Skip to Main Content
Mobile Menu

School of Nursing Student Handbooks


Program Overviews, Degrees Conferred and Course Descriptions

Nursing Bachelor's on Campus

Program Overview

Boise State University School of Nursing prepares graduates to be leaders in transforming health care.  Students are prepared to become leaders in nursing, ready to provide caring, holistic and quality nursing services to diverse populations. In addition, students have opportunities for international exchange and access to faculty who have a background in international research and travel.

The Undergraduate Bachelor of Science Program is an innovative program for students who want to become a registered nurse. The curriculum is forward thinking and prepares graduates for nursing positions now and well in to the future.

Degree Conferred

The Undergraduate Nursing Program confers a Bachelor of Science.  The Major is Nursing. This Program admits students who are not currently registered nurses (i.e., pre-licensure students).

There are two application cycles a year for entrance into the School of Nursing Undergraduate (pre-licensure) Program. Only 60 students are accepted per application cycle.

The four year Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing consists of a three semesters of pre-requisite courses (open to any student admitted to Boise State) and a five semester professional component (sophomore, junior and senior years).

Nursing courses in the program of study are sequential and need to be taken each of the Program’s five semesters in the order they are listed.

Students are strongly recommended to seek out advising through the College of Health Sciences Student Services and Academic Advising office (SSAA) to plan an appropriate course of study for the additional non-nursing courses needed for graduation with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing.

Program History

In 1955, while Boise State University was still known as Boise Junior College, the first Nursing Program was established as a three-year program that resulted in an Associate of Science (AS) Degree. The Program changed to a two-year program in 1957 and was endorsed by the National League for Nursing (NLN).  Due to rapidly expanding student enrollment, Boise Junior College became Boise State College in 1965, and finally Boise State University in 1974.  The Nursing Program grew rapidly as well, becoming fully accredited by the NLNAC in 1971 and becoming its own separate University Department within the College of Health Sciences and with a student enrollment of 191 by 1973. Grant funding provided the initiation of a RN completion program for a Bachelors of Science (BS) Degree in 1975 which grew over time and paved the way to start a full-time BS Undergraduate Program in 1987.  The strength of the Undergraduate Program fostered the addition of a Master of Science Program in 2007, as the AS program was amicably transitioned to a local community college.  By 2009, Boise State University became the largest institution of higher education in Idaho and Nursing grew to become its own School of Nursing within the College of Health Sciences. The School continues to build upon all of the advancements since 1955 and is currently providing three graduate programs.

In 2010, the School of Nursing moved into the Norco Nursing Building complete with a 12-bed practice lab and state-of-the-art simulation equipment. The Simulation Center includes an interactive six-bed suite with high-fidelity manikins, debriefing rooms, and a digital video/audio data capture system that provides easy retrieval of indexed videos for debriefing. The Simulation Center gives undergraduate learners the opportunity to practice skills, decision making, and the application of critical thinking in designed learning activities in a safe, controlled environment. The Simulation Center was awarded accreditation by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare’s Council for Accreditation of Healthcare Simulation Programs in 2013 in the area of Teaching and Education; it is the first simulation center west of St. Louis, Mo. not affiliated with a major medical institution, to become accredited.

The School of Nursing’s Bachelor of Science Program received initial NLNAC accreditation in 1980 and has maintained continuous accreditation of all tracks since that time, with the most recent re-accreditation review in 2010.  The School of Nursing is currently accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Course Descriptions

RN-BS Online Completion Track

Overview

Boise State University School of Nursing prepares graduates to be leaders in transforming health care.  Students are prepared to become leaders in nursing, ready to provide caring, holistic, and quality nursing services to diverse populations.

The RN-BS Online Completion Track is an innovative, degree-completion program for associate degree registered nurses seeking a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.

Approximately 200 students matriculate in the Degree Completion Track each year.

Academic Degree Conferred
The RN-BS Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Nursing completion track admits students who are registered nurses with Associate Degrees from regionally and ACEN accredited schools.

