MacMurray's program of study leading to a baccalaureate degree in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791. Graduates of the program are prepared to take the national examination for licensure as a registered nurse (NCLEX-RN) and are prepared for ongoing graduate study for advanced nursing roles.
The Nursing Program was fully approved by the Committee of Nurse Examiners of the State of Illinois on August 3, 1979. The first class began later in August 1979. The first clinical courses were offered in the 1981-82 academic year and the first students graduated in May 1983.
The MacMurray College Division of Nursing is among the few professional nursing education programs in central Illinois providing baccalaureate nursing education within a liberal arts institution. Students enter the program from diverse geographic and social backgrounds, bringing their unique contributions to the study of nursing.
The MacMurray College Nursing Program prepares graduates for professional nursing practice, graduate education, and ongoing career development within a nursing curriculum which is supported by an integrated liberal arts core. This integration promotes sound interpretation of new knowledge, clear articulation of thoughts, interdisciplinary connections, and discrimination in making judgments about factors that influence the human condition. Baccalaureate nursing education at MacMurray College prepares students to enter the nursing profession with the knowledge, values, and competencies necessary to provide safe, high quality nursing care for diverse groups in a variety of settings. Consistent with the mission and goals of MacMurray College, the Division of Nursing stresses excellence in teaching, service, and scholarship among its faculty.
Graduates of the MacMurray Nursing Program will be competent professional nurses who are prepared to
- assume responsibility for supporting the profession by demonstrating concern for the welfare of others, engaging in self-reflection, maintaining lifelong learning, and engaging in moral, ethical, and legal behaviors;
- use clinical reasoning, intellectual curiosity, insight, and creativity in making and evaluating clinical judgments to improve care and quality outcomes and use data to monitor outcomes of care to improve quality;
- communicate effectively with diverse groups using a variety of modes and strategies;
- use the nursing process in providing patient/family-centered care to meet the health needs of individuals, families, and communities;
- design and manage healthcare in collaboration with patients, families, and other members of the healthcare team;
- discuss the implications of healthcare policies and systems on safety and quality;
- use technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision making;
- integrate best current evidence with clinical expertise and patient/family values for delivery of optimum health;
- apply knowledge from the liberal arts and sciences in planning and delivering nursing care.
Nursing Admission Process
All students begin application to the Nursing Program by applying to MacMurray College. Official copies of high school and college transcripts as well as test scores (ACT and/or SAT) should be forwarded from the appropriate institution. A student applying for advanced placement as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN) must also provide a copy of current nursing licensure to the College Registrar and the Nursing Program. Certified nurse assistants (CNA) must provide a copy of current certification to the College Registrar and the Nursing Program to receive three hours of academic credit for their certification. Admission to the Nursing Program is on a space-available basis and specific deadlines are in place for freshman entry and transfer entry students.
Nursing Admission Requirements
- Freshman Entry
- Admission to MacMurray
- Minimum 2.75 high school GPA
- 20 ACT composite or SAT equivalent
- Introductory chemistry course with a grade of C or better within past 5 years
- Ability to meet the essential performance standards for nursing practice (see below)
- Transfer Entry
- GPA of 2.75 or greater
- 20 ACT composite or SAT equivalent
- Microbiology and Organic Chemistry with grades of C or better in each course
- Ability to meet the essential performance standards for nursing (see below)
Essential Performance Standards for Nursing
Applicants to the MacMurray College Nursing Program must possess sufficient physical, motor, intellectual, emotional, social, and communication skills necessary to safely and effectively care for their patients when providing direct or indirect care. The following list provides examples of activities nurses must regularly perform. This list is not all inclusive.
- Bend, stoop, squat, and turn in small work spaces
- Move about independently and quickly
- Remain at patient's side for a prolonged period of time for purposes of monitoring and frequent assessment
- Perform CPR which requires strength and adequate lung expansion
- Assist in lifting and moving patients and patient care materials such as beds, chairs, etc.
