Nursing has been one of the professional disciplines of the
University of Virginia since 1901, when a three-year diploma program was first
offered to high school students under the aegis of the University of Virginia
Hospital and the Department of Medicine. Today, as one of the 10 independent
schools of the University with a full-time faculty of 50 and an enrollment of
500 undergraduate and graduate students, the school offers the degrees of Bachelor
of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, and, as a department of
the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing.
The School of Nursing, accredited by the National League for
Nursing, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the Virginia State
Board of Nursing, is a member of the Council of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree
Programs of the National League for Nursing, the American Association of Colleges
of Nursing, and the Southern Regional Education Board. The school was first
accredited by the National League of Nursing Education in 1941 and appeared
on the first list of accredited nursing schools issued by the league.
The hospital-based diploma program in nursing, initiated in
1901, provided the genesis for the schools present degree program. The
first baccalaureate degree in nursing, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education,
was offered in 1928 for the first time through a Department of Nursing Education
in the School of Education, made possible by an endowment of $50,000 from the
Graduate Nurses Association of Virginia in memory of Sadie Heath Cabaniss,
Virginias outstanding pioneer nurse. The purpose of this degree program
was to train registered nurses for teaching, supervisory, or administrative
positions. The present baccalaureate program was established in 1950 as a four-year
course. In 1953, a Department of Nursing was established to administer the diploma
program and the two baccalaureate programs: the Bachelor of Science in Nursing
and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education. The department was under the
collective supervision of the School of Medicine, the School of Education, and
the University of Virginia Hospital. Three years later, in 1956, this department
became the School of Nursing. The curriculum now consists of four years of a
combination of liberal arts, interprofessional, and core nursing courses leading
to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
School of Nursing
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 800782
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0782
The central purpose of the University of Virginia is to enrich
the mind by stimulating and sustaining the spirit of free inquiry directed to
understanding the nature of the universe and human existence. The philosophy
of the School of Nursing is consistent with that of the University as it prepares
leaders in health care.
Nursing is both a profession and a discipline that is responsive
to changing health needs. It is concerned with human experiences and responses
to birth, health, illness, and death within the context of individuals, families,
groups, and communities (ANA, 1995). Nurses, often in collaboration with other
health care professionals, promote the optimal health care and comfort of individuals
and groups through the systematic application of knowledge from nursing and
The faculty believes that education is based on humanistic
approaches that foster critical thinking and promote awareness of social and
cultural diversity among individuals. The faculty views each student as a unique
person with special talents, abilities, needs, and goals. Cultural diversity,
varying life experiences, and changing socioeconomic factors affect each student
differently. To this end, faculty endeavor to provide an environment that assists
students to realize their full potential. The acquisition of professional knowledge
and the development of clinical competence occur through active involvement
of the student in the learning process. Students assume primary responsibility
for learning, while faculty provide educational opportunities for knowledge
acquisition and professional role development. We believe that an atmosphere
of shared growth and inquiry offers the maximum potential for development.
Baccalaureate education in nursing is the basic preparation
necessary for the practice of professional nursing. This education provides
the foundation for the development of professional knowledge, critical thinking,
ethical decision-making, leadership skills, and the independent and interdisciplinary
pursuit of high standards of health care. Masters education prepares the
nurse with strong critical thinking and decision-making skills for advanced
practice in acute and primary care or for specialty practice in the areas of
management and public health leadership. A primary aim of masters nursing
education is to ensure that every student acquires the ability to analyze, synthesize,
and utilize knowledge in a specialty area. Doctoral education prepares the nurse
scholar to influence health care through leadership in education, policy, practice,
research, and knowledge development.
Implicit in the practice of professional nursing is accountability
for professional growth and practice, demonstration of leadership, and commitment
to the development and application of nursing theory and research. Life-long
learning leads to the optimal development of both the individual practitioner
and the discipline of nursing.
The Nursing Major
The health care delivery system is currently evolving at an
accelerated rate; and, since people want health care as well as illness care,
faculty members at the University of Virginia School of Nursing have developed
a curriculum to respond to changing societal needs. We believe that a nurse
prepared at the baccalaureate level shares with other health professionals the
primary goals of promoting, maintaining, and restoring health, caring for the
ill, and assisting individuals and families through the dying process.
