Nursing


major-nursing

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degree is designed as a four-year nursing program. In the first two years, students in the pre-nursing track complete the core curriculum and pre-nursing science requirements and then apply to the Nursing major. Upon successful admission to nursing, students spend years three and four taking almost exclusively nursing courses.

The BSN curriculum is based on Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2008). Graduates of Ave Maria University’s BSN program will be equipped with the knowledge and leadership skills requisite to advance the profession and assist patients, families, and communities in the management of care. These concepts unify the curriculum and are the focus of each clinical course. Each course addresses the roles of the nurse, specifically the nurse as a member of the profession, provider of care and leader/manager of care.  The curriculum incorporates professional standards such as the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics, the Institute of Medicine Recommendations, the Joint Commission on Accreditation Standards, and Quality and Safety Education in Nursing (QSEN), to the extent that these are in conformity with Catholic biomedical principles and applications.

Limited Access Program

Nursing (BSN) is a degree program that requires a supplemental application due to Limited Access. A Limited Access Program is one where both program admission and registration in program classes are restricted to a certain number of students meeting pre-determined criteria and maximum capacity is based on available resources. Not all applicants may be accepted. AMU offers alternate, related degrees including Biology, Health Science, and Exercise Science, which are not limited access programs.

Explore the Nursing Program

The concepts of critical thinking, evidence-based practice, communication, collaboration, professional leadership, cultural humility, professional values, and information technology are introduced in the first nursing course and emphasized throughout the curriculum. Nursing courses focus on enhancing the nursing students’ critical thought process. Evidence-based nursing practice is introduced in the first nursing course and emphasized throughout the curriculum.

Students intending to major in Nursing will proceed through the full sequence of the core curriculum.  The Nursing Program shares the ideals and aims of liberal education which permeate the entire university.  The core provides an indispensable foundation for the study of the nursing.  The Nursing Program values the core especially for providing a broad orientation to the unity of truth, the understanding of the human person as expressed in the Catholic intellectual tradition, and the just ordering of society as developed in Western Civilization.  In addition, the collective coursework of the core inculcates the skills and habits necessary for studies within the craft of nursing, such as critical thinking, evidence-based practice, communication, mathematical and scientific analysis, and above all, prudence.

The nursing program at Ave Maria University adheres to the Charter for Health Care Workers issued by the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers (1995).  The nursing program should build upon the Christian understanding of the human person as taught in the core curriculum.  It should highlight the care of the sick and suffering as a participation in the love of Christ.  It should teach and reinforce principles and conclusions of Catholic biomedical ethics.  It should promote the true health of the human person.  It should foster dedication and excellence in the skills, knowledge, and habits necessary for the nursing profession.  The nature of nursing as service to the life of the human person demands such dedication and excellence.

The nursing program at Ave Maria University adheres to the Charter for Health Care Workers issued by the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers (1995).  The following excerpts express the mission of nursing within, first, the ecclesial mission of the care of the human person and, second, the requisite moral principles and applications:

1.  The work of health care persons is a very valuable service to life. It expresses a profoundly human and Christian commitment, undertaken and carried out not only as a technical activity but also as one of dedication to and love of neighbor. It is “a form of Christian witness.”[1] “Their profession calls for them to be guardians and servants of human life” (Evangelium Vitae 89). Life is a primary and fundamental good of the human person. Caring for life, then, expresses, first and foremost, a truly human activity in defense of physical life.

It is to this that professional or voluntary health care workers devote their activity. These are doctors, nurses, hospital chaplains, men and women religious, administrators, voluntary care givers for those who suffer, those involved in the diagnosis, treatment and recovery of human health. The principal and symbolic expression of “taking care” is their vigilant and caring presence at the sickbed. It is here that medical and nursing activity expresses its lofty human and Christian value. …

3.  … To speak of mission is to speak of vocation:[8] the response to a transcendent call which takes shape in the suffering and appealing countenance of the patient in his care. To care lovingly for a sick person is to fulfill a divine mission, which alone can motivate and sustain the most disinterested, available and faithful commitment, and gives it a priestly value.”[9] “When he presents the heart of his redemptive mission, Jesus says: ‘I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly’ (Jn 10:10)…. It is precisely in this ‘life’ that all the aspects and stages of human life achieve their full significance” (Evangelium Vitae 1). …

