Proposed School of Nursing

Becky Hammack, RN, EdD
Associate Professor
ACU Box 29103
Abilene, Texas 79699-8035
Office location:
     Hardin Administration Building     
    Room 205
     Abilene, Texas 79699
Phone: 325-674-2265
Fax: 325-674-6256

Major: Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Beginning in the fall of 2013, ACU plans to offer its own BSN degree in nursing, separate from the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing.

New, first-time college students who enter in fall 2011 will be the first class planned to attend ACU's School of Nursing and the new BSN degree plan will be published in the 2012-13 catalog. The general education requirements will be parallel with all university requirements.

The faculty at the SON believes that professional nursing curriculum of a BSN program should reflect the current professional practice environment in compliance with evidence-based standards and rules of regulatory organizations. The curriculum integrates the mission of the university. Foundational concepts for the curriculum reflect current issues and trends, and were developed from concepts derived from the Differentiated Essential Competencies of Baccalaureate Nursing Education (DECs) by the Texas Board of Nursing (2010), the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2008), and Quality and Safety in Nursing Education (2011) competencies. The foundational concepts will be organized under the DEC headings: The Member of Profession, Provider of Patient-Centered Care, Patient Safety Advocate, and Member of the Health Care Team. Concepts will reflect the knowledge, judgment, behaviors, skills, attitudes, and values required of a professional nurse. The student outcomes of the program will reflect the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains of learning. The faculty believes that active, participatory student-centered learning is required in baccalaureate generalist education to develop the professional competencies required of the graduate. Each semester, the clinical evaluation tools will be used to demonstrate progression toward program outcomes to assist the students’ transition from the novice to advanced beginner stages of professional growth.

Upon graduation and completion of all Texas Board of Nursing requirements, the graduate is eligible to write the NCLEX-RN (National Council of Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) that leads to licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN).

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Notice of Conditions that might Disqualify Students Eligibility for Licensure

Applicants for the national licensing exam for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN) and seeking licensure in Texas are required to submit a complete and eligible set of fingerprints on a form prescribed by the Board of Nursing for the purpose of obtaining a criminal history from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.  (Section 301.252 (b) and Section 301.252 (e) of the Texas Occupations Code)

Prior to the start of the nursing program at Abilene Christian University, all potential NCLEX applicants with outstanding eligibility  issues that could prevent them from taking the NCLEX examination upon completion of the nursing program are required to complete a Declaratory Order application.  Further information and forms can be retrieved on the following website:

This process permits the Board to make decisions regarding an applicant’s eligibility for licensure prior to entering or completing a nursing program.  The list below further delineates possible incidences of that may prevent eligibility, and require a Declaratory Order application:

For any criminal offense, including those pending appeal, have you:

  1. Been convicted of a misdemeanor?
  2. Been convicted of a felony?
  3. Pled nolo contendere, no contest, or guilty?
  4. Received deferred adjudication?
  5. Been placed on community supervision or court-ordered probation, whether or not adjudicated guilty?
  6. Been sentenced to serve jail or prison time?  Court-ordered confinement?
  7. Been granted pre-trial diversion?
  8. Been arrested or have any pending criminal charges?
  9. Been cited or charged with any violation of the law?
  10. Been subject of a court-martial; Article 15 violation; or received any form of military judgment/punishment/action?

*You may only exclude Class C misdemeanor traffic violations.

Program Outcomes
Upon completion of this program of nursing the graduate will be prepared to:

  1. Apply clinical reasoning, and evidence based nursing competencies (knowledge, behaviors, judgments, skills, and attitudes) to holistically address and prioritize patient (individuals, families, groups, communities, populations) preferences, values, and needs. 
  2. Collaborate effectively with multiple patients (IFGCP) and the interdisciplinary health with shared decision making for the achievement of the highest safe patient health outcomes.
  3. Assume accountability for professional, legal, ethical, and regulatory laws/standards for individual performance and system effectiveness for safe nursing competencies (KBJSA).
  4. Apply an understanding of health care policy, finance, and regulatory environments by the coordination, evaluation, and modification of care of patients (IFGCP), and the management of confidential information technology for seamless care and transition in complex health care systems.
  5. Integrate professional values such as caring, advocacy, altruism, the preservation of human dignity, truth, justice, freedom, equality, ethics, integrity, civility, respect, and cultural competence in the pursuit of excellence of the Christian leadership and service of professional nursing.
  6. Promote the profession of nursing through leadership activities in the implementation of evidence-based practice standards, safety and quality care improvement, and patient (IFGCP) advocacy.
  7. Engage in self care and reflection to prepare for clinical demands, envision growth to professional competence, and understand the need to participate in life long career and professional development.

High School Preparation
High school students wishing to major in nursing are advised that their preparation for nursing study will be strengthened by inclusion of high school credits of one unit each in chemistry, physics and biology; three to four units in mathematics; two units each in social and behavioral sciences; and four units in English. See ACT and SAT score requirements for CHEM 113, MATH 120, and ENGL 111.

Lower-Level Requirements
All freshmen students accepted for admission, and stating a preference for nursing as a major, will be placed in lower-level general education, core and nursing pre-requisite courses. Acceptance into the lower-level courses, however, does not guarantee that students will be selected for enrollment in the School of Nursing. Students having an ACT composite score of 20 or less should seek career counseling.

School of Nursing Admission Requirements
Students must meet all university degree requirements. A separate admission process is required for students to be admitted to the School of Nursing. Admission is competitive, and the size of the classes is determined by the availability of space and clinical facilities. Admission to Abilene Christian University does not guarantee admission to School of Nursing.

  1. The School of Nursing will review all applications with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in the lower-level nursing curriculum based on a 4.0 scale. Nursing core courses completed with a letter grade less than "C," or 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, will not be accepted toward the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Applicants must have a grade of "B" or better in BIOL 291 Anatomy and Physiology I, BIOL 292 Anatomy and Physiology II, and in NURS 250 Applied Pathophysiology.
  2. Students are required to take a nursing admission assessment exam.
  3. Students are required to submit two recommendation forms from faculty who have taught the student a nursing core prerequisite course.
  4. Students must have all nursing core prerequisites completed before entering the School of Nursing and have all prerequisites completed within the first year of admission to School of Nursing. Students must obtain the CNA certificate before entering the program. Students must also complete NURS 250 Applied Pathophysiology or its equivalent with a grade of "B" or better before entering.
  5. Students must apply for admission to the School of Nursing. The deadline for submitting application for admission in the fall semester is the first week of February of the same year. Late applications will be reviewed after initial admission decisions are made. Applicants are required to have personal contact with the Dean of the School of Nursing by January of the same year.
  6. Once accepted, students must submit evidence of physical examination and of physical health, which is consistent with meeting the objectives of the program. Tetanus/diphtheria (TDap), MMR, Hepatitis B series, and Varicella (proof of chickenpox or titer) immunizations are required. Rubella screening is required with subsequent immunizations  if screening titer indicates lack of immunity. Seasonal flu vaccine is required or a signed “declination form”. Evidence of negative tuberculosis must be presented with application for admission. Health reports and test results will be available to health agencies used for student learning experience upon request by an authorized representative of the agency. Additionally, students accepted for admission will be required to submit to a criminal background check organized by the Texas Board of Nursing prior to beginning the nursing program. Students will also be required to submit random drug screenings in order to practice in the clinical facilities.
  7. All students are required to have a urine drug screen completed at a designated lab prior to clinical participation.
  8. All students must submit to a criminal background check through a designated agency.
  9. Students who have any physical or learning disability (i.e. ADD, ADHD) must provide official written medical documentation of the disability and information in regard to his/her ability to meet the requirements of the program.
  10. Throughout the program, students must maintain a level of mental and physical health consistent with meeting the objectives of the curriculum. If a mental and/or physical health problem occurs during the student’s educational program in nursing, the nursing faculty members responsible for clinical practice will assess the student’s ability to continue in the program and will make recommendations for action to the Dean.
  11. Students accepted into the School of Nursing are responsible for providing their own transportation to class and all clinical facilities. During the program, clinical experiences may be planned in other areas, and the students are required to pay for transportation, room, and boarding as required.
  12. Students accepted into the School of Nursing must annually provide proof of medical health insurance; if not on parent’s insurance, the student must have a private policy.
  13. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher during the BSN program. Clinical Courses (NURS 350, 360, 370, 430, 450, and 475) require a final grade of B or higher. A final course grade of B or higher is recommended for all nursing courses in the program for successful preparation for the national licensing exam. If a student earns an exam average of <80 in the nursing courses without clinical experiences, additional remediation and testing requirements will be assigned by faculty prior to the next semester, and a final course grade of C will be the highest earned.
  14. If a student earns two C’s as a final course grade in non-clinical courses, a learning contract is required with additional faculty assistance to meet learning outcomes. If a third C is earned in a non-clinical course during Levels 1 and 2 (the first program year), the student is dismissed from the program. If the third C is earned in the non-clinical course in the second year, the student is at risk for dismissal. Earning a D in any course halts progression and must be repeated. Only 2 courses in the program may be repeated prior to dismissal.
  15. Applicants seeking admission by transfer must meet all of the same standards required of those students who have matriculated at ACU.
  16. If the student’s performance is unsatisfactory in the clinical setting, the faculty may recommend immediate dismissal to the Dean.
  17. The student must annually provide proof of current CPR certification. The student will not be allowed in the classroom or clinical area without this certification. American Heart Association CPR for Health Care Provider or American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer is required. (National Safety Council, Heart Saver and Heart Saver Plus are not acceptable.)
  18. Professional liability insurance is required of each student. This insurance is included in the student’s tuition costs.
  19. All entering students are required to purchase physical assessment equipment that is supplied through the School of Nursing.
  20. BSN nursing students are required to take diagnostic program examinations each semester.
  21. In order for a student to meet program requirements for the completion of the BSN curriculum, the student must demonstrate minimal competency in nursing theory and practice. This competency is demonstrated through successful scoring on the identified exit exam.
  22. Students seeking the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) may take a minor outside the School of Nursing. This minor is NOT required as a part of the BSN degree, and credit hours beyond the minimum hours required may be needed to complete the minor.

