Return to: School of Nursing
Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.
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 over 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 School of Nursing, accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the Virginia State Board of Nursing, is a member of the Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the Southern Regional Education Board. The school was first accredited by the National League of Nursing Education in 1941 and appeared on the first list of accredited nursing schools issued by the league.
The hospital-based diploma program in nursing, initiated in 1901, provided the genesis for the school’s present degree program. The first baccalaureate degree in nursing, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education, was offered in 1928 for the first time through a Department of Nursing Education in the School 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. 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. The department was under the collective supervision of the School of Medicine, the School of Education, and the University of Virginia Hospital. Three years later, in 1956, this department became the School of Nursing. The curriculum now consists of four years of a combination of liberal arts, interprofessional, and core nursing courses leading to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
The School Today
Mission Statement 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.
Philosophy 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.
The Nursing Major The health care delivery system is currently evolving at an accelerated rate; and, since people want health care as well as illness care, faculty members at the University of Virginia School of Nursing have developed a curriculum to respond to changing societal needs. We believe that a nurse prepared at the baccalaureate level shares with other health professionals the primary goals of promoting, maintaining, and restoring health, caring for the ill, and assisting individuals and families through the dying process.
Courses in the School of Nursing are composed of two discrete but interrelated elements: Interprofessional and Core. Interprofessional courses are designed to facilitate transition to the role of health care provider; they include social science and natural science content with special application to health care. Most interprofessional courses are open to other students within the University.
Core courses include basic knowledge and skills needed to practice professional nursing at a beginning level. Clinical and classroom experiences and academic work provide a broad basis for nursing practice related to both acute and chronic illness and health promotion. The emphasis is on individuals, families, and groups with varying levels of health and at all points in the life cycle. Issues related to professional nursing are also included.
Purpose and Objectives of the Undergraduate Program The purpose of the undergraduate program is to prepare leaders in health care to meet the needs of individuals, families, and communities. Graduates of the program:
- ensure holistic and culturally sensitive care based on an understanding of the norms and health care beliefs/practices of various racial, ethnic, religious, socioeconomic, gender-specific, and age-related populations;
- provide health care that demonstrates professional values and standards of practice, and includes moral, ethical, and legal concepts;
- incorporate knowledge of health promotion and disease prevention into professional nursing practice;
- demonstrate knowledge of the structure, organization, and financing of the U.S. health care delivery system, and the role and importance of nursing within that system;
- understand the development and implementation of national and international health care policy from social, economic, political, legislative, and professional perspectives;
- manage and coordinate patient care across health care settings and client populations;
- employ critical thinking in the provision of professional nursing care;
- effectively use current and changing health care and information technologies;
- utilize communication techniques effectively;
- accept increasing professional responsibility, provide professional leadership, and participate in activities for professional growth and development.
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
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 new 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 resources of the 25 academic departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, Schools of Education and Medicine, and on the clinical facilities and instructional materials of the University of Virginia Health System.
In addition to the academic resources of the University, nursing students receive clinical experience at the University of Virginia Health System, public health agencies, community agencies, private and state hospitals, nursing homes, and industrial settings.
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 560 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 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.
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 faculty, 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 the 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 faculty. 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.
Part-time Employment Opportunities for part-time employment are often available in the University of Virginia Hospital, particularly during the third and fourth years of the Nursing program.
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.
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.
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, and Scholarships
Nursing students are eligible for special nursing honors, awards, and scholarships as well as general University honors, awards, and scholarships as outlined in the University Regulations section.
Outstanding Fourth Year Student Awards Annual awards have been established in recognition of excellence in academic and clinical achievement and outstanding service to the University and the School of Nursing. The names of the students so honored are engraved on a plaque displayed in the school. Students are chosen by faculty and student vote. The awards are presented at the pinning ceremony on the weekend of Final Exercises.
Dean’s List Full-time students who demonstrate academic excellence while taking a minimum of 12 credits of graded course work are eligible for the Dean’s List of Distinguished Students at the end of each semester. Courses taken on a CR/NC basis may not be counted toward the 12-credit minimum. A minimum current grade point average of 3.400 is necessary to be eligible for the dean’s list. Any student receiving an F, NC, or NG during the semester is not eligible to be on the dean’s list.
Intermediate Honors A certificate of Intermediate Honors is awarded to the top twenty percent of those students in the School of Nursing who enter the University directly from high school or preparatory school and earn at least 60 credits of course work in their first four regular semesters. No more than twelve of the 60 required credits may be earned on a CR/NC or S/U basis. Advanced placement and transfer credits do not count toward the required credits.
