The faculty of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center offers a four-year program of study leading to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. (See Curriculum Plan Section) This program of study is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and is approved by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing. Upon graduation, a student is eligible to write NCLEX-RN the examination for licensure for a registered nurse (R.N.).
A student may attend any accredited college or university to fulfill the required pre-nursing courses. During the time the student is enrolled in the pre-nursing courses, a separate application for admission must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs. (See Section on Admission Process )
The purpose of the Baccalaureate curriculum is to prepare the graduate for the role of nurse generalist as the provider, designer, manager, and coordinator of care. The Baccalaureate degree is the first professional degree, preparing graduates as members of the nursing profession. Central to the curriculum are the theoretical concepts, values, and skills involved in health promotion, risk reduction, disease prevention, and illness and disease management, including technical skills, skills in critical thinking, communication, and assessment. Knowledge of nursing theory, research, health care systems and policy, information and health care technologies, ethics in practice, human diversity, and global health care is included.
- Synthesize knowledge from the sciences and humanities in professional nursing practice.
- Integrate the core values into interactions with patients/clients, colleagues, other professionals, and the public.
- Integrate the knowledge and skills required in health promotion, risk prevention, prevention of illness and disease, and illness management in providing professional nursing care to individuals, families, population groups, and communities.
- Develop essential skills, knowledge and abilities necessary to function as a professional nurse.
- Formulate knowledge of information technologies, healthcare technologies, ethics, human diversity, global healthcare, and healthcare systems and policy in providing nursing care.
- Assist the patient/client through the healthcare system integrating the skills of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, negotiation, delegation, coordination, and evaluation of interdisciplinary work and the application of outcome-based practice models.
- As life-long learners, design a plan for professional development in response to trends and issues in healthcare, changing nursing roles, and the impact of these on patients/ clients.
Academic and Admissions Counseling
Academic and admissions counseling is encouraged prior to submitting an application. Contact the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing Office of Student Affairs (504) 568-4114, who will assist you with contact information on the advisor for individual programs. A faculty member assigned for admissions counseling will respond in a timely manner.
Consideration for admission to the School of Nursing is open to all persons who meet the admission requirements and qualifications. Refer to the Admissions Section of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Programs for specific admission criteria.
Students who plan to enter the undergraduate nursing curriculum may complete prerequisite courses at any accredited college or university. Students apply for admission to the nursing program while enrolled in the final semester or after successfully completing all the required pre-nursing courses.
Students should follow the self-managed application process. The deadlines for postmark of applications are January 15th for Fall Semester admission and August 15th for Spring Semester admission.
Students are admitted twice yearly, in January and August except for the CARE track. Refer to appropriate section for more information on the CARE track.
The members of the Admissions, Progression, and Graduation Committee will review only completed application packets received or post marked by the deadline date. This packet must include all of the following.
- Completed application form
- Required application fee
- Official transcripts from each and every college or university attended.
- Other specific requirements for each program. Refer to the appropriate program section for additional requirements.
Notification of action taken by members of the Admissions Progression and Graduation Committee will be sent in writing to all applicants no later than mid-May for the Fall Semester admission or mid-November for the Spring Semester admission.
An applicant who wishes to transfer an application to a subsequent semester may do so one time only, and must notify a staff member from the Office of Student Affairs in writing within the stated guidelines on the acceptance, alternate, or denial letter. Thereafter, the applicant must complete a new application packet and submit another application fee.
Types of Admission
Unconditional Admission is normally granted to applicants who meet all requirements for admission to the program.
Probationary Admission: may be granted to applicants who fail to meet all qualifications but who are judged by the faculty to show promise for successful graduate work based on their merits on an individual basis.
Provisional Admission is granted to applicants who are unable, for good reason, to supply the required credentials prior to the stated deadline. In such cases the credentials must be received no later than 30 days after the first day of class (includes Summer Session).
BSN Admission Requirements
- Admission to the baccalaureate program of study is by competitive application.
- Meeting the minimum academic requirements DOES NOT guarantee admission to the School of Nursing.
