Prof. Richard Antinone, chair

Prof. Sunni Burnett (graduate program)

Dr. Debra Facello (graduate program)

Dr. Kevin Harris

Prof. Jacqueline Leonard

Prof. Natalie Linn

Prof. Brian Loot

Dr. Catherine Recznik

Prof. Diann Schmitt (graduate program)


The four-year, eight-semester Nursing Program provides for the preparation of professional nursing which leads to a bachelor of science in nursing degree and eligibility to sit for the registered nurse licensing exam. The program aims to promote the development of professional nurse generalists through holistic, goal directed experiences in nursing education and nursing practice with the active participation of faculty and students in the fellowship of learning. The holistic approach meets the health needs of individuals, families, and groups in the community. This holistic approach emphasizes the interrelationship of physical, social, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual well-being of persons from conception to death.

The Nursing Program provides a sound base of knowledge in the biological and social sciences. This strong academic foundation prepares the student to meet the challenge of professional nursing in today’s society. Clinical experience in medical, surgical, psychiatric, obstetrics, pediatrics, and community health are gained in a variety of health facilities in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The student is prepared for graduate study and the professional role by intensified senior-level courses in nursing research, leadership, and advanced medical/surgical nursing.

Philosophy/Conceptual Framework

The Department of Nursing facilitates the educational preparation of men and women as generalists and advanced practice nurses in the professional practice of nursing. To this end, the faculty and students are supportive of Catholic and Christian values and the dignity of the human person. To advance this mission, the Department is centered on nursing as a healing ministry, which is focused on the health of the person in his environment. The Nursing Department is further dedicated to the promotion of learning, academic excellence in teaching, and is supportive of professional nursing standards and evidence-based nursing practice.

The philosophy/mission of the department is based on the following beliefs: Nursing: Professional nursing is both an art and a science. As a service discipline and a ministry, nursing is built on the foundation of the unity of faith and knowledge and the charism of the Franciscan belief that all people deserve compassionate health care. Nurses work in many roles to provide health care to people. Autonomous and collaborative in nature, the nurse may practice as a nurse generalist and advanced practice. Nurses work to promote and restore health, prevent illness, and support persons through illness, disability, or a peaceful death.

Health: Health is a holistic, dynamic growth toward fulfilling an individual’s potential, considering the individual’s needs, abilities, and disabilities. It is purposeful and adaptive, responding to internal/external stimuli in order to responsibly maintain balance, stability, and comfort. Health is a quality of the individual and can only be expressed by the individual experiencing it. This self-perception lies on a continuum.

Learning: Learning is a lifelong process of change through which people build on prior knowledge to develop new knowledge, skills, and attitudes through study and experience. The learning process occurs over time and assists the learner to think critically. Faculty set a climate for encouraging the student to be responsible and accountable for their own learning and recognize that individuals learn in various ways and have unique learning needs. Vicarious learning is fostered through open exchange and linking of ideas from one academic circle to another, collaborative multidisciplinary practices, role modeling, and mentoring.

Environment: Environment is ever changing and external to person. It includes other people and all circumstances, influences and conditions that surround us. This includes family, community, society, socio-cultural, political, and economic factors as well as the health care system. There is a dynamic, reciprocal interaction between a person and the environment. The environment can either promote or interfere with a person’s health and well-being. The manner in which a person interacts with and adapts to the environment affects one’s health.

Person: Every human person is a unique individual made in the image and likeness of God. The person consisting of body, mind, and spirit exists within complex systems that include the family, community, and society. Residing in the person is a deep human need for balanced integration throughout one’s lifetime, a dynamic growth process through which the individual seeks to maximize his/her potential. The well-integrated individual in turn, embraces one’s personal responsibility for balanced and meaningful interaction with the environment, thus fostering both individual and collective wellness.

The Department of Nursing curriculum is organized around the following themes: Critical Thinking—An approach to nursing practice that reflects analytical methods, including observation, reflection, experience, reasoning, inquiry, and Christian maturity.

