To identify the process for the admission of students who have previously been required to discontinue (RTD) from the U of S or other post-secondary institutions.
- Applicants must disclose all previous occurrences, including dates and length of RTD at time of application.
- Students are not considered for application if they are currently in their RTD period.
- Students who have completed the RTD period must provide a document that explains the reasons for the RTD and demonstrates a plan for future success.
- Students who have been RTD twice may be considered in exceptional circumstances.
- Students who are admitted to the College of Nursing after completing their RTD period must repeat all BSN courses that they received below 60%.
The purpose of this policy is to establish the expectation of student attendance for all orientations, classes, seminars, labs and clinical experiences throughout their program of study.
- Regular and punctual attendance is expected of all students for all orientations, classes, seminars, labs and clinical experiences. A student who is consistently late and/or absent from classes, seminars and/or labs may be unable to meet the course requirements and may not be able to receive credit for the course.
- If a student misses more than 10% of clinical/lab experiences in a course, he/she may be unable to meet the course requirements, and thus may not receive credit for the course.
- If a student is unable to attend or will be late for a lab or clinical experience, he/she must notify the instructor prior to the start of the learning experience.
- Attendance at classes, labs and/or seminars for the particular course may be designated as mandatory. Students must attend these learning experiences in order to receive a pass in the course.
- If an instructor deems a student unsafe or unprepared for a learning experience, the student may be excluded from the experience; thus, the student may not be able to meet the course requirements.
To set expectations and guidelines for the use of cellular phones in classroom, lab and clinical settings
The use of cellular phones in classroom, lab and clinical settings must be respectful and must not interfere with the learning experience of the owner or those around them. In clinical settings students are expected to follow agency policy regarding cell phone use.
- Many courses in nursing will require the use of a smart phone for academic, research and point of care purposes. Students are expected to bring these devices to class with them when required.
- Audible feedback from the device (including ringtones, vibrations and keystroke chimes) should be silent to minimize disruption to others.
- Patient confidentiality and privacy laws must be respected.
- Personal use of cell phones and texting should be kept to a minimum in classroom and labs.
- Personal use of cell phones and texting is not permitted in clinical settings.
- In clinical settings, students and instructors are expected to follow agency policy.
To delineate the process for completion of course requirements.
- Students are required to complete all course components to receive credit for a course.
- Unless prior arrangements have been made with the course instructor, 5% from the earned grade for that assignment will be deducted for each calendar day that course work is late.
- Unless other arrangements have been made with the course facilitator, the last day for acceptance of assignment will be the final day of class in that course.
- It should be noted that even if assignments receive a grade of 0% because of late penalties (see above), they must still be completed in order to fulfill course requirements.
To provide students in the College of Nursing with guidelines for maintaining patient confidentiality.
- Because students, by virtue of being such, have access to and are allowed to collect confidential information about persons or institutions or their representatives for the purposes of doing studies and writing papers, it is necessary to have some limitation on the distribution of material. This material should be restricted to the teacher and those preparing the paper.
- If material is suitable for publication, permission to publish must be obtained from the teacher concerned, as well as the Dean of the College.
- In order to maintain confidentiality, persons are not to be identified in any required written work of a course or on any permanent verbal record unless written permission of the person(s) involved is first obtained. Please refer to Student Confidentiality Agreement.
- Policies of any agency or institution concerning confidentiality are to be respected in a similar manner.
To ensure CPR requirements are clear and consistent for all undergraduate students.
- All students must maintain current CPR certification throughout the program. Re-certification is required every two years. The certification must be equivalent to, at minimum, CPR-C and AED.
- Students must provide evidence of current CPR-C and AED certification prior to the start of the first clinical experience.
- Students failing to provide evidence of current CPR-C and AED certification may be excluded from clinical practice.
Health care workers are in a position of public trust and as such, are required to have a criminal record check for employment in health care settings. This policy is to ensure nursing students meet that same requirement, and are therefore eligible for all clinical placement opportunities during the program.
- Nursing students accepted for admission into the College of Nursing programs are required to provide the results of a criminal record check, including a vulnerable sector search, after admission, and as required for clinical experience through the program.
- Students failing to provide the results of a criminal record check will not be allowed to participate in any clinical experience requiring client care.
- Additional criminal record checks may be required by specific clinical agencies as a condition of placement. Failure to provide such information will result in the agency excluding the students from clinical experience.
- Any costs associated with the criminal record check will be the responsibility of the student.
- Students are required to report criminal convictions and/or outstanding charges that occur after the date of the original criminal record check to the Associate Dean of their site/program. Failure to report any criminal convictions and/or outstanding charges will be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.
- Each reported criminal conviction and/or outstanding charge will be assessed to determine what, if any, impact the criminal conviction and/or outstanding charge will have on the student's status in the program.
A limited number of Education Enhancement Bursaries are available to assist students in the College of Nursing to participate in worthwhile educational experiences. Activities may include, but are not limited to, professional conference registration or travel and clinical placements (rural or international).
Bursaries are made possible because of generous donors who recognize the importance of investing in nursing students.
Requests for funding need to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Applicants must be full-time students in the College of Nursing;
- Applicants must have an academic record in good standing;
- Only one application from an individual student will be accepted each academic year;
- Preference will be given to students who have demonstrated leadership; and
- Preference will be given to requests that are applicable or congruent with the College of Nursing’s integrated plan.
It is recognized there may be valuable and unique opportunities that will fall outside the guidelines and that such applications will be considered based on the benefit of the experience to the individual student and/or the College of Nursing.
