Nursing

The nursing major is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education to provide an educational program that builds on natural and behavioral sciences and integrates the liberal arts with professional courses. Students complete degree requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.). Graduates are prepared to enter the profession of nursing in a variety of areas and are prepared for graduate education.

The baccalaureate curriculum is based on the belief of the faculty that socialization of nursing students into the profession is a journey that continues throughout and beyond their baccalaureate education. The faculty has adopted “the hero’s journey” as presented by anthropologist Joseph Campbell as a unifying theme for the nursing curriculum.

Additional information is available at www.mtmercy.edu/nursing

Procedure for Admission into the Nursing Major:

Students must complete an application for the nursing major by following the procedures below. (In the spring semester of the first year. Students are required to meet the admission criteria that are most current for the semester in which they wish to be admitted).

  1. Complete the application form for the major. Prior to filing this application the student must:
    1. Have completed or be in the process of completing the following prerequisite courses or their equivalent with a grade of C or above (C- does not count) in: BI 125 Foundations of Biology & Scientific Inquiry I, BI 150 Basic Microbiology, CH 110 Introduction to General Chemistry, NU 111 Call To Adventure I, NU 114 Call To Adventure II, or NU 115 Call to Adventure: Transitions, English Composition, and at least two of the following courses: PS 101 Introductory Psychology, PS 124 Developmental Psychology, CO 101 Oral Communication, SO 122 Introduction To Sociology.
    2. Achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.70 based on a 4.00 scale.
  2. The department uses an online document storage and background check database called Certified Background. This company performs the required background check and stores the necessary documents required for admission to the major. There is a fee paid to the company for this service. Each student is required to register with Certified Background when they are admitted to the major. The following items are required to be loaded into the database by the deadline designated each Fall term:
    1. Physical exam and immunization update
      (physical form is available online at www.mtmercy.edu/nursing-0);
    2. Proof of current Healthcare Provider Basic Cardiac Life Support (CPR);
    3. Proof of current health insurance;
    4. Proof of completion of Certified Nursing Assistant Course;
    5. Proof of completion of Mandatory Reporter Certification (course is available at Mount Mercy); and
    6. Complete background check (to be completed by Certified Background after registering online). Any concerns with background checks will be reviewed on an individual basis.

Fulfillment of these specific requirements for admission does not ensure admission to the Department of Nursing. For those applicants who meet the minimal requirements, the department’s Admissions, Promotion, and Graduation Committee will select the applicants who in its judgment are best qualified physically, emotionally, and scholastically and best meet the standards expected of prospective members of the nursing profession.

The student is responsible for transportation to and from clinical experiences and field trips.

Nursing students may not fulfill prerequisite requirements by taking CLEP exams for credit in place of courses that have been attempted and not successfully completed.

The number of students admitted to the nursing major may be limited due to available faculty and clinical resources. In the event that more students qualify for admission than can be accepted, the Admissions, Promotion, and Graduation Committee will determine the number of students to be admitted.

A student who is not accepted into the nursing major may appeal in accordance with the Academic/Administrative Grievance Procedure for Students as stated in the Good Book.

Students wishing to transfer from another baccalaureate nursing program will be considered on an individual basis. This process begins with a meeting with the chairperson of the department and the application will be considered by the Admissions, Promotion, and Graduation Committee.

Procedure for Continuation in the Major

Once admitted to the Department of Nursing, in order to progress, the student must maintain a C or above (C- does not count) in BI 273 Human Anatomy, BI 274 Human Physiology, PS 124 Developmental Psychology, SO 122 Introduction To Sociology and CO 101 Oral Communication and a C or above (C- does not count) in all nursing courses. The student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.00. The faculty of the nursing department also reserves the right of retaining only those students who in the judgment of the faculty satisfy the requirements of scholarship and health and meet the standards expected of prospective members of the nursing profession.

All nursing courses are expected to be taken in an uninterrupted sequence until completed. If interruptions occur the student must seek readmission to the nursing major. In order to be considered for re-admission to the nursing major following any interruption of progression in the program, the student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.70 or above and submit in writing to the department of nursing the request to re-enter the nursing program. Each application for re-admission will be reviewed on an individual basis by the department’s Admissions, Promotion, and Graduation Committee.

