Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 : School of Professional Studies


Jeanette H. Lupinacci, Chair
White Hall 221A, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8570
(203) 837-8550 (fax)

Terri-Ann Tilquist, Department Secretary
White Hall 221, Midtown campus
(203) 837-8556
(203) 837-8550 (fax)


J. Lupinacci, Chair E. Abate D. Bennett
K. Bridges D. Brown S. Burger
E. Campbell P. Cumella L. Dalessio
M. E. Doherty D. Graham T. Hanlon
M. Nielson J. Ort B. Padykula
T. Palmer B. Piscopo T. Puckhaber
C. Rice M. Sousa L. Warren


The Department of Nursing strives to provide a nursing education that is aimed at preparing beginning and advanced practice nurses to meet the ever-changing health care needs of Connecticut and the surrounding region. This is achieved through:

  • A dynamic curriculum that is responsive to students and community needs;
  • Clinical competence, scholarship and research;
  • Service to the university, the public and the profession;
  • Accommodation of diverse values and interests;
  • A commitment to a caring culture.

Program Information

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master’s degree program in nursing at Western Connecticut State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791. http://www.ccneaccreditation.org/

Course Restrictions

For a complete list of prerequisites, corequisites and other restrictions for all courses, please consult the Course Description section of this catalog.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Completion of all general education requirements,  and requirements in nursing and foundational sciences specified in the program outlined below, to total a minimum of 120 semester hours.

All courses identified in the following eight-semester sequence are requirements in this major. Completion of the program within four academic years requires that the biology and chemistry courses be successfully completed in the semesters shown. The remaining credits to meet general education requirements and additional free electives for a minimum of 120 SH, may be scheduled at the student’s discretion with approval of the departmental adviser.

First Year
Fall Semester Spring Semester
NUR 106 1 SH
(or other FY course)
BIO 105 4 SH BIO 106 4 SH
CHE 120 4 SH CHE 121 4 SH
SOC 100 3 SH PSY 100 3 SH
COM 162 3 SH Writing Intensive course 3 SH
Gen Ed 3 SH
Total Credits 15 SH Total Credits 17 SH
Sophomore Year
Fall Semester Spring Semester
NUR 105 1 SH
NUR 201 4 SH NUR 225 3 SH
NUR 205 4 SH NUR 235 5 SH
BIO 215 4 SH NUR 300 4 SH
HPX 205 2 SH MAT 115 or 120 3 SH
Total Credits 15 SH Total Credits 15 SH
Junior Year
Fall Semester Spring Semester
NUR 255 6 SH NUR 335 8 SH
NUR 361 2 SH NUR 374 2 SH
Gen Ed 3 SH Gen Ed 3 SH
Gen Ed 3 SH Gen Ed 1 SH
Ged Ed 3 SH
Total Credits 17 SH Total Credits 14 SH
Senior Year
Fall Semester Spring Semester
NUR 325 7 SH NUR 475 6 SH
NUR 327 6 SH Free Elective 3 SH
Free Elective 3 SH
Free Elective 2 SH
Total Credits 13 SH Total Credits 14 SH

Note: NUR 300 may be taken of spring sophomore year or Fall of Junior year.

Note: NUR 361 must be taken with NUR 255 for traditional Undergraduate Students.

Note: NUR 335 and NUR 374 (taken together) and NUR 325 and NUR 327 (taken together) can be take Spring or Fall.

Admission, Retention and Graduation Requirements


For Direct Admit Option please contact Admissions Office for criteria.

Students interested in nursing major at Western Connecticut State University (University) must complete a dual admission process. Initially, students must be accepted into the University. Once accepted into the University, application for admission to the Department of Nursing (DON) is made at the beginning of the spring semester of the Freshman year. Applications are available on-line or in the nursing department at the end of December/beginning of January. Applications are due to the Nursing Office by the first Monday of February. Incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed by the Department of Nursing (DON).

All applicants must be active students in the University prior to applying for admission to the nursing major. Applicants must be taking courses at the University in both the Fall and Spring semesters prior to beginning the nursing sequence the following Fall. A minimum of 6 credits must be taken at the university in both the Fall and Spring semesters. Two of the four science prerequisites must be taken at the university.  The applicant pool is not limited to pre-nursing students. The decision to admit an applicant to the Nursing major is made by the DON.

