2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog

The Jeanette Cantrell Rudy School of Nursing


Carole Ann Bach, PhD, MSN, Dean

Betty J. Kohal, DNP, MSN,  Associate Dean

Rachel Carlton, DNP, MSN, Director Online RN to BSN program

Beth Chatham, MSN

Patricia Davis-Scott, MSN

Judy Gunter, MSN

Gail Humes, MSN

Maggie Keil, MSN

Joy Kimbrell, MSN

Ronda Landers, MSN

Jean Markie, MSN

Fay McRady, MSN

Robin Retallack, MSN

Diane Thorup, MSN

Barbara Tincher, MSN

Trudy Wright, MSN

Mission Statement

The mission of the Jeanette Rudy School of Nursing is to prepare individuals to become professional baccalaureate prepared registered nurses, who possess knowledge of the applied and natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences. The student will demonstrate the ability to think critically, as well as, the capacity to demonstrate caring and compassion to those he/she serves in a manner which employs integrity into the art of nursing practice. The student, upon graduation, will be prepared for an entry level position as a registered nurse and will continue to be a lifelong learner.


Philosophy of Nursing and Nursing Education


Nursing is viewed as both an art and a science, reflecting upon the concepts of the nursing metaparadigm. Nursing is an applied discipline which expresses itself in practice, and has its foundation in scientific/empirical knowledge, theory, and research. Nursing is also expressed as a caring, therapeutic and teaching discipline.

The goal of nursing is optimum client wellness and maximum level of functioning. The School of Nursing curriculum reflects the belief that the generalist nurse must function in an independent role in many situations and is responsible for independent decisions and actions. Faculty in the School of Nursing encourage the use of the science-based and goal directed nursing process as a framework for critical thinking and decision making to produce therapeutic nursing interventions. The nursing interventions are evidence-based and stem from their core knowledge. The professional nurse must appreciate the role of informatics-both the acquisition of knowledge, as well as, timely electronic record-keeping.

Theoretical and empirical knowledge from nursing, biological, social sciences, and the humanities are synthesized in utilization of the nursing process (an evidence-based series of activities employed by the nurse in an ongoing effort toward achieving desired outcomes for humans, environment, and health). The steps of the nursing process include assessment, nursing diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation.

The therapeutic component of nursing is realized by providing health care or knowledge of health care practices to enhance one's level of wellness. The teaching component of nursing includes providing information to make health care decisions, acquire skills, and to change behavior. When it is not possible to promote wellness, nursing seeks to enable individuals to adjust to illness and/or relieve suffering. When it is not possible to promote a healthy life, nursing seeks to enable individuals to adjust to theri loss and a peaceful death. The nurse must assume a leadership role as she/he designs nursing systems to meet their patient's overt and covert health care needs. The nurse must collaborate with the multi-disciplinary health care teams which is an innate part of professionalism. The nurse must also understand the role of health care policy as it relates to patient care as well as having an appreciation for the health care needs from a global perspective.

Nursing Education:

Faculty in the School of Nursing (SON) believes that the BSN degree is the minimum level of educational preparation for professional nurses.  The faculty also believes that nursing education should be based in the liberal arts and sciences with the majority of non-nursing courses placed at the lower division level.  In keeping with these beliefs, the majority of the Upper Division course hours are in nursing science. Nursing science courses are constructed to develop the student through the integration of nursing knowledge and knowledge from the humanities and social natural sciences.

The School of Nursing faculty also believes that the educational concepts of "transfer of learning" and "critical thinking" are more valuable than rote memorization.  Since the world of nursing is evolving and rapidly changing, it is more important that students learn to transfer knowledge from one situation to another while making decisions based on critical thinking specific to a situation.  The School of Nursing provides nursing education that is based in practice, thus giving students an opportunity to transfer theoretical knowledge into clinical learning experiences.  School of Nursing faculty is committed to preparing each student so that they become practicing graduates who contribute to nursing as competent and caring professionals.  In keeping with the 2010 Institute of Medicine Report and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing "Essentials in Baccalaureate Nursing" document, students of nursing must be able to perform nursing techniques and technologies at a competent level of performance triggered from their core knowledge of the skill set itself, embraced with strong critical thinking and a thorough operationalization of the nursing process. 