- Manual Dexterity
- Manipulate equipment, materials, and small objects
- Open and close medication containers
- Prepare medications and administer orally or by injection
- Perform sterile procedures and other skilled procedures
- Respond to communication from patients with or without direct view of the patient's face
- Respond to monitor alarms, emergency signals, overhead pages, call bells from patients, and calls for help in a rapid and effective manner
- Accurately hear through a stethoscope to discriminate sounds
- Identify absence of or changes in respirations
- Identify changes in skin color, temperature, or moisture
- Accurately process printed and computerized information
- Read fine print on supplies and medications
- Accurately hear on the telephone
- Emotional Stability
- Adapt rapidly to environmental changes and multiple task demands
- Provide emotional support to patients
- Maintain adequate concentration and attention in patient care settings
- Perform under stress produced by both academic study and the necessity of performing nursing care in the clinical setting
- Maintain behavioral decorum in stressful situations
- Critical Thinking
- Comprehend verbal and written information
- Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize data
- Identify cause and effect relationships
- Organize and retain information in basic knowledge and skills areas
- Sequence information in a logical manner so that it can be understood by others
- Transfer knowledge from one situation to another
- Interpersonal/Communication Skills
- Communicate clearly and effectively in English
- Engage in interactions with clients, families, and others from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds
- Interpret patient responses, initiate client education, and document and interpret orders
- Establish and maintain effective working relationships with coworkers, faculty, and student colleagues
- Report critical patient information to other caregivers in person, on the telephone, and via written media
Applicants or students who have difficulties with one or more of these skills should contact the Director of Disability Services to determine whether reasonable accommodations can be made.
Students who are admitted to the Nursing Program as freshmen have a place secured in the appropriate nursing class provided they maintain grades of C or better in all nursing prerequisite courses and meet the GPA requirements of the College.
Transfer placement is on a space-available basis and based on evaluation of official transcripts by the Assistant Director of One-Stop Student Services in conjunction with the Division Chair of Nursing. Students who have taken previous nursing courses at another institution but failed to complete the program of study are required to complete all MacMurray College nursing courses.
Microbiology and Organic Chemistry must be completed by May prior to entering nursing courses.
All natural science requirements in nursing must be completed by the end of the sophomore year in order to enter NURS 310 and NURS 330 the following fall.
Students must be willing to comply with the Nursing Program's health and safety requirements including immunizations, TB testing, background checks, and drug screening.
LPNs receive at least 16 hours of academic credit for LPN licensure itself (MACM 108, NURS 205, NURS 210, NURS 211, and BIOL 120). Additional credits may be awarded for general education courses and/or other science courses based upon review of official transcripts from a regionally accredited college or university.
CNAs receive up to 3 hours of academic credit for certification. This three credits counts towards the free electives built within the program.
RNs graduating from an approved ADN program are granted junior standing in the RN to BSN program which is delivered exclusively in a distance education format. Graduates of an approved diploma program are evaluated on an individual basis.
Nursing faculty serve as academic advisors to all nursing students.
Progression/Retention/Dismissal in the Nursing Program
Students are subject to the policies stated in the Division of Nursing Student Handbook. In summary, progression through the Nursing Program is sequential. Students who receive a D or F in a nursing course will not be allowed to progress until successful completion of the work in question. For all clinical courses, the clinical component is Pass/Fail. Failure in the clinical practicum will result in failure of the course.
To remain in the nursing program, students must meet the following criteria.
- Earn a grade of C or above in all required social and natural science courses and in all nursing courses.
- Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or above in the general education courses.
- Nursing students may only repeat one nursing or nursing support course. A student who receives an unsatisfactory grade in a nursing or nursing support course may only repeat that course once. Withdrawal from a nursing or nursing support course with a "WF" or a clinical evaluation of "Unsatisfactory" will be counted as a repeated course.
- Previous students who have withdrawn in good standing but not been enrolled for more than two years must petition the Division of Nursing to re-enter the Nursing Program. Nursing coursework completed more than two years prior to readmission will be reviewed on a course-by-course basis and students may be required to take proficiency exams and/or retake selected courses. Readmission is not guaranteed.
- Students may be dismissed for unsafe clinical practice or unprofessional behavior, regardless of the student's academic standing.
- Senior students must achieve a department-designated score on a standardized exit exam and, if needed, complete remediation before they are approved by the division chair to take the NCLEX-RN.
Program of Study
Nursing majors are required to complete all components of the College's general education program. In addition, the following nursing support courses are required.
