A complete list of policies specific to the nursing programs of study is contained in the Student Handbook that is updated regularly on the website for the School of Nursing.
- Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater to remain in good standing. A student will be placed on academic probation if the cumulative GPA dips below 3.0. The student must enroll in the School of Nursing Success Coaching program for mandatory remediation at this time. If the cumuatlive GPA is raised to at least 3.0 at the end of the next academic quarter, the student is no longer on probation. If the cumulative GPA has not risen to 3.0 at the end of the next academic quarter, the student will be dismissed from the program.
- If a student earns a C or C- in any course, the student is placed on probation. The student must enroll in the School of Nursing Success Coaching program for mandatory remediation at this time. If the student is able to earn grades in all courses that are C+ or above AND earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater in the next academic quarter, the student is no longer on probation. If this does not occur, the student will be dismissed from the program.
- A student who earns a D or lower in any course will be dismissed from the program.
- A student may be placed on probation a maximum of two times during his/her program, with no more than one placement on probation per academic year. Placement on probation two times within one academic year is grounds for dismissal. Likewise, an occurrence of an earned grade of C or C-or a cumulative GPA below 3.0 a third time during the student's time in the program is grounds for dismissal.
- Clinical courses may not be re-taken to raise an unsatisfactory grade.
- In accordance with the nursing licensing regulations, students found to be convicted of serious crimes (felonies, substance abuse) will be reviewed by the Admissions, Progression, and Retention Committee and may be suspended or dismissed from the program.
- The School of Nursing expects a respectful environment conducive to teaching and learning from all students, faculty, and staff. Inappropriate conduct is defined as any action that interferes with the creation and maintenance of an effective learning environment. Students are expected to display civility in all aspects of their educational experience at DePaul University.
- Appropriate student conduct is outlined in detail in the School of Nursing Professional Development Guidelines (Appendix B). Appropriate student conduct includes but is not limited to: being punctual for all classes; displaying courtesy; maintaining professional standards and safe practice in the clinical areas; maintaining academic integrity, avoiding leaving the classroom/clinical area other than during designated breaks and only with the permission of the responsible faculty member; fostering a positive learning environment by respecting the ideas and opinions of others; not talking during class or engaging in activities that distract the attention of others, including keeping cell phones and pagers set on silent mode; respecting others, including not making sarcastic or disrespectful remarks, using foul language or swearing; not threatening others; and remaining emotionally calm without inappropriate outbursts.
- Students displaying inappropriate conduct may be asked to leave the classroom, clinical area, or meeting. Inappropriate conduct will be documented with a written copy of the incident placed in the student’s file. Such incidents of inappropriate conduct will then be reported to the Director of the School of Nursing, with copies sent to the Associate Director of the Program, and the Admissions, Progression, and Retention Committee. Additional sanctions for inappropriate conduct may be imposed, including dismissal from the nursing program. (For additional information, please see both the University Student Handbook-available on line, as well as the “Student Misconduct Process” outlined below.)
- All students must attend an orientation session before beginning the nursing program of studies.
- All students must meet with their assigned academic advisor during the first quarter of the program to review their official program of studies for the current academic year. The student is responsible to sign the coversheet of the Student Handbook and give this to his/her advisor at the time of their initial meeting.
- Students must meet with their academic advisor at the end of the first academic year and at least once during each subsequent academic year to review progress in the program and plan for the following year. Advisors are not generally available during the months of July and August.
- A student may not register for any course that has a prerequisite if that student has an incomplete in the prerequisite course.
- Students may not attend classes in a course for which enrollment is blocked. No credit will be awarded for assignments completed when not officially enrolled in a course. This includes assignments previously completed and turned-in for courses taken in the past.
- All required health records, evidence of CPR certification, criminal background checks, personal health insurance, and professional liability insurance must be kept on file in the SON. It is each individual student’s responsibility to keep all of their records up-to-date. Drug screens are required for clinical placements. See Clinical Guidelines for further information. Failure to have all records present and up-to-date at the beginning of each course will result in inability to attend the clinical component of the course.
- Leave of Absence:
- Students who need to interrupt their studies for personal, health or other reasons may request a leave of absence for up to one full year. The request should be made to the Associate Director of the program and the Coordinator of Clinical Placements and Admission, Progression and Retention Committee should be notified. Depending on circumstances and estimated length of absence, the Associate Director or student’s academic advisor may recommend additional action to complete the request process.
- Students who wish to return to the program following a leave of absence will need to submit a written request for resuming coursework to the Admissions, Progression, and Retention Committee. It is the student’s responsibility to send a copy of such request to the Director of the School of Nursing, the student’s faculty advisor, the Associate Director of the Program, and the Coordinator of Clinical Placements. This written request should demonstrate the resolution of the extenuating circumstances contributing to the original need to leave the DePaul Nursing Program. This request for reinstatement must be made no less than 6 weeks prior to resuming the nursing course sequence. Students will be notified in writing regarding the decision concerning their re-entry to the program. Individual assessment of current knowledge and clinical skills will be made prior to placement of the student in the appropriate level within the nursing program. Students who become “out of sequence students” due to withdrawal, or military/medical/family leave of absence will be placed into a clinical rotation upon re-entry based upon space available and cannot be guaranteed placement in the next available clinical course needed. “Out of sequence students” cannot displace in-sequence students from a clinical spot.
