Undergraduate Student Handbook

The College of Nursing follows the policies of East Carolina University as set forth in the Undergraduate Catalog. Protocols outlined in this handbook are those specific to the undergraduate program that further clarify academic procedures the faculty have established for students in the major. It is intended to complement, not replace, the rules and regulations as set forth in the ECU Undergraduate Catalog. It is your responsibility to become acquainted with the East Carolina University policies. This handbook will be maintained on the College of Nursing website; changes will be updated electronically. Students will be notified of changes and date effective via ECU e-mail. It is the student’s responsibility to consult the Undergraduate Student Handbook.

The purpose of this program is to educate professional nurses, capable of caring for the diverse needs of our patients. The undergraduate curriculum reflects societal needs for nursing services and contemporary changes in the roles of nurses in the health care system, and emphasizes essential concepts in the preparation of the nurse generalist. Students may earn BSN via one of three options within the College of Nursing- Traditional BSN (pre-licensure). Accelerated Second Degree BSN (ABSN) (pre-licensure) and RN/BSN.

Terminal Objectives of the BSN Program

  • Integrates knowledge from nursing, social and natural sciences and humanities to provide professional nursing care across the healthcare continuum.
  • Demonstrates competency as a care provider, communicator, advocate, collaborator, coordinator, manager, educator, consumer of research, leader, information manager, innovator, and change agent.
  • Demonstrates pursuit and application of knowledge, respect for diversity, application of principles of critical reasoning, and informed moral and ethical decision-making.
  • Applies strategies to manage issues of professional nursing practice in a diverse and global health care environment.
  • Engages in caring nurse-client/patient relationships using effective therapeutic nursing interventions, evidence-based practice, communication and critical reasoning to effect optimal client/patient and population outcomes.
  • Functions in professional nursing roles as a member of inter-and intra-professional teams.

APPROVED by CON Faculty Organization 11-21-2013

Brief Description of BSN Program Options (BSN, ABSN, RN-BSN)

BSN Option

The BSN option is designed to provide students with the education needed to become professional nurses that are capable of caring for the needs of patients. Upon successful completion of the option, graduates are eligible to obtain licensure as an Registered Nurse (RN).

RN to BSN Option

The RN to BSN option allows RNs the opportunity to seek and obtain their BSN while continuing to work. The curriculum is 100% online.

The Eastern North Carolina Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Prepared Nurses (RIBN) program dually admits students high school graduates to East Carolina University and a local community college that partners with the ECU College of Nursing for these students to complete a BSN within a 4-year period through the RN/BSN option.

Accelerated Second-Degree BSN Option

The accelerated second- degree BSN option is designed for students who have earned a baccalaureate or higher degree and are interested in pursuing a BSN degree with eligibility to obtaining licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN).

The Office of Student Services is responsible for a wide array of student-related activities. The office maintains all student records and acts as a liaison between students and administration. This office is responsible for the following: recruitment, advisement of intended nursing majors, admission of students to the nursing to the nursing major, advisement of declared majors, progression of students in the nursing program, and graduation verification. Scholarship information and general information essential for students is disseminated through this office. All communication to students will be via the student’s ECU e-mail account. Each student is RESPONSIBLE FOR CHECKING E-MAIL DAILY.

Admission to the Major

The advisors, in collaboration with the Executive Director of Student Services, review all applications and student grades for admission to the nursing major. A separate application is required to be considered for the nursing major in the desired BSN option (BSN, ABSN or RN/BSN). Admission is competitive and selection is based upon the satisfactory completion of pre-requisites, pre-admission test scores (BSN and ABSN), and the ranking formula. Letters of admission and denial are generated from the Office of Student Services. Once admitted, all communication regarding registration and requirements for enrolling in the clinical nursing courses are distributed through this office. The Office of Student Services changes each newly admitted student’s major from “intended nursing” to “declared nursing”.

Transfer of Nursing Course Credits

Students who wish to transfer to the ECU College of Nursing from another nursing program must be eligible to return to the transferring nursing program in order to be eligible for admission to the nursing program at ECU.

The student who has taken nursing courses in other accredited baccalaureate programs may request the transfer of the credits into ECU’s nursing program.

  • The student will request transfer of nursing credits through the Office of Student Services (pre-licensure and accelerated second degree students) or Office of RN/BSN Studies (RN/BSN students). The students must supply course syllabi from previous institutions at the time of request.
  • The Office of Student Services or Office of RN/BSN Studies will solicit from appropriate faculty members, an evaluation of equivalence to College of Nursing courses and a decision as to acceptance or rejection of the credits.
  • For the pre-licensure and RN/BSN students, the Office of Student Services and/or Office of RN/BSN Studies will receive the transfer decision, record the transfer and communicate the decision to those concerned.

Letter GradeCON Undergraduate ScaleQuality Points
Not Passing
Not Passing
Not Passing
Not Passing
Not Passing

Approved by Faculty Organization Fall 2014

Students must earn 78 (C, 2.0) to pass a required course. If a student earns less than 78 (c, 2.0) in more than one course, they are not eligible to continue in the CON.
A grade of 78 (C, 2.0) or greater in all nursing courses must be achieved for progression.

A grade less than 78 (C, 2.0) is not passing.

Any student scoring below 78 (C, 2.0) on ANY test is strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment with the course faculty AND a College of Nursing counselor in Student Development and Counseling prior to the next test. These appointments may be individual or group sessions. Student adherence to this recommendation will be considered in all College of Nursing undergraduate progression appeals.

The clinical or laboratory component of a course is evaluated by the faculty as satisfactory/unsatisfactory. If the student is unsatisfactory in the clinical or laboratory component, it constitutes an automatic failure (F) in the companion theory course. If the student is satisfactory in clinical or laboratory, the student will receive a grade based on the companion theory grade. If a student is unsuccessful in either theory or lab/clinical and are eligible to continue in the College of Nursing, they must repeat both the theory and lab/clinical courses.

