ACADEMIC PROGRAM REVIEW GUIDELINES
Undergraduate Program Section
NOTE: The following sections (i.e. V and VI) should be completed for each
UNDERGRADUATE academic program within the Department undergoing review.
Program: Nursing/RN Training B.S.N. Reference Code: 586
V. Program Enrollment and Student Data (The programmatic data below are
provided by Institutional Research for the most recent five-year period. Discuss
significant characteristics of the program as revealed by the data, paying particular
attention to trends. For example, what trends in number of majors, number of graduates,
or student scores are apparent and how do you account for them? How does program
enrollment compare with other public institutions in the state or elsewhere in the nation?
A. Number of Majors (Separate numbers for “admitted” and “seeking admission”
are reported only for undergraduate programs that chose to keep them separate
beginning fall 2004.):
Majors Fall Fall Fall Fall Fall
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Nurs/RN Training 80 69 105 101 123
Nurs/RN Training- 160 223 289 395 377
Double majors are counted in each major a student declares.
The number of students accepted into the program has increased over time. Prior
to AY 2002-2003, forty students were admitted into the program each fall. In fall of
2002, 50 students were admitted to the program, and in both the fall of 2003 and 2004,
sixty students were admitted. The data demonstrate the greater than 50% increase in the
number of majors from fall 2000 to fall 2004. For the same time period, there has been
greater than 100% increase in numbers of students seeking admission. As the nursing
shortage continues, and more students become aware of the jobs available, increased
interest in nursing careers has been demonstrated. In response to constituents need for
increased enrollment and the national nursing shortage, the Department of Nursing
implemented a plan to accept students into the nursing program in both fall and spring
semesters. The fall class of 2005 included 40 students, and an additional 40 students have
been accepted for entry in spring 2006.
B. Number of Graduates:
Degrees Awarded 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04
Nurs/RN Training 32 36 25 36 45
Double majors are counted in each major a student declares.
The number of graduates for AY 1999/ 2000, 2000/2001, and 2002/2003 were
considered typical for a class of 40 students admitted. The graduating class of 2001/2002
was atypical. A significant number of students withdrew from the program for a variety
of reasons including moving to a new location, marriage, and change of major decisions
after the first semester of study. The graduating class of 2003/2004 consisted of 45
graduates from the 50 students who were admitted in 2002.
C. Comparisons with External Data:
Program Enrollments at Kentucky public universities
WKU* EKU KSU MoSU MuSU NKU UK UofL
2000 240 700 - 155 210 0 230 485
2001 292 458 - 196 230 0 335 583
2002 394 526 - 183 251 319 420 694
2003 495 690 - 235 375 561 483 825
2004 500 863 - 281 418 656 550 849
*(Includes 586 and 586P Majors)
From the data reflecting majors in nursing at the universities in Kentucky, all
programs have shown increases between 2000 and 2004. Because of the widely known
shortage of nurses, student interest in nursing is high. Hospitals and health care agencies
are recruiting via scholarships to qualified students.in number of majors due to the
student interest and the program attempts to address the nursing shortage within the state
and the nation. Many scholarships are currently available to prelicensure students in
Kentucky. For example, The Nursing Incentive Scholarship Fund (NISF), is one available
resource for students desiring to enter prelicensure programs. The Kentucky Board of
Nursing (KBN) selects students based on specific criteria for the $3000 annual
scholarship. Students who receive the scholarships are required to work in Kentucky after
Degrees Conferred by Kentucky public universities
WKU EKU KSU MoSU MuSU NKU UK UofL
1999/00 32 70 - 20 44 0 58 114
2000/01 36 74 - 21 41 0 59 63
2001/02 25 50 - 27 40 0 65 71
2002/03 36 51 - 15 27 0 68 66
2003/04 45 80 - 15 41 18 68 87
When comparing WKU graduates for nursing to the other Kentucky public
universities, WKU is most similar to Eastern, Morehead, and Murray. It is difficult to
make comparisons of numbers of graduates due to lack of information about selection of
students for admission into the nursing programs. The challenge that programs of nursing
face when located in more rural areas of the state is the availability of clinical sites.
Fewer students can be accommodated in areas of the state with smaller hospitals and
fewer specialty hospital beds.
University of Louisville and University of Kentucky have more students with
greater numbers of nursing faculty. Clinical opportunities are greater due to the number
and size of health care agencies in urban settings.
D. ACT Scores/HS GPAs (High School GPAs) of Students Admitted to Program
(for undergraduate programs):
Avg ACT Fall 2000 Fall 2001 Fall 2002 Fall 2003 Fall 2004
Nurs/RN Training 21.8 21.8 21.7 21.7 22.7
Nurs/RN Training- 19.9 20.6 20.2 20.4 20.4
The Department of Nursing selects students from a pool of applicants who have
completed 45 to 48 general education hours, including a minimum of 12 hours of science.
Based on college performance, students are selected from the applicant pool. ACT scores
are not considered for admission to the prelicensure program. The data presented show
consistency among students admitted, with a slightly higher ACT score for students in
fall 2004. Students seeking admission show ACT scores lower than students admitted.
Avg HS GPA Fall 2000 Fall 2001 Fall 2002 Fall 2003 Fall 2004
Nurs/RN Training 3.44 3.47 3.54 3.56 3.64
Nurs/RN Training- 3.26 3.32 3.32 3.29 3.31
CHHS Average 3.15 3.17 3.19 3.22 3.26
University Average 3.09 3.11 3.12 3.15 3.16
The data show that the HS GPA of nursing students, both those seeking admission
and those admitted, are higher than other majors in the College and the University.
Admission selective and based on college G.P.A. Students must achieve a grade of C or
higher in all science courses to be considered for admission.
