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Honors

University Honors

The designation University Honors, awarded at the end of each long-session semester, gives official recognition and commendation to students whose grades for the semester indicate distinguished academic accomplishment. Both the quality and the quantity of work done are considered. Criteria for University Honors are given in chapter 1.

Graduation with University Honors

Students who, upon graduation, have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement are eligible to graduate with University Honors. Criteria for graduation with University Honors are given in chapter 1.

Dean's Honor List

Each semester the Dean's Honor List recognizes superior scholastic achievement by students enrolled in nursing prerequisite courses or in the professional sequence of nursing courses. Prenursing students must complete fifteen semester hours in residence on the letter-grade basis and earn at least fifty-two grade points. They must also earn no grade below a C for the semester. Students enrolled in the professional sequence of nursing courses are required to earn forty-eight grade points when enrolled in twelve semester hours and sixty grade points when enrolled in fifteen semester hours.

Sigma Theta Tau

Epsilon Theta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society of Nursing, was chartered at the University on May 16, 1980; before that time, membership in Sigma Theta Tau on the Austin campus was conferred through Alpha Delta Chapter, chartered at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1963. Epsilon Theta Chapter presents scholarly programs each semester; program meetings are open to anyone interested in the program topic. An annual meeting, at which new members are inducted, is held in May.

Membership in Sigma Theta Tau is an honor conferred by active chapters on students who demonstrate academic excellence and on nursing leaders who advance the scientific base of the profession. The society recognizes superior achievement in many areas, facilitates the development of leadership qualities, fosters high professional standards, encourages creative work, and strengthens commitment to the ideals of nursing.

Each year qualified students in the undergraduate and graduate programs may apply for consideration for membership. Invitations to membership are extended to students who are in the top 35 percent of their graduating class. Undergraduates must have a grade point average of at least 3.00; graduate students must have a significantly higher grade point average. Qualified community nursing leaders may also be invited to membership. Applications for membership in Epsilon Theta Chapter are available from the Student Affairs Office in the School of Nursing.

At the annual meeting each spring, Epsilon Theta Chapter announces its awards, grants, and scholarship recipients. A scholarship is awarded to an upper-division nursing student who has demonstrated leadership potential and has a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or above. Recognition awards are given to those who have made significant contributions to the promotion of excellence in nursing through outstanding participation in professional organizations, enhancement of the standards of nursing practice or education, noteworthy involvement in community or public areas that affect health, creative delivery of nursing care, or other substantial professional activities. Small research grants are awarded annually to Epsilon Theta Chapter members and/or students enrolled in the graduate program in nursing.

In 1995, Sigma Theta Tau International had active chapters on 356 campuses with nationally accredited nursing programs granting baccalaureate and higher degrees in nursing. Sigma Theta Tau International offers opportunities for involvement at the chapter, regional, national, and international levels. Programs are offered each year in different parts of the United States under joint sponsorship of chapters and Sigma Theta Tau International. International research congresses are held in cooperation with scholarly nursing organizations in other countries; these programs focus on scholarly topics of relevance to the advancement of nursing knowledge and to the improvement of public health. Research grants are awarded annually by Sigma Theta Tau International as well as by Epsilon Theta and other chapters.

Credit by Examination

The faculty believes that each educational experience should build on previous achievements to encourage fulfillment of each student's potential. Therefore, all students and registered nurses are urged to seek advice on arranging a logical sequence of work. The faculty subscribes to the principle that a candidate's competence should be validated and that credit should be awarded on the basis of satisfactory achievement on examinations as well as in the classroom. Twenty-four of the last thirty semester hours of credit presented for the degree must be earned in residence, rather than by examination, correspondence, or transfer. Therefore, credit may be earned by examination for all nursing courses except Nursing 327, 228, 229, 264, 275, 475P, 377, 477P, 278, and 178P; non-RN students must also take six additional semester hours of upper-division coursework in nursing in residence.

To petition for credit by examination for upper-division nursing courses, a student must have met all the requirements for admission to upper-division courses in the School of Nursing. An examination for credit may not be taken in a course in which the student is enrolled, which the student has completed, or from which the student has withdrawn with either a passing or a failing grade. The candidate should consult the dean for application forms, information about policies, and scheduling of the examination.

A candidate for credit by examination may obtain the course material that would be given to a student enrolling in the course and has access to all material in campus learning centers. He or she may audit any or all of the lecture portion of any course in the School of Nursing, if approval is obtained in advance from the instructor and if space is available. The candidate is subject to the auditor's fee unless he or she is a University student.

Each candidate is assessed a fee by the Measurement and Evaluation Center for taking the examination. Credit is granted only after the student is enrolled in the School of Nursing, and only for a grade of C or better. The student may elect to have the credit recorded as the symbol CR or as the letter grade achieved. In the latter event, the grade is included in computing the cumulative grade point average. No notation appears on the student's record when the examination is failed. Credit earned by examination does not reduce by a corresponding amount the number of courses that may be taken on the pass/fail basis. A candidate may not retake an examination for any nursing course.

