Decker School of Nursing Undergraduate Student Handbook
NOTE: The Decker School of Nursing reserves the right to amend or alter the content of this handbook at any time.
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 undergraduate handbook will be used to facilitate students' progress in meeting
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. Students are also expected to become familiar with the University Rules Governing Academic Life for Students, also found in the University Bulletin. Finally, students should also be familiar with the Decker School's website.
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
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 to 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.
Approved fall 2013, Faculty Council
Our mission is to disseminate and advance knowledge about human healthcare, 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 undergraduate and graduate programs will learn to practice nursing from an evidence base. Consistent with our tradition as a public institution, the school provides educational access and support to culturally and economically diverse students in a culture of diversity, respect and success, with coursework and clinical experiences designed to promote socially just and competent care of all persons.
The school's ultimate goals are to prepare future leaders in nursing, healthcare and healthcare research, and to promote the research and scholarship of our faculty and students, with a particular focus on solving the most challenging health problems in rural and other vulnerable populations. Finally, using additional strategies, the school will continue to educate the public and other professionals about emerging and established healthcare regimens.
Our Department of Health and Wellness Studies provides education on the importance of healthy lifestyles. Combined, faculty from nursing and health and wellness studies bring synergy to research into issues of health promotion and disease prevention.
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 healthcare systems of rural areas.
The health of human systems is nursing's greatest concern. Nurses respect the principles of social justice; realizing healthcare resources in some environments are limited and need to be distributed fairly. To provide comprehensive healthcare, 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 use 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 healthcare; 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 Decker School 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 toward 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 profession's 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 Studies, serve to educate on the importance of healthy lifestyles. Faculty from health and wellness studies and nursing can bring synergy to research into issues of health promotion and disease prevention.
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 healthcare 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 VIII: Professionalism and Professional Values
Demonstrate accountability for professional standards of moral, legal and ethical conduct.
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
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.
- Binghamton University's policies on academic integrity and the student academic honesty code can be found in the University Bulletin. This link will also allow students to review violation category definitions per the University's academic honesty policies.
- Decker-specific procedures regarding academic honesty are presented in the DSON Academic Honesty Policy.
- Additional information on academic honesty at the University level, including forms, are presented on the University provost's website.
Violation of Nursing Standards (VNS) Policy
Reviewed March 2018
In accordance with the Decker School of Nursing's mission to prepare future providers of care, managers of care and members of the discipline of nursing, the Violation of Nursing Standards (VNS) policy requires students to abide by the following rules and regulations while enrolled in the program:
- American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics and the Interpretive Statements (available electronically through Binghamton University Libraries)
- NYS Board of Nursing Regulation
- Binghamton University Student Handbook and Code of Student Conduct
- ANA Scope and Standard of Practice (available electronically through Binghamton University Libraries)
- Decker School of Nursing Student Handbook
- Affiliating agency policies and procedures
- Current federal, state and/or local laws
A violation may be given any time a student is not compliant with the bulleted items above.
Records of violations are tracked and recorded internally. Immediately following a violation, the VNS Incident Report will be completed and submitted by the issuer of the violation. Once a VNS is reported, the student will receive the following to his/her official Binghamton University email:
- Description of the violation
- Required remediation instructions, if necessary
- Instructions for submitting comments (optional)
Three violations in one course will result in course failure. Five cumulative violations will result in dismissal from the Decker School of Nursing, regardless of program length. A single incident that is determined to have produced serious actual/potential harm may also result in dismissal. If remediation is required, failure to complete the assigned remediation(s) will result in more severe consequences (and may include immediate dismissal).
Dismissal from the nursing program as a result of a VNS is final and will be recorded on the student's official Binghamton University transcript. Violations of federal, state and/or local laws will result in a report to law enforcement officers. A student may initiate the DSON's Grievance Policy as a formal appeal process.
Questions about this policy should be directed to the undergraduate program director.
Administrative, faculty and staff offices of the Decker School are located in the Academic B Building. Administrative office rooms and phone extensions follow:
|Decker School Office||Room||Extension|
|Dean 's Office||AB-108||7-2311|
|Graduate Program Office||AB-110||7–4712|
|Undergraduate Program Office||AB-110||7-4712|
|Academic Advising and Student Services Office||AB-114||7-4954|
|Clinical Site Coordinator||AB-214||7-4845|
|Kresge Center for Nursing Research||AB-315||7-4625|
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 ensure 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 senior academic advisor serve as resources 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 they are following a program of study that leads to the completion of degree requirements.
