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Nursing Policies

Nursing Policies Fall 2019/Spring 2020 to be posted shortly

Registration, Progression, Grading and Testing Policies for Nursing Process Courses

All nursing students enrolled in courses at Rockland Community College are required to comply with College policies, Nursing Department policies and individual faculty policies. This document contains Nursing Department policies. Each semester nursing students must review these policies and sign a Nursing Student Agreement. Signing the Agreement acknowledges the student has read the policies and sought clarification as needed. Students that have not signed and returned the Agreement will not be permitted to take examinations in the Nursing Process course(s) they are currently enrolled in.

Registration Policy

All nursing students enrolled in Nursing Process courses must receive academic advisement from their assigned nursing faculty adviser each semester. Students will be permitted to register for classes only after they have been advised and cleared by their nursing faculty adviser. To find your assigned adviser, log in to WebAdvisor and select “Am I Ready to Register?” A list of faculty advisement assignments is also posted in the display case outside the Nursing Office. The nursing faculty adviser may be consulted for issues other than the registration/clearance process.

Students are responsible to contact their assigned nursing faculty adviser via email, phone or in person to discuss program planning and to be cleared to register. To be eligible for online registration, students must have completed advisement by the date established by the assigned nursing faculty adviser. Students who have not been advised will be required to attend an in-person advisement and registration session at a date and time set by Nursing. Students are responsible to register for the courses identified during the advisement session.

Students must register for and take the co-requisite courses for the Nursing Process course in which they are enrolling. Student records are reviewed each semester by Nursing to determine if pre- and co-requisite course requirements are met. If they are not met, the student will be withdrawn from the Nursing Process course and be prohibited from registering for future Nursing Process courses until the pre- and/or co-requisite requirements are met. Students who are withdrawn from Nursing Process courses for this reason will not be eligible for a tuition refund. Students are responsible for knowing which pre- and co-requisite courses they should have completed or be enrolled in. This information can be found on the Nursing website.

Students designated as Evening Clinical Students (ECS) may register only for evening lecture and clinical sections. These students may switch to a day lecture during Drop/Add registration for nursing students on a space-available basis. This switch will not alter ECS designation. However, if at any time the student enrolls in a day clinical, ECS designation is forfeited. The student who registers for one day and one evening clinical in any given semester will also forfeit Evening Clinical Student designation. Students who are unsuccessful in a Nursing Process course and repeat the course will forfeit their ECS designation for that and all future courses.

Completion of advisement does not guarantee admission into a course. Students repeating a course register on a space-available basis and are not guaranteed a seat in any given semester. Course offerings and enrollment caps are determined by College and Nursing policies, faculty availability and contractual agreements with agencies and faculty. Under-enrolled courses may be cancelled up to the end of the late registration period established by the College. Students may audit a course with permission from the course instructor. These students may attend lecture only. They may not attend clinical and are not eligible to take written examinations nor attend post-examination reviews.

Progression Policy

General Progression Policy Applicable to All Nursing Process Courses

(All forms referred to in this document are available in the Nursing Office, Suite 8210.)

Admitted students are expected to progress through the Nursing Program in sequence and without interruption. Students who do not progress in sequence will not be guaranteed placement into a particular Nursing Process course.

A minimum grade of 75% (C+) in lecture plus a clinical grade of S (Satisfactory) are required to successfully complete each Nursing Process course. A student may repeat a maximum of three (3) Nursing Process courses. Nursing students who have repeated three Nursing Process courses and are unsuccessful on the first opportunity in any fourth Nursing Process course, cannot repeat that course and will be dismissed from the Nursing Program. Nursing Process courses may not be repeated more than once. An opportunity has been used when a student: *

  • Achieves a final course grade of less than 75% (C+) in a Nursing Process course.
  • Receives a U (Unsatisfactory) grade in clinical.
  • Withdraws or stops attending a Nursing Process course after taking a lecture examination in that course.

*These criteria apply to students who are granted medical withdrawals as well as those who switch to Audit status for the course.

