Rhode Island College School of Nursing

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					     Rhode Island College
      School of Nursing




   SELF STUDY DOCUMENT




        Submitted to the
Commission on Collegiate Education




          School of Nursing
         Rhode Island College
       600 Mt. Pleasant Avenue
        Providence, RI 02908


           September 2008
                       TABLE OF CONTENTS



                                                  Page

Introduction………………………………………………………………………….iii-iv

Organizational Structure…………………………………………………………….v-vi

Program Information Form………………………………………………………….vii-xii

List of Tables………………………………………………………………………..xiii-xiv

List of Appendices…………………………………………………………………..xv

Standard 1………………………………………………………………………….1-16

Standard 2………………………………………………………………………….17-31

Standard 3………………………………………………………………………….32-64

Standard 4…………………………………………………………………….……65-75

Appendices…………………………………………………………………………76-186
                                         INTRODUCTION

Rhode Island College (RIC) is the oldest of the three public institutions of higher education that
operate under the aegis of the Board of Governors for Higher Education (BOGHE). Academic
offerings are provided in five schools: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Feinstein School of
Education and Human Development, the School of Management, the School of Nursing, and the
School of Social Work. When the College was established in 1854 as the Rhode Island State Normal
School, its goal was to provide teacher preparation to young people from Rhode Island. In 1959, it was
renamed Rhode Island College to reflect its new purpose as a comprehensive institution of higher
education.

With an enrollment predominantly from Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut, the
institution historically has been a "College of Opportunity" for first-generation college students. The
College now serves approximately 9,000 students in courses and programs both on and off campus.
Rhode Island College is located on a 180-acre campus in the Mount Pleasant section of Providence.
This location combines a suburban atmosphere with easy access to the benefits and resources of the
metropolitan area.

In 1968, The Inter-institutional Committee on Nursing was appointed by the Chancellor of the Board
of Trustees for State Colleges (now the BOGHE) to explore the need for baccalaureate-prepared nurses
in the metropolitan area of the state. The Committee recommended that a Providence-based program
be established and selected Rhode Island College as a suitable location for the program. The goal was
to offer a centrally located program that would allow potential professional nurses to pursue
baccalaureate degrees at an affordable price.

The Board of Trustees for State Colleges authorized Rhode Island College to identify the
requirements for establishing the new baccalaureate degree program. A training grant was
approved and funded for two years by the Division of Nursing of the U.S. Department of Health,
Education and Welfare. On July 1, 1970, the Department of Nursing was established within the
Division of Arts and Sciences. The first Chairperson and two faculty members were hired. The Rhode
Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education granted approval for the program and in the
fall of 1970, the first class of 40 nursing majors entered the program.

The Department applied for membership in the National League for Nursing and was granted initial
accreditation in 1974 with continuing accreditation granted in 1981, 1988 and 1996. With the founding
of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the Department became a member of
AACN in 1990. In 2000, the Department faculty voted to seek accreditation by the Collegiate
Commission on Nursing Education (CCNE). In April of 2004, the program received initial
accreditation from CCNE with no cited recommendations.




                                                  iii
In May 2004, the Department of Nursing faculty voted to establish a task force composed of faculty
members, alumni, and professional community representatives to develop a proposal for a Master of
Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. The task force conducted a needs assessment which demonstrated
support for specialty tracks in acute care/critical care and in public health/community leadership and
developed a program in concert with AACN and nursing specialty practice group standards. In
addition to the plan for a master’s program, the task force proposed that the department become a
separate school of nursing. The rationale for this proposal was to recognize the professional status of
the nursing unit, organize nursing in a manner similar to other professional programs at the College,
and better position the program for additional resources and support.

In January 2005, the faculty unanimously approved the master’s program proposal and proposal for the
development of a School of Nursing (SON). The master’s proposal was approved by the College
Curriculum Committee in April 2005 and submitted to the President of the College in May 2005. In
May 2006, the BOGHE approved the master’s program and the proposal for organizational change to a
School of Nursing. In August 2006, the President announced the establishment of the SON effective
immediately. The SON accepted its first master’s program class in the fall of 2007.

The SON is proud to provide for the intellectual growth and development of a diverse student
population. Centrally located within the state, the nursing program provides clinical learning
opportunities in agencies where the health and health care needs of a multi-cultural population are
being met. In recent years, student enrollment has become increasingly more reflective of the
economic, social, and ethnic characteristics of the state population, the clients our graduates serve.
The majority of graduates of the SON live and practice in Rhode Island.




                                                    iv
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE




           v
vi
                             PROGRAM INFORMATION FORM

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
                                   One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530

                                       Washington, DC 20036-1120




GENERAL INFORMATION


Official Name of Institution: Rhode Island College

Type of Institution (check one):     public       private, secular     private, religious    proprietary

Institution’s Carnegie Classification: Master’s

Chief Executive Officer of Institution (Full Name and Title):   Dr. Nancy Carriuolo, President

Official Name of Nursing Unit: School of Nursing

Chief Nurse Administrator (Full Name and Title): Dr. Jane Williams, Dean

Address: 600 Mt. Pleasant Avenue

City: Providence       State: RI              Zip Code: 02908

Phone: 401-456-9608                   Fax: 401-456-8206

E-mail address: jwilliams@ric.edu

Web site address of institution/program: www.ric.edu/nursing

  Check here to verify that the Chief Nurse Administrator, identified above, has approved this
completed form and confirms its contents as of     . (date)




                                                     vii
                                 ACCREDITATION AND APPROVAL

Institutional Accreditation:
     INSTITUTIONAL ACCREDITOR                    LAST REVIEW          NEXT SCHEDULED REVIEW
          (identify agency name)                    (year)                    (year)
 New England Association of Schools                  2000                      2010
 and Colleges

Specialized Accreditation:
                                                 LAST REVIEW          NEXT SCHEDULED REVIEW
 SPECIALIZED ACCREDITOR                             (year)                    (year)
 Council on Accreditation of Nurse
 Anesthesia Educational Programs
 Accreditation Commission for Midwifery
 Education
 Commission on Collegiate Nursing                Baccalaureate                Baccalaureate
 Education                                         in Nursing                   in Nursing
                                                      2004                         2009

                                              Master’s in Nursing           Master’s in Nursing
                                                                                   2009

 National League for Nursing Accrediting         Baccalaureate                Baccalaureate
 Commission                                        in Nursing                   in Nursing
                                                      1995             Did not seek re-accreditation
                                                                                by NLNAC

                                              Master’s in Nursing           Master’s in Nursing



State Board of Nursing Approval:
Name of applicable state board of nursing: Rhode Island Board of Nurse
                                           Registration and Nursing Education
      NURSING PROGRAM APPROVED                     LAST REVIEW        NEXT SCHEDULED REVIEW
                                                      (year)                   (year)
 Baccalaureate program                                 2008                Report yearly
 Master’s program                                       NA                       NA

Add any relevant comments regarding accreditation and approval:

CCNE: May 2004 “Met all four accreditation standards”

CCNE CLPR: October 2007 “Program continues to meet all accreditation standards”




                                                  viii
                           NURSING PROGRAM INFORMATION
Degree Programs Offered, Student Data:
Identify all baccalaureate and master’s degree tracks offered by the nursing unit. For
each track, list current enrollment data, as well graduation data for the previous
academic year. For the baccalaureate program, include only nursing students (not pre-
nursing students).

                                                       NUMBER OF                NUMBER OF
 NURSING PROGRAM                                   STUDENTS ENROLLED            GRADUATES
            (identify all tracks)
 Baccalaureate Program
  Generic                                                 404                        106
  RN                                                       49                        28
  Second Career (Fast Track)
  Other (specify)
                                        Totals:           453                        134
 Master’s Program
 (Identify all tracks offered)
                                                          22                         NA




                                        Totals:           22                         NA
 Doctor of Nursing Practice Program
 (Identify all tracks offered and indicate
 post-baccalaureate or post-master’s)
                                        Totals:


                                              ix
Identify any post-master’s certificates offered by the nursing unit: NA


Identify any doctoral degree programs (other than the Doctor of Nursing Practice
program) offered by the nursing unit: NA


Identify any joint degree programs in nursing offered with any other unit at your
institution (e.g., MSN/MPH with the School of Public Health): NA



NCLEX-RN Pass Rates for the Last Three Academic Years:

Academic      # Students Taking       NCLEX-RN Pass         # Students Taking       NCLEX-RN Pass
  Year        NCLEX-RN for 1st        Rate for 1st Time     NCLEX-RN for 2nd          Rate for 2nd
                    Time                Test Takers               Time              Time Test Takers
1/01/2008            55                    92.73%
 -6/30/08
1/01/2007             103                   95.15%
1/01/2006              72                   95.83%
1/01/2005              67                   88.06%


Academic    Certification    # Students      Certification Pass      # Students     Certification Pass
  Year         Exam         taking Exam      Rate for 1st Time      taking Exam     Rate for 2nd Time
                            for 1st Time       Test Takers          for 2nd Time       Test Takers
  NA             NA              NA                  NA




                                             x
Nursing Program Faculty:

Identify the number (headcount) of faculty currently devoted to the nursing unit:

           # FULL-TIME              # PART-TIME              TOTAL # FACULTY
                 32                       15                          46
       (+ 1 on military leave)

Identify the faculty full-time-equivalent (FTE) currently devoted to the baccalaureate
degree program:

          FULL-TIME FTE           PART-TIME FTE            TOTAL FACULTY FTE
                35.5                     11.7                        47.2

Identify the faculty full-time-equivalent (FTE) currently devoted to the master’s degree
program:

          FULL-TIME FTE           PART-TIME FTE            TOTAL FACULTY FTE
                1.25                     .25                          1.5



Additional Campuses/Sites:

Identify any additional campuses/sites where the nursing degree program is offered, the
distance from the main campus, and the average number of nursing students currently
enrolled at each location.

         CAMPUS/SITE                DISTANCE FROM MAIN CAMPUS                       # STUDENTS
          (City, State)                       (in miles)                             ENROLLED
               NA                                 NA                                    NA




                                               xi
Distance Education:

Does your nursing unit currently offer curricula (or any part thereof) via distance
education (i.e., alternative modalities, including distance-mediated modalities, other than
traditional classroom style)?

Baccalaureate program (check one):                       yes           no           not applicable

     •    Please provide a brief (one paragraph) description of the distance learning
          offerings at the baccalaureate level:


Master’s program (check one):                    yes           no           not applicable

     •    Please provide a brief (one paragraph) description of the distance learning
          offerings at the master’s level: Same as above


Doctor of Nursing Practice program (check one):                           yes           no          not applicable

     •    Please provide a brief (one paragraph) description of the distance learning
          offerings at the Doctor of Nursing Practice program level:




                                                            xii

C:\Documents and Settings\cpeck\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\OLK1BA\Program Info Form 2008 fillable TC.doc
                             LIST OF TABLES


Tables

Table 1    Excerpts from the mission Statements of Rhode Island College
           and the School of Nursing Demonstrating Congruency.

Table 2    Example of the Congruency of the School of Nursing’s Mission with
           Undergraduate and Graduate Programs Goals and Program Outcomes.

Table 3    Input Mechanisms of and Responses to Communities of Interest.

Table 4    Process of Review of Documents and Publications.

Table 5    Undergraduate Nursing Student Aid Recipients 2004-2007.

Table 6    Congruence of The Essentials Component of Core Knowledge and
           BSN Program Goals, Level Outcomes, Course Outcomes, and
           Program Outcomes.

Table 7    Congruence of The Essentials Component of Core Competencies and
           BSN Program Goals, Level Outcomes, Course Outcomes, and
           Program Outcomes.

Table 8    Comparison of The Essentials Component of Professional Values
           and BSN Program Goals, Level Outcomes, Course Outcomes, and
           Program Outcomes.

Table 9    Congruence of The Essentials Component of Role Development and
           BSN Program Goals, Level Outcomes, Course Outcomes, and
           Program Outcomes.

Table 10   Congruence of Master’s Program Goals and the Master’s Essentials.

Table 11   Congruence of Master’s Program Goals and the Standards of Practice
           and Performance for the Acute and
           Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (AACN, 2002) and Core CNS
           Competencies (NACNS, 2004).

Table 12   Congruence of Master’s Program Goals and Public Health Nursing Scope
           and Standards of Practice: Additional Measurement Criteria for the
           Advanced Practice Public Health Nurse (ANA, 2007).


                                     xiii
Table 13   Relationship between the Baccalaureate and Master’s Program Goals.

Table 14   Undergraduate Student Outcomes and Corresponding Didactic and
           and Clinical Teaching-Learning Practices.

Table 15   Graduation Rates: Basic Baccalaureate Program.

Table 16   Graduation Rates: RN to BSN Program.

Table 17   Comparison of NCLEX-RN Pass Rates of First Time Candidates from
           Rhode Island College and State and National Pass Rates.

Table 18   Percent of Faculty Engaged in Scholarship and Service.




                                      xiv
                            LIST OF APPENDICES

Appendices                                                                     Page

Appendix A   Mission of Rhode Island College ………………………………………76

Appendix B   Mission of School of Nursing …………………………………………..77

Appendix C   Performance Improvement Plan 2007-2008 ……………………………78-94

Appendix D   MSN Program Goals, Program Outcomes and Expected Outcomes …...95-98

Appendix E   SON Advisory Board - Media Advisory ……………………...………..99-100

Appendix F   List of Faculty Service on College Committees ……………………….101-102

Appendix G   By Laws of the Faculty of Rhode Island College School of Nursing ….103-116

Appendix H   List of Faculty Development Programs 2004-2008…………………….117

Appendix I   List of SON Presentations, Publications and Grants 2004-2008……….118-123

Appendix J   List of Faculty Service Activities and Awards 2004-2008…………......124-127

Appendix K   List of Faculty Practice Activities 2004-2008………………………….128

Appendix L   Master’s Curriculum Grid for Core Content …………………………...129

Appendix M   MSN Program Full and Part Time Plans of Study ……………………..130-133

Appendix N   Advisement Form Basic Student and Typical Plan of Study …………..134-135

Appendix O   Application to Nursing Program: Fall Enrollment Form ………………136-137

Appendix P   Level Outcomes ………………………………………………………...138

Appendix Q   Advisement Form Second Degree Student – Plan of Study ……………139-140

Appendix R   Advisement Form Registered Nurse Student ………………..…………141

Appendix S   Strategies for Success …………………………………………………..142

Appendix T   Performance Improvement Plan Report 2007-2008…………………….143-186


                                       xv
             STANDARD I. PROGRAM QUALITY: MISSION AND GOVERNANCE

The mission, goals, and expected outcomes of the program are congruent with those of the parent
institution, reflect professional nursing standards and guidelines, and consider the needs and
expectations of the community of interest- all in the pursuit of the continuing advancement and
improvement of the program. Policies of the parent institution and nursing program clearly
support the program’s mission, goals, and expected outcomes. The faculty and students of the
program are involved in the governance of the program and in the ongoing efforts to improve
program quality.

Standard I-A. The mission, goals, and expected outcomes of the program are written, congruent
with those of the parent institution, and consistent with the professional nursing standards and
guidelines for the preparation of nursing professionals.
The focus of the mission of Rhode Island College (RIC) as a comprehensive institution of higher
learning is to offer a broad range of academic and professional programs to a diverse student population.
The mission statement of the College serves as the basis for the School of Nursing (SON) mission. In
January 2007, the SON mission was revised to reflect the change from a department to a professional
school and the addition of a master’s program. Subsequently, in the fall of 2007, the RIC Academic
Leadership Roundtable, chaired by Dr. Nancy Carriuolo, then interim Vice President for Academic
Affairs, reviewed the mission statements of all academic units including the SON and deemed them
consistent with the College mission. The RIC and SON Missions are presented in Appendix A and B,
respectively. Table 1 compares excerpts from the mission statements of the College and the SON to
demonstrate congruency.

Table 1: Excerpts from the Mission Statements of Rhode Island College and the School of Nursing
Demonstrating Congruency
      Rhode Island College Mission                  School of Nursing Mission
“Widely known for its curricula in           “To accomplish the mission, the School of
education, fine and performing arts,        Nursing offers programs leading to the
nursing, and social work, the College is    following degrees: a Bachelor of Science in
equally committed to offering a broad array Nursing for undergraduate and registered
of undergraduate arts and sciences and      nurse students and a Master of Science in
professional majors.”                       Nursing.”
“The College is dedicated to ensuring that  “The baccalaureate nursing program
each student experience academic life in a  combines liberal arts and nursing education
caring community where education is         to help students develop knowledge, skills
informed by serious inquiry, civic          and perspectives that promote professional
engagement, and open discourse; and, its    advancement and responsible citizenship.”
faculty continually strive to fulfill the
promise of the liberal arts education: an
open and inquiring mind.”

“As the State's single comprehensive           “The nursing faculty fosters the intellectual
institution of higher education, the College   development and personal growth of
fulfills Rhode Island's promise of             students through a commitment to
affordable access to superior higher          excellence in teaching, ongoing advisement
education for traditional and non-            and facilitation of student involvement.
traditional students alike-because, to foster The School of Nursing embraces the
the growth and development of each            richness of the educational experience and
individual enriches everyone.”                advantages to the profession and society
                                              that accrue from a diverse student
                                              population.”
“The College further fulfills its             “Faculty, students and alumni contribute to
responsibility through the public service,    the improvement of health care through
continuing education offerings, and cultural practice, service and scholarship activities
opportunities it provides for the citizens of that extend to populations, agencies and
Rhode Island.”                                institutions throughout the City of
                                              Providence, State of Rhode Island and the
                                              surrounding community.”


The mission, goals, and expected outcomes of the SON are closely congruent with the college and
reflect professional nursing standards. During the fall of 2007, faculty reviewed and approved program
goals for both the baccalaureate and master’s program. These goals provide the basis for program
development, implementation and evaluation and are the basis for the program outcomes. Program
outcomes and expected outcomes are presented in the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and guide
the ongoing evaluation of the program (Appendix C).

The undergraduate program has ten goals:
   1. Demonstrate commitment to personal and professional growth as a professional nurse and
      member of a global society.
   2. Possess a philosophy of professional nursing that encompasses responsibility and accountability
      in professional practice.
   3. Promote, maintain, and restore health and maintenance of the optimal level of functioning
      throughout the course of illness, including end of life, in persons, families, and communities.
   4. Perform in the autonomous and collaborative roles of the professional nurse.
   5. Demonstrate critical thinking skills to utilize nursing research and apply theory in professional
      practice.
   6. Provide leadership for the improvement of health care and nursing practice within the profession
      and in a changing and diverse society.
   7. Promote professional nursing practice that addresses the socioeconomic, political, historical,
      legal, and ethical factors within the health care delivery system.

The graduate program goals are:
   1. Assume advanced practice roles in acute/critical care or public health nursing.
   2. Analyze contemporary and evolving healthcare needs of a diverse society.
   3. Assume leadership responsibilities to shape nursing practice in acute/critical care or public health
       nursing.
   4. Promote evidence-based practice through development of master’s level research competencies
       and dissemination of research findings.
   5. Engage in interdisciplinary practice to promote quality and safety in improving health and health
       care outcomes.
   6. Demonstrate the values of ethical practice, personal responsibility and continuous professional
       growth in an advanced practice role.
   7. Initiate innovative healthcare technologies.
   8. Apply theoretical knowledge from nursing and related disciplines in planning, directing, and
       evaluating quality health care.
   9. Promote policies that ensure quality, cost effective care within a dynamic health care system.
   10. Develop expertise in an identified functional area.

In Table 2, excerpts of the SON mission, program goals, and expected outcomes are compared to
demonstrate congruency.

Table 2: Example of the Congruency of the School of Nursing’s Mission with Undergraduate and
Graduate Program Goals and Program Outcomes
SON Mission Statement
“To accomplish the mission, the School of Nursing offers programs leading to the
following degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Nursing for undergraduate and registered
nurse students and a Master of Science in Nursing.”
Undergraduate Program Goals                  Undergraduate Program Outcomes
Program Goal # 3: Promote, maintain, and • Competency in nursing process (PIP
restore health and maintenance of the           student outcome)
optimal level of functioning throughout the • Competency in core knowledge (PIP
course of illness, including end of life, in    student outcome)
persons, families, and communities.          • Competency in technical skills (PIP
                                                student outcome)
                                             • Competency in communication (PIP
                                                student outcome)
                                             • Competency in health care technologies
                                                (PIP student outcome)

                                             • Competency in professional role (PIP
Program Goal # 4: Perform in the
                                               student outcome)
autonomous and collaborative roles of the
                                             • Employment in nursing (PIP graduate
professional nurse.
                                               outcome)
                                             • Employer satisfaction (PIP graduate
                                               outcome)

                                             •  Competency in critical thinking (PIP
                                                student outcome)
PROGRAM GOAL #5: DEMONSTRATE
                                             • NCLEX-RN results (PIP graduate
CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS TO
                                               outcome)
UTILIZE NURSING RESEARCH AND
APPLY THEORY IN PROFESSIONAL
                                             Graduate Program Outcomes
PRACTICE
                                             • Competency in professional role
                                             •   Competency in core nursing knowledge
GRADUATE PROGRAM GOALS

Program Goal #1: Assume advanced
practice roles in acute/critical or public
health nursing.                              •   Competency in core nursing knowledge

Program Goal # 8: Apply theoretical
knowledge from nursing and related
disciplines in planning, directing, and
evaluating quality health care.

Program Goal # 10: Develop expertise in
an identified functional area.