Courses in the School of Nursing are composed of two discrete
but interrelated elements: Interprofessional and Core. Interprofessional courses
are designed to facilitate transition to the role of health care provider; they
include social science and natural science content with special application
to health care. Most interprofessional courses are open to other students within
Core courses include basic knowledge and skills needed to practice
professional nursing at a beginning level. Clinical and classroom experiences
and academic work provide a broad basis for nursing practice related to both
acute and chronic illness and health promotion. The emphasis is on individuals,
families, and groups with varying levels of health and at all points in the
life cycle. Issues related to professional nursing are also included.
Purpose and Objectives of the Undergraduate Program
The purpose of the undergraduate program is to prepare leaders in health care
to meet the needs of individuals, families, and communities. Graduates of the
- ensure holistic and culturally sensitive care based on an understanding
of the norms and health care beliefs/practices of various racial, ethnic,
religious, socioeconomic, gender-specific, and age-related populations;
- provide health care that demonstrates professional values and standards
of practice, and includes moral, ethical, and legal concepts;
- incorporate knowledge of health promotion and disease prevention into
professional nursing practice;
- demonstrate knowledge of the structure, organization, and financing
of the U.S. health care delivery system, and the role and importance of
nursing within that system;
- understand the development and implementation of national and international
health care policy from social, economic, political, legislative, and professional
- manage and coordinate patient care across health care settings and
- employ critical thinking in the provision of professional nursing care;
- effectively use current and changing health care and information technologies;
- utilize communication techniques effectively;
- accept increasing professional responsibility, provide professional leadership,
and participate in activities for professional growth and development.
Facilities and Resources
Located in the eastern part of the University Grounds, near
the University of Virginia Medical Center, the school occupies McLeod Hall,
a modern five story building with classrooms, an auditorium, clinical learning
laboratories, seminar rooms, and a computer laboratory.
The School of Nursing draws upon the resources of the 25 academic
departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, Schools of Education and Medicine,
and on the clinical facilities and instructional materials of the University
of Virginia Health System.
In addition to the academic resources of the University, nursing
students receive clinical experience at the University of Virginia Health System,
public health agencies, community agencies, private and state hospitals, nursing
homes, and industrial settings.
Claude Moore Health Sciences Library The library primarily
serves the faculty, students, and staff of the University of Virginia Health
System, which includes the Schools of Medicine and Nursing and the University
The library is a modern facility with small group meeting rooms,
audiovisual viewing rooms, microcomputers, and photocopy machines. It maintains
well-developed collections of books, journals, reference materials and audiovisuals
in medicine, nursing, and related health fields. The Health Sciences Instructional
Resources Center, on the first floor of the library, maintains a substantial
collection of videocassettes and other media. A variety of players, projectors,
recorders, monitors, and a cluster of microcomputers are available for use in
the center, and a small collection of equipment is available for use outside
the center. The resources in the Health Sciences Library are augmented by materials
in the Clemons Library, the Science/Technology Information Center, various departmental
libraries (e.g., biology/psychology, physics, chemistry, engineering, law),
and the working libraries of the departments and clinics in the School of Medicine.
University of Virginia Health System The School of Nursing
is a part of the University of Virginia Health System, which serves as the referral
center for central and western Virginia and has been consistently ranked among
the nations top 100 health care centers. The nursing program enjoys a
special relationship with the University Hospital, a more than 650 bed teaching
and research hospital.
Special units in the University Hospital complex include a
childrens medical center, a cancer center, a clinical research center,
cardiac, medical, and surgical intensive care units, and a burn and wound care
center. The Pegasus Air Emergency Rescue Service can transport patients from
up to 500 miles.
Cooperating Institutions and Agencies The School of
Nursing cooperates with other institutions and agencies to provide clinical
learning opportunities for students. Utilizing health departments, community
hospitals, out-patient facilities, home care agencies, industries, schools,
geriatric care facilities, mental health care facilities, and rehabilitation
centers, the School of Nursing provides varied clinical experiences for its
Clinical affiliations with the Kluge Childrens Rehabilitation
Center, Martha Jefferson Hospital, and many community agencies and institutions
throughout the state, provide opportunities for students to gain valuable experience
in a variety of health care settings.
Counseling Informal cooperation and personal attention
mark the relations between faculty members and students. Students are urged
to avail themselves of the opportunities to discuss their achievements and clinical
experiences with the faculty. The Office of Admissions and Student Services
provides advice and assistance and serves as a source of information for other
support resources. The Department of Student Health and the University Counseling
Center are available to assist students through individual and group counseling
Student Activities and Honors
Nursing students are eligible for special nursing organizations
and honors as well as for the general University activities and societies outlined
in chapter 5. The School of Nursing is represented on the major student governmental
bodies, the Student Council, the Honor Committee, and the University Judiciary
Committee. Student representatives to the University Student Council and the
Judiciary Committee report to the Student Council of the School of Nursing.
