Mar 24, 2019  
Undergraduate Day Catalog - 2018-2019 
Undergraduate Day Catalog - 2018-2019

The School of Nursing

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Joanne Masella, Ed.D., Dean
Patrick Heyman, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Undergraduate Nursing



  • Patrick Heyman, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Undergraduate Nursing
  • Phyllis King, Ph.D., Track Chair, RN-BSN

Associate Professors

  • Lynn Erickson, Ed.D.

Assistant Professors

  • Vanessa Duncan, M.S.N.
  • Kristen Gagne, M.S.N.
  • Sandra Ojurongbe, Ph.D
  • Jane Wilson, Ph.D.

The School of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and is licensed by the Florida Board of Nursing. The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master's degree in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice at Palm Beach Atlantic University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( 

School of Nursing Mission

The mission of the Palm Beach Atlantic University School of Nursing is to prepare graduates for a life of service in the profession of nursing within a Christ-centered environment incorporating intellectual, professional, and spiritual integrity.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is based on a strong liberal arts and science foundation within an integrated Christian faith and worldview. The School of Nursing prepares professional, competent nurses who are reflective, inquiring, able to apply nursing theory, processes and technical nursing skills within the context of the Christian worldview, while recognizing the global, pluralistic nature of society.

Core Values

Christ is at the center of everything the School of Nursing does. "He [Christ] is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." – Colossians 1:17 – 20 (NIV)

Servant Leader
PBA prepares students for lifelong learning and leadership. We strongly believe that leadership begins with being a servant. "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. – Matthew 20:26 – 28 (NIV)

Ministry of Caring
Caring for the sick is not simply an act of goodness, but an act of worship and obedience, taking part in Christ's ministry of reconciliation. "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us." – 2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV)

Empathy for: Empathy leads to action: "Jesus stopped and called them. 'What do you want me to do for you?' he asked. 'Lord,' they answered, 'we want our sight.' Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him." – Matthew 20:32-34 (NIV)

Connection to: Our common humanity binds us together. "When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled." – John 11:33 (NIV)

Being with: Sometimes simply being with another is more important than doing for them: "But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!' 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'" – Luke 10:40-42 (NIV)

Holistic approach
Health involves much more than mere physical wellness or even psychological well-being. Health includes socio-cultural and spiritual aspects as well, and nurses must take them into account. "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" – Mark 8:36 (NIV)

PBA is dedicated to excellence. PBA Nursing expresses that excellence through dedication to professionalism. It is not enough to simply feel empathy or compassion, or even act on them. Caring must be competent, tempered by learning, experience, and judgment. "I was sick and you looked after me…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." – Matthew 25:36,40 (NIV)

BSN Program Mission

The BSN Program Mission is to prepare graduates for generalist nursing and graduate nursing education with a Christ-centered focus.

The BSN Program Goals are:

  • Provide baccalaureate degree level nursing education that builds on a broad-liberal and Christian foundation.
  • Prepare graduates for practice as generalist nurses.
  • Prepare graduates for graduate studies in nursing.

Based on the BSN Program Goals, the BSN Program Expected Student Outcomes are:

  • Synthesize theoretical and empirical knowledge from the liberal arts, sciences, humanities, Christian faith, and nursing as a source in critical thinking and decision making to provide holistic care in a variety of nursing contexts and settings.
  • Combine the nursing process and evidenced based research in the practice of nursing across the lifespan for holistic health promotion, risk reduction, and disease prevention in the care patients, families, and communities.
  • Provide patient-centered, age-appropriate, culturally sensitive care that assists persons with health promotion and wellness.
  • Demonstrate effective communication, collaboration, creativity, sensitivity, and flexibility for the delivery of safe, quality, cost-effective nursing care.
  • Integrate professional nursing values based on legal, ethical, and Christian standards into nursing practice.
  • Implement professional development through graduate studies and other leadership opportunities with an emphasis on integrity as a professional baccalaureate generalist nurse.
  • Incorporate current technologies and informatics to support continued learning and support patient outcomes and quality improvement.
  • Evaluate healthcare policy, finance, and regulatory standards to support quality care outcomes in the complex continuum healthcare environment.

Required Courses

  • Lower-division course requirements are outlined in the Lower Division Nursing Degree Requirements. Unless otherwise noted, these should be completed before enrollment in clinical courses.
  • Upper-division course requirements are detailed in the Nursing Core.
  • Students with an Associate of Arts or prior bachelor's degree fall under the Articulation section (see below)
  • A limited number of students may be eligible, with permission from the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, to take certain courses at the graduate level to graduate with the BSN.  Minimum 3.0 Nursing GPA; additional fees may apply.