E. UGPAs (Undergraduate GPAs) of Program Graduates (for undergraduate
Ugrad GPA 1999/0 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04
Nurs/RN Training 3.24 3.18 3.36 3.34 3.44
CHHS Average 3.05 3.09 3.11 3.16 3.14
University Average 3.01 3.05 3.07 3.09 3.08
The GPAs at graduation are also higher among nursing students. The students are
admitted into the nursing program with higher GPAs, and they must achieve a grade of C
or higher in all nursing courses to progress in the program. A grade of C is required also
for all science courses.
VI. Program Description and Self-Study
A. Mission Statement/Relation of Program to University Mission
The Department established a three-year schedule for review of its mission to
assure congruency with the College and University. A review was completed prior to the
last American Association of Colleges of Nursing site visit (2002). Because the College
of Health and Human Services (CHHS) adopted a new mission in 2004, the Department
reviewed its mission for congruency with the College and the University in the AY 2004-
2005. From the review process, it was determined that the needs of a global society
should be reflected in the Departmental mission; therefore, the Departmental mission was
revised and approved (see table below for comparison of missions). The review process
and outcomes are documented in the Program Evaluation Committee minutes and
Program Evaluation Report for 2004-2005.
Comparison of Departmental, College, and University Mission Statements
Department of Undergraduate and College of Health and Human Western Kentucky University
Graduate Nursing Services
The Western Kentucky University The mission of the College of Health Western Kentucky University
Department of Nursing mission is to and Human Services is to provide prepares students to be productive
provide undergraduate and graduate diverse educational opportunities that citizens of a global society and
education, and lifelong learning lead to excellence in health and provides service and lifelong learning
opportunities to meet the changing human services for a global opportunities for its constituents.
health care needs of a global society. community.
B. Teaching and Learning:
1. Undergraduate Students
The students are selectively admitted from a highly qualified pool of applicants.
Students must have achieved a G.P.A of at least 2.75, successfully completed 12 of the
16 required science courses with a grade of C or better, and completed at least 45 to 48
prerequisite hours before being accepted into the applicant pool. Beginning with the fall
semester 2005, forty of the most qualified applicants are chosen each semester. Sixty
students were admitted for the fall semesters of 2003 and 2004.
2. Indicators of Teaching and Advising Quality
The prelicensure program curriculum is guided by program outcomes, course
objectives, American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Guidelines for
Baccalaureate Nursing Programs, and the American Nurses Association Standards of
Clinical Practice. Annual review of nursing courses is completed to assure compliance
with the standards, and the review is documented in program minutes. Decisions about
changes in content, organization of content, and/or deficiencies in content are determined
by the prelicensure curriculum committee and further discussed or revised by the
The Program Evaluation Committee documents faculty accomplishments
annually in its report. The Committee looks at total faculty accomplishments rather than
faculty from each program; therefore, some faculty identified in the report may teach
either in the post-RN or graduate programs. The accomplishments of faculty demonstrate
strong commitment to teaching quality, advisement quality, community service and
Faculty accomplishments: AY 2000-2001:
Two faculty and two students participated in the North India Medical Dental
Project, June 2001. The group spent two weeks providing primary care to Indians
in the Himalayas.
One faculty member received the Ogden College Award for Teaching.
Susan Jones was appointed to the KBN for a four-year term, 2000-2004.
Faculty published journal articles, textbook chapters, and presented papers at
local, state, and national meetings.
Faculty accomplishments: AY 2001-2002:
15 paper and poster presentations at local, state, and national meetings
Faculty collaborated on article published in Nurse Educator
Faculty submitted 5 grants requeting funding in the amount of $1,168,213. Four
of the grants were funded in the amount of $822,000.
Three faculty were promoted to professor rank
One faculty member was promoted to assistant professor rank
Department received Unit Productivity Award in the amount of $5,000.
The table below describes faculty accomplishments since 2002.
AY 2002-2003 AY 2003-2004 AY 2004-2005
Susan Jones, serving a four year Susan Jones, serving a 4-year term Six faculty members continue
appointment to the Kentucky on the Kentucky Board of Nursing, in doctoral study. An
Board of Nursing, was elected served as Board President July 1, additional two faculty
Vice-President, July 1 2002. 2003-June 30, 2004. members were accepted for
doctoral study beginning in the
Three faculty members enrolled in Susan Jones completed her PhD at fall of 2005.
doctoral programs, and two the University of Cincinnati, and
additional faculty members were graduated June 11, 2004. One additional faculty member
accepted for doctoral study. received graduate faculty
AY 2002-2003 AY 2003-2004 AY 2004-2005
Five full-time faculty members status.
Two full-time faculty maintain a maintain a clinical practice. All
clinical practice. All part-time part-time faculty are practicing in Six full-time faculty members
faculty are practicing in health health care agencies. maintain a clinical practice.
care agencies. All part-time faculty are
Four faculty members are enrolled practicing in health care
Two faculty members participated in doctoral study, and two agencies.
in a Faculty Development additional faculty members have
Workshop in Memphis, TN, Jan. been accepted into doctoral Most faculty attended the two-
2003. programs. day workshop on “Improving
Confidence in the Results of
The Dept. Head attended a Three faculty members participated Classroom Multiple-Choice
workshop, Chairing the Academic in a Faculty Development Exams”. The speaker was
Unit, in San Diego, CA, Feb. Workshop in Memphis, TN, March Mary McDonald, Educational
2003. 2004. Assessment Consultant to the
Donna Blackburn received the Cathy Abell received the CHHS
CHHS Award for Student Teaching Award and the Sigma Four faculty attended the
Advisement. Theta Tau Excellence in Nursing Nurse Educator conference in
Education Award. Memphis.