- Students who have taken a leave of absence from the program for greater than 12 calendar months must re-apply to the university. Their application will then be considered with all other qualified applicants applying for admission to the nursing program.
- A student who withdraws from a core nursing course while in good standing cannot progress in the sequenced nursing curriculum until that course has been successfully completed. In courses that contain both a clinical practicum and a lecture component, both course segments must be completed simultaneously. Exceptions may be identified and defined by the Admissions, Progressions and Retention Committee (APR) in consultation with both the Director of the School of Nursing or Associate Director of the Program and the course faculty.
- A student who withdraws from a core nursing course who is ‘not in good standing’ (with a grade of “C” or lower or on probation) at the time of withdrawal, will be referred to the Admissions, Progressions, and Retention Committee (APR). The APR will meet to review the student’s past and current performance and to elicit recommendations from the course faculty. A representative of the APR committee may then meet with the course faculty and the Associate Director of the Program and student to counsel the student and to establish a contract for academic improvement. Such students may not progress in the sequenced nursing curriculum until the course has been retaken and successfully completed. In courses that contain both a clinical practicum and a didactic theory portion, both course segments must be completed simultaneously.
- A student may withdraw from a core nursing course ‘not in good standing’ (with a grade of “C” or lower) only once during their program of study. A second such withdrawal will result in dismissal from the program.
- All out of sequence students will be placed in clinical on a space/faculty available basis. Priority will be given to students who are out of sequence for military service, severe illness, or family leave rather than for failure or withdrawal ‘not in good standing’.
- A student who has a grade of B- (86% or less) at mid-quarter may be placed on contract for academic improvement by the instructor. The student must satisfactorily fulfill all course and contract requirements by the end of the quarter of contract initiation in order to progress in the program.
Academic Integrity Policy
Violations of academic integrity in any form are detrimental to the values of DePaul, to the students' own development as responsible members of society and to the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas. Violations of academic integrity include but are not limited to: cheating, plagiarism, fabrications, falsification or sabotage of research data, falsification of clinical data, destruction or misuse of the university's academic resources, academic misconduct, and complicity. If an instructor finds that a student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy, the appropriate initial sanction is at the instructor's discretion. An instructor may choose to file an academic integrity violation with the university. Actions taken by the instructor do not preclude the college or the university from taking further action, including dismissal from the university. Conduct that is punishable under the Academic Integrity Policy could result in criminal or civil prosecution. The full Academic Integrity Policy can be found at http://offices.depaul.edu/oaa/faculty-resources/teaching/academic-integrity/for-students/Pages/default.aspx
Academic Integrity Policy Extension for Clinical and Service Settings
DePaul University is committed to education that engages its students, faculty and staff in work within Chicago's institutions and communities. As DePaul representatives to our partner institutions and community organizations, we ask that you take seriously your responsibilities to these institutions during service and clinical experiences and internships. The community and its institutions are extensions of the DePaul classroom. The University's Academic Integrity Policy and Code of Responsibility apply to professional interactions as well. See also The School of Nursing Professional Development Guidelines (Appendix B).
HESI Exam Policy
MENP students are required to pass all proctored HESI exams in clinical courses in the MENP program, with the exception of the Critical Thinking HESI exam, which is used for assessment purposes. Students who pass on the first attempt with a score up to 50 points above the pass cut-off will earn 3% of the course grade. Students who pass on first attempt with a score 50 or more points above the pass cut-off will earn an additional 2% of the course grade. The pass cut-offs between 300 level and 400 level clinical courses are different. See below for details.
300 Level Clinical Courses
Students with a score of 850-899 on the first attempt in a 300 level clinical course will receive 3% of the course grade. Students who pass the HESI with a score of 900 or above on the first try in a 300 level clinical course will receive an additional 2%, for a total of 5% of the course grade.
400 Level Clinical Courses
Students with a score of 900-949 on the first attempt in a 400 level clinical course will receive 3% of the course grade. Students who pass the HESI with a score of 950 or above on the first try in a 400 level clinical course will receive an additional 2%, for a total 5% of the course grade.
Students who fail to pass a HESI exam on the first attempt in both 300 and 400 level clinical courses will work with their course director to self-remediate before retaking the HESI exam. If the exam is passed on the second attempt, the student will earn 1.5% of the course grade. In the event that a student does not pass the HESI retake, the student will meet with the course director and program director to be alerted to their weakness in this content area and to the possibility of risk to successful completion of the program and NCLEX. The student and course director will discuss a plan whereby the student will further self-remediate for the content area(s) in question prior to taking NCLEX.
Comprehensive HESI Exit Exam
Students taking the Comprehensive HESI Exit Exam are required to achieve a score of 900 to pass. If the HESI Exit Exam is not passed on the first attempt, a remediation contract will be developed with the student, after the student has met with the academic advisor and Director of the MENP program.
