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Nursing has been one of the professional disciplines of the University of Virginia since 1901, when a three-year diploma program was first offered to high school students under the aegis of the University of Virginia Hospital and the Department of Medicine. Today, as one of the 11 independent schools of the University with a full-time faculty of 60 and an enrollment of 650 undergraduate and graduate students, the school offers the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and, as a department of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing.
The first baccalaureate degree in nursing, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education, was offered in 1928 for the first time through the School of Nursing Education in the Department of Education, made possible by an endowment of $50,000 from the Graduate Nurses’ Association of Virginia in memory of Sadie Heath Cabaniss, Virginia’s outstanding pioneer nurse. The purpose of this degree program was to train registered nurses for teaching, supervisory, or administrative positions. The present baccalaureate program was established in 1950 as a four-year course, with a curriculum consisting of a two-year academic concentration followed by the two-year nursing major. In 1953, a Department of Nursing was established to administer the diploma program and the two baccalaureate programs: the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education. Three years later, in 1956, this department became the School of Nursing. The Master of Science in Nursing Program, initiated in 1972, currently offers specialty preparation in community health/public health and health systems management; nurse practitioner preparation in acute care nursing, primary care nursing, and psychiatric mental health nursing; and clinical specialist preparation in acute and specialty care and in psychiatric mental health nursing. The primary care nursing track prepares family nurse practitioners and pediatric nurse practitioners. The acute care track prepares clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners to function in acute care settings. The Direct Entry MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader, was initiated in 2005 to prepare second degree students as masters prepared nurse generalists. Certificate options exist for Master’s prepared nurses to seek advanced certifications. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program, designed to prepare nurses as the highest level of practice, enrolled its first students in 2007.
The school offers a combined degree: an M.S.N.-M.B.A. program in collaboration with the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.
The Ph.D. in Nursing Program, begun in 1982, is designed to prepare scholars and researchers committed to expanding the base of nursing knowledge. Major components of the program include nursing, research, cognates, and electives. The program is housed in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
The School Today
The University of Virginia School of Nursing is committed to educating future leaders, extending the boundaries of nursing and health care knowledge through research, and providing high-quality and compassionate health care in service to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world.
The central purpose of the University of Virginia is to enrich the mind by stimulating and sustaining the spirit of free inquiry directed to understanding the nature of the universe and human existence. The philosophy of the School of Nursing is consistent with that of the University as it prepares leaders in health care.
Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations (ANA, 2004). Nurses, often in collaboration with other health care professionals, promote the optimal health care and comfort of individuals and groups through the systematic application of knowledge from nursing and related disciplines.
The faculty believes that education is based on humanistic approaches that foster critical thinking and promote awareness of social and cultural diversity among individuals. The faculty views each student as a unique person with special talents, abilities, needs, and goals. Cultural diversity, varying life experiences, and changing socioeconomic factors affect each student differently. To this end, faculty endeavor to provide an environment that assists students to realize their full potential. The acquisition of professional knowledge and the development of clinical competence occur through active involvement of the student in the learning process. Students assume primary responsibility for learning, while faculty provides educational opportunities for knowledge acquisition and professional role development. We believe that an atmosphere of shared growth and inquiry offers the maximum potential for development.
The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education in Nursing are basic foundations to the curriculum for both the baccalaureate and clinical nurse leader programs and thus essential for the practice of professional nursing. This education provides the foundation for the development of professional knowledge, critical thinking, ethical decision-making, leadership skills, and the independent and interdisciplinary pursuit of high standards of health care. Master’s specialty education prepares the nurse with strong critical thinking and decision-making skills for advanced practice in acute and primary care or for specialty practice in the areas of management and public health leadership. Doctoral education prepares the nurse scholar to influence health care through leadership in education, policy, practice, research, and knowledge development.
Implicit in the practice of professional nursing is accountability for professional growth and practice, demonstration of leadership, and commitment to the development and application of nursing theory and research. Life-long learning leads to the optimal development of both the individual practitioner and the discipline of nursing.
