Academic Policies

Each student in the graduate nursing program is responsible for knowing all degree requirements and for monitoring her/his academic progression toward the completion of the degree requirements.  Students should refer to the Graduate Nursing Handbook for a complete discussion of academic policies.  General policies within the School of Professional and Graduate Studies that are applicable to all students will be contained within this handbook.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

  1. Students enrolled in the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Health Concentration must complete 38 credits in didactic and clinical components for graduation.

    Student enrolled in the Nursing Education concentration must complete 37 credits of didactic and practicum requirements for graduation.

  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required each semester as well as a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for graduation.

  3. A grade of B (83.0) or higher must be achieved in all courses.  Failure to achieve a grade of B in a graduate nursing course prohibits students from enrolling in the subsequent nursing course.

  4. If a grade below B is received in a graduate nursing course, the course may be repeated once upon recommendation of the nursing faculty.  A grade of B (83.0) or higher must be earned the next time the course is offered.

  5. Clinical practicums are graded on a Pass/Fail basis.  A failing grade in a clinical practicum will result in dismissal from the program for academic reasons.  No repeat will be allowed in clinical practicums.

  6. Students who are admitted to the program with outstanding pre-requisite courses pending (undergraduate health assessment and statistics) must complete these pre-requisite courses prior to registering for the second semester after admission. Documentation of achievement of a B or higher in undergraduate pre-requisite courses must be achieved in order to progress in the graduate program.

  7. Students may not register for a clinical course until all prior clinical requirements have been successfully completed.

  8. Course offerings in the graduate nursing program are sequenced in a cohort format.  Therefore, failure to register for one semester will require that the student request a Leave of Absence until the course sequence is repeated.  Failure to request such a leave will result in administrative withdrawal.

  9. Once admitted to the program, students must complete all required course work for the Master of Science Degree with a Major in Nursing at St. Joseph’s College.

  10. Students who are accepted as transfers from another graduate program may be allowed to transfer in a maximum of 6 credits in equivalent course work.  Equivalency will be determined by the Office of the Registrar in consultation with the Director, Department of Nursing.  

  11. All students must successfully pass a comprehensive examination with a grade of B (83.0) or higher to graduate from the program. This examination will be administered during the last semester of the program.  Any student who fails this comprehensive examination may be allowed one retake at the discretion of the nursing faculty.  A grade of B (83.0) or higher must be achieved on the retake.  Failure to achieve a B or higher will result in academic dismissal from the program.

St. Joseph’s College, Department of Nursing, reserves the prerogative to adjust admission and program requirements in response to changes in accreditation or credentialing/registration criteria.

CONDITIONAL ADMISSIONS

  1. Students admitted with an overall undergraduate GPA below 3.0, will be admitted on a Conditional Status basis. The student must complete the first two semesters with a grade of B (83.0) or above in each course and a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above per semester in order to meet the academic requirements of the Graduate Nursing Program. Failure to meet these requirements will result in Dismissal from the Graduate Nursing Program. After meeting the specific academic requirements, the graduate nursing student will achieve full matriculation status in the Graduate Nursing Program.

  2. Students admitted who have graduated from a non-accredited (NLNAC or CCNE) undergraduate program will be admitted on a Conditional Status basis. The student must complete the first two semesters with a grade of B (83.0) or above in each course and a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above per semester in order to meet the requirements of the Graduate Nursing Program. Failure to meet these requirements will result in Dismissal from the Graduate Nursing Program.  After meeting the specific requirements, the graduate nursing student will achieve full matriculation status in the Graduate Nursing Program.

CHANGE OF CONCENTRATION

A change of program concentration may be approved prior to June 1st of the  first year in the Nursing Graduate Program if there is space available in the desired concentration and the student is in good academic standing.

The procedures for a change in concentration require that the students:
  1. complete required advisement with the nursing graduate coordinator.

  2. complete a written request for permission to change concentration.

  3. sign the request form and submit.

Requests for changes in concentration will be reviewed by the Graduate Nursing Coordinator on the student’s respective campus and must be approved by the Program Director.

