Department of Nursing

222 Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center
Charlotte Mackey, Chairperson


ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS: C. Mackey, Monturo, Thomas, Thompson

ASSISTANT PROFESSORS: Garrett, Harrison, Joseph, E. Mackey, Mandel, Meehan, Mitchell, Moriconi, Mortimer, Mraz, Nair, Schlamb, Tucker, Welsh


The Department of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, D.C. 20036) and approved by the State Board of Nursing of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Admission Criteria

Applicants for nursing must have completed work equal to a standard high school course, including a minimum of 16 units: four units of English, three units of social studies, two units of mathematics (one of which must be algebra), and two units of science with a related laboratory course or the equivalent. A combined score of 1000 is expected on the SAT.


The bachelor of science degree program in nursing is offered by the Department of Nursing, which is an integral part of the College of Health Sciences. The family-centered program is based on the concept that the person is a biopsychosocial being with basic health needs. The Department of Nursing believes that high-quality health care is a basic right of all people and that health care needs can be met through the practice of the professional nurse who has completed a systematic program of courses in the social and natural sciences, humanities, and the nursing major.

Characteristics of the graduate include the following: 1) evidences a concerned awareness and a sense of responsibility for contemporary health and social issues as these affect diverse populations; 2) provides leadership through professional and civic activities to advocate for the improvement of health care within society; 3) demonstrates accountability and competency in using the nursing process to assist clients at various levels of health in a variety of settings; 4) uses nursing theory and research to support nursing practice; 5) collaborates, coordinates, and consults as a colleague within the interdisciplinary health team in managing client care; and 6) characterizes learning as a life-long process.


120 semester hours

  1. General ed. requirements, see pages 38-44 (48 semester hours)
    Must include BIO 100; CHE/CRL 107; MAT 121; PSY 100; and SOC 200.
    Nursing students will be required to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 in the following courses: BIO 100, BIO 259 and 269, CHE/CRL 107 to enter NSG/NSL 212.
  2. Nursing core requirements (51 semester hours)
    NSG 212*, 311*-312*, 313, 367, and 411*-412*; NSL 212*, 311*-312*, 411*-412*; and two nursing electives
    * To continue progression in the program a minimum grade of C or better in all nursing core courses is required.
  3. Cognate requirements** (21 semester hours)
    BIO 204, 259, 269, and 307; HEA 206 or PSY 210; and NTD 303
    ** Some of these courses may be used to satisfy distributive requirements.
  4. Nursing electives
    Students must take enough nursing electives to reach the 120 semester hours required for graduation.

Academic Promotion Policy

Failures, D Grades, or NG (No Grade)

All nursing students who have a grade of D, F, or NG (no grade) in required courses during the freshman and sophomore years must repeat/complete these courses and achieve a satisfactory grade (C or above) before entering the junior-level nursing major courses with the exception of BIO 100 (or 110), 259, 269, and CHE/CRL 107, which require the cumulative 2.75 GPA.

A student must achieve a grade of C or better in the nursing major in the junior year for promotion to the senior year and achieve at least a C in the senior year for graduation. Students also must achieve at least a C- in BIO 307 and MAT 121.

If a student must repeat a nursing course, a grade of C or better in both the theory and laboratory (clinical practicum) components must be achieved. The theory and clinical portions of a nursing course must be taken concurrently.

Other policies are explained in detail in the current issue of the department handbook.

Special Requirements

Generic nursing candidates are admitted once a year, in September.

Transfer students can be admitted in spring and fall.

Nursing students are required to supply their own transportation to clinical facilities.

Insurance. Students are required to carry liability insurance coverage in the amount of $1,000,000/$3,000,000 during the junior and senior year at a yearly cost of approximately $30. Students also are required to carry health insurance.

Uniforms. Students are required to wear blue uniforms to some of the clinical experiences during the junior and senior years. For community clinical settings, students will be required to purchase a nursing polo shirt to be worn with black or khaki slacks. Uniform policies are presented in detail in the current issue of the department handbook.

CPR Certification. Students enrolled in nursing courses with a clinical component are required to be currently certified by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or other acceptable resource in Life Support (two-person) Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. The CPR course must include resuscitation of children and infants.

Calculations exam. Competency in calculation of dosages is a prerequisite to NSG/NSL 311/312. The student is required to have attained 100 percent proficiency in calculating dosages as measured by a paper and pencil test. The nursing laboratory coordinator administers the calculations exam in the spring semester immediately prior to enrolling in the clinical courses.