Specific guidelines for the readmission procedure are described in the Nursing Student Handbook. A student may only repeat a course at the discretion of The Admissions, Promotion, and Graduation Committee based on the student’s application for readmission to the major. Students who are academically unsuccessful in a nursing course may repeat the course once; however, only one nursing course may be repeated.

Additional details about policies and procedures related to the Department of Nursing may be found in the current edition of the Nursing Student Handbook on the department’s web site.

Career Opportunities

Hospitals, public health agencies, and various other community health services represent the major career openings for graduates. See the Graduate section of this Catalog for more information on Graduate programs offered at Mount Mercy.

Prerequisites

BI 125Foundations of Biology & Scientific Inquiry I3
BI 150Basic Microbiology4.5
BI 273Human Anatomy4.5
BI 274Human Physiology3
CH 110Introduction to General Chemistry4.5
CO 101Oral Communication3
Writing course4
PS 101Introductory Psychology3
PS 124Developmental Psychology3
SO 122Introduction To Sociology3
Total Hours35.5

Major

For Four-Year (pre-licensure) Nursing Students entering Mount Mercy in the Fall of 2011 and later: Admission to the major plus:

NU 111Call To Adventure I0.5
NU 114Call To Adventure II0.5
NU 224Nursing Skills for the Journey3
NU 230Pharmacotherapeutics3
NU 232Holistic Human Assessment4
NU 240Disease Paths4
NU 260Pathways To Professional Nursing5
NU 320Essentials of Nutrition2
NU 330Beginnings: Maternal Newborn Nursing3
NU 332Challenges Along the Journey: Nursing Interventions for Clients with Mental Illness3
NU 350Challenges Along the Journey: Interventions for Core Body System Alterations6
NU 352Challenges Along the Journey: Intervention for Alterations in Regulatory and Protective Mechanisms6
NU 411Professional Preparation1
NU 465Integrating Journey: Complex Concepts and Clinical Immersion5
NU 470Population Based Nursing3
NU 471Professional Aspects of Nursing4
Total Hours53

Academic Requirements

Students must maintain a C or above (C- does not count) in all nursing courses, and maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.00.

Courses

NU 110 Exploring Complementary Therapies: 1 semester hour

This elective course offers students the opportunity to explore various alternative therapies that may be encoutered when determining treatment options for oneself or another. The course is designed to inform the student of current modalities available in the community for persons seeking to take greater responsibility for their health status. Reflective judgement will be required as one responds to the theory and practice of alternative therapies thus enabling the student to draw conclusions that are holistic and accurate. This is a course in directed studies with reading found on the Internet for each topic covered. One field trip is scheduled.

NU 111 Call To Adventure I: 0.5 semester hours

Education of nursing students can be understood as a journey toward integration of the values, knowledge, skills, meaning and experiences that will sustain the future practitioner. This course is a "call to adventrue" that provides the opportunity to embark on that journey.

NU 114 Call To Adventure II: 0.5 semester hours

Education of nursing students can be understood as a journey toward integration of the values, knowledge, skills, meaning and experiences that will sustain the future practitioner. This course is a "call to adventure" that provides the opportunity to embark on that journey. NU 114 is a continuation of NU 111.

NU 115 Call to Adventure: Transitions: 1 semester hour

Education of nursing students involves the reflection of values that can be understood as a journey toward the integration of knowledge, truth, meaning, and service for the well-being of all humanity according to the sisters of Mercy's mission. Reflection of the role of the Sisters of Mercy provides students with a foundation to develop a philosophy that instills a commitment of services to local, national and world populations. This course is a "call to adventure" that provides transfer students the opportunity to embark on their journey.

NU 211 Medical Terminology: 1 semester hour

This self-directed elective course provides an overview of terminology used in the health professions. The course is recommended for students who have not taken NU 111 and for student interested in the health professions. Students will independently study a text of terminology and progress through a series of assignment and a final examination.

NU 224 Nursing Skills for the Journey: 3 semester hours

This course provides theoretical and clinical application content for nursing skills. Students will have the opportunity for hands-on experiences, working independently and closely with faculty and peers learning from a variety of teaching methodologies. Upon completion of this course students will be expected to perform selected nursing skills safely and accurately under the direct supervision in the clinical setting. Equipped with skills and knowledge, students are empowered to continue their journey with confidence and competence. Prerequisite: 75 hour CNA course and NU 232.