The student acknowledges that all DePaul University and School of Nursing academic and conduct policies remain in place during clinical experiences. The student also agrees to comply with all of the policies set forth by the clinical site. The student understands that failure to comply with university or School of Nursing policies or the policies of the clinical site may result in sanctions, including removal from the clinical site and/or the course. The student understands that it is his/her responsibility to immediately notify his/her instructor in the event that the student encounters problems with his/her supervisor, preceptor, or staff at the site.
Students are required to:
- Attend ALL scheduled learning activities including orientation, lectures, exams, seminars, laboratories, simulation activities, observations, clinical practicums, evaluation conferences, and other comparable activities. If any scheduled learning activities are missed, the student will need to make-up these learning activities or withdraw from the course. Students are advised that opportunities for making up learning activities are subject to clinical faculty, site and laboratory availability.
Students are responsible for notifying the appropriate faculty member when an absence from a scheduled learning activity cannot be completed. Notification of faculty prior to an absence is expected, and when not possible, the student is responsible for notifying the faculty as soon as possible. An excused absence is defined as an absence for illness or other special circumstance, in which the faculty has been notified prior to the absence. Unexcused absence is defined as an absence for i.e., vacation, or other activities, which result in an absence, and have not been pre-approved by faculty. Students are responsible for resolving any conflicts that may arise. Failure to notify an instructor or preceptor of absence or tardiness is grounds for dismissal from the program.
The decision regarding the make-up of learning activities or consequent withdrawal from a course resides with the course director and/or clinical instructor as specified in the course syllabus and as practical to the missed activity and class/clinical setting. Any absence may result in a lower grade. Absences of more than 15% of the total course hours may result in failure of the course.
Arrive on time, prepared for all scheduled learning activities. This includes but is not limited to: appropriate dress, knowledge of medications, development of an appropriate plan of care, completion of all written and motor tests on skills that are necessary to a particular clinical rotation/setting. Refer to Dress Code Policy.
- Students deemed unprepared or tardy may be asked to leave the clinical setting, receiving an “Unexcused” absence for the day. An “Unexcused” absence in clinical may result in failure of the course.
- Purchase a watch with a second hand or digital second reading capability, a stethoscope with both a diaphragm and bell (dual head), a penlight, bandage scissors, student uniform(s) and lab coat with DePaul Nursing patches, name pin/badge, black ball point ink pen.
- Provide own transportation to clinical sites and pay for own parking as needed. Students are not allowed to transport clients or client families at any time.
- Know and follow individual clinical agency policies and procedures. This information is available through each individual agency.
- Use his/her legal signature in charting. The initials NS are to follow the legal signature.
- Be knowledgeable about the legal implications of giving narcotics and act accordingly.
- Comply with additional requirements of the clinical setting including but not limited to drug screening.
- Bring reference books and materials to the clinical setting as needed to provide safe care
- Pass a medication dosage calculation quiz at 100% prior to the start of each clinical practicum
- Full-time students are expected to direct their major energy to their program of study. Thus the School of Nursing recommends that students limit their outside employment to 16 hours per week during periods when classes are in session. Previous experience demonstrates that students who work in excess of this recommendation endanger their scholastic standing and place themselves “at risk” for academic failure. Neither the university nor the School of Nursing has or assumes responsibilities for the nursing care of patients rendered by the student working as a nursing assistant since the student is employed by the nursing service and during such employment is not under the supervision of DePaul University.
- Students are not to be assigned to the same clinical units in a hospital where they are concurrently employed.
- The student uniform, nor any part of it, is not to be worn in or around the student’s place of employment.
The following activities are prohibited in the clinical setting. Nursing students will:
- NOT serve as witnesses of operating and diagnostic permits, wills, or other legal documents.
- NOT take verbal orders or telephone orders from a physician.
- NOT sign off blood products, or administer chemotherapeutic agents. Students may NOT administer IV push medications nor work with central lines, unless directly supervised by their clinical instructor.
Medication Safety Exam Policy
The ability to calculate medication dosages is vital to the patient’s safety. To ensure that students can demonstrate competence in dose calculation, a medication safety exam (MSE) will be given in each clinical course (generally during the first week of class) prior to the student being allowed to pass medications in that clinical. Increasing levels of competency will be assessed with each subsequent clinical course (i.e. the math exam in NSG 301 will be less difficult than the exam given in NSG 472). Students must pass each exam at 93%. Students are expected to purchase a drug calculation book (Olsen, Giangrasso & Shripton, Medical Dosage calculations: A Dimensional Analysis Approach,10th ed.; ISBN-10: 013215661X), and to review the online math modules that pertain to that course until they are confident in their ability. If the student is having difficulty mastering the concepts, the student should seek help from either/both the course faculty and Student Support Services.
