The School of Nursing and Health Professions (SONHP) began in the 1940s as a cooperative effort with the Sisters of Mercy in order for registered nurses, from nearby St. Mary's Hospital, to earn their baccalaureate degrees. The School of Nursing and Health Professions became the first private nursing program in California, established in 1954 and accredited by the National League for Nursing when the first students graduated in 1958.
The School has been continuously accredited since that time from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The School is committed to advancing the preparation of professional nurses within the Jesuit academic tradition: a strong liberal arts and science foundation coupled with professional knowledge in the discipline of nursing.
The curriculum designed for nursing majors at the University of San Francisco is based on a conceptual framework and reflects the philosophy that a professional nurse needs a liberal background for professional development and personal growth. The program prepares men and women for beginning positions in nursing, provides the means for personal and professional advancement, and qualifies them for progression into programs that offer advanced degrees.
The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation).
The program is also accredited by California State Board of Registered Nursing (CABRN); Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) and are eligible for the California Public Health Certificate.
Vision, Mission, and Values
The School of Nursing and Health Professions vision, mission, and values are written and congruent with those of the parent institution. The philosophy and expected outcomes are consistent with professional nursing standards and guidelines for the preparation of nursing professionals. The Vision, Mission and Values provide the philosophical basis for the nursing education program.
School of Nursing and Health Professions Vision
The School of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of San Francisco advances the mission of the university by preparing professional nurses who provide a moral compass to transform health care in order to promote equity and positively influence quality, delivery, and access to care.
School of Nursing and Health Professions Mission
The mission of the School of Nursing and Health Professions is to advance nursing education within the context of the Jesuit tradition. The school uses dynamic and innovative approaches in undergraduate and graduate nursing education to prepare professionals for current and future practice domains. The goal is to effectively link classroom and clinical experiences with expectations for competence, compassion, and justice in health care within the context of the highest academic standards.
School of Nursing and Health Professions Values
Congruent with the core values of the university, the values of the School of Nursing and Health Professions are to:
- Create and maintain an environment that promotes excellence in the health professions' academic endeavor based on: mutual respect, transparency, collaboration, professionalism, creativity, diversity, cultural sensitivity and spirituality
- Demonstrate the personal values of: integrity, academic excellence, respect for self and others, compassion and caring, personal growth, responsibility, and accountability, professionalism, a passion for justice, and personal health and well-being
- Positively influence nursing practice and health care environments by promoting: health and wellness, holistic, patient-centered care, patient advocacy, a spirit of inquiry and evidence-based practice, safety and quality improvement, cost effective care, emerging technologies balanced with a humanistic approach, professional and ethical decision-making, increased access to care, especially for vulnerable populations and, lifelong learning
The BSN curriculum is developed around a unique conceptual framework, the Vision, Mission, and Values. The conceptual framework is layered with transition theory and symptom management and enables the BSN student to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes consistent with the profession of nursing. The nursing process is represented by the strong foundation in clinical knowledge pertaining to assessment, diagnosis, skills, interventions and management of physiological and psychological symptoms in a culturally sensitive way among patients in a variety of settings.
The BSN Curriculum (Commencing Fall 2009)
BSN students in their first semester at USF will be introduced to nursing at USF in a 1 credit course, NURS 120 Nursing in the Jesuit Tradition and the following semester they will be introduced to the profession of nursing in a 1 credit course NURS 170, Introduction to Professional Nursing.
These two courses as well as anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and general psychology must be successfully completed (grade of C or better) before enrolling in the first clinical semester. The nursing semesters are offered in a consecutive manner throughout the eight semester nursing program, which includes the nursing major courses and the university Learning Core courses. Adherence to the undergraduate curriculum pattern will ensure completion of the nursing program in eight (8) semesters, 128 credits.