- Professional conference expenses - up to $300/year
- International conference expenses - up to $500/year
- Clinical placement support - rural SK - $ varies
- Clinical placement support - international - $ varies
* The College reserves the right to vary bursary amounts based on the number of requests.
How to Apply:
The following information is required:
- Name, contact information, including email address;
- Description of the activity, date(s) and location, title of event if applicable (brochure of the event if available);
- Detailed budget (including other sources of funding applied for or approved);
- Include information about any additional accommodations or travel costs needed for clinical placements outside of home community; and
- Benefits of the activity to the student including leadership opportunities. (max. 300 words)
Note: Successful applicants will be asked to forward their social insurance number to the College of Nursing for bursary processing.
Applications will be accepted at any time of the year and will be awarded based on funds available. Email applications to the Asssistant to the College Relations Officer.
To define the process for the exemption of final examinations at the College of Nursing.
- The Undergraduate Education Committee will approve all courses exempt from the University of Saskatchewan final examinations schedule.
- Applications for approval of exemption can be submitted to the chair of the Undergraduate Education Committee.
- The Associate Dean will provide the Registrar with a list of all courses that are exempt from the University of Saskatchewan final examination schedule.
To delineate First Aid Certification requirements for undergraduate students.
- Students must present evidence of valid Standard First Aid Certification prior to providing client care.
- Students failing to provide evidence of valid Standard First Aid Certification will be excluded from clinical practice.
- Once evidence of certification in First Aid has been provided, students are not required to be recertified while in the program.
- If applicable, students may provide evidence of PN, RPN, Paramedic or other health care professional licensure in place of First Aid certification.
THIS POLICY IS CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW
To delineate the process for grade assignment when students are unsuccessful in either theory or clinical courses.
- The nursing and cumulative averages are based on years 2, 3 and 4. Transfer credits from other institutions will not be used in the calculation.
- Students who take required courses for Nursing prior to being admitted to Nursing, must earn a grade of 60% or higher to use the course for credit in the Nursing program. If a student does not earn a grade of 60%, the student will receive an N grade for this required course.
- A weighted average will be calculated when multiple University of Saskatchewan courses are being used for credit for one course in the Nursing program.
- In the calculation of final course marks and weighted averages, failing grades resulting from absence, withdrawal, or incomplete course work will be computed with a zero for grade component(s) that were not completed and the earned mark will be submitted. This mark can range from 0 - 49%.
- Students will not be eligible for a supplemental exam in the above instances.
- Withdrawal prior to the withdrawal deadline is not included in the calculation of averages (see institutional calendars for dates).
- Some nursing courses have an essential component that must be passed in order to pass the course. A student failing an essential component of a course will be required to withdraw. If the student withdraws from the class after the add-drop deadline but before the withdrawal deadline for that class, the class remains on their transcript and is shown as a withdrawal ("W"). Withdrawal has no academic standing and does not impact the calculation of a student's average. If the essential component is failed after the withdrawal deadline, the grade assigned for the course will be a computed percentile grade. This mark can range from 0 to 49%.
- In NURS 450.9 and NURS 431.6, for a student who completes the course and receives a failing grade, a computed percentile grade will be assigned.
- A student must pass each clinical component of a course in order to pass the course.
- A minimal pass grade in clinical is only allowed once throughout the program. If a student obtains a 'minimal pass' grade a second time, the student will be required to repeat the course and receive a minimum of a 'satisfactory' grade in that clinical course and in all subsequent courses.
Students may withdraw from a course, but should note that a first-term course must be dropped by November 15 (or February 15 for a course extending over both terms), and March 15 for a second-term course.
Before withdrawing from a course, students are encouraged to discuss this action with their advisor.
To establish consistent recommendations for student immunization. Immunizations help protect the health and safety of patients /clients, as well as nursing students participating in clinical placements.
- All nursing students are required to complete the recommended immunizations for health care workers as outlined in the Saskatchewan Immunization Manual, Chapter 7 page 26 prior to any contact between students and patients/clients.
To address the fulfillment of clinical experiences in the event of union job action in clinical setting.
In the event of a strike by union members, students should not report to the clinical setting. Students are not permitted to work in a clinical setting without the supervision of a preceptor and/or clinical instructor. As a result, clinical experiences may be interrupted.
It is impossible for the College of Nursing to predict what disruptions will occur, where, and when. The College urges students to remain in close contact with their clinical faculty members. Missed clinical time will be dealt with on an individual basis after assessing the amount of clinical time missed, the intents of the course(s) and the potential for making up time. It may be possible for the program to arrange alternate learning experiences. In the event of a strike or rotating strike, alternate experiences may be arranged for students. These may include classroom teaching and/or labs.
Some students may be placed in agencies in which its members are not participating in the job action. In those cases, students should contact their course professors for direction on attending clinical. If there are any concerns, final decisions regarding students remaining in the clinical agency will be made by the course coordinators in consultation with the Associate Deans.
The College of Nursing will monitor and assess the situation on an ongoing basis and will inform students of any adjustment(s) in this approach.
To outline guidelines regarding the completion of midterm examinations in the College of Nursing.
- A student who is absent from a midterm examination through no fault of his or her own, for medical, compassionate, or other valid reasons, may contact the faculty member for the course in which they are registered for a deferred exam. Such application must be made within three business days of the missed examination and be accompanied by supporting documentary evidence.
- Faculty and/or the College of Nursing will not accommodate a request to reschedule a midterm exam because of personal reasons. Midterm examinations can be scheduled at any time during the academic term. Students should avoid making prior travel arrangements or other commitments that may conflict with scheduled exams.
- Missing a midterm examination due to personal or travel related conflicts may result in a midterm exam grade of 0% being assigned.
