Bachelor of Science in Nursing

As a graduate nurse, you can apply for a position immediately into a variety of settings usually within an acute care hospitals. Nurses are in high demand and the majority of new graduates find gainful employment upon finishing their degree or soon afterwards. After gaining some bedside experiences nurses can work in employee health, home health, telehealth, nursing informatics and school nursing. Nurses can also return to graduate school to obtain a Masters degree in Nursing.

Marketable Skills

Students will develop:

  • Communication: Nurses need to effectively communicate patient information to all members of the health care team. By doing so the patient will receive high quality care that is relevant, timely and error free. Nurses also develop communication skills to coordinate care for patient discharge needs to community agencies.

  • Critical thinking: Nurses develop critical thinking skills to monitor the health care status of their patients on an ongoing basis. This skill is also necessary to also develop clinical judgement. These are two of the most important skills that nurses need to effectively function in an often fast paced health care environment.

  • Listening: Nurses develop sharp listening skills to gain information from patients and their families to formulate a proper plan of care. Nurses also use their listening skills when communicating with all members of the health care team. 

Nurses develop effective social skills in order to communicate with patients, families and their peers. Strong social skills are also necessary for congruency in our communication Nurses develop problem solving skills to provide high quality patient care that is appropriate and responsive to patient's conditions. 

The undergraduate curriculum provides an innovative, integrated, and conceptual model for teaching and learning wherein critical thinking and decision- making are emphasized.

The curriculum is grounded in the sciences and is focused on addressing nursing and health care across the life span. The degree plan consists of approximately two (2) years of lower-division course work followed by two or more years of upper-division Nursing courses taken at the School of Nursing. The entire program is possible to complete in eight (8) full-term semesters. The curriculum culminates in preceptored courses that include learning and practice with experienced professional nurses in acute care facilities and in community health care settings.

Clinical Compliance Requirements

Students accepted into Phase 3 of the nursing program must meet all clinical clearance requirements. Please refer to Clinical Compliance for specific requirements. Failure to comply with clinical compliance requirements will result in students being dropped from courses

Traditional BSN Option

The Traditional BSN option is primarily designed as a pre-licensure entry to professional nursing practice educational program for students pursuing their first baccalaureate degree.  However, Students with a pre-existing baccalaureate degree are not precluded from applying to the Traditional BSN Option Phases 2 and 3.

Traditional BSN Option Application Process for Phases 2 and 3

  • Completion of the University Core Curriculum (grade of "C" or better is required for each course in the University Core).

  • The minimum cumulative GPA to apply is 3.00.

  • Completion of the pre-professional courses (PPC)

  • Completion of TEAS test (See TEAS Information below)

  • Proof of health insurance.

Traditional BSN Option Phase 2 Admissions Process

  • Apply to Phase 2. Please refer to the Applications and Deadlines website for more information.

  • Admission to Phase 2 is highly competitive.

  • Students are ranked for admission based on:

    • Phase 1 pre-professional courses GPA

    • Overall cumulative GPA (minimum GPA to apply is 3.00)

    • Successful completion of the TEAS test (must earn a composite score of 62% or higher)

The Phase 2 nursing courses include:

NURS 2303Intro to Nursing Practice3
NURS 2407Pharmacology for Nursing4
NURS 2502Pathophysiology5

• Students will be officially notified of admission status by the School of Nursing Office of Student Affairs.

Traditional BSN Option Phase 3 Admissions Process

  • Apply to Phase 3. Please refer to the Applications and Deadlines website for more information.

  • Admission to Phase 3 is highly competitive.

  • Students are ranked for admission based on:

    • Phase 2 nursing courses GPA

    • Phase 1 pre-professional courses (PPC) GPA

    • Overall cumulative GPA (minimum GPA to apply is 3.00)

    • Successful completion of the TEAS test (must earn a composite score of 62% or higher)

    • Criminal background check (CBC) cleared by the Texas Board of Nursing.