Graduation

Special Requirements of the School of Nursing

All students must fulfill the general requirements for graduation given in chapter 1. Students in the School of Nursing must also fulfill the following requirements.

  1. All University students must have a grade point average of at least 2.00 to graduate. In the School of Nursing, students must also have a grade point average of at least 2.00 in the coursework used to fulfill the upper-division requirement.
  2. A candidate must complete the prescribed curriculum and must meet all other requirements of the School of Nursing.
  3. A student must supply the School of Nursing with transcripts of courses taken outside the school as the courses are completed.

Degree Audit

A degree audit is prepared in the dean's office when the student begins the junior year of nursing courses. The student is then notified of the courses he or she must take and the requirements he or she must fulfill to receive the degree. The degree audit is normally done according to the catalog in effect when the student was admitted to the School of Nursing, but the student may choose to have it done according to any catalog under which he or she is eligible to graduate. Rules on graduation under a particular catalog are given in chapter 1.

In advising and in registering students, the dean and advisers try to prevent errors. Avoidance of errors is the main purpose of the degree audit, but it remains the responsibility of the student to fulfill all catalog requirements.

Graduation Application Form

In the long-session semester or summer session in which the degree is to be awarded, the candidate must be registered at the University and must file a Graduation Application Form in the School of Nursing Student Affairs Office. The form must be filed by the deadline to apply for an undergraduate degree, which is given in the official academic calendar.

Registration as a Professional Nurse

Each student seeking registration as a professional nurse must pass the National Council Licensure Examination, administered by the Board of Nurse Examiners for the state of Texas. The Board of Nurse Examiners may refuse to admit persons to its examinations or may refuse to issue a license or certificate of registration for any of the following reasons:
  1. Prior denial of a license by a licensing authority for nurses.
  2. Disciplinary action by a licensing/certifying authority.
  3. Conviction for a crime.
  4. Physical or mental disability or illness that may endanger the health and safety of persons under his or her care.
  5. Hospitalization or treatment for chemical dependency during the past five years.
  6. Current intemperate use of drugs or alcohol.
Information about these factors is required on the application for the licensure exam.

To avoid delay or denial of licensure following the expense of completing a nursing education program, or possible disciplinary action and criminal prosecution for later discovery of falsified records, those with a history of any of the noted factors are strongly urged to apply for a determination of eligibility for licensure. A request for a determination should be made as early as possible before or after enrolling in the nursing program. Such a determination, called a Declaratory Order, is issued by the Board of Nurse Examiners. For more information, send a written request for a Declaratory Order packet to the Board of Nurse Examiners for the State of Texas, Education Department, PO Box 140466, Austin, Texas 78714-0466.

Issuance of a Declaratory Order may take from three to six months. Information obtained during the investigation phase of the petition process is confidential. Once issued, Declaratory Orders are subject to the Texas Open Records Act.

Application for registration as a professional nurse by examination requires submission of a complete application and transcripts of all work completed at least one month before the National Council Licensure Examination. Students receive the application form and instructions for completion about two months before graduation. The application must be completed, notarized, and returned to the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing as soon as possible, with the registration fee. All 142 or 143 hours for the degree must be completed before the student is eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination and to obtain a temporary permit to practice professional nursing.

Students planning to take the National Council Licensure Examination in another state must obtain information about procedures from the agency responsible for professional nurse registration in that state.

For the purpose of assuming graduate nurse status, the official date of completion of the nursing program is the publicly announced date of graduation.

Continuing Education Program

The School of Nursing supports the concept of education as a lifelong process consisting of both formal and informal learning experiences. Continuing education is viewed as supplementary to formal educational programs and, consequently, is considered most appropriate in the form of short-term noncredit learning opportunities. Each year the Continuing Education Program of the School of Nursing offers a selection of conferences, workshops, and seminars designed to meet the learning needs and interests of registered nurses in a variety of practice areas. Registration fees vary according to program costs and expected enrollment. When space is available, nursing students may attend.

Degrees

Programs in the School of Nursing

The School of Nursing offers an undergraduate program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing and graduate programs leading to the Master of Science in Nursing degree and the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in nursing. The undergraduate program is designed for students who wish to enter the profession of nursing. Students who have earned an associate's degree or a diploma in nursing and wish to obtain the baccalaureate degree may apply to the accelerated track leading to the BSN. The master's and doctoral degree programs are designed to prepare professionals for advanced clinical practice and research in nursing.

The baccalaureate program is accredited by the National League for Nursing and the State of Texas Board of Nurse Examiners.

Purpose of the School of Nursing

The purpose of the School of Nursing is to contribute to the teaching, research, and service missions of the University of Texas at Austin through

  1. Preparing generalists in professional nursing practice at the baccalaureate level.
  2. Preparing specialists at the graduate level in nursing to assume roles in practice, administration, education, and research.
  3. Promoting excellence in nursing scholarship.
  4. Contributing to the body of nursing knowledge.
  5. Offering educational, consultative, and other health care services to the community.