A student is permitted to earn one grade less than “C” (78) in required nursing courses once they are admitted to the nursing major. If a student has one course grade below C and wishes to repeat the course, they must complete the Application to Repeat Course: Withdrawal or Grade Less Than “C” (78) and the faculty must complete the Faculty Report for Students that Withdrew or Failed a Course(s).

These requests will be considered by the Undergraduate Student Affairs, Committee, in conjunction with the chair of the Department of Baccalaureate Education and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the end of the semester. If space is not available in the subsequent semester, the student may then consider the College of Nursing Readmission Procedure found later in this section. Both aforementioned forms are located in Appendix A.

Students who have become ineligible to continue as a nursing major are not eligible to apply for readmission to ECU’s BSN or ABSN nursing options.

The procedure of all College of Nursing Undergraduate faculty will be to round final course grades only. Grades .50 or higher will be rounded to the next whole number. Clinical, lab and seminar performance will not be considered in the rounding of the final theory course grade.

A student who chooses to withdraw from nursing courses due to failing grades will not be guaranteed a seat in a subsequent semester. If a student wishes to return and repeat the course, they must complete the Application to Repeat Course: Withdrawal or Grade Less Than “C” (78) to be considered. Each case will be decided by the Student Affairs Committee in consultation with the chair of the Department of Baccalaureate Education and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. All students that are approved to return will be readmitted based on seat availability first, then on the rank-ordered guidelines found in Appendix B should there be an issue with space.

If the student has earned a grade less than “C” (78) in a required nursing course, and withdraws from any other nursing course failing, the student must follow the appeals for progression procedure to be considered for future enrollment in the College of Nursing courses.

Students who withdraw from the program for “personal reasons” are required to present a written explanation at the time of withdrawal. The explanation must clearly state the reason for withdrawal, whether the student plans to return to the program, and the expected date of reentry. The student must have a “C” (78) or higher in theory and satisfactory in clinical/ lab courses at the time of withdrawal. The privilege to return to the program is given at the discretion of the Executive Director of Student Services in consultation with the Undergraduate Student Affairs Committee. In addition, returning will be on a space available basis, and is not guaranteed for the semester following the withdrawal. All students that are approved to return will be readmitted based on seat availability first, then on the rank-ordered guidelines found in Appendix B should there be an issue with space.

Students who have been out of clinical, or not actively enrolled in a NURS course, for one or more semesters, must follow the procedure outlined below. Readmission for the next semester will be based upon space available in the class. If readmission is approved, all compliance requirements must be current prior to registering for NURS courses. Transfer students must complete steps 2-4 of this procedure.

BSN/ABSN Readmission Applicants will be required to:

  1. Submit a letter to the Executive Director of Student Services outlining the reason(s) for readmission, including an action plan for success.
  2. Complete a Drug Dosage Calculation exam with a score of 90% or above for all students who have successfully completed the first clinical course.
  3. Interview with designated Readmission Team Member(s).
  4. Readmission Team Members will develop an individualized student contract. The student is required to complete the contract prior to being considered for readmission. The individualized student contract will include, but is not limited to:
    1. Performance of a Comprehensive Physical Assessment.
    2. Performance of additional Foundation skills deemed appropriate for the level of the student.

RN to BSN Readmission Applicants will be required to:

  1. Contact the RN to BSN office at RNBSN@ecu.edu to request readmission.
  2. Interview with designated Readmission Team Member(s).
  3. Readmission Team Members will develop an individualized student contract, for readmission (RN/BSN option readmission procedure revised and approved by Undergraduate Faculty Organization 4-14-2016)

All students who have earned readmission by successfully completing the steps outlined above, will be readmitted based on seat availability first, then on the following rank-ordered guidelines.

Prioritization for placement in available class and/or clinical slots.

Category Description Examples 1 Non-failure circumstances. Withdrew in the current semester due to illness or pregnancy. (Medical clearance must be provided in return)

Students who successfully completed a repeated course and are ready to progress.

2Failed the didactic portion of a course in the current semester. Order for placement will be based on the order of the overall course grades. 3Successful challenge of the Progression Requirement. Student earned two C’s or lower and the Undergraduate Student Affairs Committee granted an appeal. 4 Failed the clinical or lab portion of a course in the current semester. Student failed or withdrew failing the clinical or lab portion of a course.

The College of Nursing Student Services office coordinates academic advising for declared nursing majors. The office is open from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students may schedule appointments with their assigned academic advisor through PiratePort.

Undergraduate courses (pre-licensure and RN/BSN options) must be repeated if they are over 5 years old.

The maximum time to complete the undergraduate program (upper-level NURS courses only) upon admission to the nursing program (pre-licensure and RN/BSN options) is 5 years.

Approved by Undergraduate Faculty Organization April 13,2017

Students admitted to nursing who have successfully met the qualifications and expectations of the University Honors College are encouraged to continue in the program by taking nursing courses designated as honor courses. Students will continue to meet with the Director of the University Honors College in addition to their assigned College of Nursing advisor for advisement.

In preparation for graduation, a DegreeWorks audit is completed for each student at the beginning of the third semester in the nursing program by the nursing advisors and Executive Director of Student Services. Students must file an application for graduation by February 1st for spring graduation and September 1 for fall graduation through PiratePort.

Student Services Office meets with graduating seniors each semester to give instructions for the completion of forms required for the licensure examination. These forms include the NCLEX-RN application and the instructions concerning the board of nursing application for the state in which the graduate chooses to become licensed.

Students are solely responsible for the contents, completion, and timely submission of the application. Students are also solely responsible for contacting the Board of Nursing with any questions related to the contents, completion and timely submission of the application.

ECU cannot confirm whether any of its courses or programs meets requirements for professional licensure outside of the State of North Carolina. ECU strongly encourages students to contact applicable licensing boards in states they wish to pursue licensure prior to seeking admission or beginning study in an academic program.