There are three application cycles each year for entrance into the RN-BS Track. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Most students take coursework part-time at an average of six credits per semester.  At this pace, students can complete the program in five semesters. However, it is recommended that all students meet with their Academic Adviser to determine if there are any non-nursing courses needed for graduation.

Program History

In 1955, while Boise State University was still known as Boise Junior College, the first Nursing Program was established as a three-year program that resulted in an Associate of Arts Degree. The Program changed to a two-year program in 1957 and was endorsed by the National League for Nursing (NLN).  Due to rapidly expanding student enrollment, Boise Junior College became Boise State College in 1965, and finally Boise State University in 1974.  The Nursing Program grew rapidly as well, becoming fully accredited with NLN in 1971 and becoming its own department within the College of Health Sciences and with a student enrollment of 191 by 1973. Grant funding provided the initiation of an RN completion BSN Program in 1975, which grew over time and paved the way to start a full-time BSN Undergraduate Program in 1987.  The strength of the Undergraduate Program helped Nursing add a Master of Science Program in 2007 as the ADN program was amicably transitioned to a local community college.  By 2009, Boise State University became the largest institution of higher education in Idaho and Nursing became the School of Nursing within the College of Health Sciences.

As of 2008, RN-BS Degree Completion Track was established as a way to meet the needs of registered nurses who wanted to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program received initial ACEN accreditation in 1980 and has maintained continuous accreditation of all tracks since that time, with the most recent re-accreditation review in 2010. CCNE accreditation review held their site visit on March 10, 2015. Results of the visit will be published in October 2015.

Online Teaching and Learning Definition, RN-BS Completion Track

The School of Nursing follows the University definition of distance education “a formal educational process in which instruction occurs when the student and instructor are not in the same place.”  Instruction may be synchronous or asynchronous. Distance education may employ correspondence study, practicum experiences, and audio, video or electronically mediated technologies.

A distance education delivery format is consistent with the mission of the university, as represented in the Division of Extended Studies mission statement, to “connect the resources of Boise State University with individuals, organizations, and communities to maximize educational opportunity and accommodates a wide range of learners and their circumstances by developing programs that feature alternative formats and locations.” (http://www.boisestate.edu/extendedstudies/)

The School of Nursing seeks ways to serve Registered Nurses more effectively by providing alternative delivery teaching methods such as the online completion track.  This, in congruence with the mission and philosophy of Boise State University, provides the mechanism for students to obtain the education they need to achieve their goals, while continuing with demanding personal and employment schedules.  The RN-BS   completion track is congruent with the School of Nursing philosophy which supports “university-based education via a variety of delivery modes” and replicates the quality educational outcomes present in the traditional on campus program environment.

Course Descriptions

AGNP Nurse Practitioner

Overview

Program Outcomes 

Eligible for national certification as an Adult-Gerontology Primary or Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.
Eligible for licensure as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN).

Able to direct & manage the care needs of populations in primary or acute care settings.
Prepared with the advanced practice nursing skills & knowledge necessary to address the pressing issues & challenges in today’s complex health care arena.

Program Objectives

Critical Inquiry/Clinical Reasoning

  1. Synthesizes from a broad perspective theoretical and evidence-based knowledge for advanced nursing practice.
  2. Applies refined analytic skills for advanced nursing practice.
    1. Applies clinical investigative skills to improve health outcomes
    2. Analyzes clinical guidelines for individualized application into practice
  3. Integrates theory and complexity science into advanced nursing practice

 Communication

  1. Evaluates the effectiveness of professional communication strategies through multiple modalities in advanced nursing roles.
  2. Articulates evidence-based viewpoints and positions in advanced nursing roles.
  3. Uses information and communication technologies, resources, and principles of learning to teach patients and others.