Admission to the Upper Division Nursing Major

Freshman Direct Admission

The Freshman Direct Admission Program is designed for currently enrolled high school students who are preparing to enter PBA in the Fall. Students who are admitted into the Freshman Direct Admission program will have an uninterrupted path to the upper division with no further application required. Freshmen Direct Admission students take nursing courses each semester, maintaining a strong connection to the School of Nursing throughout their time at PBA.

To be eligible for Direct Freshmen Admission, students must meet the following criteria:

  • High School GPA 3.50 on a 4.0 scale
  • ACT 25 (preferred) or SAT 1220 (updated scale)
  • Essay
  • Cleared level two federal background check, fingerprinting, and drug test


  • Apply to the University
  • Apply to the School of Nursing upon invitation from Admissions
  • Upon completion of Steps 1 and 2, the Nursing Admissions Committee will review applicants and make decisions regarding acceptance to the Direct Admission Program.
  • Upon acceptance applicants must deposit with the University and complete the background check, fingerprinting, and drug test.
  • Deadline for Fall application is May 1.
  • Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher to remain in the program.

General Admission Criteria

  • Minimum GPA on pre-requisite courses of 3.0*
  • Minimum GPA on pre-requisite math and science courses of 2.7
  • Minimum Total Individual Score on the TEAS of 68.7**

*GPA is the GPA in required courses, not the overall GPA. This is designed to encourage students to take additional difficult science classes without fearing that they will hurt their chances of acceptance.
**Students who do not meet the minimum requirement must wait 30 days before retesting. No more than three attempts will be accepted.

During the Sophomore year a separate application must be made to the Upper Division Nursing Major. Current students may apply through  myPBA > Schools > Nursing.  Prospective transfer students must apply to using NursingCAS (see NursingCAS section below for additional detail).  Applicants should acquaint themselves with the requirements for admission to the Upper Division Nursing Major, curriculum, program requirements and sequencing, and requirements for the degree. Students are responsible for meeting all degree requirements. No applicant to the Upper Division Nursing Major will be considered unless they have also been admitted to Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Guaranteed Admission

Students who start at PBA as first semester freshman (not including high school dual enrollment credit) and meet the minimum criteria above (GPA, Science GPA, TEAS score) and have no repeated courses or probations by the end of the 3rd Semester (Sophomore Fall) are guaranteed admission to the Upper Division and do not compete for seats.  Students who meet the requirements later than the end of the 3rd Semester are still guaranteed a seat, but may have to wait for the following year. 

FAQ for Guaranteed Admission:

How is this different from Freshman Direct? 
All incoming freshmen are eligible for Guaranteed Admission.  Only students who meet certain high school criteria are eligible for Freshman Direct.  Additionally, Freshmen Direct do not have to take the TEAS.

Can a Freshman Direct who loses their status due to low GPA be eligible for Guaranteed Admission?
Yes.  A Freshman Direct student who does not maintain their minimum GPA can work to be eligible for Guaranteed Admission.  Failing or withdrawing from a course disqualifies a student from Guaranteed Admission.

What if I came to PBA as a different major?
It doesn't matter what major you started in.  If you meet the criteria, you are guaranteed a seat in the Upper Division.

What if I got a C in Calculus that brings my GPA down?
The School of Nursing only counts the GPA in required courses, so extra courses such as Calculus or Organic Chemistry do not hurt your Guaranteed admission eligibility.

Do I still need to fill out the Upper Division Application?
Yes.  The application let's the School of Nurisng know when you intend to become upper divison.

Traditional Competitive Admission

The following students apply to the Upper Division Nursing Major through Traditional Competitive Admission:

  • Students who are not eligible or selected for Freshmen Direct Admission
  • Freshmen Direct Admission students who are unsuccessful in a course or whose GPA falls below 3.0
  • Transfer students who have fulfilled all pre-requisite courses.

Admission to the Upper Division Nursing Major is selective and is based on the student's ability to compete academically with other applicants. The competitiveness of the applicant pool changes each year/semester according to the applicant pool's qualifications. Competitiveness is not evaluated by a delineated algorithm, but factors that will be taken into consideration include: GPA, science GPA, performance on the entrance examination, essay, extracurricular activities, work experience, multiple attempts at the same class, and number of classes failed or withdrawn. Meeting minimum criteria does not guarantee admission; exceptions to minimum requirements may be made in extraordinary circumstances on a case by case basis.

