Undergraduate Nursing Program


All graduates of the undergraduate nursing program will be able to:

  1. Incorporate science, theoretical and empirical knowledge from the liberal arts, basic sciences, and nursing to promote health, risk reduction, disease prevention, and, illness and disease management for the welfare of others.
  2. Utilize an evidence based approach in the delivery of health care to individuals, families, groups, and communities within the global society.
  3. Use critical thinking skills and the nursing process to design, provide, manage, and coordinate nursing care.
  4. Participate with patients and interdisciplinary team members to improve quality patient care.
  5. Incorporate knowledge of leadership management principles in professional role development.
  6. Provide safe, humanistic nursing care to patients in a variety of settings by demonstrating respect for patient rights, professionalism, and ethical decision-making.
  7. Demonstrate information literacy and utilization of healthcare technologies used to support the delivery of health care.


Policies specific to the nursing major are published in the undergraduate nursing student policy handbook. Each student is required to review the handbook online each academic year for updates or changes in policy.

Selection, Advancement, and Graduation Criteria

Admission into Nursing

Students admitted to nursing in the traditional nursing undergraduate program (first year) must meet the general admission requirements of Misericordia University in addition to program-specific requirements specified below. Full-time transfer students must meet admission requirements as specified in the transfer student section of this catalog. Non-traditional applicants, such as second degree students and registered nurse students, must meet specific requirements as outlined below and in the appropriate nursing student policy handbooks. All non-nursing transfer credits will be evaluated by the registrar and the nursing department chair (or designee) to determine equivalencies.

Admission into traditional undergraduate nursing requires:

  1. Students who are applying for admission into the nursing major (both first time and transfer student admissions – traditional and PTENP), and who have either not taken the ACT or the SAT examination, or not achieved the admission SAT or ACT requirements, published in the Misericordia University catalog (960 with a minimum score of 450 in the math and verbal exams; ACT 21), will be required to schedule and complete the NLN Nursing Entrance Examination (PAX-RN) prior to admission evaluation. A proficiency score of 78% or higher on the NLN Nursing Entrance Examination is required in order to be considered for admission into the major. The examination may only be taken once.
  2. High school average of 80 or higher
  3. B or above in science and mathematics courses
  4. Completion of one year of chemistry, biology, and mathematics (including one semester of algebra).

Admission into the second degree nursing program (for traditional and part-time evening programs) requires:

  1. Completed bachelor’s degree
  2. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0
  3. Completion of BIO 211, 212, 228, PSY 275, HP 241 for full-time option only; in special circumstances, one or more of these courses can be completed as junior co-requisites with permission of the department chairperson.

Admission into the nursing program for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)

The licensed practical nurse (LPN) student is recognized as an adult learner who comes with diverse life experiences, education and clinical skills, as well as motivation and ability to learn independently. To facilitate advanced placement, opportunity is provided for students to validate, by examination, previously acquired educational and clinical competencies

LPN to the BS in Nursing option is for students who have completed and accredited Licensed Practical Nurse program. Licensed practical nurses seeking admission to the baccalaureate nursing program must meet the admission criteria for the University and the Nursing major and submit a valid Pennsylvania LPN license.

Advanced Placement

Students who have evidence of 1000 hours of employment as a LPN within the last 3 years are eligible for advanced placement nursing credits.

  • Nursing 201 Foundations Essential to Professional Nursing Practice (3 credits) and Nursing 300 Concepts of Nursing will be applied to transcripts.
  • If the student successfully completes the NLN Nutrition Challenge Exam then 3 credits associated with the Misericordia University nutrition course HP 241 will be applied to transcripts.
Non-Nursing Advanced Placement (professional nursing cognates/pre-requisites)

It is possible to challenge or CLEP (College Level Examination Program) the following courses. If a passing score is not achieved in the designated exam the student must take that course.

  • BIO 211 Anatomy and Physiology 1
  • BIO 211 Anatomy and Physiology 11
  • BIO 228 Introduction to Microbiology

Licensed practical nurses have the option to test out of specialty area courses within the program. The areas are listed below.