Objectives of the Bachelor's Degree Program

The graduate of the baccalaureate program in nursing is expected to

  1. Integrate knowledge from nursing, physical and behavioral sciences, and the humanities in planning, implementing, and evaluating nursing care.
  2. Utilize nursing process to meet the health care needs of individuals, families, and groups in a variety of settings.
  3. Accept responsibility and accountability for providing nursing interventions and evaluating their results.
  4. Participate in the delivery of health care through interdisciplinary collaboration, coordination, and consultation.
  5. Participate in nursing and interdisciplinary efforts to improve the delivery of high-quality health care to individuals and communities.
  6. Demonstrate continued personal and professional growth.
  7. Practice nursing according to professional standards.
  8. Critically appraise and apply research findings to professional nursing practice.

Applicability of Certain Courses

Physical Activity Courses

Physical activity courses are offered by the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. They may not be counted toward a degree in the School of Nursing; however, they are counted among courses for which the student is enrolled, and the grades in physical activity courses are included in the grade point average.

ROTC Courses

The dean has the authority to substitute an equivalent air force science, military science, or naval science course or courses for a course or courses prescribed by the School of Nursing and to make adjustments to compensate for any differences in semester hour value. The total number of semester hours required for the degree remains unchanged.

Three semester hours of upper-division coursework in air force science, military science, or naval science may be counted toward the nursing degree as electives by students who complete the ROTC program at the University.

Correspondence and Extension Courses

Credit that a University student in residence earns simultaneously by correspondence or extension from the University or elsewhere or in residence at another school will not be counted toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree unless specifically approved in advance by the dean. No more than nine of the semester hours required for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree may be taken by correspondence.

Degree Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing

This program consists of two and one-half academic years or four semesters and two summer sessions of nursing prerequisite courses (the preprofessional sequence) taken at an accredited college or university, followed by two and one-half years or four semesters and a summer session of upper-division nursing courses (the professional sequence) taken at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. Upon completion of the program, students are awarded the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and have fulfilled the prescribed course of study and clinical practice required to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for licensure as a registered nurse.

Prescribed Work

Students may fulfill the foreign language component of the University's basic education requirements by completing two years of a single foreign language in high school, by earning an appropriate score on one of the placement examinations administered by the University, or by completing two semesters of college coursework in a single foreign language in addition to the degree requirements given below.

Preprofessional Sequence

Students must complete the seventy-two or seventy-three semester hours of coursework (preprofessional sequence) listed below. Completion usually requires two and one-half academic years (or four semesters and two summer sessions). All courses must be completed before the student enrolls in upper-division courses in nursing.

Courses Semester Hours

Natural Sciences
Anatomy and physiology: Zoology 314K, 316K, 116L 7
Biology 302, 303 6
Chemistry (including three hours of biochemistry): Chemistry 313N, 113P, 314N, 114P 8
Mathematics 301, 302, 303D, 403K, or 305G 3 or 4
Microbiology 228, 129K 3
Nutrition 311 (section for nonscience majors) 3

Liberal Arts
English 306, 316K 6
American government, including Texas government 6
Child Development 313 3
American history 6
Psychology 301 3
Fine arts elective 3

Nursing
Nursing 305, Health Promotion 3
Nursing 310, Communication in Health Care Settings 3
Nursing 311, Ethics of Health Care[1] 3

Other Courses
Introductory statistics 3
Pharmacy 338 3

Total 72 or 73

Professional Sequence

The student may begin taking nursing courses in his or her sophomore year, but the final sixty-four semester hours of coursework in nursing must be completed after the student has achieved upper-division standing. The free elective may be taken during either the preprofessional sequence or the professional sequence. The following courses may be completed in two academic years and a summer session.

Courses Semester Hours

Nursing
Nursing 224, Health Assessment Skills
Nursing 225, Adult Health Nursing I
Nursing 425P, Adult Health Nursing I (Practicum)
Nursing 226, Conceptual and Applied Bases of Mental Health Nursing
Nursing 327, Conceptual Bases of Aging
Nursing 127P, Clinical Nursing Skills I (Practicum)
Nursing 347, Specialized Topics in Nursing
Nursing 455, Adult Health Nursing II
Nursing 455P, Adult Health Nursing II (Practicum)
Nursing 356, Conceptual Bases of Mental Health Problems
Nursing 456P, Problems in Mental Health Nursing (Practicum)
Nursing 157P, Clinical Nursing Skills II (Practicum)
Nursing 264, Nursing Research
Nursing 265, Nursing Care of Childbearing Families
Nursing 465P, Nursing Care of Childbearing Families (Practicum)
Nursing 266, Nursing Care of Children and Their Families
Nursing 466P, Nursing Care of Children and Their Families (Practicum)
Nursing 167P, Clinical Nursing Skills III (Practicum)
Nursing 275, Community Health Nursing
Nursing 475P, Community Health Nursing (Practicum)
Nursing 377, Management of Nursing Care
Nursing 477P, Clinical Care Management (Practicum)
Nursing 278, Synthesis of Nursing Knowledge[2]
Nursing 178P, Clinical Nursing Skills IV (Practicum) 64

Other Courses
Free elective [3] 3

Total 67

Total for Degree 139 or 140

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28 August 1996. Registrar's Web Team
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