The student will have two attempts to pass the exam at 93% proficiency. Students who fail on the first attempt must attend a mandatory remediation session. Nursing 301 students will get three attempts to pass. Should they pass on the third attempt, they will be placed on academic probation for two quarters, the current one they are in and the next quarter, during which time if they pass the MSE within two attempts, they will be removed from probation. Should the person not pass on the third attempt the student will be dismissed from the program.
The MSE will be given in the first week of the quarter to ensure that if the student does not pass on the second (or third for NSG 301) they will have sufficient time to withdraw without penalty. Should the student not pass the medication safety exam on the second attempt, the student will be assessed as not competent to safely pass medication in the clinical setting. The student must then withdraw from the course(s) and complete the ATI math remediation program (at their own expense) and must pass at the level 1 competency prior to returning to the program. Upon receiving a satisfactory score on the math remediation program the student may return to retake the course(s) for which they failed the medication safety exam. Students must be aware that clinical courses are not offered every quarter and may return the next quarter that the course is taught if space is available. Returning students will be on probation. Upon return, should the student not pass by the second attempt, the student will be unable to meet the clinical requirements of the program and will be dismissed from the program.
Unsafe Clinical Performance
A student is responsible for implementation of safe patient care during the supervised clinical practicum. Unsafe behavior can result in suspension from the clinical site, student remediation, failure of the course, and/or dismissal from the program. Unsafe practice is defined as behavior that has the potential to cause serious harm to a patient. Examples of unsafe clinical behavior in clinical practice include, but are not limited to:
Unsafe practice patterns include but are not limited to:
- Violating HIPAA requirements
- Violating OSHA requirements
- Performing a procedure outside the domain of nursing
- Performing a procedure in which he/she has not been prepared
- Failing to use universal precautions
- Administering treatments/medications in any form via any route without consent and/or supervision from the clinical instructor.
- Advising patients about diagnosis or prognosis or referring patients to treatments, agencies, medications, without first discussing such with the clinical instructor.
- Asking a staff nurse to supervise any procedure without consent of the clinical instructor.
- Inability to correctly calculate math/medication problems
- Knowingly exposing patients, colleagues, and others to actual or potential life threatening communicable diseases.
- Stealing drugs, supplies, or belongings from an agency or patient.
- Removing copies of patient care documents from healthcare agencies.
- Removal of patient identification.
- Failure to adhere to DePaul School of Nursing and/or clinical agency policies.
- Falsifying patient records or fabricating patient experiences.
- Neglecting to give appropriate care.
- Providing patient care in a harmful manner or exhibiting careless or negligent behavior in the process of providing care to a patient.
- Refusing to assume the assigned care of a patient, or failing to inform the instructor of an inability to care for a patient.
- Willful or intentional physical or emotional harm to a patient.
- Failure to report an error in assessment, treatment, or medication or failure to report an unusual occurrence or an adverse reaction.
- Failure to comply with DePaul’s Drug Free Campus policy.
- Performance not in compliance with stated student expectations as outlined in lecture or course syllabi.
- Failure to know proper vital sign ranges as well as failure to notify instructor or patient’s nurse of critical vital sign value.
Any student whose pattern of behavior demonstrates unsafe clinical practice that endangers a patient, colleague, or self in the clinical area will be suspended immediately from the clinical experience. The faculty of record will meet with the student to discuss how the unsafe behavior came about and potential complications from said behavior and prepare written documentation of the event. This will be forwarded within 24 hours to the course coordinator. A copy of this document will be placed in the student file and forwarded to the Director of the School of Nursing, Associate Director of the program, and Admissions, Progression and Retention Committee. If appropriate, an incident report will be filed at the clinical site.
If, in the clinical instructor’s clinical judgment, a student is unsafe to continue in the clinical practicum, the clinical instructor will take the following steps:
- Dismiss the student for the remainder of the clinical day. The instructor will follow institutional guidelines as appropriate.
- Contact the course coordinator and the Associate Director of the Program.
- Submit a written report of the incident to the Associate Director’s office within one working day. The Associate Director will contact the Registrar to put a hold on the student’s grade; the student will not be allowed to withdraw from the course at this time. The clinical instructor will schedule a meeting with the student within 24 hours of the incident or as soon as is practical, and prepare a written report that describes the incident that resulted in the student’s dismissal from clinical. The student will be given a copy of the report at this time.
- The clinical instructor will advise the student that he or she will not be able to return to clinical until the meeting with the Associate Director takes place..
- Within 3 working days, or as soon as is practical, a meeting will be held. In attendance at the meeting will be the clinical instructor, the student, the course coordinator and the Associate Director of the Program. The student may have his or her advisor present at the meeting. A decision regarding the student’s continuation in the program will be made. This meeting will determine whether the student will be administratively withdrawn with a grade of F or is allowed to return to complete the clinical. The clinical instructor initiating the meeting is not involved in the decision regarding the student’s progression in the program. A decision is made at the meeting and communicated to the student.
- The documentation related to unsafe clinical practice will be kept in a secured file within the SON offices.
- The Admissions and Progression and Retention Committee (APR) reviews any administrative course withdrawal resulting in an F. The APR will determine if the student is dismissed from the program or may return in an appropriate quarter per the procedures of the APR. The student may elect to appeal this decision per procedures in the student handbook.