Students entering the Nursing Process sequence in NUR 111 and LPN to RN Pathway students must demonstrate competency in Calculations for Pharmacology (NUR 103) either by registering for and successfully completing Calculations for Pharmacology (NUR 103) or by achieving a grade of 75% or greater on the competency examination administered by Nursing. The competency examination may only be taken once and may not be taken once a student has been enrolled in NUR 103. NUR 103 must be taken prior to, or with, the first Nursing Process course if competency is not demonstrated by examination. However, no more than four (4) semesters can elapse between successful completion of NUR 103 and the first Nursing Process course.

If the student does not achieve a minimum satisfactory grade of 75% (C+) in NUR 103, the course must be repeated with the next Nursing Process course. Students may not enroll in NUR 142 or higher if competency in NUR 103 (Calculations for Pharmacology) has not been demonstrated.

Only accepted LPN to RN Pathway students may take NUR 106 (Principles of Drug Administration) prior to entering the Nursing Process sequence or as a co-requisite to their first Nursing Process course. LPN to RN Pathway students may not progress to NUR 142, 231, 232, 241 or 242 without having demonstrated competency in NUR 103 (Calculations for Pharmacology), NUR 106 (Principles of Drug Administration), NUR 110 (Using the Nursing Process) and NUR 206 (Physical Assessment).

In order to progress in the Nursing Process sequence, all students must achieve the following minimal grades in pre- and co-requisite courses:

  • NUR 103: C+ or demonstrate competency by achieving a grade of 75% or greater on the competency examination administered by Nursing.
  • NUR 106, NUR 110, NUR 206: C+
  • Sciences: C and taken within 5 years of the first Nursing Process course
  • All other pre- and co-requisites: D

Students experiencing difficulty in the Nursing Program are responsible for obtaining any needed assistance from their lecture and clinical instructors, faculty adviser, the Academic Success Centers, the Student Development Center or Accessibility Services.

Procedure for Repeating a Nursing Process Course

Any currently enrolled student needing to repeat a Nursing Process course the following semester must complete a yellow form, Application to Repeat a Nursing Process Course. The applications will be accepted by Nursing up to 7 business days after the end of the current semester. Students repeating a Nursing Process course register on a space-available basis and will have a designated registration period. They will be informed of the date and time to register upon submission of the application. Students registering outside of the designated registration period for repeating students will be withdrawn from the course they have registered for. This includes students who withdrew from a Nursing Process course after taking an examination in the course and have used their first opportunity. These students must complete a yellow form, Application to Repeat a Nursing Process Course.

Students repeating a Nursing Process course register on a space-available basis and may take course level A and/or B. An exception is NUR 111 students. NUR 111 must be successfully completed before, or taken with, NUR 113. Students repeating NUR 111 and/or NUR 113 will be seated on a competitive, space-available basis. Students not seated for two consecutive semesters must reapply to the Nursing Program.

Students repeating a Nursing Process course must also register for, and adhere to, all class policies of the Nursing Support Module (NUR 100) that corresponds to the course. Students who do not register for, or who withdraw from, the required Support Module will be withdrawn from the corresponding Nursing Process course.

During academic advisement, the student who is planning to repeat a Nursing Process course must notify their adviser of the plan to repeat the course. The adviser will document that the student has been advised but will not clear the student for registration. The Nursing Office will clear the student to register during Repeating Student Registration.

Students who are unsuccessful in completing the Nursing Process course(s) that they are currently enrolled in, and who were previously advised and cleared for registration, must submit the Application to Repeat a Nursing Process Course up to 7 business days after the end of the current semester. In this case, the previously issued advisement clearance will be temporarily withdrawn. The student will then be cleared to register during the timeframe designated for registration for students repeating a Nursing Process course. Students may not repeat NUR 113 unless they have passed NUR 111 or will repeat NUR 111 with NUR 113.

Applying for a Planned Leave of Absence from the Nursing Process Sequence

Students who plan to take a leave of absence of one or more semesters from the Nursing Process sequence must complete a white form, Leave of Absence Request from Nursing Process Sequence and submit it to the Nursing Office for approval from the Nursing Chair.