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 fewer 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 the Decker Academic Advising and Student Services Office. First-semester freshman students, first-semester transfer students and students on probation may not overload credits. Students who do not meet the 3.3 GPA or who wish 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.
An academic minor or concentration is an approved course sequence within an area of study outside 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 Academic Advising and Student Services for academic advising regarding a program plan; this should be done soon after enrollment in the Decker School and prior to nursing courses in the third year.
DSON adheres to the University policy pertaining to attendance in class; 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.
Approved February 2019, Faculty Council
Students may earn a bachelor of science degree with a major in nursing and a bachelor's degree in another discipline at Binghamton University at the same time by completing both program’s degree requirements (156 credit minimum). Interested students with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA must apply to the Double Degree Program by submitting the University's Intra-University/Double-Degree Application for admission available on BU Brain. Accepted students are encouraged to meet with an academic advisor from each program to facilitate successful completion of both degrees.
Approved March 2019, Faculty Council
Undergraduate course-grading options:
- Letter grade
Courses completed with the pass/fail grading option may not be used to fulfill prerequisite, general education or major degree requirements.
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
A grade of C- or higher in nursing courses is required for progression in the nursing curriculum. Grades of I (incomplete), W (withdrawn) and AU (audit) are not included in cumulative totals.
Grade Calculation Policy
Pre-licensure students must achieve a minimum of 69.5 percent on testing components as specified in core nursing courses (outlined in course syllabi). If the 69.5 percent is not achieved, the letter grade awarded in the course will be determined by the quiz/exam average only. If the minimum quiz/exam score is achieved, all other graded coursework will be averaged in to determine the final course grade.
Standardization of Extra Credit
No more than 2 percent of any course grade can be obtained from extra-credit work. Not all courses or faculty include extra credit. Extra credit cannot be added to exam and quiz grades. It can be included after the 70 percent is first achieved.
Approved May 2019, Faculty Council
Students who would like to return to study after missing three consecutive major semesters must submit a Re-enrollment Application. A student who has missed fewer than three consecutive semesters, but has taken a semester off from his/her prescribed nursing curriculum, is required to submit an Intent to Return form.
- The student must submit an Intent to Return form by the appropriate application deadline:
- BAT: November 1
- Traditional: March 1
- Students approved to return will be provided a revised program of study, which may include repeating coursework and/or clinical remediation at the discretion of the program director.
Requests to return may be denied. A new form must be submitted for consideration for a future start date.
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 the 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 of the DSON.
Process for petitioning:
- Students should discuss their situation with their assigned advisor, the Academic Advising and Student Services Office or the EOP or CSTEP advisor.
- If the situation indicates the need for a policy exception, the student must complete the Undergraduate Admissions and Academic Standards Petition. 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. Send via email to the committee chair the following: 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. Students will be notified if the petition is unclear or has insufficient information.
- Students will receive a decision regarding their petition in 5 business days after
the committee receives the petition. All voting members of the committee will vote
on petitions electronically. The chair of the committee will send notification of
the petition to the committee members. Voting members will vote and include rationale
for the vote within 3 business days of receiving the petition; there will then be
another 2 business days before the final vote is tallied. The student will be notified
of the petition decision via email.
- If a petition is deemed to require additional discussion, it will be reviewed at the next scheduled committee meeting .
- Students should consult the Academic Advising and Student Services Office for information on committee meeting dates and the name of the chair of the committee.
- Visit the Academic Advising and Student Services Office if you have other questions about the petition process.
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.
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 University registrar's website also provides course registration-related instructions, policies and information.
For information on withdrawing from a DSON course, see Withdrawal in this publication. See the University Bulletin for withdrawal from non-nursing courses; select Dropping a Course or Withdrawing for a Semester from the drop down menu.
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.
Access the Undergraduate Late Add/Drop Petition form or get a hardcopy in the DSON Academic Advising and Student Services Office. 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 University's 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 Academic Advising and 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 academic advisor prior to 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 advisor. 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 (i.e., below 12 credits) will be required by Student Accounts to request a tuition refund. Students should always discuss adding or dropping a class with the Office of Student Accounts to understand the financial implications.
Students who wish 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 pass/fail (P/F) unless P/F is the only grade option available.
Students are expected to consult with an advisor, if they have questions. If the student decides, after consultation with the advisor to change the grading option to pass/fail 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 advisor, 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.
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 advisor, 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.