The “Lamp of Learning” ceremony is held each semester to recognize our first semester students’ entrance to nursing. Students receive a “lamp” pin and recite the College of Nursing Nurse’s Pledge to emphasize their commitment to high standards of integrity, honor, and care.

The CON Recognition Ceremony is conducted by the College of Nursing each semester. All students who have successfully completed program requirements are expected to participate in both the East Carolina University commencement and the College of Nursing Recognition Ceremony. These ceremonies are significant for graduates and their families. Nursing pins may be purchased by the student (optional). Students wishing to purchase a pin may contact the CON Student Services Office.

Students must meet all graduation requirements in order to participate in University and CON ceremonies.

These guidelines will be followed by undergraduate faculty during tests, quizzes, and final examination.

  • Prompt attendance is expected for all tests and quizzes. Individual faculty must be notified at least 30 minutes before an absence from a test or final examination due to extenuating circumstances. A makeup examination will be given with an official university excused absence. Absences other than university excused will be addressed at the discretion of the faculty and department chair. Description of the university absentee policy may be found in the online Undergraduate Catalog.
  • Faculty may administer a make-up examination in a different format from the original. Makeup quizzes are at discretion of the faculty. Changes in final examination times must be approved by the Department Chair or Associate Dean along with Student Services.
  • Students who fail to follow the CON Testing Guidelines may receive a grade of “0” on the test.
  • All electronic devices including watches and fitness trackers, cell phones, smartphones are to be turned off and placed in book bags in a faculty designated area. If the student wears an electronic medical device they need to notify the faculty prior to the test.
  • Faculty may choose to use assigned seating during examination. If space permits students should have one “seat” between them. Proctors may quietly walk around the room during testing.
  • Absolutely no talking once the test or quiz starts.
  • If you have a question raise your hand and wait for the faculty to come to you. Words and content will not be defined. If there is a typo, the faculty will write the correction on the board.
  • Students may NOT wear hats, hoods, or scarves (except for religious purposes) during examinations.
  • For paper exams- On the desk the student will have only a pencil, and scantron sheet or designated electronic device. Only answers entered on the scantron sheet or designated device will be graded. All responses from the test booklet must be transferred to the scantron sheet or designated device during the allotted test time. Students are able to enter name on the test booklet and scantron sheet to receive credit.
  • Students may use ear plugs.
  • Students are responsible for keeping track of announcements and test taking time.
  • Test and final examinations should be monitored by 2 faculty members when possible.
  • Students may only use non-programmable calculators and may not use calculators on their smart phone or other electronic devices.
  • Make up tests should be taken before the next test or exam in the course.
  • In the event a test is interrupted for any reason the course faculty in collaboration with the department chair will determine the plan of action for completion of the test.
  • Student should place photo ID (driver’s license, PirateID or government issued) on desk next to paper test or computer. Faculty may verify student identity before, during, or after the exam.
  • If a student needs to use the restroom during an exam, a faculty member may walk with them in the hallway

Academic Integrity of Test: Every effort is made to preserve the integrity of tests in the College of Nursing. There are no test questions from a previous semester available for review. Therefore, if any student obtains previous test questions, they were obtained in violation of the testing guidelines. Study guides containing test materials should not be used.

  • Students should report immediately any knowledge of previous quiz or test questions in circulation to the faculty. If the student does not report they are subject to violation of the Academic Integrity Policy. The following are examples of Academic Integrity Violations but not limited to:
  • The knowledge of or use of circulated protected questions
  • Manually copying (writing down) or photographing quiz or test questions during quizzes or tests or during post quiz or posttest review sessions
  • Taping or recording of post- quiz or post- test review sessions

Test or Examination Reviews:

  • Test or examinations are reviewed at announced reviews. The faculty should try to schedule reviews during other class or clinical time. If a class or clinical conflict occurs with an announced review arrangement the student should contact the course faculty within one week of the announced review time.
  • The test review may or may not take place during class. The professor will notify the students of guidelines for test reviews. Students are expected to be respectful during the review.
  • Students should not discuss or review the test content with other faculty or counselor (individually or group) until after test review.
  • Note taking or recording in any manner is not permitted during the test or examination review. Students should not take pictures or snap shots of any test items during the review.

Procedure to challenge a test item:

  • The student should submit the rationale for their selection of any answer in writing (electronically) within one week of the test. Documentation needed is a credible source and include page number. The faculty has the right to accept or reject the challenged item. Documentation should be from assigned readings or from textbooks used in previous courses.

Computer Testing:

  • Some faculty may choose to test on Canvas in the classroom. Students are expected to have a laptop computer that is fully charged when arriving to campus to test.
  • Computer testing will require use of Lockdown Browser or similar locking system.
  • Faculty may require students to sign an academic integrity form, which will be collected before the student leaves the testing area.
  • Students cannot share the exam password with other students.
  • Once the student has submitted their exam, the faculty will confirm exam submission. The faculty will then instruct the student that they can leave the testing area.

Remote Testing

  • Some testing will be done via Canvas, with students being off campus testing.
    • There will be a Distance Education Student Academic Integrity Pledge that each student must sign prior to testing in this environment. One form will be applicable to all tests taken that semester in the off-campus environment. This form will be signed on the first day of class in the following courses:
        • NURS 3210
        • NURS 3390
        • NURS 4020
        • NURS 4500
        • NURS 3613
        • NURS 4613
        • NURS 4943
  • Off-campus testing may be proctored by faculty and/or staff via WebEx or other on-line platforms

Approved by UFO November 2017 for implementation January 2018/ rev August 2020 S. Kidd/ revised and approved by UFO October 13, 2022

Final examinations will be held at the close of each term in all courses. All courses are required, by the University, to have a final exam, project or presentation completed on the date of the final exam. There will be no departure from the College of Nursing printed schedule of examinations. Nursing students follow the College of Nursing schedule rather than the posted University schedule. This generally allows students to have only one final examination per day. Changes for individual emergencies of a serious nature will be made only with the approval of the faculty, the chair of the Department of Baccalaureate Education and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. A student who is absent from an examination without an excuse may be given a grade of “F” in the course. The instructor may issue an incomplete “I” in the case of a student absent from the final examination who has presented a satisfactory excuse or an official university excused absence from the ECU Dean of Students Office.