Donna Blackburn was inducted Beverly Siegrist received the KNA
into the Million Dollar Club in Innovative Teacher of the Year Two faculty members, Linda
recognition of total grant awards. Award. Coakley and Lorena
Shala Wilson received the Nursing Steenburgen, attended the on-
Faculty had 19 publications and/or Excellence Award at the Kentucky line teaching summer camp.
paper/poster presentation at local, Nurse Week Celebration.
state, and national meetings. Two faculty members, Eve
Faculty had 23 Main and Cathy Abell,
Three external grant proposals publication/presentations at local, attended the book club
were submitted, and two were state, and national meetings. sponsored by FaCET. The
funded. book discussed was “What the
The Department Head continued to Best College Teachers Do” by
Beverly Siegrist was granted be involved in the FIPSE grant- Ken Bain.
sabbatical for the fall 2002 funded Intercultural Competence
semester. Her topic was Parish Project. WKU hosted two students Nine faculty members attended
Nursing. from Finland and 4 students from Blackboard workshops (Crista
England. Four WKU students Briggs, Deborah Williams,
Faulty participated in 7 regional, studied abroad in May 2004, two Leigh Lindsey, Sue Bryant,
national, and international graduate and two undergraduate Donna Blackburn, Rachel
conferences: students. Kinder, Sherry Lovan,
including SREB, Melinda Joyce & Alice Kirby).
National Pressure Ulcer Advisory These included the basic
Panel Conference, KBN course, assessment course, and
Conference, KY Coalition of discussion board course.
Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Nursing Department received
Midwives, International Parish $4500 productivity award based on Two MSN students who were
Nursing Conference, National faculty accomplishments. hired as new faculty beginning
Association of Rural Mental July 05 attended workshops
Health Conference and Sigma The Department Head attended the offered by the office of
Theta Tau International Research FIPSE Conference in Lisbon, sponsored programs,
Conference. Portugal. Introduction to Internal
Nursing Department received
$4500 productivity award based Faculty had 32 paper/poster
on faculty accomplishments. presentations, seven locally,
AY 2002-2003 AY 2003-2004 AY 2004-2005
seven at the state level, ten
The Department Head and one national, and one international.
faculty member attended the They also had 7 workshop
FIPSE Conference in Halifax, presentations.
Nova Scotia as part of the three-
year grant-funded Cultural and Faculty had 11 publications,
Intercultural Competence Project. including articles to peer-
reviewed journals (e.g.
American Association of
Occupational Health Nursing,
Diversity in Health and Social
Care, and National Hog
Farmer) and chapters in books
(Conceptual Basis for Rural
Nursing, 2nd ed., APIC Text of
Infection Control and
Nursing Department received
$7500 productivity award
based on faculty
The WKUSES data reveal that students rated nursing advisement at a higher level
in spring 2005 than in previous years. The Department implemented a revised policy for
advising students in the fall 2003 The new policy gave students a designated nursing
advisor for the time in the program. The student could then contact that advisor when
having questions about the program and/or other academic issues. Prior to fall 2003,
faculty advisors were available to any student according to a posted schedule. Faculty
generally committed to advising for two hours each week. Any student could walk in and
be advised and have specific questions answered. Due to the advising practice, students
did not meet with an advisor consistently from the time that they were seeking admission
until graduation. With the newly revised advising policy, students have an opportunity to
develop relationships with faculty that would increase student satisfaction and also
Thinking about the ADVISING
you received in your major, rate Spring Spring Spring Spring
the following: 2002 2003 2004 2005
N Avg N Avg N Avg N Avg
Responses from Nursing 586 and 586P Majors
a. Overall quality of advising 58 2.66 86 2.60 89 2.29 48 2.90
b. Availability of advisor 57 2.79 85 2.82 89 2.43 47 2.89
c. Advisor’s help with developing 55 2.55 82 2.67 88 2.30 46 2.78
your schedule each semester
d. Advisor’s help with career 53 2.32 76 2.33 86 2.02 45 2.47
e. Advisor’s knowledge of degree 56 2.93 84 2.86 88 2.74 47 3.15
Responses from all University Students
a. Overall quality of advising 2491 2.92 2887 2.95 2987 2.88 3001 2.92
b. Availability of advisor 2482 3.00 2871 3.03 2962 2.94 2986 2.97
c. Advisor’s help with developing 2441 2.80 2831 2.86 2900 2.81 2933 2.85
your schedule each semester
d. Advisor’s help with career 2274 2.42 2636 2.48 2746 2.43 2775 2.46
e. Advisor’s knowledge of degree 2466 3.26 2857 3.29 2948 3.20 2979 3.23
Scale: 1=Poor, 2=Fair, 3=Good, 4=Excellent.
The Department of Nursing conducts course evaluations each semester. Students
complete surveys in which they evaluate 13 items related to clarity of course objectives,
textbook contribution, evaluation methods, and class policies. For each theory course,
students respond to the survey items by indicating agreement, disagreement, not
applicable, or no opinion. Students also evaluate 8 items concerning clinical objectives
and learning opportunities in the clinical agency. Even though the process of course
evaluation has been in place for a number of years, it was not until 2004 that the Program
Evaluation Committee adopted a mechanism of decision-making regarding the data.
When the students disagree with indicators at a rate of 30% or greater, the respective
course coordinators discuss the outcomes with faculty. A plan of correction is developed
and implemented by the course faculty. The plan is then reported back to the Program
Evaluation Committee. As a result of course evaluation data, the prelicensure program
has implemented changes in identified courses to include more time for documentation of
assessment data, additional clinical experience, and consistency among clinical lab
activities and experiences.
The prelicensure program builds upon the liberal arts education, and the students
are admitted with 16 hours of science. The science background that includes chemistry,
anatomy and physiology, and microbiology prepares the student for nursing theory.