Approved February 1997, Faculty Council; reviewed May 2012, Educational Policies Committee
With the permission of the course instructor of record, a student may to drop a nursing course after the withdrawal deadline. Download the instructions for the Late Course Add/Drop/Withdrawal Petition Process.
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 Decker 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 Student Records and Registrar Services 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.
Reviewed May 2012, Educational Policies Committee
Students who withdraw during the semester must obtain a Binghamton University Withdrawal form from the University Office of Student Records and Registrar Services 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 ID cards to the University's Student Accounts Office 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.
Reviewed May 2012, Educational Policies Committee
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:
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 DSON 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 below). This exception will apply only in this case, and after the first semester, academic policies will apply as per the information listed below.
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.
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.
Approved May 2019, 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 nursing prerequisite if they receive a D, F or W.
- Failure to achieve the minimum passing grade or withdrawal in any combination of two nursing prerequisites will result in dismissal.
Failure to achieve the minimum passing grade or withdrawal from the same nursing prerequisite twice will result in dismissal.
Core nursing courses:
Students must repeat a core course if they fail to achieve the minimum passing grade or withdraw.
- Failure to achieve the minimum passing grade or withdrawal from any combination of two core nursing courses will result in dismissal.
- Failure to achieve the minimum passing grade or withdrawal from the same core nursing course twice will result in dismissal.
The following awards recognize graduating seniors for their achievements throughout their time as students in DSON. Additional information on the awards is available in the DSON Academic Advising and Student Services Office.
- Dennis Jimenez Memorial Award: Presented to a graduating nursing student in memory of Dennis Jimenez, a nursing student who died in 2003. An accomplished musician and composer, Dennis is remembered by many sitting at his piano sharing music with others. This award is given by the graduating class to a senior who demonstrates ability in nursing and 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 was created by the Class of 1981 as a memorial to Jessica Mally, who died in an automobile accident. (Voted by senior class according to the stated criteria)
- Martha Harnick Bress '69 Nursing Award: This award is presented to a student completing nursing as a second degree who has demonstrated clinical excellence or is completing nursing as a nontraditional 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 to recognize excellence in clinical practice. (Voted by faculty and based on clinical excellence)
- Sara Ainspan Memorial Award: Presented to a graduating senior in good academic standing in the baccalaureate accelerated program. This award is voted on by the senior and junior classes and awarded to the individual whose sense of humor and adventuresome personality enhances the practice of nursing. This award was created by the Class of 1997 as 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 coursework.
- 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 annually to a graduating senior who 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. Recipients not only support the mission and embody the philosophy
of the DSON but also meet 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 or the SUNY chancellor 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.
A Dean's List is compiled at the end of each semester. To qualify, students must meet the following conditions:
- Have at least a 3.5 GPA
- Be matriculated in DSON
- Take at least 8 credits with letter grades for the semester
- Have no incompletes or missing grades on their transcript
The designation "Dean's List" will be placed on the student's official transcript.
To qualify for the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in nursing, the student must:
- Complete a minimum of 32 academic courses (126 semester hours).
- Complete the general course requirements for the degree.
- Take the last 7.5 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.
Approved August 1991
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 Education requirements that are prerequisite to the nursing course sequence.
Approved October 2007
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.
Students in the Decker School are required to take the last 7.5 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).
Updated September 2011, Educational Policies Committee
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 Academic Advising and Student Services Office or the Undergraduate Program Office in the Decker School.
Students who wish to transfer to another Binghamton University school may apply by completing an Intra-University Transfer (IUT) application obtained from the Undergraduate Admissions Office. Download the application or learn more about IUTs. Students are expected to remain in DSON for a minimum of two semesters. Students should notify the DSON Academic Advising and Student Services Office in writing if they plan to transfer from DSON to another school within the University.
DSON has no limit on the number of transfer credits allowed, as long as 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 who are licensed graduates of associate degree
programs in nursing. An additional 32 credits of nursing coursework is required and
must be completed at Binghamton University 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 coursework at DSON. These credits exceed the residency requirement of 30 credits.
If you received college credit for coursework 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. Coursework for which credit has been received is evaluated through the DSON Academic Advising and 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 coursework 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, as long as 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 advisor 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 DSON Academic Advising and 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 for the transfer credits to be awarded.