- Natural and Social Sciences (28 hours)
- Biology (15 hours): BIOL 120, 209, 320, 321
- Chemistry (4 hours): CHEM 131
- Psychology (6 hours): PSYC 101, 242
- Statistics (3 hours): BUSA 367 or PSYC 221
- Social Work (3 hours): SCWK 101 or 300
- Nursing (59 hours): NURS 205, 210, 211, 214, 310, 311, 330, 331, 401, 410, 411, 415, 418, 432, 450
Electives: The minimum hours required for graduation are 120. The number of elective hours will vary with the individual's program options. Minors in Psychology and American Sign Language are available for qualified students but will require extra hours of coursework.
Clinical experiences take place in community and regional health institutions. Transportation to and from the practicum sites is the responsibility of the student. Additional requirements include, but are not necessarily limited to, the maintenance of liability insurance and healthcare provider CPR certification (adult, infant, child, AED), criminal background checks, drug screenings, purchase of uniforms and lab supplies, and compliance with departmental health regulations as stated below. Liability insurance, lab supplies, and uniforms are purchased through a student lab fee. Clinical agencies may also require further criminal background checks and drug testing. Background check and drug screenings must be completed through a provider approved by the Division of Nursing.
- Proof of recent physical examination.
- Proof of immunity to rubeola (measles) and rubella (German measles).
- Proof of immunity against hepatitis B virus.
- Results from a two-step TB skin test (renewed annually).
Documentation of compliance with all clinical practicum requirements must be provided to the Division of Nursing before the first nursing course. Renewal of annual requirements must be completed before the beginning of each subsequent fall semester.
During the fall semester, all students must receive an influenza vaccine (required by clinical agencies).
Hospitals and community health care agencies provide learning sites for clinical practicums. Hospitals providing experiences for students are Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville and Memorial Medical Center and St. John's Hospital in Springfield. Experiences in community agencies include county health departments, home health care agencies, nursing homes, community health clinics, and alcohol and substance abuse treatment centers.
Graduation with Honors in Nursing
Students participating in the nursing honors program must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or above at the conclusion of the January-term of their senior year and demonstrate interest in nursing through participating in volunteer work in the community and/or involvement in the MacMurray College Student Nurses Association or other campus activities.
NURS 205. Introduction to the Nursing Profession. (1) This course introduces students to their privileged roles as members of the nursing profession. Exploration of critical thinking and clinical judgment processes is used to promote self-awareness and facilitate nursing role development. The course incorporates assessment of learning styles as a means to facilitate learner outcomes. Students are exposed to the standards of the profession including its values, ethical principles, and legal responsibilities. Students examine the relationships between personal values and professional values, exploring their own assumptions and approaches to judging situations. No clinical. Prerequisite: admission to the Nursing Program and completion of at least 24 credit hours of nursing prerequisite courses and/or general education requirements, including BIOL 209 and CHEM 131.
NURS 210. Nursing Knowledge and Competencies I. (4) Introduces students to the fundamental nursing knowledge and competencies necessary to practice nursing. Competencies addressed will include fundamental aspects of caring, communication, the nursing process, and technical nursing skills. This course will integrate the knowledge of critical thinking, clinical judgment, and standards of the nursing profession (values, ethics, legal responsibilities) introduced in NURS 205. Lab course. Prerequisites: admission to the Nursing Program and completion of at least 24 credit hours of nursing prerequisite courses and/or general education requirements, including BIOL 209 and CHEM 131.
NURS 211. Nursing Knowledge and Competencies II. (5) This course continues to build on the knowledge and competencies learned in NURS 210, with increasing opportunities to transfer classroom knowledge to the clinical setting. Students learn the scientific principles underlying technical nursing skills which include medication administration, medical and surgical asepsis, wound care, cardiopulmonary interventions, gastrointestinal functioning, genitourinary functioning, pre- and post-operative care, and end-of-life care. Laboratory and clinical experiences provide the opportunity to apply the psychomotor aspects of these skills. Students function as providers of care in adult health care settings. Clinical course. Prerequisites: NURS 205 and 210.
NURS 214. Health Assessment. (3) Introduces student to the holistic assessment of an individual. In this course, students learn normal assessment findings expected for individuals across the lifespan. This provides a basis for recognizing findings that require additional assessment and monitoring. Students are introduced to physical and psychosocial assessment skills as well as the major influences of development, environment, culture, religion, socioeconomic status, and family. Emphasis is placed on the importance of assessment as the first step of the nursing process. Lab course. Prerequisites: NURS 205 and 210.