Nursing Therapeutics—The ability to provide theory-based psychomotor and psycho- social nursing actions according to professional standards that are designed to optimize the health of individuals, families, and groups.

Communication—The goal-driven, culturally appropriate process using various methods to exchange information in nursing and health related situations.

Nursing Program Goals

At the completion of the BSN nursing program the student will be able to:

  1. Integrate knowledge from the sciences, humanities, and Christian principles as a basis for critical thinking and ethical practice in nursing.
  2. Use knowledge of health care policy and apply skills in leadership to contribute to quality improvement and patient care safety.
  3.  Apply current evidence to inform nursing practice and make informed clinical judgments.
  4. Utilize information systems and patient care technology to support health literacy and safe nursing practice.
  5. Demonstrate basic knowledge of the implications of health care finance and regulatory policies on patient heal care outcomes.
  6. Interact and communicate effectively with members of the health care team in the promotion of health and wellness.
  7. Provide health promotion and disease prevention interventions for individuals and groups from diverse environments and cultures.
  8. Demonstrate professionalism through actions that reflect integrity, responsibility, service, and belief in the dignity of all persons.
  9. Utilize the nursing process to provide holistic patient centered care for patients in various states of health from conception to natural death.


Admission to the Nursing Major

Admission to the Nursing Major is competitive. The Department of Nursing will admit as many qualified students as faculty, resources, and facilities can reasonably serve without detriment to the quality of professional nursing education.

  1. All students admitted to the University stating a preference for a major in nursing are admitted according to the University admission policy. Such students are placed in pre-nursing and receive academic advising in the Department of Nursing. Students in pre-nursing will be an integral part of the University campus community. Admission to pre-nursing does not guarantee admission to the nursing program.
  2. Pre-nursing students must apply in writing to be admitted to the Nursing Major during spring term freshman year at a time designated by the Department of Nursing. Characteristics of academics, overall GPA, science GPA, Nurse Entrance Exam score, and personal commitment to the nursing profession are considered as part of the admission to the major process. Minimum criteria for admission include:
    • Minimum GPA—2.5
    • A grade of C or above in the freshman year required sciences
    • Completion of Kaplan Nursing Admissions Test, which is taken at the beginning of the spring freshman term
    • Completion of the department application form
    • Submission of a letter requesting admission to the major
    • Successful completion of freshman year course work
  3. Students who wish to transfer to the Nursing Major at the sophomore level from another college or university must first be admitted to Franciscan University and then apply to the Nursing Major. These applicants will be evaluated for admission to the major using the stated criteria, in the transfer admission decision process. Consideration for admission will be given to those applicants who are current Franciscan University students.
  4. Only those courses that are applicable to the Nursing Major will be calculated to determine a transfer grade point average.
  5. All students wishing to be admitted to the Nursing Major must complete the formal application process according to the guidelines by a date determined by the Department of Nursing.
  6. The Admission, Progressing and Graduation Committee of the Department of Nursing will review all applications to the major at the end of each spring term for admission to the fall term sophomore year. All students meeting the criteria will be considered for admission to the major.
  7. All students admitted to the Nursing Major are assured of clinical placement in continuous semesters in order to complete the undergraduate degree requirements if they follow the suggested curriculum plan.
  8. The Department of Nursing will inform all applicants of their admission status in the major in writing. If students are not admitted to the major, they may receive academic counseling according to their personal interests and needs.
  9. Students will be admitted to the major according to the following categories:
Admitted Meets all requirements
Admitted with Deficiency Missing one or more prerequisites and has a plan to correct the deficiency
Admitted with Departmental Probation Admitted with lower than required GPA or below the 2.0 or C in prerequisite course
Special Status Student To be determined on a case-by-case basis by the APG Committee of the Department of Nursing
Admission Denied

NOTE: If the Austria-bound student admitted to the Nursing Major does not successfully complete the required microbiology course with a grade of C or above prior to going to Austria, he or she will not be eligible to continue in the Nursing Major.

