Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Program Description

Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) has developed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) Program offering Direct Entry and Upper Division Entry Options.  The 121-credit hour BSN Program is sequentially structured and can be completed in approximately three to four calendar years.  The Program, based in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (October 20, 2008), prepares nurse generalists to be providers, designers, leaders, managers, and coordinators of care as well as accountable members of the nursing profession and to pursue graduate level education.

The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education of Nursing Practice include:

  • Liberal Education for Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice
  • Basic Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Care and Patient Safety
  • Scholarship for Evidence-Based Practice
  • Information Management and Application of Patient Care Technology
  • Healthcare Policy, Finance, and Regulatory Environments
  • Interprofessional Communication and Collaboration for Improving Patient Health Outcomes
  • Clinical Prevention and Population Health
  • Professionalism and Professional Values
  • Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice

The BSN program also provides individuals with the ability to implement evidenced-based practice in the delivery of professional nursing care based on higher-level competencies throughout a variety of clinical settings.  Evidence-based practice incorporates scientific findings in the delivery of nursing care that includes both theory and practical clinical skills required by the field of nursing to provide leadership and render safe, culturally appropriate patient care.

Mission of the Program

The MSN/FNP  Program supports the Mission of PHSU by seeking to improve the health of diverse populations by providing academically rigorous, evidence-based  in advanced practice nursing  in an intra-professional environment to prepare graduates who demonstrate excellence in advance nursing practice embracing equity and culturally effective care to patients, families, and communities, utilize informatics to support decision making, transform health care, and serve others through health promotion, and to have positive impacts through service to families and communities at local, national and global levels

Vision of the Program

The Nursing Program vision statement is future-oriented and supports the Vision of PHSU by aspiring to be recognized for excellence and innovation in education, leadership, advocacy, research, and culturally competent nursing practice.

The Baccalaureate Nursing Program goals are to:

  • Prepare competent professionals who contribute to nursing by demonstrating leadership and render safe, culturally appropriate patient care.
  • Prepare nurses with the ability to implement evidence-based practice and innovative technologies to deliver professional nursing care based on higher-level competencies and throughout a variety of clinical settings.
  • Prepare graduates able to incorporate community-based participatory research findings in the delivery of nursing care.

At the time of graduation from the Nursing Program, nursing students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to excellence in professional accountability, leadership, professional behaviors and responsibility for nursing judgments and actions within a moral, ethical and legal framework, utilizing the most current information resources with a commitment to continuous professional development.
  • Utilize the most current informatics and technology resources to communicate, manage knowledge, educate, mitigate error and support decision making to promote patient safety, quality care services.
  • Function effectively within nursing and inter-professional teams, fostering open communication, mutual respect, and shared decision making to achieve quality patient care and improved patient outcomes.
  • Facilitate safe, holistic and effective patient/family centered care outcomes through use of evidence-based research and other science-based, humanities and research frameworks.
  • Promote a culture of caring to provide holistic, compassionate, culturally competent patient-centered nursing care based on a comprehensive and focused health assessment across the lifespan using sound clinical judgment.
  • Evaluate the implications of policy on issues of access, equity, affordability, a social justice in healthcare delivery including the health of vulnerable populations and healthcare disparities.
  • Advocate for patients, families, communities, and the nursing profession, applying values and utilizing an ethical framework, clinical reasoning, and cultural competence.
  • Implement individual and population-focused interventions to promote health and to prevent and manage disease and injuries by identifying threats to safety and develop strategies to minimize risk of harm to individuals and populations.
  1. Applicants to the BSN Program must have a recognized high school diploma or General Equivalency Examination (GED), or the equivalent. They also must have successfully completed high school Biology, Algebra and preferably Chemistry.
  2. Applicants must have a general high school GPA of 2.50. High school graduates with a cumulative GPA of 2.40 to 2.49 may be granted conditional admission to the BSN Program at PHSU. This classification is for the first year where the student must enroll in general education and core courses and achieve a minimum GPA of 2.50 in courses completed to progress to the second year of the nursing curriculum. As soon as the student meets this requirement, the conditional admission will be changed to regular admission.
  3. For admissions as an Upper Division Program, PHSU requires applicants to complete the following general education and science courses with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 from accredited schools. Only grades of C or higher transfer.  Nursing courses from other institutions are not accepted for transfer.