Progression Policy for Students Re-entering the Nursing Process Sequence After an Absence of One or More Semesters

Students re-entering the Nursing Process sequence after non-enrollment in a Nursing Process course for the prior one to four semesters, must complete a blue form, Application for Readmission to the Nursing Process Sequence. Students who are re-entering after a one to four semester absence and who want to repeat a previously failed Nursing Process course(s) must complete a green form, Application for Readmission to Repeat a Nursing Process Course. Applications must be submitted to the Nursing Office by October 1st for the spring semester and April 1st for the fall semester. Students re-entering the Program register on a space-available basis and must adhere to all Nursing policies in effect at the time of their readmission, including the current admission criteria. Students that have had an absence of more than four semesters cannot re-enter the program and must reapply to the program.

Testing and Grading Policy

Academic Integrity

During examinations students must follow all directions of the examination proctor. If student behavior is inappropriate, or if a student is suspected of cheating during an examination, the proctor may confiscate the examination and scantron® sheets or may elect to allow the student to continue with the examination and document the inappropriate behavior or possibility of cheating. In either case, the examination will be invalidated resulting in a grade of zero for the examination and the student will receive a failing grade (F) in the course. Cheating will result in a failing grade (F) for the course in which the cheating occurred and may result in a minimum of one semester suspension from the Nursing Program, with permanent documentation of the incident in the student’s file. Cheating is a breach of academic integrity and may result in permanent dismissal from the Nursing Program.

Students are not to discuss test items outside of the classroom except with their lecture instructor. No children, family members or guests are permitted to be present in a test area or during examination reviews.

Appeals to these academic integrity sanctions may be submitted through the process outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities: Policies and Procedures for Maintenance of Public Order and Student Grievance Procedures published by Rockland Community College and available online.

Examination Procedures

  • Students must present their valid RCC photo ID to take any examination.
  • All electronic communication devices must be turned OFF and stored with personal belongings during examinations.
  • Students must provide their own basic non-programmable calculator.
  • Questions related to test item content cannot be asked during examinations.
  • Pencils to mark scantrons will be provided. No additional writing implements can be brought to the examination.
  • Students are not permitted to wear a watch during testing.
  • Students may not bring beverages or food to the testing area.
  • Noise-sensitive students may wear ear plugs during testing.
  • Students must remain in the testing area for the entire duration of the examination.

Examinations in each of the Nursing Process courses consist of unit examinations and a comprehensive final examination. Students may write on the examination, but answers indicated on the examination are not considered valid. Only answers marked on the scantron® will receive credit. All examinations are shredded immediately following the conclusion of the examination.

Students who arrive late may not be allowed to take the examination. If an instructor allows a student to start an examination late, no extra time will be given. No student will be admitted to begin an examination after another student has left the examination room. Students may not leave the room and return while an examination is in progress. Upon leaving the examination room for any reason, the student must surrender the examination papers to the instructor. At that time, the student’s examination time is terminated.

In the event of an emergency situation that affects a testing site during an examination, the exam will be immediately terminated. All examination papers and exam answer sheets must be submitted to the proctor in an orderly fashion. The Nursing faculty team and the Nursing Chair will confer to determine what action to take. An announcement will be posted electronically as soon as a decision is made.

Examination Review

Only unit examinations may be reviewed. The examination review procedure is at the discretion of the Nursing Process course faculty and will be stated in the course syllabus.

  • Examination results will be made available after a minimum of two days following exam administration.
  • Unit examinations may be reviewed once for a length of time determined by the instructor.
  • Examination review procedures are at the discretion of the Nursing Process course faculty and will be stated in the course syllabus.
  • Audiotaping or recording of any type is not permitted during examination review sessions, and nothing may be written except at the direction of the instructor. All electronic devices must be turned off and stowed during the examination review session. The use of any electronic device during the examination review will result in the immediate termination of the review session and a grade of zero for the examination.
  • Children, family members and/or guests are not permitted to be present during the examination review.
  • All test materials must be returned to faculty before leaving the review session.
  • There are no reviews of comprehensive final examinations.
  • Exams must be reviewed within two weeks of the unit examination; except for the last unit examination which must be reviewed before the comprehensive final examination.
  • Inquiries about exam questions will not be addressed after the deadline date of the examination review.

Grade Calculation for Nursing Process Courses

In all Nursing Process courses, unit examinations account for 50% of the grade and the comprehensive examination accounts for the remaining 50%. A grade of zero is given when an examination is not taken. In the event of illness or an emergency, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the instructor within 24 hours of the scheduled exam time and provide all requested verifiable documentation. An exam may only be taken once.

