature are often required. Some of these states require an official transcript to be forwarded as part of the application. (See Policies and Requirements). Transcript Request Forms are available in the Student Services Office and the Registrar's Office.

Computer adaptive testing (CAT) for the NCLEX-RN examinations are administered on a continuous basis year-round. There are no filing deadlines and candidates are able to schedule their own examination date after meeting degree requirements and eligibility requirements in the state in which they plan to be licensed. During the final semester in the program, seniors are provided with information about the NCLEX-RN examination and the application for licensure process.

Last Updated: 3/19/15