This section describes policies that apply across the graduate curriculum. Faculty may establish other course specific policies.

Academic year

The graduate program is conducted yearly over two semesters and a summer session. Each semester is 15 weeks in length. Classes do not meet on certain holidays. These holidays are listed on the academic calendar published prior to each academic year.

Assignment of credit hours

Each theory credit hour is equivalent to one clock hour per week. Each practicum credit hour is equivalent to four clock hours per credit hour per week. Each lab credit hour is equivalent to two clock hours per credit hour per week. There is a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work per credit hour per week. For courses offered in 8-week, 10-week, and 12-week formats, clock hours per week are increased to be equivalent with the standard 15 week semester. Using the ratios above, total clock hours are calculated, then divided by the number of weeks allocated to that specific course.

Since the majority of M.S.N. courses are offered online, structured instructional activities, i.e. discussion boards, quizzes, exams, case studies, presentations, are utilized to achieve the equivalent credit hours assigned to the course. There is still an expectation of a minimum of an additional two hours of out-of-class student work per credit hour per week for students enrolled in online courses.

Classification of students

Enrollment status

A full-time graduate student is one who enrolls in at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring 15-week semester.  Full time enrollment in the summer term is a minimum of 4 credit hours.

A part-time graduate student is one who enrolls in less than 9 credit hours during the fall or spring 15-week semester. In order for a student to be eligible to receive financial aid funds during the fall or spring semester he or she must be enrolled in a minimum of 4.5 credit hours.  Part-time enrollment in the summer term is a minimum of 2 credit hours.

Academic advising

Upon admission, students are assigned to Research College of Nursing faculty advisors who assist them in selecting courses, reviewing grade reports and completing degree requirements. Faculty advisors facilitate the progression of students through their program of study.

Academic advising is under the general supervision of the Graduate Program Director. Students experiencing academic problems may consult their faculty advisor, course faculty, track coordinator, or the Graduate Program Director for assistance.

Attendance

Students are required to attend onground class, synchronous sessions, laboratory and clinical sessions regularly. Failure to do so may result in a failing course grade. Since the majority of M.S.N. courses are offered online, students are expected to log in and participate as outlined by the course faculty in the syllabus. Failure to log in and participate as assigned may be deemed an absence for that week at the discretion of the instructor. The tools in the Learning Management System are used to determine level and frequency of participation.

Absence for an Approved Activity

On exceptional occasions, students may miss a class, lab or clinical to participate in a college-approved extra-/co-curricular activity. The College supports learning experiences afforded by involvement in such activities. These activities require students to represent RCoN “on location”, for both participation in the event as well as travel to and from the location.

This policy only applies to activities that have been approved by the Dean’s office. In all cases, students should communicate with instructors in advance, where possible, and discuss the implications of any absence. Students should be prepared to provide documentation for participation in college-approved activities, when requested by the instructor, as false claims of legitimate or unavoidable absence may be considered a violation of the academic honesty policy.

Student Expectations

  1. The student who will miss a class, lab, or clinical must inform the instructor as soon as possible and, except in unavoidable situations, at least one week in advance of a planned absence.
  2. It is the student’s responsibility to complete work in advance, or to make alternate arrangements with the instructor, if an evaluative event will be missed because of a college-approved absence.
  3. This policy does not include departure preparations prior to the time a group or student is expected to leave on a trip.
  4. The student should recognize not all work can be made-up and absences can ultimately affect student performance in a class. Therefore, the instructor reserves the right to deny the request for the approved absence. If the student believes the request denial or make-up is unreasonable, they should contact their program director and provide documentation describing the unacceptable situation.
  5. A false claim of legitimate or unavoidable absence may be considered an academic honesty policy violation.

Assessment

Research College of Nursing assesses student abilities, achievement, and satisfaction at various times throughout its academic programs. The purpose of assessment is ongoing improvement in student learning, in their overall College experience, and the overall function of the college in meeting its mission. Students are required to complete assessment tests and other measures as part of this effort. Time is provided as part of the regular course schedule to minimize any inconvenience to students. Assessment activities begin during the orientation program and continue to graduation. Alumni are also asked to complete surveys and program evaluation measures.