Each item on unit examinations given during the course of the semester carries equal weight. Therefore, at the end of the semester the total number of valid unit examination questions answered correctly is divided by the total number of valid questions and then multiplied by 100 for the unit percentage. The resulting score is multiplied by 50% to determine the unit score; i.e., the unit portion of the final grade.

The comprehensive final examination score is determined by dividing the number of valid comprehensive final examination questions answered correctly by the total number of valid questions on the examination and then multiplying by 100 for the unit percentage. The resulting score is then multiplied by 50% to determine the comprehensive final examination score of the final grade. The final course percentage (%) grade is determined by adding the unit examination score to the final comprehensive examination score.

In calculating the unit and comprehensive final examination percentages, the computation will be carried out to the third decimal place and rounded back to the second. The final course percentage (%) will be rounded to a whole number final grade by looking at the two numbers to the right of the decimal point. If these numbers are 50 or higher, the whole number is rounded up by one number.

For student convenience some faculty may choose to post examination grades on Blackboard. Students should be aware that grades posted on Blackboard may not accurately reflect the calculation and rounding procedures outlined in this policy and, therefore, may give different results from official posted grades. It is the responsibility of the student to review and confirm examination and final course grades during examination review opportunities with the instructor. Official final course grades are posted on WebAdvisor.

Determination of Letter Grades for Required Nursing Process Courses

Students who have achieved a Satisfactory (S) grade in clinical will receive a course grade based on their examination results. This grade will be converted to a letter grade according to the following table:

Numerical grade %Equivalent letter grade
92-100 A  
89-91 A-
85-88 B+
82-84
78-81 B-
75-77 C+
71-74
68-70 C-
65-67 D
Less than 65 F


Students who have received an Unsatisfactory (U) grade in clinical will receive a failing course grade (F) regardless of their lecture examination grade.

Nursing Simulation Laboratory Policies

Students are expected to familiarize themselves with and adhere to the Nursing Simulation Laboratory Policies & Procedures.

Health Clearances

All students must update their physicals and tuberculin skin test each year prior to the first Friday of August for the fall semester and prior to the first Friday of January for the spring semester regardless of when the update is due. Updates must be submitted to Records & Registration. The health clearance must be valid for the entire semester. Students who have not maintained valid health clearances by the above dates each semester will be withdrawn from their Nursing Process courses and their class seats will be forfeited. Students are required to submit documentation by the established deadline date of Influenza vaccination every flu season. This documentation must be presented to Records & Registration prior to the start of each semester. Clinical agencies may ban students without Influenza vaccination access to patients and patient care units.

Note: Students who have not met the deadline dates for background checks, drug screen, AHA-BLS certification, health clearance and flu vaccines will be withdrawn from their Nursing Process courses.

Change in Health Status

Students experiencing a change in health status such as pregnancy, illness, surgery or trauma must notify Records & Registration, the Nursing Office and their lecture and clinical instructors. They must also submit a note from their licensed health care provider, as per the Student Agreement, stating that the student is able to return to class and clinical and is able to carry out the activities required of nursing students including, but not limited to, the safe lifting and turning of patients. This must be submitted to the Nursing Office and the clinical instructor prior to the next clinical session following the change in health status. Students who are on medical disability from their place of employment are responsible to contact the Nursing Chair and their lecture and clinical instructors to make them aware.

AHA-BLS Certification

Students must present valid American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers prior to beginning their first Nursing Process course. This certification must remain current throughout the Nursing Program and be valid at the time of graduation. Proof of current certification must be presented to the clinical instructor each semester.

Background Check/Drug Screening

All RCC Nursing students participating in a clinical experience are required by clinical sites to undergo a criminal background check and drug screening. Students who test positive on the drug screening will be dismissed from the RCC Nursing Program. Additionally, students who are not cleared for the criminal background check will be dismissed from the Program. Students who test positive on the drug screen and/or students who are not cleared for the criminal background check are eligible to reapply once they are able to successfully complete the drug screening and/or have cleared up the issues on their criminal record. Students are solely responsible for the costs for the criminal background check and drug screening. Students must utilize the services of Castle Branch (www.castlebranch.com).