The prelicenure baccalaureate nursing program was revised and implemented in the fall
of 2002 to include additional emphases on clinical placement in community settings and
increased attention to cultural competence when providing nursing care. Nursing 321,
Transcultural Nursing was added to the program of study.
The prelicensure students are required to submit a professional portfolio in the last
semester of the senior year which includes examples of work completed in each nursing
course. The portfolio can then be used by students as they pursue employment. The
portfolio gives students an opportunity to further document individual accomplishments
reflecting leadership, involvement in professional organizations, and community service.
The portfolios are evaluated by nursing faculty using a grading rubric.
All prelicensure students have a senior practicum that includes direct contact with
patients under the supervision of registered nurses in a variety of acute care settings. The
students have input into their own assignment locations, with students completing their
clinical work in Bowling Green, surrounding counties, their own home counties, or
hospitals in Louisville or Nashville, TN. Western Kentucky University Department of
Nursing has been a leader in Kentucky as it has required a practicum experience for over
a decade. As of spring 2005, the Kentucky Board of Nursing mandated that all nursing
students graduating from Kentucky schools complete a 120 hour practicum within a
seven week time period in the student’s last semester of registered nurse programs.
The Nursing Department administers the University S.I.T.E. each semester.
Results are shared with faculty and addressed by the Department Head. Nursing faculty
then may make changes as appropriate.
4. Indicators of Student Learning (Note: Student learning focuses on outcomes. Each
program is expected to have in place an assessment process that 1) identifies intended
educational outcomes, 2) identifies means of assessment and criteria for success, 3)
determines data collection methods, 4) obtains assessment results, and 5) uses results to
improve the program.):
a. Assessment of Currently Enrolled Students (Describe the program's
method of assessing the learning outcomes of its students. Provide data
from program assessments and discuss the use of data to improve the
Diverse methods are used to assess the student learning outcomes for the
prelicensure program. Nine program outcomes direct the following methods of
assessment: course examinations, written and oral presentations, clinical performance
evaluation, group work, and portfolios. Nationally recognized tests are used as another
means of assessment, including the National League for Nursing Diagnostic Readiness
Test (DRT) and the NLN Nursing Comprehensive Exam. Based on student performance
on these exams, students complete an appropriate study plan and/or remediation work to
help prepare them for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX).
All seniors are required to submit an academic portfolio. The portfolio includes a
resume, samples of academic work from each nursing course, indicators of leadership,
critical thinking, and involvement in the pre-professional organization, Kentucky
Association of Nursing Students (KANS). The portfolio is evaluated by nursing faculty
using a grading rubric. The students may use the portfolios as they pursue employment.
Seniors complete a practicum experience during the final semester of study.
Students spend a total of 136 hours in direct patient care under the supervision of a
registered nurse preceptor. Successful completion of the practicum is required for
completion of the program.
The Department of Nursing participates in the WKU Assessment Plan
demonstrating the evaluation of the intended educational student outcomes. Listed below
are the outcomes, the means of assessment of the outcomes, summary of the assessment
data collected, and the use of the results to improve the instructional program for the
2003-2004, 2004-2005 academic years (AY) along with the assessment plan for AY
Departmental Assessment Plan As Part of WKU Assessment Plan
AY 2003-2004 AY 2004-2005 AY 2005-2006
Intended Educational 1. Students will use 1. Students will use 1. Students will
(student) Outcomes principles of teaching and principles of teaching and demonstrate respect for
learning to design, learning to design, diversity of peoples, ideas
implement, and evaluate implement, and evaluate and cultures.
teaching plan for clients. teaching plan for clients. 2. Students will use
2. Utilize critical thinking 2.Students will use critical principles of teaching and
to provide safe nursing thinking skills to provide learning to design,
care to selected clients. safe nursing care to implement, and evaluate
3. Demonstrate selected clients. teaching plan for clients.
achievement of program 3.Students will 3. Students will use critical
outcomes. demonstrate competence in thinking skills to provide
nursing practice. safe nursing care to
4. Students will
demonstrate competence in
Means of 1 a. As part of the capstone 1. As a part of the capstone 1. 100% of students will
Assessment course (Nursing 409), course (NURS 409), 100% achieve a score of 77% or
100% of students will of the seniors will achieve above on their cultural
design, implement and a satisfactory score on a analysis paper in NURS
evaluate a teaching plan for teaching plan for a group 321 (Transcultural
a group of clients. of clients, based on nursing Nursing). The assignment
2 a. 80% of graduates will faculty evaluation using a will be scored by faculty
indicate on their exit scoring rubric. using a grading rubric.
survey that they were 2a. At least 70% of senior 2a. As a part of the
adequately prepared for nursing students in Nursing capstone course (NURS
utilization of critical 408 will achieve 25 or 409), 100% of the seniors
thinking in their nursing above on second relative will achieve a satisfactory
practice. performance score of the score on a teaching plan for
3 a. 100% of students will Diagnostic Readiness Test. a group of clients, based on
achieve satisfactory 2b. All graduating students nursing faculty evaluation
clinical evaluation in will achieve a score of 65% using a scoring rubric.
Nursing 409 (capstone or above on the National 3a. At least 75% of senior
course). League for Nursing nursing students in Nursing
3b. 80% of graduates will Comprehensive Exam 408 will achieve 25 or
indicate on an exit survey 3a. 100% of graduating above on second relative
that they were adequately students will receive a performance score of the
prepared to achieve satisfactory clinical Diagnostic Readiness Test.
program outcomes. evaluation on an 3b. All graduating students
established preceptor will achieve a score of 65%
evaluation tool for Nursing or above on the National
409. League for Nursing
3b. The pass rate for Comprehensive Exam
NCLEX-RN for the 4a. 100% of graduating
prelicensure program will students will receive a
be at or above the KBN satisfactory clinical
requirements of 85% evaluation on an
evaluation tool for Nursing
4b. The pass rate for
NCLEX-RN for the
prelicensure program will
be at or above the KBN
requirements of 85%.
