Associate of Science in Nursing

What type of work would I do if I became a Registered Nurse?

One of the most highly recognized professions in health care, registered nurses (RNs) care for the sick and injured and help people stay well. They are typically concerned with the "whole person," providing for the physical, mental, and emotional needs of their patients. They observe, assess, and record symptoms, reactions, and progress; assist physicians during treatments and examinations; administer medications; and assist in convalescence and rehabilitation. RNs also develop and manage nursing care plans; instruct patients and their families in proper care; and help individuals and groups take steps to improve or maintain their health. They work in hospitals, doctors’ offices and nursing homes, and some do research work or instruct nursing students. (Missouri Occupational Information Coordinating Committee)

What type of degree will I earn at Missouri State University-West Plains?

Students enrolled in the nursing program will obtain a two-year Associate of Science in Nursing degree (ASN). The program consists of courses in liberal arts, science and nursing. The nursing courses include lecture and laboratory periods with relevant clinical practicums provided at health care facilities located in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

What are my options for continuing toward a four-year degree?

Missouri State University-West Plains and Missouri State University-Springfield have teamed up to offer courses leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing on the West Plains campus via various distance learning methods. After completing the Associate of Science in Nursing, students can work full time while they take bachelor’s degree courses.

Nurses in the United States

RNs employed in Nursing (2008): 3,063,162
RNs with an associate degree as initial preparation: 36%
Average RN age for 2008: 46.0
Gender: 93% female, 7% male
Average Salary, Full-Time Employment: $66,973.00

Employment Settings

Hospital: 62.2%
Nursing Home/Extended Care Facilities: 5.3%
Nursing Education: 3.8%
Public/Community Health: 7.8%
Ambulatory Care: 10.5%
Home health: 6.4%
Other: 3.9%
Source: National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing

Nursing (AS)

Associate of Science

Program consists of two academic years and two summer sessions. Students who successfully complete the program are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Admission to the program is by application and committee selection. Qualified licensed practical nurses (LPNs) may receive 15 hours of nursing credit for NUR 100 and NUR 101. Six hours non-nursing credit may be awarded for CFD 155 and CFD 130 to qualified LPNs. (See Entrance Requirements for LPN-to-RN Program). The 69-69 credit-hour program course progression is distributed as follows:

Associate of Science in Nursing Curriculum

Year 1 Schedule

Year 1: SummerCredit Hours
ENG 110 writing I 3

CHM 116/117 Fundamentals of Chemistry or 

CHM 160  General Chemistry I

4-5
Year 1: FallCredit Hours
IDS 110 Student Success 2
BMS 267 Human Anatomy 4
BMS 268 Human Physiology 4
NUR 100 Fundamentals of Nursing 7
Year 1: SpringCredit Hours
BIO 210 Elements of Microbiology 3
PSY 121 Introduction Psychology 3
NUR 101 Nursing Systems for the Adult Client I 8

Year 2 Schedule

Year 2: SummerCredit Hours
NUR 201 Nursing Systems for Promotion of Mental Health  3
Year 2: FallCredit Hours
NUR 202 Pharmacology 3
NUR 204 Nursing Systems for the Adult Client II 9
Year 2: SpringCredit Hours
NUR 212 Nursing Systems for the Family  9
NUR 220 Current trends and Issues in Nursing (capstone course) 3
PLS 101 American Democracy and Citizenship  3
 

The qualified LPN may begin classes in June if IDS 110, CHM 116 / 117, CHM 160,  BMS 267 Anatomy and BMS 268 Physiology have been completed. The following class sequence for progression through the LPN-to-RN program will allow completion of the program in one summer and one academic year (fall and spring) following admission. The 72-hour LPN-to-RN program curriculum is as follows:

LPN-to-RN Program Curriculum

Year 2: SummerCredit Hours
NUR 190 Nursing Systems for the Adult Client: LPN-to-RN 3
NUR 201 Nursing Systems for the Promotion of Mental Health  3
Year 2: FallCredit Hours
NUR 202 Pharmacology  3
NUR 204 Nursing Systems for the Adult Client II  9
ENG 110 Writing I 3
PLS 101 American Democracy and Citizenship 3
Year 2: SpringCredit Hours
NUR 212 Nursing Systems for the Family 9
NUR 220 Current Trends and Issues in Nursing ( capstone course) 3
BIO 210 Elements of Microbiology 3
PSY 121 Introductory Psychology 3

Credit for qualified LPNs admitted to the program for a total of 15 nursing credit hours.
Credit for CFD 155 and CFD 130 awarded to qualified LPNs.