Students will be officially notified of admission status by the School of Nursing Office of Student Affairs.

TEAS Information

  • The Test of Essential Academic Skills is an admission requirement for Phases 2 and 3 of the nursing program.

  • The TEAS test is an internet-based, multiple-choice exam that assesses a student's abilities in four essential subject areas: reading, math, science, English and language usage.

  • Students are required to earn a composite score of 62% or higher.

  • Students have a total of three attempts in a 12-month period to achieve the required composite score.

  • The minimum time frame between a first attempt and a repeat attempt is 30 days.

  • The minimum composite score needed for admission to Phase 3 of the nursing program is above proficient level.

  • If the minimum composite score is not achieved by the third attempt, the student must wait 12 months from the third attempt date to retest. A fourth set of scores taken within the 12 month period will not be accepted.

  • Test scores that are at or above the minimum required score are valid for 2 years.

  • The School of Nursing strongly suggests that students take the TEAS while taking the pre-professional courses, but prior to the designated admission cycle to enter the Phase 2 nursing courses. Please refer to the Applications and Deadlines website for TEAS deadlines .

  • The School of Nursing strongly recommends for students to prepare for the TEAS test. Students can purchase the TEAS study material and online practice assessments through ATI Ttesting.

  • Testing fees are determined by ATI. Testing fees for the TEAS test tend to change every July 1. Please check the ATI Testing website for current TEAS test fees.

  • Students can register for the TEAS by logging on to ATI Ttesting.

Graduation Requirements

  • To be eligible for graduation, a student must have attained a minimum 2.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) in the baccalaureate degree plan and a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 in the Nursing Major.

  • A candidate must successfully complete the prescribed curriculum and must meet all other requirements of the University and the School of Nursing.

  • Eligible undergraduate degree candidates must submit a graduation application to the School of Nursing Office of Student Affairs.

  • The School of Nursing Office of Student Affairs will review all graduation applications and conduct a final degree audit for each applicant. All graduation applications will be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office for processing.

  • Graduation fees may be paid through Pete’s Payment Options or Student Business Services in the Mike Loya Academic Services Building.

  • A late fee will be assessed if the student submits the graduation application after the official submission deadline.

Student Employment

The UTEP School of Nursing Undergraduate program is very rigorous and time-consuming. Students are strongly encouraged to carefully evaluate their personal and employment commitments to maximize their potential for success.

The School of Nursing assumes no responsibility for students' activities outside of the nursing curriculum. Students are personally responsible and liable for any activities conducted while employed. Student liability insurance provided by the University only covers students engaged in approved nursing curricular activities.  Individuals who illegally practice nursing may jeopardize their future as licensed professionals.

Students employed in a healthcare agency have the responsibility, personally and professionally, to engage in only those activities that fall within the job description.  Further, students have a responsibility to refuse to participate in activities that he or she has not been legally licensed to perform.

Additional Expenses

  • Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) including study guide.

  • Required dress and equipment for clinical practicums (See SON Undergraduate Handbook).

  • Ongoing assessment and testing in preparation for NCLEX-RN licensure examination.

  • Health and clinical clearances, including a drug screen and health insurance.

  • Background checks.

  • Application fee for licensure exam (NCLEX) and Jurisprudence Exam Declaratory. 

This list is not all-inclusive and is subject to change.

Nursing Student Organization

All enrolled students are eligible for membership in the Nursing Student Organization, an affiliate of the Texas Nursing Students' Association and the National Student Nurses’ Association. The UTEP Chapter has goals consistent with those of the National Student Nurses' Association. Its purpose is to aid in the development of the individual student, the profession of Nursing and the delivery of health care.

Academic Progress

Rigorous study is required to succeed in the Nursing Program. Multiple hours of preparation are required beyond the classroom periods and clinical experiences. Students must be willing to accept this as a condition of succeeding in the program.