Academic requirements for progression

  1. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required to progress in the program.
  2. A grade of C or below in any graduate course is not accepted for degree credit in any graduate course.
  3. Any course in which a grade of C or below is earned must be repeated and progression in the program is affected as outlined below:
    • If the cumulative grade point average is at or above a 3.0, the student may enroll in another course, assuming that prerequisites have been met, and repeat the course in which the grade of C or less was earned when it becomes available.
    • If the cumulative grade point average falls below a 3.0, the course must be repeated before enrolling in another course. After repeating the course, the student must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better to remain in the program.
  4. Two grades of C or below result in dismissal from the graduate program regardless of cumulative grade point average.
  5. Clinical practicum courses are graded Pass/No Pass (P/NP). Pass grades are not calculated into the grade point average. No Pass grades are transcripted as an F and affect the grade point average.
  6. A grade of No Pass in one clinical practicum course results in dismissal from the graduate program.

Dismissal from the graduate program is a serious action and results when two (2) grades of C or below are earned in any graduate level nursing course, or when a failure in a clinical practicum course occurs, regardless of the cumulative grade point average.  Therefore, a student who has been dismissed from the graduate program should not expect to be readmitted.

Changes in registration

Changes in registration must be initiated in the Registrar’s Office. Class additions will not be allowed after the first week of the semester. Students who stop attending class(es) without processing the official withdrawal forms will receive grades of F. No credit will be allowed for a course in which the student is not appropriately registered.

Grade reports

Graduate students receive final grade reports only at the end of each semester and at the end of each summer session during which they have taken at least one course. Grade reports are sent to the permanent home address.

Grading System for Graduate Program

Course requirements and the methodology for assigning grades are the prerogative of the teaching faculty of each nursing course. A uniform grading system will be used for all graduate courses at Research College of Nursing. The grading scale consists of the following grades with their corresponding quality point values. Grades marked with an asterisk (*) do not allow progression in nursing courses.

GradeGPADescription
A 4.0 Denotes superior academic performance at the graduate level
B+ 3.33 Denotes above average academic performance at the graduate level
B 3.0 Denotes average academic performance at the graduate level
C* 2.0 Denotes below average academic performance at the graduate level which will not be accepted for degree credit in any Research College of Nursing graduate degree program and may affect progression
F* 0.0 Denotes academic performance of poor quality which will not be accepted for degree credit
I* Denotes that the course has not been completed. This grade may be assigned only for serious reasons and with the approval of the Dean of Nursing; must be removed within six weeks or automatically becomes an F
NP* 0.0 No Pass. This grade is given only in clinical practicum courses. A grade of NP will be transcripted as an F which will affect the grade point average
P Pass. This grade is given only in clinical practicum courses. A grade of P adds credit but does not affect the grade point average
W* Denotes that the student is allowed to withdraw without penalty
AU* Audit. Student enrolled on a non-credit basis. No grade or credit given
IP Denotes “in progress”.  IP will be assigned for NU 7480/7500 until completion of the project/thesis

Graduate program grading scale

Grade LetterGrade Score
A 92-100
B+ 87-91
B 80-86
C 70-79
F 0-69

Grade point average

Grade point averages for the Master of Science in Nursing program are calculated on the basis of graduate credit hours attempted and quality points earned at Research College of Nursing. Courses taken on a pass/no pass basis are not computed in the grade point average. With the exception of the Dean’s Award for Graduate Achievement, the grade point average is calculated using Research College of Nursing credits only.

Graduation requirements

All candidates for the M.S.N. degree must successfully complete degree requirements within six (6) years from time of admission. The minimum number of credits required for each track is:

  • Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner: 46 credits
  • Family Nurse Practitioner: 46 credits
  • Executive Practice and Healthcare Leadership: 36 credits
  • Nurse Educator: 36 credits (For students beginning January, 2020, 34 credits)
  • RN-M.S.N.: 14 pre-M.S.N. credits + specialty track credit hours

Students should file the Application for Degree Candidacy no later than one semester before the semester in which completion of the degree is anticipated. The application should be submitted to the Office of Registrar, and official transcripts of transfer credit from other institutions requested to prepare for graduation.