Advanced Placement Examination Options:

*NLN ACE II Exams - minimum overall score of 78.

NSG 402 Functional Health Patterns Childbearing ( 4 credits)

NSG 304 Functional Health Patterns Pediatrics ( 4 credits)

NSG 302 Functional Health Patterns the Psychiatric Nursing ( 4 credits)

Examinations are administered through the Center for Adult and Continuing Education prior to the semester in which the course would be offered, and students receive one opportunity to take each examination.

Advanced Placement examination credits are only applicable to the nursing major and are not calculated in the GPA, and may only be taken by LPN-holding students already admitted to the program.

Admission for students to the Expressway RN-to-BSN program include:

  1. Graduation from an accredited associate’s degree or diploma nursing program; students are required to submit transcripts of all prior college-level course work and a copy of the RN license
  2. Minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 for all prior college-level course work
  3. Official written verification of a minimum of 1,000 hours of clinical practice in the past three years (waived for graduates of basic nursing programs in the three years prior to application)

Note: Curriculum requirements may vary based on transcript evaluation.

To be compliant with our clinical agencies, during clinical semesters all students will be required to complete a FBI clearance, PA criminal background check, child abuse clearance, and 10 panel drug screening. If any report indicates a relevant criminal background check, the student will be prohibited from entrance into the nursing program. If a student incurs a relevant background check while enrolled, the student will be immediately dismissed from the nursing program.

State Board Requirements

The nursing department, in accordance with the State Board of Nurse Examiners, advises all nursing students that felonious acts prohibit licensure in Pennsylvania as of January 1, 1997. The following is taken from the law.

The Board shall not issue a license or certificate to an applicant who has been:

  1. Convicted* of a felonious act prohibited by the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), known as “The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act”, or
  2. Convicted* of a felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States and any other state, territory or country unless:
    1. At least ten years have elapsed from the date of the conviction;
    2. The applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the Board significant progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure should not create a substantial risk of harm to the health and safety of patients or the public or a substantial risk of further criminal violations, and
    3. The applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications contained in this act.

A person convicted of any felonious act may be prohibited from licensure by the Board of Nursing at any time.

* Convicted includes a judgment, an admission of guilt, or a plea of no lo contendere.

Health Examination

Before student can begin the clinical experience, they must submit a health clearance form report each year they are enrolled in a clinical experience. A complete list of required exams and immunizations will be provided to all nursing majors in the spring of their sophomore year prior to their first clinical rotation that begins in the fall of their junior year. Students must have current health insurance. Students are responsible for the cost of the annual health examination, current health insurance and immunizations.

The health clearance form must be submitted to My Record Tracker (MRT) no later than the date specified by the department chair. Normal results are good for one year from the date of the test.

Clinical Education Requirements

Accepted students must submit the following documentation prior to the start of the program:

  • FBI Background Check
  • State Background Check
  • Child Abuse Clearance
  • Health Physical to include documentation of immunizations, Tuberculin test and Hepatitis B vaccination (form provided)
  • CPR certification for health care providers through the American Heart Association, Red Cross or an organization approved by the program
  • Proof of Medical Insurance Coverage
  • HIPAA education

Individual clinical sites may require additional documentation, such as drug screening which varies in the time frame of being tested and entering the clinical setting; thus, the clinical coordinator will inform you as to when to have the test done. Clinical education requirements are at the expense of the student.

The College of Health Sciences and Education Clinical Education policies are found at http://www.misericordia.edu/uploaded/documents/academics/nursing/Clinical_Education_Policies/CHS_CEC_Policies_final_approval_2014-_handbook-_2015-2017-revised_6-2015.pdf

Special Expenses

In addition to tuition and fees, expenses that the nursing major student may incur are: uniforms, NCLEX examination fee, temporary practice permit fee, field trip expenses, health examination fees, 10 panel urine toxicology screen, and criminal background checks (3).

Tuition Based Expenses

Examples of some items that are tuition based are: National Student Nurses Association, My Record Tracker, CPR certification and recertification, KAPLAN developmental testing, lab fees, Discovering HIPAA Online Series, liability insurance, simulation fee, clinical supplies, nursing pin fee, nursing ceremony fee and poster fee.

