Capstone College of Nursing

The Capstone College of Nursing is the division of The University of Alabama charged with the responsibility of preparing graduates for the professional practice of nursing. Graduates receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and are eligible to apply for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. Graduates also possess the knowledge and skills essential for life long learning within a rapidly changing health care system and are prepared for further study at the graduate level.

The Capstone College of Nursing (CCN) awards the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Standards of Conduct

The nursing student shall comply with legal, moral and legislative standards that determine unacceptable behavior of the nurse and that may be cause for denial of a license to practice as a registered nurse in accordance with Alabama law as stated below.

"The board shall have the power to deny, revoke or suspend any license issued by it or to otherwise discipline a licensee upon proof that he or she is guilty of fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license; has been convicted of a felony; is guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude or of gross immorality that would tend to bring reproach upon the nursing profession; is unfit or incompetent due to personal habits; is habitually intemperate due to the use of alcohol or is addicted to the use of habit-forming drugs to such an extent as to render him or her unsafe or unreliable as a licensee; has been convicted of any violation of a federal or state law relating to controlled substances; is mentally incompetent; is guilty of unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud or injure the public in matters pertaining to health; or has willfully or repeatedly violated any of the provisions of this article as defined by board rules and regulations."  (Alabama Board of Nursing Administrative Code, September 1997)

Failure to comply with any of the above stipulations while in the nursing program constitutes grounds for dismissal from the program.

It is important for nursing students to know about the Alabama Board of Nursing’s regulations governing review of candidates for initial and continuing licensure eligibility. There will be questions on the application to take the examination for licensure as a registered nurse that ask, “Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a criminal offense?” and, “Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol?” Application to take the examination may be denied on the basis of this review. Although these policies apply specifically in Alabama, other states have similar stipulations for licensure.

Essential Skills and Behaviors

See the Promotion Policies section of this catalog under Admission Requirements to the Capstone College of Nursing.

Hours and Grade Points

The student must complete a minimum of 126 hours1 of academic credit approved by the Capstone College of Nursing to meet the requirements for the degree of bachelor of science in nursing. Additional courses may be necessary for students to meet the University Core Curriculum requirements.

All coursework leading to the BSN degree, including electives, requires a minimum grade of C-.

1

Any reference to hours indicates semester hours unless otherwise noted.

CPR Certification

Evidence of current certification as a professional-level provider of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is required for registration in all clinical nursing courses. Students are responsible for obtaining and maintaining current CPR certification while enrolled in the Capstone College of Nursing. Certification must be renewed annually and verified through presentation of a CPR card to the Office of Nursing Student Services.

Verification of Health Status

A health form must be completed prior to matriculation in the upper division and prior to beginning senior-level courses if the student’s health status has changed. The health form is available from the Capstone College of Nursing ONSS and must be completed by a licensed physician or a certified nurse practitioner. Students must also present documentation of immunization against hepatitis B and other specified communicable diseases prior to progressing to Semester II upper-division courses and prior to the beginning of the senior year.

Time Limit

If upper-division requirements for the degree have not been completed within five years after initial registration in the Capstone College of Nursing, the student’s academic record will be reviewed to establish appropriate changes or requirements. Any student who has not enrolled in upper-division courses for more than one semester is required to seek approval from the assistant dean of Undergraduate Programs prior to registration to enroll in any subsequent courses. Approval may require repeating courses to ensure that knowledge is current.

Exit Exams

Students are required to make passing scores on all standardized exit exams given in the college. A student who fails to achieve a satisfactory score must complete a remediation program. Failure to satisfactorily complete the standardized program exit exam in the last semester of the program may delay the student’s graduation from the BSN program.

Review Course

Each student is strongly encouraged to take a review course near the end of the BSN program in preparation for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

Admission to Lower Division

Students are admitted to the Capstone College of Nursing when they meet University of Alabama admission requirements. Students are encouraged to acquaint themselves with general academic regulations of the University, as stated under the Admissions section of this  catalog. Transfer students are encouraged to seek advisement from the Capstone College of Nursing Office of Nursing Student Services. Knowledge of policies and procedures is the student’s responsibility. Detailed policies and procedures are contained in the Capstone College of Nursing student handbook, which is available at http://nursing.ua.edu/start_page.htm. Students are notified of any policy changes. It is the student’s responsibility to abide by the most recently published or posted policies and procedures. An official, current copy of the handbook is available in the office of the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs.