- In some exceptional circumstances, faculty may consider combining the weight of the missed midterm exam with the final exam. Students need to speak with the specific course faculty member prior to the missed midterm examination for this consideration.
- If the midterm and final exam are combined and the resulting weight of these components exceeds 50% of the final grade, approval must be sought from the Chair of the Undergraduate Education Committee.
Considering the role of the College of Nursing in mentoring professional nursing students in a direct patient care role, the purpose of the policy is to assist with the identification and management of Patient Safety Incidents (formerly referred to as adverse events, sentinel event, near miss, close call, no harm incident and critical incidents), and to minimize risks and potential injuries to patients/clients/residents and students. College of Nursing Incident Management includes actions and processes required at the College level to conduct the immediate and ongoing activities following an incident. Part of incident management, Incident Analysis is a structured process that aims to identify what happened, how and why it happened, what can be done to reduce the risk of recurrence and make care safer, and what was learned (CIACP, 2012). This policy details actions to be taken by College of Nursing students and faculty upon recognition of a Patient Safety Incident.
- Patient Safety Report. Patient Safety Incidents are to be reported in a timely manner as soon after the event as possible. The College of Nursing Patient Safety Report Form should be completed by either faculty members and/or students and submitted to the course coordinator. Local health region incident report forms should be completed and submitted as required by health region policy. The Patient Safety Report Form shall be revised as needed to support College processes according to this policy.
- Immediate Action. In the event of a Patient Safety Incident, the student is to follow the Health Region Policy and Procedures. Upon receipt of a Patient Safety Report Form, the clinical instructor and course coordinator shall ensure that immediate action is taken to care for and support patient/ family/ providers/ others, secure items and reduce risk of imminent recurrence.
- Discipline and fear of reprisal. The success of the Patient Safety Incident policy relies on the creation of a confidential environment where participants can safely report incidents and express their opinions about underlying contributing factors without fear of reprisal. The clinical instructor and course coordinator, in consultation with the Associate Dean as needed, shall determine whether the Patient Safety Incident is a result of actions of intention, recklessness or of unforeseen circumstance or complications of care, and such determination shall guide disciplinary action or impact on student grades or progress in the program. In general, faculty response to Patient Safety Incidents should facilitate student learning and be aligned with the educational mission of the College.
- Preliminary Investigation. The course coordinator shall report and forward a copy of the Patient Safety Report Form to the site’s Associate Dean. A College of Nursing Patient Safety Committee shall be responsible for reviewing incidents. Upon receipt of the Patient Safety Report Form, a preliminary investigation of the incident shall ensue to understand what happened, how and why it happened and to develop and manage recommended actions. Patient Safety Incident analysis involves systems thinking using a non-linear approach that includes consideration of categories of contributing factors (task, equipment, work environment, patient, healthcare team and organization factors) and use of multiple sources of information.
- Report. Recommendations shall be developed after each Patient Safety Incident addressing how to reduce risk of recurrence and make care safer, how student/faculty learning can be facilitated to prevent such an incident in future and to determine what was learned and how learning should be shared. A formal report of the committee shall include recommended actions, implementation plan and monitor and assess the effectiveness of actions.
- Disclosure. The course coordinator shall collaborate with the local health region to begin disclosure process, which should explain to patient/residents/family the unexpected event or change; offer an apology that it happened; assist patients/residents/families to understand how and why it happened; explain what will happen next and commit to next steps; and include patients/residents/family in the fact gathering process, enabling them to contribute what is known from their perspective (CIACP, 2012). The College Patient Safety Committee shall share what was learned internally (at minimum with the course coordinator and year committee) and externally (at minimum with the agency where the incident occurred). Sharing with external agencies shall occur in face to face meetings or in writing, and is the responsibility of the leadership team or designate. Sharing activities shall maintain patient/client/resident and student confidentiality.
- Aggregate Review. College Patient Safety Committee shall review annually all Patient Safety Incidents submitted to the College of Nursing from all sites. The goal of aggregate review is to ensure that patterns of incidents can be assessed, if present, and identify needed changes to College processes and curriculum to minimize risks and potential injuries to patients/clients/residents, students and faculty.
(CIACP) Canadian Incident Analysis Collaborating Parties: Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada, Saskatchewan Health, Patients for Patient Safety Canada (a patient-led program of CPSI), Paula Beard, Carolyn E. Hoffman and Micheline Ste-Marie. (2012). Canadian Incident Analysis Framework. Edmonton, AB: Canadian Patient Safety Institute. Available at http://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/english/toolsresources/incidentanalysis/documents/canadian%20incident%20analysis%20framework.pdf.
To define how grades are released to students in the College of Nursing.
- Student grades achieved throughout a course (with the exception of the final grade in a course) will be posted on Blackboard, as per course guidelines. Such grades will only be accessible by individual students once they have signed into their blackboard course, thereby protecting student confidentiality.
- Final grades assigned to students upon completion of a course will not be posted on Blackboard courses. Students will only be able to access their final grades through PAWS.
The purpose of this policy is to outline the processes to be used by instructors and students when students demonstrate unsafe or potentially unsafe performance in the clinical or lab setting.
Definition of Unsafe Practice
From the literature: "Unsafe clinical practice is behaviour that places the client or staff in either physical or emotional jeopardy. Physical jeopardy is the risk of causing physical harm. Emotional jeopardy means that the student creates an environment of anxiety or distress which puts the client or family at risk for emotional or psychological harm. Unsafe clinical practice is an occurrence or pattern of behaviour involving unacceptable risk" (Scanlan, J., Care, W.D., Gessler, S. (2001). Dealing with the unsafe student in clinical practice. Nurse Educator, 26, 23-27).