*For specific fee information refer to the fee page in the catalog.

Transfer Students (Traditional and Part-time Evening Nursing Program)

All non-nursing transfer college credits will be evaluated by the registrar and the nursing department to determine equivalencies. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required to transfer into the nursing program. Students who receive a C- or less in courses that are the equivalent of required Misericordia cognates (including BIO 211, BIO 212, BIO 228, PSY 275, HP 241 and MTH 115) or nursing courses will not be considered for admission into the nursing program.

Progression and Retention in the Nursing Program

Academic Criteria for all Undergraduate Nursing Students

Progression and retention in the nursing major is based upon the student's ability to meet the following academic criteria:

  1. Students must attain an overall GPA of 2.75 throughout the nursing program.
  2. Successful completion of math calculation competency by end of the semester, remediation as outlined in contract.
  3. Students in the PTENP and transfer students once accepted based on the combination of transfer credits and MU credits; need to be aware, that only the MU credits will be used for calculation of GPA for retention in the program.
  4. PTENP and transfer students MU GPA will be calculated for the first time after 12 credits of MU course work.
  5. For students in the PTENP, GPA will be calculated subsequently then in increments of completion of a minimum of 12 credits of coursework. Failure to obtain a GPA of 2.75 will result in probationary status.
  6. Successful completion of all cognates for the nursing major (BIO 211, BIO 212, BIO 228, HP 241, MTH 115, and PSY 275) with a grade of "C" or better is required for progression in the program.
  7. A student may repeat only one nursing cognate (A&P I and A&P II, Microbiology, Nutrition, Developmental Psychology, and Statistics). The acceptable grade for these courses is a C or better. If the student receives a C- or less, in any of these nursing cognates, the student will be placed on academic probation. A student on their first probation will be given the option to grade replace the course. Students with a second probation will be dismissed from the nursing program. When the course in question is repeated and the student earns a C- or less in the same cognate or any other cognate, that student will be dismissed from the nursing major with no option to reapply. If a transfer student who earns a grade of C- or less in any Misericordia equivalent cognate, taken at another institution, admission into the nursing major at Misericordia will be denied.
  8. Achievement of a grade of at least a (“C”) is required in all nursing courses (NSG courses).Students may repeat only one Nursing course (NSG), a maximum of 6 credits. The repeated NSG course must be completed in the following academic year. Students who need to grade replace NSG 302, 304, 402 and 403 may progress in the program, however must grade replace the course in the next summer.
  9. Any student who has fallen back related to grade replacement and /or is returning to the nursing major in good standing will be required to validate knowledge related to clinical experience prior to being allowed to re-enter any clinical course. (Refer to readmission policy and procedure).
  10. Senior, second-degree nursing students with a minimum overall GPA of 3.5 may earn up to 6 graduate credits while completing the undergraduate nursing program. Students may register to take one or both of the following graduate courses after discussion with the graduate program director and on a space available basis:
    1. NSG 519 –Concepts and Theories in Nursing Science (2 credits)
    2. NSG 511 – Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology for Primary Care (3credits)
    3. NSG 518 – APN Role (1 credit)
  11. Any student who is experiencing extenuating circumstances that may affect their progression in the program after the drop date must make an appointment with their advisor to determine whether an “I” should be taken at the time of the event. A student may withdraw later for medical reasons, supported by a written excuse from a physician, or for other serious circumstances, approved by the vice president of academic affairs in consultation with the course advisor.

English Language Proficiency

If English is not your first language, or if English is not the primary language spoken in your home, you must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The following are the minimum score requirements:

Internet-based TOEFL exam (iBT): The Internet-based TOEFL has four subsections, with a grading scale for each section from 1 to 30 (30 being the highest score). Misericordia University will look closely at the score for each section rather than the total score. The minimum scores for each section are as follows:

Writing: 22

Speaking: 22

Reading: 22

Listening: 22

Students should indicate on the registration form that they wish the test results to be sent directly to Misericordia University. The TOEFL code for Misericordia University is 2087.