- Applicants must meet all requirements for the baccalaureate degree.
- All applicants who accept admission must attend mandatory pre-advising session, new student orientation and level orientation.
- Further information can be found on the School of Nursing website: http://nursing.lsuhsc.edu
Traditional BSN Track
- An applicant must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.8 (4.0) scale on all college work taken prior to admission to the program. GPAs are calculated on the basis of pre-nursing courses taken, including those repeated.
- A grade of C or better must be achieved in all pre-nursing courses. If a student receives a D or F in a pre-nursing course, it may be repeated one (1) time only. Failure of any pre-nursing course twice makes an applicant ineligible for admission.
- Preference will be given to an applicant who completes pre-nursing courses in the LSU System.
- An applicant must complete 34 hours of the required pre-nursing courses, or be enrolled in the final semester of pre-nursing courses before applying to the program.
- A standardized entrance exam is required for admission to the BSN Program of Nursing. Information on the entrance exam can be located on the School of Nursing web page. The test must be completed as part of the admissions process. Applications of those who have not completed the test will not be accepted. For further information, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 568-4213.
- Applicants are classified for screening in one of the following ways:
- Traditional Student (No previous formal course work in a nursing program leading to the licensing examination to become a registered nurse( R.N.).
- Transfer Nursing Student (Previous work complete in another baccalaureate nursing program).
RN to BSN Articulation Track
- A current unencumbered license to practice nursing in Louisiana.
- Grade Point Average of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale (2.5 for provisional admission).
- Interview with RN to BSN faculty advisor.
CARE BSN Track
The program is designed for individuals who have met the following criteria:
- Earned Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in any field.
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all pre-requisite course work.
- Earned a ”B” or higher in all science courses.
- Completed all required pre-nursing course work before admission.
Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening Policy
The Louisiana State Board of Nursing requires a criminal background check on all traditional and CARE BSN students accepted into the School of Nursing. Background information and fingerprint cards must be completed and submitted to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing within the first month of enrollment in the first semester. The information obtained by the criminal background check is reviewed by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing. Depending on the result of the screening, the Board of Nursing determines if the student can be allowed to enter their first clinical nursing course or if specific conditions are necessary for progression in the curriculum. Information about how to compete these requirements will be given to students after admission to the program.
RN to BSN students are cleared by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing annually upon linitial licensure and annual licensure renewal.
Additional types of screening (Level 1 backgound check) and urine drug tests may also be required, depending upon the policies of the clinical agencies where students are assigned to provide patient care. The purpose of obtaining this information is to protect the public. Students are responsible for paying for these assessments.
Students in all tracks of the School of Nursing are expected to comply fully with the general LSU Health Sciences Center provisions governing registration as specified in the general information section of this publication.
Alternatives to Fulfilling Curriculum Requirements and Advanced Placement
A student who has competency and educational/experiential preparation may be permitted to take advanced standing examinations in specific courses, which, if passed with satisfactory grades, will enable the student to receive degree credit. Credit for advanced standing may be obtained by the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and/or challenge examinations for a total of 60 credit hours in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing curriculum. This credit cannot be used to reduce the minimum residence requirement. A student may not take an advanced standing examination in a course, which the student has audited, nor in which a grade has been earned.
Credit and/or advanced placement for previous educational and experiential background may be earned in the following ways.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Students may earn credits through CLEP for a maximum of 36 credit hours. The CLEP Examination for a course must be passed prior to the semester in which a student is scheduled to take the course. Pre-nursing requirements must be met for courses in which CLEP credit is earned.
Credit by Examination
Students may receive advanced standing credit in non-nursing courses according to established School and University guidelines. For further information, contact the Office of Student Affairs.