RN Exit Exam. All senior students must complete the RN Exit Exam prior to graduation. Cost is assumed by the student. The student who does not score 70 on the exit exam and provide documentation of successful completion of a review course will not be approved by the department chair to take the NCLEX/RN exam.

Health Requirements

Nursing candidates must meet the general health requirements of all students at West Chester University for the freshman and sophomore years. Candidates must meet the following health requirements during the summer prior to the junior year: inoculations against diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, Rubella, poliomyelitis (a series of four), Hepatitis B, varicella, and flu; a complete physical examination, tuberculin skin test (TST), eye examination, and any other diagnostic tests deemed necessary. Prior to the senior year, students must repeat the TST.

Criminal and Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance

In accordance with Pennsylvania Nursing Law and Child Protective Services Law as an effort to protect client safety and property, students will be required to complete a criminal background check beginning their first-year classes in the fall and again before progressing to NSG/NSL 212, NSG/NSL 311/312, and NSG/NSL 411/412. In addition, students will be required to complete Delaware Child and Elder Abuse History Clearance prior to NSG/NSL 311/312.

Substance Testing

Students must have urine drug screening performed at a designated laboratory during the stated testing period before progressing to each of the following courses: NSG/NSL 311/312 and NSG/NSL 411/412 (a total of two tests). Students are responsible for the costs associated with these tests. Students with a positive result will be dismissed from the nursing major. Refusal to be tested will result in dismissal from the nursing major.

Nursing Laboratory

The nursing laboratory in the Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center is available as a resource to help the nursing student in the learning process. There are three sections of the laboratory. One area contains hospital beds, examination tables, and other equipment found in clinical care settings. This area is used for the teaching and learning of nursing skills. The second area is a separate computer laboratory for students to study and review nursing theoretical and clinical skills, and to complete required computer software programs. The third section is the area designated for clinical simulation.

Every student is required to use the learning laboratory at specified times. In addition, students are expected to spend time using this re­source for independent learning based on their individual needs. The laboratory is staffed by a full-time nursing laboratory coordinator who is a registered nurse.

Transfer Policy

Transfer students may be accepted into the nursing major each semester. The number accepted each semester is based on the number that the department can accommodate in a sound educational experience.

Students currently enrolled at West Chester University who wish to transfer in to the Department of Nursing must attend a transfer information session to begin the process and subsequently submit an application packet to the department. All application procedures must be completed in order for the candidate to be considered for entrance into the nursing major.

All students who wish to transfer into the Department of Nursing must

1. show evidence of satisfactory completion (70 percent or better) in BIO 100, 110, or 259, CHE 103 and CRL 103, or CHE 107 and CRL 107, PSY 100 or SOC 200, and WRT 120;

2. complete the application form (available from the Department of Nursing);

3. complete the required essay;

4. submit one letter of reference from a West Chester University faculty member; and

5. complete an interview with the assistant department chairperson.

6. Students must have a minimum composite 2.75 GPA in the following courses: BIO 100 or 110, 259, 269; CHE 107; CRL 107 or CHE 103; CRL 103.

Degree Program for Registered Nurses

The department offers an innovative and flexible program for registered nurses who wish to earn a baccalaureate degree in nursing. The program, which varies in length depending on the number of credits a student transfers in, features one night per week of nursing courses and individualized clinical arrangements, as well as distance education classes. Students receive credit for nursing and other courses as well as an option of a portfolio assessment for clinical experience.

Detailed information about this program may be obtained from the department website,

Advance 2 B.S.N.

The department offers an accelerated second degree program. This 17-month intensive program builds upon a student’s previous education and enables an individual already with a baccalaureate degree to earn a baccalaureate degree in nursing. Upon successful completion of this program, the student will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Detailed information about this program may be obtained from the department website.

Licensing Eligibility in Pennsylvania

In order to be employed in professional nursing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, students must apply for a temporary practice permit through the State Board of Nursing.

Students must meet all program requirements to be eligible for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) upon graduation. Passing this examination designates Registered Nurse (RN) status. In accordance with the Professional Nurse Law, felonious acts prohibit licensure in Pennsylvania as indicated by the following:

"The Board shall not issue a license or certificate to an applicant who has been 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 convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States or any other state, territory, or country unless:

(1) At least ten (10) years have elapsed from the date of the conviction;

(2) the applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the board that he has made significant progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure of the applicant should not be expected to 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 or authorized by this act.