The number of students admitted to the major in any given semester/year is limited to those who can be accommodated, given available resources. Availability of space may vary from year to year depending on resources and need.

Current students may apply through  myPBA > Schools > Nursing.  Prospective transfer students choose to appliy completely through University Application, or complete part of the appication proceess in NursingCAS (see NursingCAS section below for additional detail).

Admission to the Lower Division Nursing Major

Any PBA student may declare nursing as their major either upon admission to the university or after admission to the university. This declaration will mark their admission to the Lower Division nursing major. Upon declaring a Lower Division Nursing Major, students must schedule an appointment with their designated nursing advisor. Declaring a Lower Division Nursing Major does not constitute acceptance or guarantee of acceptance to the Upper Division Major. (Students who require remedial English or Math should be prepared to take summer courses or plan on a five year degree plan.)

To ensure timely completion of the program, lower division students must meet the GPA milestones below. Students who do not meet the GPA milestones or withdraw from more than four sections will no longer be eligible to remain nursing students and must declare another major.

  • Completion of Semester 1: Semester GPA of 2.33 (C+ average)
  • Completion of Semester 2: Cumulative GPA of 2.66 (B- average)
  • Completion of Semester 3: Cumulative GPA of 2.75
  • Completion of Semester 4: Cumulative GPA of 3.0 (minimum required for upper division nursing)

NursingCAS (Transfer Students Only - Optional)

Applicants who are attempting to transfer directly into the nursing program must apply to the University and may opt to submit an electronic application through Applicants should meet all Admission Criteria listed above. Additional information and detailed instructions are available at

Applications will not be considered until they are complete. The application consists of:

  • Acceptance to or enrollment in classes at Palm Beach Atlantic University
  • Completion of electronic application process (
    • Transcripts submitted through
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Essay/Personal statement (any student who has repeated a course should include the reasons for doing so in the essay)
  • Completion of the Entrance Examination: ATI TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills). No applicant may repeat the entrance exam more than three times.


Students with an A.A. degree from an accredited college or university may articulate into the nursing program. In addition to all nursing courses, these students must also complete or transfer the following courses with a grade of "C" or higher. This also applies to students with a prior bachelor's degree.  Courses with an asterisk must be completed prior to beginning clinical courses.

Course Credits
Anatomy & Physiology I & II* 8 credits
Chemistry with lab* 4 credits
English* 6 credits
Statistics* 3 credits
Microbiology* 4 credits
Nutrition* 3 credits
Lifespan Development* 3 credits
General Psychology* 3 credits
Exploring the Bible 3 credits
Freedom in American Society 3 credits
Christian Values and Biblical Faith 3 credits

Natural Science and Technology Transfer Credits

Natural Science and Technology courses completed more than 5 years prior to enrolling at PBA will not be accepted for transfer credit toward a major or minor. Natural Science and Technology courses may be counted toward General Education credits up to 7 years after completion.

Acceptance of Admission to Upper Division Nursing Major

In order to be considered for admission to the Upper Division, the applicant must submit application and all supporting materials to the School of Nursing.

Palm Beach Atlantic University students who apply and meet the criteria by the October 1 deadline receive priority consideration for admission to the upper division nursing major.

Upon acceptance, students must submit all additional required documents by two weeks prior to commencement of the fall term in accordance with the School of Nursing Handbook (available online at Required documentation includes American Heart Association Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Provider (CPR), criminal background check, urine drug screen, immunizations and physical examination, proof of insurance, and tuberculosis test, and requested quiz results.

Applicants must be able to complete, prior to enrollment in the major, all specific prerequisites required for the upper division and have at least sophomore standing at PBA. All requirements must be met before the first clinical course and for entire time of enrollment in the School of Nursing.

Applicants who have previously attended another nursing program must have a letter from the program administrator stating that the student could return in good standing to the original program.

Students must formally accept or decline admission. Students who decline admission and later reapply must compete with the applicant pool existing at the time of reapplication. Students who decline an admission invitation two times are ineligible to be considered for future admission.

Acceptance to the program is provisional upon meeting all of the requirements for the Upper Division Nursing Major. Failure to meet all requirements results in loss of acceptance and the student must reapply to the nursing program. The School of Nursing will administer diagnostic tests the first week of class. Students who do not meet the minimum criteria may lose their acceptance and will be dropped from nursing courses. Without exception, all diagnostic testing is administered physically at the School of Nursing.

Failure to enroll in nursing classes by the date indicated on the provisional acceptance letter  will result in loss of acceptance. Students are not considered upper division until they have successfully completed NUR 2003, NUR 2013, and NUR 2023 . Failure to successfully complete any of these courses results in loss of acceptance, and the student must reapply the following year for competitive review.

