2017-2018 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
    Apr 20, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing RN to BSN

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Bachelor of Science in Nursing

College of Health Sciences and Education
Department Chair Annette Weiss, PhD


Rita Carey-Nita, Assistant Professor of Nursing, BSN West Chester University; MSN Mansfield University

Audrey Cunfer, Director of Simulation, BSN College Misericordia, MSN Misericordia University

Jacklyn DelPrete, Assistant Professor of Nursing, ADN, BSN Pennsylvania State University; MSN Misericordia University

Kathleen Gelso, Assistant Professor of Nursing - clinical faculty, BSN Villanova University, MSN College Misericordia

Michele Hawkins, Assistant Professor of Nursing - clinical faculty, BSN Wilkes University; MSN College Misericordia

Darlene Kuchinski-Donnelly, Assistant Professor of Nursing, BSN, MSN Misericordiay University

Laura Lunger, Assistant Professor of Nursing, AAS Luzerne County Community College; BSN, MSN, Misericordia University

Allison A. Maloney, Assistant Professor of Nursing, BSN Bloomsburg University; MSN College Misericordia

Patricia A. Maloney, Assistant Professor of Nursing, BSN Wilkes University; MSN University of Phoenix

Vanessa Mayorowski, Assistant Professor of Nursing - clinical faculty, BSN Marywood College; MSN College Misericordia

Brenda Pavill, Associate Professor Emerita of Nursing, RN ST. Agnes Medical Center; BSN Wilkes University; MS Bloomsburg University; MSN College Misericordia; PhD Marywood University

Lisa Shustack, Assistant Professor of Nursing, BSN Cedar Crest College; MSN University of Phoenix; MSEd Wilkes University

Cathy Speace, Assistant Professor of Nursing - clinical faculty, BSN, MSN University of Pennsylvania

Christina Tomkins, Assistant Professor of Nursing - clinical faculty, BSN, MSN Bloomsburg University

Annette Weiss, Associate Professor of Nursing, BSN The Pennsylvania State University; MSN University of Hartford; PhD Duquesne University

Catherine Zurawski, Assistant Professor of Nursing, ADN Luzerne County Community College; BSN, MSN Misericordia University; Post Graduate Drexel University


The Department of Nursing at Misericordia University is an integral part of the College of Health Sciences. The nursing faculty supports the mission of the university and the principles of academic excellence, service leadership, and professional preparation which are components of the Trinity of Learning. The faculty is committed to providing quality education to its students, based on the values of mercy, service, justice, and hospitality. The beliefs serve as the foundation of the nursing curriculum. Faculty holds the following beliefs about persons, environment, health, and nursing.

Persons. Persons are whole human beings, unique in their inherent worth and dignity. Persons function as autonomous agents characterized by the capacity for emotions, reasoning, and perceiving.

Environment. Environment is the context in which persons exist. Environment is dynamic, multidimensional and reciprocal.

Health. Health is experienced by persons as a dynamic state of being which results from a process of making choices over time.

Nursing. Nursing is a learned profession based on its own theory and science. As a science, nursing focuses on research, information, and health care technology which are foundational to evidenced based practice. As a practice, nursing is concerned with the health and well being of persons as individuals, families, groups, communities, and the global society. Communication skills are an essential component of the nurse person relationship. Nurses support the active participation of persons in determining health care decisions. They are engaged in health promotion, risk reduction, disease prevention, and illness and disease management which involve the shared responsibility of persons, health care providers and society. Nurses use critical thinking and the nursing process to design, provide, manage and coordinate care within the health care system. Ethical and legal principles guide the practice of professional nursing.

The faculty further believes that teaching/learning is a co-creative process. Learning is a life long process that involves critical thinking and intellectual curiosity. Learning occurs when the student is an active participant in the learning process. Students share in the responsibility to achieve their highest potential.

Teaching is viewed as an empowering process. Members of the faculty engage with diverse learners to achieve outcomes of the nursing program and promote educational mobility. Faculty enhances the teaching/learning process by maintaining current knowledge in the discipline of nursing and integrating research and service into nursing education.

Undergraduate education in nursing cultivates higher order thinking skills through the integration of liberal arts and professional studies. The undergraduate nursing program prepares professional nurses for leadership roles in health care. Students are prepared as nurse generalists to assist people with managing an increasingly complex system of care. At the end of the curriculum students are prepared for graduate study in nursing.