NURS 310. Pathophysiology and Pharmacology I. (3) Provides the core knowledge necessary to understand the physiological and pharmacological aspects of illness and disease. Addresses the scientific principles and rationales necessary to recognize the relationships between pathology, pharmacology, and nursing care. No clinical. Prerequisites: NURS 211 and 214 and all natural science requirements.
NURS 311. Pathophysiology and Pharmacology II. (3) Provides the core knowledge necessary to understand the physiological and pharmacological aspects of illness and disease. Addresses the scientific principles and rationales necessary to recognize the relationships between pathology, pharmacology, and nursing care. No clinical. Prerequisites: NURS 310 and 330.
NURS 330. Illness and Disease Management I. (6) Focuses on the core knowledge and competencies necessary to design and provide care for adults with illness and disease. Students focus on providing individualized, evidence-based nursing care directed toward achieving quality outcomes. Clinical experiences take place in acute care settings. Clinical course. Prerequisites: NURS 211 and 214 and all natural science requirements.
NURS 331. Illness and Disease Management II. (6) Focuses on the core knowledge and competencies necessary to design and provide nursing care for adults with complex illness and disease. Students focus on providing individualized, evidence-based nursing care directed toward achieving quality outcomes. Clinical experiences take place in rapidly changing acute-care settings. Students engage in reflection on their clinical reasoning skills and clinical judgments. Clinical course. Prerequisites: NURS 310 and 330.
NURS 401. Evidence-based Nursing Practice. (3) This course introduces evidence-based practice and the research process in the development of nursing knowledge and practice. Emphasis is on the critical appraisal and synthesis of published research to improve nursing outcomes. The use of information technology as a tool for finding and disseminating evidence for nursing practice is explored. Prerequisites: senior standing, BUSA 367 or PSYC 221.
NURS 410. Vulnerable Populations I. (4) Emphasizes public health principles with childbearing/childrearing families and communities. Clinical experiences provide students with the opportunity to design, manage, and coordinate nursing care for families and vulnerable populations. Students will focus on using evidence-based nursing care to achieve health outcomes for populations. Clinical course. Prerequisites: senior standing and PSYC 242.
NURS 411. Vulnerable Populations II. (3) Focuses on the elderly population's self-management of common chronic illnesses and the associated goal of independent living. Students are required to reflect on their own beliefs regarding the elderly population, explore current evidence-based practice regarding self-management of chronic illness in the elderly, and develop a management plan for clients in an independent-living facility. Clinical experiences involve home visits to elderly clients living with chronic illnesses in the community. Clinical course. Prerequisite: senior standing.
NURS 415. Illness and Disease Management in Childbearing and Childrearing Families. (4) Focuses on core knowledge and core competencies necessary to coordinate and manage nursing care for pregnant women with complications and children experiencing illness and disease. Collaboration with others is emphasized to achieve quality outcomes. Clinical course. Prerequisite: senior standing.
NURS 418. Mental Illness and Disease Management. (5) This course focuses on illness and disease management for persons with mental health and psychiatric disorders. It is designed to provide a holistic perspective in the provision of care to individuals, families, and communities. Clinical experiences provide students with the opportunity to design, manage, and coordinate nursing care for individuals and families with mental health needs. Students will focus on using evidence-based nursing care to achieve health outcomes for clients. Clinical course. Prerequisite: senior standing.
NURS 432. Nursing Synthesis. (2) This course involves reflection on and synthesis of the student's learning achievements throughout their nursing education. Students reflect on achievement of the nursing program outcomes and synthesize their achievements using a portfolio. In addition, students engage in weekly NCLEX-RN review sessions in order to prepare for the NCLEX-RN. Prerequisite: senior standing.
NURS 450. Leadership and Professionalism in Nursing. (6) A wide variety of trends, concepts, and issues that are central to the profession of nursing are discussed. The transition from novice to competent professional nurse is addressed with emphasis on lifelong professional growth. Organizational, leadership, and management principles and theories are explored as students coordinate, delegate, and supervise care for teams of patients. Methods of evaluating the quality and effectiveness of nursing care are addressed. Three class hours and nine clinical hours per week. Prerequisite: senior standing.