From faculty and student focus groups: Unsafe practice is any practice that poses an actual or potential threat to the health of a client, including physical, psychosocial, or cultural safety. Unsafe practice includes harm not only to client, but also to colleagues or oneself.
The recent literature on patient safety identifies that a number of factors can come together to create an error. Therefore, an individual may be involved, but may not be solely responsible. When examining a situation(s) deemed as involving unsafe practice, it may be useful to examine it in terms of "what happened?", "why did it happen?" and "what could be done to prevent it from happening again?".
As a profession, nursing faces significant challenges in terms of creating and maintaining a safe practice environment. The Canadian Nursing Association (CNA) identifies that additional challenges to safe nursing care include: Nursing practice environment and workforce issues, team work and communication, nursing perspective on patient safety, and the patient perspective on patient safety, technology and culture of blame. Students who are learning to be nurses are learning to adapt to working within the present health care system, and therefore may also be affected by some of the additional systemic factors that impact patient safety. In the interest of creating and maintaining safe practice environments for patients and nurses, students must meet the standards of safe practice.
The following themes and behaviors were synthesized from the focus group feedback.
Behaviors that may be indicators of unsafe practice:
It should be noted that students and faculty identified the importance of context and patterns in relation to unsafe clinical performance. These behaviours are examples and are not meant to be inclusive of all behaviours.
- Lack of accountability, unprofessional practice:
- does not accept responsibility for own actions, does not admit mistakes, covers up errors
- is dishonest
- does not recognize potential for doing harm, lack of insight
- is reluctant to assume a professional role
- does not make the effort to learn, is not interested
- breaks confidentiality
- does not ask for help when unsure
- demonstrates inappropriate boundaries.
- Patterns of behavior:
- demonstrates a pattern of problems in clinical areas
- disregards policy, does not know policies
- is frequently late or absent
- does not change behaviour in response to feedback; repeats mistakes even after feedback.
- Unmet competencies:
- has a poor knowledge base
- is unable to apply concepts and theory in practice
- poor and/or inconsistent skills in assessment and client care
- unable to set priorities; unable to care for clients at level of complexity expected for the course.
- Inconsistent communication and lack of respect:
- lack of respect for clients, aggressive with clients
- ineffective communications with client and staff.
- Lack of judgment:
- poor clinical judgment
- goes beyond own scope of practice
- evidence of impaired judgment due to drugs, alcohol, or lack of sleep
- demonstrates extreme anxiety that is disproportionate to the situation.
Sources of information when identifying students who may be practicing unsafely:
- For faculty:
- direct observation and supervision
- information from patients, families, staff members, other students
- intuition - unable to trust student
- student care plans, charting and journals
- poor performance in previous rotations
- student avoids instructor
- critical incidents such as medication errors, client injury.
- Feedback from students regarding what they think they should do if another student is practicing unsafely:
- a student who is practicing unsafely is responsible to admit his/her own mistakes
- it is important, as a peer, to provide feedback when one sees another student practicing unsafely. Ask the student if he/she needs help
- if reporting the behaviours to the instructor, do so privately and not in front of the rest of the group
- do not help the student cover up by doing his/her work or always checking to see if he/she has done what needs to be done.
Suggestions for risk management in relation to students who may be practicing unsafely:
- Keep anecdotal notes on all students and encourage students to keep their own notes about clinical situations.
- Look for patterns of performance from other clinical courses.
- Equal distribution of weak students among clinical groups.
- Adjust assignment so client safety is not compromised.
- Provide explicit expectations at beginning of course (verbally and in writing), explicit guidelines for process that will be used if there are problems with safe practice. For example, have discussions in orientation and post conference about safe practice. Discuss common areas for students to make mistakes.
- Have another faculty facilitator help with assessment/evaluation of weaker students.
Suggestions for fairness to the student in the process of helping him/her practice safely:
- Discuss with student in private, try to identify cause of the problem, level of insight and self-awareness. Give the student a chance to explain.
- Acknowledge level of student and clinical expectations at that level. Don't compare one student with another.
- Provide timely feedback.
- Set out an action plan with student and identify specific criteria that must be met.
- Increase one-on-one contact between student and teacher.
- Validate information that comes from another student.
Section A: Processes to be used by facilitators when there is unsafe or potentially unsafe performance in the clinical/lab setting
The student and the program have a joint responsibility for facilitating student success in providing safe and competent nursing care.
These processes are predicated by the following standards of evaluation:
Clear direction of performance expectations, course intents, policies and evaluation processes, which have been provided to the student during orientation; provision of the opportunity for growth; timely feedback (verbal and/or written).
In a situation where a student's performance places the client, facilitator, or staff at a foreseeable risk, the student may be dismissed immediately from the clinical site. Dismissal from the clinical site is not indicative of clinical failure.
- The clinical instructor will document all aspects of performance, which may include anecdotal notes, descriptive narrative, examples of student's charting, discussions with health personnel and student's written plan of care.
- Discuss and provide written documentation of performance issues with student.
Performance issues may be resolved at this juncture or may move to process #3 or in some cases it may be necessary to move directly to process #4.
- Create a written performance contract with the student when this is deemed appropriate. A performance contract is a written agreement between the student and clinical instructor/course coordinator in which the performance issues are described and actions are identified that a student must complete within a specified time frame. The contract will specify the consequences if the performance plans are not met.
The Course Coordinator, Associate Dean and Academic Advisor will be notified that a performance contract has been initiated. The contract will be sent to the Academic Advisor and placed in the student's file. The student will be encouraged to meet with an Academic Advisor.