 Engagement/Experiential

  1. Synthesizes knowledge, skills, methodologies and learning tools for impacting health care delivery and outcomes.
    1. Execute advanced practice nursing skills within multiple clinical settings
    2. Provides the full spectrum of health care services to include health promotion, disease prevention, health protection, anticipatory guidance, counseling, disease management, palliative, and end of life care
  2. Demonstrates engagement in inter-professional, collaborative partnerships that impact health care delivery and outcomes.
  3. Integrates civic engagement, advocacy and policy development roles into advanced nursing practice

 Global World View

  1. Explore advanced nursing roles in addressing global health issues
  2. Distinguishes the effects of global health issues on nursing education, research, administration and practice.
  3. Incorporates cultural sensitivity in advanced nursing roles with diverse populations.

Professionalism and Leadership

  1. Integrates professional values in advanced nursing leadership roles in health care
    1. Demonstrates the highest level of accountability for professional practice
  2. Integrates advanced nursing leadership roles in health care using an enhanced theoretical and research base

Description & Definitions

Master of Nursing

The adult-gerontology nurse practitioner program focuses on advanced practice nursing with an emphasis on evidenced-based practice for enhancing development of interventions that impact health outcomes and complex healthcare systems. This academic program will provide nurses with the opportunity to develop the knowledge, experience, and skills necessary to be licensed and certified as advanced practice nurses who can address the pressing issues and challenges in today’s complex health care arena by directing the care needs of populations in either acute care or primary care settings. Students will choose either an acute or primary care program focus option.

The MN program has been designed as a 5-6 credit per semester on-line program consisting of 50 credits in 9 semesters (3 years, including summers) with 700 total clinical hours of which 574 hours will be in clinical settings providing supervised direct patient care. Students are required to attend three on-campus intensive summer course sessions to ensure acquisition of skills for option specific procedures, and to complete simulated learning experiences and Objectively Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE).

Graduate Certificate:

The graduate certificate program focuses on advanced practice nursing with an emphasis on evidenced-based practice enhancing development of interventions that impact health outcomes and complex healthcare systems. The certificate program will provide nurses who are already certified nurse practitioners the opportunity to develop education, experience, and skills necessary to be certified and licensed as advanced practice nurses with a specialty in adult-gerontology to address the pressing issues and challenges in today’s complex health care arena by directing the care needs of populations in either primary care or acute care settings. Students will choose either an acute or primary care program option. As an example, Family Nurse Practitioners who wish to specialize in adult-gerontology acute care practice could complete the acute care certificate program to become eligible for certification, licensure, privileging and credentialing to allow them to practice with adult and geriatric patient populations in acute care medical centers.

The Graduate Certificate program has been designed as a 2-6 credit per semester online program consisting of a minimum of 19 credits in 4 semesters with a total of 512 clinical hours of which 448 hours will be in clinical settings providing supervised direct patient care. Students are required to attend two on-campus intensive summer course sessions to ensure acquisition of skills for option specific procedures, and to complete simulated learning experiences and Objectively Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE).

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2011). The essentials of master’s education for advanced practice nursing. Washington, DC: American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Purpose and Conceptual Interface

The purpose of the Master of Nursing Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner program is to prepare nurses for advanced practice nursing with an emphasis on evidenced-based practice enhancing development of interventions that impact health outcomes and complex healthcare systems. This curricular track will provide nurses the opportunity to develop skills necessary to be advanced practice nurses who can address the pressing issues and challenges in today’s complex health care arena by directing the care needs of populations in acute care and primary care settings.
Conceptual Interface with School’s Guiding Documents: The graduate program is synchronous with the School of Nursing’s mission in a variety of ways.

First, the School’s philosophy is addressed. For the person/client concept of the nursing paradigm, the curriculum provides multiple opportunities for the graduate student to practice with, or on behalf of, a specified population, apply theoretical perspectives concerning diversity and partner with others. All facets of the nursing concept of the paradigm are carried out through partnership and service for a specified population, thus, resulting in program outcomes for clinical reasoning and critical inquiry, communication, experiential learning, global worldview and professionalism and leadership. These outcomes are deemed essential for professional nursing practice at the graduate level. For the environment and health concepts of the paradigm, the curriculum focus is on multi-dimensional theoretical knowledge applicable to population nursing, which includes assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation and where the external environment is conceptualized as crossing geographical and practice boundaries.