5.  … It follows that the therapeutic ministry of health care workers is a sharing in the pastoral[21] and evangelizing[22] work of the Church. Service to life becomes a ministry of salvation, that is, a message that activates the redeeming love of Christ. “Doctors, nurses, other health care workers, voluntary assistants, are called to be the living image of Christ and of his Church in loving the sick and the suffering:”[23] witnesses of “the gospel of life.”[24]

Service to life is such only if it is faithful to the moral law, which expresses exigently its value and its tasks. Besides technico-professional competence, the health care worker has ethical responsibilities. “The ethical law, founded on respect for the dignity of the person and on the rights of the sick, should illuminate and govern both the research phase and the application of the findings.”[25] In fidelity to the moral law, the health care worker actuates his fidelity to the human person whose worth is guaranteed by the law, and to God, whose wisdom is expressed by the law.

6.  He draws his behavioral directives from that field of normative ethics which nowadays is called bioethics. Here, with vigilant and careful attention, the magisterium of the Church has intervened, with reference to questions and disputes arising from the biomedical advances and from the changing cultural ethos. This bioethical magisterium is for the health care worker, Catholic or otherwise, a source of principles and norms of conduct which enlighten his conscience and direct him—especially in the complexity of modern bio-technical possibilities—in his choices, always respecting life and its dignity.

7. The continuous progress of medicine demands of the health care worker a thorough preparation and ongoing formation so as to ensure, also by personal studies, the required competence and fitting professional expertise.  Side-by-side with this, they should be given a solid “ethico-religious formation,”[26] which “promotes in them an appreciation of human and Christian values and refines their moral conscience.” There is need “to develop in them an authentic faith and a true sense of morality, in a sincere search for a religious relationship with God, in whom all ideals of goodness and truth are based.”[27]

“All health care workers should be taught morality and bioethics.”[28] To achieve this, those responsible for their formation should endeavor to have chairs and courses in bioethics put in place.  (no. 7) …

9.  The sphere of action of health care workers consists, in general, of what is contained in the terms and concepts of health and medicine especially.  The term and concept of health embraces all that pertains to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for greater equilibrium and the physical, psychic and spiritual well-being of the person. The term and concept of medicine, on the other hand, refers to all that concerns health policy, legislation, programming and structures.[30] …

The meeting and the practical synthesis of the demands and duties arising from the concepts of health and medicine are the basis and way for humanizing medicine. This must be present both at the personal-professional level—the doctor-patient relationship—and at the socio-policy level so as to safeguard in institutional and technological structures the human-Christian interests in society and the institutional and technological infrastructures. The first but not without the second, since such humanization as well as being a love-charity task is “an obligation of justice.”[32] “[This humanization strengthens] the bases of the ‘civilization of life and love,’ without which the life of individuals and of society itself loses its most genuinely human quality” (Evangelium Vitae 27).

These excerpts from the Charter for Health Care Workers articulate the vision for nursing that is to inform the program of nursing at Ave Maria University.  The nursing program should build upon the Christian understanding of the human person as taught in the core curriculum.  It should highlight the care of the sick and suffering as a participation in the love of Christ.  It should teach and reinforce principles and conclusions of Catholic biomedical ethics.  It should promote the true health of the human person.  It should foster dedication and excellence in the skills, knowledge, and habits necessary for the nursing profession.  The nature of nursing as service to the life of the human person demands such dedication and excellence.

To be considered for acceptance into the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, the following is required:

  • Prior admission to Ave Maria University
  • A minimum overall GPA of at least 3.0 or above and completion of 48 credits (this is the minimum GPA, not a guarantee of admission – all applications will be reviewed and considered)
  • All students, including transfers, must complete AMU freshman and sophomore core curriculum courses and nursing prerequisite courses prior to entrance to the Nursing Program
  • Grade C or greater for science courses (Science courses must be completed before entrance to the program)
  • Two letters of recommendation from college/university professors attesting to the applicant’s attributes and strengths in pursuing a career in Nursing
  • Submit an essay (300-500 words) which includes an introduction of the applicant, why the applicant wishes to pursue a career in Nursing, any healthcare experiences, and any community service work, passions, and accomplishments
  • Interview with the Nursing Director
  • Completion of Nursing Application
  • Completion of Health and Regulatory Requirements

Electronic applications are strongly preferred and should be sent to nursing@avemaria.edu and cc: Christy.Dorer@avemaria.edu.