Note: If a student is on a performance contract that will be carried forward to the next clinical rotation the Course Coordinator will inform the subsequent Course Coordinator, who will then inform the next Clinical Instructor or Preceptor. This is necessary to enhance student learning opportunities and for patient safety.
The student will also be responsible for informing their next Clinical Instructor or preceptor.
Performance issues may be resolved at this juncture or continue on to process #4.
- A formal meeting with the student, Course Coordinator and Clinical Instructor will be held to discuss performance issues. An action plan to meet course intents within a specified time frame appropriate to course completion date will be identified. Counselors, Academic Advisors and student support persons may be present. The Associate Dean may be present at this meeting. Meeting notes will be kept. Issues and agreed-upon success strategies will be reviewed with the student. The student will sign and receive a copy of these meeting notes.
- In the event a student receives a minimal pass on the final evaluation, the Clinical Instructor may initiate a performance contract with the student to facilitate communication and student progress in the next clinical course. The Course Coordinator will be informed if a contract is initiated. The contract will be sent to the Academic Advisors and placed in the student file.
- Based on the literal descriptors, the student will be given a failure in the course if course intents are not met.
Section B: Failure in or withdrawal from a clinical course
Refer to Section A.
1. Failure in a clinical course
- Documentation should include clear rationale for the failure. Include:
- description of any untoward incidents during the clinical experience
- documentation of any meetings that were held with the student that outline the clinical difficulties being experienced, the possible consequences of no improvement in performance, plans for improving and evidence the student has been informed and has identified a plan for improvement
- literal descriptors should be used and student performance should match the descriptor for "fail"
- clinical evaluations.
- At the time of the assignment of a failing grade:
- the Associate Dean and Academic Advisor will be notified of the failure
- the student, Clinical Instructor and Course Coordinator will meet with the student to discuss the failure. The student can bring a support person, if desired. The Associate Dean may also attend the meeting if requested.
- the following will be discussed:
- evidence leading to the decision to assign a failing grade
- exploration of possible reasons for the failure
- strategies the program may initiate in order to support the student if s/he repeats the course
- document the meeting and provide copies to all parties
- inform the student of the right to appeal a failing grade and the appeal process
- provide direction on how to reapply for the course, if eligible
- A performance contract may be initiated at this time. The contract will be sent to the Academic Advisor and placed in the student file.
- Student will be advised to meet with an Academic Advisor:
- a change in program will be created, if student is eligible
- strategies to assist the student to be successful will be discussed and documented on the change in program
- change in programs will be reviewed by the Associate Dean
- the student will sign and receive a copy of the change in program and it will be placed in the student's file and a copy will be sent to the Clinical Coordinators.
2. Withdrawal from a clinical course in anticipation of a failure in the course
- Documentation should include:
- description of any untoward incidents during the clinical experience
- documentation of any meetings held with the student that outline the clinical difficulties being experienced, the possible consequences of no improvement in performance, plans for improving and evidence the student has been informed and has identified a plan for improvement
- clinical evaluations.
- At the time of the withdrawal in lieu of failure:
- the student, Clinical Instructor and Course Coordinator will meet with the student to discuss the student's practice
- strategies to support the student if s/he repeats the course will be discussed and documented
- a performance contract will be initiated by the Course Coordinator or the student and placed in the student file
- a performance contract should go forward to a new clinical placement ONLY in exceptional circumstances
- a performance contract MUST be maintained when a student repeats a course that they have withdrawn from in anticipation of failure
- direct the student to meet with an Academic Advisor.
- Student will meet with an Academic Advisor:
- a change in program will be created, if student is eligible
- strategies to assist the student to be successful will be discussed and documented on the change in program
- change in programs will be reviewed by the Associate Dean
- the student will sign and receive a copy of the change in program and it will be placed in the student's file and a copy will be sent to the Clinical Coordinators.
Section C: Student receives a minimal pass in a clinical course
Refer to Section A.
At the time of assigned minimal pass:
- the student, Clinical Instructor and Course Coordinator may meet with the student to discuss the student's practice
- strategies to support the student in the next clinical placement will be discussed and documented
- a performance contract may be initiated by the Course Coordinator if necessary. This will be sent to the Academic Advisors and placed in the student file and sent to the Clinical Coordinators.
Additionally, the minimal pass will be flagged by the Academic Advisor who will contact the Course Coordinator to identify if there are any particular issues.
The Academic Advisor will meet with the student to identify and discuss strategies to support the student in the next clinical placement. The meeting will be documented in the student file.
This policy provides guidance in presenting a professional image in the clinical practice setting.
Students who are not displaying a professional image may be asked to leave the clinical setting. In this case, the time away will be considered under the Attendance Policy. Considerations may be made for individual dress that is specific to cultural or religious beliefs. This policy is based on principles of professionalism, infection control, personal safety and role identification.
Principle: To enhance professionalism by presenting a professional image
Appearance is a form of non-verbal communication and is essential in projecting a professional image. Therefore in the clinical settings students are required to:
- Wear a College of Nursing standard uniform for all clinical settings unless otherwise specified. Garments worn under the uniform top must not be coloured or long sleeved. Uniforms must be clean and neat and pants should be hemmed above the heel line. Uniform skirts should be at knee level or below. Uniforms are not to be worn to and from the clinical setting. The College of Nursing uniform consists of a white top/jacket and a green pant/skirt with the College of Nursing logo embroidered directly on the front upper left of the top/jacket.
- In clinical settings where the standard College of Nursing uniform is not required, it is expected that the students would continue to display a professional image while following the specific dress requirements of the agency.