All students are members of the Nursing Student Council. The Nursing Student
Council coordinates all student functions within the School of Nursing.
Student Nurse Organizations All University of Virginia
nursing students are eligible for membership in the Student Nurses Association
of Virginia and the National Student Nurses Association. Through the National
Student Nurses Association, SNAV works to develop concerned, knowledgeable professionals.
Sigma Theta Tau Students demonstrating superior scholastic
achievement (3.000 GPA or above and top 35% of class), professional leadership
potential, and desirable personal qualifications are eligible to apply for membership
in Sigma Theta Tau, the national honor society of nursing.
Outstanding Fourth Year Student Awards Annual awards
have been established in recognition of excellence in academic and clinical
achievement and outstanding service to the University and the School of Nursing.
The names of the students so honored are engraved on a plaque displayed in the
school. Students are chosen by faculty and student vote. The awards are presented
at the pinning ceremony on graduation weekend.
Deans List Full-time students who demonstrate
academic excellence while taking a minimum of 12 credits of graded course work
are eligible for the Deans List of Distinguished Students at the end of
each semester. Courses taken on a CR/NC basis may not be counted toward the
12-credit minimum. A minimum current grade point average of 3.400 is necessary
to be eligible for the deans list. Any student receiving an F, NC, or
NG during the semester is not eligible to be on the deans list.
Intermediate Honors A certificate of Intermediate Honors
is awarded to the top twenty percent of those students in the School of Nursing
who enter the University directly from high school or preparatory school and
earn at least 60 credits of course work in their first four regular semesters.
No more than twelve of the 60 required credits may be earned on a CR/NC or S/U
basis. Advanced placement and transfer credits do not count toward the required
Diploma with Distinction Diplomas inscribed "with
distinction" are awarded to graduates who have earned a cumulative UVa
grade point average of 3.400 and successfully completed the distinguished majors
program, or to students with a cumulative UVa GPA of 3.750 who have not completed
the distinguished majors program.
Diploma with Highest Distinction Diplomas inscribed
"with highest distinction" are awarded to graduates who have earned
a cumulative UVa GPA of 3.750 and have successfully completed the distinguished
Shannon Scholar Award The Shannon Scholar Award is presented
annually to a graduate in recognition of outstanding academic achievement. Excellence
is clinical achievement is also recognized at the spring pinning ceremony.
Uniforms Prospective students receive information about
uniforms with their welcome letters and registration materials.
School of Nursing Pin (purchased prior to graduation)
Pins cost approximately $150 (10K gold), $60 (gold-filled), and $50 (sterling).
Hospital Insurance The Student Health Service does not
provide for the expense of hospital care. The University requires that all students
carry hospitalization insurance for year-round coverage. A preferred-risk group
insurance program sponsored by the University is available. For an additional
premium, the dependents of married students are included. Students or parents
may substitute a plan comparable to that offered by the University.
CPR Certification Students are required to obtain certification
in cardiopulmonary resuscitation for adults, children, and infants prior to
entering clinical courses. Certification must be maintained throughout the program,
and validation must be presented each year. Students must complete the American
Heart Association Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers course.
Immunization Titer Requirements The School of Nursing
requires documentation of a positive antibody titer for Hepatitis B, rubella,
and varicella for all students who practice in a clinical setting. No student
will be permitted to enroll in clinical courses without providing this documentation.
Information regarding the vaccine and antibody titers can be obtained from the
students local health care provider, district health department, or from
MMR, TD, and PPD Documentation of current measles, mumps
and rubella (MMR) immunization and tetanus booster (TD) is required for all
students in clinical courses. Tuberculosis testing (PPD) is required on an annual
basis for all students enrolled in clinical courses.
Diagnostic Readiness Test Students are required to complete
a standardized diagnostic test that evaluates their readiness to take the licensure
examination. The test is administered in the spring of the fourth year and costs
each student approximately $40.
Community Learning Experiences Students are responsible
for transportation to and from clinical learning sites. Agencies in Charlottesville
and neighboring counties are used for clinical experiences, and students must
have a car available for individual use while studying in those agencies. Community
learning experiences begin in the second year of the program.
Clinical Agencies: Responsibility, Compliance and Affiliation Agreement Policy
Formal affiliation agreements are executed with all agencies
prior to placement of students in clinical sites to provide direct care to patients.