Students in their final semester of the program who are passing going into a required major course final examination, may be offered a retake on the final examination if their grade on the final examination results in a failing grade for the course (<C, or 77.5).

Students who earn a second grade less than “C” (78) often feel that circumstances should merit an exception to the progression guidelines regarding ineligibility to continue. The CON agrees that at times extenuating circumstances do exist. In an effort to be consistent and fair the following working definition and examples of extenuating circumstances will be used. Definition: An extenuating circumstance is an event that is unusual; out of the ordinary, unforeseen, unexpected, and occurring within the semester for which the appeal is requested. The extenuating circumstance must be documented with course and clinical faculty at the time of the event, not after the grade has been earned.

  • Students will be granted the opportunity to appeal the progression requirements once while in their program of study in the CON.
  • Students who earn 2 or more grades less than “C” (78) and have an academic integrity violation are not eligible to request an exception to the progression guidelines.

Requests for Exceptions and Appeals to Progression: While all classes demand a high level of student achievement, NURS 4500 is primarily a course synthesizing all previous nursing content. Any student who earns <C (78) in NURS 4500 (not NURS 4511) may request to repeat NURS 4500 once, regardless of the number of previous grades <”C” (78), by completing the NURS 4500 Repeat Form found in Student Services. The form must be completed by the student and returned to the Executive Director of Student Services. The form will then be forwarded to the Dean or designee for review. Upon approval by the Dean or designee, the student may repeat NURS 4500 in the next semester, pending space availability.

Approved by Undergraduate Faculty Organization 4/9/2015

Appeal Procedure

If a student wishes to request an Exception to the Progression Requirements, they must appeal to the Undergraduate Student Affairs Committee (USAC) by first contacting the Executive Director of Student Services to discuss the process.

The Undergraduate Student Affairs Committee (USAC) requires the following from the student:

  1. Completion of the Progression Appeal Request form obtained from the Executive Director of Student Services.
  2. Submission of a letter to the Executive Director of Student Services, that briefly outlines the circumstances leading to the failing grades earned.
  3. Prior to the appeal appointment, submit to student services a printout of grades in each failed course (from Canvas). This report should consist of grades earned, date earned and form of evaluation (quiz, paper, exam).
  4. Any other information the student feels is of value to the USAC in the decision-making process (e.g. doctor’s letters, legal records, and all long term or current medication which may have impacted earning <78 (C 2.0))).
  5. A copy of unofficial ECU transcript.
  6. A written plan of what strategies will be implemented to prevent such circumstances from impacting future grades.
  7. Student Services will obtain pre-admission test scores if applicable.

(See Appendix C for Checklist to follow)

The USAC, after receiving a written request, will review the appeal at the earliest possible time consistent with thorough review and preparation.

Decisions include:

  1. Appeal granted
  2. Appeal granted with conditions
  3. Appeal denied

If a student appeal is denied, the student may not continue in the CON but may continue at the University.

Recommendations of the Undergraduate Student Affairs Committee are reviewed by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Dean who will concur, concur with modifications, or not concur with the recommendation of the committee. The recommendation of the Associate Dean and Dean are communicated with the committee for final decisions. The student will be notified of the decision in writing by the Executive Director of Student Services.

Any student who feels they have “NEW” information that impacts the decision rendered, will submit this new information to the Executive Director of Student Services. The information will then be reviewed by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Dean. If the new information is found to be pertinent to the situation, it will be referred back to the Undergraduate Student Affairs Committee for consideration.

Repeating Course Work

A student who appeals and receives an exception to progression will be placed in the course(s) on a space available basis and is not guaranteed for the semester following ineligibility. All students that are approved to return will be readmitted based on seat availability first, then on the rank-ordered guidelines found in Appendix B.

The College of Nursing administers several standardized tests throughout the program. These tests help identify areas that the students need to focus on within the program. The CON offers resources for remediation. In the final semester the CON uses a test to assess knowledge level and readiness for the NCLEX. Results are used to assist students in determining nursing content that has been mastered. Various enhancement materials are used to assist with weaknesses that have been identified.

Students may use laptops, with faculty approval, during class to record class notes or for other purposes related to the class in session. When using a laptop, it must be fully charged and not require connection to an electrical outlet. This is mandatory based on fire and safety regulations. In the event that a particular computer is disruptive, the instructor has the option to require that the use of the laptop computer be discontinued. Students are requested to ask each professor prior to any video or audio recordings.

All College of Nursing requirements may be found in the CON Student Handbook in the section labeled “Compliance Policies and Clinical Requirements”.

  1. In collaboration, the Chair and Assistant Chair for the Department of Baccalaureate Education, determine the course schedules, including the number of clinical sections needed and their locations, each semester in accordance with University deadlines for entry of schedules into Banner. For summer and fall semester schedules, these are usually entered in early/mid-February, and for spring semester schedules, early October.
  2. The Associate Director of Student Services, in collaboration with the Chair and Assistant Chair of the Department of Baccalaureate Education, assign students in BSN semesters 1 – 3, and ABSN, to their clinical course sections, making sure sections are evenly filled and do not exceed the max enrollment allowed and noted in Banner, and addressing any DSS clinical accommodations, ROTC requirements, and student athletes. Every effort will be made to rotate all students through ECU Health Medical Center. In the case of two clinicals in one semester, every effort will be made for students to travel to only one site. The Department Chair and Assistant Department Chair will review BSN fourth semester requests and other pertinent data to assign students to their community and capstone clinical sections and will provide these lists to the Associate Director of Student Services for student registration.
  3. All clinical section rosters should be reviewed by the Department Chair and/or Assistant Chair.
  4. Once all students have been registered and schedules are released by the University, every effort will be made to limit any changes in clinical assignments. Students requesting a change must have documented DSS accommodations for clinical submitted to the Associate Director for Student Services by June 1 for fall semester and October 30 for spring semester. Except for extreme circumstances, changes in clinical sites will not be granted after June 1 for fall semester and after October 30 for spring semester.
  5. Students must submit all College of Nursing compliance requirements by July 1 for fall semester and November 30 for spring semester.
  6. The identified liaison for specific clinical agencies requiring the use of a program such as Rotation Manager, will enter students for that agency and semester into the appropriate system by the deadline noted by the agency.