Application deadline is February 22, 2016 (typically of the sophomore year).

For students who are not admitted to the Nursing Program, AMU offers alternate, related degrees including Biology, Health Science, and Exercise Science, which are not limited access programs.

Upon acceptance and prior to beginning classes, students shall possess reasonably good health, and physical abilities shall be such that the student is able to render safe nursing care. An annual physical examination and an annual PPD, review of symptoms, and/or chest x-ray are required.

All requirements need to be completed prior to the first day of class as a nursing student. Health and regulatory requirements are listed below.

Health Certification and Immunization Record

The Annual Physical and Immunization Record form must be completed by a Licensed Physician, Physician Assistant, or Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner and returned to the Ave Maria University Nursing Program. The records must be returned to the Nursing Program no later than July 1st of each year. All immunizations must be complete. Immunization requirements are as follows:

  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) – Proof of two immunizations or positive titers
  • Diphtheria/Tetanus – Booster with Tdap or Td within the last ten years are required
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) – Proof of two immunizations or positive titer (**History of disease DOES NOT meet requirement)
  • Hepatitis B Vaccination – Proof of three injections or positive titer

Consent/Refusal of Hepatitis B Vaccination

Although it is not a requirement, we encourage all nursing students to take the series of injections to immunize against Hepatitis B. Whether or not a student chooses to take the injections, the student must complete the Consent/Refusal of Hepatitis B Vaccination form.

TB (Tuberculin) Screening

Students must submit evidence of a current tuberculin test (PPD):

  • Students with a negative PPD must have a second PPD in 3 weeks to confirm non-reactive status. Two PPD tests are required only for your initial TB screening, unless otherwise requested by the health care provider. After the initial TB screening, a PPD test must be completed once yearly.
  • Students with a positive PPD must show documentation of a chest x-ray as well as documentation of any required follow up. After the first year, students must have a licensed health care provider complete a TB Symptom Check List annually. An additional chest x-ray will only be required if it is recommended by a licensed health care provider, a student exhibits symptoms of active TB disease, and/or if a student with previously negative PPDs tests positive.

Annual Flu Vaccination

Students must show documentation of annual flu vaccinations which are required by clinical agencies and clinical sites. If the flu vaccine is refused, students must strictly adhere to the personal protective equipment guidelines as required by each agency.

Health Insurance Requirement

All nursing students must provide proof of health insurance with coverage effective in the state of Florida and complete an insurance waiver prior to the first day of class. Nursing students must have adequate health insurance. The insurance waiver forms must be submitted to the Nursing Program. Waivers must be completed annually. Students are responsible for obtaining and maintaining their health insurance.

CPR Certification

Nursing students are required to provide evidence of a current American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS/CPR) certification prior to the first day of class. Certification must be maintained while a student is enrolled in the Nursing Program.

Liability Insurance Fee

Each year the general and professional liability insurance fee will be charged to all nursing students.

National Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening

Participation is clinical experiences is a required part of the curriculum and a requirement for graduation. Clinical agencies require drug, criminal, and/or child abuse background checks, and clearance through the HHS/OIG list of excluded individuals and the GSA list of parties excluded from federal programs in order to permit participation in the program’s clinical experiences. Clinical agencies may deny a student’s participation in the clinical experience because of a felony or misdemeanor conviction, failure of a required drug test, or inability to produce an appropriate health clearance, which would result in delayed graduation or in the inability to graduate from the Nursing program. Individuals who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor may be denied certification or licensure as a health professional.

All nursing applicants are required to complete drug and National criminal background checks prior to the first day of class. This is conducted at the student’s expense. All applicants must affirm and attest to sound physical health, emotional stability, and personal integrity that will enable them to successfully complete the Nursing program, comply with criteria for nursing licensure, and adhere to the American Nurses Association professional codes of conduct and practice.

Applicants must affirm and attest that they are free of addiction to substances of abuse and are willing to adhere to Drug Free Workplace policies and procedures of affiliate clinical agencies, to include submission to randomized drug testing and/or testing for cause and upon Nursing program request.