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Admission to the School of Nursing is a prerequisite to all nursing courses (or approval by the School of Nursing Dean).


Please see the University Requirements section of this catalog.



 **NURS 250 Applied Pathophysiology

    NURS 320 Gerontological Nursing

    NURS 330 Pharmacology in Nursing

    NURS 350 Clinical Skills I: Fundamentals of Nursing 

    NURS 351 Nursing Assessment and Diagnostics 

    NURS 352 Evidence-Based Fundamentals of Nursing 

    NURS 360 Clinical Skills II: Maternal Child Nursing

    NURS 361 Evidence-Based Maternal Child Nursing Care  

    NURS 370 Clinical Skills II: Community and Population Health

    NURS 371 Evidence-Based Community and Population Health  

    NURS 380 Nursing Research for Evidence-Based Practice  

    NURS 430 Clinical Skills III: Mental Health Nursing

    NURS 431 Mental Health Nursing  

    NURS 450 Clinical Skills III: Acute Medical-Surgical Nursing

    NURS 453 Evidence-Based Acute Medical-Surgical Nursing

    NURS 464 Nursing Leadership and Management

    NURS 475 Clinical Skills IV: Advanced Nursing Care

    NURS 476 Evidence-Based Advanced Medical-Surgical Nursing

    NURS 498 Nursing Capstone

























    *MATH 120 Quantitative Reasoning  


     *PSYC 232 Developmental Psychology  

     PSYC 311 Elementary Statistics  


    *CHEM 113 Introductory Chemistry with Lab  

    *CHEM 114 Introductory Organic and Biological Chemistry   

    **BIOL 291/293 Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab  

    **BIOL 292/294 Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab  

    *BIOL 353/354 Microbiology with Lab  


1 Hours (in parentheses) may also fulfill university requirements
and are not included in total major hours













Minimum  0          
TOTAL MAJOR HOURS 81          

*Minimum grade for most core courses  

**Minimum grade required for BIOL 291, 292, and NURS 250

Minimum total hours  

Courses numbered 0** do not count in
minimum hours required for degree.