School of Nursing
Claude Moore Nursing Education Building
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 800826
Charlottesville, VA 22908
School of Nursing
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 800782
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Facilities and Resources
McLeod Hall & Claude Moore Nursing Education Building Located in the eastern part of the University Grounds, near the University of Virginia Medical Center, the school occupies the Claude Moore Nursing Education building and McLeod Hall. McLeod Hall is a five-story brick building that has housed the School of Nursing since its dedication in November 1972. The Claude Moore Nursing Education Building is a four story facility that opened in June 2008. Both facilities house classrooms, an auditorium, clinical learning laboratories, seminar rooms, and offices.
The School of Nursing draws upon the multiple resources of the University’s 11 academic divisions and the University of Virginia Health System in offering its graduate programs in nursing. The programs are further strengthened by the facilities and personnel of a wide variety of Virginia hospitals, community health centers, health departments, and private physicians’ offices.
Claude Moore Health Sciences Library The library primarily serves the faculty, students, and staff of the University of Virginia Health System, which includes the Schools of Medicine and Nursing and the University Hospital.
The library is a modern facility with small group meeting rooms, audiovisual viewing rooms, microcomputers, and photocopy machines. It maintains well-developed collections of books, journals, reference materials and audiovisuals in medicine, nursing, and related health fields.
The Health Sciences Instructional Resources Center, on the first floor of the library, maintains a substantial collection of multi-media. A variety of players, projectors, recorders, monitors, and a cluster of microcomputers are available for use in the center, and a small collection of equipment is available for use outside the center. The resources in the Health Sciences Library are augmented by materials in the Clemons Library, the Science/Technology Information Center, various departmental libraries (e.g., biology/psychology, physics, chemistry, engineering, law), and the working libraries of the departments and clinics in the School of Medicine.
University of Virginia Health System The School of Nursing is a part of the University of Virginia Health System, which serves as the referral center for central and western Virginia and has been consistently ranked among the nation’s top 100 health care centers. The nursing program enjoys a special relationship with the University Hospital, a more than 580 bed teaching and research hospital.
Special units in the University Hospital complex include a children’s medical center, a cancer center, a clinical research center, cardiac, medical, and surgical intensive care units, and a burn and wound care center. The Pegasus Air Emergency Rescue Service can transport patients from up to 500 miles.
Cooperating Clinical Institutions and Agencies The School of Nursing cooperates with other institutions and agencies to provide clinical learning opportunities for students. Utilizing health departments, community hospitals, out-patient facilities, home care agencies, industries, schools, geriatric care facilities, mental health care facilities, and rehabilitation centers, the School of Nursing provides varied clinical experiences for its students.
Clinical affiliations with the Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center, Martha Jefferson Hospital, Augusta Medical Center, Western State Hospital and many community agencies and institutions throughout the state, provide opportunities for students to gain valuable experience in a variety of health care settings.
Counseling Informal cooperation and personal attention mark the relations between faculty members and students. Students are urged to avail themselves of the opportunities to discuss their achievements and clinical experiences with the faculty. The Office of Admissions and Student Services provides advice and assistance and serves as a source of information for other support resources. The Department of Student Health and the University Counseling Center are available to assist students through individual and group counseling sessions.
Advising and Counseling Cooperation and personal attention mark the relations between faculty members and students. Each graduate student is assigned an academic faculty advisor by the Associate Dean for Academic Programs upon admission to the school, and students are encouraged to avail themselves of this resource. The School of Nursing Office of Admissions and Student Services provides assistance and serves as a source of information for other support resources. The Department of Student Health and the University Counseling Center are available to assist the student through individual and group counseling sessions.
Activities and Organizations
Nursing students are eligible for organizations and honors as well as for the general University activities and societies outlined in the University Regulations section. The School of Nursing is represented on the major student governmental bodies, the Student Council, the Honor Committee, and the University Judiciary Committee. Student representatives to the University Student Council and the Judiciary Committee report to the Student Council of the School of Nursing. All students are members of the Nursing Student Council. The Nursing Student Council coordinates all student functions within the School of Nursing. Other activities and organizations are listed in the School of Nursing Handbook.
