GRADUATE NURSING HANDBOOKPlease review all materials in this document AFTER ADMISSION TO THE NURSING PROGRAM.The guidelines, policies, and procedures in this handbook provide an orientation to the GraduateNursing Programs and a resource which should be referred to throughout your education.NOTE: Announcements are made periodically when the handbook is updated. Newer policies replacethe previously published policies unless noted otherwise.Graduate Nursing Student Handbook1

CONTENTSGraduate Nursing Handbook . 1Preface . 6Important Telephone Numbers. 6Nursing Program Mission, Vision, and Core Values . 7Academic Nursing Policies and Procedures . 8Nursing Graduate Programs Orientation . 8Student-At-Large Status . 8Academic Advising . 8Changing a degree path in Nursing . 10Graduation . 10Completion of Post-Master’s Certificate Programs . 10Deadlines. 11Academic Standing . 11Grading Policies for Nursing Masters, DNP and Certificate Students . 11Standardized Grading Policy for the Nursing Programs . 12Policy for Dismissal from Graduate Programs in Nursing . 12Procedures for Appealing Allegedly Capricious Course Grades of Graduate-Level Students . 12General Guidelines for Addressing Concerns about Nursing Graduate Program Policies andProcedures . 12Exit Surveys with Graduating Students . 13Leave of Absence . 13Academic Integrity . 13Core Performance Standards for the Nursing Programs . 14Policy Regarding Students with Disabilities or Chronic Health Problems . 15Policy on Fluency in English Language . 15Nursing 630: Independent Study in Nursing . 16Student’s Responsibilities and Professional Behaviors . 17Student Responsibilities . 17Student Responsibility for Obtaining Current University Information . 17Statement Regarding Confidentiality . 17Policy for Electronic Devices and Social Networking . 17American Nurses Association Code for Nurses: 2015 Approvied Provisions . 18Graduate Nursing Student Handbook2

Professionalism Statement . 19Policy Regarding Failure in a Clinical or Didactic Course and Program Dismissal for UnprofessionalConduct . 19Enrollment Requirements . 19Program Length and Scheduling of Classes. 20Registration . 20Inability to Register for Desired Courses: Wait Lists . 20Permit Course Registration . 20Overloads and Underloads . 21Clinical Internship Policies. 22Internship Planning Packet. 22Procedures for Notification of Intent to Enroll in Internships . 22Preparation the Semester before Scheduled Internship. 23Clinical requirements . 24Overview of Clinical Requirements . 24Provisional Admittance . 24Clinical Requirements . 24Criminal Background Check . 2510-Panel Rapid Drug Screen . 25Annual Standard Precautions (Bloodborne Pathogens - BBP) Training . 25Health Insurance . 25CPR Certification . 25RN License . 25Annual Influenza Vaccination . 25Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR) Immunity . 25Hepatitis B (HBV) Immunity . 26Varicella Immunity . 26Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap) booster . 26Tuberculosis (TB) Testing . 26Renewable Requirements . 26Medical Contraindications . 27Failure to comply. 27Additional Questions may be referred to. 27Graduate Nursing Student Handbook3

Guidelines for Students in Clinical Practice/Education Settings . 27Policy on the Disclosure of HIV Status . 27Policy on Refusal to Care for a Patient . 28Professional Appearance . 28General Information. 30Student Services. 30Bookstore . 30Required Course Textbooks. 30Drug Information Software . 30Bulletin Boards . 30Computers . 30School of Nursing Blackboard Organization . 31Copy and Print Machines . 31Health Care . 31ID Cards . 31Library . 32Lounge. 32Parking at NIU . 32Smoking Policy . 32Writing Center . 32Web Page . 32Additional Services . 32Organizations and Committees . 33School of Nursing Committees . 33Sigma Theta Tau International, Beta Omega Chapter . 34Policy Statement for Student Fees . 34Graduate Assistantships . 34Scholarships . 34Registration for a National Certification Examination. 35Purpose and Goals of Northern Illinois University’s Master of Science (MS) in Nursing Program . 36Northern Illinois University Master of Science in Nursing Conceptual Framework. 36Northern Illinois University Master of Science in Nursing Model . 38Master of Science (M.S.) in Nursing Student Learning Outcomes . 38Graduate Nursing Student Handbook4