Clinical Performance Limitation Related to Temporary Disability
A student who incurs an injury or has any other physical limitation of a temporary nature must notify the clinical instructor and course coordinator and provide documentation from his/her health care provider that he/she is able to safely carry out the duties of a student in the clinical setting. This must occur as soon as possible and prior to attendance at clinical. The final decision as to whether the student is allowed in the clinical setting rests with the clinical agency. If the student is unable to attend the clinical, he or she will need to withdraw and meet with the course coordinator and Associate Director of the program to explore options. Students who are pregnant are advised that clinical sites have individual policies and requirements related to pregnant students that may impact the student’s ability to attend or complete a clinical rotation.
A student requires a clinical contract when one or more clinical course objectives are not being met. These behaviors, if not addressed, put the student at risk for receiving a non-passing final grade in the course. The process is initiated as soon as an instructor and/or course coordinator recognizes that a student's performance or behavior may jeopardize the successful completion of a course. The clinical contract can be initiated at any time during the quarter.
The clinical contract is documented on the Student Faculty Contract form (Appendix A) and is completed by the course coordinator and clinical instructor. The course coordinator and clinical instructor will document, in writing, on the contract form, the areas of deficient student performance and identify behaviors the student will need to demonstrate in order to receive a passing grade. The student will receive a copy of this contract. The student’s academic advisor will be notified as will the Associate Director of the Program. The academic advisor will follow-up with the course coordinator regarding the student’s remediation progress. By the end of the quarter (or completion of the course in the event of a withdrawal), the student must demonstrate satisfactory remediation of all areas of concern noted in the contract without further additional deficits or risk failing the course. Once the contract requirements have been met, the instructor should document this on the form and both student and instructor should sign the form. A completed copy can be given to the student; another copy is send to the Coordinator of Data Management for tracking purposes; another copy is placed in the student’s file.
In the event that a student does not receive a passing grade in the clinical component of a course, the student’s grade for that course will automatically become an F.
Student Dress Code
- The student is to be well groomed at all times presenting a professional image. The rationale behind this and the following requirements comes from the belief that it is the client who is the focus of the nurse-client relationship.
- Hair must be kept off the face and above the collar or pulled back and secured. Natural hair tones only. Sideburns, moustaches, and beards must be neatly trimmed. Make-up, if worn, must be minimal and conservative. Personal care products may only be lightly scented. Other fragrances are not to be worn.
- Nails may not extend beyond the tip of the finger. NO artificial nails or nail polish is permissible.
- The ONLY acceptable accessories are: One single or pair of stud earrings-one on each lobe; one plain ring/ring set on one finger; a wristwatch. NO other body jewelry or accessories is acceptable. Note: in some clinical areas all jewelry must be removed.
- Tattoos are to be covered.
- The navy nursing uniform for men and women is: a scrub shirt and scrub pants by Dickies. Department name pins must be worn with the uniform when in the clinical setting. Department patches must be attached permanently to the left uniform and lab coat sleeves. Uniforms are to be clean and wrinkle free. Underwear must be worn. White or neutral hosiery or white socks must be worn. No bare feet. A plain white under-shirt or navy Dickies cardigan may be worn in cooler weather.
- Shoes are to be plain white (no colored design/logo) with white laces, closed toe, low heel, clean and in good repair. No high-tops or sandals.
- When not giving direct patient care, but engaged in learning activities at an agency or clinical site, students must wear their white lab coat with DePaul School of Nursing patch, their department name pin, and professional dress consisting of a shirt, sweater, and/or blouse with pants or a skirt, closed toe shoes in good repair with a low heel and in neutral color, with neutral hosiery or socks.
- Inappropriate clothing would include: sweatshirts; sweat pants; tight or sleeveless tops; shirts with lettering, pictures or hoods; stirrup pants; leggings; Capri pants; shorts; blue jeans; tight or revealing clothing; visibly worn, torn, or faded clothing; midriff tops; low necklines; open-backed clothing; cleavage or underwear showing; or flip-flops.
- These guidelines are subject to modification by the clinical instructor, based on the instructor’s judgment, individual student religious or cultural practices, the sensibilities of the population, and the dress code of the particular clinical unit/agency or event where the student is in attendance or practicing.
- Students in the Public Health and Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing rotations may receive additional guidelines from their clinical instructors.
- The student is expected to adhere to the American Nurses Association Code for Nurses and act in accordance with the Patient’s Bill of Rights.
- Confidentiality is the protection of a client’s privacy through careful use of oral and written communications. The client’s right to privacy is safeguarded by judicious protection of confidential information. The student should adhere to the School of Nursing Social Media policy (Appendix C) regarding maintenance of confidentiality and protection of privacy as it relates to communication via social media.
- A client’s chart is a legal document. Information from the client and chart is confidential and cannot be disclosed to those not caring for the client. All entries must be accurate and legible. No part of the client’s Medical record can leave the hospital. Students are not allowed to access the records of patients for whom they are not providing direct care.