Additional Requirement (CA BRN)
The California Board of Registered Nursing requires that before nursing graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX, they must successfully complete courses (earn a "C" or better) in the basic sciences and communication as well as nursing. At USF, aside from the Nursing requirements and required support courses, students must successfully complete a course in group, verbal, and written communication. These courses include Public Speaking (RHET 103), Advanced Written Communication (RHET 120), and Introduction to Sociology (SOC 150). These courses are met by the core curriculum requirements of the university.
Because of the uniqueness of the School of Nursing and Health Professions curriculum, clinical courses are not graded "A" through "F" as most courses are, but graded "S" (Satisfactory) or "U" (Unsatisfactory). Clinical courses in nursing will be counted toward a nursing student's full-time status. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to make the Dean's Honor Roll.
The nursing faculty has adopted the Quality, Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) competencies as major pre-licensure threads in the BSN curriculum in order to promote improved quality and safety of the health care system. These competencies include: teamwork and collaboration, evidenced-based practice, quality improvement, informatics, safety, patient-centered care. In addition, the nine essentials outlined in the AACN Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice document provide a framework for baccalaureate nursing education. These include: liberal education, leadership and organization, evidence based practice, information management, health care policy and finance, inter-professional communication, prevention and population health, and general nursing practice. The proposed BSN curriculum also adheres to the Standards of Competent Performance mandated by the CABRN Excerpt From California Code of Regulations Title 16 - Chapter 14. A registered nurse shall be considered to be competent when he/she consistently demonstrates the ability to transfer scientific knowledge from social, biological and physical sciences in applying the nursing process.
At the completion of the Bachelor of Science in nursing program at the University of San Francisco, the graduate will:
- Work collaboratively as a member of the interdisciplinary healthcare team, utilizing effective written and oral communication, and professional behaviors to foster shared decision making and accountability among team members for patient care outcomes.
- Synthesize data, research information, and clinical expertise to develop, implement, and evaluate patient care protocols and guidelines for clinical practice that achieve optimal client outcomes, improve access to care, and manage healthcare costs.
- Participate in critical analyses of systems and utilize data to continuously monitor patient outcomes and to inform decisions for change that improve the quality of care delivered to individuals, families and communities.
- Advocate for social justice, equitable access to health care, and policy change through political action.
- Demonstrate health care technology and information literacy to access, monitor, manage, and communicate data to plan, deliver, and evaluate direct and indirect patient care to improve healthcare outcomes.
- Demonstrate knowledge of regulatory requirements to employ safeguards to protect the privacy of patients and their healthcare data.
- Employ knowledge of human factors implicated in adverse patient outcomes to continuously analyze the delivery and outcomes of care within the context of the healthcare system to identify and minimize patient risk, harm, and error.
- Design, coordinate, implement, and evaluate population-sensitive care to individuals, families, and communities utilizing primary, secondary and tertiary prevention strategies in a variety of environments.
- Incorporate caring and compassionate behaviors to demonstrate advocacy and respect for patient choice and values that are ethically and legally grounded.
Nursing students must earn a grade of “C” or better in all nursing courses (NURS 1XX – NURS 4XX) and nursing support courses (Anatomy and Lab, Physiology and Lab, Microbiology and Lab, and General Psychology) in order to progress in the nursing program. Any student who earns less than a grade of “C” in any of the above courses on his/her first attempt must repeat the course and earn a grade of “C” or better on his/her second attempt in order to progress within the nursing curriculum. A course in the School of Nursing and Health Professions may be repeated only once.
The California Board of Registered Nurses requires students to complete Public Speaking, Written Communication, and Sociology with an earned grade of “C” or better. Any student who earns less than a grade of “C” in any of these courses on his/her first attempt must repeat the course and earn a grade of “C” or better on his/her second attempt. Repeating Public Speaking and Sociology will not keep you from progressing in the nursing curriculum. Written Communication must be completed prior to Junior 1 (Nursing Module #3).