Diploma with Distinction Diplomas inscribed “with distinction” are awarded to graduates who have earned a cumulative UVa grade point average of 3.400 and successfully completed the distinguished majors program, or to students with a cumulative UVa GPA of 3.750 who have not completed the distinguished majors program.
Diploma with Highest Distinction Diplomas inscribed “with highest distinction” are awarded to graduates who have earned a cumulative UVa GPA of 3.750 and have successfully completed the distinguished majors program.
Distinguished Majors Program in Nursing
Students entering their fourth year of study who demonstrate superior academic performance (GPA of 3.4 or above) are encouraged to apply for the School’s Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) to pursue a substantive project of their own that they would not have the opportunity to develop as part of their regular program of study. The application process requires students to define a detailed research project and to obtain agreement of a faculty member to guide the research. The final product is a manuscript ready to submit for publication as well as an oral presentation.
Application to the DMP is made during the spring semester of the third year of the program.
Students accepted into the program register for 3 credits of NURS 4950 in the first semester of the fourth year and 2 credits of NURS 4951 during the second semester. Students who successfully complete the program and maintain a GPA of at least 3.400 will be awarded a diploma with distinction. Students who successfully complete the program and have a GPA of 3.750 will be awarded a diploma with highest distinction. For more information contact the Baccalaureate Program Director.
Shannon Scholar Award The Shannon Scholar Award is presented annually to a graduate in recognition of outstanding academic achievement. Excellence in clinical achievement is also recognized at the spring pinning ceremony.
Hemmings Award The Anne Pollok Hemmings Award is presented annually to a graduate in recognition of clinical excellence.
Pinning Ceremony Pinning, the final ceremony conducted by the School of Nursing prior to Final Excercises in May, commemorates the baccalaureate nursing students’ completion of their undergraduate nursing education and the CNL student’s completion of preliminary nursing education. Students receive their School of Nursing Pin and student awards are presented. The ceremony traditionally takes place at dusk on the Saturday before Final Exercises, and includes a ceremony, followed by a short reception. The School of Nursing Pin purchased prior to Final Excercises costs approximately $150 (10K gold), $60 (gold-filled), and $50 (sterling).
B.S. in Nursing (BSN) The University of Virginia offers a program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The degree is awarded after satisfactory completion of a prescribed program of study. All students at the School of Nursing take courses in anatomy and physiology, growth and development, pharmacology, pathophysiology, leadership, and nursing practice. Graduates of the program are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination.
Academic Rules and Regulations
Policies and Procedures
Academic Standing First-year students in the pre-professional component of the program are considered to be in good academic standing if they have no more than one grade below C-. Students must maintain a semester average of 1.8. Students who do not meet these standards will be placed on academic probation. Additionally, nursing students are required to have a minimum C- grade in anatomy and physiology. Students who do not receive a C- or better in either semester of anatomy and physiology will need to retake the course. Nursing students who do not pass anatomy and physiology by the fall semester of the third year will not be allowed to continue in the program. A nursing student is subject to suspension after two semesters on academic probation. A grade of D is included in the student’s GPA and counts toward credits earned. An F grade is included in the student’s GPA but does not count toward credits earned.
Students in the professional component of the program are considered to be in good academic standing if they have a semester average of at least 2.000 and no grades below a C- in required nursing courses regardless of the semester average. Grades of D, F, and NC are failing grades for all required nursing courses in the professional component of the program. Students receiving a grade of D, F, or NC in a required course in the professional component will be placed on academic probation and must successfully repeat the course with a grade of C- or above for graded courses, or CR for CR/NC courses. This may alter the planned sequence of courses and may lengthen the time for completion of the program. Students will be placed on academic probation if their semester’s average falls below 2.000. A student in the professional component of the program is subject to suspension if (1) the student receives a total of two Ds or one F at any time in the professional component; or (2) the student’s GPA is below 2.000 for two semesters.
Readmission after Suspension Readmission to the School of Nursing is not automatic. A former student must apply for admission to the Associate Dean for Academic Programs of the School of Nursing by December 1 for the spring semester or by April 1 for the fall semester. Students are subject to suspension after two consecutive semesters on warning. Students who fail to earn at least nine grade points in a semester are also subject to suspension. Nursing students who have been suspended must wait one full fall term and one full spring term before being eligible to apply to return. The letter requesting readmission to the School of Nursing should include a description of the situation surrounding the suspension; an explanation of the steps that the student has taken, or will take, to change the situation; and the reasons why readmission to the program is justified. Students will be re-admitted on a space available basis. A student who has been readmitted following suspension will be permanently dropped from the school if she or he becomes subject to suspension a second time.