Agreements must be fully executed and include the signatures of the authorized
representative of the faculty, the Dean of the School of Nursing, and the Assistant
Vice President for Finance and University Comptroller. Faculty members are responsible
for adherence to these agreements. Students will be placed in clinical sites
only when enrolled in a credit-bearing course for which he or she paid tuition
and in which participation in the clinical experience is a course requirement.
This applies to all clinical experiences that require the student to have patient
The faculty member placing the students and the students assigned
to agencies are responsible for knowing and adhering to the contents of the
affiliation agreement, including its conditions and responsibilities.
The School does not provide legal advice to the student regarding
whether to submit to the conditions set by the faculty. The School does not
pay any student costs related to the clinical experience.
If the student declines or fails to participate in or complete
the clinical experience and the experience is a requirement for the course,
the student will not successfully complete the course and may not graduate.
The student is solely responsible for the consequences of his or her decision
regarding whether to submit to the conditions or requirements established by
Opportunities for part-time employment are often available
in the University of Virginia Hospital, particularly during the third and fourth
years of the program.
Students in the Programs Pre-professional Component
(First Year) First-year students in the pre-professional component of the
program are considered to be in good academic standing if they have a semester
average of at least 1.800 and no more than one grade below C-. Students who
fail to remain in good academic standing will be placed on academic probation.
A student is subject to suspension after two semesters on academic probation.
A grade of D is included in the students GPA and counts toward credits
earned. An F grade is included in the students GPA but does not count
toward credits earned.
Students in Programs Professional Component
Students in the professional component of the program are considered to
be in good academic standing if they have a semester average of at least 2.000
and no grades below a C- in required nursing courses. Grades of D, F, and NC
are failing grades for all required nursing courses in the professional component
of the program. Students receiving a grade of D, F, or NC in a required course
in the professional component will be placed on academic probation and must
successfully repeat the course with a grade of C- or above for graded courses,
or CR for CR/NC courses. This may alter the planned sequence of courses and
may lengthen the time for completion of the program. Students will be placed
on academic probation if their semesters average falls below 2.000. A
student in the professional component of the program is subject to suspension
if (1) the student receives a total of two Ds or one F in the professional component;
or (2) the students GPA is below 2.000 for two semesters.
Readmission after Suspension or Voluntary Withdrawal
Readmission to the School of Nursing is not automatic. A former student must
apply for admission to the associate dean of the School of Nursing by December
1 for spring semester or by March 1 for fall semester. The letter requesting
readmission to the School of Nursing should include a description of the situation
surrounding the suspension or withdrawal; an explanation of the steps that the
student has taken, or will take, to change the situation; and the reasons why
readmission to the program is justified. Students will be re-admitted on a space
A student who has been readmitted following suspension will
be permanently dropped from the school if she or he becomes subject to suspension
a second time.
Leave of Absence A student in good standing may request
a leave of absence from the School of Nursing for up to two semesters. Requests
for leaves of absence must be submitted in writing to the associate dean of
the School of Nursing. Readmission following a leave of absence will be granted
only if space is available. A leave of absence fee must be paid if the student
wishes to keep his or her file active and take part in course enrollment for
the semester in which he or she plans to return.
Course Load Special permission from the associate dean
is required to register for fewer than 12 credits or more than 18 credits each
Substitution/Transfer of Courses The University of Virginia
School of Nursing accepts a maximum of 60 credits of transfer credit from institutions
other than the University of Virginia toward the baccalaureate degree.
If a second degree student requests an exemption from a required
nursing course because of having had similar content in prior course work, the
prior course work will be assessed for relevancy and similarity. Upon approval,
the student will receive advanced standing in the required nursing course. Second
Degree students are required to complete 60 credits of coursework in residence
at the University of Virginia. Students who receive advanced standing for a
required course transferred into the University of Virginia from another institution
will be responsible for replacing the credits not earned in that course with
another course at the University.
Changes in Class Schedules Students change their class
schedules via ISIS (www.virginia.edu/isis). If instructor permission is necessary
for admission to a course, a form signed by that instructor is submitted to
the School of Nursing registrars office. Students may add and drop full-semester
courses through the deadlines stated in the Course Offering Directory.
Credit/No Credit Grades Students have the option of
receiving the grades CR (credit) or NC (no credit) in place of the regular grades,
A through F, for a given course except for courses in the major or those that
fulfill basic area requirements. The synthesis Practicum is the only required
nursing course that is offered on a CR/NC basis. School of Nursing students
may take a maximum of twelve credits of CR/NC courses, including the synthesis
practicum, nursing electives, and general education electives. (Courses used
to fulfill area requirements must be taken on a graded basis.)