Sophomore Progression Policy
To promote nursing program excellence, evaluation data are used to drive the BSN curriculum with the goal of achieving consistently high NCLEX-RN pass rates. Hence, there is an established program-wide testing and progression policy, developed by the School of Nursing and Health Professions Academic Standards Committee and approved by the Faculty. The policy states: Students must earn a minimum score of 850 on the HESI Fundamentals specialty exam to progress in the nursing curriculum. Students who are unsuccessful in achieving the minimum score must take and pass the review course titled "Fundamentals of Nursing Review (1 unit)" offered over intersession and summer terms. During the course, students will have an opportunity to retake the Fundamental specialty test and must earn an 850 or better to progress in the nursing program. The review course may be taken a maximum of twice. For more information, please review the detailed policy available on the Pre-licensure Student portal.
Acceptance as a transfer student in the School of Nursing and Health Professions is based on academic achievement, available clinical placement, and individual advising. Admission is highly competitive.
Students may transfer from a community college or a four-year academic institution, into USF.
After a potential transfer student has applied to the University, all prior course work will be reviewed by the University to determine transferable credit. Students desiring a career in Nursing may take courses such as Anatomy, Physiology, and Microbiology plus labs for each, and General Psychology, prior to application to USF at another institution. These courses may by transferred into the Nursing program providing the student has earned a grade of "C" or better in each course. If, however, a student earns below a "C" in any one of these courses, the student must earn a "C" or better when the course is repeated. Students who earn less than a "C" in any two (2) of these courses, or have less than a 3.0 transferable GPA, will not be considered for admission to the School of Nursing and Health Professions.
Mental and Physical Qualifications for Professional Nursing
The following are MINIMUM mental and physical qualifications for admissions to the professional nursing program:
- Frequently work in a standing position and frequent walking.
- Lift and transfer patients up to 6 inches from a stooped position, then push or pull the weight up to 3 feet.
- Lift and transfer patients from a stooped to an upright position to accomplish bed-to-chair and chair-to-bed transfers.
- Physically apply up to 10 lbs. of pressure to bleeding sites or in performing CPR.
- Respond and react immediately to auditory instructions/requests/monitor equipment and perform auditory auscultation without auditory impediments.
- Physically perform up to a twelve-hour clinical laboratory experience.
- Perform close and distance visual activities involving objects, persons and paperwork, as well as discriminate depth and color perception.
- Discriminate between sharp/dull and hot/cold when using hands.
- Perform mathematical calculation for medication preparation and administration.
- Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing using appropriate grammar vocabulary and work usage.
- Make appropriate and timely decisions under stressful situations.
All students of the School of Nursing and Health Professions are expected to meet these qualifications and successfully complete other course requirements. Individuals applying for admission to the School of Nursing and Health Professions should consider their eligibility in light of these qualifications and assess their ability to meet these qualifications.
In carrying out the nondiscrimination policy of the School of Nursing and Health Professions with regards to students and applicants with disabilities, the School will endeavor to make reasonable modifications and otherwise reasonably accommodate students and applicants with disabilities. Students with disabilities should consider their ability to meet the above qualifications with reasonable accommodation. Any requests for accommodation will be evaluated by nursing faculty, with representation from outside the USF School of Nursing and Health Professions as appropriate.
The courses in the nursing major extend over six of the eight semesters. These courses are arranged in a prescribed sequence and each block of courses must be taken concurrently and passed successfully with a "C" or better in order for the student to proceed to the next level of courses.
The nursing curriculum is integrated, progressing along a life span continuum. This approach to learning allows the student to progress through the nursing program along a path similar to that of the growth and development of individuals. The initial courses that students take are N120 Nursing in the Jesuit Tradition I and N170 Intro to Professional Nursing Practice. These two courses encourage engagement into the university and the SONHP as well as provide foundational information to the nursing program and profession. Students must have successfully completed the nursing support courses of anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and general psychology before enrolling in their first nursing module.
The pre-licensure course work for the nursing curriculum is divided into didactic and clinical courses. Clinical courses also include time in the nursing Learning Resource Center (LRC) and the Nursing Simulation Center (Sim Lab). Students are placed in a variety of clinical settings including hospitals, clinics, public health, and a variety of community agencies to apply what they have learned in their didactic classes, the nursing LRC, and Sim Lab.