Promotion to Upper Division

An online application for promotion to the upper division may be accessed at nursing.ua.edu. It is the student’s responsibility to submit an application by the deadline. Applicants for the upper division must be admitted to The University of Alabama prior to accessing and submitting an application for upper division.

Promotion Policies

To progress to the professional component of the nursing curriculum, a student must possess a functional level of capability to perform the duties required of a professional nurse. These abilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Adequate vision such as that required to observe changes in physical conditions, to read small print on labels and laboratory reports, and to discern subtle changes in color
  • Adequate hearing such as that required to distinguish muted sounds through a stethoscope
  • Fine motor skills and manual dexterity such as those required to handle small, delicate equipment
  • Strength such as that required to turn and assist with lifting adults and to lift and carry children
  • The mobility to respond quickly to emergency situations
  • The ability to engage in two-way conversations and interact effectively with others orally and in writing
  • The ability to detect odors
  • The ability to consistently and dependably engage in critical thinking to make safe and ethical clinical judgments
  • The ability to work for extended periods of time using technology, including computer testing, online course work, smartphone and electronic health records

The faculty of the Capstone College of Nursing has identified the skills and professional behaviors that are essential for the pursuit of a course of study to be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination–RN and to practice as a professional nurse. These skills include, but are not limited to, the skills presented in The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice, a publication of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. If these skills and professional behaviors cannot be developed by the student, either unassisted or with the dependable use of assistive devices, the faculty reserves the right to dis-enroll the student from clinical courses. A copy of The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice is available upon request from the College’s Office of Academic Programs.

Promotion to the upper division requires successful completion of the lower-division courses designated on the Capstone College of Nursing BSN program of study. Students may apply and be considered for promotion to the upper division during the final lower-division semester if they will have completed all courses prior to the semester for which application to the upper division is made. In such instances, promotion to the upper division may be granted conditionally, pending successful completion of all courses required for promotion. Promotion to the upper division may be withdrawn if the level of academic performance is significantly lower in those courses completed after conditional promotion.

Only those applicants whose grade point averages are at least 3.0 for the required courses in the lower division and whose GPAs are at least 2.75 for the required science courses are eligible to apply for promotion. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee promotion to the upper division of the nursing curriculum.

Spaces in the upper division are limited. When the number of students seeking promotion to the upper division exceeds the number of spaces available, the most qualified applicants will be promoted. Those applicants who present the strongest academic records and who show the most promise for success in the upper division will be promoted. Native UA students are defined as those who have completed 32 or more hours of the required lower-division coursework at UA or through Advanced Placement (AP) or Dual Enrollment courses completed in high school.

Transfer students are defined as those students who have completed less than 32 hours of the required lower-division coursework at The University of Alabama. A transfer student may be accepted into the upper division when the academic record, taken as a whole, presents evidence of outstanding academic performance and a strong likelihood of success in the upper division.

Students requesting a transfer to the upper division of the nursing program from another BSN program must follow the promotion policies above.

The Capstone College of Nursing does not accept nursing courses from another BSN program. The number of students promoted each semester is dependent upon available resources; promotion to upper division is competitive. Applications and deadlines for promotion to the upper division may be obtained online at nursing.ua.edu.

Upon progression to the upper division, permission to depart from the clinical sequence must be obtained from the assistant dean of Undergraduate Programs. Because of the limitations in clinical course spaces, departure from the sequence for any reason may significantly lengthen the time for program completion.

Withdrawal from the First Clinical Nursing Course

Any student who withdraws from or does not successfully complete the first clinical nursing course in the upper division must contact the assistant dean of Undergraduate Programs to be considered for placement in the course the next semester. The student will be placed in the course on a space-available basis only. Before considering placement of any students who have not succeeded in the course, preference for spaces will be given to those applicants who meet all promotion criteria and who have not previously been promoted. If space becomes available for a student’s reassignment to the course, a second unsuccessful attempt by that student in any other clinical course will result in academic suspension from the Capstone College of Nursing.