Second, the School’s belief statements interface with the design of the graduate program. For example, core courses in nursing and related theories; research and scholarly inquiry; and, advanced nursing leadership are foundational to specialty practice at the master’s level. Curriculum for specialized population nursing practice includes role development, concepts, and theoretical components of the nursing process applicable at the individual, group, and population level of advanced practice nursing. Integrated content includes health care policy, ethics, human diversity, social issues, and health promotion and disease prevention. At the graduate level, faculty function as facilitators of learning that is more student-directed than at the undergraduate level. Theoretical concepts are integrated with practice in ways intended to be practical and useful by adult learners in advanced nursing roles.

Clinical reasoning and critical inquiry are integral to the curriculum with the former focusing on applying theoretical knowledge, evidence and skills at the individual, group, and population level. Critical inquiry is the mainstay of graduate education. At the graduate level, skilled communication is used in such ways as discussion in on-line classes, in developing and maintaining partnerships, negotiating, marketing, advocacy roles, and in utilizing a variety of technological modes.

The integrated components of engagement and experiential education are particularly strong. Students and faculty are actively engaged with community partners in order to promote the health of individuals, groups, and populations and identify healthcare and health promotion needs. In order to obtain successful outcomes, partnerships are inherent in advanced practice nursing. This graduate program was designed to have experiential education through multiple courses and course assignments that are evidence-based and have practical applications.

The global worldview is addressed through assignments, discussion and literature that lead the graduate student to a broadened view of issues, needs, and concerns. Related content includes cultural competency and economic and financial perspectives. An increasing array of international agreements will provide elective, and potentially, program of study opportunities in selected global environments.

Professionalism and leadership embody core beliefs essential for advanced nursing roles. Simply stated, the graduate master’s level nurse uses the attributes of self in conjunction with the nursing profession’s values, tenets, standards, guidelines and codes to make a difference at the health policy level with and for others.

Student and Faculty Expectations

Faculty

• Faculty are expected to have a reliable high-speed internet connection and an alternate plan should their primary internet connection fail.
• Technology skills, computer, internet access and software requirements are the same as those required of students.
• Faculty will ensure Blackboard course sites are open and course content is available to students the Friday before classes begin, at the latest.
• Faculty will communicate with the class via email, BB announcements, phone, GoogleHangouts, Google Meet or Skype as deemed most appropriate for the situation.
• Within 48 hours of receipt and within 72 hours during weekends and holidays faculty will respond to student email.
• Boise State email addresses will be standard for all student & faculty email communication.
• Faculty will return all assignment grades and feedback within one week of assignment due date.
• Faculty are expected to be actively engaged in the course discussions, not required to respond to every individual posting but should be an active participant in the discussion to facilitate discussion expansion, correct potential errors etc.
• Faculty will submit final course grades via PeopleSoft by due date designated in the University Academic Calendar
• Each faculty member is held to an expectation of conduct that reflects professionalism at all times, respect for all, upholds academic integrity, and models appropriate netiquette.
• Demonstrate effective teaching at the graduate level and apply appropriate teaching methods supported by evidence.
• Uphold all University, College, School of Nursing, and AGNP program policies and regulations.
• Report any unusual occurrences or concerns regarding student progress and/or course participation/engagement to the AGNP Program Coordinator.
• Participate in activities promoting personal and professional educational growth.
• Maintain clinical expertise which includes active clinical practice as an NP.