Summary of assessment 1 a.100% of students (43) 1. 100% of all seniors
data designed, implemented and received a satisfactory
evaluated group teaching score on teaching plan for a
plans which were presented group of clients, based on
to such groups as staff, nursing faculty evaluation
students and clients in the using a grading rubric.
clinical area. A variety of 2a. 74% of the seniors
topics was covered based received 25 or above on
on the need of each group. second relative
When asked on the exit performance score on the
survey how well the DRT.
program had prepared them 2b. 97% of graduating
to utilize teaching and students achieved 65% or
learning principles to above on the NLN
promote the health of Comprehensive Exam. The
clients from diverse remaining students
cultures across the lifespan, achieved 63% and 64%.
95% responded that they 3a. All students who
had been adequately completed the clinical
prepared; 73% reported practicum within the
being considerably or very specified time frame
well prepared. received a satisfactory
2 a. 95% of respondents preceptor clinical
indicated that the BSN evaluation. One student
program had adequately received an incomplete in
prepared them to use the course due to family
critical thinking skills in illness. She will complete
clinical decision making the practicum during the
and in professional nursing first few weeks of the fall
practice; 76% reported that semester, 2005.
they were considerably or 3b. NCLEX pass rates for
very well prepared. the 2003-2004 graduating
3a. 100% of seniors (43) class was 93%. The results
achieved at least a for the 2004-2005 class
satisfactory (average) will not be available until
evaluation at the fall 2005.
completion of NURS 409.
However, most students
were rated as good or
excellent in each
3 b. Most to all graduates
(88% -100%) indicated on
the exit survey that the
BSN program had
adequately prepared them
achievement of each
b. Other Indicators of Success (Discuss evidence of student achievement and
success, such as special experiences/projects, honors, publications,
presentations, internship placements, etc.)
The Department of Nursing recognizes students annually for academic
achievement, leadership, and commitment to the nursing profession. The
Department recognizes the student or students who achieve the highest G.P.A.
with the Academic Achievement Award. Students are recognized for leadership
and commitment to the nursing student organization or the professional
organization. Selected students receive the Helen Turner Award from the
Kentucky Nurses Association, the Kentucky Association of Nursing Students
(KANS) Award, and the Spirit of Nursing Award from U.S. Army Nurse Corps in
cooperation with the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA).
Helen Turner Award, established in 1980 by the 7th District Kentucky
Nurses’ Association, recognizes students who are active in the student nursing
organization, have demonstrated leadership potential, enthusiasm for the student
or professional organization, and have achieved a G.P.A. of 3.0 or above.
KANS Award is given to the outstanding member of KANS who has been
active in the organization and demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities.
The Spirit of Nursing Award, developed by the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in
cooperation with the NSNA, recognizes an exceptional prelicensure nursing
student who demonstrates a commitment to excellence through community,
professional and academic achievements.
Students may also be considered for induction into Kappa Theta Chapter
of Sigma Theta Tau International, an honor society for nursing. The Society
recognizes superior academic achievement and leadership abilities. Thirty-five
percent of the prelicensure seniors who have achieved a G.P.A. of 3.0 are invited
to join the organization.
The following table identifies award recipients for the past three years, and
the number of students selected for induction to Sigma Theta Tau. Data for AY
2000-2001 and AY 2001-2002 were unavailable.
Student awards and Sigma Theta Tau Inductions
2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005
Academic Amy Libby Mariah
Award Comer Johnson Light
Helen Julie Heather Cindy
Turner Davis Richey Williams
KANS Rowgena Kim Linda
Award Cain Haynes Butler
Spirit of Erin Ronda Bessie
Nursing Brothers Worsham Schultz
Sigma 12 12
Further examples of student success:
Jennifer Deaton (BSN, 2001) had an article published in Kentucky Nurse which
described her internship experience at Mayo Clinic.
An article titled, Nurse’s Summer Traning Program, was published in Kentucky
Nurse, summer 2004
Ashlynn Racine, Britney Jackson, Bryn Stephens, Heather Drake, and Bessie
Schultz (BSN, 2005) co-authored an article entitled, Disaster Preparedness:
Students Learn About the Nurses Role. The article was published in Kentucky
Nurse, December 2005.
Students have completed honors theses: Leanna Walker (2001), Marcelle Beal
(2003), Melissa Johnson (2003).
Scholar of the College Award was presented to Amanda Bullington and Lucy
Students have been selected to participate in summer internships at Mayo Clinic
in Minnesota. Jennifer Deaton was selected for summer 2000, and Matt Simpson
was selected for summer 2002.
Two students, Erin Warren and Kate Feeley were elected state officers for KANS
Nineteen senior nursing students were selected for “Nurse Extern” programs for
summer 2004 at hospitals in Nashville, TN, Gallatin, TN, Springfield, TN,
Murfreesboro, TN, Albany, Franklin, Louisville, and Bowling Green, KY
Seventeen senior nursing students were selected for “Nurse Extern” programs
during the summer 2005 at hospitals in Nashville(VA Hospital), San Antonio, TX
(Brooke Army Medical Center), Rochester, MN (Mayo Clinic), Hartford (Ohio
County Hospital), Owensboro (Owensboro Medical Health Systems), Louisville
(Kosair Children’s Hospital), and Bowling Green (Medical Center and Greenview
c. Program Graduates: (Provide evidence that program graduates achieve
professional success. For example, cite the number of graduates employed in areas
related to major, pursuing advanced degrees, etc.:
Prelicensure program graduates are employed in their field. Departmental
Program Evaluation Data demonstrate the following statistics from alumni surveys
mailed one year after graduation. Data for the previous five years include
prelicensure, post-RN, and graduate students follow:
Employment Data, Prelicensure Program
2000- 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005
Alumni 100% 100% No data 100% 100%
*Return rates are typical for surveys with rates ranging from 22% to 38%.