A student who expects to challenge courses for advanced placement must personally contact the faculty member in charge of each course eight weeks prior to the next registration date. Nursing courses must be challenged and completed prior to the time of registration. In order to obtain credit via challenge in any course the student must
- Be admitted to the LSUHSC School of Nursing
- Be in good academic standing
- Have a minimal GPA of 2.0
- Obtain permission from the Dean or the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, the head of the department offering the course
- Submit a fee of $100 per credit hour for courses with a clinical challenge component and $50 per credit hour for courses, which do not have a clinical challenge component
- Faculty member administers the challenge exam
- Faculty report the challenge examination grade to the Office of Student Affairs
Students will be held responsible for content in all courses taken in their programs of study regardless of the method by which credit is obtained (transfer, challenge, or waiver).
Students who have attended other colleges or universities are required to furnish a transcript from each school attended. Credits earned five or more years previously are subject to re-evaluation in the light of current course requirements.
Transcripts are evaluated by the appropriate Program Director. Courses considered for transfer credit from colleges or universities outside of the LSU System must have a grade of C or better. Any course attempted more than two times, as documented on official transcript, will not be counted for credit.
After students have earned one-half of the credits required for a degree, they may not use additional credits earned in a two-year college outside the LSU System to fulfill degree requirements, unless authorized to do so by the Dean.
Students will not receive credit for any course taken outside LSUHSC when it is offered the same semester at LSUHSC or the LSU System.
- Once enrolled in the School of Nursing, correspondence courses can only be taken by Sophomore I or II students.
- Course(s) must be taken in the LSU System
- Student must meet with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Nursing Programs for approval and completion of enrollment paperwork.
- Students are responsible for providing an official transcript of the grade received in the correspondence course to the Office of Student Affairs no later than six (6) weeks after completion of the course.
Time Limit for Degrees
Undergraduate students have six (6) years from the first time of registration to complete all conditions for the baccalaureate degree.
Each major component of a nursing course must be passed with a grade of “C” before the student can progress in the nursing course sequence. In addition, competence in determining dosage and solution of medications is required for safe practice. This component must be passed with the score specified in the course syllabus. For a description of the major component of each course, refer to the course syllabus.
It is the responsibility of the student to follow the plan of study and meet the grade requirements for promotion. As a mechanism for validating student performance and as a part of ongoing educational research, all students are required to complete a standardized exam at completion of each semester which measures achievement of knowledge required for licensure.
A student who withdraws from any course may re-enter that course the next time it is offered pending eligibility of the student and availability of space in the class. A student may register for each nursing or supporting course a maximum of two times. A student who enrolls in a course and withdraws after two weeks into the semester will receive a “W” and this “W” is counted as an unsuccessful enrollment. Therefore, the student has one more chance to enroll and successfully pass the course.
A student who has two failures in any combination of the following nursing courses: NURS 2351 , NURS 2362 , NURS 2372 , NURS 3351 , NURS 3362 , NURS 3372 , NURS 3356 , NURS 3366 , NURS 3355 , NURS 3365 , NURS 3358 , NURS 3368 , NURS 4352 , NURS 4362 , NURS 4372 , NURS 4357 , NURS 4358 , NURS 4369 may not continue in the baccalaureate program of study. Where a nursing course is part of a cohort, i.e. there is a co-requisite theory course, and/or a practicum course, and/or a simulation/lab course, failure of more than one course in the cohort in the same semester, counts only as 1 (one) failure. The cohort courses are: NURS 2351 , NURS 2362 , and NURS 2372 ; NURS 3351 , NURS 3362 , and NURS 3372 ; NURS 3356 and NURS 3366 ; NURS 3355 and NURS 3365 ; NURS 3358 and NURS 3368 ; NURS 4352 , NURS 4362 , and NURS 4372 ; NURS 4357 and NURS 4358 , and NURS 4359 and NURS 4369 .
If a student drops one course in the cohort, all courses in the cohort must be dropped and they must successfully complete course requirements the second time to meet progression criteria.
Refer to LSUHSC School of Nursing web page for current progression policy.
A student who fails a course at LSUHSC must repeat the course in the LSU System.
A student is considered to be making satisfactory academic progress if the following criteria are met.