Admission to nursing is competitive with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 required to be considered for acceptance. Students are ranked according to GPA and successful completion of all prerequisites. Qualified students may not be accepted because of a limited number of clinical placements and limited DON resources.

In evaluating students for acceptance into the nursing program, the following criteria are used:

  • GPA
  • Completion of prerequisite courses (from next page)
  • Evaluation of overall academic record including number of course withdrawals/repeating of courses
  • Academic history at other colleges and universities.

Students must earn at least a C+ in the four science prerequisite courses (BIO 105, BIO 106, CHE 120, and CHE 121) for consideration of acceptance. Sciences may not be more than 5 years old. Two of these science required courses must be taken at the University. Consistent with the university admission requirements, preference is given to those candidates who, in the judgment of the DON, have academic and personal qualifications with the greatest potential for program success.

Applicants must have successfully completed or be enrolled in the following courses:

  • Writing Intensive Course (W)
  • COM 162/262 Interpersonal Communication, COM 163 Human Communication
  • PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology
  • SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
  • BIO 105 and BIO 106 or equivalent with a grade of “C+” or better
  • CHE 120 and CHE 121 or equivalent with a grade of “C+” or better
  • Students are ineligible to apply for admission to the nursing program if they have been dismissed for either academic or clinical reasons from another nursing program.

Students newly accepted into the program must adhere to the Health Policies of the DON. The following information must be submitted on or before June 1 prior to starting nursing classes.

  • Current health form
  • Results of either PPD skin test or chest x-ray or QuantiFERON blood test
  • Evidence of measles, mumps, and rubella/rubeola, and varicella vaccinations or antibody titers
  • Evidence of Hepatitis B vaccination, Hepatitis B titers or signed declination to receive vaccine
  • Tdap vaccine completed within the last 10 years
  • CPR certification for professional rescuers Basic Life Support (Health Care Provider) American Heart Association or American Red Cross Professional Rescuer.

Students without documentation of health requirements and/or CPR certification will not be allowed to participate in clinical experiences.

Transfer students coming into the University must first apply to the Admissions Department and must meet the same standards listed above. University students wishing to change their major to Nursing must apply to the DON for admission to the Nursing major and must meet the same requirements as pre-nursing students. Please refer to the above criteria.

  1. In order to remain in the Nursing program, students must earn at least a “C” grade in all courses with a NUR designation and BIO 215 and HPX 205. **Please be reminded that sophomore nursing students who are transitioning between the fall and spring semester are required to complete a Medication Math Test and must pass with > 85**.  This is administered during the Fall exam for NUR 105.
  2. In order to remain in the Nursing program, nursing students must fulfill academic requirements and must also show evidence of meeting the behavioral objectives (cognitive, psychomotor and affective) of preparation for professional nursing as described and distributed in each nursing course with a NUR 200 and NUR 300 designation.
  3. A student who receives a grade of “C-” or lower in a Nursing course, whose cumulative grade point average has dropped below 2.50, who has withdrawn from a NUR 200 or NUR 300 level nursing course, who has taken a leave of absence from the Nursing program (whether medical or otherwise), or who has withdrawn from the Nursing program must apply for readmission to the Nursing program. The student may be readmitted to the program provided that, in the judgment of the nursing faculty, the student meets the criteria for readmission.
  4. Any student who receives more than one course grade below “C” in any of the nursing courses will not be readmitted to the Nursing program.  In addition, any student who has for any reason reapplied and been readmitted and then subsequently withdrawn or fails, will not be allowed to reapply a second time.
  5. Students who demonstrate an unsafe level of patient care will not be permitted to continue in the clinical area.
  6. Under provisions of Public Act 86-365, students whose ability to function is impaired or who have engaged in unethical or illegal acts, or whose behavior does not conform to accepted standards of the Nursing profession may jeopardize their eligibility for obtaining or retaining professional nurse licensure in the State of Connecticut. (A copy of the act with explanatory material is available for review in the department office.) Such conduct or behavior may also be grounds for disciplinary action, including suspension or dismissal from the program, by the Nursing faculty or departmental administrator.
  1. The student must have earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 based on at least 120 credits earned.
  2. The student must have at least a “C” grade in all 200- and 300-level Nursing courses.
  3. The student must have sustained evidence of academic and behavioral characteristics acceptable for professional nursing as set forth in the philosophy and objectives of the Department of Nursing.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Synthesize knowledge from the arts, sciences, and humanities with nursing theory as the basis for making nursing practice decisions.
  2. Exercise critical thinking in using the nursing process to assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate the care provided to individuals, families and communities.
  3. Apply the nursing process to design, implement, and evaluate therapeutic nursing interventions to provide preventive, curative, supportive, and restorative care for individuals, families, and communities in both structured and unstructured settings, using a variety of techniques.
  4. Use a variety of communication techniques, including written documentation, in the process of assessment, counseling, and therapeutic interventions with individual clients, families, groups and communities.
  5. Develop and implement a variety of teaching-learning strategies in the provision of health teaching for individuals, families, and groups in a variety of settings.
  6. Use the process of scientific inquiry and research findings to improve nursing care delivery.
  7. Manage information, human resources, and material resources to achieve optimum client outcomes in a cost-effective manner.
  8. Use leadership, management, and collaborative skills as a member of a multi-disciplinary team within the health care delivery system to develop, implement, and evaluate health care provided to clients.
  9. Exercise independent judgment and ethical decision-making, and act as an advocate for consumers of health care services.
  10. Demonstrate accountability in learning and in nursing actions, based on accepted standards of nursing care and in accordance of professional nursing practice.