Master of Science Degree in Nursing . 39Program Requirements . 39Doctor of Nursing Practice: Purpose, Goals and Outcomes. 41Northern Illinois University Doctor of Nursing Practice Conceptual Framework . 41Northern Illinois University Doctor of Nursing Practice Education Model . 42Doctor of Nursing Practice Requirements. 43DNP Project Policies . 44Project and Practicum Planning . 45Procedures for Site and Preceptor Application . 45Graduate Nursing Student Handbook5

PREFACEThis handbook is intended to provide students with reference information and to provide answers tothe more commonly asked questions posed by new and returning students as they progress throughtheir graduate program. The purpose of this handbook is to complement, NOT replace, the NorthernIllinois University Graduate Catalog is the responsibility of students to know and observe all regulations and procedures related to theprogram they are pursuing. In no case will a regulation be waived or an exception granted becausestudents plead ignorance of or contend that they were not informed of the regulations or procedures.Each student has access to the Nursing Graduate Student Handbook on the Nursing Program ml) under the “Resources” for M. S. in Nursing (MS),Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Post-Master’s Nursing Certificate links. It is the responsibility ofthe student to refer to this handbook as well as any e-mails sent to their NIU student e-mail address.Calendar and Personal/Academic Information for NIU StudentsBe sure to check MyNIU ( for information about enrollment dates. Registrationfor classes is done online via MyNIU; schedules for each semester are posted about 3 months prior tothe semester. MyNIU also lists your current specialization, progress toward meeting degreerequirements, personal contact information (name, address, phone, etc.), and the application forgraduation/degree. Graduation deadlines and other current Graduate School policies are found on theGraduate School website ( If you click on the “CurrentStudents” button at the top of page, you will see current, pertinent forms, and information.IMPORTANT TELEPHONE NUMBERSMain NIU OperatorSchool of Nursing & Health Studies OfficeDirector of Nursing Graduate StudiesNursing Program CoordinatorDNP Academic CounselorAPN Internship CoordinatorCollege of Health and Human SciencesGraduate SchoolStudent Financial Aid OfficeNIU Police DepartmentBursar's OfficeNIU Library InformationWeather Closing InformationGraduate Nursing Student 1995753-6736 (Local)(888) 464-8673 (Long Distance)6

NURSING PROGRAM MISSION, VISION, AND CORE VALUESNursing Program: Mission StatementTo prepare Graduates to be leaders in providing patient-centered care, fostering research,integrating knowledge and improving healthoutcomes for all.Approved by NURS General Faculty Council (2021)Nursing Program Vision: To be a regional center for excellence in nursing education and scholarship.Four Core Values (from AACN resources below)Commitment:A pledged action to serve altruistically with respect for human dignity (AACN, 2013).Integrity:“is acting in accordance with an appropriate code of ethics and acceptedstandards of practice. Integrity is reflected in professional practice when theperson is honest and provides care based on an ethical framework that isaccepted within the profession“(AACN, 2013, pg. 1).Social Justice:“is upholding moral, legal, and humanistic principles. This value is reflectedin professional practice when the person works to assure treatment under thelaw and access to quality health care” (AACN, 2013, pg. 1).Responsiveness:“is fundamental, because it relates to basic human rights. Health systems,education, economic, political and cultural systems share responsiveness as a goal.Each system to be successful must respond to the legitimate needs of its constituents”(Darby, Valentine, Murray, & De Silva, n.d.).ReferencesAmerican Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2013a). Standards of conduct. Retrievedfrom n Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2013b). Interdisciplinaryeducation and practice. Retrieved /interdisciplinary-education-and-practiceDarby, C., Valentine, N. Murray, C.J.L., De Silva, A. (n.d.). World Health Organization (WHO): Strategyon measuring responsiveness. Retrieved by NURS General Faculty Council 12/2/2013Graduate Nursing Student Handbook7