- Graduation requirements for a full time student can be completed within four (4) years in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Curriculum after entering the School. Additional time will be allowed for a part time student and will be based upon the percentage of course work in which the student is enrolled. The time granted a student for a leave of absence will not be included in the maximum time period for completion of the program.
- A cumulative GPA of 2.0 is maintained
Evaluation of academic progress will be made at the end of each semester.
Policy and Procedure for Petitions
Students may petition for a change or alteration in curriculum requirements for the following reasons.
- Substitution of one course for another course where sufficient evidence is present that the course being substituted meets the intent of the required course
- Alteration in admission, progression or graduation requirements
- Request for challenge exam, correspondence course, or transfer credit.
The completed petition is returned to the Office of Student Affairs after being reviewed and signed by the student’s faculty advisor. The Admissions, Progression, and Graduation Committee will act on the petition, and send a written response to the student. All petitions must be submitted no later than one month prior to registration in order for the action of the Committee to be effective at registration time.
Full Time Study
The minimum requirement for full time enrollment in the undergraduate program is twelve hours during a regular academic semester and six hours during the summer. The minimum requirement for full time enrollment in the graduate program is nine hours during a regular academic semester and six hours during the summer.
Numerous sources of scholarship funds are available for eligible candidates. Some require enrollment for a period of time. The Office of Student Affairs and Office of Financial Aid provide written information and contact sources. Inquiry should be directed to these offices so that the student may then proceed to complete the process.
Jo Ellen Smith Scholarship - The Jo Ellen Smith Foundation awards scholarships on a competitive basis. Students must complete a formal application for scholarship funds. Applications forms are available in the Office of the Assistant Dean for Student Services and the New Orleans Foundation website.
The Suzanne Theriot Scholarship Fund - Friends and family of the late Suzanne Theriot have made contributions to the LSUHSC Foundation to establish a scholarship in her memory. The amount of the annual award will not exceed the yearly earnings of the Fund. This scholarship will be awarded to a baccalaureate nursing student who exhibits high scholastic potential and who is in need of financial assistance as funds become available.
The T.H. Harris Scholarship - Available to full time students who earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and had a scholarship award on a previous campus, for the two semesters of the Freshman year. Students who earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 every semester thereafter may continue the scholarship, for a total of four years, as long as they maintain full time status.
The LSUHSC Nursing Alumni Scholarship - Awarded to a final year nursing student with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and based on financial need.
The Lori Norton Scholarship- Friends and Family of the late Lori Norton have made contributions to the LSUHSC Foundation to establish a scholarship in her memory. The amount of the annual award will not exceed the yearly earnings of the fund. This scholarship will be awarded to an entering baccalaureate nursing student with a GPA of 3.0 or above and exhibits a need for financial assistance (currently not receiving any grant funding).
The Laura Ryan Endowment Scholarship - The family of the late Laura Ryan has established a endowment fund with the LSUHSC Foundation to establish a scholarship in her memory. The amount of the annual award will not exceed the yearly earnings of the fund. This scholarship will be awarded to an entering baccalaureate nursing student with a GPA of 3.0 or above and exhibits a need for financial assistance ( currently not receiving any grant funding).
Nursing School Scholars Scholarship - Provides scholarship assistance to an entering baccalaureate nursing student with a GPA of 3.0 or above and exhibits a need for financial assistance (currently not receiving any grant funding). The amount of the annual award will not exceed the yearly earnings of the fund.
Sandra W. Northup, R.N. Memorial Scholarship - Provides scholarship assistance to an entering nursing student who has financial need as funds become available.
Tuition Opportunity Programs For Students - Available to graduating high school students with a 2.5 GPA and a minimum ACT score of 20. Students must have taken a TOPS core curriculum.
The Air Force, Army, and Navy ROTC Nursing Programs - A comprehensive program of studies through which a student can qualify to be commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force, Army or Navy, the National Guard or the Reserve is available to students in the baccalaureate program. These scholarship programs provide a variety of funding support: tuition, fees, textbooks, and subsistence. Admission is conditional on meeting academic, physical and age requirements as well as approval from the branch of service selected. Physical training is an integral part of the ROTC Program. For further information about the Army, Air Force or Navy ROTC Programs offered to LSUHSC School of Nursing students, contact the appropriate ROTC office-Air Force (504) 865-5394; Army (504) 865-5594; Navy (504) 865-5104.