SON Mission Statement
“The baccalaureate nursing program combines liberal arts and nursing education to help
students develop knowledge, skills and perspectives that promote professional
advancement and responsible citizenship.”
“The master’s program in nursing educates expert nurses for clinical and academic
practice.”
Undergraduate Program Goal                      Undergraduate Program Outcome
Program Goal #2: Possess a philosophy of • Competency in professional value
professional nursing that encompasses              system (PIP student outcome)
responsibility and accountability in
professional practice
Graduate Program Goal                           Graduate Program Outcome
Program Goal #1: Assume advanced                • Competency in professional role
practice roles in acute/critical care or
public health nursing.
SON Mission Statement
“Faculty, students and alumni contribute to the improvement of health care through
practice, service and scholarship activities that extend to populations, agencies and
institutions throughout the City of Providence, State of Rhode Island and the surrounding
community.”
Undergraduate Program Goals                     Undergraduate Program Outcomes
Program Goal # 6: Provide leadership for        • Competency in leadership skills (PIP
the improvement of health care and nursing         student outcome)
practice within the profession and a
changing and diverse society
Program Goal #7: Promote professional           • Competency in core knowledge (PIP
nursing practice that addresses the                student outcome)
socioeconomic, political, historical, legal,
and ethical factors within the health care
delivery system
Graduate Program Goal                          Graduate Program Outcome
Program Goal #6: Demonstrate ethical           • Competency in ethics
practice, personal responsibility, and
continuous professional growth in an
advanced practice role

Specific expected outcomes for the graduate program will be incorporated into the PIP in the fall of
2008 and are presented in Appendix D. The goals and expected outcomes of the baccalaureate and
masters’ program reflect The Essentials of the Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing
Practice (AACN, 1998) and The Essentials of Master’s Education for Advanced Practice Nursing
(AACN, 1996), respectively. Guidelines of the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center and professional
standards in the specialties of community/public health nursing, acute and critical care nursing, and adult
medical-surgical nursing are guiding the development of the masters’ program. An additional important
standard reflected in both the undergraduate and graduate programs is the statement of national health
goals Healthy People 2010 (Department of Health and Human Services, 2000). One example of the
focus on Healthy People 2010 is Program Goal #5 of the master’s program, “engage in interdisciplinary
practice to promote quality and safety in improving health and health care outcomes.

Plans are underway to address the new Essentials for Baccalaureate Education being prepared by
AACN. Two faculty representatives from the Departmental Advisory Committee, Joanne Costello and
Sylvia Ross, attended the AACN Essentials development conference in Boston and will report back to
faculty in fall 2008.

I–B. The mission, goals, and expected outcomes of the program are reviewed periodically and
revised, as appropriate, to reflect professional standards and guidelines.
The SON PIP, initiated in fall 2002, guides the annual review of the mission, goals, and expected
outcomes. There has been consistent, careful monitoring of the PIP. From 2002-2007, the Department
Advisory Committee (DAC) monitored the review activities described in the PIP and carried out by the
major committees in the SON. As part of the change in SON organizational structure, a Leadership
Committee was established in fall 2007. After thoughtful review, it was determined that this committee
would be the most appropriate committee to monitor the PIP since this committee would allow for broad
oversight by program directors. The PIP is presented in Appendix C.

Ongoing review and revision takes place. Each committee responsible for assessing program outcomes
reports on their activities and submits an annual report to the Dean and Department Chairperson, who
summarize committee recommendations in an annual PIP Report. In addition to reporting actual data,
committees note improvements and suggest “next steps.” A summary of this assessment process is
prepared as the annual PIP Report. Faculty review the suggested “next steps” at faculty meetings. Any
revision in the PIP itself (for example the addition of an expected outcome) is reviewed by the
Leadership Committee and brought to faculty for approval.

For example, the PIP Reports of AY 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 (Section IV) describe actions
undertaken to realize the mission of the College to offer a graduate program in nursing and reorganize
the Department of Nursing as a SON. The mission of the SON was revised and approved by the faculty
01/10/07. The PIP Report of AY 2006-2007 addressed the approval of a new mission for the SON
incorporating the School’s vision and direction in educating nurses at the baccalaureate and graduate
levels. The PIP Reports will be available as an exhibit.

Professional nursing standards that address the values and priorities of the profession are reflected in the
revised mission statement, goals, and expected outcomes. The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education
for Professional Nursing Practice (1998), The Essentials of Master’s Education for Advanced Practice
Nursing (1996), and Standards of Nursing Practice, and Standards of Professional Practice (ANA,
2004) as well as other professional standards provide direction for program development. Revisions
based on professional nursing standards and guidelines include the following examples:

   •   The AACN white paper, Faculty Shortages in Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing Programs:
       Scope of the Problem and Strategies for Expanding the Supply (2003), influenced the expansion
       of the mission of the program to include graduate education in nursing.
   •   The ANA Genetics/Genomics Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (2007) and the focus on
       genetics in the AACN draft document Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional
       Nursing (April 2008) prompted review of this content area and learning experiences in the
       baccalaureate curriculum. Genetics competencies will be addressed under the umbrella of the
       program outcome of Competency in Core Nursing Knowledge and reflected in course outcomes
       of required nursing courses going forward.
   •   The undergraduate program goals were revised to reflect the global nature of healthcare and role
       of the nurse in a global society as described in The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for
       Professional Nursing Practice (1998).

I-C. The mission, goals, and expected outcomes of the program are reviewed periodically and
revised, as appropriate, to reflect the needs and expectations of the community of interest.
The review and revision process for the mission, goals and expected outcomes includes consideration of
the needs and expectations of the many internal and external communities of interest. The needs and
expectations of communities of interest are identified through a variety sources and are reviewed on a
routine and special case basis. For example, the PIP directs the routine review of input from current
students through program satisfaction surveys. As a special case, the Masters’ Task Force completed a
needs assessment prior to developing the MSN program. In January 2007, a group of professionals and
community leaders were invited to participate on the SON Advisory Board. A listing of Board members
is included as Appendix E and minutes of Board meetings will be available for review. The following
table outlines the communities of interest, their expectations, the mechanism for input, the faculty group
responsible for review of input, and examples of program response to the input from our communities of
interest.

Table 3: Input Mechanisms of and Responses to Communities of Interest
 Community of           Expectations          Input     SON Review        Program
    Interest        of Communities of   Mechanism for       Group         Response
                           Interest     Communities of                And Examples
                                            Interest
Prospective        Sound education with Demographic     Dean          Revised
Students/          ability to pass      data are                      mission in 2007
Nursing Majors     NCLEX/certification analyzed to      Master’s      to reaffirm
                   exams and acquire      assess student     Committee     commitment to
                   employment in          needs.                           working with
                   professional/advanced                     Structure and students to
                   practice nursing role. Students express   Governance    attain program
                                          needs during       Committee     goals and
                   Individual learning    advisement, at                   reflect the
                   needs recognized and Student              Student       addition of the
                   supported              Advisory           Outcomes      graduate
                   academically.          Committee          Committee     program.
                                          meetings, and as
                                          student members
                                          of SON
                                          committees.
                                          Course
                                          evaluation and
                                          program surveys

College Faculty/   Clear guidelines for   College            Dean        SON Dean and
College            and collaboration on   Curriculum                     Faculty actively
Community          required courses.      Committee        Departmental participate in
                                          meetings.        Advisory      the strategic
                   Participation in                        Committee     planning
                   college committees     Academic                       process
                   and functions.         Leadership       Curriculum    Plan 150
                                          Round Table.     Committee.    included a goal
                                                                         to reorganize
                                          Faculty Council SON Faculty the department
                                                                         into a SON.
Alumni             Continued input and    Graduates        Graduate      Needs
                   current information    express needs    Outcomes      assessment
                   about the SON.         through personal Committee     verified support
                                          contacts, alumni               for a new
                   Maintenance of the     association,     Structure and master’s
                   SON’s excellent        activities, and  Governance    program
                   reputation.            surveys.         Committee     Alumni
                                                                         representative
                                          Answer surveys                 was a member
                                          on a regular                   of the Master’s
                                          basis.                         Program
                                                                         Taskforce.
Employers/         Graduates to possess   Agency           Graduate      Meetings
Health Care        the knowledge base     representatives  Outcomes      confirmed that
Agencies           and competencies in    are members of   Committee     mission, goals
                   clinical skills to     the Graduate                   and expected
                   provide safe,          Outcomes         Master’s      outcomes are
                   effective, and         Committee and    Committee     consistent with
            efficient nursing care.   SON Advisory                       employer/health
            Masters graduates to      Board;               SON Faculty   care agency
            possess knowledge         Focus groups at                    expectations.
            base and                  Clinical Agency
            competencies              / Consumer                         SON Advisory
            consistent with           Advisory                           Board reviewed
            practice roles.           Agency                             SON Strategic
                                      meeting;                           Plan 2010.
                                      Master’s
                                      Partners                           Central Clinical
                                      Meetings                           Registry
                                                                         established in
                                      Collaborative                      spring 2008 to
                                      meetings (e.g.,                    coordinate
                                      Health                             clinical nursing
                                      Partnership                        placements
                                      Council)                           statewide.

                                      Partnerships
                                      with health care
                                      agencies
Consumers   Safe and high quality     Individual input/    Departmental The mission
            basic and advanced        client comments      Advisory     and program
            practice nursing care.    in clinical          Committee    goals reinforce
                                      settings reported                 commitment to
                                      and unsolicited      SON Faculty meeting the
                                      letters collected.                health care
                                                           Graduate     needs of a
                                      Consumer on          Outcomes     diverse society.
                                      SON Advisory         Committee
                                      Board and                         SON Advisory
                                      Master’s Task        Leadership   Board reviewed
                                      Force.               Committee    SON 2010
                                                                        Strategic Plan.

                                      Needs identified SON
                                      from such         Advisory
                                      secondary         Board
                                      sources as RI
                                      Department of
                                      Health data and
                                      reports, various
                                      quality institute
                                      reports, and
                                      surveys from the
                                      Hospital
                                           Association of
                                           RI (HARI) and
                                           other
                                           organizations.

Legislators/Board Board of Governors       Members of the      Dean          Dean responds
of Governors of   of Higher Education      Board of                          to requests from
Higher Education expects the program       Governors of                      the Board and
                  to produce quality       Higher                            the President.
                  education for students   Education and
                  and preserve fiscal      Legislators                       Presented
                  viability.               communicate                       proposals for
                                           with the                          Masters
                   The RI State            administration                    Program and
                   legislature expects the of the College.                   reorganization
                   faculty to address the                                    of the
                   statewide nursing                                         department to a
                   shortage.                                                 School of
                                                                             Nursing.

                                                                             To serve the
                                                                             needs of RI,
                                                                             increased
                                                                             baccalaureate
                                                                             program
                                                                             enrollment by
                                                                             30 students per
                                                                             academic year
                                                                             in 2004.

Professional       Professional            Dean and faculty                  The Essentials
nursing and        Organizations           keep abreast of     Curriculum    documents for
education          prescribe standards     changing            Committee     baccalaureate
associations       for education.          standards                         and master’s
(AACN; ANA;                                through             Master’s      programs are
Specialty                                  participation in    Committee     used to guide
Organizations)                             professional                      curriculum /
                                           organization,       SON Faculty   program
                                           attendance at       .             development
                                           professional                      and program
                                           meetings, and                     goals and
                                           review of                         expected
                                           publications that                 outcomes.
                                           provide written
                                           information
                                           regarding
                                             standards.

Accrediting and      CCNE expects            Communications Dean               Program reports
Approving            School of Nursing to    from CCNE in                      are sent to
Agencies (CCNE       comply with the         writing and    Chair              CCNE and RI
and R.I. Board of    CCNE standards that     during visits.                    Board of Nurse
Nurse                incorporate standards   The CCNE       SON Faculty        Registration
Registration and     of AACN.                standards also                    and Nursing.
Nursing                                      provide                           Annual Reports
Education)           RI. Board of Nurse      direction for                     are sent to
                     Registration and        program                           AACN, and the
                     Nursing Education       evaluation.                       RI Board of
                     sets standards for                                        Nurse
                     nursing programs in     R.I. Board of                     Registration
                     the state.              Nurse                             and Nursing
                                             Registration and                  Education
                                             Nursing                           Dean submitted
                                             Education                         CIPR to CCNE
                                             reports results of                in June 2007
                                             NCLEX exams                       (Exhibits).
                                             on a quarterly                    Dean/Chair
                                             basis and renews                  submit reports
                                             program                           reflecting status
                                             approval                          of NCLEX
                                             annually.                         Testing Results
                                                                               at Faculty
                                                                               Meetings


I-D. Roles of the faculty and students in the governance of the program are clearly defined and
enable meaningful participation.
The SON faculty and students participate in the governance of the College and the SON. The Agreement
between the RIC/AFT and the Rhode Island Board of Governors 2008-2011 (The Agreement) outlines in
detail the role and responsibilities of the faculty of RIC. The Charter and By-Laws of the Council of
RIC defines the college-wide committee structure. The By-Laws of the Faculty of Rhode Island College
School of Nursing (SON By-Laws) define the governing structure and function of the School. The faculty
is surveyed annually to determine availability and preferences for college and SON committee
assignments. These documents will be available as exhibits.

Faculty members from the SON are a strong presence on College committees. For example, in 2007-
2008 thirteen faculty members were on college committees; the committees are identified in the List of
Faculty Service on Faculty Committees in Appendix F. Through college committee membership, faculty
members provide input into college-related policies and issues that affect the SON and the College. The
SON is one of five schools at RIC. The Dean of the SON is a member of the Academic Leadership
Roundtable chaired by the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA).
The SON faculty recently approved an organizational structure in February 2007 (Exhibit). The new
structure delineates roles and responsibilities consistent with the change to school status and addition of
master’s program. Even though the organizational structure has been in operation for a short time, the
faculty is embracing the new structure and developing an understanding of the various roles and
responsibilities of all members.

The SON By-Laws were revised in AY 2007-2008 (final approval April 9, 2008) to reflect organizational
change and the addition of a new academic program (Appendix G). The Department Advisory
Committee (DAC) oversees committee assignment for the SON. Faculty members indicate individual
preferences for standing committee assignments and volunteer for ad hoc committees. All faculty
members participate on at least one standing committee and attend monthly faculty meetings. To ensure
representation of specialty interests, faculty from each specialty area are members of the Department
Advisory Committee (DAC), the Curriculum Committee, and on the Specialty Coordinators’
Committee. Minutes and reports of SON Committees are available for reference in the SON office.

The SON By-Laws define student membership on standing committees. Students participate actively in
the work of the SON and participate on the major committees. Special efforts have been made at annual
welcoming receptions to advertise opportunities for students to serve on committees. At the welcoming,
representatives from Student Advisory Committee (SAC) talk about committee functions and encourage
interested students to participate. Committee chairs follow up to identify student members. In the
spring of 2008, all committees whose by-Laws stipulate student membership had student members.

The SAC has representation from all levels of the undergraduate program and includes officers of the
Student Nurses’ Association (SNA). The Dean of the SON and the Department Chairperson meet
monthly with the members of SAC. RN students are represented on the RN committee, and graduate
students are represented on the Masters’ Committee.

Students provide meaningful input into the program. One example of how students participate is the
scheduling of Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) standardized testing. Students, through SAC
representatives, expressed concern about being required to take more than one ATI exam in a day and
particularly having to take exams back to back on the same day. Student comments were relayed by the
Dean/Department Chairperson to the Specialty Coordinators Committee. Specialty Coordinators
responded to this issue by preparing a master schedule of ATI testing that addressed the students’
concerns.

The Student Nurses’ Association (SNA) roles are clearly defined through the model constitution of the
Student Community Government (SCG), the student governing body on campus. SNA officers submit
proposals for budgets to SCG to obtain College resources to fund SNA events and conferences. SNA
officers have the opportunity to attend SCG meetings.

I-E. Documents and publications are accurate. Any references in promotional materials to the
program’s offerings, outcomes, accreditation/approval status, academic calendar, admission
policies, grading policies, degree completion requirements, tuition, and fees are accurate.
Several modes exist within the SON to ensure that information about the program is accurate and clearly
communicated. The RIC website, http://www.ric.edu, contains general information about tuition and
fees, academic calendar, and links to all departments and schools within the college, including a link to
the SON Webpage. Contact information for faculty, as well as pertinent information and documents, are
available through the SON Webpage. This information includes details about accreditation and approval
status, admission and grading policies, course offerings and outcomes, degree completion requirements,
scholarships, necessary forms, and helpful internal and external links. Although the website is updated
regularly by the college web manager, Karen Rubino, Special Assistant to the President for Web
Services, a more systematic approach to providing information is needed to ensure the website is
consistently current.

The following publications are available online and in print: the Rhode Island College Catalog (2007-
2009), Bulletin of Rhode Island College, Student Handbook of Rhode Island College 2007-2008,
Graduate Studies Manual, and the Handbook for Undergraduate Students in Nursing. Other available
printed materials are available and are listed in Table 4 below, which also describes the process of
review that ensures accuracy.




Table 4: Process of Review of Documents and Publications
    Publication            Purpose        Responsible Party                 Process
Rhode Island         College primary     Office of News and          Online version
College Catalog      document            Public Relations            updated routinely.
2007-2009                                                            Printed every two
                                                                     years.
Bulletin of Rhode     Information about      Office of News and      Online version and
Island College        courses                Public Relations        printed copy twice a
                                                                     year.
Rhode Island        Provides general         Office of Student       Online version
College             information and          Life                    updated routinely.
Student Handbook    specifies student
                    policies for RIC
                    students
Handbook for        Specifies policies       Structure &             Updated annually
Undergraduate       for undergraduate        Governance              online and in print.
Students in Nursing nursing students         Committee
                                             Chairperson
                                             Dean
Graduate Studies      Specifies policies     Assistant to the Vice   Online version
Manual                for graduate           President for           updated routinely.
                      students               Academic Affairs        Printed in 2005.

Handbook for          Specifies policies     Master’s Committee      Online in 2008.
Graduate Students     for graduate nursing                           Updated annually
in Nursing             students
Policy & Procedure     Policies for SON        Structure and          Reviewed annually.
Manual                                         Governance             New policies added
                                               Committee              as approved by
                                               Dean                   faculty.
Faculty Manual         Faculty orientation     Faculty Outcomes       In process.
                       Faculty resource        Committee
                                               Dean
SON By-Laws            Rules for Faculty       Departmental           Annually reviewed.
                       Structure &             Advisory
                       Governance              Committee
Agreement between      Establishes roles       RIC AFT/BOGHE          Time frame of
the RIC/AFT and        and responsibilities                           contract.
the Rhode Island       of faculty
Board of Governors
2008-2011

The Office of News and Public Relations is responsible for preparing the publications, and functions as
a media liaison between the SON, the College, and the public. SON promotional and recruitment
materials are prepared with input from faculty by the Office of News and Publications. Media mentions
are compiled annually and will be available as an exhibit.

I-F. Policies of the parent institution and the nursing program are congruent with and support
the mission, goals, and expected outcomes of the program; these policies are fair, equitable,
published and are reviewed and revised as necessary to reflect ongoing improvement. These
policies include, but are not limited to, those relative to student recruitment, admission, and
retention.
Academic policies are found in five major publications. The Rhode Island College Catalog 2007-2009,
the Bulletin of Rhode Island College, the Rhode Island College Student Handbook, the Handbook for
Undergraduate Students in Nursing, the Graduate Studies Manual, and the Handbook for Graduate
Students in Nursing are reviewed regularly. These publications are available in hard copy and on-line.
Specific information about academic policies is highlighted though class announcements and handouts.

Faculty academic advisors explain and clarify school policies to individual students. All students have
College email accounts and are being encouraged to use their RIC accounts, supporting an increased use
of electronic mail to facilitate communication between faculty and students. Course policies are
described in syllabi. An indexed SON Policy & Procedure Manual is available (Exhibit).

Policies are reviewed and updated by specific committees who recommend policy revisions. New
policies or revisions of existing policies must be approved by SON faculty and, if appropriate, the
college administration. Student representatives on SON Committees have input into the development
and revision of policies. SON policies are collected in the SON Policy & Procedure Manual.

Any change in policy is communicated to students by multiple methods. For example, the recently
approved RIC SON Academic Honesty Policy: Code of Academic Policy (approved 1/15/08) was
distributed in nursing classes to all active nursing students in February 2008. Faculty spent class time to
discuss the important issues related to academic honesty. Additionally, the written policy was added to
the Handbook for Undergraduate Students in Nursing in the spring of 2008.

All policies are administered in a fair and equitable manner. Undergraduate students may request a
waiver of policy or appeal a policy action to either the Student Outcomes Committee or the Structure
and Governance Committee, depending on the issue. The process for submitting a petition is described
in the SON Policy and Procedure Manual, the Graduate Studies Manual, and the Handbook for
Undergraduate Students in Nursing.

Students in nursing are admitted according to the policies of the College and the SON. Undergraduate
students are admitted to the College as intending to major in nursing; they then must complete a second
application process for enrollment in the nursing program. Graduate students are admitted directly to
the College and the School of Nursing. The criteria and process for enrollment are described in the
Rhode Island College Catalog, the Graduate Studies Manual, the Handbook for Undergraduate
Students in Nursing, and the SON Website. Criteria for admission are reviewed and revised to ensure
that qualified students are enrolled.