Upon completion of summer school courses, you must contact the registrar at the college
or university where you have taken the summer course and arrange to have an official
transcript mailed to the DSON Academic Advising and Student Services Office. 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 coursework taken cannot be awarded without the
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 coursework to the DSON Academic Advising and Student Services Office before the beginning of fall classes. Your registration in the nursing coursework may be cancelled if adequate documentation is not submitted as requested.
Notes about 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.
Updated April 2018
Enrolled students with completed nursing courses from an accredited program may petition to transfer the credits to meet Decker School or nursing core requirements. To be considered, courses must be taken within the last five years and have a grade of C- or better.
Students may only petition to transfer coursework to meet the following Decker requirements:
- NURS 351
- NURS 360
- NURS 361
- NURS 365
The following courses must be taken at Binghamton:
- NURS 320
- NURS 321
- NURS 322
- NURS 352
- NURS 353
- NURS 362
- NURS 363
- NURS 470
- NURS 471
Binghamton University requires that the last 30 credits toward the degree be in residence.
Complete and submit a Petition to Transfer Upper-level Nursing Coursework. If a petition is denied, students have the option of taking a challenge exam for the course prior to the start of the semester. A passing grade of C- or better on the exam will result in the transfer of credit.
Continuing Decker School of Nursing students must complete and submit the Petition to Transfer Upper-level Nursing Coursework for approval to take a course at another institution for credit.
Transfer of Nursing Credit to Meet Nursing Elective Credit Requirements
Enrolled students may petition to have an upper division course already completed at another institution be accepted as nursing elective credit. To be considered, courses must be taken within the last 10 years and have a grade of C- or better. In addition, the course for which credit is being requested must fulfill the expectations held for the nursing elective in the DSON undergraduate curriculum. 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 DSON.
An exception to this procedure exists for previously approved electives. Consultation with the DSON Academic Advising and Student Services Office is recommended.
The Educational Policies Committee may seek consultation from faculty in DSON who teach similar courses and/or the director of the undergraduate program before taking action on the petition.
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 DSON Academic Advising and 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:
- Registering for non-nursing course
- Withdrawing from the University; if the student chooses to withdraw, the student must complete the University's withdrawal form and submit it to the University Registrar's Office by the add/drop deadline.
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 DSON Academic Advising and 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 University Registrar’s Office.
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 program pages on this website and in the University Bulletin.
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.
Revised February 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 the DSON Academic Advising and Student Services Office may approve petitions to exceed the current total of 8 credits from the Department of Health Wellness Studies.
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 and 252)
- 2 courses in general chemistry (L) that include 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: For licensed RNs to begin NURS 384 and/or NURS 484, proof of licensure must be submitted to the DSON Academic Advising and Student Services Office and to the DSON clinical site coordinator.
Approved April 2010, DSON Council
DSON acknowledges and validates students' 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 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 timeframe 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 as the final course grade 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.
RN-BS students must show proof of licensure as a registered nurse to be eligible for credit-by-examination in NURS 351, NURS 361 and NURS 365.
It is advisable that the credit-by-examination process for NURS 351, NURS 361 and 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.
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.
Approved February 1991, DSON Council
Registered nurse students may petition the DSON Graduate Program Office to enroll in graduate nursing courses.
- 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.
- Eligibility requirements for enrollment in a graduate nursing course include:
- a minimum of a 3.0 nursing GPA
- senior level standing
- assessed potential for success based on advisor's statement of student's ability, interest and past experiences AND
- permission of the instructor and approval of the director of undergraduate programs and the director of graduate programs
- Undergraduates who meet the eligibility requirements will be registered for graduate courses on a space-available basis, with first preference given to graduate students.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 8 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 rate.
- The student should register for the course(s).
- The student must complete the “Undergraduate Receiving Graduate Credit” petition no later than the add deadline. Petitions are available in the University's Office of the Registrar, the Decker School Graduate Programs Office and in the advising office within each Binghamton University school.
- The student must submit the completed form and his/her most recent DARS report to the University Registrar's Office for approval and obtain the appropriate signature. Students must notify the DSON Academic Advising and Student Services Office when they register for graduate nursing courses to count for graduate credit.
Approved July 2001, DSON Council
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)
- Independent study may be taken for 1, 2, 3, or 4 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 2-credit independent study would require four hours per week of work on the project. If a clinical focus is undertaken, the student needs to calculate a 3:1 ratio so a 2-credit independent study would require six 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.
- The student needs to find a sponsor for the study; that sponsor must be chosen from the DSON faculty based on the interest and expertise of the potential sponsor in relation to the student's topic.