Clinical Travel

Due to the broad scope of clinical facilities and locations of clinical sites and agencies, undergraduate nursing students must have access to reliable transportation prior to starting clinical courses in the College of Nursing. Expenses for travel to and from clinical sites/ agencies are the responsibility of the student. Clinical sites are generally within an hour’s drive of Greenville but may be up to 1 ½ hours or more away.

Clinical and Lab Attendance

Regular attendance as defined in the course syllabi in the clinical/lab area is expected in all nursing courses. If an emergency situation arises (such as sudden illness), the student is required to notify the appropriate person in the clinical agency and/or the nursing instructor within one hour of the start of clinical/lab. This is a professional responsibility which must be assumed by the individual student and will be taken into consideration in the evaluation of clinical/lab performance.

Noncompliance of Requirements

Consequences of students found out of compliance may be found in the CON Student Handbook in the section labeled “Compliance Policies and Clinical Requirements”.

Purchase of Uniforms

Students are required to purchase uniforms. The College of Nursing uniform was selected by ECU nursing students and faculty and is especially made for ECU nursing students. Information regarding the purchase of uniforms will be e-mailed to you upon admission to the BSN or ABSN option (pre-licensure students only).

The uniform identifies the East Carolina University College of Nursing students and indicates to others their individual and professional standards. The following guidelines are adapted from the requirements set forth by Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If a student is unable to comply with the professional dress code/uniform as specified, they should submit their concern in writing to the Department Chair.

  • Uniform- purple scrub set, jacket, lab coat- all must be neat, clean, and well fitting. Significant weight gain or loss during enrollment may necessitate the purchase of a new uniform from an approved ECU-CON vendor. The uniform is worn, in its entirety, for all laboratory and clinical care. Uniforms are to be worn for ECU-CON sanctioned functions only. Students may wear a crew-neck, short-sleeved T-shirt that is clean, white and with sleeves not extending below the scrub top sleeve. The optional warm up jacket is approved for those who desire additional layers.
  • Maternity wear- students who require maternity uniforms should wear the purple men’s (unisex) top and purple draw string scrub pant. White maternity uniforms are not to be worn.
  • Skirt length- covers the kneecap.
  • Pants- touches top of shoe instep; must be part of original scrub set.
  • Shoes- white or black, closed toe and heel. Must be non-permeable and be professional in appearance. Heels may not be more than one inch. Shoes must be neat and clean. Leather athletic shoes acceptable if they have no color (i.e. labels, stamps, etc.). Hose or socks must match shoe color and be above the ankle.
  • Name pin- worn on left side just above insignia and be visible at all times.
  • Pins: Lamp of Learning pin, Sigma Theta Tau Pin, and East Carolina Association of Nursing Student Pin or North Carolina Association of Nursing Student Pin (but not all)- may be worn above name pin.
  • Hair Style and Beards- hair: must be a naturally occurring hair color, simple, neat, clean, off the collar, and away from the face and well controlled. No hair ornaments, decorative caps or scarves (with the exception of clips or headbands measuring less than two inches in naturally occurring hair color). Minimal head coverings worn for religious beliefs are acceptable but must allow the student to use a stethoscope and other medical instruments and must not interfere with client care. Principles of infection control must be followed. Beards: must be clean-shaven or have beard neat and trimmed.
  • Jewelry- only wrist watch with second hand and one plain flat ring. Smart watches are permitted if the face screen contains a continuously sweeping secondhand, the wake duration is set to at least 70 seconds, and the watch is set to airplane mode.
  • Earrings- One pair of small, stud earrings worn in the lower ear lobes may be allowed at faculty discretion and according to clinical setting. No other visible body piercing studs/ jewelry allowed including no tongue studs, nose rings, eyebrow jewelry, and pinna or tragus jewelry. If needed, flat, clear spacers can be used in other piercings. The spacers should not have embellishments, logos, or colors that may distract from a professional appearance. Clear spacers in large gauges are not allowed. Requests for exceptions to this policy, such as medical or religious reasons, should be submitted to the Department Chair for review. All nursing faculty and CIL staff are responsible for enforcing this policy.
  • Cosmetics- minimal and subtle. No fragrances.
  • Fingernails- No artificial nails, extensions or nail polish. Short, clean nails only.
  • Tattoos- Potentially offensive tattoos must be covered per faculty or agency discretion.
  • Accessories- bandage scissors, black writing pen and scratch paper. A water resistant wrist watch with sweep second hand and a stethoscope are required. Stethoscopes may be purchased in the ECU Student Stores, from ECANS, or uniform shops. Other equipment as course requires.
  • Cellular telephones are strictly forbidden in clinical settings.
  • No gum chewing while in clinical.

Wearing of face masks, goggles and/or face shields when in clinical is based upon agency requirements and care being delivered.

The cap was dropped as a part of the uniform in 1992, but may still be purchased at the uniform shop if the student desires one.

The college pin was designed by members of the first graduating class of the College of Nursing.

Concepts Integration Lab

The approved uniform and professional dress code applies.

Uniform Variations for RNs

RN/BSN students should dress professionally as prescribed by the clinical setting. The students will adhere to all other elements of the professional dress code as above.

SAC Proposed 10/16/08
Revised- 10/30/08 by SAC input via e-mail
Approved by Faculty Organization 1/08/09
Revised- 01-31-13 Approved by Undergraduate Faculty
Revised- 12/8/2015 Approved by Undergraduate Faculty Organization
Revised with COVID-19 specific information 07-22-2020 AIP/COVID-19 information revised 07-13-2022 AIP

Any change in a student’s clinical placement during a semester, except in the case of an extreme extenuating circumstance, must be cleared by the Chair of the Department of Baccalaureate Education.