Once a student is admitted to the Nursing Major, the student may expect to progress toward graduation in a timely manner when:

  1. The student follows the prescribed program.
  2. The student maintains a cumulative quality point average of 2.0.
  3. The student earns a C or above in all nursing courses and in required science courses.
  4. The student does not earn less than a C in nursing courses.*
  5. The student adheres to the Department of Nursing professional standards and behavioral policy as outlined in the Department of Nursing policy manual and the University policies.
  6. The student meets health and legal requirements for the Department of Nursing and for clinical placement.

A student who earns less than a C (2.0) in two nursing courses will be dismissed from the nursing major.

*A student who earns less than a C in two nursing courses is subject to dismissal from the Nursing major even if a nursing course has been repeated in which a grade lower than a C originally was earned and a grade of C or better has replaced the original grade.

Successful completion of the Nursing Program at Franciscan University and receipt of the degree in no way ensures that a student will be granted a nursing license by individual state authorities. Each state has various requirements for licensing including, but not limited to, requiring licensing applicants to undergo a background check. Each student has the responsibility to ascertain the registered nurse licensing requirements of the state(s) to which he or she wishes to apply for a license

Department of Nursing Grading Scale:

100-96 = A (4.0) 82-80 = C
95-93 = A- 79-77 = C-
92-90 = B+ 76-75 = D+
89-87 = B 74-72 = D
86-85 = B- 71-70 = D-
84-83 = C+ 69 and below = F

The student is graded on two components in clinical Nursing courses – THEORY AND CLINICAL. The student must attain a grade of C (2.0) or above in the theory component in order to meet the standards of the nursing program. A number grade of 80 is the lowest “C” grade. A number grade of 79 is not a passing grade. The student must earn an average of “C” (2.0) or 80 percent on all nursing written quizzes and tests as defined by each course instructor in order to pass each nursing course. Once the test grades are calculated and meet the 80 percent criteria, the other components of the course evaluation will be factored in to calculate the course grade.

  • If a student earns less than a C (2.0) in a nursing course, the student must repeat the course and earn a C or better in order to progress in the program. A student may repeat a nursing course one time only.
  • The clinical component of the course is graded on a satisfactory or unsatisfactory basis as per the clinical evaluation format related to each clinical nursing course. The clinical evaluation form is included in each course information packet, which is distributed at the beginning of each nursing course.
  • A student must pass both components, THEORY and CLINICAL, in order to pass the course. The grade earned in the theory component is the grade recorded for the course.
  • If there is a failure in the clinical portion of the course, a grade of “F” will be sent to the Registrar.
  • Note: The nursing grading policies apply to nursing courses that may for some reason be taken during a time when students are not yet admitted to the major.

Advanced Standing

Students requesting advanced standing consideration are generally those registered nurses or licensed practical nurses wishing to complete the Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. Such students must be graduates of accredited schools of nursing and present evidence of or eligibility for current license to practice nursing.

Credit is granted for transfer credit according to the University transfer of credit policy.

Grades in nursing courses must be completed with at least a grade of C.

Registered nurses are subject to the approved RN to BSN or RN to MSN Department approved program.

The LPN is subject to the approved LPN Department approved articulation program.

Students seeking transfer from another school of nursing into the Franciscan University nursing program must follow the policy as stated previously.

College credit for training and experience in the United States Armed Forces or National Guard are accepted and awarded according to the policies outlined by the American Council of Education policies for College Credit for Military Experience Guide.

All students seeking advanced standing must seek advice from the advisors in the Department of Nursing.

Nursing Majors and the Austrian Program:

Nursing students may go to Austria during the fall semester of the sophomore year. To prepare for the term in Austria, nursing students must take an approved medical microbiology course during the summer prior to going to Austria and provide the University with an official transcript of successful completion of the course (C or above). Currently, Nursing 201 is taught via teleconference in Austria.