Graduates plan to enter graduate study within five years following graduation.
The following data were obtained from Annual Program Evaluation Committee
Plans to pursue graduate/doctoral study within five years
2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005
59.1%* 75% 57% 50% 53%
*Includes both prelicensure and post-RN program seniors at exit.
5. Indicators of Student Engagement (Discuss the program’s efforts to engage
students with communities other than their own in purposeful learning activities
that explicitly address their capacity and responsibility to contribute to
community and society).
All student are required to take PHIL 320 or 322 as prerequisites to nursing.
The discussion of ethics as it relates to healthcare prepares the student for pertinent issues
that they face as they provide healthcare to a variety of clients, communities, and
Students participate in learning activities throughout the program that prepare them
to address the needs of the community and society. Students provide nursing care to a
variety of clients from varied cultures in acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities,
public health departments and in varied community settings. NURS 426, Public Health
Nursing, introduces students to health care issues related to populations and the nurse’s
involvement in public health and policy. NURS 408, Professional Issues, further
examines ethical dilemmas and decision-making models for selected nursing care issues
related to access, use of resources, and end-of-life care.
Selected prelicensure students have participated in health promotion activities with an
Old Order Mennonite group through nursing electives. Students in NURS 325 have been
assigned to work on the CHHS Mobile Health Unit serving rural Kentuckians through
health promotion and screening activities.
Students have participated in nurse extern opportunities in the summer between the
junior and senior year at hospitals throughout Kentucky and Tennessee and selected
students have completed externships in Texas and Minnesota. The focus of care of the
hospitals is varied; therefore, providing students with a wide range of experiences.
Over the past five years, the Department has demonstrated increased opportunities for
international experiences. Faculty and students have participated in cultural exchange
with several countries including England, Chile, Sweden, and Finland. Faculty from
England and Chile have visited WKU campus and participated in Kappa Theta Research
Day and have made presentations to our students in selected nursing classes.
One group of students from Finland and Sweden made a presentation about health
care in their countries in NURS 408, Professional Issues in the spring semester 2004. The
class offered an opportunity for WKU students to learn about health care policy in the
visiting student’s home country, and the visitors learned about U.S. health care policy.
Describe how students meat the following outcomes.
a. Students will demonstrate their capacity to apply knowledge and training
to address relevant concerns in community or society.
a. Students will demonstrate respect for diversity of peoples, ideas and
b. Students will demonstrate awareness of their opportunities as responsible
citizens living and working in a global society.
In the fall of 2005, faculty were charged with the selection of one of the three student
learning outcomes listed above. The prelicensure program faculty has elected to address
student learning outcome B, Students will demonstrate respect for diversity of peoples,
ideas, and cultures. WKU Program Assessment Plan for 2005-2006 identifies the
outcome and outcome measurements, see table, Departmental Assessment Plan. The
prelicensure program has had a major focus on diversity and culturally competent nursing
care since the revision of the program in 2002, as evidenced by the required NURS 321,
Transcultural Nursing. This course discusses cultural variations and application of
knowledge as students care for patients across the lifespan.
C. Other Indicators of Program Achievement and Contribution (Supply
information reflecting specific ways in which the program contributes
significantly to the mission and success of the university in the following
1. Program Viability (Provide evidence that the program attracts, recruits, and
retains quality students. Provide any relevant data, citing recognized sources,
about enrollment trends, cycles, etc., in the specific field.):
The prelicensure nursing program is a viable program as evidenced by the growth
in the program over the past five years. Enrollment has increased from 40 per year five
years ago to a projected 80 per year beginning fall 2005. Forty students were admitted in
fall 2005, and an additional 40 have been selected for the spring 2006 class. The number
of students seeking admission has grown also as evidenced by previous data in this
report. Graduation rate for the 2004-2005 AY was 96.6%
Graduation rates for prelicensure program
2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005
Rates 95% 67% 90% 89% 96.6%
Number 40 40 40 49 60
Number 36 25 36 44 58
A nursing shortage exists nationally, and the public has become increasingly
aware of that fact. Students are expressing great interest in the field, and the communities
of interest are supportive of program expansion. Area hospitals have contributed funds to
WKU for faculty positions, scholarships, and other needs.
The quality of students in the program remains high as evidenced by average
GPAs cited in this report. Retention rates remain high, and NCLEX pass rates have been
above the Kentucky average for four of the previous five years.
NCLEX pass rates for prelicensure program
2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005
Pass Rates 92% 96% 78% 93% 90%
2. Contributions to University Programs (Describe the program's contributions
to other university programs through its significant involvement in the general
education program, its support to other university programs through service
course offerings, or in other ways.):
The Department of Nursing supports other departments who offer general
education courses including biology, chemistry, philosophy, psychology, economics, and
consumer and family sciences. Students must complete 45 to 48 semester hours of
prerequisites before application to the program.
3. Use of Technology (Describe the program's use of appropriate technology to
enhance learning. Describe the program's use of technology to provide
alternative delivery to time/place-bound learners.):
The program uses technology in a variety of ways. For example, all course syllabi
are posted on-line via TOPNET. The majority of faculty use Blackboard for enhanced
learning through posting of class notes, use of gradebook, group e-mail, discussion
boards, and digital dropbox. NURS 309 and NURS 425 having used on-line testing as a
means of evaluation. Two courses have been offered via the web over the past two years.