The 128-credit program meets University Core Curriculum requirements as reflected in the following:
1. Core Curriculum Requirements (44 credits):
Area A: Foundation Communications (8 credits)
- Public Speaking (4 credits)
- Advanced Writing/Composition (4 credits)
Area B: Math and Sciences (8 credits)
- Statistical Reasoning (4 credits)
- Additional requirements met through nursing science requirements.
Area C: Humanities, Literature and History (8 credits)
Area D: Mission: Philosophy, Theology and Ethics (12 credits)
Area E: Social Sciences (4 credits)
met by General Psychology
Area F: Fine and Performing Arts (4 credits)
2. Nursing Pre-Licensure Requirements
- NURS - 120 Nursing in the Jesuit Tradition I
- NURS - 170 Introduction to Professional Nursing Practice
- NURS - 220 Applied Pathophysiology and Pharmacology I
- NURS - 221 Essentials of Pharmacology: Principles and Concepts
- NURS - 222 Applied Assessment and Nursing Fundamentals Across the Lifespan I: Health and Wellness
- NURS - 225 Clinical Lab I: Applied Assessment in Health and Wellness
- NURS - 270 Nutrition
- NURS - 271 Applied Pathophysiology and Pharmacology II
- NURS - 272 Applied Assessment and Nursing Fundamentals Across the Lifespan I: Alterations in Health and Illne
- NURS - 275 Clinical Lab II: Alterations in Health
- NURS - 320 Community and Mental Health Nursing
- NURS - 321 Health Care Systems I: Nursing Leadership within Complex Adaptive Systems
- NURS - 322 Evidence-Based Inquiry (formerly NURS 273)
- NURS - 325 Clinical Lab III: Community and Mental Health Nursing
- NURS - 370 Medical-Surgical Nursing I: Management of Comprehensive Adult Patient Care
- NURS - 371 Medical-Surgical Nursing I: Management of Comprehensive Adult Patient Care
- NURS - 375 Clinical Lab IV: Medical-Surgical Nursing Management of Comprehensive Adult Patient Care
- NURS - 420 Women's Health
- NURS - 421 Medical-Surgical Nursing II: Nursing Care of Children
- NURS - 428 Clinical Lab V: Medical-Surgical Nursing - Nursing Care of Women & Children
- NURS - 470 Nursing in the Jesuit Tradition II
- NURS - 471 Complex Care Across the Lifespan
- NURS - 475 Clinical Lab VI: Complex Care Across the Lifespan
3. Required Support Courses (16 credits)
Twelve Credits of Sciences
- BIOL - 113 Human Anatomy
- BIOL - 114 Laboratory in Human Anatomy
- BIOL - 115 Survey of Human Physiology
- BIOL - 116 Laboratory in Survey of Human Physiology
- BIOL - 134 Microbiology
- BIOL - 135 Laboratory in Microbiology
Eight credits of Psychology
- PSYC - 101 General Psychology
4. Additional Requirement (CA BRN)
The California Board of Registered Nursing requires that before nursing graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX, they must successfully complete courses (earn a "C" or better) in the basic sciences and communication as well as nursing. At USF, aside from the Nursing requirements and required support courses, students must successfully complete a course in group, verbal, and written communication. These courses include Public Speaking (RHET 103), Advanced Written Communication (RHET 120), and Introduction to Sociology (SOC 150). Many of these courses are met by the core curriculum requirements of the university.
As part of the preparations for entering the clinical laboratories, students will find it necessary to complete the following health requirements and submit proof of results to the nursing office.
- Physical Review
- Tdap Booster---This is a Tetanus booster that must include Diptheria and Pertussis.
- Varicella, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B titers: Only positive titers indicating immunity will be accepted to complete this requirement.
- 2-Step Negative PPD: (purified protein derivative (PPD) is a tuberculin skin-test). A baseline PPD testing uses the two-step method.