Essential Abilities

The following functional abilities or attributes are essential in order to meet the objectives for the ASN program at Missouri State University-West Plains. With reasonable accommodation, the student must possess:

  1. Fine motor skills sufficient to perform skills such as picking up, grasping, and manipulating small objects with hands, and writing with a pen or pencil.
  2. Physical mobility and strength sufficient to move about on a nursing unit and participate in client care.
  3. Physical stamina sufficient to perform client care for entire length of clinical experience (608 hours).
  4. Auditory ability sufficient for assessment of client health.
  5. Visual acuity sufficient to see objects up to 20 inches away and distinguish color.
  6. Reading ability sufficient to understand the written word at a minimum of a tenth-grade level.
  7. Arithmetic competence that would allow the student to read and understand columns of writing, to tell time, to use measuring tools, and to add, subtract, multiply, and divide.
  8. Emotional stability sufficient to assume responsibility/accountability for actions, to provide client with emotional support, to adapt to environmental stress, and to monitor own emotions.
  9. Analytical thinking sufficient to transfer knowledge from one situation to another, to problem solve, to prioritize tasks, and to use long-term and short-term memory.
  10. Critical thinking ability sufficient to exercise sound nursing judgment through the sequencing of information and the identification of cause and effect relationships.
  11. Interpersonal skills sufficient to establish rapport with clients and co-workers, and to respect the rights of others and the differences in clients.
  12. Communication skills sufficient to teach others, to explain procedures, to interact with others, and to convey information in writing.

This list of behavioral examples is not considered complete. Cases must be reviewed individually. Please contact the Department of Nursing for further information.

Adapted from: Yocom, C.J. (1996). Validation study: Functional abilities essential for nursing practice. Published by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Entrance Requirements for Regular Track Students

The following listed application information must be on file in the nursing office no later than February 1 annually. The student will receive written notification of admission status – accepted, alternate or not accepted – by the first week in April. All testing can be arranged through the Advisement and Academic Coaching Center for Empowering Student Success (AACCESS) (417) 255-7222 in the Garnett Library.

  1. Admission to Missouri State University-West Plains with a non-probationary status.
  2. A completed application to the Nursing Program.
  3. A final official high school transcript or HiSET certificate if required for admission to the University. (High school transcript or HiSET certificate is required for students being admitted with less than 24 credit hours of college level course work.) A partial transcript will be accepted if the applicant is presently enrolled in high school. Upon graduation, a final transcript must be received by the nursing department, if admitted.
  4. Official transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities and nursing programs. Transcripts from other nursing programs should be sent directly to the nursing department.
  5. An ACT score less than five years old.
  6. A score of 18 or better on the reading portion of ACT or a C grade or better in IDS 150
  7. Achievement of a minimum Ranking Score of 60 (See Ranking Score Computation).
  8. Students accepted into the nursing program must have MTH 130 (or higher) eligibility established prior to beginning nursing courses. Students will be eligible for MTH 130 by:
    1. Placement into 130 or higher on placement exam (ACT or compass) and taking previous math classes, or
    2. Previously completing MTH 103 with a passing grade.
  9. English 110 eligibility as determined by:
    1. ACT score and a writing sample; or
    2. completed college course work.

Note: Students accepted into the program must have ENG 110 completed prior to beginning nursing courses.

Admission Eligibility

The ASN Admissions Committee establishes admission eligibility using the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action statements found in the University Policies section of the catalog. To be considered for admission, the applicant must achieve a minimum ranking score of 60 (See Ranking Score Computation). All applicants will be considered competitively on an annual basis.