An example of the process of review and revision of policies is the recent change of criteria for
admission to the basic baccalaureate program. A proposal to revise the admission GPA. from 2.5 to 2.7
and to add Chemistry 106 as a prerequisite course to enter the nursing program was approved by the
School of Nursing. These revisions were based on 1) analysis of graduates which showed that GPA
above 2.67 and success in Chemistry 106 were predictive of passing the NCLEX-RN examination and
2) the current issue of increased number of qualified applicants. Making the admission requirements
more rigorous was intended to enroll more academically qualified students. The proposals for change in
admission criteria were submitted to and approved by the College Curriculum Committee and the
College President. This example shows the thorough analysis given to academic policies in the SON
and the College.

The SON adheres to college policy regarding retention as described on page 46-47 of the Rhode Island
College Catalog. In addition, the SON retention policy states that an undergraduate student must achieve
a minimum grade of C in each undergraduate nursing course and only one nursing course may be
repeated. A student who receives a grade below C in two nursing courses is dismissed. This policy
includes a student who does not achieve a grade of C in a course that she/he is repeating or who sustains
a grade below C in another nursing course.

The protocol for student appeal of a dismissal is noted in the Rhode Island College Catalog and in the
Handbook for Undergraduate Students in Nursing. For the undergraduate student, the process begins
with an appeal to the SON Student Outcomes Committee. The student may continue the appeal process
to the Department Chairperson, Dean of the SON, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, and finally the
College President. Since 2004, a small number of students have been dismissed each semester and some
have appealed. All appeals have been successfully resolved within the SON (Exhibit: Data on
Dismissals/Reinstatement).

Currently, the process for retention of graduate students is guided by the Graduate Studies Manual. The
SON is in the process of developing more specific retention policies for graduate nursing students.
The SON abides by the college policy on accommodation of students with documented disabilities. The
policy requires students to self-identify. Students with learning disabilities are referred to the Office of
Student Life. Reasonable accommodations are provided as directed by the guidelines of Section 504 of
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Assistance provided by the
College includes support services, advisement, referrals, and special equipment. These accommodations
are provided within a campus environment that is physically and socially accessible and that enables
students to achieve their academic and career goals. The SON encourages early identification of
disabilities and requests for accommodation by including the statement recommended by Office of
Student Life in all course syllabi. Faculty members are advised to read the statement to the class on the
first meeting day each semester. Written syllabi will be available as an exhibit.


                                   SUMMARY OF STANDARD I
Strengths
   • The revised mission statement of the SON reflects the change from a Department to a School,
      the addition of the Masters’ of Science in Nursing program and the continued emphasis on
      collaboration with students to attain program goals and improve health care.
   • The SON mission remains closely aligned with the College mission.
   • The College and the BOGHE strongly supported the approval of the School of Nursing.
   • The initiation of the Master of Science in Nursing program was strongly supported by the
      College and BOGHE.
   • The SON By-Laws and organizational chart have been revised to reflect the changes within the
      SON. The SON By-Laws describe the committee structure and allow for meaningful
      participation in the program.
   • Graduates, employers, and consumers contribute to the program through the SON Advisory
      Board, the Clinical Agency/Consumer Advisory Group, and the Masters’ Program Task Force.
      Their contributions are vital to the ongoing improvements to the mission and goals of the SON.
   • There is consistent and strong participation by nursing faculty on College committees and in
      College activities.
   • Faculty and students take advantage of opportunities to participate in governance of the SON and
      the College.

Areas for Improvement.
   • The RIC graduate nursing student retention and grievance policies require clarification.
   • The process for updating the SON website is not systematic or efficient.
   • Some lack of clarity of roles and responsibilities exists among faculty and staff with the new
       SON structure.
   • Process for regularly updating SON website is unclear.

Action Plan
   • Develop SON graduate program retention and grievance policies for graduate students in
       nursing.
   • Investigate strategies to perform more timely updates to the Website.
   • Clarify roles and support faculty in the process of transitioning to a SON.
       STANDARD II. PROGRAM QUALITY: INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENT AND
                               RESOURCES

The parent institution demonstrates ongoing commitment and support. The institution makes
available resources to enable the program to achieve its mission, philosophy, goals/objectives and
expected results. The faculty, as a resource of the program, enables the achievement of the
mission, philosophy, goals/objectives and expected results of the program.

STANDARD II-A. The parent institution and program should provide and support an
environment that encourages faculty teaching, scholarship, service and practice in keeping with
the mission and philosophy of the program.
Rhode Island College (RIC) and the School of Nursing (SON) provide meaningful and significant
support within a challenging fiscal context. Support for faculty teaching, scholarship, service, and
practice is clearly evident. In September 2006, the President of the College acted to establish the SON,
demonstrating strong support for the nursing program. The College funded significant numbers of new
positions in nursing, including the dean in 2006, four new faculty in 2007, and three in 2008, two of
which are at the associate professor level.

The Agreement Between the RIC/AFT and the RI Board of Governors 2008-2011 (The Agreement)
describes expectations of faculty members in relation to faculty teaching, scholarship, and service. The
Agreement is available online and as an exhibit. The Department Chairperson initiates the annual
evaluation of faculty, meeting on a one-to-one basis to review and document professional
accomplishments. The annual evaluation addresses teaching effectiveness, scholarly work, and service.
Faculty members identify their professional goals for the upcoming year and ways to accomplish them
are mutually explored in relation to the School’s mission.

Although a severe local and national shortage of nursing faculty creates challenges for educating the
growing volume of nursing applicants, the SON attracts and retains highly qualified full time faculty
from all nursing specialties. Cohesion exists among faculty and is a major factor in retention. In spring
2008, the Leadership Committee in conjunction with the DAC planned two team building sessions for
faculty designed to strengthen teamwork in the SON. The session provided a process by which faculty
could share and generate ideas in a positive, open, and inclusive environment. Carolyn Piatek, a group
facilitator of Lifespan Learning Institute, assisted with the planning and led the sessions. The SON
Dean’s Development Fund financed an honorarium and refreshments. Faculty actively participated and
identified shared concerns, such as workload, and specific strategies for addressing the issues. At the
present time, there are no faculty vacancies. However, only six percent of faculty are from
underrepresented groups. Faculty benefit from the ability to teach within their specialty areas at all
levels of the undergraduate and graduate program as well as in general education courses.

The Agreement is prescriptive in the distribution of faculty teaching load, with one formula hour
assigned for each formal class hour, and for each one and one-half hours of clinical teaching. At the
baccalaureate level, faculty numbers are sufficient to maintain small class size (32 students maximum)
and clinical groups of 6-8 students. In general, the masters program has maintained average class sizes
of 12-15 students. Discussions about clinical practica at the master’s level are underway as evident in
Master’s Committee minutes (Exhibit).

Student advisement is considered an important faculty responsibility assumed as part of the expected full
time faculty role. Faculty members advise approximately thirty students as prescribed by The
Agreement. Due to increasing numbers of nursing majors, nursing faculty members are compensated for
additional undergraduate advisement responsibilities.

Teaching excellence is central to the mission of Rhode Island College and the SON. To promote and
support teaching excellence, the College and SON regularly offer faculty development programs. Topics
include the teaching of writing, grant writing, diversity issues, public policy, and teaching technologies.
A listing of recent programs is presented in Appendix H. The College offers grants for faculty
development. Faculty members of the SON have been recipients on multiple occasions. These grants
were used by nursing faculty to gain expertise in simulation learning and other aspects of teaching.

The SON has some funds for faculty development. The Constance B. Pratt Fund, a SON fund
established to honor a former Department Chairperson, supported faculty workshops on test construction
and clinical teaching, and an online program on test construction. In addition, this fund provides
financial support for individual faculty to attend conferences. For example, the fund allowed four faculty
members to attend conferences related to the development of the master’s program. In January 2008, a
Dean’s Development Fund was initiated by the SON Advisory Board, a group of committed community
volunteers interested in supporting the SON. One of the purposes of the fund is to provide additional
monies for faculty development activities.

In the SON, the Faculty Outcomes Committee is responsible for fostering faculty development and
arranges programs on topics of interest. Recent programs included workshops on genetics and test
construction. This group obtained funds from the College Lectures Committee to support faculty
workshops on cultural competence and health care to lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender clients.
Working with vendors, the committee coordinates programs on simulation learning and teaching
technology workshops.

In addition to the programs mentioned previously, the College endorses interdisciplinary efforts. In
2006, the College provided financial support for the SON to partner with the Rhode Island College
School of Social Work, the RI Area Health Education Center (AHEC), the University of Rhode Island
College of Pharmacy, Rhode Island Hospital, and Brown University Medical School for an
interdisciplinary curriculum project which culminated in a program titled Teamwork: Your Patient’s Life
Depends On It. The project summary and program materials will be on exhibit. As of fall of 2007, the
SON was identified as a partner of the Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center (GEC) and a formal
subcontract was developed. Funds will be available to support faculty development related to
gerontology. An interdisciplinary team training course developed by the partnership was offered for the
first time in the summer of 2008 and was very well received.

The partnership with the GEC has generated funding to allow faculty to participate in another significant
initiative. Four faculty were selected for the Geriatric Nursing Education Consortium (GNEC)
administered by AACN and funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation. The GEC and the SON will
provide the additional funding to allow all four faculty to attend.

The College regularly improves technology. All nursing faculty have individual office computers with
internet capability, and computers are upgraded periodically. Electronic classrooms are available with
one computer lab/electronic classroom (Fogarty 103 A) particularly designated for the SON. LCD
projectors and laptop computers for classroom presentations are available through the library. Every
attempt is made to request and assign electronic classrooms to nursing faculty. However, additional
electronic classrooms are needed.

User Support Services is responsible for campus technology assistance and provides outstanding support
to the SON. At the present time, the computer lab space available allows, with careful scheduling, for
the comprehensive web-based testing program used in the nursing program. The college is continuously
adding teaching technology and added four new e-classrooms on campus in the spring of 07. Wireless
internet access has been added to many public spaces. An online “Faculty Toolbox” is available as an
orientation and resource guide for faculty who want to learn more about campus technology. Web CT
training workshops are offered every semester, and individual assistance is available. Microsoft
Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 are available to faculty through the College’s Microsoft
Campus Agreement.

The mission of the college identifies that “scholarship and creative expression enrich teaching
activities.” Guided by the AACN position paper, Defining Scholarship for the Discipline of Nursing
(1999), faculty in nursing adopted a definition of scholarship in 2004. Faculty are encouraged to submit
manuscripts for publication and abstracts for presentations. Efforts are being made to increase scholarly
productivity. In the fall of 2007, the faculty developed a writing group to provide peer support in
scholarly endeavors. During 2007 – 2008, the VPAA provided additional travel funds for nursing faculty
to present their scholarly work. A listing of faculty presentations, publications, and grants since 2004 is
Appendix I.

Sabbaticals are granted to nursing faculty according to The Agreement. The Agreement limits the
number of faculty members taking sabbatical leave in a given academic year to five percent of the total
college faculty. Of the sabbaticals awarded college-wide during 2004 -2008, five were awarded to
nursing faculty. Sabbatical reports will be available as an exhibit for review.

“Reassigned time” is available to faculty according to The Agreement to allow time for research and
special projects. Eight credits of reassigned time were granted to nursing faculty between 2003 and
2007. Seven formula load hours were approved for AY 2008-2009. A goal of the SON is to continue to
increase the applications for reassigned time and the number awarded.

The SON demonstrates support of faculty members engaged in doctoral study through reduced
committee responsibilities and accommodation in scheduling and teaching assignments. Since 2004, five
nursing faculty completed doctoral degrees in nursing, and four of the five remained in faculty positions
in the SON. Eight faculty members are currently enrolled in doctoral programs in nursing. Dissertations
completed since 2004 will be available for review as exhibits.
The College and the SON value professional service and strongly encourage participation in a wide
variety of service activities. Examples of service activities include leadership positions on community
boards, college committees, and professional organizations such as the Rhode Island Area Health
Education Center (RI AHEC), Central Rhode Island AHEC (CRIAHEC), Childhood Lead Action
Project, Rhode Island Hospital Board of Trustees, Rhode Island Public Health Association, Rhode Island
State Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Faculty
members have received a significant number of awards for their service. A unique contribution of the
SON is the health-related service that the faculty provide to the College through participation in
immunizations, screenings, and health promotion and disease prevention activities. A recent example is
the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Prevention Initiative coordinated by faculty member Joanne Costello
in collaboration with Lynn Wachtel, RNP of College Health Services. A full list of faculty service
activities and awards is found in Appendix J.

Clinical practice outside of the faculty role is supported by the SON according to the guidelines of The
Agreement. Faculty members may practice outside of their faculty role to maintain their clinical
knowledge and skills. Faculty members, including nurse practitioners and others who are professionally
certified, are allowed flexible scheduling in order to maintain their practice and meet their requirements
for certification. The college is open to creating joint appointments as evidenced by the joint
appointment of faculty member Donna Huntley-Newby to the RIC SON and Rhode Island Hospital from
2004-2007. Faculty members consult with clinical agencies on practice issues. For example, Cynthia
Padula and Margaret Mock serve as research consultant and special projects coordinator, respectively, to
The Miriam Hospital; Kathleen Gremel is a case manager/consultant for Ocean State Community
Resources. A list of faculty practice activities is Appendix K.

Faculty members have the opportunity to share their perspectives on the College and SON support for
teaching, scholarship, service, and practice through the Faculty Satisfaction Survey. A need to increase
specific questions regarding support has been identified. The Faculty Outcomes Committee is working
on improving the survey. Details about survey results are presented in the annual PIP Reports. These
reports will be available as an exhibit. Review of the survey results assists the SON leadership to
enhance the environment.

II-B. Fiscal and physical resources are sufficient to enable the program to fulfill its mission, goals,
and expected outcomes. These resources are reviewed, revised, and improved as needed.
The College allocates a budget to the SON that enables the program to fulfill its mission, goals, and
expected outcomes. During AY 2007-2008 resources of the College were exceptionally constrained due
to a significant budget shortfall in the State. However, the college administration maintained support for
the SON through this difficult fiscal period. All requests for faculty positions and for sabbaticals in the
SON were approved for 2007-2008. In addition, using discretionary funds, the VPAA provided
substantial support to nursing faculty for professional development activities. Meeting resource needs is
an ongoing challenge and expanding fiscal resources remains a goal for the future.

Recently, the College has made significant advancements in the way resources are allocated. In July
2006, the College implemented Commitment Control, a module of Peoplesoft Financials that facilitates
automated budget maintenance, and a Budget Transfer Process that allows Deans to access current
budget information and to take responsibility for managing the allocation of authorized funds. In
addition, the Budget Office launched a Collaborative Budgeting Process in the spring of 2007. This
process required Deans to submit budget allocation requests based on previous funding levels by March
2007. Adjustments were made to address changes in needs. For example, in the SON, a new account
was created for the allocation of funds for the Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) comprehensive
assessment and review package used in the BSN program. In the near future, the goal is to have budget
requests linked to strategic planning goals.

Nursing faculty members have input into budget requests through the SON Leadership Committee and
at faculty meetings. The Leadership Committee reviewed the AY 2008 budget for the SON in the fall of
2007. The SON Strategic Plan for 2007-2010 that identifies strategic goals, strategies, metrics, and
resources required was developed by the leadership committee and approved by nursing faculty. The
plan was reviewed by the VPAA and will be refined and resubmitted in the fall of 2008. The strategic
plans for 2007-2010 for the College and the SON will be on exhibit.

The College’s annual budget is approved by the President in conjunction with the Office of Higher
Education and completed with appropriations approved by the RI State General Assembly. The budget
status reports for the SON for 2006, 2007, and 2008 will be available as an exhibit.

Faculty salaries are a major component of the budget for the SON. The average salaries for Rhode Island
College nursing faculty in AY 2007-2008 of specific ranks are: Professor $67,068; Associate Professor
$61,735; Assistant Professor $54,730 (doctoral) and $51,454 (non-doctoral). The average salary for each
rank is below the 25th percentile of 2006-2007 salaries reported by the AACN for all member schools
and for public colleges. While there has been some increase in the salaries being offered to new hires at
the assistant professor level, there is an urgent need to improve salaries in order to attract and retain
nursing faculty.

Two full-time secretaries are allocated to the SON. The secretaries serve the Dean, Department
Chairperson, program directors, and faculty. The proposal for the MSN program stipulated (at a time
when the college’s financial base was stronger) adding an additional full time secretary. Although
approval for a third full time secretary was not possible, President Nancy Carriuolo has agreed to
provide an additional float secretary during peak times.

An important goal of the SON is to increase external funds available to the nursing program. A
Fundraising Task Force of faculty within the SON began the exploration of fundraising activities in the
spring of 2007. Subsequently, the SON Advisory Board assumed this role and, in collaboration with Dr.
Marguerite Brown, Vice President for Development and College Relations, is developing fundraising
strategies that are consistent with those of the College and of benefit to the SON. Recognizing the
priority of fundraising for the School, a major gifts officer, Margaret Dooley, was assigned to work
particularly with the SON. A subcommittee of the SON Advisory Board established the Dean’s
Development Fund to enhance faculty development and student support. Initial contributions have been
received and a plan for future fundraising is underway.

The primary physical space of the SON is located in the Fogarty Life Science (FLS) Building on the
RIC campus. The refurbished central administrative office, the majority of the faculty offices, the
student lounge, the nursing laboratories, the computer laboratory, and conference rooms are all on the
100 level of the building. Significant additional space was allocated to the SON during the past three
years. Since 2004, a new computer laboratory and electronic classroom was created in FLS 103A with a
grant from the Champlin Foundations. Seven offices and one conference room previously assigned to
the Philosophy Department were added to Nursing in 2006. An additional room was secured to create a
pediatric simulation laboratory (FLS 135) in 2007. The Helene Fuld Nursing Resource Laboratory
(NRL) has 2,058 square feet of floor-space that accommodates individual practice stations with
appropriate anatomical models and equipment for high fidelity and low fidelity simulated learning. A
full-time faculty member, Anne Carty, is assigned 25% of her time for lab coordination. The NRL
Coordinator is responsible for maintaining the facilities, scheduling lab use, and ordering the equipment
and supplies. A work-study student is assigned to the main lab to monitor the space. In June 2008, the
SON was selected in partnership with the Providence VA Medical Center as a VA Nursing Academy
site. The VA Academy project will provide for clinical educators to supplement personnel in the NRL.

Despite these improvements, the demand for physical resources exceeds those currently available. The
SON Advisory Board is spearheading efforts to increase the net square foot per student and specifically
the classroom space designated for nursing. The Board lobbied unsuccessfully for the SON to occupy an
available building (Building #2) on campus (Exhibit: SON Advisory Board Letter to the President).
Increasing physical space is a goal for the future.

The Rhode Island College Catalog 2007-2009 describes the academic facilities and services available to
enable the program to fulfill its mission, goals, and expected outcomes. Resources that have significance
for the SON are regularly reviewed by committees and improved as is feasible. Assessment data
regarding the adequacy and use of resources are obtained from the Faculty Survey of Program
Satisfaction and the Student Survey of Satisfaction with Educational Resources. These surveys will be
available as exhibits. The major college resources include the Adams Library, Audiovisual Services,
Technology Center, and the Helene Fuld Nursing Resource Laboratory (NRL).

Adams Library is the repository of the College's and SON’s books, journals, and electronic databases.
Membership in the HELIN consortium, consisting of the libraries of the three public and six private
institutions of higher learning in Rhode Island, vastly expands student access to a wide array of
resources. Through interlibrary loan, students may obtain additional resources. Students and faculty
access many of the library resources using online technology. The library has a wireless network which
can be accessed anywhere in the building. In addition to personal computers, laptops can be reserved for
use in the library.

Since 2002, a liaison librarian representative, Dr. Rachel Carpenter, has been assigned to the SON to
ensure optimal development of the collection and services. Dr. Carpenter annually reviews the AJN
Books of the Year, Doody’s Core Titles in the Health Sciences, and Essential New Titles of
recommended journals for updating the library collection. With the initiation of the master’s program,
Dr. Carpenter collaborated on the review of journals and books to assure appropriateness and scope for
graduate study. Dr. Carpenter provides orientation to the master’s students for literature review and
accessing relevant data bases each semester in NURS 501: Advanced Nursing Research. Increased
resources including 300 new books, 225 nursing periodicals and the subscription of Medline afford both
students and faculty in the SON academic resources to expand and promote curricula. A summary of
library resources is available as an exhibit.

The Structure and Governance Committee of the SON is charged with reviewing library holdings and
making recommendations for increasing and improving the collection. An up-to-date listing of holdings
and databases is maintained. In the annual Faculty Survey of Program Satisfaction, faculty reported
being satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of library services in spring 2008. In the fall of 2007,
detailed information was gathered from students regarding availability of library resources as part of the
student satisfaction with educational resources. The Structure and Governance Committee collaborates
with the library liaison to address the survey findings.

Audiovisual materials are available and widely used by faculty. A range of instructional media and staff
support are readily available. There is an extensive college film and video library. In the spring of 2007,
the responsibility for ordering and housing audiovisual materials was transferred from the Audiovisual
Department to the Purchasing Department of Adams Library. Faculty now request purchase or rental of
new materials through the Library’s Purchasing Department. The NRL contains additional audiovisual
holdings pertinent to the discipline. Faculty satisfaction with audiovisual services is evaluated through
the Faculty Survey of Program Satisfaction and, in 2008, faculty reported being satisfied or very
satisfied with access to A-V Services.