Inherent with the professional nursing practice, the faculty serves as role models in mentoring the students of nursing to the role of professionalism.  Emphasis is placed on integrity and respect as well as striving towards excellence in practice.  The faculty is held accountable for teaching the students of nursing the skill sets that are pertinent to professional practice, and the students are also held accountable for learning the prescribed curriculum content.  The students will also develop knowledge of cultural competence as they learn to address the health care needs of a diverse society.


Terminal Outcomes

At the conclusion of the BSN Program of Study, the graduate will be prepared to:

  1. Use critical thinking skills to plan and provide care for individuals, families, communities, and populations at risk based on the application of knowledge, evidence-based practice (EBP), research from nursing science, behavioral sciences, and natural sciences, as well as the humanities.
  2. Perform nursing care by utilizing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in accordance with a biopsychosocial framework to assist the patient/client/community to their highest level of wellness.
  3. Use the nursing process to design care that promotes, maintains, and/or restores the optimal functioning of clients on the wellness-illness continuum in a variety of health care settings.
  4. Communicate effectively by using a variety of strategies and teaching/learning techniques in collaboration with the client, family caregivers, and interdisciplinary health care teams to promote optimum health outcomes.
  5. Advocate a standard of care integrating principles of law, ethics and recognizing cultural and spiritual diversity within the global marketplace.
  6. Practice nursing by utilizing principles of information technology, health care policy and health care economics within regulatory environments.
  7. Demonstrate quality care leadership and patient safety with emphasis on improved patient outcomes.
  8. Display a personal commitment to the advancement of professional nursing.

Accreditation Statement

The Jeanette Rudy School of Nursing is approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing (Cordell Hull Building; 426 5th Avenue North; Nashville, TN 37247; 615-532-5166) and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (3343 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 850; Atlanta, GA 30326; 404-975-5000).

Center for Nursing & Healthcare Professional Development

A site has been established in Mt. Juliet, TN to house a program set up for full time working adults who wish to pursue a career in nursing. Most all prerequisites and classes are the same as the Lebanon site except the classes in Mt. Juliet are offered during nights and weekends to accommodate working adults. Students must complete all prerequisite coursework prior to beginning this program. Special note: Two courses, PSY 205 and NUR 330 are required prerequisites for this program.

Nursing Entry Options

The School of Nursing offers three entry options leading to a baccalaureate degree in nursing:

Entry Option I is a generic, eight semester academic and clinical nursing program.

Entry Option II is a completely online program that enables registered nurses (RNs) to upgrade from an associate degree or diploma in nursing to a BSN.

Entry Option III is designed for students who hold a university parallel associate degree or a baccalaureate degree in an area other than nursing.

Nursing Admission Requirements

  1. Admission to Cumberland University with declaration of nursing as major.
  2. Completion of all pre-nursing coursework the semester of or the semester before admission to the School of Nursing.
  3. A Letter of Intent to enter the School of Nursing must be submitted to the Office of Admissions.
  4. Official transcript(s) must be on file with the Office of Admissions.

Admission to the of Nursing is determined by the following criteria

  1. Successful completion of pre-nursing coursework (including BIO 111, BIO 203, BIO 213, BIO 214, CHEM 103, MATH 110 or 111, PSY 201, PSY 205, PSY 211, SOC 221) with the exception of no more than 10 hours of core coursework if those hours can be completed as co-requisites to NUR 302. (Students attending the Center of Nursing & Healthcare Professional Development must complete all prerequisite coursework prior to entering the program).
  2. Satisfactory score on a standardized pre-admission examination and any prescribed reading examinations. Test scores must have been earned within one (1) year of entering the School of Nursing.
  3. A minimum GPA requirement is 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), with no grade below a “C,” in the pre-nursing coursework as outlined on the Nursing Program of Study at the time of planned matriculation into the School of Nursing (including students holding university parallel two (2) year degrees and bachelor degrees).

Longevity at Cumberland University:  Cumberland University students who meet the three criteria will have priority over students transferring from another university. Longevity will be determined by the number of semesters of full-time enrollment at Cumberland University.

Special Admission Provisions

The School of Nursing Admissions Committee will review student petitions for admission on an individual basis. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to attach certain stipulations to admission (e.g. by limiting the total number of hours in which a student may enroll during a semester and/or requiring specific developmental coursework and/or requiring a peer tutor).

