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Academic Policies

ACADEMIC YEAR

We admit one class per year, in the Fall. The first academic year consists of two full semesters and two summer sessions. The second academic year consists of two full semesters and a three week mini-session.  Scheduled holidays include New Year's Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

PROGRAM COMPLETION TIME LIMIT

All students must complete all required course work within five years of their initial admission to the School to be eligible for graduation. This time limit is regardless of any Leaves of Absence or other interruption in attendance.

CURRICULUM PLAN

The curriculum is designed to provide for increasing levels of competency requiring courses to be taken in a specific order. Thus, each nursing course has prerequisite courses.

Prerequisites consist of courses a student must complete before being permitted to begin the nursing course. Co-requisites are courses a student is required to take while enrolled or prior to enrollment in the particular nursing course.

CREDIT RATIO TO CONTACT HOURS

1 Credit = 1 collegiate lecture hour / wk
1 Credit = 3 collegiate lab hours / wk
1 Credit = 1 School of Nursing lecture hour / wk
1 Credit = 4 School of Nursing lab or clinical hours / wk

GRADING SYSTEM

The following grading system is the method of evaluation recognized for the courses taught by the faculty at St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing:

  A (93 - 100) = 4 Grade points
  A- (90 – 92) = 3.7 Grade points
  B+ (87 - 89) = 3.4 Grade points
  B (83 - 86) = 3.0 Grade points
  B- (80 - 82) = 2.7 Grade points
  F (Below 80) = 0 Grade points

In order to pass a course an 80% based on exams alone must be achieved. The 80% will be calculated prior to adding in other supplemental graded assignments.

  I (Incomplete) = Course requirements are incomplete. Work must be completed within 2 weeks of the last class period to secure a grade.
  W (Withdrawal) = Official withdrawal from a nursing course prior to 67% of the term.
*(Note: A grade of “F” will be assigned for Withdrawal after 67% of the term)
  S (Satisfactory) =  Indicates acceptable work in clinical or other non-scored work.
  U (Unsatisfactory) =  Indicates unacceptable work in clinical or other non-scored work.
  AU (Audit) =  Indicates approved audit.

The School of Nursing accepts the grading system in effect at various colleges for the courses taught by the faculty at that college.

 ACADEMIC STANDING

  • "B-" is the lowest acceptable passing grade for all St. Francis Nursing courses. 
  • "C" is the lowest acceptable passing grade for all for all other college courses taken while enrolled.
  • "S" is the acceptable rating for the clinical component of those courses with clinical experience.
  • "D" or "F" is an unacceptable grade in any course. A "U" rating for the clinical nursing component is equivalent to an "F".
  • In order to pass a nursing course, a passing grade must be achieved in both theory and clinical.
  • Any student who fails any two nursing courses, science courses or any combination of these courses after admission to the program or fails the same course twice will be dismissed from the program.

GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA)

  • The GPA is used to determine honors and final class rank.
  • The GPA is computed by dividing the total number of accumulated quality points by the  total number of attempted credits.
  • College courses that transfer into our program as Advanced Placement are not included in the GPA.  

CLINICAL PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

The clinical area provides students with the opportunity to make direct application of theoretical knowledge.  Course objectives are stated in measurable, behavioral terms.  Each student is evaluated at regularly assigned intervals in each of the clinical nursing courses and is required to complete a self evaluation.  The student must achieve an "S" rating in each of the stated course objectives in order to successfully complete the specific nursing course.

PROMOTION

Promotion occurs at the end of each semester.  To be promoted the student must have completed all pre-requisites for the next semester with a grade of “C” or better.  Students are responsible for submitting 2 copies of official college transcripts of grades from colleges other than Mercer County Community College at the end of each semester.  Students may not progress to the next course until prerequisite course grades are submitted.

ACADEMIC HONORS

Academic Honors notation is made on the Commencement Program for those graduates who have achieved a final cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT / TRANSFER OF CREDITS

Advanced Placement (transfer of credit) for required co-requisite courses is available to students wishing to transfer college credits.