Timeline for Admission to the Upper Division Nursing Major

Students who are eligible MUST complete their applications by the deadline for general admission (see below). Any student who has failed a required course will not be considered until the course has been successfully completed. Students may be in progress on required courses at the time of application.

There are two entry points for the Upper Division Nursing Major:  Spring & Summer semesters. Students are not accepted for the fall semester. All students from Spring and Summer semesters combine and become the cohort that will start clinical courses in the fall and graduate 2 years later.


* Students must confirm their acceptance by the deadline below and are expected to enroll in NUR 2003 - Introduction to Professional Nursing , NUR 2013 - Pathophysiology & Pharmacology I , and NUR 2023. Failure to confirm acceptance or failure to enroll in the nursing courses will be construed as declining the admission. Upon provisional acceptance, students must enroll in NUR 2003, NUR 2013, and NUR 2023. Students are NOT fully accepted to the Upper Division until successful completion of these courses and all other requirements. These three courses must be completed at PBA.

Task Deadline
Fall Application for Spring Enrollment October 1; acceptance letters sent November 1.
Spring Application for Summer Enrollment March 1; acceptance letters sent April 1.

Applications of students who have unsuccessfully attempted a required course will not be considered until the student successfully completes the course.

Late Applications and Waitlist

Students who submit their application late or are not qualified by the application deadline will be considered on a space available basis. Students admitted during the spring semester must take the spring nursing courses over the summer or defer their acceptance to the next year. If no space is available, late qualified applicants will be added to the waitlist. The waitlist does not carry over to the next cohort or entry date.

Expectations of Nursing Majors

As prospective healthcare professionals, nursing students are expected to maintain the highest level of integrity. Academic dishonesty, including plagiarism and dishonesty about patient care, results in immediate failure of the course in question and dismissal from the program. This includes academic dishonesty in non-nursing courses.

Florida law prohibits convicted felons from becoming licensed as nurses. Background checks and drug screening are required upon acceptance. Falsifying application information results in immediate dismissal from the program and failure of all enrolled courses.

All upper division nursing majors must continuously register for NUR 4710  until eligible to sit for the nursing licensure examination. A student who does not meet the requirements of NUR 4710  may not progress in the program.

Health Requirements and Limitations

Professional nursing students are responsible for their own health and for the health of others with whom they come in contact. The following policies have been created to protect both the student and clients. Students are responsible for timely updates of their health care records according to the prescribed schedule. In order to successfully complete the nursing program, students must be able to perform the following essential abilities:


Nursing students must be able to observe and sense the client's current physical, psychological, developmental, spiritual, and sociocultural health care status as well as client responses to nursing interventions. Vision, hearing, and other sensory perceptions are necessary for this ability.


Nursing students must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written forms with clients and the health care team members. Communication in nursing includes the ability to gather assessment data, provide effective teaching, and provide emotional support for all clients.


Nursing students must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from clients by palpation, percussion, auscultation, diagnostic maneuvers, and comfort/positioning measures. They must be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general nursing care and emergency treatments. Such actions require moderate motor strength, equilibrium, gross and fine muscle movement coordination, and functional use of touch and vision senses.


Nursing students must have the ability to accurately measure, calculate, reason, and analyze. In addition they must be able to synthesize and apply complex information. Students must be fully alert and attentive at all times when caring for clients and communicating with health care team members. Each student must demonstrate mastery of these skills and possess the ability to incorporate new information from peers, professors, and the nursing and medical literature to formulate sound judgment in patient assessment, intervention, evaluation, and teaching and setting of short- and long-term goals.


Nursing students must possess of level of emotional health that allows full utilization of intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, prompt completion of all responsibilities, attention to the nursing diagnoses and subsequent patient care, and the development of mature, empathetic and effective nurse-client relationships. Students must be able to function effectively under stress. The student must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, accept and integrate constructive criticism given in classroom and clinical settings, effectively interact in the clinical setting with other members of the healthcare team, and learn to function cooperatively and efficiently in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice.

The student must be able to adapt to and function effectively in stressful situations in both classroom and clinical settings, including emergency situations.

Students with Disabilities

Students admitted to the PBASON must be able to fully perform the essential nursing functions in each of the following five categories: observation/sensation, communication, motor, intellectual, and behavioral/social. Degrees of ability vary widely among individuals. SON faculty will consider candidates with any form of properly disclosed and documented disability on an individual basis. Students with documented special needs must contact both the Dean of the School of Nursing and the University Accommodations for Students with Disabilities designate. Palm Beach Atlantic University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities through established University policies and procedures.