- Information communicated by clients to students may not be repeated to anyone outside of the direct care team. Care should be taken when in the corridors, lounge, classroom, dining rooms, or other public areas, so that conversations are not overheard.
- An individual can withhold any information about himself/herself that he/she desires. Nursing students must be especially careful regarding the invasion of the client’s privacy.
- Students should use only the initials of the client when filling out history forms, care plans, and any other documents which are a part of their educational experience.
In the event of any unprotected exposure to blood or body fluids, the student is to follow the procedures of the DePaul University School of Nursing Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan: http://csh.depaul.edu/departments/nursing/student-resources/Pages/Bloodborne-Pathogens-Exposure-Control-Plan.aspx
Exposure at DePaul University
Any student who incurs an exposure incident at DPU should obtain confidential post-exposure evaluation and follow-up.
Lincoln Park Campus students who would like to obtain this confidential post-exposure evaluation and follow-up from Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center may contact DePaul Public Safety, who will facilitate transportation to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. RFUMS campus students will be referred to Lake Forest Hospital for follow-up care.
The post exposure evaluations and follow-up, should include at least, the following elements:
- Documentation of the route(s) and circumstances of the exposure;
- The results of the source individual's blood testing, if available; and
- All medical records relevant to the appropriate treatment of the student, including vaccination status, the Safety Officer or his/her designee will maintain these records.
Collection and testing of blood for HBV and HIV serological status will comply with the following:
- The exposed student's blood shall be collected as soon as feasible and tested after consent is obtained;
- The student may have his/her blood collected for testing of the student's HIV/HBV serological status. The blood sample will be preserved for up to 90 days to provide time for the student to decide if the blood should be tested for HIV serological status.
The student is responsible for costs associated with the medical evaluation.
Exposure at Outside Facility while Performing Duties within Student Role
Any student incurring such an exposure should follow both DPU’s post exposure policy as well as the institution’s policy where the exposure occurred. All student exposure incidents, whether they occur at DPU or off-campus while conducting learning or training activities under the SON must be reported to the Safety Officer or his/her designee as soon as possible, but no later than one business day after the incident.
Students are encouraged to speak with their health care provider about any additional follow-up post-exposure prophylaxis that may be recommended.
When possible, the Safety Officer, his/her designee, or institution where the exposure took place, will look into testing the exposure source individual for HIV, hepatitis B, and/or hepatitis C. Testing of the source individual's blood does not need to be repeated if the source individual is already known to be infected with HIV, hepatitis B, and/or hepatitis C.
Student Injury and Incident Policy
In the event that a student is injured (or involved in an untoward incident*) while in the clinical setting, the student should immediately notify the clinical instructor. The clinical instructor should assist the student to seek immediate health assessment and response following all policies and procedures of the clinical setting that pertain to the type of injury sustained. The clinical instructor must notify the course coordinator of the event by the end of the clinical day.
If a student is injured (or involved in an untoward incident) on the campus while conducting learning or training activities, the student must notify the instructor or faculty member in charge of the activity immediately. The instructor or faculty member in charge must call 911 if the injury is serious. The instructor or faculty member is to notify DePaul Public Safety and follow university policy for all injuries.
All student injuries (or untoward incident), whether they occur at DePaul University or off campus while conducting learning or training activities under the School of Nursing require that DePaul Public Safety is notified, that a public safety report is filed and the DePaul Environmental Health and Safety Incident Report form (DEHSIR), which can be found at http://rmehs.depaul.edu/MasterPage/Form.html, is completed. All must be completed within 1 business day of the incident. The incident must also be reported to the School of Nursing Safety Officer or the SON Safety Officer designate as soon as possible but no later than one business day after the incident. When reporting to the SON Safety Officer, the student is to include a copy of the completed DEHSIR.
If a student reports an incident in which the harm to student is not physical but rather psychological or emotional, clinical faculty should notify the associate director of the program who will direct the student to appropriate DePaul University resources.
Once the student has been seen by a health care professional for the injury (or untoward incident) and completed all reporting processes required by the university and clinical setting, the student should contact his/her health care provider for any further treatment or health care follow-up that is needed. The student may wish to contact the DOS office if the student has concerns or questions.
Student Clinical Requirements
It is mandatory that all students have all of their clinical requirements completed and uploaded to their Student Immunization Tracker through Castle Branch by prior to attending clinical. It is the responsibility of the student to insure that all clinical requirements are kept current. Students must submit copies of renewed coverage, updated lab results, and renewed skills PRIOR to the anniversary of the expiration date. Students who are non-compliant with clinical requirements will not be permitted to attend clinical. Non-attendance of clinical due to non-compliance with clinical requirements will be treated as an unexcused absence that may not be made up. This may put the student at risk for failing the course.