Improvement in technology has been a priority goal of the College and the SON. On admission to the
College, all students are given email addresses and network accounts. All campus buildings are wired
for high-speed transmission. Thirty-six electronic classrooms are distributed throughout the campus.
Increasingly, nursing faculty members are assigned to electronic classrooms. Many faculty members
utilize WebCT in their courses. Course outlines, email, quizzes, and grading are some of the applications
of WebCT that SON faculty use. A listing of courses using WebCT will be available as an exhibit.

The SON has its own computer lab (FLS 103A), centrally located in Fogarty Life Science Building.
Additional computer laboratories on campus are used by nursing faculty for administering standardized
tests. Large, walk-in computer laboratories are available to students and faculty at several campus
locations and allow students easy access at convenient times. The Faculty Development Center, located
in the rear of the Technology Center in Horace Mann, offers a private space for working with hardware
and software not generally available in other buildings on campus. Student technology staff members
are readily available to provide assistance.

The SON has networked, site-licensed computer-assisted instruction programs in campus laboratories
including the SON Computer Laboratory and the NRL. The SON owns a lap-top computer and projector
that are available to faculty members.

The College has a licensing agreement with Microsoft that allows students and faculty members to
purchase software packages from the Bookstore at a significant discount. Microsoft Office, Windows
XP, Vista, Visual Studio, and Office Sharepoint are some of the programs available for purchase at $12 -
$24.

Introduction of additional teaching technologies, including patient simulators, has been another priority
in the SON. Since 2004, a total of $ 129,069 in grant funds was used to purchase SimMan, SimBaby,
and Vital Sim mannequins (Exhibit: Champlin Foundations Grants 2005, 2006, 2007). The baby and
child simulators were critical to equipping the new pediatric lab (FLS 135).

Evaluation of the NRL and all of the physical facilities is carried out on a regular basis. Evaluative data
are gathered through surveys and course evaluations. The Faculty Outcomes Committee analyzes data
from the Faculty Survey of Program Satisfaction and the Structure and Governance Committee analyzes
the findings from the Student Survey of Satisfaction with Educational Resources to recommend
changes/improvements in the NRL. Recommendations for improvement are noted in the PIP Reports.

In 2007-2008, an Ad Hoc NRL Committee was formed to plan for a new upgrade of the NRL area. A
plan to increase the clinical space and add new equipment was developed and due to be implemented in
the summer of 2008.

II-C. Academic Support Services are sufficient to ensure quality and are evaluated on a regular
basis to meet program and student needs.
The SON uses a myriad of resources to meet the individual needs of its student population. These
include the Office of Academic Support and Information Services (OASIS), the Academic Development
Center (ADC), College Health Services, the Adams Library, the Financial Aid Office, the Career
Development Center (CDC), the Counseling Center, Office of Student Life, Student Support Services,
the Writing Center, and the Childcare Cooperative Preschool.

OASIS staff collaborate with the SON to support program outcomes through group and individual
programming. Prior to the beginning of each semester, OASIS conducts an orientation program for all
new students. Nursing faculty members regularly serve as orientation leaders in the program. OASIS
conducts workshops on test-taking skills and time management and provides one-on-one sessions with
students.

The ADC is a valuable and responsive resource to students in the nursing program. The staff of ADC
confer with the nursing faculty to provide academic assessment and support to students. ADC staff
members offer ongoing individual support for nursing students in addition to campus-wide workshops
on pertinent topics. In the summer of 2007, staff of ADC initiated a program to assist students with
English language and reading comprehension needs. Students were exposed to lay, academic, and
nursing articles to read, reflect, analyze, and discuss as a group. In the fall of 2007, a group of students
in Nursing 220 worked with ADC staff members to improve academic performance.

On-campus health services are available to all students, and the Director of Health Services is a nurse
practitioner. Students are treated with a holistic approach emphasizing prevention, risk reduction, and
education to assist in making life-long healthy choices. Health records are confidentially and securely
maintained by College Health Services. Recent enhancements include an electronic copy of health
records. The Director of Health Services is in regular contact with the RI Department of Health
regarding health requirements and state health initiatives. The SON and Health Services cooperate to
meet the multiple requirements of clinical agencies for student placement and regularly review student
health requirements.

The Adams Library, the main library on campus, has undergone a major rehabilitation of interior areas
as part of a college plan of asset protection. The library administration is attempting to increase online
resources and is spearheading a major effort to improve the teaching of informatics across disciplines.
The library liaison to the SON provides updated information, evaluates ongoing needs, and provides
discipline-specific in-service education on library resources for students and faculty. Adams Library is
the location for the College and SON books, journals, and special collections. The library holds
membership in the HELIN Consortium and also is a site for RefWorks, a web-based
citation/bibliographic management system. The library maintains an extensive course and electronic
reserve system and has laptops available for students to work within the library setting. The library is
responsive to requests for textbooks and journals for the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs.

The Financial Aid Office successfully assists students to secure financial support for their education.
Table 5 summarizes the financial aid offered to students from 2004 to 2007, documenting a 24%
increase in the number of recipients.

Table 5: Undergraduate Nursing Student Aid Recipients 2004-2007
 Academic Unduplicated Scholarships        Work-         Loans                  Total Aid
   Year       Recipients    & Grants        Study
  2004-05        204         $414,400      $39,148     $1,045,323              $1,498,871
  2005-06        249         $507,642      $39,049     $1,444,163              $1,990,854
  2006-07        267         $463,296      $51,917     $1,449,692              $1,964,905

Plans are underway to seek additional financial resources for the master’s program through federal
traineeships. In addition, the College has a limited number of graduate assistantships available to
support master’s students. One graduate nursing student applied for an assistantship for AY 2008 - 2009.

Scholarships available to nursing students are posted on the College’s website. A designated faculty
member of the Student Outcomes Committee is responsible for apprising students of scholarship
opportunities, updating scholarship information, and coordinating the selection process. A small
percentage of students apply for scholarships; increasing both the number of scholarships available and
the number of students applying for them are goals. A listing of scholarship recipients will be available
as an exhibit.

Students who need guidance in the areas of employment and career decision making are referred to the
Career Development Center. Programs and individual assistance are offered in the areas of resume
writing, interviewing and job search strategies. Counselors provide a workshop for senior nursing
students and feedback on individual student resumes.

The Counseling Center is available to students for individual counseling and short-term psychotherapy
for personal, career, and educational problems. Referrals are made to community agencies for
additional support. The center offers a variety of workshops and support groups that include
mindfulness meditation, body image and eating concerns, LGBTQ support group and stress
management. The Center has been very helpful in providing support and coping strategies for nursing
students experiencing test anxiety. For example, Counseling Center staff conducted a group relaxation
exercise for students prior to standardized testing. The Center sponsored a series of faculty workshops
during 2007-2008, “Reweaving the Safety Net,” to provide insight into recognizing and responding to
the troubled student.

The Office of Student Life assists students with issues that impact their academic experience. The
Student Life Office provides information and assistance regarding college policies and procedures and
publishes the RIC Student Handbook. Coordination of services for students with disabilities including
special accommodations is managed through this office.
The Writing Center is a program through which students can obtain assistance from tutors who are
willing to “listen, share and respond.” Peer tutors offer short and long-term assistance in improving
writing skills.

Nursing students also utilize the Childcare Cooperative Preschool located on the RIC Campus. The
cooperative is a student organization that provides quality affordable childcare for students, faculty and
staff.

The College supports selected learning communities to enhance students’ educational experiences and
improve retention. Nursing students are offered the opportunity to participate in the Caregiving &
Society Learning Community, a three-course series designed to develop learning strategies and cohesion
among beginning nursing students. Syllabi for these courses and student evaluations, which are very
positive, will be available as an exhibit (Exhibit: Caregiving and Society Learning Community).

In addition to standard college services and programs, faculty of the SON collaborate with other
departments to improve student performance. For example, the department chairs of nursing and
mathematics discussed student performance on the ATI Test of Academic Skills (TEAS) to identify
learning strategies for students who performed below the targeted percentiles. As a result, specific math
courses are recommended as additional or preferred courses to incoming nursing students with math
deficits. The Department Chairperson of Mathematics also attended a SON Curriculum Committee
meeting to discuss the difficulties nursing students have with mathematical calculations. Subsequently, a
section of Math 181 was adapted to better meet the needs of nursing students.

Students have the opportunity to evaluate resources and support for the nursing program through the
Survey of Satisfaction with Educational Resources. During the spring of 2008, a total of 266 students out
of 453 students completed the survey. Item analysis noted scores at or above 4.0 on 60% of the items.
Areas for improvement include learning resources and physical aspects of both the NRL and Adams
Library. Findings were communicated to the NRL Coordinator, faculty, and the library liaison. Detailed
information is available in the PIP Reports (Exhibit: PIP Reports).

II-D. The chief nurse administrator is academically and experientially qualified and is vested with
the authority required to accomplish the mission, goals, and expected outcomes. The chief nurse
administrator provides effective leadership to the nursing unit in achieving its mission, goals, and
expected outcomes.
Rhode Island College SON is administered by Professor Jane Williams who earned a Bachelor’s of
Science from the University of Michigan in 1966, a Master of Arts in Administration and Supervision in
Nursing in Biophysical Pathology from New York University in 1968, and a PhD in Nursing from the
University of Rhode Island in 1995. Dr. Williams has been a faculty member at the College since 1975.
She chaired department/school and college committees and been an active leader in the professional
nursing community. Dr. Williams has a strong record of research and publication. Her work includes
research projects sponsored by Sigma Theta Tau and the Oncology Nursing Society. Her teaching is
evaluated highly by students and peers.

While serving in the role of nursing department chair, the faculty evaluated her performance using the
Advisory Committee Evaluation of Chair form. Her evaluations were extremely positive for each of the
terms. The faculty unanimously elected Dr. Williams to serve as chairperson for a second consecutive
term. Additionally, Dr. Williams’ was reappointed for a third term as chairperson given the transition
phase of the department to a SON and the development of the masters in nursing program in accordance
with The Agreement. Her guidance in the department and SON has facilitated such accomplishments as
the initiation of the ATI testing program, the development and implementation of the PIP, improvement
in program outcomes, advancement of the department to a SON, and the development of the Master of
Science in Nursing Program. Dr. Jane Williams was subsequently appointed Interim Dean by President
John Nazarian in the Fall of 2006 when the department became a SON. After a national search in May
2007, President J. Nazarian recommended Dr. Jane Williams as the first dean of the SON at RIC and she
was appointed by the Board of Governors for Higher Education.

II-E. Faculty members are academically and experientially qualified and sufficient in number to
accomplish the mission, goals, and expected outcomes of the program.

The Agreement outlines the primary roles and responsibilities of faculty and specifies four ranks of
teaching faculty: professor, associate professor, assistant professor, and instructor. In the SON, as of the
2007-2008 academic year, there are 32 full-time faculty; five professors, eight associate professors, and
19 assistant professors. In addition, there are typically 14 part-time instructors in each semester. Full-
time appointments are for tenure-track, limited-term, or temporary positions. In the SON, 15 faculty are
tenure-line, and 17 are non-tenure line (limited term or temporary). Seventeen faculty are doctorally
prepared (57%), 14 full-time faculty are master’s prepared, and all instructors hold a Master of Science
in Nursing. Four faculty are licensed as nurse practitioners, and six faculty are certified in specialty
areas. Faculty are assigned to teach in both clinical and classroom areas in their specialty, and may be
assigned to teach in both the undergraduate and graduate programs.

A full-time faculty teaching load consists of 12 formula hours per semester (The Agreement). Faculty
volunteer to teach in overload, and many have chosen this option. For example, in the fall of 2007
faculty overload assignments were equivalent to 5.5 full time equivalents (FTE’s).

Formula load hours are awarded for non-academic responsibilities such as the coordination of the basic
baccalaureate program, the RN to BSN program, specialty courses, and the nursing resource laboratory.
In 2006, a highly qualified, experienced director for the MSN program was hired.

Currently, the SON is sufficiently staffed to meet teaching and administrative needs. However,
additional faculty will be needed to expand programs to meet the demand of the nursing shortage. In
June of 2008, the SON was named a VA Nursing Academy site. The funding for this partnership with
the Providence VA Medical Center will allow additional faculty to be hired and more students to be
enrolled. The VA Nursing Academy proposal and related materials will be available as an exhibit.

In addition to its focus on excellent teaching, the College mission anticipates “scholarship…, creative
expression, [and] service.” The nursing faculty makes outstanding contributions to the College and to
the profession. These contributions are documented on a Personal Data Form and reviewed during
annual evaluations when faculty work is reviewed and goals are clarified. The dean and department
chair guide faculty who are seeking promotion and/or tenure. The SON faculty have an excellent record
of achieving tenure and promotion.
II-F. The faculty role in teaching, scholarship, service, and practice are identified clearly and are
congruent with the mission, goals, and expectations of the program.
The SON faculty’s dedication to teaching is congruent with the College’s mission statement: “In order
to achieve its primary goal which is the intellectual growth and development of students, the faculty of
RIC is committed to excellence in teaching.” The Agreement outlines primary roles and responsibilities
of the faculty in regard to teaching, scholarship, and service. The practice role for nursing faculty has
been defined as a discipline specific expectation by the nursing faculty.

The teaching role includes didactic and clinical teaching as well as related activities. A full time
teaching load is 12 formula load hours per semester. Non-instructional activity that is awarded formula
load hours is directly related to teaching (i.e., clinical specialty coordination of course delivery,
coordination of the NRL, and program administration). In addition to the usual teaching load, faculty are
responsible for curriculum and new program development.

Full-time faculty are oriented and mentored by the department chair, specialty coordinators, and course
leaders. Part-time faculty are oriented by specialty coordinators. The Faculty Outcomes Committee
identified a need to formalize mentoring and proposed a model for mentoring of new faculty in spring
2008. The Faculty Manual has been developed to facilitate easy access to information. An online
version of the Faculty Manual is in process.

In addition, there is an expectation that within the faculty role, faculty members participate in
scholarship, service, practice, and student advisement. Consistent with a strong teaching mission, credit
hours are not routinely awarded for scholarship, service, or practice activities, although faculty may
apply for reassigned time and special projects.

The advising role is clearly defined in The Agreement and limits the number of students to
approximately 30 per faculty member. A new program of universal student advising was implemented in
2008 to promote student success. Currently, because of the increased number of students interested in
nursing, extra formula load hours are allotted nursing faculty who accept additional advisees.

Annually, faculty summarize accomplishments of teaching, scholarship, and service on a Personal Data
form and are evaluated by the Department Chair in relation to performance criteria. The performance
criteria are stated in The Agreement. These evaluative summaries are reviewed and approved by the
Dean, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the President. This process facilitates the
development of faculty in a manner that is consistent with the mission, goals, and expectations of the
program.

                                   SUMMARY OF STANDARD II

Strengths
   • The SON was established and a Dean appointed in 2006.
   • A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program was approved and initiated in 2007, and a
      highly qualified director was hired.
   • New space was allocated for faculty offices, a pediatric laboratory, a conference room, and a
      computer lab and electronic classroom designated for the SON.
   • 57% (17 ) of the faculty are doctorally prepared.
   •   Six additional full-time faculty were added since 2003 for a total of thirty two.
   •   The SON supports faculty pursuing doctoral study. Since 2004, five new faculty completed
       doctoral degrees, with four continuing to teach in the SON. Currently, eight faculty are engaged
       in doctoral studies.
   •   Significant equipment was added to the NRL to support simulation learning.
   •   The College has supported faculty development through awarding of sabbaticals, faculty
       development grants, and reimbursement for professional conferences.
   •   The faculty of the SON increased collaboration with college support services and implemented
       universal advising to promote student success.
   •   A low faculty/student ratio in the classroom and clinical environments is maintained.
   •   The SON has increased participation in the budget process.
   •   The SON established an active and distinguished Advisory Board in January 2007.
   •   The SON Dean’s Development Fund was created to enhance academic activities of faculty and
       students.
   •   The SON was selected as one of ten VA Nursing Academy sites in the nation in June 2008.

   Areas for Improvement
   • A small percentage of faculty are from underrepresented groups.
   • Average faculty salaries are below the 25th percentile according to AACN data.
   • Additional fiscal, physical, and human resources will be needed to adequately support faculty
      development and program enrichment/expansion.
   • Faculty are not achieving the level of scholarly productivity that they desire.
   • A relatively low percentage of reassigned time has been used by nursing faculty.
   • Data regarding faculty satisfaction with resources needs to be increased.
   • Additional staff is needed in the NRL.
   • Secretarial position stipulated in MSN proposal (at a time when the college’s financial base was
      stronger) has not been filled.
   • The process for the orientation and mentoring of new faculty is informal.
   • Nursing faculty are assigned inconsistently to conveniently located electronic classrooms.
   • The Faculty Manual is available in print and an online version is in process.

Action Plan
   • Recruit diverse, qualified faculty.
   • Increase faculty salaries to align with AACN benchmarks.
   • Continue to evaluate resources needed to further expand nursing programs.
   • Increase faculty requests for reassigned time for faculty scholarship and practice.
   • Provide support to increase faculty scholarship.
   • Add specific questions to the Faculty Satisfaction Survey regarding adequacy of support for
       scholarship, service, and practice.
   • Request approval of a full-time clinical coordinator for the NRL.
   • Request approval to hire a secretary for the master’s program.
   • Seek additional resources, including traineeships, for the master’s program.
   • Implement the model for mentoring new SON faculty approved in the spring of 2008.
   • Explore the feasibility of constructing a new state-of-the-art building for the SON.
   • Complete an online version of the Faculty Manual.
                    STANDARD III. PROGRAM QUALITY: CURRICULUM AND
                                 TEACHING-LEARNING PRACTICES

The curriculum is developed in accordance with the mission, goals, and expected outcomes of the program
and reflects professional nursing standards and guidelines and the needs and expectations of the
community of interest. There is congruence between teaching-learning experiences and expected outcomes.
The environment for teaching, learning, and evaluation of student performance fosters achievement of the
expected outcomes.

STANDARD III-A. The curriculum is developed, implemented, and revised to reflect clear
statements of expected student learning outcomes that are consistent with professional nursing
standards and guidelines and congruent with the program’s mission, goals, and expected
outcomes.
The curricula of the undergraduate and graduate programs fulfill the SON mission and are guided by
goals and expected outcomes of the respective programs. Course outcomes are carefully aligned with
program outcomes and expected outcomes. Course outcomes are presented in all course syllabi and the
program outcomes and expected outcomes are presented in the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)
which is Appendix C.

The curriculum of the basic baccalaureate program reflects The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education
for Professional Nursing Practice, 1998 (The Essentials), the NCLEX-RN Test Plan, and additional
professional nursing standards and guidelines. The basic baccalaureate curriculum is comprised of
foundational, specialty, and advanced courses. The RN to BSN option adapts the basic baccalaureate
curriculum to meet the needs of the RN student. The program outcomes for the undergraduate program
are competency in: professional role, nursing process, technical skills, communications, health care
technologies, professional value system, critical thinking, leadership skills, and core nursing knowledge.

The curriculum of the master’s program is guided by The Essentials of Masters Education for Advanced
Practice Nursing (AACN, 1996), Healthy People 2010 (Department of Health and Human Services,
2000), and other professional standards including: The Statement on Clinical Nurse Practice and
Education (NACNS, 2004), the Standards for Acute and Critical Care Nursing Practice (AACN, 2002),
the Standards for Public Health Nursing (ANA, 2007), Graduate Education for Advanced Practice
Public Health Nursing: At the Crossroads (Association of Community Health Educators, 2007), Public
Health Nursing Competencies (Quad Council of Public Health Nursing Organizations, 2004), The
Essentials of Master’s Level Nursing Education for Advanced Community/Public Health Nursing
Practice (Association of Community Health Nursing Educators, 2003), and the Master’s Degree in
Public Health Core Competency Development Project (American Schools of Public Health, 2007). In
addition, input derived from a comprehensive needs assessment and several community partners’
meetings influenced the development of the curriculum.

The master’s program prepares students to assume advanced practice roles and to apply for specialty
certification. The program outcomes for the graduate program are competency in: professional role,
cultural sensitivity, leadership skills, evidence based practice, teamwork and collaboration, ethics, health
care technologies, core nursing knowledge, systems-based practice, and quality improvement. The
spheres of influence of the AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care (2003) guide the acute care/critical
care specialty courses (NURS 510, patient; NURS 610, nurse; and NURS 620, system). Patient
characteristics are identified in NURS 510 and nurse competencies are selectively addressed in the three
courses. Ecological theory underpins the view of health and public health nursing. The ecological
framework is used to understand the health of populations. The model recognizes that multiple
determinants of health (environmental, social, biological, and behavioral) interact to affect health at the
individual, family, community, organizational, and societal levels.

Examples of the integration of professional standards and guidelines in the curriculum are the concepts
of safe patient handling and communication for patient safety. The incorporation of safe patient handling
into the curriculum was enhanced as a result of the program’s participation in the ANA’s Safe Patient
Handling Pilot Project. In 2005, the SON was one of 22 nursing programs in the nation selected to
participate in the ANA Pilot Project. In addition, safety standards and issues of clear communication of
patient care information and the importance of communication with other health care providers are being
emphasized. Students are provided with information about SBAR (Situation, Background,
Recommendation, Communication) for “handoffs” in class and clinical settings.