Transportation Needs

Students are expected to provide their own transportation and parking fees for clinical experiences in all agencies throughout their clinical program. Clinical placements are not assigned based upon transportation needs.

Liability Insurance

All students are required to carry liability insurance beginning with enrollment in the Nursing Program and continuing until graduation from the program. Coverage for the student is provided by the University at the student’s expense.

Health Examination

Students must complete and submit to the University a health examination upon being admitted to the University to the designated department. The nursing student must have a Department of Nursing health examination after formal admission to the Nursing Major. The Department of Nursing health exam form is available in the department and is mailed to each student accepted to the major and must be submitted to the department prior to the start of the fall term of the sophomore year. This includes those students who will study in Austria. All sections of the required health form must be completed by the health care provider. An annual tuberculosis skin test is required. Other special laboratory testing and physical examinations may be necessary according to clinical agency requirements and may differ from year to year. If specific examination requests are made by clinical agencies, the department and the student will accommodate such requests.

Assignments to clinical agencies will be withheld until all examination requests are completed and submitted.


  1. Examination by the student’s physician or nurse practitioner should include a completion of all areas on designated form.
  2. A copy of the results of this examination will be filed in the student’s health record upon admission to the Department of Nursing.
  3. Assignment to clinical agencies will be withheld until the physical examination is completed and submitted.
  4. If specific exam requests are made by any of the clinical agencies, the department and the student will accommodate such request.
  5. Health exam information is subject to the requirements of each clinical agency and may differ from year to year.
  6. An integral component of the Nursing Program is a student’s placement in, and successful completion of, the clinical program. Students who do not comply with the immunization and other health requirements will be unable to complete the clinical component of the nursing program, making them ineligible to earn a nursing degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville.
  7. Upon completion of the program, the health record is destroyed unless student requests and picks up the forms.


All nursing students are required to wear the approved Franciscan University of Steubenville uniform, which is available in the University Bookstore. Franciscan University of Steubenville Department of Nursing identification badges are required for clinical practice. They are to be purchased in the Nursing Department. The dress code policy is outlined in the Department of Nursing Handbook

Criminal Background Checks

As a precondition to placement in a clinical setting in offsite locations, students are required to undergo various background checks.

Students admitted to the Nursing Major must submit to such background checks prior to the beginning of spring term sophomore year and in subsequent years as requested by the department or an agency. Students who do not comply with this requirement will not be permitted to remain in the Nursing Program.

The results of required background checks may prohibit continuance in the program, or prohibit admission to the clinical portion of the Nursing Program. Failure to successfully complete the clinical component of the Nursing Program will bar the student from receiving a degree in nursing at Franciscan University. Background checks may be necessary on a yearly basis.

Drug/Alcohol Testing

Students admitted to the Nursing Major at the sophomore level are required to undergo drug and alcohol testing upon admission to the major. Yearly drug/alcohol testing will be done if required by a clinical facility. The student will bear the cost of the screening.

If a student has a positive drug/alcohol screen, she/he will be required to withdraw from all nursing courses. Students with a positive drug test may challenge the results of the test within seven working days of notification of the drug test results. This challenge must be in writing. Students with a positive drug test are encouraged to seek assistance at the campus counseling center. Students may re-apply for re-entry into the nursing program after one year. Requests for re-admission to the nursing program will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Financial Information

See the Expenses section of this catalog for University tuition and fees.

Additional Costs

Students should expect to pay for selected assessment examinations, yearly criminal back- ground checks, required drug testing, transportation, parking, uniform, and equipment costs. Expenses for RN licensing fees and NCLEX registration material will be needed at the end of the senior year. The cost of the NCLEX Enrichment Program over a three year period will be added to nursing tuition. The cost of professional liability insurance is covered by the University at the student’s expense.

The baccalaureate degree in nursing, the masters degree in nursing, and the post graduate APRN certificate program at Franciscan University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 530, Washington DC 20036.  Phone: 202-887-6791.  Website:

Nursing Course Descriptions