- In settings where the standard uniform is not worn, students should demonstrate good judgment in selecting appropriate size of clothing. Clothing should not be low cut at the neck or tight across the chest and hips. Ensure that there is no exposure of the chest, midriff, lower back, or shoulders. Undergarments should not be visible at any time. Avoid casual clothing such as sweat shirts as over garments, yoga pants, jeans.
- Wear a College of Nursing photo ID badge at all times. ID badge is to be worn at chest level.
- Tattoos should be covered (if doing so does not interfere with proper infection control techniques).
- Use good judgment in wearing appropriate quantity of makeup.
- Scented products cannot be worn in clinical settings.
Principle: To prevent the spread of infection
- Must be conservative, clean and well groomed. Long hair must be tied up and away from the face.
- Beards and mustaches must be clean, trimmed, well groomed and short.
- Short and clean
- No nail polish
- No artificial nails
- Minimal jewelry to allow for good hand washing technique (e.g. gold band only)
- In agencies where uniform is required the standard College of Nursing uniform is worn (add link here)
- Footwear used in the clinical setting is not to be worn outside of the clinical setting
Principle: To maintain personal safety while in the clinical setting.
- In accordance to the Occupational Health and Safety standards, shoes must be closed toes and closed heel with a non-slip sole and low heel.
- Must be clean and in good repair
- Must be made of an impermeable (water-proof) material
- No lanyards
- Earrings must be small studs in any visible piercing, no dangling earrings or hoops.
- No necklace or bracelets
- When not being used, stethoscopes must be kept in your pocket
Principle: To promote communication of students or faculty role by clearly identifying name and position.
- Wear a College of Nursing photo ID badge at all times. ID badge is to be worn at chest level.
- Photo ID is also necessary for liability purposes.
* We wish to specifically acknowledge and thank the University of British Columbia for the work they have done and shared with the College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan.
To clarify the expectations surrounding students attending professional conferences.
- Active participation in professional student conferences is important to advancing the nursing profession, strengthening collaboration and communication and building leadership skills. Nursing students should be encourage to attend local, provincial and national student conferences. Conference attendance should be prioritized with course and clinical workload expectations. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they can continue to meet course and program objectives and requirements.
- Students interested in attending conferences must have a cumulative weighted nursing average of 70% in the academic year prior to requesting approval for conference attendance
- Students interested in attending conferences must submit the signed Application for Student Conference Attendance Request form to their academic advisor no later than 1 month prior to the start date of the conference.
- Students who attend a conference without submitting the Application for Student Conference Attendance Request form and notifying the instructor and/or academic advisor on time, will be considered absent from clinical/lab and this will count towards the 10% missed clinical time.
- Students attending a conference must sign the Application for Student Conference Attendance Request form acknowledging that they understand the attendance policy and that if the student misses more than 10% of clinical/lab experiences in a course, he/she may be unable to meet the course requirements, and thus may not receive credit for the course. This completed form is to be returned to the student’s academic advisor.
- It is up to the course lead to determine if the conference can be used in lieu of clinical time. Students may only attend one conference in lieu of clinical time per academic year. Subsequent missed time due to conference attendance will be considered missed clinical time.
- Student are responsible for notifying all instructors of their planned absence.
To define the maximum timeframe for program completion.
- For students admitted to the BSN program - all required courses must be completed within six years of admission to nursing.
- For students admitted to the Post-Degree BSN option - all required courses must be completed within three years of admission.
- Extensions may be granted under certain circumstances for those individuals who are making steady progress towards successful completion of the program. Such cases are reviewed upon receiving a written request from the student.
To outline the promotion and graduation process throughout the BSN program.
- Students are required to maintain an annual weighted average of 60% in each of years two, three, and four. The annual weighted average includes both nursing and non-nursing courses.
- Students who do not achieve an annual weighted average of 60% may be required to discontinue.
- Decisions regarding continuation in the program are:
- Annual weighted average 58% or below – student is required to discontinue
- Annual weighted average above 58% and below 60% - student is put on probation and required to repeat any courses with marks below 55% and any course with a mark between 55 – 59% are recommended to be repeated.
- Students with an annual weighted average below 65% will be sent a warning letter stating they are required to maintain an average of 60%. If the annual weighted average is over 75%, a congratulatory letter will be sent.
- Students may be required to discontinue their studies at any point in their nursing program for reasons other than academic, if it is considered in the best interest of the profession or if continuation in the program is deemed to be unsafe to themselves or others.
- To graduate, students must have passed all required courses in the program with a minimum cumulative weighted average of 60%.
- The top 20% of students will receive distinction and/or great distinction; of that 20% the top 5% will be awarded great distinction and the remaining 15% awarded distinction.
To delineate the process of repeating a course.
- If a student achieves a grade of 60% or higher, a course can be repeated only with permission of the Associate Dean at the appropriate site.
- If a course is repeated, only the higher grade will be used in calculating the weighted average.
- Undergraduate students in the College of Nursing may attempt a nursing course twice. In exceptional circumstances, permission may be granted by the college for a third and final attempt. Students wishing to attempt a course for the third time must submit a written request to the site specific Associate Dean. Clinical courses being attempted for a third time may require remedial course work.
- Students repeating any courses must meet with an Academic Advisor to complete a change of planned progression in the program.
To establish guidelines for respiratory mask fit testing of students consistent with the most current Occupational Health and Safety Regulations and the Canadian Standards Act prior to and during clinical placements. Proper respiratory mask fitting helps to protect students from respiratory infection when providing care or service to clients with acute respiratory infections.
All nursing students will be fitted with an N95 respiratory mask and educated on its use when required during the program.