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Degree Requirements - Suggested Course Sequence
Note: The course sequence below is suggested for a four year progression through the program.  However, we encourage students to contact our School of Nursing degree plan specialist or Dean to inquire about our 5-6 year progression schedule for part-time or transfer students.

Freshman Year
Fall Semester:

·   CORE 110 The Question of Truth (3-0-3)

·   BIBL 101 Jesus: His Life and Teachings (3-0-3)

·   CHEM 113 Introductory Chemistry with Lab (3-0-3)

·   ENGL 111 Composition and Rhetoric (3-0-3)

·   PEAC 100 Lifetime Wellness (1-2-1)

·   MATH 120 Quantitative Reasoning (3-0-3)

Spring Semester:

·   FL or Cultural Competency (3-0-3)

·   BIBL 102 Early Christians: Life, Literature and Community (3-0-3)

·   CHEM 114 Introductory Organic and Biological Chemistry (3-0-3)

·   ENGL 112 Composition and Literature (3-0-3)

·   Social Science (3-0-3)

·   PEAC Activity (0-3-1)


·   General Education (2) 

Sophomore Year
Fall Semester:

·   BIBL 211 Message of the Old Testament (3-0-3)

·   BIOL 291/293 Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab (3-0-3), (1-2-1)

·   BIOL 353/354 Microbiology with Lab (3-0-3), (1-2-1)

·   ENGL Sophomore Literature(3-0-3)

·   PSYC 232 Developmental Psychology (3-0-3)

Spring Semester:

·   BIOL 292/294 Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab (3-0-3), (1-2-1)

    COMS 211 Speech & Rhetoric (3-0-3)

    CORE 210 Human Identity and Community (3-0-3)

·   NURS 250 Applied Pathophysiology (3-0-3)

·   PSYC 311 Elementary Statistics (3-0-3)

Summer Session

·   BCOR 310 God and the Good Life (3-0-3)

    NURS 301 Introduction to Nursing Skills (Course is optional if student has CNA certification) (2-2-3)

Junior Year
Fall Semester:

·   NURS 320 Gerontological Nursing (2-0-2)

·   NURS 330 Pharmacology in Nursing (3-0-3)

·   NURS 350 Clinical Skills I: Fundamentals of Nursing (0-12-4)

    NURS 351 Nursing Assessment and Diagnostics (3-0-3)

    NURS 352 Evidence-Based Fundamentals of Nursing (3-0-3)

Spring Semester:

·   NURS 360 Clinical Skills II: Maternal Child Nursing (0-12-4)

·   NURS 361 Evidence-Based Maternal Child Nursing Care (4-0-4)

    NURS 370 Clinical Skills II: Community and Population Health (0-6-2)

    NURS 371 Evidence-Based Community and Population Health (2-0-2)

    NURS 380 Nursing Research for Evidence-Based Practice (3-0-3)

Summer Session:

·   PEAC Activity (0-3-1)

Senior Year
Fall Semester:

·   NURS 430 Clinical Skills III: Mental Health Nursing (0-6-2)

·   NURS 431 Mental Health Nursing (2-0-2)

·   NURS 450 Clinical Skills III: Acute Medical-Surgical Nursing (0-12-4)

    NURS 453 Evidence-Based Acute Medical-Surgical Nursing (4-0-4)

    NURS 464 Nursing Leadership and Management (3-0-3)

Spring Semester:

·   NURS 475 Clinical Skills IV: Advanced Nursing Care (0-18-6)

·   NURS 476 Evidence-Based Advanced Medical-Surgical Nursing (3-0-3)

·   NURS 498 Nursing Capstone (3-0-3)

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