Consistent with the mission of the university and its goals for graduate education, the nursing faculty believes that master’s education in nursing builds on the skills of a baccalaureate nursing education. Master’s nursing education has as its primary focus the advanced practice clinical role. Advanced practice nurses are educated to practice independently and interdependently in the role of health care providers. The faculty believes that the transition to the role of advance practice nurse occurs throughout the entire master’s program and results in the preparation of a clinician who is able to provide a broad range of health care services that are directed toward the improvement of patient care outcomes. Finally, faculty believes that master’s education in nursing provides the foundation for future doctoral study in nursing.

The nursing faculty purport that graduate education assists students to acquire higher-order critical thinking and decision making skills. Advanced practice nurses are prepared to analyze, synthesize, and utilize research evidence to provide high quality health care, initiate change, and improve practice. As beginning clinicians, students must develop an understanding of health care policy, organization, and finance and use this knowledge to make cost-effective clinical decisions, to improve health care delivery, and to enhance outcomes of patient care. Master’s nursing education promotes an understanding of the principles, personal values, and beliefs that provide a framework for the decision making and consultation processes which influence the interventions and care delivered by clinicians. Professional role development provides students with a clear understanding of the nursing profession, advanced practice nursing roles, and the requirements for, and regulation of, these roles. Master’s nursing education exposes students to a broad range of nursing and related theories and facilitates the integration of appropriate theory in the development of comprehensive and holistic approaches to care. Advanced practice nursing students understand the wide diversity of sub-cultural influences on human behavior including ethnic, racial, gender, age and class differences and demonstrate this understanding in the delivery of culturally sensitive care. Clinicians prepared in an advanced practice nursing program develop a strong theoretical foundation in health promotion, illness prevention, disease management, and maintenance of function across the health/illness continuum. These clinicians generate and use expert teaching and coaching strategies to promote and preserve health and healthy life styles.

Advanced practice nursing education requires additional core skills and knowledge to further support the role of clinician. Expert clinicians conduct comprehensive health assessments and physical examinations, using increasingly sophisticated communication and observational skills. They apply knowledge of system-focused, physiologic and pathologic mechanisms of disease as a basis for physical examination, diagnostic reasoning, decision making, and management of care. Knowledge of advanced pharmacology, including pharmacotherapeutics and pharmacokinetics of broad categories of pharmacologic agents, is essential to the clinician’s selection of appropriate disease management and treatment modalities. Finally, advanced practice nursing students must have the opportunity to master knowledge of health care problems and to apply knowledge and skills in extensive clinical practice.


All graduates of the undergraduate nursing program will be able to:

  1. Incorporate science, theoretical and empirical knowledge from the liberal arts, basic sciences, and nursing to promote health, risk reduction, disease prevention, and, illness and disease management for the welfare of others.
  2. Utilize an evidence based approach in the delivery of health care to individuals, families, groups, and communities within the global society.
  3. Use critical thinking skills and the nursing process to design, provide, manage, and coordinate nursing care.
  4. Participate with patients and interdisciplinary team members to improve quality patient care.
  5. Incorporate knowledge of leadership management principles in professional role development.
  6. Provide safe, humanistic nursing care to patients in a variety of settings by demonstrating respect for patient rights, professionalism, and ethical decision-making.
  7. Demonstrate information literacy and utilization of healthcare technologies used to support the delivery of health care.


Policies specific to the nursing major are published in the undergraduate nursing student policy handbook. Each student is required to review the handbook online each academic year for updates or changes in policy.

Selection, Advancement, and Graduation Criteria

Admission into Nursing

Students admitted to nursing in the traditional nursing undergraduate program (first year) must meet the general admission requirements of Misericordia University in addition to program-specific requirements specified below. Full-time transfer students must meet admission requirements as specified in the transfer student section of this catalog. Non-traditional applicants, such as second degree students and registered nurse students, must meet specific requirements as outlined below and in the appropriate nursing student policy handbooks. All non-nursing transfer credits will be evaluated by the registrar and the nursing department chair (or designee) to determine equivalencies.