The drug screening follows the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) guidelines and screens for (10) substances as designated in the Substance Abuse Panel 10 (SAP 10). The substances are: Amphetamines, Opiates, Marijuana, Barbiturates, Metabolites, Methadone, Phencyclidine-Propoxyphene, Benzodiazepines, Cocaine metabolites, Methaqualone.

Clinical Lateness/Absence

Students with a clinical absence or lateness will receive a Notification of At Risk for Clinical Failure Contract. Students who are absent or late for clinical may not be able to meet course objectives and are in jeopardy of failing the course.

Compliance with Nursing Program and Agency Policies

It is the student’s responsibility to adhere to all clinical agency and Nursing policies. Failure to do so will result in suspension from, and consequential failure of, the Nursing Process course and/or dismissal from the Nursing Program. Violations will be reviewed by the Nursing Chair and decisions made on a case-by-case basis.

Agencies mandate Influenza vaccination, background checks and drug screening prior to granting access. Cell phone use is not permitted during clinical unless approved by the Instructor.

Clinical Drug Calculations Testing and Progression Policy

Clinical Calculations Examinations are administered in NUR 142, NUR 232 and NUR 242. The student has two opportunities to pass each of these examinations. The minimum passing grade for the Clinical Calculation Examination in NUR 142 is 80%; in NUR 232 is 85%; and in NUR 242 is 90%. A basic non-programmable calculator may be used and can be purchased in the College bookstore or elsewhere for use during calculations and Nursing Process exams. No other calculation devices may be used in the examination setting.

Clinical Calculations Exam opportunity #1 is given in the clinical area. Students who are unsuccessful on the first opportunity are advised to review calculations and seek assistance from the Academic Success Centers (ACS) prior to taking the second test opportunity. Clinical Calculations Exam opportunity #2 may be scheduled in the clinical area before or after clinical hours or may be given in the Testing Center. Students will be notified by the clinical instructor as to the location. Clinical Calculations Exams must be taken no later than April 1st in the spring semester and November 1st in the fall semester. Students who take their second exam in the Testing Center are responsible to notify the clinical instructor upon completion of the test. Individual instructors may not change deadline dates for completion of Clinical Calculation Examinations.

If the required Clinical Calculations Exam is not successfully completed with a minimum passing score by the deadline date, the clinical grade for that rotation, and hence for the course, is ‘I’ (Incomplete). In this situation the student has two options. The student may choose to take NUR 103 the following semester. After completion of NUR 103 with a minimum grade of 75% (C+), the student will then have one opportunity to successfully complete a Clinical Calculations Examination for the course in which they have received an ‘I’ (Incomplete) grade in order to meet course competencies. The student must complete these requirements the semester immediately following the Incomplete grade. If the requirements are not successfully completed in that timeframe, the Nursing Process course grade will convert to an “F.”

The second option available to the student is to accept an “F” in the Nursing Process course and repeat the course on a space-available basis. This option is available only to students taking the Nursing Process course for the first time. Students who choose this option are strongly encouraged to self-remediate and take NUR 103 along with the Nursing Process course.

Students with an ‘I’ (Incomplete) in a Nursing Process course may not progress to the next Nursing Process level. Since successful completion of calculations is required for a satisfactory grade in clinical for NUR 142, NUR 232 and NUR 242, failure to successfully complete the Clinical Calculations Examination after having taken NUR 103 is considered a failed Nursing Process course opportunity. If this was the second unsuccessful attempt at completion of the Nursing Process course, the student may not repeat the course or continue in the Nursing Program.

Academic Appeal

Students requesting an exception to a Nursing policy or procedure, or to any deadline in this policy, must submit a formal typed letter of appeal sent as an email attachment or via the U.S. Postal Service to the Nursing Chair. The appeal must include all of the following:

  • Student’s name, RCC ID #, contact information
  • Course number and section number
  • Names of the lecture and clinical instructors
  • Statement of the request of the exception
  • Rationale for the warrant of the exception
  • Verifiable documentation supporting the request

In concurrence with procedures in the Student Rights and Responsibilities: Policies and Procedures for Maintenance of Public Order and Student Grievance Procedures published by Rockland Community College and available online, this appeal must be processed prior to initiating any other appeal process.

Any part of this policy may be formally appealed based upon extenuating circumstances as per the Academic Appeal Policy.