Student

• Students are expected to have a reliable high-speed internet connection and an alternate plan should their primary internet connection fail.
• Students will be expected to purchase access to Typhon clinical tracking platform.
• Students must login a minimum of 3 times weekly; strongly encourage daily login.
• Time per week (per credit) students should spend on course activities:
o Didactic: 4 hours/week/course credit (calculated on a 16 week semester);
o Clinical: 4 hours/week/course credit (calculated on a 16 week semester).
• Supporting best practices student will be expected to communicate with the instructor 1-3 times per week.
• Within 48 hours of receipt student will respond to faculty email.
• Graduate level professional performance and writing standards is expected. APA is the writing format standard; must maintain 3.0 GPA overall for graduate college; must pass all AGNP required courses with a B (83%) or higher grade to progress.
• Must be an active and engaged participant in course discussions and activities (detailed expectations will be outlined in course/discussion evaluation rubrics).
• Opportunities for students to provide feedback for course improvement include: formative and summative course evaluations; feedback/suggestions to course faculty, lead faculty, program coordinator at any time.
• Each student is held to an expectation of conduct that reflects professionalism at all times, respect for all, upholds academic integrity, and models appropriate netiquette.

Expectations of Masters Students

Masters students should have strong motivation to advance within the health care field. Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, are essential for professional success. Masters students are expected to have a sound sense of responsibility for their own learning, continued scholarly activity and willingness to take initiative in achievement of learning goals. Over the course of the program, the master’s student will develop the ability to demonstrate leadership and collaboration skills in working with colleagues, groups and in community partnerships.

The curriculum is offered on-line. Clinical course content is delivered on-line with community partner, faculty, and student designing the clinical experiences to facilitate the achievement of learning outcomes. One of the assumptions of on-line learning is the student actively engages and participates in the learning process. In many graduate courses, faculty serve as facilitators to student learning. Therefore, the students take on the responsibility of self-directed learning.

Functional Abilities All students must meet the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) functional abilities essential for nursing practice (Yocum, C. J. [1996]. Validation Study: Functional Abilities Essential for Nursing Practice). The NCSBN has identified the functional capacities necessary for the professional practice of nursing, derived from an extensive study of practicing nurses.

These functional capacities include:
1. Ability to see, hear and touch, smell and distinguish colors.
2. Oral and writing ability with accuracy, clarity and efficiency.
3. Manual dexterity, gross and fine movements.
4. Ability to learn, think critically, analyze, assess, solve problems, and reach judgments.
5. Emotional stability and ability to accept responsibility and accountability.

Reasonable Accommodation for Disabilities Upon admission, an applicant who discloses a disability and requests accommodation may be asked to provide documentation of his or her disability and to collaborate with the Educational Access Center. The School is not required to make modifications that would substantially alter the nature or requirements of the Program or provide accommodations that present an undue burden to the School.

Students with disabilities needing accommodations to fully participate in classes should contact the Educational Access Center (EAC). All accommodations must be approved through the EAC prior to being implemented. To learn more about the accommodation process, visit the EAC’s website at https://eac.boisestate.edu/new-eac-students/. To matriculate or continue in the curriculum, the candidate must be able to perform all the essential functions either with or without accommodation.

On-line teaching and learning

The mechanism of delivery for the Boise State University Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Nursing Graduate Program will be as an asynchronous on-line/distance education program with mandatory on campus sessions each summer. Didactic courses could have synchronous delivery material. Advanced notice will be given so that students can plan how they will participate.
Participating in an on-line course requires you to have access to a computer and being able to send and receive e-mail. Boise State University provides an email account for every student. Your instructor must be able to correspond with you through e-mail and may require you to communicate with your classmates through e-mail. Course faculty and clinical preceptors will use your Boise State University student email account for all email communication unless otherwise specified.

By enrolling in an on-line course, you are granting the instructor permission to post your name and e-mail address on the course website or otherwise distribute that information to other students in the class.