Admission into traditional undergraduate nursing requires:

  1. Students who are applying for admission into the nursing major (both first time and transfer student admissions - traditional and PTENP), and who have either not taken the ACT or the SAT examination, or not achieved the admission SAT or ACT requirements, published in the Misericordia University catalog (960 with a minimum score of 450 in the math and verbal exams; ACT 21), will be required to schedule and complete the NLN Nursing Entrance Examination (PAX-RN) prior to admission evaluation. A proficiency score at the 78th percentile or higher on the PAX-RN is required in order to be considered for admission into the major. The examination may only be taken once.
  2. High school average of 80 or higher
  3. B or above in science and mathematics courses
  4. Completion of one year of chemistry, biology, and mathematics (including one semester of algebra).

Admission into the second degree nursing program (for traditional and part-time evening programs) requires:

  1. Completed bachelor’s degree
  2. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0
  3. Completion of BIO 211 , BIO 212 , BIO 228 , PSY 275 , HP 241  for full-time option only; in special circumstances, one or more of these courses can be completed as junior co-requisites with permission of the department chairperson.

Admission into the nursing program for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)

The licensed practical nurse (LPN) student is recognized as an adult learner who comes with diverse life experiences, education and clinical skills, as well as motivation and ability to learn independently. To facilitate advanced placement, opportunity is provided for students to validate, by examination, previously acquired educational and clinical competencies

LPN to the BS in Nursing option is for students who have completed and accredited Licensed Practical Nurse program. Licensed practical nurses seeking admission to the baccalaureate nursing program must meet the admission criteria for the University and the Nursing major and submit a valid Pennsylvania LPN license.

Advanced Placement

Students who have evidence of 1000 hours of employment as a LPN within the last 3 years are eligible for advanced placement nursing credits.

Non-Nursing Advanced Placement (professional nursing cognates/pre-requisites)

It is possible to challenge or CLEP (College Level Examination Program) the following courses. If a passing score is not achieved in the designated exam the student must take that course.

Licensed practical nurses have the option to test out of specialty area courses within the program. The areas are listed below.

Advanced Placement Examination Options:

*NLN ACE II Exams - minimum overall score of 78.

NSG 402 Functional Health Patterns Childbearing  ( 4 credits)

NSG 304 Functional Health Patterns Pediatrics  ( 4 credits)

NSG 302 Functional Health Patterns Psychiatric Nursing  ( 4 credits)

Examinations are administered through the Center for Adult and Continuing Education prior to the semester in which the course would be offered, and students receive one opportunity to take each examination.

Advanced Placement examination credits are only applicable to the nursing major and are not calculated in the GPA, and may only be taken by LPN-holding students already admitted to the program.

Admission for students to the Expressway RN-to-BSN program include:

  1. Graduation from an accredited associate’s degree or diploma nursing program; students are required to submit transcripts of all prior college-level course work and a copy of the RN license
  2. Minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 for all prior college-level course work
  3. Official written verification of a minimum of 1,000 hours of clinical practice in the past three years (waived for graduates of basic nursing programs in the three years prior to application)

Note: Curriculum requirements may vary based on transcript evaluation.

To be compliant with our clinical agencies, during clinical semesters all students will be required to complete a FBI clearance, PA criminal background check, child abuse clearance, and 10 panel drug screening. If any report indicates a relevant criminal background check, the student will be prohibited from entrance into the nursing program. If a student incurs a relevant background check while enrolled, the student will be immediately dismissed from the nursing program.

State Board Requirements

The nursing department, in accordance with the State Board of Nurse Examiners, advises all nursing students that felonious acts prohibit licensure in Pennsylvania as of January 1, 1997. The following is taken from the law.

The Board shall not issue a license or certificate to an applicant who has been:

  1. Convicted* of a felonious act prohibited by the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), known as “The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act”, or
  2. Convicted* of a felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States and any other state, territory or country unless:
    1. At least ten years have elapsed from the date of the conviction;
    2. The applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the Board significant progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure should not create a substantial risk of harm to the health and safety of patients or the public or a substantial risk of further criminal violations, and
    3. The applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications contained in this act.

A person convicted of any felonious act may be prohibited from licensure by the Board of Nursing at any time.

* Convicted includes a judgment, an admission of guilt, or a plea of no lo contendere.