The student must submit COPIES (NOT ORIGINALS) of the following:
- Tuberculosis Screening:
All students that will provide patient care in the clinical setting are required to submit proof of not having active tuberculosis prior to the first day of the clinical rotation. Documentation must be uploaded into Castle Branch and approved to fulfill this requirement. This can be done by completing one of the following:
- Two-step Tuberculin Skin Test. The student will be required to have two separate tuberculin skin tests placed 1-3 weeks apart. The results of both tests must be uploaded into Castle Branch.
- Quantiferon Gold Test. The student will be required to have this blood test drawn and upload the results into Castle Branch. Please note: some clinical sites will only accept this as proof of not having active tuberculosis.
- Students With Positive TB Results: Students with a history of having positive TB results or has received the BCG vaccination prior to admission into the nursing program at DePaul University must complete the following:
Submit certification from a healthcare provider that the faculty member is currently free of the signs and symptoms of active tuberculosis. This certification must be renewed every 6 months.
Submit a negative chest X-ray from the time of the initial positive TB results. In the event that a chest X-Ray was not completed, the faculty member will be required to obtain one prior to the first day of the clinical rotation.
Complete a Quantiferon Gold test.
Submit certification from a healthcare provider that the faculty member is currently free of the signs and symptoms of active tuberculosis. This certification must be renewed every 6 months.
- Students found to have positive TB results while completing pre-clinical screening requirements for DePaul University must complete the following prior to the first day of the clinical rotation:
Obtain a chest x-ray and submit the results.
Submit certification from a healthcare provider that the student is currently free of the signs and symptoms of active tuberculosis. This certification must be renewed every 6 months. If the student shows signs and symptoms of active tuberculosis during the provider evaluation, the student may not begin the clinical rotation until documentation of a completed course of prophylactic therapy and certification of currently being free of the signs and symptoms of active tuberculosis has been completed.
- Titers for Rubeola, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella. A TITER is MANDATORY to document immunity. (Note: Vaccination or history of the disease is necessary to develop immunity). The titer MUST contain the titer value as well as the reference norm. The required titers are as follows:
- Rubeola IgG
- Mumps IgG
- Rubella IgG
- Varicella IgG
If titers indicate no immunity for Rubeola, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella, immunization is required (for Rubeola, Mumps or Rubella, this will be a booster series of 2 MMR immunizations). Follow-up titers will need to be drawn after re-immunization for both MMR and Varicella.
Students must sign a waiver if no immunity is detected on follow-up titer. The waiver states that you understand the risk associated with continuing in the nursing program, specifically that if you contract the disease to which you are not immune, the school is not liable and that you want to continue in your studies, knowing the risk. Once you have documented your immunity or signed a waiver, you will not need to furnish any further documentation.
- Proof of immunity to Hepatitis B must be confirmed through bloodwork. Immunity may be achieved through vaccination or previous exposure*. You may submit test results and documentation of immunity from your provider in lieu of receiving vaccination. The following documents will be accepted as proof of immunity:
- Positive Hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) indicates immunity from previous vaccination.
- Positive anti-HBs and positive Hepatitis core antibody (anti-HBc) indicate immunity due to infection; a negative Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAG) is needed to determine whether acute or chronic infection exists, and the student will need to follow up with his or her health care provider.
If immunity is not documented, the student must receive the Hepatitis B immunization series and post-vaccination bloodwork as outlined below.
If the series has been started but has not been completed prior to beginning clinical attendance, it is the student’s responsibility to supply documentation of the vaccine dates and the date when the final Anti-HBs bloodwork is drawn. The student must have completed a minimum of one of the series of three vaccines prior to the first clinical day and upload documentation for this to Castle Branch.
If bloodwork following completion of the series of three vaccines does not show immunity, further vaccination is necessary. If, after completion of a second series, no immunity is detected, the student must sign a waiver. The waiver states that you understand the risk associated with continuing in the nursing program, specifically that if you contract the disease to which you are not immune, the school is not liable and that you want to continue in your studies, knowing the risk. Once you have documented your immunity or signed a waiver, you will not need to furnish any further documentation.
* The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that persons who fall into either of the following categories for increased risk for Hepatitis B infection should see their health care provider and request a blood test for Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and Hepatitis B surface antibody (Anti-HBs) as you may not need the vaccination if the results are positive.
CDC Categories of Persons at Increased Risk for Hepatitis B Infection
1. Persons born to mothers in or from countries in which Hepatitis B is endemic.
2. Sexually active men who have sex with men.
- Tetanus-Diptheria-Pertussis Booster: Must be within the last 10 years. Documentation can be in the form of a signed immunization card or statement from your healthcare provider or health department that documents the date the tetanus booster or TDaP were administered. Please note that a tetanus booster alone is not adequate and you must demonstrate immunization for diphtheria and pertussis within past 10 years.
- Yearly influenza vaccine is required. Incoming MENP students will receive Standard Precautions/Universal Precautions Training as part of their initial coursework.
- Current CPR Certification: Current American Heart Association (AHA) certification in Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Provider is required for all entering and current students. Only the AHA certification will be accepted.