All students are required to subscribe to a program specific list-serv used to
disseminate program information and maintain contact with all students. Any faculty
member can communicate with students using this method.
The Department has purchased simulation mannequins for
teaching/learning/evaluation of vital signs, and heart and lung sounds. Faculty can
program the mannequins for various heart sounds and rhythms, normal and abnormal
breath sounds, and blood pressure levels. The mannequins are used in the nursing
fundamentals class and the physical assessment class. From the technology, students gain
valuable experience as they gain a beginning level of competence before first contact
The prelicensure program has not used Interactive Video Systems as a modality to
reach time/place bound students. The majority of prelicensure students are of traditional
college age and live on-campus or in the immediate surrounding areas. Faculty believe
that face-to-face contact is important for the undergraduate student in the nursing
Students have access to the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) Lab which
has computer access for students. Students use the lab for completion of written
assignments, e-mail, and individual preparation for NCLEX.
Two classrooms have been converted to smart classrooms and faculty routinely
use technology in the classroom. Faculty use powerpoint presentations, internet access,
and video to enhance learning.
All faculty have computer access and internet connection in individual offices for
ease of using Blackboard or other software in preparation for classroom and/or clinical
4. Uniqueness of Program (if applicable) (Describe the program's uniqueness to
the state or region and indicate specific advantages the uniqueness affords the
The strong reputation of the nursing program serves the program well in
recruitment of qualified students. Students in the program may have home residence in
surrounding Kentucky counties, but many students come from counties east of Bowling
Green including Taylor, and Adair. Students also come to the program from the
Louisville area. The program gains many students from nearby Tennessee counties due
to WKU policy for in-state tuition rates. Tennessee hospitals recruit our graduates
routinely. Compliments about our students and our graduates are heard throughout
Kentucky and northern Tennessee.
WKU prelicensure nursing program is one of five state supported BSN programs
in Kentucky. Because of the mission of the University, affordable tuition, and close
proximity to Tennessee, the preliecnsure program is in a unique position for continued
recruitment of highly qualified students.
5. Contribution to Diversity Goals (Describe the program’s efforts and progress
toward promoting diversity of students and faculty. Explain how issues of diversity,
including contributions of woman and minoritieis, are integrated into the curriculum).
Inetegrated into the curriculum are historical perspectives of nursing leaders and
theorists. NURS 408, Professional Issues, examines nursing theorists and application of
theory to patient situations. Leaders of various ethnic backgrounds are discussed. NURS
321, Transcultural Nursing explores cultural diversity as it applies to health practices and
treatment. Students complete a cultural analysis paper in which they compare and
contrast their own culture with a different culture.
All courses address issues related to various age groups from infancy to death.
Each course emphasizes culturally sensitive nursing care. Variations in culture is
addressed as it relates to specific nursing content in each course.
The following table demonstrates the diversity of enrolled students over the past
Diversity of Enrolled Students
2000- 2001- 2002- 2003- 2004-
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
White 34 25 34 42 61
American 2 0 2 1 0
Latino 0 0 0 0 0
Indian 0 0 0 0 0
Asian 0 0 0 1 0
Male 2 1 5 3 6
Female 34 24 31 41 55
The Program has seen an increase in the number of males completing the
program. Admission to the Program is consistent with qualifications of applicants, and
the University policy: Western Kentucky University does not discriminate on the basis of
race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or
military service (In compliance with federal law, including the provisions of Title IX of
the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973, and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.
The number of African-American applicants remains low; however, in the class
scheduled to graduate in May 2005, three females are African-American, and one female
is African. In the same class, 8 students are male.
Achieving faculty diversity has been problematic despite advertising in minority
nursing journals. The Department continues to address this issue as faculty positions
become available. The low faculty salaries in the Department of Nursing further impact
recruitment of diverse faculty.
6. Accreditation Status (Is accreditation available for the program? If the
program is not accredited, explain why.):
The prelicensure program is accredited by the American Association
of Colleges of Nursing. The last site visit was conducted in spring 2002. A mid-
accreditation period progress report was submitted in the summer of 2005. The next
accrediation visit is scheduled for spring 2007.
7. Planning, Development, and Other Areas (Address the achievement of any
strategic planning goals or action plans not covered elsewhere in this
document. Address any other areas of significant contribution or achievement
of the program, including successes in attracting development funds and other
forms of private support.):
The Department of Nursing reviews strategic plan goals annually. The
Department has achieved many of its goals. Faculty are encouraged to seek extramural
funding through a variety of sources. The heavy teaching emphasis in a prelicensure
clinical program impacts time available for grant-writing.
The Department received Action Agenda Funds in 2003-2004 to fund various
faculty initiatives including faculty attendance at nurse educator conferences, and on-line
courses related to nursing education. In 2004-2005, funds financed student and faculty
initiatives for poster presentations at a local research conference. Funds such as these
impact the teaching/learning experience positively while addressing the University goal
of increasing student learning.
The Department has access to endowment funds given by Commonwealth Health
Corporation and Greenview Hospital. For example, for the AY 2004-2005, $41,462 was
available to support visiting professorships, professional development activities,
scholarships, graduate assistantships and equipment needs.
Seventeen scholarships are awarded by Commonwealth Health Corporation
8. Additional Indicators for Career Preparation Programs (Programs that have
identified preparing students for specific careers as central to their missions
should supply any additional, relevant information not already covered
concerning the following topics: current and future demand or job outlook for
graduates in this specific career area; the 'need' [social, economic,
technological, etc.] for program graduates in the region, state, and nation;
job placement data for graduates; achievements and success of graduates in
the specific career area; efforts of the faculty to assist students in identifying
and obtaining employment.):
The job outlook for RNs will continue to be positive. The U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics predicts that RN positions will continue to grow through 2012; therefore, the
baccalaureate nursing program will continue to be strong. As stated in other sections of
this report, there is a national nursing shortage. Hospitals in the region as well as those in
Louisville, Elizabethtown, Owensboro, Gallatin, TN, and Nashville continue to recruit
WKU graduates. The number of hospitals contacting the Department for an opportunity
to recruit from our graduating classes has increased annually over the past three years.