Health Examination

Before student can begin the clinical experience, they must submit a health clearance form report each year they are enrolled in a clinical experience. A complete list of required exams and immunizations will be provided to all nursing majors in the spring of their sophomore year prior to their first clinical rotation that begins in the fall of their junior year. Students must have current health insurance. Students are responsible for the cost of the annual health examination, current health insurance and immunizations.

The health clearance form must be submitted to My Record Tracker (MRT) no later than the date specified by the department chair. Normal results are good for one year from the date of the test.

Clinical Education Requirements

Accepted students must submit the following documentation prior to the start of the program:

  • FBI Background Check
  • State Background Check
  • Child Abuse Clearance
  • Health Physical to include documentation of immunizations, Tuberculin test and Hepatitis B vaccination (form provided)
  • CPR certification for health care providers through the American Heart Association, Red Cross or an organization approved by the program
  • Proof of Medical Insurance Coverage
  • HIPAA education

Individual clinical sites may require additional documentation, such as drug screening which varies in the time frame of being tested and entering the clinical setting; thus, the clinical coordinator will inform you as to when to have the test done. Clinical education requirements are at the expense of the student.

The College of Health Sciences and Education Clinical Education policies are found at http://www.misericordia.edu/uploaded/documents/academics/nursing/Clinical_Education_Policies/CHS_CEC_Policies_final_approval_2014-_handbook-_2015-2017-revised_6-2015.pdf

Special Expenses

In addition to tuition and fees, expenses that the nursing major student may incur are: uniforms, NCLEX examination fee, temporary practice permit fee, field trip expenses, health examination fees, 10 panel urine toxicology screen, and criminal background checks (3).

Tuition Based Expenses

Examples of some items that are tuition based are: National Student Nurses Association, My Record Tracker, CPR certification and recertification, KAPLAN developmental testing, lab fees, Discovering HIPAA Online Series, liability insurance, simulation fee, clinical supplies, nursing pin fee, nursing ceremony fee and poster fee.

*For specific fee information refer to the fee page .

Transfer Students (Traditional and Part-time Evening Nursing Program)

All non-nursing transfer college credits will be evaluated by the registrar and the nursing department to determine equivalencies. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required to transfer into the nursing program. Students who receive a C- or less in courses that are the equivalent of required Misericordia cognates (including BIO 211 , BIO 212 , BIO 228 , PSY 275 , HP 241  and MTH 115 ) or nursing courses will not be considered for admission into the nursing program.

Progression and Retention in the Nursing Program

Academic Criteria for all Undergraduate Nursing Students

Progression and retention in the nursing major is based upon the student’s ability to meet the following academic criteria:

  1. Students must attain an overall GPA of 2.75 throughout the nursing program.
  2. Successful completion of math calculation competency by end of the semester, remediation as outlined in contract.
  3. Students in the PTENP and transfer students once accepted based on the combination of transfer credits and MU credits; need to be aware, that only the MU credits will be used for calculation of GPA for retention in the program.
  4. PTENP and transfer students MU GPA will be calculated for the first time after 12 credits of MU course work.
  5. For students in the PTENP, GPA will be calculated subsequently then in increments of completion of a minimum of 12 credits of coursework. Failure to obtain a GPA of 2.75 will result in probationary status.
  6. Successful completion of all cognates for the nursing major ( BIO 211 , BIO 212 , BIO 228 , HP 241 , MTH 115 , and PSY 275 ) with a grade of “C” or better is required for progression in the program.
  7. A student may repeat only one nursing cognate (A&P I and A&P II, Microbiology, Nutrition, Developmental Psychology, and Statistics). The acceptable grade for these courses is a C or better. If the student receives a C- or less, in any of these nursing cognates, the student will be placed on academic probation. A student on their first probation will be given the option to grade replace the course. Students with a second probation will be dismissed from the nursing program. When the course in question is repeated and the student earns a C- or less in the same cognate or any other cognate, that student will be dismissed from the nursing major with no option to reapply. If a transfer student who earns a grade of C- or less in any Misericordia equivalent cognate, taken at another institution, admission into the nursing major at Misericordia will be denied.
  8. Achievement of a grade of at least a (“C”) is required in all nursing courses (NSG courses).Students may repeat only one Nursing course (NSG), a maximum of 6 credits. The repeated NSG course must be completed in the following academic year. Students who need to grade replace NSG 302 , NSG 304 , NSG 402  and NSG 403  may progress in the program, however must grade replace the course in the next summer.
  9. Any student who has fallen back related to grade replacement and /or is returning to the nursing major in good standing will be required to validate knowledge related to clinical experience prior to being allowed to re-enter any clinical course. (Refer to readmission policy and procedure ).
  10. Senior, second-degree nursing students with a minimum overall GPA of 3.5 may earn up to 6 graduate credits while completing the undergraduate nursing program. Students may register to take one or both of the following graduate courses after discussion with the graduate program director and on a space available basis:
    1. NSG 519 Concepts and Theories in Nursing Science  (2 credits)
    2. NSG 511 Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology for Primary Care  (3credits)
    3. NSG 518 Advanced Practice Role Development for Primary Care  (1 credit)
  11. Any student who is experiencing extenuating circumstances that may affect their progression in the program after the drop date must make an appointment with their advisor to determine whether an “I” should be taken at the time of the event. A student may withdraw later for medical reasons, supported by a written excuse from a physician, or for other serious circumstances, approved by the vice president of academic affairs in consultation with the course advisor.