Return to the Undergraduate Nursing Program after a Nonacademic Leave of Absence

Following a nonacademic leave of absence (e.g., military, medical or other) from the Capstone College of Nursing for six or more months, a student’s academic record and time elapsed since completing clinical nursing courses will be reviewed by the assistant dean of Undergraduate Programs to facilitate the student’s readiness to re-enter the program.

Individualized plans will be negotiated with the student to facilitate a smooth transition into the program and may include knowledge-refresher activities, either informal or formal independent study.

Components of the refresher plan may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • review of medication calculations and completion of a medication-calculation exam
  • review of health-assessment materials, such as videos
  • review of appropriate charting and documentation methods
  • practice with medication administration, such as PO, IM and IV
  • practice with skills such as foley catheter insertion, NG tubes, suctioning, sterile dressing changes, injections and IV insertion
  • review of content from an NCLEX Review book of content areas previously completed

This option is offered to facilitate the student’s successful re-entry into the BSN program. The student assumes responsibility for his or her learning and is encouraged to seek needed assistance.

The academic advisor in the Office of Nursing Student Services assists students regarding academic matters. Students may make an appointment to meet with the academic advisor for academic matters at any time during the semester. Academic matters include course sequencing, withdrawals, dropping and adding courses, academic progression, registration and academic problems. Faculty mentors are available to advise and mentor students regarding career goals and questions about the nursing field. Students may request a faculty mentor by submitting the faculty mentor request form available at nursing.ua.edu to the ONSS. 

Preregistration Advising

Lower Division

Students must attend a preregistration advising session each semester to be cleared for registration, unless the academic adviser has cleared them during that semester. A student who does not complete a designated advisement session during the scheduled period will be required to register during late registration and pay the associated fee. Information about advising and registration is provided at nursing.ua.edu.

Upper Division

Upper Division students participate in a preregistration group advising session facilitated by undergraduate faculty during the designated preregistration advising period in the fall and spring semesters. CCN provides specific information to upper-division students about clinical schedules.

There is no late registration for clinical nursing courses. If extenuating circumstances have made regular registration for clinical courses impossible, approval for late registration in these courses may be requested from the assistant dean of Undergraduate Programs.

Prerequisites

Many lower division courses have specific prerequisites. See course descriptions for prerequisites or contact the Office of Nursing Student Services for detailed information.

Policies Governing Progression and Graduation

Upon promotion to the upper division, students progress to clinical nursing courses in the established sequence. If a student’s progression is interrupted for any reason, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the assistant dean of Undergraduate Programs to request consideration for reassignment. Because spaces in clinical courses are limited, any alteration of the usual progression may lengthen the student’s program of study.

To be eligible for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a candidate must show successful completion of the courses required in the nursing program of study and complete a minimum of 32 semester hours at The University of Alabama.

Academic Probation and Suspension

The general academic scholarship rules of the University apply to students enrolled in the Capstone College of Nursing; however, any written agreements entered into by students and the dean of the College take precedence over the University’s general rule. See the Academic Records and General Academic Policies section of this catalog for further details.

Any student who receives a second D or F in any nursing course, or in any combination of nursing courses, will be academically suspended from the Capstone College of Nursing.  Only one course withdrawal in the traditional BSN Upper Division nursing program will be allowed.  A second withdrawal will result in academic suspension from the Capstone College of Nursing.  

Readmission of Academically Suspended Students

After a lapse of one regular semester from the last date of enrollment, a student who has been suspended by the Capstone College of Nursing may apply for readmission through the office of the senior associate dean of Academic Programs. This application may be submitted immediately after notification of suspension. The application, the student’s record of performance and other pertinent information submitted by the student will be reviewed, and a recommendation concerning the application for readmission will be made to the dean of the college. Students who are suspended a second time are placed on indefinite academic suspension.