Transfer Policies

Students must first meet the requirements for admission to Cumberland University. The Nursing Admissions & Progression Committee evaluates each student who transfers from another accredited nursing program on an individual basis. Students who have earned a grade lower than “B” in a nursing course at another college or university may not transfer into the School of Nursing, but may apply for admission to the School and the Nursing Admissions & Progression Committee will determine admission on an individual basis. Requests to transfer nursing courses from another college or university will also be considered by the Nursing Admissions & Progression Committee on an individual basis. Students who transfer to with satisfactory grades in microbiology and Anatomy and Physiology I & II will have satisfied the Area 2E – Natural Sciences section of the General Education Core with the exception of CHEM 103 – Introduction to Chemistry.

Students who desire to transfer from another BSN program must meet the following requirements:

  1. A letter of good standing from the previous nursing program.
  2. A minimum grade of “B” in any nursing course the student desires to transfer. A written request for transfer credit must be forwarded to the Nursing Admissions & Progression Committee for a ruling.
  3. Completion of a minimum of 25% or 30 credit hours toward degree earned at Cumberland University.

Progression Requirements for All Nursing Students

  1. Physical Exam: Once a student has been admitted to the Jeanette C. Rudy School of Nursing, they must provide a record of a physical examination within the past 3 months. The physical exam must be performed by a qualified practitioner.

    a. Completion of a School of Nursing Health Form is required of each nursing student prior to enrollment in any nursing course with a lab or clinical component.

    b. A physical examination with completion of the School of Nursing Health Form may also be required anytime thereafter if School of Nursing representatives judge that health status is questionable.

    c. All completed forms must be submitted to the Administrative Assistant in the School of Nursing on or before the first day of class.

  2. Laboratory report results of a Complete Blood Count (CBC) and Urinalysis before admission and anytime thereafter if any representative of the questions the initial results and/or health status of a current student.

  3. Annual submission of evidence of major medical insurance coverage.

  4. Tetanus Toxoid (within the last 10 years).

  5. Titers for each of the following: Mumps, Rubeola (Red Measles), Rubella (German Measles) and Varicella showing IGG anitbodies. If student is found to be non-immune then student must be re-immunized unless contraindicated by health care provider.

  6. As a minimum, students must have received the 1st Hepatitis B vaccination of the series of 3 injections or a Quantitative Titer showing evidence of immunity to Hepatitis B. After completion of series of Quantative Titer will be required 30-60 days after the third injection showing evidence of immunity to Hepatitis B. Please note a statement from your physician will not be adequate, the numerical results of the titer are required. A student who refuses the Hepatitis B vaccine series or who has a negative titer after completing the series must sign a waiver releasing Cumberland University and any clinical placement site from liability in the event the student decides to continue clinical experiences without or before developing immunity.

  7. Initial documentation of a 2 step negative Tuberculosis (TB) screen and annual documentation (or more often if required by a clinical agency). (Effective 2010)

  8. Annual evidence of current enrollment in a group professional liability insurance program, with designated minimum coverage as set forth by the School of Nursing.

  9. Evidence of current American Heart Association Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) certification. The course must be specified for healthcare provider and must include both adult and child components.

  10. Achievement of a minimum grade of “C” in all nursing courses in both clinical and didactic portions of the courses. This applies to the online RN to BSN nursing program as well.

  11. Students who receive two final course grades of “D” in any nursing course or combination of nursing courses will be dismissed from the program. This applies to the online RN to BSN nursing program as well.

  12. A passing score on the Nursing Exit Exam is a requirement for completion of the Program of Study. Students who do not achieve a passing score will be entered into a Program of Remediation until they can demonstrate a satisfactory score.

  13. All nursing majors are expected to achieve satisfactory scores on standardized comprehensive examinations during the final semester of the senior year.            

  14. Nursing majors are expected to be continuously enrolled. In the event that a break in enrollment is necessary, a written request for a leave should be submitted to the Dean of the School of Nursing who will present the request to the Nursing Admission & Progression Committee.

  15. Any nursing student who has broken enrollment for more than one semester may not continue in the program but must apply for re-instatement into the School of Nursing courses. The Nursing Admissions & Progression Committee will review each student’s case individually to determine placement in the Program of Studies.