 

Upper Division Pre-Requisites

CourseCredits
Chemistry for Health Sciences with Lab4
Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab4
English Composition I3
Introduction to Psychology3
Microbiology for Health Sciences with Lab4
Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab4
Developmental Psychology3
English Composition II3
College Algebra3
Public Speaking3
Introduction to Statistics3

 

(Students who have not completed the pre-requisites for admission to the Upper Division Program may be eligible for the Direct Entry BSN Program).

 

  1. Candidates under 21 must comply with immunizations included in the guidelines from the Puerto Rico Department of Health at the moment of admission.  All students must comply with immunizations required to health-related professionals (see immunization policy section).
  2. Written essay indicating interest in nursing.
  3. Submit two letters of recommendation from persons not related to you who can speak to your potential to become a registered professional nurse.
  4. Complete an interview with the admission committee.
  5. Demonstrate English proficiency in speaking and reading by TOEFL scores or evidence of successful completion of a year of college English.
  6. Must have taken the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) or equivalent admission test (SAT), students with 23+ years do not have to meet this admission test requirement.
  7. Negative penal records certification or background check is required prior to admission.
  8. Read and sign the document of Essential Performance Standards in Nursing*
  9. A non-refundable US $25 Application Processing Fee. (Payments are accepted using VISA/MasterCard or Check/Money Order payable to Ponce Health Sciences University).

 

To apply submit the following admission documents directly to the admissions office:

  1. Admissions application (completed on the website)
  2. Official High School transcript (s) with degree conferred.
  3. Transfer students must present post-secondary transcripts, if applying for Upper Division.
  4. Essay
  5. Two letters of recommendation
  6. Entrance Exam Test results
  7. Negative Penal Record Certification or Background check
  8. Evidence of application processing fee payment.
  1. Have attended eight regular trimesters (or received transfer credit equivalent to the first two trimesters, have satisfactorily met all the approved clinical requirements, and have satisfactorily completed all course work and examinations as required by the faculty.
  2. Have met all the requirements for satisfactory academic progression.
  3. Received a passing grade on all required examinations.
  4. Have shown a behavior considered acceptable to academic instructors and supervisors.
  5. Have received the recommendation of the Nursing Faculty as presented to the Promotions Committee. The Committee reviews both cognitive and attitudinal aspects of performance.  The recommendations are then submitted to the Dean for approval.
  6. Have settled all financial and library obligations with PHSU.
  7. Attend the commencement exercise.

 

Students who have successfully completed the BSN program and wish to practice in the US are eligible to apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN examination.  Each state Board of Nursing has different licensure requirements.  The requirements for eligibility to take the NCLEX and to get a license/registration are determined by the board of nursing/regulatory body (BON/RB). If you are interested in information about eligibility and licensure/registration requirements, you should contact the BON/RB where you wish to practice.  PHSU SON will assist you in understanding the requirements.

GRADING SYSTEM

Nursing program defines grades of nursing and support courses based on the following system:

 

PercentageGradeHonor Points
100-87A4
86-77B3
76-67C2
Below 67F0
IIncomplete 
IPIn Progress 
PPass 
NPNot Pass 
WWithdrawal 
AWAdministrative Withdrawal 

 

All students are required to obtain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.50. An “I” (Incomplete) grade will only be allowed under very special circumstances as determined by the faculty. The student must complete the “I” (Incomplete) by the following trimester or an – “F” will be recorded for that course. The “I” (Incomplete) grades are part of the academic record as are the final grades.

Clinical training begins after the student has: (1) successfully completed the Physical Assessment for Advanced Practice Nursing course (2) complied with all clinical requirements, including  immunization documentations, (3) successfully completed prerequisite core course work,  and (4) received the appropriate clearance to attend the clinical practicum from the FNP program.

The clinical requirements and supporting documents for practicum must be submitted prior to beginning the first advanced clinical nursing course. These include the following:

1. Annual Standard Precautions (Bloodborne Pathogens – BBP) Training

All students are required to participate in BBP training annually.  All students must attend the specified safety orientation, and successfully complete blood – borne pathogen training prior to being allowed into clinical work. Students are expected to acquaint themselves with the location and contents of manuals, Minimum Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and posted notices related to Blood-Borne Pathogens. Additional information about this process is in the Clinical Practicum Handbook.