Student Nurse Organizations All University of Virginia nursing students are eligible for membership in the Student Nurses Association of Virginia and the National Student Nurses Association. Through the National Student Nurses Association, SNAV works to develop concerned, knowledgeable professionals. There are two graduate nursing student organizations: the Graduate Nursing Student Organization (for MSN students) and the Doctoral Nursing Student Organization (for PhD and DNP students). Graduate nursing students are welcome to join other nursing student organizations (Minorities in Nursing Today, Nursing Students Without Borders, Men in Nursing, among others).
Sigma Theta Tau International Students demonstrating superior scholastic achievement (3.000 GPA or above and top 35% of class), professional leadership potential, and desirable personal qualifications are eligible to apply for membership in Beta Kappa Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing.
Honors, Awards, Scholarships, & Financial Information
The Barbara Brodie Scholars Endowment was established in 1988 by the many friends and former students of Barbara Brodie as a permanent tribute to an outstanding teacher, mentor, and friend. The guidelines for the award are:
- Minimum 3.5 GPA in the PhD in Nursing program.
- Full time student at the time of application.
- Defended/approved dissertation proposal related to the humanities or social sciences.
- Three letters of recommendation
Application forms are available in the Office of Admissions and Student Services and are due by January 30. A review committee from the Ph.D. program faculty will select the recipient.
The Phyllis J. Vehronic Dissertation Award is given annually to a graduating Ph.D. nursing student whose dissertation is selected as most meritorious. Dissertations are judged by a faculty committee based on the following criteria: The significance of the research problem, the adequacy of the literature review, the appropriateness of the methodology, as well as the clarity of the presentation of findings, the writing style and the significance of the dissertation to the contribution of nursing knowledge.
Dissertations (or drafts) are submitted to the Director of the Ph.D. Program by February 1. The dissertation is reviewed by a committee of PhD faculty and students are notified in writing regarding the outcome. The recipient is announced at graduation and receives a plaque and check.
Financial Aid General information regarding financial aid for all students is provided in the Financial Aid section of this Record. In addition, there are some sources of financial aid specifically designated for students in the school of nursing. The School of Nursing Office of Admissions and Student Services provides assistance to students needing financial aid. Graduate students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits per semester) to be eligible for financial aid.
Fellowships A number of small grants, including duPont and Virginia State Fellowships, are available to full-time graduate students of outstanding merit in the School of Nursing. To apply for these grants, a student must complete the School of Nursing Graduate Assistance and Scholarship and be enrolled as a full-time student.
Federal Nurse Traineeships A limited number of federal nursing traineeships are available for full-time (12 credits per semester) graduate nursing students. These awards may include tuition, fees, and/or stipends. To apply, students must complete a School of Nursing Graduate Assistance and Scholarship form which can be obtained from the Office of Admissions and Student Services.
National Research Service Awards (Predoctoral) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sponsors a national program of individual predoctoral and postdoctoral nurse fellowships. The intent of the awards program is “to prepare biomedical, behavioral, and nurse scientists who will address continuing problems in health-related research of importance to the public.” The student’s qualifications, the advisor’s credentials, and the merit of the proposed area of research are the primary criteria upon which awards are based. Interested doctoral students may obtain application forms from the School of Nursing Grants Administrator or by contacting the National Research Service Awards Program, Division of Nursing, BHPr, HRSA, Parklawn Building, Room 5C-26, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, (301) 443-6333.
Employment Opportunities for employment are available in the University of Virginia Health System.
Graduate teaching assistantships are available for full-time doctoral and master’s students. These assistantships involve working directly with faculty in teaching, research, or service activities. Assignments involve 10 to 20 hours per week of work. To apply for graduate assistant employment, students should contact the Office of Admissions and Students Services.
Masters Degree Programs
- Direct Entry MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)
- Acute and Specialty Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Community and Public Health Leadership
- Community and Public Health Leadership with combined Family or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner preparation
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Health Systems Management
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
- Psychiatric-Mental Health Practice (Clinical Nurse Specialist or Nurse Practitioner)
Joint Degree Program
- MSN/MBA Joint Degree Program
- Acute & Specialty Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Community & Public Health Leadership
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Health Systems Management
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
- Psychiatric-Mental Health (Clinical Nurse Specialist or Nurse Practitioner)
- Wound, Ostomy, Continence (WOC) Nursing
Doctoral Degree Programs
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
- Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D)
Academic Rules and Regulations
Statement These rules and regulations apply to all School of Nursing programs, with the exception of the Ph.D. program. The Ph.D. Nursing degree is a program under the auspices of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). Ph.D. students should abide by GSAS policy and the policies set forth in the Ph.D. program section.