New standards of pedagogy are being adopted. Twenty-four faculty members attended a conference,
“Nursing Education and Practice: Partnering for Change” in June 2008 at which the Carnegie Report,
“Educating Nurses: Teaching and Learning a Complex, Caring Practice” and the Quality and Safety
Education for Nurses (QSEN) Project were presented and discussed. The conference brochure will be on
exhibit (Exhibit: Conference Brochure). Leaders in the SON are participating in a statewide project on
competencies in nursing education organized by the Rhode Island affiliate of the Massachusetts
Organization of Nurse Executives (MONE) in order to identify competencies of entry-level professional
nurses and collaboratively create curriculum.

Revisions to the curriculum are based on student evaluations, faculty feedback, curriculum analysis, and
the changing needs of the community The PIP guides curriculum revision through assessment of
competencies and teaching effectiveness. Analysis of data collected on specific performance measures
(expected outcomes) yields recommendations for improvement that are brought to the faculty. For
example, in 2006 when undergraduate student achievement on standardized ATI tests declined in the
pharmacology content area, course faculty analyzed factors contributing to the decline and planned
improvements. To improve knowledge of pharmacology content, all faculty improved the breadth and
depth of coverage of this content area as appropriate to their specialties. Subsequently, student mastery
of pharmacology improved based on ATI standardized tests. (Exhibit: Aggregate ATI Data)

III-B. The curriculum is developed, implemented, and revised to reflect professional nursing
standards and guidelines. These standards and guidelines are clearly evident within the
curriculum structure and expected learning outcomes. Course/unit/level outcomes are consistent
with the roles for which the program is preparing its graduates.

III-B. 1. The baccalaureate curriculum incorporates knowledge and skills identified in The
Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (AACN, 1998).
The current curriculum was constructed and implemented based upon the mission and goals/outcomes of
the program and is consistent with professional nursing standards and guidelines. The essential
components of professional nursing education as described in the The Essentials are incorporated in the
basic baccalaureate curriculum. These components of Core Knowledge, Core Competencies,
Professional Values, and Role Development are reflected in the undergraduate program goals, level
outcomes, course outcomes, and program outcomes as illustrated in Tables 6-9.

Table 6: Congruence of The Essentials Component of Core Knowledge and BSN Program Goals,
Level Outcomes, Course Outcomes, and Program Outcomes
CORE             PROGRAM           LEVEL           COURSE            PROGRAM
KNOWLEDGE GOALS                    OUTCOMES OUTCOMES OUTCOMES
Health           Program Goal      Advanced        Course N370       PIP
Promotion        #5: Provide       level outcome III E: The          Performance
Risk Reduction leadership for      #3: Integrate   student will      Category I:
Disease          the improvement nursing           apply the         Competency in
Prevention       of healthcare     theory, nursing nursing process Nursing
                 and nursing       practice to     with              Process
                 practice within   promote,        individuals,
                 the profession    maintain and    families and      Competency in
                 and a changing    restore         the population Professional
                 and diverse       health and      as evidenced      Role
                 society.          maintenance     by the ability to
                                   of the optimal  promote health,
                                   level of        reduce and
                                   functioning     manage risk,
                                   throughout      and prevent
                                   the course of   disease with
                                   illness         populations in
                                   including end   the community
                                   of life for
                                   persons,
                                   families, and
                                   communities.
Illness and    Program Goal         Intermediate      Course N342       PIP
Disease        # 5:                 level #3:         V E:              Performance
Management     Demonstrate          Apply nursing     Assess client     Category I:
               critical thinking    theory, and the   responses to      Competency in
               skills to            nursing           illness and       Core
               utilize nursing      process in the    demonstrate       Nursing
               research             promotion,        knowledge of      Knowledge
               and apply theory     maintenance       health
               in professional      and               problems
               practice.            restoration of    involving
                                    health and        dysfunction of
                                    maintenance       the muscular-
                                    of the optimal    skeletal,
                                    level of          cardiovascular,
                                    functioning       respiratory and
                                    throughout        endocrine
                                    the course of     systems.
                                    illness.

Information    Program Goal         Advanced          Course N375       PIP
and            #3:                  Level # 3:        V A: Apply        Performance
Health Care    Promote,             Integrate         health care       Category I:
Technologies   maintain, and        nursing theory,   technologies to   Competency in
               restore health       nursing           maximize          Health Care
               and maintenance      process,          optimal           Technologies
               of the optimal       research and      outcomes for
               level of             practice to       patients.
               functioning          promote,          V B: Use
               throughout the       maintain and      information
               course of illness,   restore health    and
               including end of     and               communication
               life in persons,     maintenance of    technologies to
               families, and        the optimal       document and
               communities.         level of          evaluate
                                    functioning       patient care,
                                    throughout the    advance
                                    course of         patient
                                    illness           education and
                                    including end     enhance
                                    of life for       accessibility
                                    persons,          to care.
                                    families and
                                    communities.
Human          Program Goal         Advanced          Course N370       PIP
Diversity      #6: Provide          Level # 7:        VI E: Consider    Performance
               leadership for       Analyze the       multiple world    Category I:
                the improvement   relationship      views and life      Competency in
                of health care    among the         experiences in      nursing
                and nursing       socioeconomic,    the planning        process
                practice within   political,        and
                the profession    historical, legal implementation
                and a changing    and ethical       of nursing care
                and diverse       factors within    for individuals,
                society.          the healthcare    families and
                                  delivery system   populations in
                                  that influence    communities
                                  professional      Course N375
                                  nursing           VI: Analyze
                                  practice.         the economic,
                                                    legal and
                                                    political factors
                                                    within the
                                                    health care
                                                    system that
                                                    influence the
                                                    well being of
                                                    individuals,
                                                    families and
                                                    communities.
Global Health   Program Goal      Advanced          Course N370         PIP
Care            #1:               Level # 7:        VI B: Consider      Performance
                Demonstrate       Analyze the       the global          Category I:
                commitment to     relationship      environment         Competency in
                personal and      among the         and the             Core
                professional      socioeconomic, delivery of            Knowledge
                growth as a       political,        health care.
                professional      historical, legal VI F:               Competency in
                nurse and         and ethical       Recognize and       Nursing
                member of a       factors within    appreciate          Process
                global society.   the healthcare    variations in
                                  delivery system language,
                                  that influence    culture,
                                  professional      race/ethnicity
                                  nursing           socio-economic
                                  practice.         status, religious
                                                    preference,
                                                    spiritual and
                                                    health beliefs
                                                    and lifestyle
                                                    preferences in
                                                    the design and
                                                    delivery of
                                                      health care
                                                      services.
Health Care     Program Goal        Advanced          Course N374        PIP
Systems and     # 7. Promote        Level #           IA:                Performance
Policy          professional        5. Analyze the    Review the         Category I:
                nursing practice    relationship      major              Competency in
                that addresses      among the         characteristics    Critical
                the                 socioeconomic,    of the health      Thinking
                socioeconomic,      historical and    care system in
                political,          legal and         the United
                historical and      ethical factors   States.
                ethical factors     within the
                within the health   health care
                care system.        delivery system
                                    in relation to
                                    professional
                                    nursing
                                    practice.

Table 7: Congruence of The Essentials Component of Core Competencies and BSN Program
Goals, Level Outcomes, Course Outcomes, and Program Outcomes
CORE               PROGRAM          LEVEL           COURSE           PROGRAM
COMPETENCIES OUTCOMES OUTCOMES OUTCOMES OUTCOMES
Critical Thinking  Program          Intermediate Course N340         PIP
                   Goal #5:         Level #6.       VIIA:            Performance
                   Demonstrate      Analyze         Consistently     Category I:
                   critical         leadership      demonstrate      Competency in
                   thinking skills strategies       critical         Critical
                   to utilize       utilized by     thinking in the Thinking
                   nursing          professional    care of clients.
                   research and     nurses in the
                   apply theory     profession, the
                   to               health care
                   professional     system and the
                   practice.        community.

                                    Advanced          Course N372
                                    Level #5:.        IV C: Make
                                    Synthesize        appropriate
                                    knowledge         decisions
                                    from the arts     regarding the
                                    and sciences,     needs of clients
                                    nursing theory    based on
                                    and nursing       current
                                    research with     knowledge,
                                    professional      assessment
                                 nursing.        data and
                                                 professional
                                                 ethics.
Communication   Program        Beginning         Course N223         PIP
                Goal # 3.      Level # 3:        VI:                 Performance
                Promote,       Examine           Demonstrate         Category I:
                maintain and   concepts,         interpersonal       Competency in
                restore health models and        and                 Communication
                and            nursing           communication
                maintenance    process           skills as
                of the optimal utilized in the   evidenced by
                level of       promotion and     the ability to
                functioning    maintenance       implement
                throughout the of health and     appropriate
                course of      maintenance       communication
                illness,       of the optimal    strategies.
                including end  level of
                of life in     functioning
                persons,       throughout the
                families and   course of
                communities.   illness
                               including end
                               of life.
Assessment      Program        Advanced          Course N372         PIP
                Goal #3.       Level # 3:        III C: Use the      Performance
                Promote,       Integrate         nursing process     Category I:
                maintain, and nursing theory,    to promote          Competency in
                restore health nursing           health and          Nursing
                and            process,          manage illness      Process
                maintenance    research and      in adult clients
                of the optimal practice to       as evidenced
                level of       promote,          by the ability
                functioning    maintain and      to assess for
                throughout the restore health    risk factors that
                course of      and               influence client
                illness,       maintenance       health.
                including end of the optimal
                of life in     level of
                persons,       functioning
                families, and  throughout the
                communities. course illness
                               including end
                               of life for
                               persons,
                               families, and
                               communities.
Technical Skills    Program          Advanced          Course N372      PIP
                    Goal # 4:        Level # 4:        II C:            Performance
                    Perform in the   Demonstrate       Safely and       Category I:
                    autonomous       the ability to    accurately       Competency in
                    and              function          implement        Technical
                    collaborative    autonomously      plans of care.   Skills
                    roles of the     and
                    professional     collaboratively
                    nurse.           in the various
                                     roles of the
                                     professional
                                     nurse.

Table 8: Congruence of The Essentials Component of Professional Values and BSN Program
Goals, Level Outcomes, Course Outcomes, and Program Outcomes
PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM                    LEVEL                COURSE            PROGRAM
VALUES             GOALS                OBJECTIVES           OBJECTIVES        OUTCOMES
Altruism           Program Goal #       Advanced Level # Course N375           PIP
                   4: Perform in the    4:                   VI C: Advocate    Performance
                   autonomous and       Demonstrate the      for client well   Category I:
                   collaborative roles ability to function   being and         Competency in
                   of the professional autonomously and preferences.           Professional
                   nurse.               collaboratively in                     Role
                                        the various roles of
                                        the professional
                                        nurse.
Autonomy           Program Goal #       Beginning Level # Course N222          PIP
                   2: Possess a         2: Identify          II E:             Performance
                   philosophy of        responsibility and   Explain the       Category I:
                   professional         accountability as    relevance of the  Competency in
                   nursing that         essential elements Patients’ Bill of   Professional
                   encompasses          of professional      Rights.           Value System
                   responsibility and   nursing.
                   accountability in
                   professional
                   practice.
Human Dignity      Program Goal #       Beginning Level # Course N224          PIP
                   6. Provide           2: Identify          IV A: Maintain    Performance
                   leadership for the   responsibility and   confidentiality   Category I:
                   improvement of       accountability as    regarding         Competency in
                   health care and      essential elements information         Professional
                   nursing practice     of professional      obtained during   Value System
                   within the           nursing practice.    the assessment of
                   profession and a                          clients.
                   changing and         Intermediate         Course N346
                   diverse society.     Level # 6: Analyze IIB:
                                            leadership               Integrate the
                                            strategies utilized      beliefs, values,
                                            by professional          and practices
                                            nurses in the            shared by racial,
                                            profession, the          ethnic,
                                            health care system,      geographically-
                                            and the                  based, or other
                                            community.               social groups into
                                                                     nursing care.
Integrity          Program Goal #           Beginning Level #        Course 223 VII        PIP
                   2: Possess a             2:                       D: Accurately         Performance
                   philosophy of            Identify                 record/report         Category I:
                   professional             responsibility and       client information.   Competency in
                   nursing that             accountability as                              Professional
                   encompasses              essential elements                             Value System.
                   responsibility and       of professional
                   accountability in        nursing practice.
                   professional
                   practice.                Advanced Level #         Course N 375
                                            2: Assume                I A: Incorporate
                                            responsibility and       professional
                                            accountability in        nursing standards
                                            nursing practice.        and accountability
                                                                     into practice.
Social Justice     Program Goal #           Advanced Level #         Course N370           PIP
                   7: Promote               7: Analyze the           VI C: Recognize       Performance
                   professional             relationships            nursing’s social      Category I:
                   nursing practice         among                    contract with the     Professional
                   that addresses the       socioeconomic,           public.               Value System
                   socioeconomic,           political, historical,
                   political, historical,   legal, and ethical
                   legal, and ethical       factors that
                   factors within the       influence
                   healthcare delivery      professional
                   system.                  nursing practice.

Table 9: Congruence of The Essentials Component of Role Development and BSN Program Goals,
Level Outcomes, Course Outcomes, and Program Outcomes
ROLE DEVELOPMENT                PROGRAM LEVEL                COURSE            PROGRAM
                                GOALS        OUTCOMES OUTCOMES                 OUTCOMES
Provider of Care                Program      Intermediate Course N 344         PIP
                                Goal #4:     Level #4:       VC:               Performance
                                Perform in   Analyze the     Collaborate       Category I:
                                the          autonomous      with the          Competency
                                autonomous and               interdisciplinary in
                                and          collaborative   team for the      Professional
                              collaborative   roles of the      health care         Role
                              roles of a      professional      needs of the
                              professional    nurse and         childbearing
                              nurse.          other health      family.
                                              care providers.

                                          Advanced              Course N375
                                          Level # 4:            I E: Integrate
                                          Demonstrate           care with other
                                          the ability to        members of the
                                          function              interdisciplinary
                                          autonomously          health team.
                                          and
                                          collaboratively
                                          in the various
                                          roles of the
                                          professional
                                          nurse.
Designer/Manager/Coordinator Program      Intermediate          Course N342         PIP
of Care                      Goal #6:     Level                 IV: Develop         Performance
                             Provide      6:                    knowledge and       Category I:
                             leadership   Analyze               skills to guide     Competency
                             for the      leadership            clients through     in
                             improvement strategies             the illness         Professional
                             of health    utilized by           experience.         Role
                             care and     professional
                             nursing      nurses in the
                             practice     profession, the
                             within the   health care
                             profession   system, and
                             and a        the
                             changing     community.
                             and diverse
                             society.
Member of a Profession       Program      Advanced              Course 375 IC:      PIP
                             Goal #1.     Level                 Develop             Performance
                             Demonstrate 1: Develop a           personal goals      Category I:
                             commitment plan to                 for professional    Competency
                             to personal  enhance life-         development.        in
                             and          long personal                             Professional
                             professional and                                       Role
                             growth as a  professional
                             professional growth.
                             nurse and
                             member of
                             society.
The undergraduate curriculum is revised based on careful analysis of standards. For example, the
Curriculum Committee regularly reviews current standards for possible integration into the
baccalaureate curriculum. In AY 2005-2006, the Committee analyzed The Essential Nursing
Competencies and Curricula Guidelines for Genetics and Genomics (ANA, 2005). In March 2007,
faculty member Sylvia Ross presented a workshop for faculty on integrating genetics into the
curriculum. As a follow-up to the analysis, the Curriculum Committee developed a resource for faculty
use in integrating genetics content into courses.

The SON is engaged in the development of the new version of the Essentials for Baccalaureate
Education. Two faculty members from the Department Advisory Committee, Joanne Costello and
Sylvia Ross, attended the Boston conference in April 2008, and the SON is planning to revise the
curriculum according to the new standards.

III-B. 2. The master’s curriculum incorporates knowledge and skills identified in The Essentials of
Master’s Education for Advanced Practice Nursing (AACN, 1996). Any specialty standards
adopted for the master’s program are incorporated into the curriculum.
The master’s curriculum is based on the The Essentials of Master’s Education for Advanced Practice
Nursing (Master’s Essentials).The courses in the master’s program address the essential graduate core
curriculum content. Appendix L, the Master’s Curriculum Grid for Core Content, displays how the core
content in the areas of research, policy/organization/financing, ethics, professional role development,
theoretical foundations, human diversity/social issues, and health promotion/disease prevention are
integrated throughout the master’s curriculum. The following table presents the congruence of master’s
program goals and the graduate core curriculum content contained in the Master’s Essentials.

Table 10: Congruence of Master’s Program Goals and the Master’s Essentials
                 Master’s Program Goals                     Graduate Core
                                                            Curriculum Content
                                                            (AACN, 1996)
1. Assume advanced practice roles in acute/critical care or Professional Role
public health nursing.                                      Development
2. Analyze contemporary and evolving healthcare needs of a Human Diversity and
diverse society.                                            Social Issues

                                                             Health Promotion and
                                                             Disease Prevention
3. Assume leadership responsibilities to shape nursing       Professional Role
practice in acute/critical care or public health nursing.    Development
4. Promote evidence-based practice through development of    Research
master’s level research competencies and dissemination of
research findings.

5. Engage in interdisciplinary practice to promote quality    Professional Role
and safety in improving health outcomes.                      Development
6. Demonstrate ethical practice, personal responsibility, and Ethics
continuing professional growth in an advanced practice role.
                 Master’s Program Goals                       Graduate Core
                                                              Curriculum Content
                                                              (AACN, 1996)
7. Initiate innovative healthcare technologies.               Research
8. Apply theoretical knowledge from nursing and related       Theoretical Foundations
disciplines in planning, directing, and evaluating quality    of Nursing Practice
health care.
                                                              Health Promotion and
                                                              Disease Prevention
Promote policies that ensure quality, cost effective care     Health Care Policy
within a dynamic health care system.
                                                              Organization of Health
                                                              Care Delivery System

                                                              Health Care Financing
10. Develop expertise in an identified functional area.       Professional Role
                                                              Development

In addition to the Master’s Essentials, other professional nursing standards were used to develop the
curriculum for the master’s program. The congruence of the master’s program goals with professional
nursing standards (AACN, 1996; AACN, 2002; ANA, 2007; NACNS, 2004) for the acute care/critical
care specialty is shown in Table 11.

Table 11: Congruence of Master’s Program Goals and the Standards of Practice and Performance
for the Acute and Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (AACN, 2002) and Core CNS
Competencies (NACNS, 2004)
    Master’s Program Goals            Standards of Professional Performance for the Acute and
                                                Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
                                                           (AACN; NACNS)
1. Assume advanced practice          • Contributes to the professional development of peers,
roles in acute/critical care or          colleagues and others (AACN).
public health nursing                • Evaluates attainment of expected outcomes (AACN).
                                     • Serves as leader/consultant/mentor/change agent in
                                         advancing the practice of nursing among other nurses and
                                         across organizations to achieve outcomes (NACNS)
                                     • Expands the practice of nursing through ongoing generation
                                         and acquisition of scientific knowledge and skills to maintain
                                         expert clinical competencies that leads to desired outcomes
                                         (NACNS).

2. Analyze contemporary and              • Makes decisions and acts on behalf
evolving healthcare needs of a       of patients, family members, nursing
diverse society.                     personnel, and organizational systems
                                         • in an ethical manner (AACN).Decisions and actions are
                                             made on behalf
                                     of patients, family members, nursing
                                     personnel, and organizational systems
   Master’s Program Goals                Standards of Professional Performance for the Acute and
                                                    Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
                                                                (AACN; NACNS)
                                     and are made in an ethical manner (AACN).
                                         • Demonstrates professional citizenship and fiscal
                                     responsibility in the healthcare system by focusing on
                                     health policy and/or resource management to ensure
                                     quality, cost-effective outcomes of nursing care
                                     (NACNS)
                                         • Designs, implements, and evaluates innovative individual
                                      and/or population based programs of care to achieve
                                     desired quality, cost-effective nurse-sensitive outcomes
                                     (NACNS).
3. Assume leadership                     • Evaluates his or her own practice in relation to professional
responsibilities to shape nursing            and regulatory bodies, and takes action to improve practice
practice in acute/critical care or           (AACN).
public health nursing.                   • Serves as leader/consultant/mentor/change agent in
                                             advancing the practice of nursing among other nurses and
                                             across organizations to achieve outcomes (NACNS).
                                         • Advances nursing practice through innovative evidence-
                                             based interventions, best practice guidelines, and
                                             modification of professional standards and organizational
                                             policies that direct the care of nursing personnel and other
                                             providers of healthcare to improve outcomes (NACNS).
4. Promote evidence-based                • Utilizes, participate in, and disseminate research to enhance
practice through development of              practice (AACN).
master’s level research                  • Advances nursing practice through innovative evidence-
competencies and dissemination               based interventions, best practice guidelines, and
of research findings.                        modification of professional standards and organizational
                                             policies that direct the care of nursing personnel and other
                                             providers of healthcare to improve outcomes (NACNS).
                                         • Expands the practice of nursing through ongoing generation
                                             and acquisition of scientific knowledge and skills to maintain
                                             expert clinical competencies that leads to desired outcomes
                                             (NACNS).
5. Engage in interdisciplinary           • Collaborates with patients and their family members and
practice to promote quality and              healthcare personnel in creating a healing and caring
safety in improving healthcare               environment (AACN).
outcomes.                                • Systematically develops criteria for and evaluate quality and
                                             effectiveness of nursing practice and organizational systems
                                             (AACN).
                                         • Lead interdisciplinary groups to facilitate collaboration with
                                             other disciplines in the attainment of outcomes across the
                                             continuum of care (NACNS).
6. Demonstrate ethical practice,         • Makes decisions and acts on behalf of patients, family
personal responsibility, and                 members, nursing personnel, and organizational systems in
   Master’s Program Goals             Standards of Professional Performance for the Acute and
                                                Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
                                                          (AACN; NACNS)
continuing professional growth in        an ethical manner (AACN).
an advanced practice role.
7. Initiate innovative healthcare     •   Influences resource utilization in order to promote safety,
technologies.                             effectiveness, and fiscal accountability in planning and in the
                                          delivery of patient care (AACN).
                                      •   Designs, implements, and evaluates innovative individual
                                          and/or population based programs of care to achieve desired
                                          quality, cost-effective nurse-sensitive outcomes (NACNS).
8. Apply theoretical knowledge        •   Acquires and maintains current knowledge in the three
from nursing and related                  spheres of influence (AACN).
disciplines in planning, directing,   •   Uses knowledge of differential illness diagnoses and
and evaluating quality health             treatments in comprehensive, holistic assessments of patients
care.                                     within the context of disease, diagnoses, and treatments
                                          (NACNS).
                                      •   Expands the practice of nursing through ongoing generation
                                          and acquisition of scientific knowledge and skills to maintain
                                          expert clinical competencies that leads to desired outcomes
                                          (NACNS).