Readmission after Voluntary Withdrawal Readmission to the School of Nursing is not automatic. A former student must apply for admission to the Associate Dean for Academic Programs of the School of Nursing by December 1 for the spring semester or by April 1 for the fall semester. Nursing students who withdraw from the University mid-semester must wait one full term before being eligible to apply to return. The letter requesting readmission to the School of Nursing should include a description of the situation surrounding the withdrawal; an explanation of the steps that the student has taken, or will take, to change the situation; and the reasons why readmission to the program is justified. Students will be re-admitted on a space available basis.
Leave of Absence A student in good standing may request a leave of absence from the School of Nursing for up to two semesters. Requests for leaves of absence must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Academic Programs of the School of Nursing. Readmission following a leave of absence will be granted only if space is available.
Course Load Special permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Programs is required to register for fewer than 12 credits or more than 17 credits each semester.
Transfer of Courses The University of Virginia School of Nursing accepts a maximum of 60 credits of transfer credit from institutions other than the University of Virginia toward the baccalaureate degree.
Students who receive advanced standing for a required course transferred into the University of Virginia from another institution will be responsible for replacing the credits not earned in that course with another course at the University.
Changes in Class Schedules Students change their class schedules via SIS (www.virginia.edu/sis). If instructor permission is necessary for admission to a course, a form signed by that instructor is submitted to the School of Nursing registrar’s office. Students may add and drop full-semester courses through the deadlines stated in the University Registrar’s Academic Calendar.
Grades An undergraduate student’s work in a course is graded on the basis of A+ (97-100), A (94-96), A- (90-93), B+ (87-89), B (84-86), B- (80-83), C+ (77-79), C (74-76), C- (70-73), D+ (67-69), D (64-66), D- (60-63) and F (59-0).
Incomplete Grades A grade of incomplete is a non-grade designation given for a course. A grade of IN becomes an F 30 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 Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Services. The faculty has adopted a policy that, unless authorized by the Dean’s office, students must complete all course work before taking the final examination. 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 without the approval of the Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Services after it has been submitted to the University Registrar (UREG). The Associate Dean for Academic Programs is not authorized by the faculty to change a grade submitted to UREG 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.
Credit/No Credit Grades Students have the option of receiving the grades CR (credit) or NC (no credit) in place of the regular grades, A through F, for a given course except for courses in the major or those that fulfill basic area requirements. School of Nursing students may take a maximum of twelve credits of CR/NC courses, including nursing electives, and general education electives. (Courses used to fulfill area requirements must be taken on a graded basis.)
This option is selected when students register for courses. The last day to change the CR/NC option is the same as the last day to add a course. Instructors may deny students permission to take courses on a CR/NC basis. If this occurs, students may either change back to the regular grading option or drop the course entirely. Students may not use a CR/NC course to repeat a course in which a grade has already been given.
Overall Time Limit Traditional BSN students have a maximum of 8 semesters from the date of matriculation in which to complete all graduation requirements, while students who transferred into the BSN program have 6. A student in the RN-BSN degree program must complete the graduation requirements in a maximum of 6 semesters from the date of matriculation. Exceptions must be approved by the advisor, department chair, and the Associate Dean for Academic Programs, and are granted only under extenuating circumstances.
Degree Requirements The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is conferred by the general faculty upon candidates recommended by the School of Nursing faculty as having completed a prescribed course of study of no less than 120 credits with a cumulative grade point average of 2.000 (C).
The Residence Requirement for a degree in nursing is two academic years. Students transferring from other schools of nursing and students with advanced standing credit may with permission of the Associate Dean for Academic Programs meet residence requirements in one academic year.
Professional Status upon Graduation Prior to Final Exercises, students are expected to apply to the state board of nursing in the state in which they choose to be licensed. Graduates of the School of Nursing are eligible for membership in the University of Virginia Alumni Association and the University of Virginia School of Nursing Alumni Association. Graduates are eligible for membership in the Virginia Nurses Association, the American Nurses Association, the Virginia League for Nursing, and the National League for Nursing.
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.
Required Additional Expenses
Uniforms Prospective students receive information about uniforms with their welcome letters and registration materials.
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 the dates of a series of three vaccinations (Twinrix or Hepatitis B) or the date of a positive Hepatitis B surface antibody titer. 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 in clinical courses. Tuberculosis testing (PPD) is required on an annual basis for all students enrolled in clinical courses.
Clinical Agency Requirements Students 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 investigations, and mandatory drug screening.
Diagnostic Readiness Test Students are required to complete a standardized diagnostic test that evaluates their readiness to take the licensure examination. The test is administered in the spring of the fourth year without cost to the student.
Community Learning Experiences Students are responsible for transportation to and from clinical learning sites. Agencies in Charlottesville and neighboring counties are used for clinical experiences, and students must have a car available for individual use while studying in those agencies. Community learning experiences begin in the second year of the program.
Return to: School of Nursing