Decker School of Nursing

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Undergraduate Programs

The Decker School of Nursing (DSON) is registered by the New York State Education Department and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The Decker School is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

Decker School of Nursing undergraduate programs lead to the Bachelor of Science degree with the major in nursing. These programs prepare graduates to provide high-quality healthcare in complex environments, foster commitment to lifelong learning and the moral and ethical values of nursing, and promote social responsibility through community service.

Upon pre-licensure program completion, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Graduates are prepared for beginning professional practice in a variety of settings, such as hospital, community health and long-term care agencies. The programs also provide the foundation for continuing education at the graduate level.

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Program Options

Students may be admitted to the DSON as a freshman or transfer student. Freshmen complete all prerequisite and most General Education coursework before beginning upper-division nursing courses. Degree requirements are completed in a traditional four-year time frame. Transfer students complete all prerequisite and some or all of the General Education requirements at other colleges or universities and may enter the program with one or more years of college, prior preparation in nursing (LPNs and RNs), or as second-degree students.

Special program options are available as follows:

  • An accelerated baccalaureate track program is available to students admitted to the DSON who have earned a baccalaureate or higher degree in another field and who are interested in a career change to professional nursing. Candidates for the program must have completed all prerequisite courses to the nursing major and be able to study full time for one calendar year. Admission to the program is selective, requiring a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 in prior academic work and in courses prerequisite to the nursing major to be considered for the program.
  • A part-time study option is available for students wishing to extend the upper-division nursing coursework beyond the traditional four semesters. A program plan is developed for the student in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Course sequencing for students in part-time or accelerated programs may differ from the sample curriculum plan.

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Admission

The procedure for candidates applying for admission is the same as for other students applying for admission to Binghamton University. Specific information may be found in the general section on Admissions in this publication.

Students admitted into another undergraduate school at Binghamton University may apply for admission to the DSON at the sophomore or junior level.

Admitted students eligible for an accelerated program must apply in writing to the DSON in order to be considered for the specific program.

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Transfer Student Admission

The University holds general articulation agreements with a significant number of community colleges within the SUNY system. Information about specific transfer mechanisms between programs may be found at the transfer counseling office of the community college or at DSON.

The Decker School of Nursing has no limit on the number of transfer credits allowed, given that coursework is completed with a grade of C– or better.

Note: Transfer of credit by exam is limited to 32 credits.

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Readmission

In accordance with University policy, DSON students who withdraw from all classes during a semester may register for the following semester without applying for readmission. Upon their return, these students will continue to follow the DSON program in the University Bulletin in effect at the time of their matriculation to the University.

Students who apply for readmission to the Decker School of Nursing after withdrawal from Binghamton University for a minimum of two semesters must submit an Application for Readmission to the Undergraduate Admissions Office. Decisions regarding readmission are based upon:

  • academic standing of a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 at the time of withdrawal;
  • required personal interview with the director of Student Services or the director of undergraduate programs;
  • review of college transcripts for all colleges/universities attended since withdrawal;
  • review of student's personal statement, including the reason for seeking readmission, description of career goals and employment history; and
  • review of student's assessed potential for success.

Students who meet these criteria for readmission may be readmitted to complete the DSON program detailed in the University Bulletin at the time of the readmission, if the student has been absent two or more semesters (not including summers) before returning. Students readmitted prior to advance registration for that semester are permitted to advance register for courses.

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Academic Policies

Students in the Decker School of Nursing are subject to all general regulations listed in the Academic Policies section of this publication. A complete description of all policies pertaining to undergraduate nursing students is contained in the Decker School of Nursing Undergraduate Programs Student Handbook.

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Advanced Placement Credit

Advanced placement examinations with a score of 3 or better are approved for credit. Specific information is available in the University Bulletin.

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Completion and Transfer of Prerequisite Course Credit

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

  • Official or unofficial transcript(s) for all prerequisite courses must be received by Decker 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.
  • 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.

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

  • Official or unofficial transcript(s) for all prerequisite courses must be received by Decker 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.
  • 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.
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Grading System

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.

A cumulative grade-point average is computed for all courses and the following values are assigned to these letter grades:

A   = 4.0

A– = 3.7

B+ = 3.3

B   = 3.0

B– = 2.7

C+ = 2.3

C   = 2.0

C– = 1.7

D   = 1.0

F   = 0.0

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

For all non-nursing courses, the following applies:

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General Education and Prerequisite Requirements

A. General Education: Students are encouraged to meet the General Education requirements prior to entering upper-division nursing coursework. A number of the General Education requirements also fulfill prerequisites for the upper-division nursing coursework. (A full description of General Education requirements is found elsewhere in this publication.) All General Education courses that double as nursing curriculum prerequisites must be taken for a letter grade and passed with a C– or better. All other General Education courses must be taken for a letter grade and passed with a D or better, unless the only grade option for a course is Pass/Fail. The General Education requirements of the University apply to all students entering the University who do not hold a baccalaureate or higher degree.