Baccalaureate Scholastic Requirements
The value of each course of instruction and the amount of work required for graduation is stated in terms of semester hours. One credit or semester hour represents one hour of class, theory, per week for a semester. Each laboratory course represents 2 hours per week per 1 hour lab credit/semester hour. Each practicum course represents 3 hours per week per 1 hour of practicum credit/semester hour.
- The grade of A, B, or C is given for satisfactory work. The grade of C indicates work of a quality acceptable for graduation. The grades of A and B are given for work of a higher degree of excellence. The grade of D is unsatisfactory. The grade of F is given for work failed. The grade of P (Pass) is assigned for satisfactory completion of advanced standing examinations. For purpose of converting a numerical expression to a letter grade, the following scale may be used. There is no rounding of grades.
F Failing, below 65
- A grade of “W” (withdrawal) will be issued to students who enroll in a course and who attend up to 20 percent of actual class time and withdraw without completing more than 20 percent of actual class time.
- A grade of “F” will be issued to students who attend 80 percent or more of actual class time and withdraw before the completion of the course.
- A student who receives a grade of less than C in a supporting or nursing course taken in the LSU system must repeat the course in the LSU System in order to receive credit for it. Refer to website for current progression policy.
- A practicum grade is reported as a letter grade with a minimum grade of “77” required for progression in the curriculum. Students are allowed to enroll in each course twice.
- Work which earns a passing grade but which is not complete, because of circumstances beyond the student’s control may be marked “I” (Incomplete). An “I” is given only upon receipt by the Dean of an appropriate reason transmitted through the instructor and Program Director. If an acceptable reason is not received, the instructor is to consider that the delinquent work is of failing quality and an “I” is not to be given. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate the request. A grade of “I” will be converted to “F” unless it is removed prior to the deadline for adding courses for credit in the next semester as published in the calendar. The conversion of the “I” takes place in the next regular semester in which the student is in residence in the LSU System.
- Any instructor may present a written statement of unsafe and/or incompetent behavior to the course coordinator after discussion with the student. The course coordinator will then present this information and any recommendations to the appropriate Program Director for action. This may occur at any time during a semester. Evidence of unsafe and/or incompetent performance of a skill passed in a previous course may halt progression in the curriculum. Any student found to be unsafe or incompetent in clinical performance may be referred for formal evaluation and treatment, be required to repeat the course before progressing in the curriculum, or the student may be permanently dropped from the program.
Standards for Grade Point Averages
The cumulative grade point average (GPA) of a student is determined by the ratio of quality points earned to semester hours attempted. Quality points are assigned to letter grades as follows: A -four quality points; B - three quality points; C - two quality points; D - one quality point; F - no quality points. These grades are used to determine the student’s academic status.
- CUMULATIVE GPA - At the time of initial enrollment, a cumulative GPA is calculated. This cumulative GPA is based on transfer credit from other institutions. After the first semester at LSUHSC School of Nursing, additional credits are calculated to establish a cumulative GPA for each semester of enrollment. A cumulative GPA must remain at 2.0 or above to be in good academic standing. A student with a cumulative GPA below 2.0 will be placed on academic probation and will be allowed one term to raise the GPA.
- LSUHSC GPA – The LSUHSC GPA refers to the GPA earned from all courses taken while in residence at the School of Nursing and includes courses taken while at any other accredited academic institution. A student must maintain an LSUHSC GPA of 2.0 to remain in good academic standing. A LSUHSC GPA below 2.0 places a student on academic probation. Students have one term to raise this GPA.
- TERM GPA – The term GPA refers to the GPA earned from courses completed in the current semester. A student must maintain a 2.0 term GPA to remain in good academic standing. If the term GPA is below 2.0, a student is placed on academic probation and will have one term to raise this GPA.