Hospital recruiters wish to come to the Department to speak with students even though
the University has career fairs each semester.
Faculty routinely write letters of recommendation for graduates as they seek
employment. Graduates are successful in gaining employment in specialty areas as well
as general medical-surgical areas. Faculty routinely recommend students/and alumni for
graduate school applications. Data for the past five years show that the majority of
prelicensure students secure employment in acute care settings. In May of 2005,
approximately 65% of graduating seniors had either interviewed or accepted a job during
the last semester of study. Data for the previous four years show:
2004: Approximately 71% had interviewed or accepted positions
2003: Approximately 71% had interviewed or accepted positions
2002: Approximatelty 64 % had interviewed or accepted positions
2001: Approximately 43% had interviewed or accepted positions
D. Factors Inhibiting Program Achievement and Contribution (If applicable, discuss
any factors that may have prevented or inhibited the program from achieving
Action Plan goals and objectives or any other achievements as reflected in any of
the areas under item C above. Be as specific as possible in addressing these
For the review period, Departmental goals have been achieved through
hardworking faculty who continued to be productive despite faculty shortages, heavy
clinical responsibilities and committee assignments. Faculty shortages occurred in AY
2002 –2003 and 2003-2004. Because enrollment will increase from 60 students to 80
students annually beginning with the fall semester 2005, additional committed faculty
positions must be filled.
Recruitment of faculty may become more difficult as the national shortage of
nursing faculty becomes more evident. An aging nursing faculty at WKU indicates that
the Department could lose 25 to 30% of its faculty within the next five years due to
Limited faculty positions and limited clinical sites minimize opportunities for
further increased enrollment. Because Bowling Green has both an associate degree
nursing program housed at the Community College and the prelicensure program on the
main campus, large numbers of students compete for clinical sites. Specialty areas with
limited patient beds present further challenges for acute care experiences. For example,
mental-health care, labor and delivery, newborn nursery, and pediatric beds are limited in
the immediate and surrounding areas. Clinical programs must be cognizant of the impact
of large student numbers on patients and their families. For example, on one hospital unit
(20 beds), approximately 90 students need experiences during a five day timeframe over
a period of four or five weeks.
Faculty salaries below benchmark, AACN faculty data levels, and below private
practice levels continue to impact faculty recruitment. The Department of Nursing
prepared a white paper addressing faculty salary gaps and presented it to the Provost
during the fall semester of 2004. Some adjustments to faculty salaries have been made in
the AY 2005-2006; however, nursing faculty salaries need continued monitoring and
adjustments to bring them up to levels comparable with other universities.
The BSN program and the Associate Degree program continue to compete for
qualified faculty. Some faculty who have interviewed for positions in the BSN program
have also interviewed for Associate Degree nursing faculty positions.
The newly mandated KBN requirement that all nursing students have both a 120
hour pre-graduation practicum and a 120 post-graduation internship will have great
impact on clinical agencies. The impact of the mandate is yet to be seen as spring 2006 is
the first time that all schools will be required to have a practicum experience. Smaller
hospitals will face many challenges as they try to comply, and schools of nursing may be
more limited in practicum placement sites for large numbers of students.
E. Response to Previous Program Reviews or Other Assessments (Address any
perceived problems in the program as identified in previous program reviews or
other relevant assessments, internal or external.):
The previous report recommended maintaining the prelicensure program. The
program recruits qualified students, and has grown significantly in number of students
accepted into the program. Strong interest continues form prospective students as well as
community constituents. Students are successful with NCLEX, and are hired for jobs in
their field. Continued focus on consistent NCLEX pass rates is a priority as is a high
quality program that considers accreditation standards, national trends and College and
F. Future Directions: (Briefly discuss plans or future directions for the program that
have been developed by the faculty and administrators of the program. Are the
plans documented in the University's Strategic Planning Process? Where is the
program headed? What are its most pressing needs? What are its opportunities
for enhancement and/or improvement? What resources (in general) are needed to
Plans are in place for admission of 40 students into the program each semester
beginning with the fall 2005 class. Faculty believe that the program should maintain that
level of enrollment for a period of time to determine outcomes, particularly since the
KBN mandated practicum and internship are new requirements for all nursing programs.
From evaluation of those changes, faculty can better determine future enrollment goals.
The program has been fortunate to gain several new faculty over the past few
years, and it is important that experienced faculty mentor them as they continue to
acclimate to the role. The stability of the program further assists the transition of new
faculty into academe and their performance in the areas of teaching, research, and
service. The mentoring of new faculty is even more important because the Department
could lose 25% or more of its faculty through retirement over the next five years. New
faculty will need to assume leadership roles in the near future.
Continued focus on high pass rates is essential for our program. The study plan
that is in place has assisted students to be successful on NCLEX; however, further
refinement of the study plan and process is planned for spring 2006. Program faculty are
committed to assisting students to be successful with NCLEX.
Low faculty salaries need to monitored carefully by University administrative
personnel. A national nursing shortage exists, and there is a need to retain quality faculty.
Without significant attention to salary levels, the Department could lose nurses to private
practice, or to other universities that are actively recruiting.
The Department is facing a change in leadership at the end of AY 2005-2006,
with the current Department Head planning to return to teaching. Recruitment of a
Department Head with experience with baccalaureate and master’s education programs is
essential as is competitive compensation for the position.