If a student becomes ill while in the clinical setting, the instructor will allow the student to rest in a quiet area until arrangements can be made for transportation home. The student should report to the Student Health Center or their primary care provider. A student requiring emergency treatment while in the clinical area will be taken to the emergency room for emergency treatment only. An event report, if appropriate, is to be initiated at the time of treatment (one for the agency and one for the College of Nursing). The College of Nursing event report is to be completed and submitted to the chair of the Department of Baccalaureate Education. Do not copy the Agency’s form.


  • A dosage calculation competency is to be administered for:
    • All students in the pre-licensure BSN Program – each semester.
    • All students in the Accelerated Second-Degree BSN Option – each semester.


  • The dosage calculation competency score from Assessment 1 will constitute 5% of the course grade.
  • A minimal grade of 90 must be achieved to be satisfactory.
  • No accommodations will be provided, as this is a competency skill.
  • A simple calculator will be allowed.
  • Students not earning a 90 on Assessment 1 are required to undergo remediation.
  • Students not earning a 90 on Assessment 1 will be allowed one retake (Assessment 2).
  • Students not earning a 90 on Assessment 2 will not attend clinical and do not meet the clinical objectives; therefore, will fail the clinical course. Students may drop the course if the assessment is prior to the drop date


  • Will occur between Assessment 1 and Assessment 2 with at least 5 school days between each assessment but may be within 3 days if requested by the student.
  • Will be led by course faculty.
  • Will include a review of the Assessment, reworking of the problems, and time to ask questions of the faculty.

Assessment Structure

  • 20 word-problem questions with a 60-minute time allotment.
  • No multiple-choice questions, students must show their written work.
  • The answer should include the units of measure (units, milligrams, teaspoons, tablets, etc.)
  • Partial credit will not be given for answers.
  • All Assessments will include items covering conversions to basic dosage calculations for PO, SQ, IM or ID.
  • Other content may include weight-based medications and calculations, IV calculations, IV drip rate calculations, IV medications infusion rates, e.g., insulin and heparin.
  • Assessment questions for each semester will be appropriately designed to meet the clinical objectives as stated on each course syllabus.
  • No Conversions will be provided for the Assessments.

Approved by UFO: April 9, 2015
Implementation: Summer 2015
Time allotment clarified: April 14, 2016, UFO
Updated: 08/18/17 UFO
Updated and approved by UFO: 10/28/2021jb
Placed in Undergraduate Student Handbook.
Updated and approved by UFO: 4/13/23 MB

RULE: Units of measurement one or greater, the answer to the nearest tenth.

To express an answer to the nearest tenth, carry the decimal point to the hundredths place (two places after the decimal). If the number in the hundredths place is 5 or greater, add one to the tenths place. If the number is less than 5, drop the number to the right of the desired decimal place.

Example 1:

Express 5.46 to the nearest tenth.


5.5 (The number in the hundredths place is 6, so the number in the tenths place is increased by one. 5.4 becomes 5.5)

Example 2:

Express 2.43 to the nearest tenth.


2.4 (The number in the hundredths place is less than 5, so the number in the tenths place does not change. The 3 is dropped.)

RULE: Units of measurement less than one, the answer will be to the nearest hundredth.

To express an answer to the nearest hundredth, carry the division to the thousandths place (three places after the decimal). If the number in the thousandths place is 5 or greater, add one to the hundredths place. If the number is less than 5, drop the number to the right of the desired decimal place.

Example 1:

Express 0.188 to the nearest hundredth.


0.19 (The number in the thousandths place is 8, so the number in the hundredths place is increased by one. 0.18 becomes 0.19.)

Example 2:

Express 0.694 to the nearest hundredth.


0.69 (The number in the thousandths place is less than 5, so the number in the hundredths place does not change.)

  1. Liquid Medications (PO and IM)In the clinical setting, the equipment you have will often help you determine how many places to carry out your decimal when calculating dosages.While most syringes found on the Medical-Surgical units are marked in tenths, other units have syringes that are marked in hundredths.Most calculation problems require that you show at least two decimal places (hundredths place) and round off to the nearest tenth.


    In some instances, it may be necessary to compute decimal calculations to thousandths (three decimal places) and round to hundredths (two decimal places).

    The ECU CON will require that you calculate to the hundredth place and round to the tenth place unless otherwise directed in the problem.

  2. IVs
    1. Gravity – You CANNOT count part of a drop.All IV solutions being administered via gravity will be rounded to the nearest whole number.
    2. Pump – The IV pump is in milliliters per hour ONLY. Most IV pumps will deliver to the tenth place and some to the hundredth place.
      The faculty will include in the problem if the student is to include any decimal point in the answer.
  3. SubQ InsulinPolicies for SubQ insulin vary at all facilities. For the purpose of the ECU-CON Math Calculation Competency, SubQ insulin will always be rounded down.Example 1:20.5 units = 20 units

    Example 2:

    0.7 units = no insulin given

  4. Never round in the middle of a calculation. Rounding should occur at the end of the calculation ONLY.Example:The patient weighs 145lbs. The physician orders 2 mg/kg of a medicine. Available is 20 mg/mL. 145 lbs. = 65.90909 kg. Work with 69.90909 kg. To work the rest of the problem 65.90909 kg X 2 mg/kg = 131.81818 mg to be given.

    131.81818 milligrams = 20 milligrams
    X milliliters                    1 milliliter

    This gives you 6.590909 mL You round at this point and give 6.6 milliliters.