Incomplete Grades

Under unusual circumstances, when a small portion of a course cannot be completed by the last day of class, students may request, in writing, an incomplete grade, or ‘I’. If approved, the student will be given six weeks to complete the coursework, or the ‘I’ grade will be changed to an ‘F’. Incomplete grades may not be extended beyond six weeks without the approval of the Program Director and Dean. For students at risk of dismissal, coursework and the grade change must be completed and submitted by the 6 week deadline or the drop/add deadline of the next semester, whichever comes first.

The Incomplete Grade Request and Extension of Incomplete Grade Request forms can be attained from the Registrar’s office. Students are expected to initiate contact with their instructors to arrange for timely completion of outstanding work. Instructors may require periodic progress reports.

Graduating students who have incomplete grades in any course used to satisfy a graduation requirement must resolve those incomplete grades by the middle of the following semester (summer for spring graduates, fall for summer graduates, and spring for fall graduates) or they will not graduate that semester and must reapply for a future semester of graduation.

Leaves of absence

A leave of absence will be considered on an individual basis. Students’ requests for a leave of absence should be submitted to the Track Coordinator in writing; the Leave of Absence Request form can be obtained from the Registrar’s Office. Students are responsible for ensuring that all graduation requirements are met. Questions on these matters should be directed to the student’s faculty advisor, Track Coordinator, or the Graduate Program Director

Transcripts of records

No transcript, official or unofficial, or Certification of Education will be issued to or for a student or alumna(us) who is delinquent in financial obligations to Research College of Nursing.

Graduate students needing transcripts of records to transfer from Research College of Nursing to another college or for other purposes should go the National Student Clearinghouse at www.StudentClearinghouse.org to purchase their transcript.

Withdrawal

Students desiring to withdraw from courses during a semester must notify the academic advisor, course coordinator(s), and Registrar in person or through Research College of Nursing email.  The Registrar will initiate the withdrawal form and collect appropriate signatures. 

Courses dropped during the first week of the course are not recorded on the student’s academic record. Courses dropped after the first week of the course and until the last date of withdrawal (2/3 of the scheduled term) are recorded with grade notations of W (Withdrawal). Following the 2/3 date, course withdrawal will not be allowed.  The 2/3 date is published on the Course Schedule on the website and in the course calendar in the Learning Management System.

Tuition and fees paid by a student authorized to withdraw are refundable only as indicated under Refunds from the “Tuition and Fees” section of this catalog. Failure to process withdrawals prior to the last date of withdrawal will result in a grade of F.

A student who withdraws during the semester/term or before final examinations forfeits credit for work done that semester/term. Any student who wishes to withdraw from a course should confer with the course faculty and advisor. The student's right to withdraw remains regardless of the course faculty or advisor's recommendation.

This policy applies regardless of the length of the course. The procedures and deadlines for withdrawal from individual courses also apply to changes to audit status in any class.

Suspension

A student may be suspended from any classroom, lab or clinical session for inappropriate or unsafe behavior or failure to adhere to any Research College of Nursing Academic Policies. Suspension may last from several hours to one calendar year.

Faculty imposed

Faculty are solely responsible for making the immediate decision to suspend a student from classroom, clinical, or lab sessions in progress for inappropriate or unsafe behaviors. At the time of a suspension by the faculty, conditions for reinstatement are explained. Failure to meet the conditions of reinstatement may result in course failure.

College imposed

The Dean of Nursing is solely responsible for imposing suspension for failure to adhere to Research College of Nursing Academic Policy. At the time of a suspension by the Dean, the conditions of reinstatement are explained. Failure to meet the conditions of reinstatement may result in course failure or dismissal from the nursing program. The student cannot attend classroom, lab or clinical sessions during the suspension.