97-100 = A+
94-96 = A
90-93 = A-
87-89 = B+
84-86 = B
80-83 = B-
67-69 = D+
64-66 = D
60-63 = D-
Below 60 = F
Grades A minimum grade of B- is required in all courses offered for any graduate degree. If a student receives below a B- grade in any School of Nursing course, the course must be repeated. If the grade for the repeated course is below a B- the student will be automatically dropped from the program. A grade of below B- in any other course requires repeating the course and earning a satisfactory grade or earning a minimum grade of B- in an alternate course. Students who receive more than one grade below B- are automatically dropped from the program. Any F grade results in the student being dropped from the program. Students in the School of Graduate Nursing are not permitted to take courses on a CR/NC basis.
Incomplete Grades A grade of incomplete is a non-grade designation given for a course. A grade of IN becomes an F 200 days after the end of the examination period unless a form requesting an extension of time has been signed by the course instructor and approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Programs. Instructors are not authorized to extend the time for completion of course work without the Dean’s approval. Forms for securing extensions are available from the School of Nursing website. Prior to the end of the course, students must initiate the request for an IN and secure the instructor’s approval.
Students with two or more outstanding incomplete designations (in the same semester or cumulatively) may not enroll in courses in subsequent terms. An IN grade remaining at the time of graduation is converted to an F.
Grade Changes No grade may be changed after it has been submitted to the University Registrar without the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Programs. The Associate Dean for Academic Programs is not authorized by the faculty to change a grade submitted to the University Registrar except when an instructor certifies that, because of errors in calculation or transcription, an incorrect grade has been submitted. Extra work to raise a grade, once submitted, is not permitted.
Transfer of Credit Students may receive a maximum of four graduate-level courses (up to 12 credits) completed at other institutions for transfer credit. In order to be considered for transfer, the courses must have been completed with a minimum grade of B.
Credit for transfer courses is determined following an evaluation of each student’s course work and overall plan of study. The School of Nursing grants transfer credit based on an analysis of the content, level, and comparability of the courses taken, the applicability of the courses to the student’s intended major and degree program, the quality of the student’s performance in the courses, and the accreditation of the institution at which the work was completed. Evaluation of credits for transfer does not occur until after the student is admitted to the program. Information on the procedure for transfer of credit is available from the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Programs.
Application for Degrees Applications for degrees may be obtained from the Office of the Admissions and Student Services. Students must submit a formal application for conferral of the master’s degree to the Office of Admissions and Student Services no later than October 1 for fall, February 1 for spring, and June 1 for summer. A student who has been listed as a degree candidate and then fails to complete degree requirements must reapply. A student who has been registered for a degree and then fails to meet the requirements for the degree must pay a fee of $50 for the preparation of a new diploma.
Acceptance of Degrees Formal commencement exercises are held only once a year, in May. All those who have completed the program in August or December are invited to attend the exercises the following May.
Voluntary Withdrawal An official application to withdraw must be approved by the Dean of the School of Nursing or the Dean’s designate. Withdrawal applications may be obtained from the Office of Admissions and Student Services. The application must then be endorsed by the Associate Dean for Academic Programs. Student identification cards are collected at the time of withdrawal.
A student is not permitted to withdraw later than two weeks before the beginning of the examination period in any semester except for providential reasons.
A student who withdraws from the University for reasons of ill health must obtain permission from the Department of Student Health. Subsequent medical clearance from the Department of Student Health is required for readmission.
Leaves of Absence The Associate Dean for Academic Programs may grant leaves of absence to students for either a semester or a session, upon written application stating the reason for temporarily leaving the University.