Approved by Undergraduate Faculty Organization 11/12/15
Updated and approved by UFO 10/28/2021jb

The undergraduate faculty members have determined that all students shall not perform the following clinical skills:

  1. Administer IV chemotherapy agents, rejection medications, epidurals, or experimental drugs and thrombolytic agents (tPA, etc…).
  2. Remove epidural catheters, or thoracotomy tubes.
  3. Insert an IV on your preceptor, faculty, or another student, or patient without an order.
  4. Titrate continuous IV infusions of vasoactive medications or medications which alter level of consciousness (such as sedatives or narcotics).
  5. Withdraw blook from arterial lines.
  6. Discontinue or insert PICC, central IV lines or arterial lines.
  7. Access (using Huber needle) or remove access of implantable ports or portacaths.
  8. Administer medications into the reservoir of an implanted pump.
  9. Insert and/or manipulate intraosseous and intrathecal medication or fluid administration.
  10. Perform arterial blood punctures.
  11. Administer or restart blood products.
  12. Measure or perform cardiac outputs or pulmonary wedge pressures.
  13. Manipulate or remove arterial catheters, sheaths, dialysis catheters, any invasive monitoring lines and pacing wires.
  14. Access dialysis devices (no dialysis needle insertion) or manipulate any dialysis therapy and/or continuous renal replacement therapy.
  15. Perform or manipulate peritoneal dialysis.
  16. Insert, tape, retape, extubate, or reposition endotracheal tubes.
  17. Alter setting on respiratory ventilator equipment.
  18. Accompany transport via helicopter or land transportation.
  19. Accompany or transport patients off unit independently.
  20. Serve as an interpreter (unless certification is held).
  21. Be a sitter for a patient.
  22. Perform procedural or conscious sedation.
  23. Perform defibrillation or cardioversion.
  24. Take verbal/telephone orders.
  25. Take written provider’s orders off the chart or electronic medical record.
  26. Access narcotics or controlled medications, count narcotics or controlled medications.
  27. Use a staff member’s medication access code-staff/faculty must obtain the medication for nursing student.
  28. Insert fetal scalp electrodes.
  29. Administer IV Pitocin during induction or augmentation of labor.
  30. Administer nitrous oxide.
  31. Insert a small-bore nasoenteric tube WITH a guidewire, similar to a dubhoff.
  32. Collect blood culture samples.

Direct supervision is defined as onsite and physically present during the procedure. Students MAY participate in these skills under direct supervision of an RN, per agency policy:

  1. Perform vaginal examination to assess labor.
  2. Draw venous blood samples peripherally, from peripheral lines or central lines (including PICC lines and previously accessed implanted ports).
  3. Give IV push medication by peripheral venous lines (including Midlines) and central lines (including PICC lines and previously accessed implanted ports).
  4. Administer IV narcotics to adult and pediatric patients.
  5. Hang lipids and hyperalimentation.
  6. Flush central lines, PICC lines and previously accessed implanted ports.
  7. Remove or replace narcotics for PCA pumps.
  8. Adjust or change IV rate or titratable drips except those listed in #4 on the shall not-perform list.
  9. Change dressings on central lines, PICC lines, and previously accessed implanted ports.
  10. Insert nasoenteric tubes (similar to Salem sump or Levine tubes) WITHOUT a guidewire.
  11. Suction endotracheal tube.

Special Patient Population Considerations:

  • Any patient considered High Risk from a legal, domestic, or safety standpoint should not be assigned to a student.
    1. Examples include but are not limited to:
      1. Patients involved in in risk management referrals or cases.
      2. Airborne isolation.
      3. Pediatric cancer patients on chemotherapy.
    2. Incarcerated patient assignments may be left to the discretion of clinical faculty. Students who are in clinical with a preceptor will not be assigned these patients.

NOTE: This is not an inclusive list. Questions should be referred to the appropriate faculty member. Agency policy/procedures can restrict practice but not expand the scope of ECU students.

12.8.15 Approved by UFO
03.02.17 Addition regarding: nasoenteric tubes J. Bowman
04.22.21 Clinical Coordinators
09.02.2021 Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
10/28/2021 UFO/JB

Nursing Student Organizations

ECU nursing students can choose to join a variety of organizations, listed below. For more about these groups and for information on how to join, visit Student Organizations.

  • Interprofessional Health Sciences Student Leadership Council
  • Student Leadership Council
  • East Carolina Association of Nursing Students
  • American Assembly for Men in Nursing
  • Beta Nu chapter of Sigma Honor Society of Nursing
  • Multicultural Student Nurse Association
  • Holistic Health Organization
  • Nurses Christian Fellowship

Representation on College of Nursing Committees

The following Faculty Organization standing committees call for undergraduate student representation. Students may volunteer or be nominated by classmates to serve on these committees. If you have an interest in serving on a committee, see a faculty member.

Global Health Committee

Shall consist of five elected faculty members, one of whom is involved in diversity initiatives and two students (one undergraduate and one graduate).

Research and Creative Activities Committee

Shall consist of six elected faculty members, and three students, one from undergraduate, masters, and doctoral: and the Associate Dean for Research and Creative Activity. The Associate Dean shall serve as a voting ex-officio member.

Undergraduate Curriculum Committee

(Includes one pre-licensure and one RN/BSN student) Monitors the ongoing development of undergraduate curriculum; collaborates with the Associate Dean for the Undergraduate Program and Department Chairs to monitor the implementation in the undergraduate curriculum; makes recommendations to the Faculty Organization for course and curricula changes that are consistent with the philosophy and objectives of the program and recognition of the evolution of health care; reviews new course proposals, course revisions, and course deletions and recommends changes to the Faculty Organization; makes curriculum recommendations based on program evaluation data; and reports trends and recommendations related to the curriculum to the Faculty Organization.

Student Affairs Committee

(Includes at least one upper division undergraduate student) Evaluates recruitment, admission, progression, and graduation trends; reports evaluation of trends and recommendations related to recruitment, admission, progression and graduation policies to the Faculty Organization. Conducts timely meetings of student appeals in a manner consistent with established protocols; and consults with University Academic Advisement and Support Center and other academic units as needed.

Unit Assessment and Evaluation Committee

Shall consist of six-elected faculty members representing undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs and 3 at large; and voting representatives of the Office of Program Evaluation and Student Services, and two students (one undergraduate and one graduate).