9. Promote policies that ensure       •   Systematically develops criteria for and evaluates the quality
quality, cost effective care within       and effectiveness of nursing practice and organizational
a dynamic health care system.             systems (AACN).
                                      •   Influences resource utilization in order to promote safety,
                                          effectiveness, and fiscal accountability in planning and in the
                                          delivery of patient care (AACN).

                                      •   Interprets the dimensions of nursing care requiring resources
                                          at the system level, and provide leadership to assure that the
                                          system adequately supports the delivery of nursing care
                                          (NACNS).
                                      •   Demonstrates professional citizenship and fiscal
                                          responsibility in the healthcare system by focusing on health
                                          policy and/or resource management to ensure quality, cost-
                                          effective outcomes of nursing care (NACNS).
                                      •   Designs, implements, and evaluates innovative individual
                                          and/or population based programs of care to achieve desired
                                          quality, cost-effective nurse-sensitive outcomes (NACNS).

The public health/community leadership specialty prepares nurses to provide advanced level population-
focused services that improve population health outcomes. The public health core functions of
assessment, policy development, and assurance frame public health nursing practice. The congruence of
program goals and professional nursing standards (ANA, 2007) for the public health/community
leadership specialty are illustrated in Table 12.
Table12: Congruence of Master’s Program Goals and Public Health Nursing Scope and
Standards of Practice: Additional Measurement Criteria for the Advanced Practice Public Health
Nurse (ANA, 2007)
       Master’s Program Goals         Public Health Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice:
                                      Selected Additional Measurement Criteria for the
                                      Advanced Practice Public Health Nurse (ANA, 2007)
1. Assume advanced practice roles in      • Applies assessment, implementation, and evaluation
acute/critical care or public health         strategies in the plan to reflect current evidence,
nursing.                                     including data, research literature and expert nursing
                                             and public health knowledge.
                                          • Synthesizes data from federal, state, local and other
                                             sources with theoretical frameworks and evidence, to
                                             provide expert consultation on program and service
                                             implementation.
                                          • Demonstrates skill in advocating before public
                                             representatives and decision-makers on behalf of the
                                             population, programs, and services.

                                            •   Models expert practice to multi-sector team members
                                                and the population.
                                            •   Participates in activities that contribute to the
                                                development of the advanced practice nursing role in
                                                public health.
2. Analyze contemporary and evolving        •   Organizes complex data and information obtained
healthcare needs of a diverse society.          during socio-cultural, demographic, health status and
                                                health risk, geographic, environmental, and other
                                                nursing and public health diagnostic processes to
                                                identify population health assets, needs, and risks.
                                            •   Systematically analyzes relevant population data,
                                                scientific principles, and events in the environment in
                                                formulating differential diagnoses and in setting
                                                priorities.
                                            •   Designs appropriate strategies and alternatives with
                                                community and professional partners to meet the
                                                complex needs of at-risk populations.
3. Assume leadership responsibilities to    •   Provides leadership for delivery of integrated
shape nursing practice in acute/critical        programs, services, and public policy implementation.
care or public health nursing.              •   Promotes solutions to social and environmental issues
                                                and barriers to healthy living conditions.
                                            •   Provides direction to enhance the effectiveness of
                                                policies, programs, and services provided by the
                                                multi-sector team.
                                            •   Promotes communication of information and
                                                advancement of nursing and public health through
                                                writing, publishing, and presentations for professional
       Master’s Program Goals             Public Health Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice:
                                          Selected Additional Measurement Criteria for the
                                          Advanced Practice Public Health Nurse (ANA, 2007)
                                                 or lay audiences.
4. Promote evidence-based practice            • Provides leadership to nursing and other health
through development of master’s level            professionals in planning evidence-based educational
research competencies and                        programs and services based on assessments.
dissemination of research findings.           • Evaluates the practice environment and quality of
                                                 nursing care rendered in relation to existing evidence-
                                                 based information.
                                              • Contributes to nursing knowledge by conducting or
                                                 synthesizing research that discovers, examines, and
                                                 evaluates knowledge, theories, models, criteria, and
                                                 creative approaches to improve healthcare practice
                                                 and outcomes.

5. Engage in interdisciplinary practice      •   Fosters new collaborative relationships with nursing
to promote quality and safety in                 colleagues, other professionals, community or
improving healthcare outcomes.                   population representatives, and other stakeholders to
                                                 implement the plan through strategies such as
                                                 coalition building.
                                             •   Models expert practice to multi-sector team members
                                                 and the population.
                                             •   Develops alliances and coalitions with community
                                                 organizations to address public health policies,
                                                 programs, and services.
                                             •   Initiate collaborative efforts across constituencies in
                                                 the population.
                                             •   Designs performance improvement initiatives related
                                                 to policies, programs, and services based on existing
                                                 evidence.
                                             •   Develops innovative approaches to community and
                                                 public health concerns that include effective resource
                                                 utilization and improvement of quality.
       Master’s Program Goals             Public Health Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice:
                                          Selected Additional Measurement Criteria for the
                                          Advanced Practice Public Health Nurse (ANA, 2007)
6. Demonstrate ethical practice,              • Uses current research finding and other evidence to
personal responsibility, and continuing          expand nursing and public health knowledge, enhance
professional growth in an advanced               role performance, and increase knowledge of
practice role.                                   professional issues.
                                              • Engages in a formal systematic process seeking
                                                 feedback regarding one’s own practice from peers,
                                                 professional colleagues, community and professional
                                                 organizations, and stakeholders.
                                              • Analyzes practice in relation to advanced certification
                                                 requirements as appropriate.
                                              • Informs administrators or others of the risks, benefits,
                                                 and outcomes of policies, programs, and services, and
                                                 related decisions that affect the delivery of health-
                                                 related services.
                                              • Partners with multi-sector teams to address ethical
                                                 risks, benefits, and outcomes of policies, programs,
                                                 and services.
7. Initiate innovative healthcare             • Develops systems for documentation and
technologies.                                    accountability in nursing and public health nursing
                                                 practice, including compliance with regulatory
                                                 requirements.
                                              • Consults with the public health nurse, the population,
                                                 the interdisciplinary team, and other stakeholders in
                                                 the design, management, and evaluation of the data
                                                 system that focuses on population assets, needs, and
                                                 concerns.
                                              • Synthesizes complex, multi-source data gathered
                                                 through the assessment process.
                                              • Designs, with other public health professionals,
                                                 reporting and compliance systems related to laws,
                                                 regulation, and policies.
                                              • Demonstrates invocative approaches to public health
                                                 and nursing practice to improve health outcomes for
                                                 populations.
8. Apply theoretical knowledge from           • Designs health information and programs based on
nursing and related disciplines in               health behavior, learning theories and principles, and
planning, directing, and evaluating              research evidence.
quality health care.                          • Incorporates new knowledge and strategies into action
                                                 plans to enhance implementation.
                                              • Modifies the plan based on new knowledge,
                                                 appropriate health behavior change theory, population
                                                 response, or other relevant factors to achieve expected
                                                 outcomes.
       Master’s Program Goals              Public Health Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice:
                                           Selected Additional Measurement Criteria for the
                                           Advanced Practice Public Health Nurse (ANA, 2007)
9. Promote policies that ensure quality,       • Develops innovative approaches to community and
cost effective care within a dynamic              public health concerns that include effective resource
health care system.                               utilization and improvement of quality.
                                               • Advocates with decision-makers to influence public
                                                  health policies, program, and services to promote
                                                  healthy populations.
                                               • Serves as an expert for peers, population, providers,
                                                  and other stakeholders in promoting and
                                                  implementing public health policies.

The master’s program curriculum includes core coursework (9 credits), specialty core course work (6-9
credits), advanced clinical specialty coursework (18 credits), professional project seminars (3 credits),
and elective courses in a functional area (6-8 credits). Full-time and part-time programs of study are
included in Appendix M.

The Acute Care/Critical Care specialty courses (NURS 504: Advanced Pathophysiology, NURS 505:
Advanced Pharmacology, and NURS 506: Advanced Health Assessment) reflect the advanced practice
nursing core deemed essential for nurses prepared to provide direct patient/client care at the advanced
level (AACN, 1996).

The content essential for advanced practice in community health nursing (Association of Community
Health Nursing Educators, 2003) is developed in the core and specialty courses and includes:
epidemiology; community assessment and diagnosis; public health administration and management;
program planning, implementation, and evaluation; financial management and budgeting; continuous
quality improvement; biostatics; community/public health nursing theory; community-focused research
methods; integrated, multi-level community interventions; environmental sciences; economics of health
care; health policy development; health leadership; information systems; and program grant proposal
development.




III-C. The curriculum is logically structured to meet expected program outcomes.

III-C. 1. The baccalaureate curriculum builds upon a foundation of the arts, sciences, and
humanities.
The baccalaureate curriculum builds upon a foundation of the arts, sciences, and humanities which is
essential for the practice of professional nursing. From this foundation, the faculty developed a
curriculum that flows logically to prepare nursing students of various backgrounds for professional
nursing practice. Through course work and clinical experiences, the students grow in their ability to
think critically and make decisions that will improve the health and health care of clients in a variety of
settings. The nursing curriculum includes general education, cognates, and required nursing courses as
displayed in the Advisement Form and Typical Plan of Study for the basic student (Appendix N).

Students accepted into the SON have completed or are in the process of completing the General
Education Program at Rhode Island College. The current General Education Program provides a
foundation for the nursing major by enhancing the students’ academic skills in preparation for the
specialized learning of the nursing curriculum.

The General Education Program consists of a core curriculum and distribution requirements. The four
courses within the core curriculum focus on writing and critical thinking in the disciplines of Western
literature, Western history, non-Western worlds, and critical inquiry into cultural issues. Students have a
variety of courses from which to choose to increase their awareness of cultural diversity around the
world. Nursing faculty contribute to the General Education core curriculum by offering courses on
cross-cultural perspectives on childbearing, grief and loss, healing practices, substance abuse, and the
well-being of children around the world. The distribution requirements are in the following categories:
Social and Behavioral (SB) Visual and Performing Arts (A), Laboratory Science (LS), Mathematical
Systems (M), and Science/Mathematics (SM).

Cognate courses provide specific knowledge foundational to the discipline of nursing. The cognates for
the nursing curriculum are: BIOL 231: Human Anatomy; BIOL 335: Human Physiology; BIOL 348:
Microbiology; CHEM 106: General, Organic & Biological Chemistry; and PSYC 230: Human
Development. Courses which are prerequisites for the cognates are BIOL 108 Basic Principles of
Biology; CHEM 105 General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry; and PSYCH 110: Introduction to
Psychology. These pre-requisites and cognates serve to meet distribution requirements in the areas of
SM, LS and SB.

The SON Curriculum Committee regularly reviews cognate courses. In 2006-2007, the committee
review of PSYC 230 found it provided significant background knowledge of human development. The
committee also met with the chairperson of the Mathematics Department to discuss the need for
strengthening content related to mathematical calculations required for medication and intravenous fluid
administration. The Mathematics Department offered a special section of MATH 181: Applied Basic
Mathematics in spring 2008 for health science majors to address this important patient safety issue.
These examples provide evidence of the efforts made to correlate the cognate courses with the nursing
curriculum.

Students are initially accepted into the college and then must apply to the SON as a second enrollment
process. Students follow one of three paths to a baccalaureate degree: basic, second degree, and RN to
BSN. Nursing majors enter the program from various backgrounds. Basic baccalaureate students
typically build the liberal arts foundation in their first year at the college. Second- degree candidates
possess a foundation in the liberal arts and add the pre-requisites and cognates as necessary. RN students
enter the college with significant nursing background and build their knowledge of liberal arts as they
expand their nursing knowledge.

The basic baccalaureate program is designed for basic and second- degree candidates. To assure that
students have the appropriate foundation for nursing, a minimum GPA and completion of specific
cognate courses is required for admission. Courses required for admission to the nursing program
include BIOL 231: Human Anatomy; PSYC 230: Human Development; and CHEM 106: General,
Organic, & Biological. An example of an application form for the basic baccalaureate program is
included as Appendix O.
The basic program is structured on three levels: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. Within each
level, students gain experience with cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills. Level outcomes flow
from the program goals and create the organizing framework for the progression of nursing courses. The
progression of the courses is as follows: fundamental, specialty-specific, and transition-to-practice. The
Level Outcomes are displayed in Appendix P. Copies of the course syllabi and course descriptions will
be available for review.

In the spring of 2007, the faculty of the SON refined the sequencing of selected nursing courses. The
rationale for the revision was to provide students with a more logical path through the curriculum.
Prerequisites were established so that students now learn about infants and families in NURS 344:
Maternal Newborn Nursing and then build on that knowledge in NURS 346: Nursing Care of Children
and Families. In addition, students take NURS 340: Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing prior to NURS
342: Adult Health Nursing I. The reordering of courses results in students completing NURS 342 and
NURS 372: Adult Health Nursing II in sequence, providing a logical progression of content. To support
this revision, NURS 372 was made a prerequisite to NURS 375: Transition to Professional Nursing
Practice.

Second-degree candidates admitted to RIC apply through the College’s Office of Undergraduate
Admissions. A Plan of Study is prepared for every second-degree candidate by the Department
Chairperson and signed by the Dean. An accelerated plan of study option is available for qualified
candidates; second-degree candidates may petition to take all four beginning level nursing courses at the
time of application. Second-degree students complete all the required courses in the basic BSN program
including cognates. The College views all second-degree candidates as having fulfilled the general
education requirements based on the first baccalaureate degree. The accelerated option facilitates
flexibility and a more timely completion of the program. The Advisement Form/Second Degree Student
Accelerated Option is Appendix Q.

The RN to BSN program is designed for registered nurses. RN students are admitted to the college as
transfer students and fulfill the same general education requirements as the basic students. RN students
may transfer courses from their previous academic work to meet General Education requirements. The
College allocates 37 nursing credits for prior nursing education. RN students are required to complete a
minimum of 45 credits at the College to earn a bachelor’s degree. They begin the nursing program with
a transition course, NURS 207: Baccalaureate Education for Nursing. Students then progress to NURS
316: Physical Assessment of the Adult & Child, NURS 370: Public and Community Health Nursing,
and NURS 376: Contemporary Nursing Practice: Issues and Challenges. The plan of study for the RN
student is described in the Advisement Form - Registered Nurse Student (Appendix R).

III-C. 2. The master’s curriculum builds on the baccalaureate level foundation.
The master’s curriculum builds on a foundation established at the baccalaureate level. Applicants to the
MSN program must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program. Table 13
Relationship Between the Baccalaureate and Master’s Program Goals, depicts the progression from the
baccalaureate level to the master’s level.
Table 13: Relationship between the Baccalaureate and Master’s Program Goals
              Baccalaureate Program Goals                             Master’s Program Goals
Program Goal 3. Promote, maintain, and restore health Program Goal 1. Assume advanced practice
and maintenance of the optimal level of functioning        roles in acute/critical care or public health
throughout the course of illness, including end of life in nursing.
persons, families, and communities.
                                                           Program Goal 8. Apply theoretical
                                                           knowledge from nursing and related
                                                           disciplines in planning, directing, and
                                                           evaluating quality health care.
Program Goal 7. Promote professional nursing               Program Goal 9. Promote policies that
practice that addresses the socioeconomic, political,      ensure quality, cost effective care within a
historical, legal and ethical factors within the health    dynamic health care system.
care delivery system.
Program Goal 6. Provide leadership for the                 Program Goal 2. Analyze contemporary and
improvement of health care and nursing practice within evolving healthcare needs of a diverse
the profession and a changing and diverse society.         society.

                                                          Program Goal 3. Assume leadership
                                                          responsibilities to shape nursing practice in
                                                          acute/critical care or public health nursing.
Program Goal 5. Demonstrate critical thinking skills to Program Goal 4. Promote evidence-based
utilize nursing research and apply theory in professional practice through development of master’s
practice.                                                 level research competencies and
                                                          dissemination of research findings.

                                                     Program Goal 8. Apply theoretical
                                                     knowledge from nursing and related
                                                     disciplines in planning, directing, and
                                                     evaluating quality health care.
Program Goal 4. Perform in the autonomous and        Program Goal 5. Engage in interdisciplinary
collaborative roles of the professional nurse.       practice to promote quality and safety in
                                                     improving health outcomes.
Program Goal 1. Demonstrate commitment to personal Program Goal 6. Demonstrate ethical
and professional growth as a professional nurse and  practice, personal responsibility, and
member of society.                                   continuing professional growth in an
                                                     advanced practice role.
Program Goal 2. Possess a philosophy of professional
nursing that encompasses responsibility and
accountability in professional practice.

III-D. Curriculum and teaching-learning practices are evaluated at regularly scheduled intervals
to foster ongoing improvement.
Nursing faculty members regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum and teaching-learning.
At the end of each semester, students evaluate classroom and clinical components of courses and
teaching effectiveness of faculty using standardized course evaluation forms. In addition, clinical sites
are evaluated by faculty and students. Students are encouraged to respond on a narrative evaluation form
that allows them to provide their suggestions for improvement of teaching and curriculum in the
classroom and/or clinical areas. Evaluation forms will be available as exhibits.

Individually, and as members of specialty groups, faculty review and analyze student evaluations.
Aggregate results of course analyses are reported to the curriculum committee and presented to faculty.
Data regarding teaching effectiveness are reported in the aggregate as part of the Faculty Outcomes
section of the PIP.

The Curriculum Committee is responsible for curriculum review. Faculty and student members of the
committee provide input into selection of course content, teaching-learning practices, and evaluation
methods. The committee chairperson reports on curricular issues at SON faculty meetings. These
meetings provide a forum where faculty members address concerns regarding curricular issues and
changes.

Surveys provide additional information for program improvement. The Educational Benchmarking, Inc
(EBI) survey of graduates completed in 2005 prompted the Curriculum Committee to conduct content
mapping of specific areas including healthcare systems, financing, and end of life care. The mapping
revealed that the content is addressed, but suggested opportunities for updating and reinforcing these
areas of rapid change in knowledge development and healthcare delivery.

Another example of a change in the curriculum resulting from emerging trends in healthcare is a new
assignment in NURS 376: Contemporary Nursing Practices: Issues and Challenges. This assignment,
“Evidence Based Practice Paper” strengthens the understanding RN students have of evidence-based
practice. In the new assignment, students describe and analyze an example of evidence-based practice in
the clinical setting.

Program assessment generated by the PIP contributes to improvements in the curriculum. Analysis of
changes in students’ performance on measures of expected outcomes may prompt adjustments in
curriculum. For example, concerns about students’ ability to properly cite sources provoked a discussion
of teaching of professional writing and APA format, evaluation of the required text, and
communications with the Writing Center regarding assistance provided to students (PIP Reports: 2005-
2006, p. 1; 2006-2007,      p. 2).

Communities of interest regularly provide feedback related to curriculum. The Graduate Outcomes
Committee uses various methods to collect graduate and employer data to gain input from communities
of interest. This committee sponsors an annual Consumer Advisory Meeting at which focus groups
comprised of agency representatives provide feedback about important aspects of nursing practice to
include in the curriculum. For example, participant comments prompted a “Focus Project Assignment”
for RN students through which students collaborate with a clinical partner to develop a project that will
serve both the learning needs of the student and provide a meaningful service to the clinical agency
(Exhibit: NURS 376 Syllabus ).

The Master’s Committee assumes responsibility for curriculum review and revision for the MSN
program. Development of the master’s curriculum includes creation and review of evaluation methods.
Course and faculty evaluation are completed each semester by master’s students; results are reviewed by
the Master’s Committee. Tools to evaluate preceptors, clinical faculty, clinical agencies, and end of
program and employer surveys have been developed for future implementation (Exhibit: Master’s
Program Surveys). During the first year of the master’s program (2007-2008), faculty teaching core
courses met regularly to evaluate student progress and course implementation. Faculty revised course
content based on feedback. During the spring of 2008, an end-of-year focus group meeting was held
with graduate students to identify areas of strength as well as suggestions for improvement. A summary
of focus group findings will be available as an exhibit.