As used in the subsection, the term 'convicted' shall include a judgment, an admission of guilt or a plea of nolo contendere. An applicant's statement on the application declaring the absence of a conviction shall be deemed satisfactory evidence of the absence of a conviction, unless the Board has some evidence to the contrary." (Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing, Professional Nurse Law, printed, September 2009)


Symbol: NSG

109 Health Issues of Women (3) This course encompasses the needs and concerns of women as consumers in our present health care system. It examines various biological, psychological, and social topics related to women's health care, including medical abuses, sexuality, sex roles, and women's health in the workplace. This course is an enrichment to liberal education, encouraging inquiry into previously neglected areas of women and health. It is offered in the women's and gender studies program and is open to all University students, regardless of major, as an elective.
Diverse communities course

110 Transcultural Health: Principles and Practices (3) This course examines the health beliefs and practices of a variety of subcultural groups in the U.S. Emphasis is placed on the application of multicultural health beliefs to the caring process. It utilizes the cross-cultural approach in meeting the health needs of clients and families. It is open to all University students, regardless of major, as an elective.

212 Nursing Theories and Concepts (3) Taken in the sophomore year. Nursing theories and concepts, conceptual frameworks, theories from other disciplines that may apply to nursing, and the nursing process are studied in this course. PREREQ: Sophomore standing. Writing emphasis course.

NSL 212 Health Assessment (3) This course, which must be taken with NSG 212, provides the nursing student with skills in physical and psychosocial assessment of adult clients. The course also assists in the development and demonstration of selected skills in vital sign measurement, infection control, basic hygiene, and comfort measures and body mechanics. PREREQ: BIO 100, 259, 269; CHE 107 and CRL 107. Must have a composite GPA of 2.75 in the prerequisite courses. COREQ: NSG 212.

216 Healthy Aging in the New Millennium (3) The student will have the opportunity to form a relationship with a healthy, elderly individual. Students will utilize communication skills through interaction on a one-to-one basis with senior citizens in a private home setting. Students will become acquainted with the problems of day-to-day living and the crises that face this population along with the adaptive strengths and resources that are an essential part of the healthy older person's personality.

217 Loss and Grieving: What to Say, What to Do (3) Loss, grief, and/or depression are universal experiences. Concrete measures to help oneself and peers better cope with these experiences are presented. Barriers that make providing comfort and support to others difficult or uncomfortable are identified and discussed. Effective measures for talking with and helping those who are grieving, depressed, or suicidal are presented, and each student is assisted to develop his or her own style in comfortably using selected approaches. Classes will be participatory with minimal lecture.

218 Concepts in Caring (3) The emphasis of this course is that caring is a universal concept that can be viewed from many disciplines. Nurses, professionals in the caring business, serve as the guides in a creative journey connecting human caring and the various disciplines.

221 Skills for Professional Success (1) This one-credit elective for level III and IV nursing majors is designed to help students foster clinical judgment skills by focusing on study skills, critical thinking, and test-taking. Emphasis is placed on preparing students with skills that are essential for success on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). PREREQ: Must be enrolled in nursing courses at 300 or 400 level.
This course may be taken again for credit.

222 Issues in Transcultural Health Care Delivery (3) This is a systems approach to health care delivery. Surveys health needs of diverse U.S. populations using a multidisciplinary approach. Introduces the origin and evolution of sociocultural health beliefs as they impact health behaviors and outcomes of culturally and ethnically diverse individuals and populations. All concepts will be approached from business/economics, health, and political science perspectives. Promote collaboration among disciplines, to improve student communication skills to facilitate their ability to advocate for diverse populations, and to improve health care services for diverse populations.
Approved interdisciplinary course

223 Crime Victim Advocacy (3) This course provides introductory training for anyone wishing to work with victims and survivors of sexual assault and other forms of victimization. The course is an excellent basis for those seeking to volunteer or intern with community-based agencies specializing in this field.

224 Domestic Violence Victim Advocacy (3) This course provides introductory training for anyone wishing to work with victims and survivors of family violence. The course is an excellent basis for those seeking to volunteer or intern with community-based agencies specializing in this field.

310 Human Response to Disease (3) This course examines core concepts of human response alterations to disease processes at the cellular and systemic level. The focus is on illness as it affects major body systems. Students will identify and analyze prototypical clinical situations, which will provide a foundation for their nursing practice. This course will link clinical situations to their underlying mechanism of disorder and provide a sound knowledge for the practice of professional nursing. For Advance 2 BSN students only. PREREQ: Nursing majors only.