A Nursing student must meet or exceed the following minimum requirements for each course in the Nursing curriculum in order to pass that course:

1. Didactic courses without a clinical lab

a. Students must maintain a minimum average of 75% on didactic course work. This constitutes the didactic evaluation of a course. Achieving less than a minimum average of 75.0% in the didactic portion of the course results in course failure. There is no rounding of grades and fractional points will be dropped. Extra credit is not permitted.

2. Didactic course with a clinical lab - In addition to meeting the conditions stated in the section above (didactic courses without a clinical lab), the following apply to courses with a clinical or lab component:

a. Clinical or lab related assignments must meet the minimum average of 75.0%. Grades or points given for clinical or lab related assignments are factored into the overall course grade only if the student has passed course's exams and/or quizzes with the minimum of 75.0%.

b. Students must pass both the didactic and the clinical or lab component of a course. Failure of either component results in failure of the entire course, i.e. failing to meet the clinical or lab requirements results in a failing grade for the entire course regardless of meeting the minimum average of 75.0% for exams and/or quizzes. Likewise, failing the didactic portion of the course results in failure of the entire course regardless of success in the clinical portion.

3. The grading scale is:

100 - 90 = A

89 - 80 = B

79 - 75 = C

74 - 60 = D

< 60 = F

4. Successfully pass the standardized exams associated with courses at or above the level designated by the School of Nursing (Please refer to “Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) Policy and Procedures” in current SON undergraduate student handbook).

Course Repeat Policy

Repeating a nursing course because of failure or withdrawal is not automatic. The student must request permission from the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Education and the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in order to repeat a course. (Please refer to current SON undergraduate student handbook).

Progression

Students must successfully complete all prerequisite courses to progress through the curriculum sequence. Repeating a course disrupts the normal timeline of progression. Successful completion of a failed course does not guarantee automatic progression into succeeding courses. Students who vary from the normal timeline are placed in subsequent courses on a space-available basis each semester which include clinical . Successful passing of selected standardized exams at or above a level designated by the School of Nursing is also linked with progression. (Please refer to “Progression policy” in the current SON undergraduate student handbook).

Nursing Course Withdrawal and Repeat Policy

Nursing courses in Phases 2 and 3 may only be attempted twice. A withdrawal from a nursing course that results in a "W" counts as an attempt. Students are not encouraged to withdraw from nursing courses as this impedes progression in the completion of the degree plan, but if a student chooses to withdraw from a course, this should be in writing (refer to the “Progression Policy” in the current Traditional BSN Undergraduate Student Handbook).

Dismissal from the Nursing Program

A student is academically dismissed from the nursing program after failing two nursing courses or after two unsuccessful attempts of the same nursing course.  There is no appeal process for dismissals. A formal letter of academic dismissal will be sent to the student by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education (refer to the Progression Policy in the Traditional BSN UG Handbook).

Safe and Effective Nursing Practice Policy

All nursing students must perform within the limits of safe practice. A faculty member can remove a student from a clinical site if the student's nursing practice is deemed unsafe as defined in the Safe Practice Policy of the School of Nursing, of which a copy is posted on the School of Nursing website.

Licensure as a Professional Nurse

Graduates seeking licensure must successfully complete the National Council of State Boards of Nursing-Registered Nurse Examination (NCLEX-RN) and the Texas Nursing Jurisprudence Exam which are administered by the Texas Board of Nursing. Graduates must complete the licensure application, which includes criminal background check information. The Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education will verify the eligibility status of applicants.

All students are required to read and sign the Licensure Eligibility Notification Form prior to being admitted into the clinical courses. This is usually completed during the first semester at the School of Nursing.

Students who have a reason to believe that they may be ineligible for licensure can submit a Declaratory Order petition to the Texas Board of Nursing to assess eligibility. The Declaratory Order Request Form can be downloaded from the Texas Board of Nursing website.