The Master’s Committee defined competencies and identified measures to evaluate the effectiveness of
the program. The specific measures (expected outcomes) related to the MSN competencies will be
incorporated into the PIP in the fall of 2008. The working document used to develop meaningful
measures of MSN student performance and provide a basis for evaluating the MSN curriculum is
presented as Appendix D.

III-E. The didactic and clinical teaching-learning practices and learning environment supports the
achievement of student outcomes.
A wide variety of didactic and clinical teaching-learning experiences support the achievement of
undergraduate and graduate students. The teaching-learning strategies employed within the SON include
traditional methods such as lecture, seminar, discussions, guest presentations, small group work, case
study analysis, and role play. These methods are augmented by the use of electronic technology
including Web CT, audiovisual resources, and simulators. Students use Web CT to access lecture
outlines prior to class and interact with each other and with faculty members in on-line discussion
boards. An additional strategy is the group project used in NURS 370: Community/Public Health
Nursing. The Public Policy Project involves intensive group work and culminates in a formal
presentation to the entire SON community and invited guests. An article published in the journal Public
Health Nursing (2004) describing this teaching-learning practice as well as recent public policy
presentation brochures will be available as an exhibit.

New technologies are incorporated into the learning environment. Classroom response clickers are used
to provide a fair and enjoyable way for students to respond to questions in the classroom. The
integration of simulation learning is ongoing. A Simulation Interest Group is spearheading the
development of simulation learning throughout the curriculum and by each specialty (Exhibit:
Simulation Curriculum Mapping). The newly opened pediatric lab allows for increased use of simulation
prior to and during pediatric clinical experiences. Developing innovative approaches to nursing
education using simulation is a goal that will be energized by the VA Nursing Academy Project. The
project proposal will be available as an exhibit.

During off-campus clinical experiences, students provide direct care under the supervision of qualified
clinical instructors. In addition, students attend on-site trainings and participate in observational
experiences to enhance their learning. A variety of acute and community clinical settings throughout the
region provide stimulating learning environments for students to meet course outcomes. A complete list
of clinical sites will be available for review (Exhibit: List of Clinical Agencies). Currently, RIC nursing
faculty are participating in the Clinical Registry, a computerized, web-based mechanism for securing
clinical placements used by all nursing programs in the state The Registry increases transparency of
potential clinical sites and facilitates communication between faculty and clinical managers (Exhibit:
Clinical Registry).

Course syllabi reflect the course outcomes, along with specific student objectives and learning activities
to support them. This practice occurs in both the didactic and clinical portions of the nursing courses.
The table below includes an example from each level of student learning in the baccalaureate program.

Table 14: Undergraduate Student Outcomes and Corresponding Didactic and Clinical Teaching-
Learning Practices
Course      Course Name       Student Outcome/Course         Learning Activity
Number                                 Outcome
 NURS Fundamentals of           I. B. Preventing falls in View: Caregiver’s
  223     Nursing               the young to older adult  Guide to Preventing
                                client                    Falls

                                                                   Critical Thinking
                                                                   Activity: Fall Prevention

                                                                   Reading/Discussion
                                                                   Taylor, p. 694;
                                                                   Developing critical
                                                                   thinking skills, #1


 NURS      Adult Health I         V. The student will              Laboratory Practicum:
  342                             demonstrate an
                                  understanding of the nursing     Respiratory Clinical
                                  process in the management
                                  of illness in adult clients as   Learning Stations:
                                  evidenced by the ability to:
                                                                   Tracheostomy Care
                                  A. Demonstrate knowledge
                                  of health problems involving Oxygen Therapy
                                  dysfunction of the
                                  musculoskeletal,             Chest Tubes
                                  cardiovascular, respiratory
                                  and endocrine systems.


 NURS      Community/Public       I. The student will              Reflective Thinking:
  370                             demonstrate personal and         Portfolio development,
           Health Nursing         professional growth in the       journals
                                  knowledge and skills
                                  necessary for                    Community
                                  public/community health          Assessment:
                                  nursing (P/CHN) as               Community resource
                                  evidenced by the ability to:    guide

                                  Engage in self-assessment of Professional
                                  nursing practice.            Networking: Attendance
                                  A. Develop personal goals    at professional meetings
                                     for professional
                                     development.
                                  B. Participate in activities
                                     that maintain and
                                     enhance knowledge and
                                     skills necessary to
                                     promote population
                                     health and achieve
                                     personal learning
                                     objectives.
                                  C. Critically evaluate
                                     personal and
                                     professional growth over
                                     the course of the
                                     semester.

In the master’s program, a preceptor model will be used for the clinical courses. Numerous meetings
with community partners were extremely helpful in identifying potential preceptors. Decisions about
clinical sites and assignment of preceptors will be negotiated between the student, clinical faculty, and
agency representative based on the student’s personal goals and course outcomes. Student’s clinical
progress will be carefully monitored and evaluated by clinical faculty in conjunction with a preceptor.

III-F. Curriculum and teaching-learning practices consider the needs and expectations of the
community of interest.
Communities of interest include professional nursing and education associations, accrediting and
approving agencies, students, alumni, employers, health care agencies, consumers, legislators, Rhode
Island Board of Governors of Higher Education, School of Nursing Advisory Board, RIC administrators,
and faculty.

The curriculum and teaching-learning practices are developed utilizing input from professional nursing
and education associations and accrediting and approving agencies.
The Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education approves nursing programs in the
state. The rules and regulations require that nursing programs maintain a pass rate of 80% on the
NCLEX-RN examination, and the basic baccalaureate program is in full compliance with this
regulation.

The SON faculty members consider the needs and expectations of prospective students and their
families. Faculty members participate in recruitment activities for prospective students and admissions
events for accepted students. Information sessions for prospective RN students are held throughout the
year both on campus and in the community. Students intending to major in nursing are advised by
nursing faculty in the New Student Orientation Program. Every fall, students are introduced to the
nursing program through a SON welcoming event. All declared nursing majors are assigned to nursing
faculty advisors upon entrance to RIC and are required to meet with them at least once per semester to
plan their program of study.

In response to needs and expectations of students, a special learning community is offered for freshmen
who are declared nursing majors. The Caregiving and Society Learning Community is comprised of
courses which a cohort of students take together. The intention is that students will get to know each
other and faculty in a way that will assist their adjustment to college life and promote their academic
success. Nursing faculty members are involved in this effort. During the experience, students learn time-
management skills, discuss their transition to college, are introduced to support services, and engage in
activities within the SON, such as Student Nurse Association meetings. This Learning Community is
consistently fully subscribed. Therefore, expanding this opportunity should be considered.

Teaching and learning practices consider the needs of changing student characteristics, such as an
increase in diversity, second- degree and transfer students, and employed students. Courses are offered
every semester and some are offered in the summer. This practice enables some students to accelerate
through the program and others to complete the program on a part-time basis. Small class and clinical
group size facilitate the learning of a diverse student body. Class size is limited to 32 students. The
maximum clinical group enrollment is eight students. Classes and clinical experiences are offered during
the day and in the evening. In most courses, Web CT is used to enhance instruction and communication
between faculty and students.

The curriculum and teaching-learning practices are designed to be responsive to the needs and
expectations of the students. As specified by the SON By-Laws (Appendix E), students are represented
on all standing committees. The Student Advisory Committee is comprised of students representing
various program levels who communicate issues of concern to the Dean and Chairperson. Students also
have input into the curriculum through participation on the Curriculum Committee. In addition, students
are represented on the Structure and Governance, Student Outcomes, and Graduate Outcomes
committees. The results of student course evaluations and instructor evaluations stimulate change in
curriculum and teaching-learning practices. For example, the physical environment was rated low in
several course evaluations. This problem was communicated to the Chairperson, who advocated for
improved classroom space. More nursing classes are now conducted in electronic classrooms.

As the nursing student population has become more diverse, faculty and students participate in
workshops focused on teaching, learning, and advisement strategies to improve the success of diverse
learners. Multiple initiatives are aimed at monitoring and assisting at-risk students. Language
proficiency is assessed upon enrollment, using the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS).
Designated nursing faculty mentors meet with students who score below the recommended minimal
score to explain the significance of the score and recommend strategies to improve academic
performance. ATI Content Mastery Tests are also administered throughout the curriculum. Faculty
members discuss performance on ATI tests with students and recommend remediation activities. Other
strategies to improve the success of our diverse student population are described in Strategies for
Success (Appendix S). Faculty members provide test reviews, one-on-one tutorials, mid-term
assessments, and individualized counseling to help students strengthen academic performance.
The Presidential Scholars Program and College Honors Program attract students with strong academic
backgrounds. Presidential Scholar recipients are increasingly nursing majors. In 2008, there were 27
intended nursing majors among the 267 Presidential Scholar recipients. The Dean and faculty from the
SON attend the Presidential Scholar Dinner to answer questions of prospective students and their
parents. Highly qualified students are invited to participate in the College Honors Program. To date, the
number of nursing students participating in this program is small. In cooperation with Dr. Spencer Hall,
Director of the College Honors Program, the SON approved a plan of study that allows qualified nursing
students to schedule courses required for the program more easily.

The Department of Nursing Honors Program is designed to provide students who have demonstrated
superior academic achievement with the opportunity to participate in independent study in areas such as
research, teaching, and community projects. Each student works closely with a nursing faculty member
who provides expertise related to the topic and population of interest. A current list of faculty members
and their research interests is available for students. Members of the Curriculum Committee recognized
a need to increase awareness of the Nursing Honors Program. A special initiative to stimulate interest
and participation was undertaken. Information sessions were presented to the Student Nurse
Association and much interest was generated for future honors projects as indicated by inquiries from
current students. An Honors Sub-Committee screened potential students, sent individual letters
describing honors project opportunities, arranged for students to meet with interested faculty members
about the areas of interest, and encouraged students to participate in the multi-disciplinary, college-wide
honors seminar, HONORS 390. As a result of the efforts, more students are engaged in the
Departmental Honors Program. One student completed an honors project in the spring of 2008 and one
is anticipating completing a project in the fall of 2008. Completed honors projects will be available as
exhibits.. A full explanation of the Honors Program is available in the Handbook for Undergraduate
Students in Nursing, which is distributed to the students and is available on the SON website.

The RN to BSN Program responds to the needs of the RN student population through flexibility in
course offerings, credit for prior learning, provision of individualized learning experiences, and career
development advising. There is RN student representation on the RN Committee, and the RN
Committee is represented on the Curriculum Committee.

Alumni have input through the college alumni association and through participation in graduate
evaluation surveys (Exhibit: RIC SON: Employment and Education/Life Long Learning Survey).
Alumni also serve as guest speakers during class presentations and Student Nurses Association
meetings, providing valuable insights. At the annual Nursing Alumnae Breakfast Event, a feature of the
College Homecoming, alumni and faculty members participate in presentations and share information
concerning the curriculum. In September 2007, three continuing education programs were offered at the
annual Alumni Breakfast with SON faculty members as presenters.

Employers and representatives of healthcare agencies also have opportunities to address needs and
expectations of the program. For example, the Graduate Outcomes Committee has a member
representing a major health care employer. This committee gathers data to determine the effectiveness of
the program and employer satisfaction. These data are reported to the faculty and used in program
revisions. The Graduate Outcomes Committee coordinates an annual Consumer Advisory Meeting to
provide a mechanism for soliciting input from health care providers about the curriculum and teaching-
learning practices. Focus groups held during the 2008 meeting indicated that graduates are well prepared
in theory and provided with clinical experiences that meet course objectives. The need to continue to
focus on patient safety, critical thinking, and appreciation of life-long learning was emphasized.

Clinicians in healthcare agencies interact with students as guest speakers and as agency preceptors
during clinical experiences. Nurses employed by the clinical agencies who make sustained contributions
to the education of the nursing students are eligible to be designated Adjunct Faculty or Cooperating
Instructors, and their names are published in the Rhode Island College Catalog.

Faculty members and clinical agency professionals discuss clinical agency experiences during formal
and informal meetings. For example, based on the problematic practice of students not having access to
the computerized medical record, faculty member Margaret Mock collaborated with informatics nurse
Mary Kennedy at the clinical site to change the practice. They then were able to educate students to use
information technology at the point of care. This work was presented at a recent nurse educator
conference (Exhibit: The Nursing Education and Practice: Partnering for Change Conference
Brochure).

The formal input of consumers of health care into the curriculum is limited. Students and faculty
members interact directly with consumers of health care during clinical experiences in institutions and
the community. Occasionally, consumers of health care are guest speakers during classes. The
curriculum is indirectly responsive to consumer needs and expectations through compliance with
standards, policies, and regulations that promote the safety and well-being of the consumer. On
occasion, unsolicited letters are received from patients/clients who have been cared for by RIC nursing
students. A successful step to increase the input from consumers is the SON Advisory Board formed in
2007. The Board is comprised of fifteen community leaders and is participating in strategic planning and
fundraising for the SON. The press release describing the creation of the Advisory Board is Appendix E.

The curriculum is responsive to legislators. The curriculum addresses public policy issues and political
activism. NURS 370: Public & Community Health Nursing provides opportunities for students to
interact with legislators, other governmental leaders, and community activists. Students also participate
in a series of public policy assignments designed to engage them in the political process. Through these
experiences, students learn to utilize the legislature to promote health care policy (Exhibit: Public Policy
Project Materials). Currently, there is great concern about the nursing shortage. The SON has increased
enrollment capacity in response to a legislative request for the state’s nursing programs to graduate more
registered nurses. Additional state funding was provided for new faculty positions in order to increase
the enrollment (Exhibit: Communication with Dr. Leone, Associate Commissioner of the Rhode Island
Board of Higher Education). To respond to the need for greater emphasis on gerontology nursing in the
curriculum given RI demographics, four faculty will attend the Geriatric Nursing Education Consortium
(GNEC) in October of 2008. The SON participates in the annual Higher Education Day at the RI State
House. This opportunity allows faculty and students of the SON to interact with legislators, answer
questions, and provide descriptions of program activities. In the spring of 2008, the legislature called for
the formation of a study commission on the nursing shortage and invited the SON Dean to participate

The needs and expectations of the faculty are considered in the curriculum. Faculty members expect to
focus their teaching within their specialty areas; the specialty-focused courses of the curriculum
facilitate this goal. Faculty members seek to maintain classroom and clinical expertise; the organization
of the curriculum allows for this balance. The Dean, the Department Chairperson, and the Faculty
Outcomes Committee respond to faculty concerns about teaching and learning. Based on faculty
preferences for programs, the SON sponsored an on-line program titled Test construction: Beyond recall
for nurse educators in the fall of 2006 and a workshop addressing Excellence in Clinical Teaching in
May, 2007 by expert Dr. Diane Wink.

Faculty members also have input into the curriculum through the Curriculum Committee. The
Curriculum Committee frequently organizes brown-bag lunch programs to educate faculty about new
concepts that affect teaching and learning. Topics presented over the past two years included
incorporation of genetics into clinical courses, integration of simulation into teaching, and use of
Personal Digital Assistants (PDA’s) in the clinical setting. In addition, faculty asked for an increase in
technological resources for classroom instruction and in response the availability of technology-
equipped classrooms to nursing faculty has improved. However, meeting all requests for well-equipped
electronic classrooms is a challenge.

Teaching-learning practices reflect the expectations of the College administration and College governing
organizations. The curriculum is implemented in accordance with college-wide policies and The
Agreement between the RIC/AFT and the Rhode Island Board of Governors 2008-2011 (The
Agreement). Major curricular changes are submitted to the College Curriculum Committee for approval,
and policies are reviewed by the Committee on Academic Policies and Procedures.

An example of many communities of interest working together to shape the nursing curriculum is the
task force that was formed in May of 2004. The task force was formed to explore the idea of developing
a master’s program at RIC. The Master’s Task Force included members from clinical practice and
alumni as well as faculty. The group conducted a comprehensive needs assessment prior to program
development and completed the proposal for a new academic program, which was approved by the
Board of Governors for Higher Education. The communities of interest continue to have input into the
refinement of the master’s program. In the fall of 2007, meetings were held with a wide array of
community leaders representing both acute/critical care and public health/community leadership. Input
from these leaders was used to continue development of the program, particularly the plan for specialty
courses. Minutes of these master’s partner meetings will be available as an exhibit.

                                     SUMMARY OF STANDARD III

Strengths
   • The Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) clearly presents expected student outcomes and
      guides curriculum revisions.
   • The SON was selected to participate in the ANA Safe Patient Handling Project in 2005.
   • The SON began to offer a new program leading to a Master of Science in Nursing in 2007.
   • The basic baccalaureate program (including the accelerated option for second degree students),
      the RN to BSN program, and the master’s program are systematically planned and regularly
      adapted to incorporate professional standards.
   • Sustained high pass rates of first-time test takers on the NCLEX-RN substantiates the
      achievement of student outcomes and is evidence of the program being in full compliance with
      approval agencies.
   • A variety of teaching-learning strategies and clinical experiences are effectively used throughout
      the program.
   •   A wide range of communities provide input into SON programs, including the Master’s Task
       Force that developed the master’s program and the SON Advisory Board that participates in
       strategic planning.
   •   The SON in partnership with the Providence VA Medical Center was selected as a Nursing
       Academy Site in June of 2008.

Areas of improvement
   • The expected outcomes for students in the MSN program need to be fully incorporated into the
       PIP.
   • Given the complexity and ongoing advancement in the field of genetics and genomics,
       continuous evaluation of the integration of content into the curriculum is warranted.
   • Use of simulation for learning is at a beginning stage.
   • Faculty expertise in the area of simulation learning is in early levels of development.
   • Enrollment in the Caregiving and Society Learning Community is limited to twenty-four new
       students per year.
   • A small number of students participate in the College and Nursing Honors Program.
Action Plan
   • Complete the implementation of the MSN program.
   • Continue to incorporate genetics and genomics competencies into the curriculum.
   • Support the Simulation Interest Group and provide support for faculty to develop expertise in
       simulation learning methods.
   • Facilitate the implementation of the VA Academy Project to enhance simulation learning.
   • Explore methods of expanding cohort opportunities such as the Caregiving and Society Learning
       Community for students.
   • Implement strategies to encourage nursing students to participate in the College and Department
       Honors Programs.
STANDARD IV. PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS: STUDENT PERFORMANCE AND
FACULTY ACCOMPLISHMENTS

The program is effective in fulfilling its mission, goals, and expected outcomes. Actual student
learning outcomes are consistent with the mission, goals, and expected outcomes of the program.
Alumni satisfaction and the accomplishments of graduates of the program attest to the
effectiveness of the program. Actual faculty outcomes are consistent with the mission, goals, and
expected outcomes of the program. Data on program effectiveness are used to foster ongoing
improvements.

STANDARD IV-A. Student performance is evaluated by the faculty and reflects achievement of
expected outcomes. Evaluation policies and procedures are defined and consistently applied.
Central to the evaluation of student performance related to program goals is the assessment of program
outcomes as described in the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). Measures used to assess student
achievement in the aggregate are identified and target levels of performance are delineated as expected
outcomes. For example, for the basic baccalaureate student, to assess the achievement of the program
outcome of “competency in communications,” the assessment measure is the communications score on
the HESI Exit Exam. The expected outcome is that students in NURS 375 will achieve a Class Score of
850 or above on Core Competencies: Communications Score. Student outcomes are identified for basic
baccalaureate, RN, and master’s students. The PIP is presented in its entirety in Appendix C.

The PIP specifically identifies the committees and faculty members responsible for collecting,
analyzing, and reporting data essential for the evaluation of student performance and ongoing
improvement of the program. Faculty members report data to the appropriate committee biannually in
order to generate the process of continuous quality improvement. If an expected outcome is not met, the
responsible committee and course faculty identify contributing factors and implement improvements in
teaching and learning practices. For example, in relation to the program outcome, “Competency in Core
Nursing Knowledge,” the expected outcome for basic students is that “85% of students will achieve
above the 50th percentile on designated Content Mastery ATI assessments. In 2004, the percentile goal
was changed from the 40th to 50th percentile to reflect the achievement level appropriate for
baccalaureate students.
Student performance is summarized in the aggregate as part of the annual PIP Report. In this report,
each program outcome and its associated actual outcome are analyzed, recommendations are made as
“next steps,” and improvements are noted. Overall, as measured comprehensively by the PIP, students
are demonstrating a high level of sustained achievement of the competencies delineated by the program
outcomes. The most recent PIP Report for 2007-2008 is Appendix T. PIP Reports from 2004-2008 will
be available as an exhibit.

Individual student performance is evaluated consistently throughout the undergraduate and graduate
programs. Course syllabi delineate the course outcomes, teaching methods, and evaluation procedures
as they relate to the particular content and objectives. Standardized policies applied throughout the
curriculum such as critical clinical outcomes, numerical value of letter grades, and benchmarked
percentiles required on standardized exams are in the syllabi and the Handbook for Undergraduate
Students in Nursing.

Faculty have adopted a systematic approach to evaluation using standardized testing, progression
testing. Products produced by Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) and Evolve Reach from Elsevier
are used to measure student performance throughout the curriculum. During the first semester in the
basic baccalaureate program, students are oriented to the standardized testing program. Progression
testing policies are included in the Handbook for Undergraduate Students in Nursing and syllabi.
Progression testing allows for evaluation of individual and group performance. Students actively
evaluate their own performance using testing results. To promote understanding of the assessment
process and dialogue among faculty, ATI data is reported in aggregate form, and reviewed and analyzed
by faculty.