NU 230 Pharmacotherapeutics: 3 semester hours

This course provides an introduction to the broad field of pharmacology. Several concepts will be covered with particular emphasis on pharmacotherapeutics, the use of drugs for therapeutic purposes. Major drug groups will be addressed in relation to specific drug prototypes, actions, therapeutic and adverse effects, uses, interactions, contraindictions, methods of administration, and consumer information. Principles of safe administration of medications, including drug calculations, will be reinforced. In addition, drug effects on specific populations will be addressed. Prerequisite: NU 224, NU 232, NU 240, NU 260, or permission of instructor.

NU 232 Holistic Human Assessment: 4 semester hours

This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform assessments of humans as holistic persons. Lecture will provide theory to guide the students in developing subjective and objective assessment skills. Clinical application in the acute care setting will focus on assessment, commmunication and nursing skills. Prerequisite: admission to major.

NU 240 Disease Paths: 4 semester hours

Pathophysiology is the study of altered physiological functioning caused by disease. This course provides an overview of the biologic basis for disease in adults and children. The focus will be on the etiological factors, pathogenesis, and clinical manifestations of altered physiological processes. Students will examine how altered physiological functioning impacts the individual's personal journey. Prerequisite: NU 232, NU 224, and BI 274.

NU 242 Concepts in Baccalaureate Nursing Education: 4 semester hours

This course is designed for Advance R.N.-B.S.N. students seeking a baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing. The purpose of the course is to provide a transition between the student's basic nursing education, associate degree or diploma and nursing education. Students will explore the philosophy of nursing along with studying the current issues in nursing practice and nursing education. The focus of the course is the nursing process. Concept development will also be studied. Students will also complete a family assessment, study cultural diversity in the community as well as participate in service/volunteer activities. Prerequisite: Current and valid Iowa R.N. licensure.

NU 260 Pathways To Professional Nursing: 5 semester hours

This course facilitates the integration of knowledge for the liberal arts, sciences and nursing as the foundation for the professional nursing practice. A variety of clinical experiences within the health care environment will be encountered as the students journey across the threshold toward professional nursing. Prerequisites: NU 224 and NU 232.

NU 320 Essentials of Nutrition: 2 semester hours

This course will provide the student with essential foundational nutrition background and the knowledge necessary for evaluation of the nutritional status of clients across the lifespan. This course will focus on nutritional applications and intervention for health promotion and disease/illness. Prerequisites: NU 224, NU 232, NU 240, and NU 260.

NU 330 Beginnings: Maternal Newborn Nursing: 3 semester hours

This course focuses on the nursing care of families as they journey through the childbearing experiences. Junior level nursing students are introduced to the normal process of pregnancy and delivery in addition to typical complications. Knowledge acquired from this course and previous learning experiences is applied in health care settings. Prerequisites: NU 224, NU 232, NU 240 and NU 260.

NU 332 Challenges Along the Journey: Nursing Interventions for Clients with Mental Illness: 3 semester hours

This course is designed to prepare the student to provide competent nursing care to patients experiencing mental illness. Concepts will include etiological theories, diagnostic terminology and criteria, and therapeutic nursing interventions. Therapeutic use of self and the nursing process are utilized in providing care to individuals with mental illness in a variety of settings. A field trip to the Mental Health Institute in Independence, IA, will proceed a historical perspective on treatment of mental illness. Prerequisites: NU 224, NU 232, NU 240 and NU 260.

NU 350 Challenges Along the Journey: Interventions for Core Body System Alterations: 6 semester hours

This course will prepare students to meet the challenges associated with caring for adults and children experiencing acute and chronic illness involving core body systems. Nursing interventions for persons across the lifespan will be a central theme. The focus will be on nursing interventions for persons with alterations involving respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, genital/reproductive, and gastrointestinal systems, as well as those interventions required for persons experiencing multi-system failure. Relevant history and theories, standards of care, prevention, current research, and legal-ethical and end-of-life implications will be addressed as applicable for each alteration. The impact of the environment, culture, and technology will also be considered. Prerequisites: NU230, NU 232, NU 240, and NU 260.