- Arrangements will be made by the College of Nursing for each student to attend a session to be fitted for the most appropriate type and size of respiratory mask.
- Students who fail to attend their scheduled session must make their own arrangements for fit testing.
- Students who are unable to comply with this requirement may be at risk of not being able to complete required components of the program.
- Students are required to have information regarding their respiratory mask type and size with them while in the clinical setting.
- In accordance with the Canadian Standards Act, students are required to be refitted at least every two years while in the program or earlier if they have changes to face shape, size or features.
To delineate the process for the writing of supplemental examinations.
- To be eligible to apply for a supplemental final examination, a student must have obtained a final mark of 40 - 49% in the course and have failed the exam. In addition, the student must have a weighted overall average and weighted nursing average of at least 60% for the academic term.
- Supplemental examinations must be applied for within three (3) weeks of the end of the examination period.
- No supplemental examination will be granted for courses that do not have a final examination.
- University level policies related to supplemental examinations are outlined in the University Council Regulations on Examinations.
- Supplemental examinations will not be granted for clinical experience.
Define the process for ensuring the availability of text and materials for courses.
Faculty are responsible for ordering textbooks for assigned courses.
The U of S bookstore is the primary supplier of textbooks for nursing students in Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert, Northlands College and Parkland College.
Faculty must submit a requisition for all courses whether or not textbooks are required for the course.
Requisition forms are available from the bookstore.
To outline the guidelines for allocating the relevant weight for final examinations and the clinical component in courses.
- Final examinations shall be no more than 50% and no less than 30% of the final grade, unless approved by the Undergraduate Education Committee. No supplemental examination will be granted in a course that has not had a final examination.
- In nursing courses that have a clinical component, the portion allocated to the practice component shall be not less than 30% and no more than 50%, unless otherwise approved by the Undergraduate Education Committee.
To ensure that all nursing students are eligible for Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) benefits if they sustain an injury during the course of a work-based learning assignment (practicum).
All nursing students will complete the 'Consents and Agreement' section of Schedule "B"- Work-Based Learning Consent and Agreement form for each placement during the course of their program.
- WCB forms will need to be completed at the beginning of the program for Health Regions and their affiliate organizations and the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency. WCB forms must be signed by the student and returned to the College of Nursing.
- WCB forms will be completed for any other clinical placements that are considered non health. For instance schools, community agencies, etc. WCB forms must be signed by the student and returned to the College of Nursing prior to the start of each of these types of placements.
- Original signed copies of WCB forms will be retained by the College of Nursing for a minimum of two years from the completion of the placement to correspond with provincial statutes.
- In the event of an injury sustained during a placement, procedures and related consent and claim forms are available from the course coordinator.
The Worker’s Compensation Board (the Board) has signed a memorandum with Saskatchewan Learning and has passed a policy under authority of The Worker’s Compensation Act, 1979 (the Act) with a view to ensure that a student participating in Saskatchewan in a program and for whom consents and agreements are completed, is eligible for worker’s compensation and is subject to legal rights, benefits, obligations and restrictions while placed with a local employer, as if the student was a worker in the course of employment.
Note: Coverage is not applicable to any placement or portion of a placement that takes place outside of Saskatchewan.
To clarify a condition under which a deferral could be granted for students who accept admission to the graduate program in the College.
That no deferrals for the Nurse Practitioner (MN-NP) program be allowed and the standard College of Graduate Studies and Research (CGSR) deferral policy is used for all other programs in our graduate nursing program.
Students enrolled in the Nurse Practitioner (MN-NP) Program are required to maintain current preventative immunization status in order to complete clinical practica. MN-NP students must provide proof of current immunization status within the first month after beginning the NP program and submit this documentation to the NP Clinical Placement Coordinator. Specific immunizations may be required for certain clinical placements.
Students are expected to maintain current immunization status for the following immunizations while enrolled in the program:
- Tetanus, Diptheria, (Td): Primary series (typically received in childhood)
- Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis (TDaP): Booster on entry to the program (if required)
- Polio: Primary series, booster if travelling in endemic areas
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella: Proof of immunity by documented illness; a positive serologic test for antibody; or documented proof of vaccination.
*Note - Two doses of measles vaccine required if no prior confirmation of immunity.
- Tuberulin (Mantoux): Initial Mantoux the month prior to first clinical practicum. If past history of positive Tuberulin - MD note required re CXR surveillance and/ or treatment
- Hepatitis B: Series of three injections followed by an antibody check. If student has already received this series of immunizations, lab evidence of immunity is required.
- Hepatitis A: Recommended for students, particularly those students wishing to complete practicums in northern areas.
- Varicella (Chickenpox): Recommended if no history of documented illness, positive serologic test for antibody, or proof of vaccination.
- Influenza/H1N1: Recommended annually. In Saskatchewan Health Region facilities, all students must comply with the "immunize or mask" policies and submit documentation of immunization status by December 1st annually. A student will be required to follow the policy that the practicum setting requires in the event of an outbreak. As a result, failure to be immunized may result in withdrawal from clinical practicum experiences.
Maintenance of Current Registered Nurse Registration
Students accepted into the Nurse Practitioner (MN-NP) Program are required to provide confirmation of current registration as a Registered Nurse in a Canadian Province or Territory for the duration of their program.
Students admitted to the Doctor of Philosphy in Nursing (PhD) Program who have completed a Master’s thesis are deemed to have met the requirements for the Qualifying Exam. All students admitted to the PhD Program in the College of Nursing who did not complete a thesis within their Master’s Degree will be required to complete a Qualifying Exam in the first term of the first year of their program.