Students can access the National criminal background check and drug screening application process online. Ave Maria University’s Nursing Program utilizes American Databank as the sole company handling the Nursing Program’s screenings. Through the American Databank website, students can begin the application process and set up a method of payment to American Databank. There will be a fee for the background check and drug screening.

When placing a background check order, the student should click on “I want to receive a copy of my background check and drug screening”. This will enable the student to have the same copy of his/her reports that Ave Maria University’s Nursing program will receive. Once American Databank receives payment, they will send the student the necessary information and forms to begin the drug and background check process.

**Please note that it can take up to three months to receive clearance for the National criminal background check – clearance must be obtained before a student can begin nursing classes**

In addition to the core curriculum, nursing majors take the following courses

BIOL 304 Anatomy & Phys. I

BIOL 309 Anatomy & Phys. II

BIOL 203 Microbiology

STAT 230 Statistics

NUTR 120 Nutrition

PSYC 301 Human Development & Learning

NURS 210 Introduction to Nursing

NURS 220 Role Preparation

NURS 310 Fundamentals of Nursing (w/lab)

NURS 315 Health Assessment

NURS 330 Pathophysiology

NURS 340 Applied Pharmacology I

NURS 345 Applied Pharmacology II

NURS 350 Psychiatric-Mental Health (w/clinical)

NURS 390 Catholic Medical Ethics

NURS 410 Older Adult and Community Health Nursing (w/clinical)

NURS 415 Adult Health & Illness I (w/clinical)

NURS 420 Nursing Care of Women (w/clinical)

NURS 430 Nursing Care of Children (w/clinical)

NURS 440 Adult Health & Illness II (w/clinical)

NURS 450 Leadership & Management in Clinical Environments

NURS 460 Research for Evidence-Based Nursing Practice

See the Academic Catalog for course descriptions

Curriculum Rationale

The curriculum has been developed in a manner that addresses professional and content area competencies, that assessment methodologies are in place for BSN candidates, and that pedagogical principles are embedded in the appropriate courses. The BSN program is a total of 136 credits as described below.

The BSN curriculum is based on Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2008). Graduates of Ave Maria University’s BSN program will be equipped with the knowledge and leadership skills requisite to advance the profession and assist patients, families, and communities in the management of care. These concepts unify the curriculum and are the focus of each clinical course. Each course addresses the roles of the nurse, specifically the nurse as a member of the profession, provider of care and leader/manager of care.  The curriculum incorporates professional standards such as the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics, the Institute of Medicine Recommendations, the Joint Commission on Accreditation Standards, and Quality and Safety Education in Nursing (QSEN), to the extent that these are in conformity with Catholic biomedical principles and applications.

The concepts of critical thinking, evidence-based practice, communication, collaboration, professional leadership, cultural humility, professional values, and information technology are introduced in the first nursing course and emphasized throughout the curriculum. Nursing courses focus on enhancing the nursing students’ critical thought process. Evidence-based nursing practice is introduced in the first nursing course and emphasized throughout the curriculum.

Students intending to major in Nursing will proceed through the full sequence of the core curriculum.  The Nursing Program shares the ideals and aims of liberal education which permeate the entire university.  The core provides an indispensable foundation for the study of the nursing.  The Nursing Program values the core especially for providing a broad orientation to the unity of truth, the understanding of the human person as expressed in the Catholic intellectual tradition, and the just ordering of society as developed in Western Civilization.  In addition, the collective coursework of the core inculcates the skills and habits necessary for studies within the craft of nursing, such as critical thinking, evidence-based practice, communication, mathematical and scientific analysis, and above all, prudence.

Faculty

Dr. Denise McNulty, DNP, MSN, RN-BC, ARNP
Nursing Program Director and Associate Professor of Nursing

Originally from Philadelphia, Dr. McNulty has resided in the Naples community for the past fourteen years. She is a graduate of Duquesne University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice Program and obtained her Masters of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Holy Family University, a Post-Masters in Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania, a Post-Masters in Health Administration from St. Joseph’s University, and a Post-Masters in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing from Duquesne University. Dr. McNulty is a Florida licensed Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner with more than twenty-five years of experience in various clinical, teaching, and administrative roles.

Denise McNulty, D.N.P.

Chair of the Department of Nursing and Associate Professor

Debra Forma, M.S.N., E.D.

Instructor of Nursing