Content covered in AHA BLS class:
Critical concepts of high-quality CPR
The American Heart Association Chain of Survival
1-Rescuer CPR and AED for adult, child and infant
2-Rescuer CPR and AED for adult, child and infant
Differences between adult, child and infant rescue techniques
Bag-mask techniques for adult, child and infant
Rescue breathing for adult, child and infant
Relief of choking for adult, child and infant
CPR with an advanced airway
- Professional Liability Insurance: Each MENP and BSN completion student must obtain their own student nursing professional liability insurance policy against claims arising from real or alleged errors or omissions. Their policy must have minimal limits of coverage of $1,000,000 PER claim and $5,000,000 aggregate. This insurance must be renewed annually.
- Evidence of Current Health Insurance: All nursing students must submit proof of continuous comprehensive health insurance on a yearly basis. Please note that the name on the health insurance must match the student's name.
- A signed HIPAA-FERPA authorization must be uploaded to Castle Branch by the start of the first quarter. This form must be signed in order for the School of Nursing to release any student health information related to clinical requirements to clinical sites.
- Blood Borne Pathogens Exposure training must be completed online prior to the first clinical day. The training can be found at go.depaul.edu/bbp.
- Criminal Background Check: Nursing students must submit to a criminal background check via Castle Branch prior to their initial clinical experience. Criminal background checks must be completed by August 1st for Fall Quarter or December 1st for Winter Quarter and will remain in effect unless: a.) a clinical agency determines it necessary to require more frequent or more detailed background checks, b) OR a nursing student interrupts his/her program of study for one quarter or longer. In the above cases, it is mandatory for the student to have another criminal background check performed.
The School of Nursing may not be able to place students in a clinical setting if there are positive findings on the criminal background check. As a result, a student will not be able to complete the requirements of the program.
- Drug Screening: Nursing students are required to have a ten-panel drug screen as required by clinical institutions. Some institutions may require a new drug screen each year. The test may be obtained from any health care agency, or from Castle Branch through Quest Diagnostics Lab. The drug test MUST follow a “Chain-of-custody” procedure. The student should sign a release to have the results sent to School of Nursing Coordinator of Clinical Placements. See below for the School of Nursing Policy on Drug Use and Testing.
The School of Nursing may not be able to place students in a clinical setting if there are positive findings on the drug screen. As a result, a student will not be able to complete the requirements of the program.
Drug Use and Testing:
In accordance with De Paul University policies, the School of Nursing will impose disciplinary sanctions upon any student found to be in violation of laws or policies relating to the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs or alcohol. Nursing students may be required to have a ten-panel drug screen based on clinical affiliates’ requirements. Release forms must be signed to have the results sent to the Clinical Placement Coordinator.
If a student’s drug test is positive, secondary or confirmatory testing will be performed and the student will be expected to cooperate with interviews and follow-up procedures to ascertain and endeavor to confirm whether there was an explanation for the positive test result that did not involve illegal conduct, e.g., ingestion of lawful drugs, food, or beverages that could cause positive results.
If the positive test is confirmed and no sufficiently credible explanation of relevant lawful conduct is forthcoming, clinical placement in a clinical course and successful completion of the program will be jeopardized due to failure to qualify for placement and/or successful completion of the program. Students with confirmed positive tests and/or no sufficiently credible explanation of relevant lawful conduct will be advised that the De Paul University School of Nursing cannot place them in a clinical setting. As a result, a student would not be able to complete the requirements of the program.
Access to Student Records
- A student may have access to his/her personal student record upon request. Confidentiality is maintained with all student files. Release of information is granted upon written request by the student.
- No specific or detailed information concerning specific medical diagnoses will be provided to faculty outside the department, administrators, or even parents, without the expressed written permission of the individual in each case. This position with respect to health records is supported by amendment to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Health officials and other institutional officers must remember that all confidential medical/health care information is protected by statutes and that any unauthorized disclosure may create legal liability.
DePaul University awards the Master’s of Science degree with a major in nursing to students who successfully completed the MENP program. All requirements of the University, College, and School of Nursing must be met as outlined in the current Bulletin.
The student is responsible for completing the application for degree conferral and commencement by the deadline posted in the academic calendar.
Students are responsible for changes reflecting new program requirements if the department gives sufficient notice. Part-time students and students who do not enroll in classes for one or more quarters will the program under which they were admitted.
Upon successful completion of graduation requirements, generic students are eligible to make application to take the National Council of Licensing Examination (NCLEX). (See Legal Limitations below.)
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation requires that graduating MENP students submit to a fingerprinting processing from the Illinois Department of State Police or its designated agent.
Licensure by the IDFPR will require a separate complete background check with fingerprinting prior to being given permission to sit for NCLEX. If criminal activity is noted, such activity MAY BE grounds for the student to not be given permission to take the NCLEX exam.
Legal Limitations for Licensure
Completion of the nursing education program does not guarantee eligibility to write the NCLEX. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation - Board of Nursing may refuse to issue a license for one or more causes stated in that section of the Nursing Practice Act.
Requirements for licensure vary from state to state. Those students wishing to take the NCLEX outside Illinois are advised to check with their state’s licensure requirements early in the academic program.