- A student earning a term GPA of 3.5 or above will be placed on the Dean’s List at the end of the respective Spring or Fall semester.
- A student placed on academic probation has two semesters to obtain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher on all college work attempted and on all work attempted at the LSU Health Sciences Center.
- A student who has been on academic probation will be dropped from the rolls of the School of Nursing at the end of any second semester or summer term during which the student fails to earn at least a 2.0 Cumulative, LSUHSC or term GPA.
- Regardless of a student’s cumulative GPA, if the student fails to earn a 2.0 (LSUHSC or term GPA) in each of two consecutive semesters (or one semester and a summer term) the student will not be eligible to register and enroll for one semester.
- Once a student is readmitted and the term GPA remains less than a 2.0, a student is not eligible to register or enroll at the School of Nursing for at least one calendar year. The student may then apply for readmission.
- A student who has been dropped for academic reasons may not obtain credit toward a degree from the LSU Health Sciences Center with credits earned at another institution during the period of the student’s ineligibility.
Students must meet the following program specific degree requirements.
- Satisfactory completion of 120 semester hours as specified in the curriculum Completion of end of course evaluations, exit survey, and all compliance training.
- Fulfillment of the required 60 semester hours of upper division credit designated by 3000-4000 level courses.
- A cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher (on all college work attempted and all work attempted at the LSU Health Sciences Center) with no grade in pre-nursing, supporting or nursing courses below C.
- In residence for a minimum of 30 semester hours. The last 30 hours must be completed in residence.
- Approval by the Admissions, Progression and Graduation (A, P & G) committee and given recommendation by the faculty of the School of Nursing.
- Attendance at rehearsal, pre-commencement and commencement unless specifically excused by the Dean.
- Completion of end of course evaluations, exit survey, and all components of compliance training.
- Verification that all materials belonging to the Health Sciences Center and cooperating agencies have been returned through the proper procedures. All indebtedness to the University must be satisfied before a diploma may be issued. These materials would include but not limited to, items such as library books, equipment, keys, furniture or any outstanding, unpaid balances due.
- A candidate must contact the Office of Student Affairs to have academic records evaluated for compliance with degree requirements. This request should be accomplished at the beginning of the semester prior to the semester in which the degree is to be awarded.
- Each candidate must make an application for degree during the final semester in residence (no later than 8 weeks prior to graduation), stating the exact name which is to appear on the diploma.
Degrees with Honors
Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees are awarded summa cum laude to students whose grade point averages fall within the range of 3.960 to 4.000, magna cum laude to students whose grade point averages fall within the range of 3.860 to 3.959, and cum laude to students whose grade point averages fall within the range of 3.760 to 3.859.
In determining eligibility for degrees awarded summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude, at least 75 percent of the credits required for graduation in the particular curriculum of the candidate must have been earned in the LSU System. Only credits earned in the LSU System shall be used in calculating qualification.
- Advanced standing examination fee.
- Uniforms, $150 (approximate cost).
- Purchase of a wristwatch with second hand, stethoscope, scissors, penlight, protective goggles, and hemostat.
- Books and school supplies, $2,000 per year (approximate cost).
- Standardized exam at the completion of each semester (approximately $100 per semester).
- Public transportation is available to most hospitals, health agencies. Personal transportation is recommended.
- Computer system that is compatible with the LSUHSC computing equipment.
- High level background check, (~ $80), urine drug screen (~$40), Malpractice Insurance (~$40)
- Titers for Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, and Hepatitis B (depends on health insurance carrier).
- Tuberculosis Skin Test (PPD) annually or health screening if previous positive TB Skin test.
- Supply bag
- ATI tests
- For graduating students, cap and gown fee ($25.00), diploma fee ($10.00), and nursing pin (approximately $60).
- NCLEX-RN review course (approximately $350)
- Expenses related to Application for Registered Nurse licensure - Fee for criminal record check ($46.25), NCLEX fee ($200.00), and Louisiana State fee ($100).