Progression Policies

Courses that are designated Theory and Clinical—e.g., Fundamentals of Nursing: Theory and Fundamentals of Nursing: Clinical—are co-requisites and must be taken together. The School of Nursing requires that theory and clinical courses must be successfully completed together.

  • If a student withdraws from a Theory course, the student must also withdraw from the Clinical course.
  • If a student withdraws from a Clinical course, the student must also withdraw from the Theory course.
  • If a student is unsuccessful in a Theory course but is passing the Clinical course, the student will receive a W in the Clinical course.
  • If a student is unsuccessful in a Clinical course but is passing the Theory course, the student will receive a W in the Theory course.

Unsuccessful Completion of a Nursing Course

To be successful in a nursing course, the student must achieve a grade of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, or C. Any grade less than C (2.0) is considered as an unsuccessful completion of a course. In addition, if a student earns a C in a course, but the average test score in the course is below a C, the course will not be considered as passing. Nursing courses will be weighted to reflect this policy.


A student will be dismissed from the School of Nursing baccalaureate program when there is a lack of progress toward the degree. Evidence of lack of progress consists of one or more of the following:

  • Failure to attain a 2.0 GPA in any semester.
  • Failure to attain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 at the completion of any semester.
  • Failure to obtain a minimum grade of C (2.0) upon repeating one upper division nursing course (i.e. unsatisfactory grades in the same course).
  • Failure to obtain a minimum grade of C (2.0) in two upper division nursing courses. (A grade of W received due to requirement of successfully completing Theory and Clinical courses at the same time is exempted from this policy.)
  • Failure to meet Palm Beach Atlantic University School of Nursing's Health Requirements and Limitations (above) without specified accommodations.
  • Inability to conduct oneself in a professional fashion consistent with the American Nurses' Association Standards and Code of Ethics for Nurses or the Palm Beach Atlantic University Code of Student Ethics as listed in the Navigator. In particular, falsification of records and reports, plagiarism, or cheating on an examination, quiz, or any other assignment is cause for dismissal.
  • Faculty reserve the right to dismiss any student whose personal integrity or conduct demonstrates unfitness to continue preparation for the profession of nursing.

A student may be dismissed without prior probationary status when any of the above conditions exist.

Reinstatement Following Dismissal

A student who has been dismissed from the School of Nursing may request reinstatement by petitioning the School of Nursing's Admission, Progression, and Graduation Committee the semester prior to readmission according to the following procedure:

  • Petitions must use a business letter format.
  • Petitions must include:
    • Reflections of why the petitioner was unsuccessful
    • Any preparations or remediation taken during the time off
    • Plan for successful completion of the nursing program (this should specifically address the points identified in section a above).
  • Petition must be received by April 15th for those wishing to reinstate for the fall semester or December 1st for those wishing to reinstate for the spring semester.

Reinstatement is not guaranteed, and no student may be reinstated more than once.  A reinstated student will be dismissed upon failure (grade of C or lower) of one additional nursing course. Students who are reinstated must adhere to the policies and curriculum of the School of Nursing in effect at the time of reinstatement. Reinstated students must abide by the provisions set forth in the Interruption of Nursing Program/Reentry policy and may have additional requirements according to a reinstatement contract.

Additional progression and clinical policies may be found in the School of Nursing Student Handbook at (under "Our Philosophy).

Degree Requirements for the BSN

Students assume responsibility for meeting degree requirements and for filing an official Application for Graduation according to Palm Beach Atlantic University policy. All candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Satisfactory completion of at least 120 credit hours. Credits earned in remedial learning skill courses and courses that are repeated do not apply toward the degree.
  • Achievement of a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.
  • Achievement of a grade of C (2.0) or higher in each required course or equivalent.
  • Completion of all course work within four years after enrolling in nursing courses in the upper division nursing major.


Nursing Major – encompasses the entire course of study in the baccalaureate nursing program.

Lower Division Nursing Major – the portion of the major that includes general education courses and the broad liberal base for baccalaureate nursing education as well as early nursing courses with designation of NUR 2xxx. Typically, these courses will be taken by students in their freshman and sophomore years.

Upper Division Nursing Major – the portion of the major that is comprised of nursing-specific courses and completes the broad liberal base of education. These courses are denoted by course codes NUR 3000 or above.

Clinical – the application of nursing knowledge — guided by theory and research — in a practical setting such as hospitals, clinics, and the community.


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