- 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 that includes a timeline for consultation and assessment of progress.
- All research involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved prior to initiating any research. Download Human Subject Review forms. 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 the particular study.
Approved November 2011, UCC, Faculty Council
In keeping with its existential-humanistic philosophy and organizing framework, the Decker School of Nursing 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 healthcare 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 list of approved nursing electives below.
Approved nursing electives
- BIOL 401 (previously 301): Molecular Genetics
- CLAS 121: Scientific/Medical Terminology
Health and Wellness Studies (HWS)
- HWS 210: Men's Personal Wellness
- HWS 216: Women's Wellness
- HWS 233: Stress Management
- HWS 325: Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries
- HWS 330: Human Sexuality
- HWS 331: Contemporary Health Issues
- HWS 332: Nutrition
- HWS 333: Health, Human Behavior, and Society
- HWS 336: The Science and Application of Exercise
- HWS 410: Pathophysiology Nutrition and Disease
- NURS 258: Basic Emergency Medical Tech
- NURS 310: Human Sexuality
- NURS 311: Contemporary Health Issues
- NURS 312: Nutrition
- NURS 315: Designing Programs for Healthy Communities
- NURS 332: Holistic Health Practice
- NURS 335: Forensic Health: Essentials
- NURS 335B: Forensic Health: Victims
- NURS 335C: Forensic Health: Offenders
- NURS 335D: Forensic Health: Pediatrics
- NURS 335F: Medico-Legal Death Investigation
- NURS 342: Global Healthcare Strategies
- NURS 343: Everyday Scientist
- NURS 348: Wound Care Essentials
- NURS 370: Disaster Preparedness
- NURS 388: Healthcare Policy/Health Disparities (only elective for traditional and BAT students)
- NURS 431: Basics of Emergency Nursing
- NURS 441 + NURS 442: Nursing Honors (both classes necessary)
- NURS 443: Nursing Honors
- NURS 497: Independent Study
- NURS 499: Nursing Research
- PSYC 330: Drugs and Behavior
- SPAN 175: Basic Medical Spanish
Notes Regarding Nursing Electives
- Students may petition the Educational Policies Committee for other courses using the Undergraduate Admissions and Academic Standards Petition.
- Students may choose any 2-credit course in the list above to meet the nursing elective requirement. The only exception to this policy is for students who combine NURS 441 (1 credit) and NURS 442 (1 credit).
- Transfer courses may also be acceptable. Students should check with their advisor to ensure any courses taken outside Binghamton can count as their nursing elective.
- The frequency of course offerings is up to the individual departments; not all courses will be offered every semester.
- Students are responsible for determining if any of the above courses have required prerequisites.
Many Binghamton University nursing students have found it beneficial to enroll in a summer clinical nursing course or program in a healthcare institution during the summer between their junior and senior years. Generally, students find the experiences valuable, even though quality of experience varies.
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.
- Credits received in a course with a pass/fail grade are not transferable.
- 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 using the Undergraduate Admissions and Academic Standards Petition.
In seeking to obtain credits for a summer clinical program where college credit is granted by another college, the student must apply to the DSON Academic Advising and 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.
Students in the nursing program are required to have the following items and should expect to incur costs for such items:
- Equipment: sphygmomanometer, stethoscope, bandage scissors, hemostat and pen light
- 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
- Annual student health evaluation (variable cost depending on healthcare provider and services needed, for example, physical exam, titers, etc.)
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification at the professional rescuer level or equivalent is required annually
- Textbooks and course supplements required for nursing courses
- NCLEX RN Test Preparation Program: This program provides an NCLEX-RN test program to all pre-licensure students. Resources associated with the program will be integrated into all course work.
- 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 is charged per semester for all undergraduate students enrolled in at least one of the following courses: NURS 321, 352, 353, 362, 363 and 471
- For more information about standard tuition and fees, see Binghamton University's Student Account's Office webpage
- 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 student/instructor should 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.
The DSON Innovative Simulation and Practice Center (ISPC) 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 center without express permission of the director of the ISPC or the 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, likenesses 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 director.
DSON policy is that attendance at all laboratory experiences is required.
In the event of an absence:
- The student must call the 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.
- An Absence from Clinical Laboratory form will be obtained, completed by the student and submitted to the instructor explaining the reason for the absence. Individual faculty will choose appropriate actions in relation to mastery of objectives. A copy of the form 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.
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.
Approved February 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.