311 Care of Childbearing Family and Community-based Care (4) This course emphasizes the childbearing family and individuals in various community settings. Content will focus on prevention of illness and health promotion by assessment of the health status, appropriate intervention, and evaluation of the health promotion plan. Chronic states as well as acute health conditions will be addressed. Content is organized around the concepts of wellness, chronicity, and acuity. The nursing process provides the framework for the care to be given in a variety of settings with clients. PREREQ: BIO 307. COREQ: NSL 311.

NSL 311 Laboratory (5) Clinical experiences are provided in agencies where relatively well populations have been identified, such as schools, day care centers, senior citizens’ programs, and childbirth settings. NSG 311 and NSL 311 always must be taken concurrently. PREREQ: BIO 100, 204, 259, 269; CHE/CRL 103-104 or CHE/CRL 107; HEA 206 or PSY 210; NSG/NSL 212; NTD 303; PSY 100; SOC 200; and one of the following: WRT 200, 204, 205, 206, 208, or 220. COREQ: NSG 311.

312 Care of Older Adult and Care of Child (5) This course emphasizes the health assessment, maintenance, and promotion of the older adult and child. Clients with chronic health problems in both populations are addressed. Content is organized around the concepts of wellness, chronicity, and acuity. The nursing process is used to assist these clients to grow and/or adapt through supportive, therapeutic, palliative, and preventive measures. PREREQ: NSG 212 and NSL 212. COREQ: NSL 312. Nursing majors only.

NSL 312 Laboratory (5) Clinical experience is provided in rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and acute care settings. These environments provide flexibility for students to implement changes for clients and acquire skills that will be utilized in other nursing courses. NSG 312 and NSL 312 must be taken concurrently. PREREQ: BIO 100, 204, 259, 269; CHE/CRL 103 and 104 or CHE/CRL 107; HEA 206 or PSY 210; NSG/NSL 212; NTD 303; PSY 100; SOC 200; and one of the following: WRT 200, 204, 205, 206, 208, 220.

313 Applied Nursing Research (3) This course is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of the mechanism by which evidence is developed including the research process, clinical judgment, interprofessional perspectives, and patient preference as applied to practice. This course is also a foundation for more complex research applications at the graduate level. Opportunities include development of a literature review, critique of a qualitative and quantitative nursing research study, and participation in conducting the nursing research with a faculty member. PREREQ: NSG 212 and NSL 212.

316 Coping with Cancer (3) The emphasis of this course is on coping with clients who have cancer. Various physiological and psychosocial effects this disease has on clients and their families will be examined. The course will allow students to explore their own feelings related to cancer and assist them in their contacts with cancer clients. Topics that will be discussed include dealing with loss, pain, pain management, hospice care, and communication with the cancer client. This course is open to all students.

317 Women's Sex and Sexuality (3) This course examines ideas and information about women, sex, and sexuality from biological, psychological, political, and social perspectives. Areas of focus include the importance of sex and sexuality as to who women are and how they live; the effect on women of the social construction of women's sexuality; and how increased understanding will change and improve the way women see themselves and are served by social institutions. Writing emphasis course.

320 Care of the Inner Self (3) This course focuses on care of the inner self or spirit. The purpose of the course is to prepare one to understand the inner self and to know how to use the power within the self to maintain wellness and prevent illness.

323 Suggestive Therapeutics for the Health-Care Professional (3) This course will provide a practical framework for the health-care professional to structure suggestions and pattern communication with patients. The most recent innovations and research in the field will be presented and a variety of approaches will be synthesized into a comprehensive approach to the practice of suggestive therapeutics.

325 Health Teaching and Promotion for the RN (1) This online course, designed for RN-BSN students, will assist them in developing educational objectives; apply learning theories for healthcare teaching; identify developmental theories/stages of the learner; explore the use of technology to meet learning objectives; identify methods to determine healthcare literacy; and evaluate teaching methodology/strategy utilized.

350 Basic Arrhythmia Interpretation (1) This course presents methods for identification of normal and abnormal cardiac rhythms and rationale for basic treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.

352 Interpretation of Laboratory Values (1) This course will provide an in-depth study of frequently encountered laboratory findings with an emphasis on the critical analysis of these laboratory results and appropriate follow-up. The course will help students to identify and prioritize nursing interventions for the client undergoing laboratory testing to assure quality specimen collection.