B. Prerequisites: The following courses, or their equivalent(s), are required prerequisites for the nursing major.  The following prerequisite courses must be completed with a C– or better before starting the upper-division nursing curriculum:

  • two composition courses;
  • one descriptive statistics course;
  • eight science courses, including:
    • one course in introductory biology (waived for students who have successfully completed microbiology and two semesters of human anatomy and physiology at another institution);
    • one course in microbiology;
    • two courses in human anatomy and physiology;
    • two courses in general chemistry (including principles of inorganic, organic and biochemistry);
    • one course in introductory psychology; and
    • one course in developmental psychology.
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General Electives

All additional credits needed to meet the DSON requirement of 126 credits for graduation, exclusive of nursing courses, prerequisites and the General Education requirements, may be taken Pass/Fail. Nursing elective credit beyond the required two credits may be taken Pass/Fail at the discretion of the instructor. The grading option for all electives must be chosen by the drop deadline.

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Adding/Dropping Courses

Students requesting to add or drop courses after the add/drop deadline must seek approval of the DSON through the Student Services Office. Grades are recorded according to the established systems of the respective schools of Binghamton University.

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Academic Warning, Probation, Suspension and Dismissal

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:

1. 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 Decker School of Nursing Student Handbook.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 and/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 DSON 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 D, F or W may be repeated only once, regardless of the number of credits the course carries. Failure to pass the course on the second attempt will result in student dismissal from the Decker School.

5. Repeating a Course

  • Students may repeat a general education course or elective course if they receive a withdrawn (W) or fail (F). Students must repeat a prerequisite liberal arts course 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.
  • Students may only receive one D or F or W in required nursing courses. A second W/D/F in any subsequent or concurrent required nursing course will result in dismissal from the program. (See academic dismissal.)
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Class and Laboratory Attendance

The DSON adheres to University policy pertaining to attendance in class. In addition, attendance for all 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.

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Clinical Laboratory Requirements

The DSON will not provide opportunities for clinical experiences for students who fail to meet the requirements/responsibilities as outlined in the Decker School of Nursing Undergraduate Student Handbook (Policies for Student Clinical Practice).

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Uniforms

Students are required to purchase uniforms beginning in the junior year of the nursing curriculum for selected clinical experiences. Student ID cards are worn as a name badge and must be visibly displayed as a required piece of the student nurse uniform.  The complete student nurse Uniform Policy of the Decker School is posted via the Decker School of Nursing Undergraduate Student Handbook.

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Medical Equipment 

Students are required to purchase basic medical equipment prior to the first clinical course in the nursing curriculum. Information for acquiring required equipment is located on the Decker School of Nursing Undergraduate website.  

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Transportation

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 50 mile distance away from campus. There may be parking costs at some clinical agencies.

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Professional Ethics and Academic Honesty

Students are expected to comply with the University Rules for Student Conduct and the policies related to professional ethics and academic honesty and as stated in the Decker School of Nursing Undergraduate Programs Student Handbook.

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Additional Expenses

Students in the nursing program should expect to incur costs for additional items related to clinical practice and preparation. These costs are in addition to the standard University tuition and fees.  Included are fees for the Innovative Simulation and Practice Center for courses NURS 321, NURS 352, NURS 353, NURS 362, NURS 363 and NURS 471.  The simulation fee of $300 is charged only once per semester.  An additional fee for NCLEX-RN test preparation program is charged to all prelicensure students; resources associated with the program are integrated into all coursework. The fee for NCLEX-RN preparation material is $440 total, divided over several semesters. 

Academic Honors

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Dean's List

Decker School of Nursing has a Dean's List for all students who have an outstanding academic record. To qualify for inclusion in the Dean's List for that semester, students must meet the following criteria:

  • be matriculated in Decker School of Nursing;
  • have a minimum GPA of 3.5;
  • have completed at least eight credits for that semester;
  • no incomplete or missing grades are allowed on a student's transcript when being considered for Dean's List.

Dean's List is noted on the student's official transcript for each semester it is achieved.

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Graduation with Honors

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 Grade (MG) or Incomplete (I) grades on their transcript.

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.