Revised fall 2017, Faculty Council
The dress code policy for pre-licensure Decker School of Nursing students is outlined below. Both clinical (direct patient care) and non-clinical (i.e., clinical preparation, community observations) attire is addressed. Student concerns about any component of this dress code should be discussed with their assigned clinical faculty in advance. Faculty has discretion to determine whether or not a student is in compliance with these policies.
RN-BS students follow the uniform policy of the agency in which they are participating for clinical experience (s). Binghamton University identification must be displayed per the criteria listed below.
Students are expected to comply with the uniform policy when engaging in professional activities. Consult with his/her clinical faculty in advance to ensure compliance if you desire clarification on any of the requirements. The student is also responsible for any additional dress code regulations established by affiliated units or agencies.
Decker School of Nursing students are responsible for maintaining professional behavior and appearance while in uniform.
If there are conflicting dress codes, the more restrictive policy applies. Failure to follow the Decker School of Nursing Dress Code Policy and any additional requirement from the clinical agency may result in dismissal from the clinical day and thus counted as a clinical absence. The ability to recover that clinical time is not guaranteed and may impact student success in that clinical course.
UNIFORM FOR CLINICAL SETTING:
- Hunter green, V-neck scrub top with the Decker logo on the left side; a green scrub jacket with the Decker logo on the left side is optional
- ¾-length sleeved shirts may be worn under scrub tops but must be white, black or green with sleeves that conform to the arm (not loose or free-flowing)
- Lab coat must be white, with the Decker logo on the left side
- NO sweaters, sweatshirts, hooded clothing
- Black ankle-length pants with pockets
- NO yoga or exercise pants
- Must be freshly laundered, stain-free
- Must be pressed, wrinkle-free
UNIFORM FOR COMMUNITY SETTING:
May wear clinical uniform as described above OR
- White button-down shirt with ¾-length or full-length sleeves or white polo shirt
- Top button may be open
- A white lab coat, with the Decker logo on the left side
- Black ankle length pants or mid-knee length skirt
- NO yoga or exercise pants
- Must be all white or all black
- Sneaker style , leather or vinyl
- Heel height must be 1½ inch or less
- Must be clean and intact
- NO open toes or open-heeled footwear allowed
- Must be flesh-colored
- May not be visible through clothing
- Socks or hose must be worn at all times
- Socks must be white or black. NO designs
- Must be well groomed
- Must be a natural color
- Long hair must be contained, pulled back, off neck and not touching collar
- FACIAL HAIR must be trimmed and groomed
- A wedding band is the only ring that is allowed to be worn
- A watch is the only wrist jewelry that is allowed to be worn
- Only 2 piercings per ear lobe allowed
- Earrings must be small, non-dangling
- NO gauges, tongue, nose, or other facial or cartilage jewelry/piercings allowed
- Skin colored spacers are allowed for piercings that cannot be removed for long periods of time OR
- Jewelry that can't be removed may be covered
- Short, clean, trimmed
- Clear nail polish only that is intact, no chipped polish
- NO acrylic or artificial nails, including gels
- NO colored polishes
- Must be covered with make-up or clothing
- Please meet in person with the Director of Undergraduate Program for any issues with tattoo covering
- Must be white, black or green
- Only those with religious or medical reasons are allowed to wear head coverings in the clinical setting or when representing the Decker School of Nursing
- Must be visibility displayed
- Must include Binghamton University logo, student first and last name, and designation "Nursing Student"
Binghamton University ID
- Visibly displayed in plastic holder
- NO perfumes, aftershave, or other scented body produc
Reviewed June 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 screening. 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 CastleBranch (formerly Certified Background) 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. Learn more about this process
and its costs at CastleBranch.
Results will be disclosed to the agency/clinical site to determine if the student can attend clinical within the facility. Any student who 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 DSON 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.
Reviewed August 2012
To provide a process for access to evaluation and treatment for any DSON student sustaining an occupational exposure. Prompt evaluation and treatment of healthcare workers following occupational exposure enhances positive outcomes. Evaluation and treatment of the exposure should be made by a healthcare professional as soon as possible, ideally within one hour, and no later than 36 hours post-exposure.
- Healthcare 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 (i.e., 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 that 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 site 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.
- An assessment of exposure risk should be performed; the student and the source patient should be evaluated to determine the need for post-exposure 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. 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 and provide counseling specific to HIV and Hepatitis B and C testing, risk assessment and need for post-exposure 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 post-exposure prophylaxis, it should be obtained as soon as possible (Employee Health Department at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital; United Occupational Medicine Department at UHS). Documentation of the treatment plan should be forwarded to the DSON for inclusion in the student's 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 will 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 DSON's clinical site coordinator.