The Qualifying Exam will take the form of a research proposal and oral presentation of the proposal to the student’s Advisory Committee. The research proposal document will include: a statement of research objectives; theoretical and empirical rationale; and a description of methodology, including research design, sample, measures (if applicable) and plan for analysis. The document will be 6 - 12 pages long, double-spaced and referenced with relevant appendixes.
The Qualifying Exam will be evaluated by the student’s advisory committee, comprised of the College of Nursing Chair of the Graduate Program or designate, the PhD student’s Supervisor(s) and Advisory Committee Members. The Advisory Committee will understand that this short proposal will not be as detailed as a comprehensive research protocol. The purpose of this proposal is to demonstrate to the Advisory Committee that the student is developing a realistic research project that will contribute to their chosen field of study. A secondary purpose could be to apply for Doctoral Fellowship funding, in which case the student would use the guidelines of a relevant funding agency.
The Qualifying Exam proposal and oral presentation will be graded on a “Pass/Fail” basis using the College of Graduate Studies and Research literal descriptors where a passing grade is 70%.
A research experience that is acceptable to the Advisory Committee may be held in lieu of a research proposal. The Advisory Committee would then evaluate the acceptability of research experience.
All required courses in the Nurse Practitioner (MN-NP) Program to be completed, with the exception of NURS 993, prior to beginning practicum courses.
Where a grade of less than 60% is obtained in a course and on the recommendation of the College of Nursing graduate program and the approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research, the student may repeat a course once for higher standing or take an alternate course if approved by the Graduate Chair in the College of Nursing.
A minimum of 60% must be obtained in any course taken by a student enrolled in a master’s program for the student to be granted a pass standing.
Students receiving a grade less than 60% in any two required courses within a graduate program in the College of Nursing will be required to discontinue.
Upon recommendation of the Advisory Committee or staff within the College of Graduate Studies and Research (CGSR), a student may be required to discontinue at any time for failure to achieve satisfactory progress in any aspect of the degree program. Such students must be invited to meet with their Advisory Committee as soon as evidence of unsatisfactory performance is available to either the Supervisor or the Graduate Chair. All relevant circumstances should be taken into account, every possible accommodation made and appropriate procedures followed in order to ensure that the student has full opportunity to explain his/her situation and to take reasonable remedial action. (CGSR Policy Section 14)
If the graduate program does not make such a recommendation, or if the recommendation is not approved by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, the student will be required to withdraw. The student will be informed of unsatisfactory academic progress in writing before any action regarding withdrawal is taken.
Students who have been required to withdraw from a graduate program may make a formal application to be readmitted to the same program after at least one year has passed from the effective date of withdrawal.
The residency requirements for College of Nursing Graduate Programs are:
Master’s Thesis and Course Based Programs - Students are required to attend the two day Graduate Program Orientation in late August, prior to the beginning of their program. The orientation may be attended in either Saskatoon or Regina.
Nurse Practitioner (MN-NP) Program - Students in the Nurse Practitioner Program are required to attend, a half-day online orientation in spring prior to the start of their program, the one week health assessment laboratory in Saskatoon in August if registered in NURS 870, and one week in April for the OSCE in NURS 879 and the NURS 880 practicum course orientation.
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) Program - Students are required to attend the Graduate Program two day orientation in late August, prior to beginning of their program. Orientation may be attended in Saskatoon or Regina; however, students are required to attend College of Nursing PhD courses in Saskatoon.
Supplemental and Deferred Exams
Deferred final examinations may be granted provided the following conditions are met:
The student who is absent from a final examination through no fault of his/her own for medical or other valid reasons may apply to the College of Nursing for a deferred examination. Such application must be made within three days of the missed examination along with documentary evidence. Deferred examinations will be written during the February midterm break for term one courses and in early June for term two courses. The College may, under extenuating circumstances, grant a special deferred examination to a student who submits satisfactory evidence of inability to be present at the regular deferred examination sitting.
During a final examination, the student who becomes ill must notify the invigilator (proctor) immediately of the inability to complete the examination. To apply for a deferred examination, the student must submit satisfactory documentary evidence of the illness to the Graduate Chair of the College of Nursing within three days of the interrupted examination.
The student who has sat for a given final examination and handed the paper in for marking will not be granted a deferred final examination.
The student, who by reason of continuing illness or other valid considerations, is unable to write during the regular deferred examination period, may apply to the College of Nursing Graduate Program Chair for permission to write a deferred examination at a time other than the required deferred examination period.
A student should apply for a special deferred exam if the course in which the exam was missed is a prerequisite to a course that would be taken before the scheduled deferred exam period.
A deferred final examination shall be accorded the same weight as the regular final examination in the computation of the student’s final grade.
Applications for deferred or special deferred exams are available from the Graduate Program office. The student completes the top portion and then takes it to their instructor to complete the middle portion. It is then forwarded to the Chair of the Graduate Program who either grants or denies the request.
Supplemental Final Exams
There are no supplemental final examinations in the College of Nursing Graduate Program courses, with the exception of Graduate Courses, with an OSCE component.
Supplemental examination will be provided in the Nurse Practitioner (MN-NP) Program for the OSCE in NURS 879. To be eligible for a supplemental exam, the student must have obtained a minimum final course mark of 50% and must have met the required weighted average of 70%.
The student who fails more than two courses in an academic year will not be considered for supplemental OSCE.
Supplemental OSCE shall be accorded the same weight as the original final examination in the computation of the student’s final grade.
Supplemental examination will be granted only if there is a reasonable expectation of the student passing the NURS 879 if the supplemental exam is granted. A supplemental exam will be scheduled within five calendar days of the initial exam. Students failing an OSCE will not be required to apply for a supplemental exam.