Professional Nurse Licensure

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to apply to the State Board of Examiners for Nursing in Connecticut, or in any other state of their choice, for examination for Professional Nurse licensure. Each state board may have additional criteria for eligibility according to the laws of the state. In Connecticut, the limitations for eligibility for licensure are delineated in Public Act 86-365. A copy of this act is available for review in the department office.

Health Policies and Other Requirements

Because of the nature of the clinical experiences and regulations of various clinical agencies utilized in the nursing program, all Nursing students are required to adhere to departmental policies in addition to the immunizations required of all university students. This information may be obtained directly from the department.

In addition to the above stated health requirements, students may need to meet additional requirements identified by a clinical affiliating agency, including a criminal background check, drug testing, and or finger printing checks. Clinical agencies reserve the right to refuse clinical placement to students who do not pass the background check, drug testing, and or finger printing testing.

If a student’s physical or emotional health status is deemed unsafe for clinical laboratory experiences by the Nursing faculty, the student may not attend clinical laboratories. Appropriate clearance may be required prior to the student returning to the clinical laboratory.

Additional Requirements

Students are required to furnish their own uniforms and to provide their own transportation to clinical facilities. Students may also be required to have health insurance and are responsible for any medical care administered as a result of clinical assignment.

All students must be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as a healthcare provider prior to entering sophomore year, and must maintain current certification to be eligible to attend the clinical experience.  It is recommended that students obtain their CPR certification from the American Heart Association and/or the American Red Cross.  In addition to liability protection under the Statutes of Connecticut [Chapter 170, Section 10-235(a)], the university carries professional liability insurance coverage for nursing students.

Western at Waterbury

The Nursing Department also offers courses for the RN-BS degree completion program at Western’s Waterbury program located on the grounds of Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury. This program is available only to students who hold a current RN license. A current RN license is required from the state in which clinical affiliations are scheduled.

Some courses offered at Waterbury are also open to students taking classes at Danbury. For more information on this program, please contact Nicole Kullberg (Kullbergn@wcsu.edu) and/or Barbara Piscopo (Piscopob@wcsu.edu).

Registered nurse graduates of associate degree and hospital diploma nursing programs who hold a current RN license in Connecticut or another state are encouraged to apply to this program. A current RN license is required from the state in which clinical affiliations are scheduled. These students must complete all college and department course requirements satisfactorily to be eligible for the B.S. degree with a major in Nursing. The RN-BS program is a participant in the Connecticut Articulation Model for Nurse Educational Mobility.