English Language Proficiency

If English is not your first language, or if English is not the primary language spoken in your home, you must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The following are the minimum score requirements:

Internet-based TOEFL exam (iBT): The Internet-based TOEFL has four subsections, with a grading scale for each section from 1 to 30 (30 being the highest score). Misericordia University will look closely at the score for each section rather than the total score. The minimum scores for each section are as follows:

Writing 22
Speaking 22
Reading 22
Listening 22

Students should indicate on the registration form that they wish the test results to be sent directly to Misericordia University. The TOEFL code for Misericordia University is 2087.

The Expressway RN to BSN Program is designed for highly motivated registered nurses who want to earn their degree in a timely manner. Credits are earned through transfer, advanced placement, and matriculation. Advanced placement credits (32 credits) for course work completed in a state-approved, nationally accredited associate’s degree or diploma nursing program are awarded after registration for first course. After a transcript evaluation has been completed, the RN student completes the necessary individually determined core and cognate credits along with 22 credits of course work in the professional nursing major. This course work includes one clinical practice course in community health, which uses a flexible adult learning model for scheduling. As adult learners, RN students also have the opportunity to earn credit by CLEP subject exams and Prior Learning Assessment. RN students who hold a bachelor’s degree in another field are exempt from core requirements. A cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or higher is required for admission.

In addition to meeting the admission requirements for RN students, articulation status and the awarding of advanced placement credits is determined by the following:

  1. Graduates from accredited associate’s degree or diploma nursing programs within three years of the application date are eligible for direct articulation and will be awarded 32 advanced-placement credits for their prior nursing course work.
  2. Graduates from accredited associate’s degree or diploma nursing programs within four to ten years of the application date must provide official written documentation of completion of a minimum of 1,000 hours or more clinical practice during the three years prior to the application date to be eligible for direct articulation and the awarding of 32 advanced-placement credits for their prior nursing course work.
  3. Applicants who have graduated more than ten years prior to the application date must provide a resume detailing clinical experience, along with official written documentation of completion of a minimum of 1,000 hours or more clinical practice during the three years prior to the application date. These candidates may be required to complete a full portfolio or validation testing prior to being eligible for articulation and the awarding of 32 advanced-placement credits prior to nursing course work.
  4. Applicants who have not graduated from an accredited nursing program must successfully complete validation testing before prior learning credits are awarded.

For more information, prospective students should contact the Expressway Office at (570) 674-6791.

Program Plan

Core Requirements

(see Core Curriculum Requirements )

Required Cognates Courses

3 Credits

22 Credits

32 Credits

Free Elective Credits

If needed (minimum of nine credits)

Minimum Required Credits 126

(The above are general guidelines. Each student’s transcripts are thoroughly evaluated by the registrar and an individual program plan is established. All RN to BSN students must have obtained a Registered Nurse license, which mandated that they have graduated from an accredited program. These students fall under the University Transfer Program guidelines, causing a variation in their individualized program plan.)

Specialization in Nursing Leadership

The specialization in nursing leadership is designed for registered nurse’s with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. In addition to the requirements above, students take NSG 413 Cooperative Education in Nursing Leadership  for 1-8 credits, depending upon the nature and duration of the cooperative project.

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