2. HIPPA Training

All students are subject to the US Department of Health and Human Services “Privacy Rule” contained in the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act (HIP AA) of 1996. This federal law is designed to guarantee patient confidentiality and protects against the misuse or inappropriate disclosure of individually identifiable health information. As part of the clinical experience, students are allowed access to protected health information as necessary to provide patient care. Completion of the HIPAA Education Module is required prior to enrollment in clinical courses and annually thereafter. Illegal disclosure of patient confidential information is grounds for dismissal from the Nursing Program and carries the possibility of legal action.

3. CPR Certification

Submit the signed front and back copy of your card to the Nursing Program. CPR cards must be renewed before the due date for clinical requirements and may not come due for renewal at any time during the semester.

4. Health Insurance

Provide a copy of your current health insurance card or proof of coverage. If your name is not included on the card, you will be asked to submit a letter from your insurance company verifying your coverage. At any time should your coverage change, please copy and provide updated information.

5. Immunization and Tuberculosis Testing  

Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) adheres to the CDC norms on adult immunization. The Office of Student Affairs is responsible for maintaining the documentation of student immunization and PPD status. Immunization requirements are:

  • Hepatitis B: All nursing students are required to have been immunized against Hepatitis B. Such immunization consists of a series of three injections that should be completed prior to or as soon as possible after matriculation. Students who are not in compliance may be barred from participation in clinical activities at the discretion of the Associate Dean’s Office.

  • RubellaRubella immunity via history or documented vaccine or serological titer is required before a student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities.

  • Rubeola: Rubeola immunization is required for all students born after 1957. Students must provide physician documentation of receipt of two doses of vaccine or serologic evidence of immunity before a student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities.

  • MumpsMumps immunization is required. A physician documented history of immunization or documented evidence for immunity (serologic titers) is required before a student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities.

*Rubella, Rubeola and Mumps requirement is filled by 2 doses of MMR at least on year apart.

  • Polio, Tetanus, DiphtheriaStudents should be current in immunization against polio, tetanus and diphtheria. It is required before a student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities.

  • VaricellaStudents with a history of varicella should have it documented. Students without a history of varicella must have a titer for varicella antibody determined. Students with a negative titer are recommended to undergo varicella immunization. Non-immune students will not be permitted on some clinical services specifically Pediatrics Nursing.

  • Influenza: Students should have the influenza vaccine before entering the clinical clerkships. It will be available at a reasonable cost at PHSU Outpatient Clinic.

PHSU requires annual tuberculin (intra dermal) testing for actively enrolled students. Evaluation and management of nursing students with positive tests or those whose test becomes positive during nursing school will be evaluated through the PHSU outpatient clinic.

These requirements may vary according to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) recommendation. (Refer to the complete Immunization Policy in the PHSU Catalog and the Student Policy Manual).

6. Professional Liability Insurance

All Nursing students need to have Malpractice/Liability Insurance. The coverage required is a policy that provides $1,000,000 for each medical incident and $3,000,000 aggregate. Additional information about this will be provided to each student prior to the first clinical course.

7. Alcohol, Tobacco, Illicit Drug and Violence

PHSU prohibits the abuse of alcohol within the academic community. The possession, distribution or use of illegal drugs is ground for immediate sanction, including dismissal. Smoking is prohibited on school grounds. Violence is not tolerated within the academic community or on the school or affiliated facilities. (Refer to the institutional policy in the PHSU l Catalog, the Student Policy Manual).

For more details of PHSU tuition and fees please refer to: Cost of Attendance

ALL TUITION AND FEES ARE PAYABLE ON OR BEFORE REGISTRATION.

Ponce Health Sciences University reserve the right to increase the tuition or other fees as deemed necessary.

 HOW TO APPLY

Applicants must submit the following documents:

  • Official transcript from all undergraduate and graduate universities attended
  • Letter of Recommendation Format – Written by individuals familiar with the applicant’s professional work and skills
  • Certificate of No Penal Record (Criminal Background check)
  • USD $25.00 Application Processing Fee (check or money order payable to Ponce School of Medicine)

Deadline to submit a complete application – May 30

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