  1. Ranking Score Computation
    1. To be considered for admission an applicant must achieve a minimum score of 60 using the following formula: GPA (Grade Point Average) multiplied by ACT (American College Test composite score) equals Ranking Score. The four point scale in which an A=4 and F=0 will be used to compute the GPA. The cumulative grade point must equal a minimum of 2.0 (a C letter grade).
    2. College GPA will be used to compute the Ranking Score for candidates having 12 or more college credit hours. Applicants may submit a request in writing to the nursing department office for the ASN Admissions Committee to consider using only 12 or more recent hours of college credit to calculate the GPA.
    3. High School GPA will be used to compute the Ranking Score for candidates having less than 12 college credit hours. Scores from the GED will be converted to a four-point scale by dividing the GED by 90. For students taking the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), a cumulative GPA will be calculated based on the Educational Testing Services crosswalk between HiSET and GED scores. 
  2. Students seeking admission who have completed support courses within the nursing curriculum will have a competitive edge.
    1. Applicants will have 2 points added to their ranking score for having successfully completed BMS 267 Human Anatomy or BMS 268 Human Physiology. Applicants who have successfully completed any of the following support courses will have 1 point added per course to their ranking score: ENG 110, CHM 116 / 117 or CHM 160,  PSY 121, BIO 210, IDS 150, and PLS 101. The applicant must first achieve the minimum ranking score of 60 before any points are added for completed support courses. The maximum number of points an applicant may have added to their ranking score is 10.
    2. Support courses within the nursing curriculum may be repeated only one time. Nursing students who fail any two nursing courses (including failing one course twice) are ineligible for readmission.
    3. If selected, admission is contingent upon meeting the grade criteria of C or better for past and current enrollment in nursing curriculum support classes.
  3. Past academic history and known academic integrity may be used by the committee to determine if an applicant will be admitted into the nursing program.
  4. The committee may waive the required ACT score for students who have completed a previous bachelor’s degree with a grade point average of 3.0 or better from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university. The applicant will be ranked immediately below the highest ranked student with an equivalent grade point average (GPA).
  5. RSMo 660.317 prohibits a hospital, or provider, from knowingly allowing those who have been convicted of, pled guilty to, or nolo contender in this state or any other state or who have been found guilty of a crime, which if committed in Missouri would be a Class A or B felony violation, to give care to clients in their agency. As defined by state law, these are violations of Chapter RSMo 565 (domestic violence/violence against a person), RSMo 566 (sex offenses) or RSMo 569 (robbery, arson, burglary or related offenses), or any violation of subsection 3 of section 198.070 RSMo (abuse and neglect), or section 568.020 RSMo (incest). RSMo 660.315 requires an inquiry whether a person is listed on Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services disqualification list. In addition to these records, an online search will be conducted to determine if a student is on other government sanction lists. These online searches include office of Inspector General (OIG) and the General Services Administration (GSA). As a requirement of the Missouri State University-West Plains Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) Program application process in response to RSMo 660.317b and 660.315, applicants to the program will be required to consent to release of their criminal history record (RSMo 43.450) solely for the purpose of determining the applicant’s ability to enter patient care areas in order to fulfill the requirements of the ASN program.
  6. Offers of acceptance to the Associate of Science in Nursing Program are made as conditional offers. The conditions include satisfactory completion of pre-nursing courses, a satisfactory background check, and a negative drug and/or controlled substance test. An applicant or current nursing student who refuses to authorize and pay for testing or who tests positive for drugs, alcohol, or controlled substances will not receive a final offer of admission, or will not be allowed to continue in the nursing program.

Entrance Requirements for the LPN-to-RN Track

The following listed application information must be on file in the nursing office no later than February 1 annually. The student will receive written notification of admission status – accepted, alternate, or not accepted, by the first week in April. All testing can be arranged through the Student Advisement and Academic Support Center (417) 255-7222 in the Garnett Library.

Candidates must meet the following requirements:

  1. Admission to Missouri State University-West Plains with a non-probationary status.
  2. Completed application to the LPN-to-RN track of the nursing program.
  3. A final official high school transcript or HiSET certificate if required for admission to the University (High school transcript or HiSET certificate is required for students being admitted with less than 24 credit hours of college level course work.) and official transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities, including LPN school, must be on file in the nursing office.
  4. An ACT score less than 5 years old.
  5. A score of 18 or better on the reading portion of ACT, or a C grade or better in IDS 150.
  6. Achievement of a minimum ranking score of 60. (See Ranking Score Computation).
  7. Mathematics 103 (Intermediate Algebra) eligibility determined by:
    1. ACT score and previous math classes taken, or
    2. completed college coursework.
    3. Students accepted into the program must have MTH 130 eligibility established prior to beginning nursing courses.
  8. ENG 110 eligibility as determined by:
    1. ACT score and a writing sample; or
    2. completed college course work.
  9. A C grade or better in CHM 116 /117 or CHM 160BMS 267and BMS 268 or current enrollment.
  10. Proof of active, non-disciplined LPN licensure.