Readmission After Voluntary Withdrawal or Leave of Absence Readmission to the School of Nursing master’s program is not automatic. After absence of a semester or longer, a former student must apply for readmission to the School of Nursing Associate Dean for Academic Programs by December 1 for the spring semester or by April 1 for the fall semester. Readmission following a withdrawal or leave of absence is granted only if space is available.
Visiting Student Status Under special circumstances, a student with a baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing may complete a maximum of two graduate nursing courses without formally seeking admission to the degree program. Special student status is granted only when there are vacancies available in the courses requested. An application for special student status, obtained from the Office of Admissions and Student Services, must be submitted by the deadline on the form Admitted degree students receive enrollment priority. Completion of coursework as a special student does not guarantee admission to the program.
Students wishing to take University of Virginia off-Grounds courses at a University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies may take a maximum of six credits; these are accepted towards the master’s degree if the courses meet program requirements. This is in lieu of taking two on-Grounds courses as a Visiting Student in the School of Nursing. Decisions about the acceptability of a course are determined by the faculty advisor or course professor, depending on whether the course is a required course or an elective.
Clinical Agencies: Responsibility, Compliance and Affiliation Agreement Policy Formal affiliation agreements are executed with all agencies prior to placement of students in clinical sites to provide direct care to patients. Agreements must be fully executed and include the signatures of the authorized representative of the facility, the Dean of the School of Nursing, and the Assistant Vice President for Finance and University Comptroller. Faculty members are responsible for adherence to these agreements. Students will be placed in clinical sites only when enrolled in a credit-bearing course for which he or she paid tuition and in which participation in the clinical experience is a course requirement. This applies to all clinical experiences that require the student to have patient contact.
The faculty member placing students and the students assigned to agencies are responsible for knowing and adhering to the contents of the affiliation agreement, including its conditions and responsibilities.
The School does not provide legal advice to the student regarding whether to submit to the conditions set by the facility. The School does not pay any student costs related to the clinical experience. If the student declines or fails to participate in or complete the clinical experience and the experience is a requirement for the course, the student will not successfully complete the course and may not graduate. The student is solely responsible for the consequences of his or her decision regarding whether to submit to the conditions or requirements established by the facility.
Clinical Agency Requirements Student must meet the required competencies of the clinical agency to which they are assigned as outlined in the clinical agency contract. This may include requirements such as infection control training, criminal background investigation, and mandatory drug screening.
Criminal Background Check All nursing students are required to undergo a regular criminal background check after admission to the program. Some clinical agencies will require such a check to be performed annually and may require additional testing/screening of nursing students. Information can be obtained from the Office of Admissions and Student Services.
In addition to tuition, fees, and expenses as outlined in the Tuition, Fees, Housing, and Dining section of this Record, graduate students in nursing should anticipate the following additional expenses:
Field Trips Students are responsible for expenses incurred while on field trips.
Travel to Clinical Facilities Many of the clinical facilities used in the master’s and post-master’s programs are a distance from the medical center. Transportation costs to and from these facilities must be borne by the student.
Medical Instruments A complete set of diagnostic instruments must be procured by students admitted to the advanced practice nursing program. The cost of these instruments is assumed by the student.
Hospital Insurance The Student Health Service does not provide for the expense of hospital care. The University requires that all students carry hospitalization insurance for year-round coverage. A preferred risk group insurance program sponsored by the University is available; for an additional premium, the dependents of married students are included. Students or parents may substitute a plan comparable to that offered by the University.
CPR Certification Students are required to obtain certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation for adults, children, and infants prior to entering clinical courses. Certification must be maintained throughout the program, and validation must be presented each year. Students must complete the American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers course.
Immunization Titer Requirements The School of Nursing requires documentation of a positive antibody titer for Hepatitis B, rubella, and varicella for all students who practice in a clinical setting. No student will be permitted to enroll in clinical courses without providing this documentation. Information regarding the vaccine and antibody titers can be obtained from the student’s local health care provider, district health department, or from Student Health.
MMR, TD, and PPD Documentation of current measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunization and tetanus booster (TD) is required for all students. Tuberculosis testing (PPD) is required on an annual basis for all students enrolled in clinical courses.