- 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 healthcare provider is necessary before the student will be allowed to return to the clinical area.
- If the exposure is assessed to be a 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 healthcare provider will be made.
- The content of this policy should be reviewed annually and evaluated for current standard of care.
Reviewed August 2012
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.
- Healthcare 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 (i.e., 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 that have an undetermined risk for transmitting HIV.
The following precautions are taken from the MMWR, Aug. 21, 1987, published by the Centers for Disease Control.
- All healthcare 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 eyewear 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.
- 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.
- All healthcare 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 containers for transport to the reprocessing area.
- 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.
- Healthcare 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.
- Pregnant healthcare workers are not known to be at greater risk of contracting HIV infection than healthcare workers who are not pregnant; however, if a healthcare worker develops HIV infection during pregnancy, the infant is at risk of infection resulting from perinatal transmission. Because of this risk, pregnant healthcare workers should be especially familiar with and strictly adhere to precautions to minimize the risk of HIV transmission.
- The content of this policy should be reviewed annually and evaluated for current standard of care.
Approved May 2019, Faculty Council
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. 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 CastleBranch (formerly Certified Background). The clinical site coordinator for DSON manages all health requirements through CastleBranch. The health/practice requirements as outlined below must be fulfilled and be completed prior to beginning clinical coursework.
The DSON will only provide clinical and simulation opportunities for students who meet and maintain the health requirements listed in handbook through and including the last day of final examinations in the graduating semester. A completed physical examination must be documented on the DSON form and submitted to CastleBranch 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. Download the Student Health Evaluation form .
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 healthcare. A TB screening form must be completed annually for those with a positive Mantoux history.
DSON students must provide proof of immunity to specific communicable diseases as outlined on the Student Health Evaluation form. In addition, the DSON recommends the Hepatitis B immunization series. Hepatitis B infection is a major occupational hazard for healthcare 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 CastleBranch (formerly Certified Background). Students are also required to show immunity to varicella by one of the following:
- A positive titer
- Two 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 healthcare agencies used by the DSON for clinical experiences require that students have biennial (once every two years) certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 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.
NOTE: The DSON does not accept online certification for CPR.
Students are required to have malpractice insurance to attend clinical. A fee is attached to all clinical courses that covers the premium for this insurance. A student will pay the fee only once each semester, regardless of the number of clinical courses in which the student is enrolled. 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 (e.g., drug testing, removal of artificial/acrylic nails, more frequent Mantoux testing) 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 that may affect their ability to function safely in the clinical laboratory setting must submit an additional statement from their healthcare provider. This statement should address any limitation or restrictions resulting from the health problem. This information should be submitted directly to the DSON 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 also may require a student to undergo an appropriate medical evaluation at the University's expense prior to readmission or resumption of clinical placement (classes).
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. 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.
Approved October 1993, DSON Council; reviewed August 2012
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.
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 that 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: Contact course coordinators promptly with special needs.
Disability-related academic accommodations are authorized by Binghamton University’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Office, 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. Visit the Services for Students with Disabilities website for information on accessing their services and support.
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 clients appropriately
- Use correct body mechanics
- Use appropriate handwashing techniques
- Gown, glove and mask appropriately
- Perform sterile technique
- Complete a bed bath, 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 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
Approved January 1990; reviewed June 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, that 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 24 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.
- The instructor must complete a Student Clinical Practice Errors form. This form will not become part of the student's permanent file.
- 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 situations where the agency does not view the situation as a reportable incident, but faculty/student believe it to be an unusual occurrence, a Student Clinical Practice Errors form must be completed as described under #3 above.
Approved May 2014, Faculty Council
Maintaining confidentiality is an integral part of nursing practice. Federal regulations guide the scope of practice of healthcare workers to safeguard protected health information (PHI) through the Department of Health and Human Services and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). PHI 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 numbers 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).* [*U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Summary of the HIPAA privacy rule.]
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 that 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:
- Maintain confidentiality by only sharing PHI with those who are considered individuals who need to know
- When you need to discuss PHI, hold conversations in private areas where others cannot hear the conversation.
- Shred PHI which is no longer necessary to maintain in approved shredding bins, if shredding bins are not available, destroy the document before disposal.