Readmission Following Withdrawal

A student who has withdrawn from the upper division of the Capstone College of Nursing and wishes to be readmitted after an absence of one semester or more must do the following:

  1. Contact the assistant dean of Undergraduate Programs for information about the readmission process.
  2. Contact Undergraduate Admissions to determine if an application for readmission is required. Permission to return to the Capstone College of Nursing will depend on the student’s previous performance and the availability of space in the required nursing courses. Readmission may require repeating courses to ensure that knowledge is current.

Maximum Hours

A student may not exceed a course load of 18 semester hours except with the approval of the dean of the College.

Policy on Repeating Courses

A record of all courses attempted will appear on the student’s transcript. If a grade below C- is received in any course required in the program of study, the course must be repeated on a space-available basis.

Pass/Fail Option

With special permission, a student may choose to receive a grade of Pass (P) or Fail (F) for a course instead of the conventional A, B, C, D or F. If a P is earned, the hours count, but the grade point average is not affected. If an F is earned, the GPA is reduced.

  • Only elective courses may be taken as pass/fail.
  • Courses used to meet University Core Curriculum requirements may not be taken on a pass/fail basis.
  • Forms for the pass/fail option may be obtained from the College’s ONSS.
  • See the Academic Records and General Academic Policies section of this catalog for further details.

Administrative Withdrawal from Clinical Nursing Courses

Students’ clinical experiences are considered a vital part of learning the practice of professional nursing, and faculty guidance is available in facilitating these learning experiences. As students progress through the program of study, they are expected to increase their abilities to function independently and assume responsibility for their actions. When a student’s clinical decision making is deemed by faculty to constitute unsafe or unethical nursing practice, or when there is lack of adherence to established policies and procedures related to professional conduct, the student will receive a failing grade in the course and will be withdrawn from the course and/or suspended from the program. Administrative withdrawal procedures are initiated by faculty through the office of the senior associate dean for Academic Programs. Further progression in the Capstone College of Nursing is determined according to the rules for academic probation and suspension and the availability of space.

Auditing Courses

Clinical nursing courses are not open to auditors.

Clinical Nursing Expenses

Standard University of Alabama tuition is charged for enrollment in clinical nursing courses. In addition to textbook expenses, clinical nursing students are responsible for the provision of uniforms and supplies for performance in the clinical area. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from all clinical experiences. The expense of required liability insurance and standardized test fees is also the responsibility of the student. Detailed information on ordering uniforms and supplies will be furnished when students are promoted to the upper division of the nursing program.

In addition to standard University fees, a laboratory fee is assessed when students are enrolled in nursing courses. Costs for textbooks, physical-assessment equipment, mobile device (iPod Touch), mobile device software and other supplies for the first semester of upper-division work substantially exceed those of subsequent semesters.

Late Registration

There is no late registration for clinical nursing courses.

Licensure

Upon completion of the program, students meet the educational qualifications of the Alabama Board of Nursing for taking the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. Completion of the academic program in no way assures the student of licensure. No employee, agent or representative of the University is authorized or empowered to provide such assurances either directly or by implication.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is accepted if the lower division course content is deemed equivalent to that required in the curriculum of the College. Evaluation is based on course content, the grade earned and credit earned.

Successful completion of examinations available through the University Testing Services may satisfy certain general education requirements. See the Credit by Examination section of this catalog.

Credit Courses Taken in the College of Continuing Studies 

Correspondence or Independent Study Courses

Selected general education courses required for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing may be taken from the independent study program of the College of Continuing Studies with prior approval of the Director of Nursing Student Services (see the College of Continuing Studies section of this catalog for details of the independent study program.)

Faculty

Dean
  • Suzanne S. Prevost
Senior Associate Dean
  • Robin Lawson
Assistant Dean
  • Melondie Carter
  • Alice March
Administrative and Professional Staff
  • Matthew Ander
  • Tabby Brown
  • Andrea Foster
  • Savannah Hoover
  • Christina Horen
  • Patrick McIntyre
  • Shelley Jordan
  • Cynthia Morris
  • Vickie Samuel
  • Regina Sanders
  • Karen Silliman
  • Janet Thompson
  • Priscilla Payne
  • Ann Tinsley
  • Lisa Tyner
  • Rebekah Welch
  • Katara Wilson