DEFERMENT OF ADMISSION

If a graduate nursing student is admitted into the Graduate Nursing Program and cannot matriculate in the entering cohort class, a request for deferment of admission must be submitted. Deferments are only granted for one year. Request for deferment of admission must be sent in writing to the Director, Department of Nursing and must specify the reason for seeking the deferment. Each request is reviewed on its individual merits, and deferments are not granted automatically. Requests for deferment must be submitted between the time of admission to the program and registration. Graduate nursing students who wish to activate their deferred admission should write to the Director, Department of Nursing, by June 1st, two months before the beginning of the Fall semester. Failure to do so will result in having to re-apply to the Graduate Nursing Program.

GRADING SYSTEM

  1. The grading system is available in the St. Joseph’s College School of Professional and Graduate Studies Catalogue and on the St. Joseph’s College web site located under “Current Students”.

  2. While C and D grades are considered passing grades at St. Joseph’s College, students in the graduate nursing program must achieve a grade of B (83.0) or higher in all graduate nursing courses.  A pass must be achieved in all clinical components of the graduate program.  Failure to achieve a pass in clinical course will result in academic dismissal from the program.

  3. The following procedures regarding incomplete coursework/clinical or practicum components will be strictly enforced. An extension of time to complete coursework, clinical components, or practicum experiences will be granted only when very unusual, extenuating circumstances exist, and ONLY after consultation with the course instructor. Approval will also be required from the Coordinator of Graduate Nursing Studies on the respective campus as well as from the Director of the Nursing Department. Proof of extenuating circumstances will be required when the request for an incomplete is made.

An incomplete in either coursework or the clinical or practicum components may result in the need to withdraw from the original cohort group unless the incomplete is resolved prior to the beginning of the next semester. Due dates for the completion of incomplete coursework/clinical/practicum hours are:

Fall Semester: January 20
Spring Semester: Consultation with the faculty member and Coordinator, Graduate Nursing Program
Summer:
  1. For Summer Session I: no later than before the start of the Summer Session II
  2. For Summer Session II: September 1.

If approval is granted for an incomplete, the incomplete form will be signed by the student, by the course instructor, by the Coordinator of Graduate Nursing Studies, and by the Nursing Program Director. It will then be submitted to the Registrar’s office. It is the responsibility of the student for whom such an exception has been granted to submit all missing coursework or clinical/practicum documentation by the date indicated on the incomplete form. Failure to comply with the above procedures and specified timelines will result in a student receiving a zero (coursework) or failure (clinical/practicum components) for the missing work. Students with incomplete grades will not be permitted to register for the subsequent semester until the outstanding incomplete grade is removed.

The instructor reserves the right to reduce the grade on incomplete coursework or clinical/practicum components in addition to any other reduction in grade already imposed for the late submission of coursework/clinical/practicum components.

An Incomplete grade in the clinical component of a course will result in the student assuming any costs associated with continued faculty supervision.

GRADE APPEAL PROCEDURE

  1. If a student in the graduate nursing program wishes to appeal a grade, the appeal should be directed to the Director of the Nursing Department within five (5) days of the posting of the grade.  The student will be encouraged to meet with the involved faculty member.

  2. In the event that the student and the instructor do not confer, or the matter cannot be resolved through discussion, an Ad Hoc nursing faculty committee will be convened by the Director.  The Coordinator of the Graduate Program, Brooklyn or Long Island Campus will chair this Ad Hoc committee.  In the event that the Coordinator is the instructor for the course grade in question, the Coordinator on the opposite campus will assume chairmanship of the Committee.

  3. The student will submit the appeal in writing to the Ad Hoc faculty committee within seven (7) days subsequent to the meeting with the instructor.  All relevant materials should be submitted at this time.

  4. The Ad Hoc faculty committee will obtain all tests, papers, grade breakdowns, preceptor evaluations (if applicable) the course outline and all other relevant course materials.

  5. The Ad Hoc faculty committee will review all submitted materials and consult with the faculty member and preceptor (if applicable). A change in or retention of the grade will be the responsibility of the faculty member. The student will be contacted at the completion of this process.