- Do not use patient names, date of birth, medical record numbers or social security numbers on Decker School of Nursing databases, papers or written assignments.
- Do not share PHI with family members, peers or those individuals who are not directly involved with care of the patient.
- Information shared during the clinical day and pre/post conference is not to be shared outside of the conference area.
- Students may not leave/save any patient, family, faculty, clinical facility or student information on any open access desktop or hard drive.
- PHI is not to be left open in public areas.
- PHI is not to leave the clinical site
- Computer screens and electronic health records with PHI are not to be left unattended; students are expected to log out before leaving the workstation.
- Students are not allowed to share their personal login or password information.
Download a guide to corrective actions related to concerns with HIPAA.
Adapted with permission by Mary Ellen Murray, associate dean, University of Wisconsin-Madison
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 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.
The Honors Program is a three-semester curriculum (junior year spring semester and senior year fall and spring semesters). DSON students who have junior status may apply in the fall by submitting a résumé, references and letter of interest (including research/project area of interest) to the program faculty of record. Admission is determined by the faculty of record in conjunction with other course faculty, based on the student's academic performance and information contained in the admission packet.
The Second-Read Policy at the Decker School of Nursing applies to papers 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 member 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 using the grading rubric developed for the paper.
After consultation with the first reader, the second reader’s grade will be 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.
Approved April 2006, Faculty Council
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 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 used 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.
1. Informal process for seeking resolution
a. The complainant must first 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.
2. Informal mediation process
a. 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.
b. 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.
c. 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.
d. 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 dean's designee, who will review it and ensure that all means of resolution through the informal process have been exhausted.
If the dean's designee deems that the informal process has not been completed, she/he will direct the grievent to return to the informal process. Upon receipt of this detailed, signed charge, the dean's designee will notify in writing all parties involved including the chairperson of the Voting Faculty Committee. 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 dean's 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 dean's designee of the DSON nonbinding findings and recommendation(s) as to the action that might be taken. If the dean's 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 dean's designee. The final disposition of a case is not within the authority of this committee.
Notification of parties involved
The dean's designee shall notify all parties of the charges under consideration not less than seven 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 (Grievance Committee, #4 above)
- His/her right, after the dean's dfesignee 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 dean's 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 advisor(s) and witnesses, if appropriate
- The deliberations of the evidence by the committee and the formulation of its recommendation to the dean's designee
All parties and their advisor(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 dean's 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 dean's 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 April 26, 1980. It became a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International April 24, 1982.
Mary E. Mahoney Nursing Support Group
The Mary E. Mahoney Nursing Support Group is chartered by the Binghamton University 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 April. Officers and class representatives are inducted following the election. The NSA holds regular meetings during the academic year. Information on the NSA is available in the DSON Acadmic Advising and Student Services Office.
Decker School of Nursing committees are composed 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: three faculty, including at least one tenured faculty
- Student membership: one undergraduate student and one graduate student
- Meetings: every other month (three 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 and program outcomes, including NCLEX results, and make recommendations as appropriate
- Voting members:
- Four faculty, at least one of whom is tenured
- The associate dean/director of undergraduate programs
- Project directors of active undergraduate-level training grants
- Two undergraduate students
- Nonvoting members:
- Pertinent program coordinators, liaisons and directors are expected to attend
Undergraduate Educational Policies Committee
- Develop and recommend to DSON Faculty Council new educational policies and standards
- Evaluate 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
- Decide outcomes of student petitions for exceptions to educational policy; appeals are made to the dean
- Evaluate decisions granting academic credit for prior learning and revise as appropriate
- Voting members:
- Four faculty, including at least one tenured faculty
- Two undergraduate students
- Nonvoting members:
- Pertinent program coordinators, liaisons and directors are expected to attend
Recognition Committee, Ad Hoc
- Plans and implements the recognition ceremony for all graduate and undergraduate students at the Decker School of Nursing
- Junior and senior students (undergraduate) and first- and second-year graduate students preferred
- Fall semester, monthly; spring semester, biweekly
Professional Career Information
The Fleishman Career and Professional Development Center housed in the University Union 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 center during the spring semester of their junior year. This office can provide the student with career materials and information on résumé preparation. Healthcare agency recruiters interviewing on campus schedule their visits through this office.
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 materials as directed.
The dean's signature, University seal and notary public witness to the applicant's signature are often required. Some states require an official transcript to be forwarded as part of the application. (See Official Transcripts). The University Registrar's transcripts webpage explains how to request a transcript.
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.