367 Nursing Implications of Drug Interactions (3) The student will be introduced to essential pharmacological principles and concepts. The nursing process will provide the framework by which students will apply theoretical knowledge in BIO 367 to situations in a variety of health care settings. To be taken in conjunction with BIO 367 or after, with permission of instructor.

380 Clinical Simulation in Nursing (3) In this course students will play a variety of roles during patient-care scenarios using SIM-MAN technology. During scenarios students will assess patient condition, critically think through patient-care problems, implement nursing interventions, and evaluate patient outcomes. Students will evaluate performance of self and peers during debriefing sessions for continued improvement in problem solving and patient outcomes.

401 Issues in Nursing Science (3) This course will explore a variety of approaches to nursing science including grand- and middle-range theories and their application to nursing practice. Current issues that affect nursing practice will be addressed.

407 Critical Care Practicum (2) This course provides students who have successfully completed NSG/NSL 312 an opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills in acute, critical-care nursing. This off-campus course will allow students to demonstrate critical-thinking skills in nursing. Students will gain exposure to electrocardiogram interpretation and respiratory ventilator nursing care. Also provided is an opportunity to learn medications utilized in critical-care areas and to observe nurses and their responsibilities. This clinical elective course is limited to ten students.

408 Clinical Immersion (3) This course provides student immersion into the profession of nursing. It provides clinally based learning opportunities to deepen the integration of the department program objectives. PREREQ: NSG/NSL 311, 312, and either NSG/NSL 411 or 412 with at least a B in all of these courses.

410 Independent Study in Nursing (3) The student produces an independent, research-oriented project under close faculty advisement on a nursing topic of special interest to the student. Participation in a selected field experience is optional. PREREQ: Permission of department chairperson.
This course may be taken again for credit.

411 Care of Individual in Acute Care and Behavioral Health Setting (5) This course emphasizes the care of persons with acute medical, surgical, and behavioral health crises. Concepts of holistic care are highlighted throughout classroom and clinical experiences. The content will focus on use of the nursing process to assist clients in crisis. The framework for the care to be given will reflect concepts including application of research and theory, as well as ethical, legal, and educational principles, to assist clients in crisis. PREREQ: NSG 311 and 312, NSL 311 and 312. COREQ: NSL 411. Nursing majors only.

NSL 411 Laboratory (5) Clinical experiences are provided in acute care psychiatric in-patient as well as medical surgical settings. PREREQ: NSG 311 and 312, NSL 311 and 312. COREQ: NSG 411.

412 Care of Communities and Individuals in Acute Care from a System’s Perspective (5) Must be taken during senior year, spring semester. This course is a continuation of NSG 411 with emphasis on the subconcepts of decision making and advocacy. The nursing process is utilized interdependently in approaching clients’ multihealth-care problems. Special attention is given to inquiry as the student correlates nursing theories and concepts with identifiable research problems in varied environments. Opportunity is provided to develop organization and management skills. PREREQ: NSG 311 and 312, NSL 311 and 312. COREQ: NSL 412. Nursing majors only.

NSL 412 Laboratory (5) The clinical experience is provided in acute care medical surgical settings and in community/public health settings. Students will have the opportunity to use leadership and systems-level skills and to develop interdependency in their nursing practice. PREREQ: NSG 311 and 312, NSL 311 and 312. COREQ: NSG 412.

414 Breastfeeding and Human Lactation (3) For students seeking in-depth knowledge about breastfeeding and human lactation. Emphasis is on understanding the physiology of human lactation and the health impact on infants and their mothers. The normal process of breastfeeding will be addressed with exploration of the barriers to breastfeeding as well as the supports available for breastfeeding.

420 Physical Health Assessment (3) The course combines comprehensive theoretical and laboratory experience to enable the nursing student to perform a complete holistic health assessment and physical examination of the adult, adolescent, and pediatric client. Opportunity is provided to enhance the participant’s ability to collect relevant data via use of appropriate interviewing methods, as well as developmental and physical assessment techniques. Emphasis is placed on effective communication techniques and essential assessment skills.

480 Advanced Clinical Simulation in Nursing (3) In this course students will play a variety of roles during advanced patient-care scenarios using SIM-MAN technology. During scenarios, students will assess patient condition, critically think through patient-care problems, implement nursing interventions, and evaluate patient outcomes in crisis situations. Students will evaluate performance of self and peers during debriefing sessions for continued improvement in problem solving complex patient-care situations and outcomes. This course may be taken again for credit.