In order to transfer approved courses, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The college must be accredited by the appropriate accrediting agency.
  2. The course description must demonstrate that the course content is equivalent to that which is required by St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing.
  3. A letter grade of "C" or better was achieved.
  4. Transfer courses must be acceptable to Mercer County Community College.
  5. Three (3) copies of the official transcript are submitted to the School of Nursing.

Science and Math courses must be completed within 5 years of admission to the first nursing course to be transferable. The final determination on transfer of courses will be made by the Mercer County Community College. Courses accepted for transfer will be recorded only as course credit earned toward graduation requirements. The grades will not affect the student's cumulative grade point average.

Transfer of credit for required nursing courses is available to applicants wishing to transfer RN nursing program courses. St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing, at its sole discretion reserves the right to deny transfer of credit for any course.

 In order to transfer approved R. N. nursing courses, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The nursing program in which the course(s) was taken must be accredited by an agency acceptable to St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing.
  2. The course content and contact hours must be acceptable to meet the requirements of St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing.
  3. A letter grade of “C” or better was achieved.
  4. An official transcript is submitted to St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing.
  5. Successful completion of a course challenge exam may be required.

Nursing courses which were completed more than two years prior to admission to the School of Nursing, are not transferable.

All students admitted to St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing must complete a minimum of 10 months of study at St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing in order to be eligible for graduation.

COLLEGE COURSE CREDIT BY EXAMINATION

Mercer County Community College gives recognition for college-level learning for demonstrated proficiency in the particular course work. Certain exams taken through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and the Regents Examination Program are accepted, provided a satisfactory score is achieved. Refer to MCCC policies and fees for credit by examination.

Students desiring to gain credit by examination must adhere to the following procedure:

  • Submit a written request to challenge a college course to the Student Affairs Coordinator.
  • Arrange for the official results to be sent to St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing, Student Affairs Office. (Use ETS School Code #2858)
  • Official score reports (exam results) must be received prior to the registration date of the course being challenged. If this has not occurred, the student must register for the course.
  • NOTE: Not all CLEP or Regents exams are acceptable for credit. Be sure to check with the Student Affairs Coordinator before taking one.

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

A leave of absence may be granted for a period up to one year. An extension beyond a year must be substantiated by appropriate documentation and is given consideration by the Academic Affairs and Advisement Committee. In all cases, a student must complete all required course work within five years of his/her original admission to the School in order to be eligible for graduation.

WITHDRAWALS

Voluntary Program Withdrawal - Withdrawal from the program may be made by a student at any time. A completed Withdrawal Form must be given to the Director by the student prior to the effective date of withdrawal.

Withdrawal from Nursing Course - Students who withdraw from a nursing course prior to 67% of the scheduled length of the course will be assigned a grade of “W”. Students who withdraw at or after 67% of the course will be assigned a grade of “F”.

Dismissal - The faculty and administration reserve the right to require the withdrawal of any student whose financial standing, scholastic standing, clinical practice, health, conduct, or performance is unacceptable and conflicts with continuation in the program. A student who fails any two nursing courses, science courses or any combination of these after admission to the School will be dismissed from the program. A student who fails the same course twice will be dismissed from the program.

Students who withdraw voluntarily, or who are required to withdraw by the faculty, must make arrangements to satisfy all financial obligations before leaving the School.

Withdrawal from College Courses - A student who wishes to withdraw from a non-nursing course must contact the Student Affairs Coordinator prior to taking any action. To request withdrawal from Mercer County Community College courses a student must complete the appropriate documentation with the Student Affairs Coordinator. For students attending other colleges’ appropriate paperwork must be completed at the specific college after discussion with the Student Affairs Coordinator. Refer to the respective college catalog for refund policies. Withdrawal from college courses could necessitate a withdrawal from nursing courses at St. Francis.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

Graduation requirements include:

  • Successful completion of all required nursing and non-nursing courses in the curriculum.
  • Successful completion of all required remediation.
  • Completion of all mentoring requirements.
  • Fulfillment of all financial obligations to the School.

Official transcripts and other certificates will not be released until all financial obligations have been satisfied, all library books and multimedia materials have been returned and any outstanding fees have been paid.

 

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