    Specialized Grading and Testing Policies for Nursing

    Nursing courses are sequential and require prerequisite courses to provide appropriate background for each new course. Nursing majors must earn a grade of “C” in all course work within the Nursing Program of Study. Students who earn a grade below “C” in any nursing course will be placed on probation in the School of Nursing. If a student earns a second grade below “C” in the same or any other nursing course, the student is ineligible to continue in the School of Nursing. A student who withdraws from a nursing course (NUR) with a grade below a “C” will receive a “WF". A “WF” is considered the same as any grade below a “C". This policy applies to all Entry Options at the Jeanette C. Rudy School of Nursing.

    Students must earn at least a 75% average on tests to pass clinical nursing courses. In this case, papers or projects that are part of the course are not averaged into the grade until the 75% test average is achieved. A paper or project grade may improve a course grade, but may not be the determining factor for passing. Alternatively, poor paper or project grades may contribute to a failing course grade. This policy will also be outlined in course syllabi.

    Additional Nursing Costs

    Nursing students must purchase uniform(s), laboratory coat(s), a skills lab bag, program patches, and a name badge along with additional equipment (a list is available in the School of Nursing).

    Nursing students are required to complete a Background Check prior to enrollment in the program. Additionally, students may be required to get a drug screen prior to selected clinical placements. A positive drug screen is grounds for dismissal from the program. Nursing students may be required to submit to a random urine drug screen (UDS) and a random urine, breath, or blood alcohol test during their tenure in the School and at any time deemed appropriate by the faculty.

    School of Nursing Student Handbook

    The School of Nursing publishes a student handbook detailing policies and procedures for nursing students. The regulations contained in this document apply to each student enrolled in the nursing program.

    Licensure Examination

    After completing the prescribed curriculum, the pre-licensure student is eligible to apply to a State Board of Nursing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for the privilege of becoming a registered nurse.

    It is important for nursing students to know about the Tennessee Board of Nursing policy regarding the review of candidates as to eligibility for initial and continued licensure. There will be a question on the application for licensure as a registered nurse, which asks: “Have you ever been convicted of a violation of the law other than a minor traffic offense?” If the answer is affirmative, the Tennessee Board of Nursing decides on an individual basis whether or not a graduate is granted registered nurse licensure.

    VSCC/Cumberland Partnership

    Through this partnership, Volunteer State Community College (VSCC) students earning the Associate of Science in Pre-Nursing will transfer to to complete requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing through the Jeanette C. Rudy School of Nursing. All VSCC credits apply toward the BSN at Cumberland University.

    VSCC students apply during the Fall semester of their sophomore year. Representatives from both VSCC and Cumberland University will serve on the Selection Committee. Selected students meeting the admissions requirements and following the admissions procedures will receive conditional admission into the nursing program pending receipt and review of the final official transcript confirming the award of the associate’s degree.

    Cumberland University admits students to the nursing program three times per calendar year (Fall, Spring, Summer). Ten seats in each semester cohort will be reserved for selected VSCC graduates completing all admissions requirements and procedures. Additional information can be found on the Jeanette C. Rudy School of Nursing website through Cumberland University.

    General Admissions Requirements

    Successful candidates will:

    • Present a GPA 3.0 on a 4.0 scale on all coursework.
    • Present grades of A, B, or C in all Math and Science courses.
    • Schedule completion of all pre-nursing courses before the semester of admission to the School of Nursing.
    • Achieve a passing score on a standardized Kaplan Nurse Assessment test taken at Cumberland University.

    General Admission Procedures

    Students may not apply to the Jeanette C. Rudy School of Nursing until they have 10 hours or less of prerequisites to take.

    Candidates meeting the Admission Requirements will:

    • Submit Letter of Intent to enter the School of Nursing to the Office of Admissions.
    • Complete an application to Cumberland University at least one month prior to application for admission to the School of Nursing.
    • Request all official transcripts to be sent to Cumberland University Office of Admissions.
    • Apply for admission to the Jeanette C. Rudy School of Nursing after confirmed admission to Cumberland University.
    • Register to complete the Kaplan Nurse Assessment test through the Office of Admissions. Test dates are posted on the School of Nursing website.