ACADEMIC NURSING POLICIES AND PROCEDURESNURSING GRADUATE PROGRAMS ORIENTATIONOrientation material, including the guidelines, policies and procedures for the nursing program, arepublished in this Graduate Nursing Student Handbook. Each newly admitted graduate nursing studentis required to review the content in the Graduate Nursing Student Handbook and submit signedverification of having done so as part of submitting Clinical Requirements documentation.Additional detailed guidelines specific to internships, planning your program of study/course sequence,the master course schedule for the next few years, additional requirements (e.g., Clinical Requirementsdocumentation), and how to apply for certification examinations after graduation are published on theSchool of Nursing Blackboard Organization site under the link “Graduate Student Information.”The current NIU Graduate Catalog can be found online at the NIU Graduate School website andprovides official Graduate School policies. This Graduate Nursing Student Handbook contains policiesthat are aligned to the Graduate School policies, but that provide specific detailed information on areasrelevant to study in nursing.STUDENT-AT-LARGE STATUSAn individual who has not yet applied for regular admission to the Graduate School, who has appliedbut has not yet been admitted, or who was admitted to one of the post-master’s certificate programsmay be permitted to register for graduate work as a student-at-large. For degree-seeking students, amaximum of 9 semester hours of credit earned as a student-at-large may be applied to degreerequirements with the approval of the student’s faculty adviser. Exceptions to this 9-hour limit aremade for students who are admitted to the post-master’s certificate programs because they are notdegree-seeking students.Application to become a student-at-large is made online at the Graduate School website( However, it should be noted that admitted degreeseeking and post-master’s certificate students receive priority over students-at-large in registering forcoursesACADEMIC ADVISINGEach student is assigned an adviser upon admission and confirmation of that admission to theGraduate School. The Director of Nursing Graduate Studies appoints the adviser. The adviser assists inplanning the student’s sequence of courses in their program of study. The adviser also serves as a rolemodel, mentor, and resource person. Every student admitted to a Graduate Nursing Program shouldmake an appointment to meet with their adviser early in the first semester of study as an admittedstudent.Graduate Nursing Student Handbook8

Roles and ResponsibilitiesAdviser1. Assist student in planning an official sequence of courses, called a “plan of study” for theirspecialization. The adviser reviews and approves the plan.2. Explore career goals with advisee.3. Revise the plan of study as needed.4. Address other issues that arise related to the advisee’s progress in the program.Advisees1. Schedule an appointment with the adviser as early as possible in your first semester as anadmitted student to plan an official plan of study (i.e., “sequence of courses”) for yourspecialization.2. Review Nursing Program orientation materials in the Graduate Nursing Student Handbook andseek clarification from adviser as needed.3. As needed, submit online requests for transfer credits, change of specialization or re-entry intothe Graduate School after an absence of 12 months or more (available at students.shtml). A variety of forms areavailable at the Graduate School website: .shtml.4. Use the Graduate Nursing Student Handbook, Nursing Program website information, GraduateCatalog, and other current online materials as reference sources.5. Notify the Graduate School and the Nursing program of changes in name, phone number, andaddress. Changes can be made via MyNIU, but the nursing program does not receive anautomatic update or notification of changes. NOTE that the name on current nursing license inIL should agree with the name under which student is registered at NIU; this will eliminatepotential discrepancies when applying for professional positions, the certification examination,and/or advanced practice license after graduation.6. Use your NIU e-mail address, since it is used for official communications related to enrollmentat NIU.7. Ensure that your specialization is listed correctly in MyNIU; look at your degree progress report(called “Academic Requirements” in the Student Center) or unofficial transcript for currentsemester.8. Register for classes at the earliest possible time each semester. Adhere to your plannedsequence of courses when enrolling for courses or revise your sequence of courses.9. Consult with your adviser and provide documentation to address any deficiencies orstipulations placed on your admission as specified in your letter of admission from the NursingProgram.10. Contact the Graduate Internship Coordinator, Ms. Jerri Reynolds ([email protected]), oneyear prior to each internship. Deadlines for contacting Ms. Reynolds to receive a preceptorreferral one year prior to each internship are as follows: September 1 – November 1 for FallInternships, January 1-March 1 for Spring Internships, June 1-Autgust 15 for SummerInternships. If you do not contact Ms. Reynolds by email during the above periods of time, youwill be required to re-track your internships on a space available basis.Graduate Nursing Student Handbook9