Degrees Conferred:

Master of Nursing, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care
Master of Nursing, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care
Graduate Certificate in Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care
Graduate Certificate in Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care

Description of Courses

 

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Overview

History of the DNP Program

Historically, planning for the School’s DNP Program began in late fall, 2011. The State Board of Education included DNP Education in Nursing for Boise State University in its eight-year plan.  After nearly two years of planning, negotiation and collaboration at local and state levels by Pamela Springer, Ph.D., R.N., Director of the School of Nursing and Pam Strohfus, DNP, R.N., Coordinator of the DNP Program, the Idaho Board of Education approved the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program (DNP) (February 21, 2013).  The inaugural classes began in fall, 2013 and the program proudly celebrated its first graduates May 7, 2016.

Curriculum Overview

Prepares students to use evidence and advanced knowledge of technology to lead improvements in communication and the monitoring, collection, management, analysis, and dissemination of information that enhances health and health care safety and quality. Focused on design, selection, use, and evaluation of legal, ethical, just, and cost-effective information-management processes to evaluate health and practice outcomes in diverse, aggregate-focused, advanced practice settings.

Competencies:  Each course has been designed with competencies interfacing with the program objectives and nationally recognized documents.  The curriculum design was based on criteria and standards from two documents:  1) The American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s The Essentials of Doctor of Nursing Practice Education for Advanced Practice Nursing (2004) and 2) National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, 2008, Accreditation Manual.

Degree Conferred: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Program Curriculum and Course Descriptions

 


School of Nursing Policies

All School of Nursing (SON) policies are in addition to the Boise State University Student Handbook, Boise State University policies (including, but not limited to, Policy #2020, the Student Code of Conduct), and the College of Health Sciences (COHS) policies. School of Nursing students are responsible at all times for knowing and adhering to all University, COHS and SON policies and the Boise State University Student Handbook.  Because these policies and handbook are subject to change and are frequently updated, SON students should check and review them often for the most current information throughout the year.

SP = applies to all School of Nursing students
UG = applies to undergraduate prelicensure track
RNBS = applies to RNBS online track
AGNP = applies to masters students
DNP= applies to doctoral students
FP = applies to faculty

Policy #Policy Name
AGNP-1Clinical Dress Code Policy
AGNP-2Clinical Placement Policy
AGNP-3Curriculum Integrity Process Policy
AGNP-4Progression Policy
AGNP-5Reentry and Readmission Policy
AGNP-6Remediation/Dismissal Policy
AGNP-7Requesting Program Option Change Policy
AGNP-9AGNP Grading
CHS-312Latex Policy
CHS-313Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy
CHS-314.0Background Check Policy
DNP-1Curriculum Integrity Policy
DNP-2Graduate Credit Hours Transfer Into DNP Program Policy
DNP-4Program Progression Policy
DNP-5Readmission and Re-entry Policy
DNP-6Remediation/Dismissal Policy
DNP-7Scholarly Project Requirements and Procedures Policy
DNP-9DNP Grading
RNBS-1Academic Advising RNBS
RNBS-2Challenging Nursing Courses
RNBS-4Dress Code
RNBS-9Health Requirements
RNBS-12Progression Policy
RNBS-13Readmission Policy
RNBS-14Registered Nurse License
RNBS-15Registration Priority Policy
RNBS-16Student Representatives
RNBS-17Withdrawal Policy
SP(FP)-1Problem-Solving and Line of Communication
SP(FP)-38Curriculum Overview
SP-1Academic Integrity
SP-3Communication Notification
SP-5Confidentiality
SP-8Files and Records
SP-9Grading
SP-10Incompletes
SP-11Injury in Clinicals
SP-13Jury Duty
SP-14Late Fees
SP-16Conflict Resolution
SP-20Student Representatives
SP-21Scholarships
SP-22Student Behaviors and Actions
SP-23Student Expectations in Clinical
SP-24Student Travel
SP-30Dismissal Policy
SP-39Electronic Devices
SP-40Clinical Health Requirements
UG-6Dress Code
UG-7Preceptor Policies
UG-12Instructional Technologies Testing Lab
UG-17Progression Policy
UG-18Academic Advising
UG-19Readmission Policy Pre SP-19
UG-25Transfer Policy
UG-26Withdrawal Policy
UG-28Nursing Procedure Practice