The curricula leading to degrees in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing require students to engage in diverse and complex experiences directed at the acquisition and practice of essential nursing skills and functions. Unique combinations of cognitive, affective, psychomotor, physical, and social abilities are required to perform these functions satisfactorily. In addition to being essential to the successful completion of the requirements of a nursing degree, these skills and functions are necessary to ensure the health and safety of patients, fellow students, faculty, and other health care providers.
The Essential Standards document describes the nonacademic qualifications, required in addition to academic qualifications, which the School considers critical for entrance to, continuation in, and graduation from a UNC–Chapel Hill School of Nursing degree program. Candidates for nursing degrees, with the exception noted for selected graduate programs, must be able to meet these minimum standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, for successful completion of degree requirements. Refer to the School’s Web site for additional information: http://nursing.unc.edu/disability-statement/.
The practice of nursing involves the care of individuals who are ill or injured. Communicable diseases are common in health care delivery settings and may be a threat to nursing students. During the performance of clinical practice/research activities, a student may have contact with patients/subjects with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and other infections. Such contact, although rare when proper preventive measures are used, may result in a student’s being exposed to infectious agents and/or transmitting an infectious disease to other students, faculty, patients, family members, and subjects. During pregnancy, the fetus may be at risk. As a student enrolled in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, students are expected to provide care to patients who may have known or unknown communicable diseases. Application to and acceptance of an offer from the School of Nursing indicates a student’s understanding of related professional risks.
Fitness for Practice
All students admitted to the School of Nursing are required by the North Carolina Board of Nursing to provide documentation of their fitness to provide safe nursing care to the public. Failure to provide requisite documentation will result in the withdrawal of the admission offer. Additionally, North Carolina law requires incoming students to present to the University, before the first day of enrollment, evidence verifying that the student has received all required immunizations.
Further, federal and state statutory regulations and clinical affiliate contractual mandates require that nursing students demonstrate particular cognitive and clinical competencies consistent with their minimum professional practice standards. As such, students must attain and maintain full compliance with all requirements. The school also requires students to undergo a criminal history database check following admission acceptance at the student’s expense. The check covers all addresses in which the student has lived, worked or attended an educational institution in the past seven years or since the 16th birthday, whichever is less. Database checks will address all criminal charges, felony and misdemeanor level convictions (except minor traffic related violations), and the Sexual Offender/Predator Registry for all states in which the student has lived. Reports are shared with clinical agencies who require all charges be resolved prior to the start of clinical practice. Questions about these requirements may be directed to the Office of Student Affairs at 919-966-4260.
Multiple clinical agencies now require students undergo drug testing prior to the start of clinical practice at their sites. A 12-panel urine screen to test for drugs is required per contract specifications and conducted at student’s expense.
Students who seek reasonable accommodations for disabilities must contact the Academic Success Program for Students with LD/ADHD for all learning disabilities or ADHD needs (919-962-7227) or the Department of Disability Services for all other disabilities (919-962-8300). These offices will determine a student’s eligibility for, and recommend, appropriate accommodations and services. More information may be obtained through the respective Web sites: www.unc.edu/depts/lds/ and disabilityservices.unc.edu/. Also see the School of Nursing’s policy located at: http://nursing.unc.edu/disability-statement/.
Consistent with its mission and philosophy, the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to providing educational opportunities to students with disabilities. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the school provides reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified students with disabilities. The decision regarding appropriate accommodations will be based on the specifics of each case.
All School of Nursing students are required to use e-mailfor conveying course/clinical/research/other School related business. All e-mail communication regarding School of Nursing matters must utilize the student’s University MS-Exhange e-mail address only. The use of external email services is not permitted. Most School of Nursing courses use the Sakai Learning Management Systems which requires frequent reliable access to Internet resources. For both these reasons easy access to personal computers and the Web are imperative. The School of Nursing provides a PC lab solely for the use of undergraduate students, and students may also access PC lab facilities elsewhere on campus.
All B.S.N. and A.B.S.N. option students are required to have a laptop computer that meets the minimum requirements specified for the preloaded laptop computers available through the University’s Carolina Computing Initiative (CCI) program. Specifications can be found at cci.unc.edu/minimum-specs.html. Additionally, the School requires that students purchase an extra battery to ensure an adequate power supply for extended classroom, lab, or special project use. Choosing a vendor for the laptop purchase is the student’s prerogative; however, it is important to note that the University provides “software and operating system support for non-CCI laptops on a best-effort basis, and hardware support for non-CCI laptops is the responsibility of the owner” (source: CCI.unc.edu). In addition to the computer itself, students must have an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and an account for a high-speed access service.
Because of the broad scope of clinical facilities and locations, undergraduate nursing students must have access to a car. For information about the North Carolina requirements for automobile liability insurance, vehicle registration, and operator’s license, write to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Raleigh, NC 27602. Students and/or parents are responsible for maintaining appropriate insurance coverage. Some insurance companies may consider such travel as “business driving.” Expenses for travel are the responsibility of the student.
Registered Nurse Licensure Examination Requirements
The North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON) requires all graduates of the School of Nursing who apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to undergo a routine criminal background check, which necessitates submission of a complete set of fingerprints with the NCLEX application. Note: a Social Security Number is required for licensure application to the NCBON.
All first degree students intending to major in nursing have a primary academic advisor in Steele Building. Students are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with their advisor and review their Tar Heel Tracker each semester. In addition, students can visit the Health Professions Advising Office (second floor, Hanes Hall) soon after entering the University to learn the latest course requirements and other preparations necessary to become an outstanding candidate for a career in nursing. Advising information, advising hours, and information about joining the pre-health information listserv may be found on the office’s web site.