  6. If, however, the matter cannot be settled by agreement between the faculty member and the Ad Hoc committee, or if the student disagrees with the decision reached in the step above, the decision may be appealed to the Director, who may seek consultation with objective parties as needed.

  7. If the student disagrees with the decision reached by the Director, the student may appeal, in writing, the decision of the Director to the Dean of the School of Professional and Graduate Studies within 7 (seven) days of the Directors decision. The Dean or his designee will meet with the student. If the student disagrees with the decision reached by the Dean, the student may appeal to the Provost. The Provost’s decision will be final.

NON-ACADEMIC PROGRAM COMPLAINT POLICY

Any student or group of students who finds it necessary to file a complaint in a non-academic matter must follow this procedure:

  1. Consult informally with the Coordinator, Graduate Nursing Program (Campus Specific)

  2. If the matter cannot be resolved informally, the student should register the complaint in writing with Director, Department of Nursing. If the matter is not resolved, the student will submit in writing, the complaint to the Dean of the School of Professional and Graduate Studies. The Dean or his delegate will conduct an investigation within a reasonable time of the receipt of the complaint. The investigation may involve a meeting with the parties involved. In appropriate situations, as determined by the Dean, the Professional and Graduate Studies Advisory Council will conduct a hearing.

APPEAL PROCESS FOR OTHER NON-ACADEMIC DECISIONS

The student may appeal the decision by the Professional and Graduate Studies Advisory Council by filing a written request for review with the President of the College no later than five (5) school days after receipt of notice of the decision. The President or an appropriate delegate will review the matter and may confirm or reverse the decision but may not increase any penalty imposed. Within a reasonable time of receipt of the request for review, the President or an appropriate delegate will advise the student, in writing, of a decision.

POLICY FOR BACKGROUND CHECKS OF STUDENTS

Purpose:

To describe the policy regarding the conduct of background checks for students participating in clinical or practicum experiences.

Policy/Procedure:
  1. Certain clinical and/or educational agencies may require background checks for students prior to placement for clinical or practicum experiences.

  2. Students scheduled for experiences at these agencies are then required to submit to and satisfactorily complete a background check.

  3. Compliance with this requirement and satisfactory findings are essential for clinical or practicum placement and progression in the graduate nursing program.

  4. St. Joseph’s College, Department of Nursing will designate an approved company to conduct the background check.

  5. Students will contact the designated company and comply with its instructions in authorizing and obtaining a background check.

  6. The cost of background checks is the responsibility of the student.

  7. In the event of a questionable background check, student placement may be compromised.

  8. Clinical/Practicum agencies’ guidelines on background checks will determine acceptance to placements.

  9. The Director of the Nursing Department will review all students’ findings and make a determination of student participation in the clinical or practicum experience.

PLAGIARISM AND OTHER FORMS OF ACADEMIC DISHONESTY

The college expects students to observe academic integrity in all aspects of their academic life, including the conduct of their examinations, assignments, and research.  All members of the College community share the responsibility for creating a climate of academic integrity, based on fairness to others and respect for oneself.  Violations of academic integrity are treated very seriously.  Plagiarism (the act of copying, stealing or representing the ideas or words of another as one’s own without giving credit to the source), cheating on examinations, and all forms of academic dishonesty are forbidden.  Students found guilty of such behavior are subject to appropriate disciplinary actions, which may include a reduction in grade, a failure in the course, suspension, or expulsion. 

Instructors at St. Joseph’s College routinely use plagiarism detection devices such as Turnitin, Safe Assign, and Google to uncover acts of plagiarism.

Procedure to be Followed

The individual faculty member will confront the student with the allegation of dishonest behavior, and shall procure evidence substantiating the charges.  The faculty member will report the matter to the Director of the Nursing Department, who will determine the appropriate action to take.

Appeal

The student may appeal the decision of the Director, Nursing Department, to the Dean of the School of Professional and Graduate Studies, by filing a written request for a review within five (5) days.

The Dean will render a decision within five (5) school days.  The Student may appeal this decision by notice in writing filed with the Provost within five (5) days of receipt of the Dean’s decision.