This option is selected when students register for courses.
The last day to change the CR/NC option is the same as the last day to add a
course. Instructors may deny students permission to take courses on a CR/NC
basis. If this occurs, students may either change back to the regular grading
option or drop the course entirely. Students may not use a CR/NC course to repeat
a course in which a grade has already been given.
Professional Status upon Graduation
Prior to graduation, the student is expected to apply to the
State Board of Nursing to sit for the state licensure examination in order to
become licensed. Graduates of the School of Nursing are eligible for membership
in the University of Virginia Alumni Association and the University of Virginia
School of Nursing Alumni Association. Graduates are eligible for membership
in the Virginia Nurses Association, the American Nurses Association, the Virginia
League for Nursing, and the National League for Nursing.
B.S. in Nursing
The University of Virginia offers a program leading to the
degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The degree is awarded after satisfactory
completion of a prescribed program of study. All students at the School of Nursing
take courses in anatomy and physiology, growth and development, pharmacology,
pathophysiology, leadership, and nursing practice. Graduates of the program
are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination.
Traditional Program Students are admitted to the School
of Nursing as first-year students or as second-year transfer students after
completing prerequisite general education courses at other institutions or in
the College of Arts and Sciences.
Second Degree Option The traditional baccalaureate curriculum
has been modified to provide a two year track leading to the bachelors
degree in nursing for non-nurses with a bachelors degree in another field.
With the exception of a course in anatomy and physiology, specific general education
courses are not required for admission; admission requirements are based on
prior satisfactory completion of a bachelors or higher degree from an
accredited institution. At the end of the second year, students are awarded
the Bachelor of Science and are eligible to apply to take the National Council
R.N. to B.S.N. Option The baccalaureate program includes
a uniquely tailored curriculum for students who are graduates of community college
and hospital schools and are licensed registered nurses (R.N.). The program
consists of a one year full-time option that can also be completed in one and
one-half years, or a two or three-year pattern. Students enroll in 30 credits
at the University of Virginia, and upon completion of selected courses, receive
38 credits for prior learning as an R.N. Courses in the program include both
theory and clinical courses designed specifically for R.N. students. Students
must meet prerequisite general education requirements prior to admission as
outlined in chapter 2, and thus complete a grand total of 120 semester credits
for the baccalaureate degree. Once admitted, students work with a faculty advisor
to create a plan of study to best meet their academic and professional goals.
Classes are offered in flexible formats (e.g. once a week, partially on-line,
some weekends) to allow students to maintain employment while completing the
B.S.N. The program provides a foundation for professional practice and for further
education such as graduate study for advanced practice or preparation as a clinical
leader or teacher.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is conferred by the
general faculty upon candidates recommended by the School of Nursing faculty
as having completed a prescribed course of study of no less than 120 credits
with a cumulative grade point average of 2.000 (C). In addition to the previously
earned bachelors degree, students in the Second Degree Track complete
61 credits in the School of Nursing for the bachelors degree in nursing.
The Residence Requirement for a degree in nursing is
two academic years. Students transferring from other schools of nursing and
students with advanced standing credit may with permission of the associate
dean meet residence requirements in one academic year.
Distinguished Majors Program in Nursing Students who
demonstrate superior academic performance are encouraged to apply for the Schools
Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) in which they pursue a substantive project
of their own devising that they would not have the opportunity to develop as
part of the regular program of study. Participating students are expected to
submit a thesis of approximately 30-50 pages that demonstrates independent work
of high quality.
Acceptance into the program requires a cumulative GPA of 3.400,
the submission of a thesis proposal outlining the project to be undertaken,
and the approval of a faculty member willing to direct the project. Application
to the DMP is made during the spring semester of the third year of the program.
Students accepted into the program register for 3 credits of NURS 495 in the
first semester of the fourth year and 2 credits of NURS 496 during the second
semester. The final project will be reviewed by at least two faculty members
and presented to faculty and students. Students who successfully complete the
program and maintain a GPA of at least 3.400 will be awarded a diploma with
distinction. Students who successfully complete the program and have a GPA of
3.750 will be awarded a diploma with highest distinction.
For more information contact the Baccalaureate Program Director,
School of Nursing, P.O. Box 800782 Charlottesville, VA 22908-0782; (434) 924-2254.