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Sigma Theta Tau International

Sigma Theta Tau International, The International Honor Society of Nursing, recognizes outstanding graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and practitioners of nursing. Candidates for membership in the Zeta Iota chapter of Binghamton University must have demonstrated:

  • superior scholastic achievement;
  • academic integrity; and
  • professional leadership potential and/or marked achievement in the field of nursing.

Eligibility for membership in the Zeta Iota chapter is by invitation to students who have completed at least half of the courses in the nursing major, have a GPA of 3.0 and above and rank in the top 35 percent of their class in scholarship.

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Awards

See the Scholarships, Awards and Fellowships section of the University Bulletin.

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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. Further information related to application process and coursework expectations are located in the Decker School of Nursing Undergraduate Programs Student Handbook.

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Degree Requirements

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

  • complete a minimum of 126 semester hours as defined by the Decker School of Nursing curriculum;
  • complete the General Education course requirements for a degree;
  • be in residence at DSON during the last 30 credits immediately preceding graduation, unless specifically exempted from this requirement by a duly designated committee of the faculty;
  • 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.
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Major Requirements

Satisfactory completion of specific courses in the social, behavioral and natural sciences is required for admission to the first course in the nursing sequence. Refer to Prerequisites in the Grading System section for a list of the prerequisite courses all students must complete prior to beginning upper-level nursing coursework. Students are encouraged to meet with faculty advisors each semester before registering for nursing courses. Students are expected to complete approximately 64 credits toward the degree prior to beginning the nursing major.

In addition to the courses listed under General Requirements, the following courses are required for the upper-division major in nursing for PRE-licensure students:

  • NURS 320. Socialization I: Introduction to Professional Nursing
  • NURS 321. Nursing Assessment of Clients
  • NURS 322. The Client System of Nursing
  • NURS 351. Pathophysiology I  
  • NURS 352. Practice of Nursing I
  • NURS 353. Practice of Nursing II
  • NURS 360. Socialization II: Nursing Research  
  • NURS 361. Pathophysiology II
  • NURS 362. Practice of Nursing III
  • NURS 363. Practice of Nursing IV
  • NURS 365. Pharmacology in Nursing  
  • NURS 470. Socialization III: Professional Issues
  • NURS 471. Practice of Nursing V  
  • Nursing elective or independent study  
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Sample Curriculum for the Traditional Track Program

First Year/Fall Credits

C or J: Composition I

4

CHEM 101: Chemistry I

4

PSYC 111: General Psychology

4

General Education/Elective

4

TOTAL

16

First Year/Spring Credits

BIOL 113 or 118: Intro to Cell & Molecular

Biology

4

CHEM 102:  Chem II

4

PSYC 220:  Dev Psychology

4

General Education/Elective

4

TOTAL

16

Second Year/Fall Credits

BIOL 251:  Anatomy and Physiology I

4

MATH 147/MATH 148/PSYC 243:  Statistics

4

C or J:  Composition II

4

General Education/Elective

TOTAL

16

Second Year/Spring Credits

BIOL 347:  Anatomy and Physiology II

4

BIOL 319:  Pre-Health Microbiology

4

BIOL 329:  Pre-Health Microbiology Lab (Optional)

0-2

General Education/Elective

4

General Education/Elective

0-4

TOTAL

12-18

Third Year/Fall credits

NURS 320:  Socialization I: Introduction to
Professional Nursing

4

NURS 321:  Nursing Assessment of Clients

4

NURS 322:  The Client System of Nursing

4

NURS 351:  Pathophysiology I

2

Nursing Elective

2-4

TOTAL

16-18

Third Year/Spring Credits

NURS 352:  Practice of Nursing I

4

NURS 353:  Practice of Nursing II

4

NURS 361:  Pathophysiology II

4

General Education/Elective

0-4

TOTAL

12-16

Fourth Year/Fall Credits

NURS 360:  Socialization II: Nursing Research

2

NURS 362:  Practice of Nursing III

4

NURS 363:  Practice of Nursing IV

4

NURS 365:  Pharmacology in Nursing

2

General Education/Elective

0-4

TOTAL

12-16

Fourth Year/Spring Credits

NURS 470:  Socialization III: Professional Issues

4

NURS 471:  Practice of Nursing V

8

TOTAL

12

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Baccalaureate Accelerated Track (BAT) Nursing Program for Candidates with Degrees in Other Fields

The Accelerated Baccalaureate in Nursing program is a 12-month, four-semester program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in nursing. Applicants to the program are expected to have earned a baccalaureate or higher degree in another field and to have a desire to make a career change to professional nursing. They must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the prior degree and in prerequisite courses to be considered for the program.