NU 352 Challenges Along the Journey: Intervention for Alterations in Regulatory and Protective Mechanisms: 6 semester hours

This course will prepare students to meet the challenges associated with caring for adults and children experiencing acute and chronic illnesses involving alteration in regulatory and protective mechanisms. The initial focus will be on health promotion, children's response to illness and family support. Nursing interventions for persons across the lifespan will be a central theme. Interventions for persons with alterations in cell functions, fluid, electrolyte, and acid-base balance, inflammation, immunity, and infections, as well as those required for alterations in the endocrine, renal, musculoskeletal systems will be included. Interventions will be discussed in theory and applied in a variety of clinical settings. Relevant history and theories, standards of care, prevention, current research, and legal-ethical and end-of-life implications will be addressed as applicable for each alteration. The impact for the environment , culture, and technology will also be considered. Prerequisites: NU 230, NU 232, NU 240 and NU 260.

NU 360 Nursing Clinical Internship: 1 semester hour

This elective course will provide nursing students with oversight by a Mount Mercy faculty member while they participte in an established internship offered by a health care facility in Iowa. The student will be permitted to perform as a nursing student during the internship starting at the Junior level under the supervision of the clinical agency staff. Students will be expected to apply for the internship on their own and verify that they have been accepted by the clinical agency.

NU 405 Nursing Program: 6.5 semester hours

Escrow credits for RN-BSN Program.

NU 406 Nursing Program: 6.5 semester hours

Escrow credits for RN-BSN Program.

NU 411 Professional Preparation: 1 semester hour

In anticipation for graduating and taking the NCLEX-RN licensure examination, students will work with the faculty to develop and carry out individual plans for preparing for the exam. In addition, the students will be introduced to the responsibilities associated with maintaining a professional license and communicating with professional licensing boards and organizations. To be completed in the final semester of the nursing program.

NU 422 Clinical Preceptorship: 2 semester hours

Students will work with a professional nurse to learn the specific duties and challenges for daily responsibilities of the nurse. Through this preceptorship, the student and nurse will collaborate to identify opportunities for the student to provide direct patient care, to enhance critical thinking skills and to hone clinical skills to be well-prepared for passing the NCLEX-RN and beginning one's first professional role. Prerequisites: NU 330, NU 332, NU 350, NU 352.

NU 425 Pathophysiology,Assessment&Genetics RNs: 3 semester hours

Building on the educational foundation and experiences of the registered nurse student this course focuses on pathological and genetic conditions encountered in clinical assessment and practice across the life span. Emphasis is placed on regulatory and compensatory mechanisms as they relate to commonly occurring diseases. Specific disease processes are examined incorporating the role of development physiology, embryologic, genetic, and environmental factors in the epidemiology of disease.

NU 441 Independent Study: 1 semester hour

independent studies are open to students applyint to the nursing major and whose qualifications and academic achievemnets meet with faculty approval.

NU 442 Independent Study: 2 semester hours

independent studies are open to students applyint to the nursing major and whose qualifications and academic achievemnets meet with faculty approval.

NU 443 Independent Study: 3 semester hours

independent studies are open to students applyint to the nursing major and whose qualifications and academic achievemnets meet with faculty approval.

NU 465 Integrating Journey: Complex Concepts and Clinical Immersion: 5 semester hours

This course will prepare students to provide care for adult and geriatric clients with complex needs. Students will apply curricular content in a 192 hour clinical immersion experience. The focus will be in the integration of knowledge and skills required for client situations involving multiple system pathologies and/or critical incidents. The classroom portion of the course is three hours per week and will be conducted in a dicussion format using evolving case scenarios that require students to utilize high level clinical reasoning. Prerequisites: NU 230, NU 320, NU 330, NU 350, NU 352.

NU 470 Population Based Nursing: 3 semester hours

This course is specifically designed for senior level baccalaureate nursing students who have completed their basic preparation for registered nurse licensure and advance R.N.-B.S.N. students. This course will focus on population-based concepts and application to practice. The course will explore global health care issues and address influences on care of populations. A focus on evidence based nursing practice will also be included in the course. The course will include both theory and clinical components. Prerequisite: senior level status Prerequisites: NU 320, NU 330, NU 350 and NU 352.

NU 471 Professional Aspects of Nursing: 4 semester hours

This course is organized around issues that are key to the success of professional nurses in today's constantly changing health care environment. This course is specifically designed for senior level baccalaureate nursing students and Advance RN-BSN students who have completed their basic preparation for registered nurse licensure. Course content will address leadership and management, professional development, and legal and workplace issues. The course includes both theory and clinical components. Clinical experiences will provide opportunities for applicaiton of theory content in a variety of community-based settings. Prerequisites: NU 320, NU 330, NU 350 and NU 352.