DISMISSAL FROM THE PROGRAM

Academic Dismissal is dismissal from the Graduate Nursing Program based on continued unsatisfactory progress toward meeting course or degree requirements evidenced by:
  1. A cumulative grade point average of 2.999 or below.

  2. On academic warning more than once.

  3. Failure in Clinical Practicum/Education Practicum.

The Graduate Nursing Program reserves the right to require the withdrawal of students who do not maintain the required academic standing or whose enrollment in the nursing program would be detrimental to their health, or to the health of others.  Dismissal for other than academic reasons may be initiated for professional misconduct that reflects a lack of accountability in the care of clients or unsafe nursing care, or for any of the reason specified in the Student Code of Conduct, as described in the School of Professional and Graduate Studies Student Policies booklet.

A nursing faculty committee will evaluate the documentation of professional misconduct or violation of the Student Code of Conduct and provide the involved student with an opportunity for an impartial hearing.  The Director of the Nursing Department then will evaluate the documentation and the committee’s recommendation and determine the appropriate disciplinary action.  A student who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Director may appeal in writing to the Dean of the School of Professional and Graduate Studies, St. Joseph’s College within seven (7) days following the Director’s decision.  The student Grievance Procedure in areas other than professional misconduct is described in the St. Joseph’s College Student Handbook.

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Students may apply to the Director for a leave of absence when it is necessary to interrupt temporarily their progression in the program.  When a leave of absence is granted, a specific time period is designated.  The student may return without reapplying for admission at the termination of the granted leave of absence.  The student subsequently will be placed in another cohort group.

WITHDRAWAL FROM THE PROGRAM

Students contemplating withdrawal from the program should initially meet with the Coordinator of the Graduate Nursing Program of their respective campus. Students who then plan to withdraw from the Graduate Nursing Program should subsequently submit a written notification indicating reasons for withdrawal to the Director, Department of Nursing. The appropriate forms can be obtained from the Graduate Nursing Program Admissions Counselor.

READMISSION

Readmission may be granted to students who withdrew from the program.  A written request for readmission needs to be made to the Director, Nursing Department.  Each request will be considered individually.

Guidelines that will be followed are:
  1. Admission policies in practice at the time of readmission prevail.

  2. The student’s academic record and standing is evaluated.

  3. Academic requirements for readmission are specified.

  4. The student must meet the curriculum requirements that prevail at the time of readmission.

  5. Students may be readmitted only once.


CLINICAL PRACTICUMS

The Education practicum and Clinical Nurse Specialist clinical components will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Students must achieve a pass in the practicum and/or clinical segments. Failure in the practicum or clinical segment will result in academic dismissal from the program.

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION

All students will be required to successfully complete a comprehensive examination with a grade of B (83.0) or higher to graduate from the program. If a grade less than B (83.0) is received, the student may repeat the examination once upon recommendation of the faculty. A grade of B (83.0) or higher must be achieved on the examination retake. If a student in the graduate nursing program wishes to appeal the grade, see Appeal Procedure.

POLICY FOR UPDATING THE GRADUATE NURSING PROGRAM STUDENT HANDBOOK

Overview:

The Graduate Nursing Program Student Handbook will be reviewed annually in the fall to assure compliance with St. Joseph’s College, Nursing Department and professional nursing regulations and policies, respective competencies and accrediting agencies.

Purposes:
  1. Provide access to pertinent resources

  2. Foster communication

  3. Provide a review of policies and procedures

Procedure:
  1. The Nursing Department Director, Coordinators of the Graduate Nursing Program and nursing faculty will review the Graduate Nursing Program Student Handbook annually in the Fall semester for revisions, updates and, if appropriate, the addition of new policies.

  2. All updated/revised policies or the addition of new policies will be communicated to all graduate nursing students via student e-mail and graduate nursing website.

  3. The Graduate Nursing Program Student Handbook will be distributed to all graduate nursing students at orientation.

  4. The Coordinators of the Graduate Nursing Program should be contacted regarding any questions concerning the Graduate Nursing Program Student Handbook.

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