Criteria for eligibility of students to serve on committees:
  1. Successful completion of first semester in the major.
  2. GPS 2.5 or higher in nursing; 2.5 or higher overall grade point average.
  3. Current full-time enrollment in nursing.

Beta Nu Chapter of Sigma International Honor Society of Nursing was established on East Carolina University’s campus in 1974.

The vision, mission and strategic goals of Sigma may be found at Sigma Organizational Fact Sheet.

Invitation to membership is extended to undergraduate students based on the criteria described on the website at Why Join Sigma? If a student turns down membership, no other student can be offered the seat according to bylaws. It is a great honor, so please consider carefully before turning down your offer.

*Adult values- refer to latest version of Diagnostic & Laboratory test reference textbook if pediatric values or other adult values are not listed below. This list is not all inclusive.

Basic Metabolic Panel (Chem 7 measure the seven items of the metabolic panel): Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Carbon Dioxide (bicarbonate), Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN), Creatinine, and Glucose.

Sodium (Na+) 135-145 mEq/L
Vital to normal body processes, including nerve and muscle function. Sodium, potassium, and magnesium function in the active transport system which carries out the actions of excitable tissues such as muscle and nerve tissues

Potassium (K+) 3.5-5.0 mEq/L
Vital to cell metabolism and muscle function. Sodium, potassium, and magnesium function in the active transport system which carries out the actions of excitable tissues such as muscle and nerve tissues

Chloride (Cl-) 98-106 mEq/L
Helps to regulate the amount of fluid in the body and maintain the acid-base balance.

Carbon Dioxide (C02) content 22 -26 mEq/L

BUN (Blood urea nitrogen) 10-20 mg/dL
Waste product filtered out of the blood by the kidneys; conditions that affect the kidney have the potential to affect the amount of urea in the blood

Creatinine 0.6- 1.2 mg/dL
Waste product produced in the muscles; filtered out of the blood by the kidneys so blood levels are a good indication of how well the kidneys are working

Glucose 74-110 mg/dL
Hypoglycemia in adults is less than 70mg/dL
Energy source for the body; a steady supply must be available for use, and a relatively constant level of glucose must be maintained in the blood.

HgA1C: less than 5.7% is normal, Diabetics should be less than 6.5%

Chemistry Extension in addition to the BMP/Chem7 or CMP/Chem12

Calcium (Ca2+) 8.6-10 mg/dL
One of the most important minerals in the body; essential for the proper functioning of muscles, nerves, and the heart and is required in blood clotting and in the formation of bones & teeth.

Magnesium (Mg2+) 1.6-2.6 mg/dL
Beneficial for bone health, diabetes (higher Mag diet linked to lower risk of T2 diabetes), cardiovascular health

Phosphate (PO4-) 3-4.5 mg/dL
Makes up many cells, causes reactions in body like glycolysis

Liver Tests/CHEM 12 components (AST, ALT, Albumin, ALK Phos)

ALP (alkaline phosphatase) 30 -120 U/L
Enzyme found in the liver and other tissues, bone; elevated levels of ALP in the blood are most commonly caused by liver disease or bone disorders.

ALT (alanine amino transferase, also called SGPT) 4-36 U/L
Enzyme found mostly in the cells of the liver and kidney; a useful test for detecting liver damage

AST (aspartate amino transferase, also called SGOT) 0-35 U/L
Enzyme found especially in cells in the heart and liver; also a useful test for detecting liver damage

Ammonia 10-80 ug/dL

Total Bilirubin (less than 1.5 mg/dL)
Waste product produced by the liver as it breaks down and recycles aged red blood cells


Albumin 3.5 -5.0 g/dL
A small protein produced in the liver; the major protein in serum. major plasma protein which maintains fluid balance by providing colloidal osmotic pressure.

Total Protein 6.4-8.3 gm/dL
Measures albumin as well as all other proteins in serum

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

RBC: Male- 4.7-6 million/mm3 Female- 4-5.3 million/mm3

HGB: Male- 14-18 g/dl Female- 12-16g/dl

HCT: Male- 42-52% Female- 37-47%

WBC: 5,000-10,000/mm3
An increased WBC count (leukocytosis) usually indicates infection, inflammation, tissue necrosis, or leukemic neoplasia. A drastic decrease in WBCs below the normal range (leukopenia) may indicate bone marrow failure and subsequent high-risk septicemia and death.

PLT 150k-400k/mm3
Major component of clot, for clot formation to stop bleeding. High count increased clotting formation, thrombocytosis/thrombocythemia. Low count thrombocytopenia: bleeding

WBC with diff:

Neutrophils 50-70%
Indicator of body response to infection to ask for more WBC to be produced…these are immature WBCs being formed as the first defenders.

Lymphocytes 20-35%
Recognize foreign antigen, produce antibodies

Monocytes 2-8%
Involved in phagocytosis and become macrophages

Eosinophils 1-4%
Destroy parasites, involved with allergic reactions

Basophils <1%
Involved with inflammatory response to injury

Arterial Blood Gases (ABGs)CholesterolCoags
pH 7.35-7.45Total Cholesterol: less than 200 mg/dLaPTT: 30-40 secs
PO2: 80-100 mmHgHDL: greater than 60 mg/dLPT: 11-12.5 secs
PCO2: 35-45 mmHgLDL: less than 130 mg/dLINR: 2-3 (standard warfarin tx)
HCO3: 22-26 mEq/LTriglycerides: Less than 160 mg/dL
Normal Adult Values for Vital SignsDrug Levels
Pulse oximetry: 92-100%Dilantin 10-20 μ/mL
Pulse: 60-100Theophylline 10-20 mcg/mL
Respiratory rate: 12-20Digoxin 0.5-2 mg/dL
Systolic Blood pressure: 100-130Lithium 0.6-1.2 mg/dL

LM/EGM/UFOmeeting 8_18_2023 @1530