- Annual Flu Shot
CPR Certification - BLS
All School of Nursing and Health Professions students must to have a valid Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification - BLS. The CPR certification must include prevention and recognition of cardiovascular disease, infant child and adult CPR, 1 and 2 person rescue, AED use, and foreign body airway management. In addition, each semester students must provide current certification as this is a requirement for entry into the clinical laboratory experience. Students are responsible for renewal of their CPR certification. Only American Heart Association certification is acceptable.
Background Checks and Drug Screening
Agencies must provide a safe environment for their patients/clients and require that the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions require background checks and drug screening to be completed on each student prior to the first clinical laboratory experience.
The background check and drug screening are requested on-line and the results are shared with clinical agencies at their request prior to student interaction with their patients/clients.
Students as well as other healthcare workers are required to maintain as confidential all those matters pertaining to the patient. Discussion of the patient with others not involved in the patient's care is inappropriate and unprofessional. Patient privacy and rights must be protected
Students are responsible for their own transportation to clinical agencies. It is important to plan ahead in securing transportation to and from clinical areas. USF is not responsible or liable for accidents.
Because of the uniqueness of the School of Nursing and Health Professions curriculum, clinical courses are not graded "A" through "F" as most courses are, but graded "S" (Satisfactory) Or "U" (Unsatisfactory). Typically, only courses graded "A" through "F" are counted towards a student's full-time status. However, clinical courses in nursing will be counted toward a nursing student's full-time status. In addition, both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to make the Dean's Honor Roll. A full-time undergraduate nursing student must be enrolled for twelve or more credits per semester
Unsafe Clinical Practice
Definition: Any act, practice or omission during clinical practice that fails to conform to the accepted standards of the nursing profession which may directly or indirectly cause physiological and/or emotional harm to others.
If a student's performance is deemed "unsafe" he/she may be removed from the clinical area or reassigned duties/supervision to protect the client. Students who are evaluated as “unsafe” may be required to develop and complete a performance improvement plan or may immediately be assigned an unsatisfactory grade for the course depending on the egregiousness of the event.
Integrity is absolutely essential to the practice of professional nursing. Evidence of deliberate dishonesty is unacceptable and will result in immediate failure of the course.
Safe clinical performance may include, but is not limited to the following behaviors:
- Preparation for clinical assignments according to course requirements.
- Assessment and evaluation of a patient's physical and/or emotional status.
- Provision of care, which may be required to stabilize a patient's condition or prevent complications.
- Prompt reporting of significant patient information to appropriate person(s).
- Provision of clear, accurate and complete verbal and/or written information to the appropriate person(s) regarding the patient's condition, treatment or nursing care.
- Administration of medications and/or treatments in a responsible manner and according to the established standards of practice at the clinical agency.
- Demonstration of the application of previously learned skills and principles in providing nursing care.
- Compliance with institutional policies and procedures in implementing nursing care.
- Practice within educational level, experience, and/or responsibilities while in the role of the student nurse.
NOTE: Students may not drop or withdraw from any clinical course if their performance has been deemed unsafe. They will receive an immediate grade of “Unsatisfactory" for the course and be removed from the clinical.
Nursing faculty will utilize the following procedure related to unsafe practice in the clinical setting by a nursing student:
- Provide detailed, progressive, written evaluation on Academic Improvement Form, in a timely manner, share this with the student and encourage the student to sign the form.
- Clearly identify problems with failure to meet standards for safe practice as outlined in clinical syllabus.
- Document specific recommendations for achieving student improvement in collaboration with student.
- Provide definitions of expectations of the clinical that are not being met.
- Communicate with the Department Chair to inform them of potential student problems and seek consultation and support.
Initiate a Learning Resource Center Student Referral Form (BSN Nursing Student Handbook - Appendix G) if the problem is related to skills weakness. This provides the student with the opportunity to improve psychomotor skills. In general, the skills deficiency should be corrected within one week of the initiation of the form.