There is an ongoing effort to ensure the integrity of standardized testing in the program. Students
inappropriately shared information about the ATI tests, and in response, faculty reported the incident to
ATI and instituted additional security measures. Prompted by this incident in the fall of 2007, faculty,
in concert with students, developed an Academic Honesty Code, and initiated a college-wide discussion
of academic honesty. The Nursing Academic Honesty Code is printed in the Handbook for
Undergraduate Students in Nursing.

Another example of the way that faculty are consistently applying evaluation policies is the adoption of
a standardized clinical evaluation approach to promote safe practice. Critical Objectives which students
must fulfill are identified for each clinical course and highlighted in a similar manner on all syllabi
(Exhibits: Course Syllabi and Clinical Evaluation Forms).

Faculty meet with clinical students at mid-semester to identify strengths and weaknesses. Students may
receive a clinical warning at any time during the semester. A standardized Practicum Warning Notice is
used to document unsatisfactory performance. (Exhibit: Practicum Warning Notice).

Efforts to improve the consistency and comprehensiveness of the evaluation of technical skill
performance are underway. A Clinical Skills Checklist was developed and implemented. The checklist
is initiated in the first clinical course NURS 223: Fundamentals of Nursing Practice. Students carry it
forward, and faculty members document subsequent skill performance. Individual student performance
of clinical skills is reviewed at the end of each clinical experience. Performance testing in NURS 223:
Fundamentals of Nursing Practice and NURS 224: Health Assessment are examples of how technical
skills are developed (Exhibit). Simulation experiences are increasingly used to develop and assess
clinical competency. Aggregate competencies in technical skills for the basic students are evaluated by
the performance on the ATI RN Fundamentals Test and by the Core Category: Technical Skills Score on
the HESI Exit Exam.

A critical measure of student performance planned for the graduate program is the Professional Project.
The project, designed in NURS 509: Professional Project I is completed and implemented in NURS 609:
Professional Project II. The project may take the form of research, program design, or grant preparation.
The relationship of performance on the Professional Project and master’s program goals is described in
Appendix D.

Graduate students will evaluate their own learning in the theory and clinical courses, in concert with
evaluation by faculty. Individual student evaluation data will inform the planning of each student’s
clinical activities. Members of the Master’s Committee pilot tested evaluation instruments in the spring
2008 semester. These instruments will be available as an exhibit (Exhibit: MSN Evaluation
Instruments).

IV-B. Surveys and other data sources are used to collect information about students, alumni, and
employer satisfaction and demonstrated achievements of graduates. Student outcome data
include, but are not limited to graduation rates, NCLEX pass rates, certification examination pass
rates, and job placement rates as appropriate.
Program effectiveness is carefully monitored using surveys and other data gathering approaches. Data
sources, as well as who is responsible for data collection, analysis and recommendations for
improvement, are specified in the PIP (Appendix C).

Surveys completed annually include the Survey of Student Satisfaction with Educational Resources, the
Faculty Survey of Program Satisfaction, the RN End of Program Survey, and the RN Satisfaction
Survey. Employer satisfaction is being assessed through focus groups conducted at the annual Consumer
Advisory Meeting. Data are summarized in the annual PIP Reports. A survey to evaluate MSN student
satisfaction and a master’s program End of Program Survey were developed to be used in the near
future. All surveys will be available as exhibits.

All survey data are used to identify areas for improvement. The annual PIP Reports document the
process of continuous quality improvement over the last four years. In relation to each program
outcome, data are collected on each expected outcome, unmet actual outcomes are analyzed and “next
steps” are then formulated. This process is displayed in the PIP 2007-2008, which is Appendix T.

Undergraduate and graduate students are surveyed at the end of each course to evaluate the teaching
effectiveness of faculty. All full-time and part-time faculty receive aggregate quantitative data regarding
their teaching effectiveness as well as narrative comments following each course. Evaluation tools used
by students to evaluate teaching will be available as exhibits. Aggregate data on teaching effectiveness is
reported annually in the Faculty Outcomes section of the PIP Report. Faculty consistently meet the
expected outcome of “Full-time faculty, as a group, will achieve a mean score of 3.5 or greater on each
item of the Course Rating Report/Student Evaluation of Teaching (5 point scale), for clinical and
classroom teaching.” Faculty have consistently met this standard.
Alumni were surveyed in the spring of 2008 using the “RIC SON Employment and Education/Life Long
Learning Survey. The survey was mailed to 3,887 alumni. Thirty-seven were returned with insufficient
address. However, 990 alumni provided responses to the survey. Of those responding, 31% have earned
a graduate degree; 39 % are enrolled in graduate study; 48% hold professional certifications; and 52%
are members of a professional nursing organization. In addition, alumni provide feedback about the
program at the annual event for nursing alumni held during homecoming weekend and through
communications with the Office of Alumni Affairs. Alumni are demonstrating high interest in furthering
their education and dedication to the profession of nursing. The SON Strategic Plan being developed
includes a commitment to monitor and improve the percentage of graduates who pursue graduate study
and participate in professional organizations.

In the past, many variations of employer surveys were used to elicit information about graduates'
performance. As is typical of employer surveys, response rates were less than desirable. The Graduate
Outcomes Committee created other methods to collect data. Focus groups were held at annual Consumer
Advisory Meeting. The amount and quality of data proved valuable, providing information for
performance improvement. For example, agency representatives expressed that preceptors needed to
better understand their roles and in fall of 2008, a preceptor educational program will be offered at the
Annual Nursing Alumni Breakfast at Homecoming (Exhibit: Summary of Graduate Outcomes Employer
Consumer Advisory Focus Groups 2006, 2007, and 2008).

Data on graduation rates, NCLEX-RN pass rates, and job placement rates are collected and analyzed for
opportunities to improve the program. Graduation rates are calculated for each cohort of students
entering the program at the same time. The graduation rate is calculated by dividing the number of
graduates in the cohort by the total number originally in the group. The PIP states as expected outcomes:
for basic baccalaureate students, “80% of students entering the program will graduate from the program
in three years;” for RN to BSN students, “85% of RN students entering the program will graduate from
the program in four years.” Graduation rates for the most recent years are expected to increase as basic
students still enrolled complete the program. Tables 15 and 16 present graduation rates for the basic
baccalaureate and the RN to BSN programs, respectively.

Table 15: Graduation Rates: Basic Baccalaureate Program
                 #           #            #           #                   #         %
Enrollment Enrolled Dismissed Withdrawn Retained                      Graduated
                                                                                    Graduated
   Date                                              Still             to Date
                                                   Enrolled                         to Date
Spring             25            3             4             0        18            72%
2000
Fall 2000          79           10             12            0        57            72%
Spring             33           1              8             0        14            73%
2001
Fall 2001          65            8             8             0        49            75%

Spring             29            5             5             0        19            66%
2002
Fall 2002          49            2             8             0        39            80%
Spring             32            3             5             0        24            75%
2003
Fall 2003          69            3             21            0        45            65%

Spring             64            6             16            2        40            63%
2004
Fall 2004          86           11             9             4        60            72%

Spring             71            6             8             7        50            71%
2005
Fall 2005          78            4             12            19       44            56%

Table 16: Graduation Rates: RN to BSN Program
                 #           #           #                  #             #             %
Enrollment Enrolled Dismissed Withdrawn                  Retained     Graduated     Graduated
   Date                                                    still       to Date       to Date
                                                         Enrolled
Fall 2001          11            0             1            0         11            91%

Fall 2002          14            0             1             0        13            93%

Fall 2003          12            0             2             0        10            83%

Fall 2004          20            0             3             3        14            70%

Spring             32            0             7             6        19            59%
2005
Fall 2005          24            0             4             5        14            58%

Spring             13            0             1             3        9             69%
2006

The graduation rate for the basic baccalaureate students is falling below the target goal of 80%. Faculty
analyzed factors contributing to withdrawal and instituted measures to improve the graduation rate,
including multiple strategies to assist the at-risk student and upgrading the admission criteria. The
graduation rate for RN students is excellent, exceeding the benchmark of greater than 85% in most years
for which students are not still enrolled (Fall 2001-2003).

The NCLEX-RN pass rate of first time test takers is outstanding. Since 2004, the pass rate of RIC SON
graduates has been above state and national averages and exceeds the PIP expected outcome of 90%,
demonstrating the effectiveness of the program. The Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and
Nursing Education reports NCLEX-RN pass rates to the SON on a quarterly basis, and the results are
discussed at department meetings. Many efforts on the part of the faculty have led to the ability of
graduates to achieve sustained high NCLEX pass rates. Table 17 compares the NCLEX-RN pass rates of
Rhode Island College graduates with state and national averages.
Table 17: Comparison of NCLEX-RN Pass Rates of First Time
Candidates from Rhode Island College and State and National
Pass Rates
Testing Period      RIC SON State of RI National
01/01/07-06/30/08   92.73%     86.00%         88.23%
01/01/07-12/31/07   95.15%     86.37%         85.47%
01/01/06-12/31/06   95.83%     86.64%         88.11%
01/01/05-12/31/05   88.06%     83.13%         87.29%
01/01/04-12/31/04   89.33%     84.5%          85.3%

The program outcome related to job placement rates is “employment in nursing.” Job placement data
have been obtained by interviewing graduating seniors and surveying graduates. In the past, survey
response rates of alumni have been low. A short, one-page survey, the RIC SON Employment and
Education/Life Long Learning Survey, was designed and mailed to all alumni in the spring of 2008 with
improved results. A result of 990 responses (26%) was achieved. Results indicate that 73% of graduates
are employed in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. The majority of graduates are employed
in Rhode Island with 60% practicing in the state. Graduates report working in a wide variety of settings
and in diverse nursing roles. Detailed data regarding employment of graduates will be available as an
exhibit (Exhibit: Qualitative data from RIC SON Employment and Education/Life Long Survey, Spring
2008).

IV-C. Program outcome data are analyzed to provide evidence of program effectiveness and are
used to foster ongoing program improvement.
The processes and procedures for analyzing program outcome data and applying recommendations to
improve the program are fully described in the PIP. A PIP Report which summarizes performance on all
program outcomes is prepared by the Dean and Department Chairperson with input from committee
chairs. The annual PIP Report states the actual achievement attained on all expected outcomes and
describes the analysis and interpretation and “next steps” recommended. The PIP Report for 2007-2008
is included as Appendix T. Reports from 2004-2008 will be available for review.

Faculty use the PIP Report at the beginning of every academic year to formulate annual goals.
Committees then prepare sub-goals to direct committee work. Recommendations for improvement are
reviewed and acted upon by faculty. Program effectiveness is carefully monitored using the measures of
program effectiveness: adequate retention (graduation rate); NCLEX pass rates; and employment in
nursing.

The measure of program effectiveness related to graduation rates as stated in the PIP is the expected
outcome of “80% of basic students entering the program will graduate from the program in four years.”
This expected outcome was recently changed from 75% to 80% to reflect CCNE recommendations, and
a time factor was introduced to reflect the goal that students would graduate in a timely manner.
Previously, no time frame had been stated in this expected outcome. Analysis of the program outcome
for basic baccalaureate students “adequate retention” in the PIP Report of 2005-2006 indicated a need to
analyze factors contributing to a graduation rate of less than 75%. The PIP Report of 2007-2008
indicates that faculty analyzed the major reasons that students withdrew, implemented upgraded
admission criteria, and will monitor for an expected increase in graduation rates as a result of these
improvements. Analysis of factors contributing to withdrawal stimulated change in admission criteria.
Dismissed students often had entered the program with the minimal GPA of 2.5 and repeated Chemistry
106: General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry II after being admitted to the program. Admission
criteria were changed to support academic success. In the spring of 2006, completion of Chemistry 106
with a grade of C or better became required upon admission, rather than as a requirement to be fulfilled
after enrollment. In the spring of 2007, the GPA required for admission was increased to 2.7. Graduation
rates will be monitored to determine if these changes have the desired effect.

The expected outcome for basic baccalaureate students is that “the pass rate for first time test-takers on
the NCLEX-RN will be greater than or equal to 90%.” The program is meeting this standard. High
NCLEX-RN pass rates are being maintained and are exceeding the 90% stated as an expected outcome
for graduates. Pass rates of first-time candidates are consistently above the state and national averages.
Multiple strategies are employed to continue this level of performance. Some strategies are focused on
students: 1) At-risk students are identified upon admission via the Test of Essential Academic Skills
(TEAS) and then provided with individualized academic support by nursing faculty and by the Office of
Academic Support and Information Services (OASIS); 2) Major efforts are made to promote student
participation in the program because evidence demonstrates student involvement promotes academic
success. Other strategies are directed at developing teaching expertise of faculty: 1) Faculty
development activities on test construction and evaluation were implemented to improve the ability of
faculty to prepare teacher made tests, and 2) Faculty participated in a workshop which provided
evidence-based methods of teaching effectiveness. A strategy which benefits both students and faculty is
the use of a progressive testing and review program to promote mastery of core nursing content.

The program outcome related to job placement rates is “employment in nursing.” For the basic
baccalaureate student, the expected outcome is that “100% of graduates who seek employment will be
employed in nursing within one year of graduation.” Job placement reports from students are highly
favorable with graduates securing desirable employment upon graduation. Professional career
development is a focus of NURS 375: Transition to Professional Practice. In Nursing 375, students are
educated about assessment of employment opportunities, interview and resume writing skills, and career
planning.

For the RN graduate, the expected outcome is “75% of participants in the RN Alumni Survey will
document an employment improvement based on the experience in the RN to BSN program.” Although
this expected outcome was not met, many respondents noted that they were granted employment
improvement previously in anticipation of earning the baccalaureate degree. There may be a need to
change the expected outcome to capture this data based on the fact that advancement often occurs as a
result of enrollment in the RN to BSN program.

Program outcomes for the Master’s of Science in Nursing program are pass rates on certification exams,
employment, and employer satisfaction. Data will be reported for the first time in 2010-2011. For the
program outcome related to graduate student satisfaction, focus groups were held during 2007-2008 to
assess student satisfaction with this new program. Students confirmed that scheduling of classes is
appropriate and courses are meeting their needs. Students requested more opportunity to connect with
each other. Regular forums for MSN students will be planned for 2008-2009 to allow students to
socialize and congregate about their work.
IV-D. Faculty outcomes demonstrate achievement of the program’s mission, goals, and expected
outcomes and enhance program quality and effectiveness.
Expectations of faculty are delineated in The Agreement Between The RIC/AFT and the Rhode Island
Board of Governors (The Agreement) and interpreted as program outcomes in the Faculty Outcomes
section of the PIP (Appendix C). The faculty outcomes include accomplishments in teaching,
scholarship, service, and satisfaction with the program.

Teaching effectiveness is measured by the expected outcome of “full time faculty as a group will
achieve a mean score of 3.5 or greater on each item of the Course Rating Report/Student Evaluation of
Teaching (5 point scale) for both clinical and classroom teaching.” Undergraduate and graduate students
consistently rate the quality of teaching as high (above the mean score set as a benchmark in the PIP) on
all items on the Student Evaluation of Faculty Teaching results. Teaching effectiveness is promoted by
self-reflection as demonstrated by the Personal Data Form, interactive annual review with the
Department Chairperson, and peer evaluation. In 2008, 74% of the faculty reported participation in the
peer review process. The Faculty Outcomes Committee is promoting 100% faculty participation in
annual peer evaluation and has added an expected outcome regarding this to the PIP. The Faculty
Outcomes Committee is encouraging faculty to engage in informal as well as official peer evaluation,
and a mentoring program for new faculty members was initiated in the spring of 2008.

Nursing faculty are engaged in scholarship and service. The expected outcomes are that 100% of faculty
will participate in scholarly activities and professional/community service activities that relate to
responsibilities at RIC. Definitions for scholarship and service were approved by the faculty. Table 15
displays the percentage of faculty engaged in scholarship and service.
Table 18: Percent of Faculty Engaged in Scholarship and Service

      Academic Year                    Scholarship                      Service
        2007-2008                          96%                           100%
        2006-2007                         100%                           100%
        2005-2006                          87%                            96%
        2004-2005                          96%                            92%

As is shown in the table, faculty improved the reporting of scholarship and service activity to attain the
expected outcomes of the program. However, increased scholarly productivity is always a goal. The
scholarly activities of nursing faculty are evidenced by their publications, presentations, and grants.
Service to the College and the community is strong, with many faculty leading college, professional, and
community organizations. Lists of publications, presentations, and service activities are presented in
Appendices I and J.

IV-E. The program has established policies and procedures by which it defines and reviews formal
complaints; analyses of aggregate data regarding formal complaints are used to foster ongoing
program improvement.
The SON adheres to college policy regarding complaints, grievances, and appeals. In addition,
procedures are in place in the SON for students to appeal policies specific to the nursing program.

A student who feels she/he has been unfairly treated by a faculty member may bring a
complaint/grievance to the faculty member. A “complaint” is considered an informal process, whereas a
“grievance” initiates a detailed, time sensitive process. The complaint/grievance procedure is fully
described in Appendix B of the RIC Student Handbook (www.ric.edu/studentlife).

Undergraduate students and graduate students may appeal decisions based on academic policy of the
college, such as withdrawal from a course, to the Academic Standing Committee and Graduate
Committee, respectively. These committees have the authority to waive academic policy.

The Board of College Discipline adjudicates student appeals of disciplinary actions prompted by
violations of principles of conduct, such as academic dishonesty. Policies and procedures of the Board
of Discipline are described in the RIC Student Handbook in the section “Student Rights and
Responsibilities.”

Aggregate data about complaints are collected. There have been no formal complaints against the
program since the last self-study. One student brought a grievance against a faculty member regarding a
grade, and the case was resolved at the Vice President’s level with the grade sustained. The student
repeated the course in which the less than C grade was earned, and then graduated in May of 2008.

No violations of conduct by students have required adjudication by the Board of College Discipline.
Instances of academic dishonesty have occurred and have been addressed in the SON with no student
appealing the actions taken. Violations of academic honesty prompted faculty to make program
improvements such as: creating an Academic Honesty Code for the SON; educating students about
academic integrity; identifying measures to increase security of testing environments; and evaluating
written papers with electronic tools, such as turnitin.com.

In addition to college procedures, there is an appeals procedure in place within the SON whereby
students may appeal actions, such as dismissal, based on SON policies. The appeals process requires the
submission of a petition and is described in the Handbook for Undergraduate Students in Nursing.
Petitions related to admission are considered by the Structure & Governance Committee and those
related to retention and dismissal by the Student Outcomes Committee. The appeal of a SON policy
proceeds to resolution in a manner similar to the Academic Grievance Procedure; that is, if the appeal is
not resolved at the Committee Level, the student has a right to appeal to the Department Chairperson,
Dean, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and President.

Descriptions of the disposition of petitions may be obtained from the minutes and Annual Reports of the
Structure and Governance and the Student Outcomes Committees. Analysis of aggregate data regarding
SON petitions is completed by the appropriate committee and used to promote program improvement.
For example, the Student Outcomes Committee recently reported an increase in course withdrawals and
constructed a policy to discourage multiple withdrawals. The policy verifies that a student has a right to
withdraw, based on college policy, but may be accommodated the next semester only if space is
available. This practice will encourage students to plan realistic course loads and allow all students to
progress through the program in a timely fashion. The practice also will promote efficient use of faculty
resources, by avoiding mid-semester decreases in course enrollments.

Finally, there is a procedure in place for complaints/grievances of faculty members who feel their
contractual rights and benefits have been violated. The policy is outlined in The Agreement. No nursing
faculty member has initiated a grievance in the last eight years.
                                 SUMMARY OF STANDARD IV

Strengths
   • A comprehensive, systematic plan for program evaluation, the Performance Improvement Plan
      (PIP) is in place and promoting continuous improvement of the program.
   • Expected outcomes are described for the basic baccalaureate and RN to BSN students and
      graduates.
   • All faculty members are engaged in program evaluation and improvement through committee
      work described in the PIP.
   • Evaluation procedures for classroom and clinical learning are consistently applied.
   • Adoption of progressive testing allows for evaluation of individual and aggregate student
      performance on expected outcomes.
   • Emphasis on academic integrity including the formulation of an academic honesty policy
      strengthens the validity of evaluation methods.
   • Multiple surveys are used to gather data for program evaluation and improvement; qualitative
      methods supplement quantitative surveys.
   • Full-time and part-time faculty consistently meet expected outcomes for teaching effectiveness.
   • New alumni survey yielded excellent data on alumni accomplishments.
   • Data on graduation rates, NCLEX-RN pass rates, and job placement rates are collected.
   • Graduation rate for RN to BSN program meets expected outcome.
   • NCLEX-RN pass rates for first time candidates exceed state and national averages and meets
      expected outcomes.
   • Majority of graduates are employed in RI; high percentage of alumni employed in nursing.
   • Faculty expected outcomes related to teaching, scholarship, and service are met.
   • Systematic processes and procedures are in place to address student and faculty
      complaints/grievances.
   • No formal complaint has been brought to the SON since the last CCNE evaluation.

Areas for Improvement
   • Evaluation instruments for MSN program pilot tested with a small number of students.
   • Graduation rate for BSN program slightly below expected outcome.
   • RN alumni survey does not adequately capture expected outcome related to employment
       improvement.
   • All expected outcomes for MSN program not yet incorporated into the PIP.
   • 74% of faculty report participating in peer review.

Action Plan
   • Implement evaluation instruments for the MSN program.
   • Monitor graduation rates for basic students for expected increase.
   • Change expected outcome related to employment improvement for RN graduates.
   • Add MSN program outcomes and expected outcomes to the PIP.
   • Increase participation of faculty in the peer-review process

				
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