CHANGING A DEGREE PATH IN NURSINGBecause each student is admitted to a particular specialization in nursing and there are limitedenrollments available in each specialty (i.e., specialization), requests for changes are reviewed andapproved on an individual basis. Making a request does not guarantee approval.If a student has changed professional goals and recognizes that a different specialization might betterfacilitate meeting those goals, a request can be made to change the specialization. These requests willbe evaluated each fall and spring semester when the Graduate Nursing Admissions Committee meets(about 2 weeks after the graduate application deadlines of October 1 for spring admissions andFebruary 15 for fall admissions). Requests for changes in specialization should be submitted by theOctober 1 or February 15 deadline dates.To submit a request, the student must first submit a request for a “Change of Major;” an electronicform can be found on the Graduate School website on the Forms t-forms.shtml). The student should also submit a onepage goal statement to the Director of Nursing Graduate Studies. This can be sent electronically to theDirector. The goal statement should address the student’s professional goals and how changing thespecialization will help meet those goals.Each request and goal statement will be reviewed by the Graduate Nursing Admissions Committee.After review, the student will be notified by the Graduate School of the decision outcome regarding thechange of specialization request.GRADUATIONA student planning to graduate must apply for graduation by the Graduate School’s deadline. Deadlinesare posted on the Graduate School website l). Inaddition, several electronic e-mail notifications are sent by the Graduate School to matriculatedgraduate students each academic year. Deadlines are usually about 9 months prior to the desiredgraduation date. All degree-seeking students must apply for graduation whether or not they want toparticipate in the commencement ceremony.Application for graduation is made through MyNIU. Students can also monitor their progress towardmeeting degree requirements on MyNIU; refer to Student Help at MyNIU for how to obtaininformation about reviewing the Academic Requirement report in the MyNIU Student Center( All students who apply for graduation by the deadline are put on thepreliminary graduation list for that term. If unforeseen circumstances arise, the applicant forgraduation can defer their graduation. An online form to request deferral is available at the GraduateSchool website on the Student Forms page html).COMPLETION OF POST-MASTER’S CERTIFICATE PROGRAMSA student enrolled in a post-master’s certificate program should monitor their own progress towardcompleting program requirements and consult with the faculty adviser periodically throughout theprogram of study. After grades are posted during the last semester of study, notify the Director ofNursing Graduate Studies. To show program completion on the official transcript, the Director mustsend documentation of certificate completion to the Graduate School.Graduate Nursing Student Handbook10

DEADLINESSee the current course Schedule online for the following fall and spring semester deadlines:Schedule of Classes - the schedule of classes is posted on MyNIU in October for the spring semesterand in March for the fall semester and summer session.Applications for Graduation and Payment of Graduation Fees - Dates are posted on MyNIU and on theGraduate School website. Deadlines are approximately six months prior to anticipated date ofgraduation. The applications become available approximately 9 months prior to the anticipated date ofgraduation.Drop/Adds and Withdrawal from class deadlines are also found on the Graduate School website forcurrent students as well as in MyNIU.Nursing Program Scholarship Application Deadlines - Look for announcements on the nursing programwebsite and announcements made via the School of Nursing Organization on Blackboard.ACADEMIC STANDINGTo remain in g

The current NIU Graduate atalog can be found online at the NIU Graduate School website and provides official Graduate School policies. This Graduate Nursing Student Handbook contains policies that are aligned to the Graduate School policies, but that provide specific detailed information on areas relevant to study in nursing. STUDENT-AT-LARGE .