Advanced Credit in the ASN Program for Successful LPN Candidates

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who are accepted into the LPN-to-RN program may receive credit for NUR 100, NUR 101, CFD 155, and CFD 130. Upon meeting all the prerequisites for those courses and successfully completing NUR 190, the credit will be awarded. However, the credit will not appear on the transcript until the student has completed three weeks of the fall semester following NUR 190.

Student Progression

In order to progress in the nursing program:

  1. A grade of C or better is required in all nursing courses to receive credit toward graduation. All clinical components not receiving a grade must be evaluated as passing/met.
  2. The student must meet all nursing course prerequisites to progress in the nursing program.
  3. A grade of C or better is required in all support courses within the program interdisciplinary studies, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, psychology, political science, English, and nutrition. Support courses may be repeated only one time.
  4. The nursing courses may not be taken on a Pass/Not Pass basis.
  5. CLEP credit is available for some support courses (see catalog).

Readmission

Students who interrupt their education for a semester or more must follow University readmission policies. In addition, students seeking readmission to the nursing program will be considered as new applicants. The decision of readmission will be made by the ASN Admission Committee based upon eligibility for readmission (achieve a minimum ranking score of 60. See Ranking Score Computation), available space, and a passing score of 78% or better on a basic skills clinical exam and a content based re-admission exam. Both exams will be reflective of the level of the nursing courses successfully completed (NUR 100, NUR 101 or NUR 204 for the Regular Track program; NUR 190 or 204 for the Licensed Practical Nurse-to-Registered Nurse Track Program). Nursing students who fail any two nursing courses (including failing one course twice) are ineligible for readmission. Students who withdraw past the no drop date (see academic calendar) may repeat the course one-time only if readmitted. Support courses within the nursing curriculum may be repeated only one time if applying for readmission. A student who is readmitted to the nursing program will be required to repeat the criminal background checks and drug testing if the student has been out of the program for 12 months.

Transfer Students

Students desiring to transfer into the Associate of Science in Nursing Program at Missouri State University-West Plains may be accepted into the program after successful application to the University and a decision by the Missouri State University-West Plains ASN Admissions Committee. Official transcripts and course descriptions will be reviewed after which a decision regarding admission to the ASN program will be made. Students may enroll in required nursing courses only after admission to the ASN program. Transfer students must complete at least 15 hours of the requirements for the Associate of Science in Nursing Degree in residence on the West Plains campus or its extended campuses. Transfer students will be responsible for meeting objectives of prerequisites to the nursing courses in which they desire to enroll. Credit and course equivalent recommendations related to courses within the nursing program shall be forwarded to the admissions office upon approval by the ASN Admissions Committee. Enrollment is based on space available in class.

Procedure

  1. Apply to University for general admission (non-probationary).
  2. Apply to the Missouri State University-West Plains ASN Program.
  3. Submit catalog course descriptions of transfer courses to Nursing Department.
  4. Submit current official transcript(s) from previous nursing program.
  5. Students must be eligible for readmission to the nursing program from which they are transferring and will be asked to sign a waiver of inquiry to be sent to the former school.
  6. Receive a response from the ASN Admissions Committee regarding application to the program.
  7. Recommendation for course/credit equivalencies will be forwarded to the admissions office upon approval of the ASN Admissions Committee.

Accreditation

The Associate of Science in Nursing Program is fully approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing, PO Box 656, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0656, Phone (573) 751-0681, http://pr.mo.gov/nursing.asp and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, Phone: (404) 975-5000, http://www.acenursing.org//.

State Board Examination for R.N. Licensure

Students who meet educational and other standards for application for a license to practice as a registered nurse (Sect.335.046.1 RSMo) may apply to take the NCLEX-RN examination for RN licensure (4CSR 20004.020 Missouri Code of State Regulations). There is a fee for the examination and license. Successful completion of the nursing program does not guarantee licensure. Appli cants may be denied licensure in Missouri for one or any combination of causes stated in the Missouri Nursing Practice Act Sect. 335.066, 2 (10 15) RSMo. A copy of the Missouri Nursing Practice Act Sect. 335.066, 2 (1015) RSMo is available upon request or may be found at the Missouri State Board of Nursing website: http://pr.mo.gov/nursing.asp.

Students are strongly encouraged to confirm the transferability of individual courses to other institutions prior to enrollment. Not all courses will transfer or satisfy specific degree requirements for bachelor’s degrees