Students selecting this option complete all required courses in the nursing major in a sequence that provides accelerated progression to achieve the undergraduate program objectives. This selective program option is designed for the mature, highly motivated student.

BAT Curriculum Plan (One Calendar Year)

Summer Session Term I (May - July) Credits

NURS 320:  Socialization I: Introduction to

Professional Nursing

4

NURS 351:  Pathophysiology I

2
Summer Session Term II (July - August)  

NURS 360:  Socialization II:  Nursing Research

2

NURS 361:  Pathophysiology II

4

Summer Session Term III (May - August)  

NURS 321: Nursing Assessment of Clients (continued) July-August)

4

Total 16
Fall Semester Credits

NURS 322:  The Client System of Nursing

4

NURS 352:  Practice of Nursing I  (1/2 semester course)

4

NURS 353:  Practice of Nursing II (1/2 semester course)

4

NURS 362:  Practice of Nursing III (1/2 semester course)

4

NURS 365:  Pharmacology in Nursing

2

TOTAL

18

Spring Semester Credits

NURS 363:  Practice of Nursing IV (Alternate start date - winter term; 1/2 semester course)

4

NURS 470. Socialization III: Professional Issues

4

NURS 471. Practice of Nursing V

8

Nursing Elective  

0 - 2

TOTAL

16 - 18            

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Community Agencies for Clinical Practice

The nursing curriculum places its focus on knowledge and theory drawn from health science and the related disciplines. Students apply this knowledge and theory in a number of clinical settings, giving them an opportunity to develop skill in clinical practice, critical thinking, problem solving and leadership. The Decker School of Nursing places students in agencies locally and throughout New York state and Pennsylvania. Included among nearly 400 clinical affiliations are the following.

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Listing of Hospital and Clinical Affiliations

  • Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Elmira, N.Y.
  • Bassett Healthcare, Cooperstown, N.Y.
  • Binghamton City Schools, Binghamton, N.Y.
  • Binghamton General Hospital, Binghamton, N.Y.
  • Broome County Health Department, Binghamton, N.Y.
  • Cayuga Medical Center, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Community General Hospital, Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Crouse Hospital, Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Delaware County Public Nursing Service, Delhi, N.Y.
  • Elizabeth Church Manor, Binghamton, N.Y.
  • Good Shepherd Fairview Home, Binghamton, N.Y.
  • Greater Binghamton Health Center, Binghamton, N.Y.
  • Guthrie Healthcare, Sayre, P.A.
  • Ideal Senior Living Center, Endicott, N.Y.
  • Lourdes Hospital, Binghamton, N.Y.
  • Lourdes At Home, Binghamton, N.Y.
  • St. Joseph's Hospital, Elmira, N.Y.
  • St. Joseph's Hospital, Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Susquehanna Nursing Center, Binghamton, N.Y.
  • Tioga County Health Department, Owego, N.Y.
  • Twin Tier Home Health, Vestal, N.Y.
  • United Health Services, Wilson Memorial Regional Medical Center, Johnson City, N.Y.
  • United Medical Associates, Johnson City, N.Y.
  • University Hospital, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Vestal Park Nursing Center, Vestal, N.Y.
  • Willow Point Nursing Home, Vestal, N.Y.
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Forensic Health Minor

The Forensic Health Minor enhances the knowledge of students who are planning for careers in which they may have victims and/or perpetrators of violence and crime in their client population. The minor consists of seven core courses (16 credits), and two adjunct courses (8 credits). The total number of credits required for the minor is twenty-four (24).

Requirements:

A minimum GPA of 3.0

Students must complete at least 60 college credits before declaring the minor.

Successful completion of all the following Core Courses:

Course

Credits

NURS 335. Forensic Health Essentials

2

NURS 335B. Forensic Health of Victims

2

NURS 335C. Forensic Health of Offenders

2

NURS 335D. Forensic Pediatrics*

2

NURS 335F. Medicolegal Death Investigation*

2

NURS 370. Disaster Preparedness*

3

NURS 455. Correctional Health*  

3

Total

16

*Nursing Honors Program may be substituted as an alternative for NURS 335D, N335F, N370 or N455, if focused on a topic integral to forensic health and with approval of the forensic health coordinator.

Successful completion of two of the following adjunct courses for total of 8 credits (no more than two may count toward minor):

Course

Credits

PSYC 111. Introduction to Psychology

4

PSYC 220. Developmental Psychology

4

PSYC 330. Drugs & Behavior

4

HDEV 200. Introduction to Human Development

4

HDEV 400. Social Justice

4

HWS 340. Substance Abuse in Contemporary Society

4

Total

8