Policy Library

School-Wide Policies Undergraduate MS/DNP PhD A to Z

Undergraduate Program Outcomes

  1. Provide compassionate, holistic, culturally relevant, evidence-based care related to “wellness, health promotion, illness, injury and disease prevention, disease management and end-of-life care across the life span.”
  2. Collaborate with an interprofessional health care team to achieve quality outcomes within integrated health care systems.
  3. Demonstrate leadership skills in the management and coordination of patient-centered, safe, effective health care for individuals, families and populations.
  4. Use informatics; effective oral, written, and electronic communication; and patient care technology to share information and provide quality health care.
  5. Advocate for health care equality using principles of social justice and professional values. 
  6. Provide population-based nursing care.
  7. Practice professional nursing using the Nursing Code of Ethics and engage in lifelong learning.
  8. Practice within the framework of legislative, economic, environmental and regulatory processes to influence and improve the provision of health care.

Communication Channels

  • All students are expected to subscribe to their respective class listserv and to abide by all announcements and instructions.
  • All students are expected to view and read official UB email a minimum of every day for important announcements and communication. Choosing to ignore email is not a valid excuse for being unaware.
  • Students will be informed by course faculty where to submit course assignments.

Student Course Representatives

These individuals are selected by their peers to represent the students enrolled in particular courses. They participate in appropriate course meetings and can place items on the course meeting agenda for discussion. They serve as a liaison between the students and course faculty, bringing information and concerns from the students to the faculty in a professional manner and channeling information from the faculty to the students. They are expected to be knowledgeable about course matters and to establish and maintain a viable communication system with the students so that they can speak on their behalf.

Course Coordinator

This faculty member is responsible for the overall organization and administration of a particular course. He/she orients students to the courses, establishes a system of faculty/student communication, makes all arrangements for the theoretical and clinical components of the course so that they are consistent with course objectives, informs students of changes in University and/or School of Nursing policies and in course requirements and schedules, compiles and reports grades in collaboration with course faculty, develops a plan for course evaluation and meets with student course representatives to discuss ideas and concerns regarding the course whenever appropriate.

Customary channel of communication concerning course-related matters

Flow chart of communications from students to student representatives to course coordinator to assistant dean for undergraduate programs.

If these customary channels do not satisfy the need or concern under consideration, students may consult directly with the associate dean for academic affairs or dean.

Technology Requirements (Undergraduate)

All upper division traditional and ABS nursing majors must have access to a portable computer that they can bring to class. Faculty will be utilizing online resources for academic learning activities and examinations. Laptops must meet the University’s technology/software requirements for undergraduate students.

Background Check

Students are required to complete a background check, at their own expense, prior to the start of the program. Details including deadline will be provided upon admission.

SPEAK Test for Non-Native English Speakers

In the field of nursing, communication is an important skill as it allows nurses to understand patient needs and helps to ensure the delivery of safe care. Prior to starting the program, admitted non-native English speakers will be required to take the SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) test unless they have attended an English-speaking high school for four or more years; however, it is highly recommended that all non-native English speakers take the SPEAK test. Students who do not meet a minimum score of 50 will be required to participate in a simulated patient encounter in an effort to further evaluate English comprehension and usage. In addition, students will be linked with a Student Services staff member to discuss plans for utilizing support services and participating in activities that may help with the improvement of communication skills. The SPEAK Test is administered by the UB English Language Institute. 

Health Requirements

Participation in clinical laboratory experiences by nursing students necessitates that particular attention be given to protection of the health of both students and the public with whom they come in contact. Certain preventive measures on the part of nursing students are, therefore, required.

Each student must assume responsibility for meeting health requirements established by the School and/or the various agencies that are utilized.

All students must have a physical examination including required health professional immunizations and a PPD test before starting the program. A health appraisal form must be completed yearly. PPD must be repeated annually. If the test is positive or not done, a chest x-ray is required. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has declared student nurses to be one of the groups most at risk for Hepatitis B. Therefore, all undergraduate students are required to have the Hepatitis B vaccine. Students must start this series of injections prior to the deadline set in their admissions letter and complete it on track in order to start and participate clinical experiences. In addition, the School of Nursing requires documentation of a chicken pox titer or a documented history of having had chicken pox. Other immunization requirements may be required to meet health requirements of various health agencies and New York State Department of Health, such as influenza vaccine. These requirements will be communicated to the students as necessary.

UB School of Nursing (SON) students are required to rotate through hospital-based clinics in order to complete the program. All SON students must comply with New York State Department of Health immunization requirements for hospital personnel in order to participate in hospital-based rotations.

A student may need to withdraw from nursing courses in order to allow time to receive treatment and improve his/her health condition and to maintain the safety of clients. Refer to leave of absence and withdrawal policies in the undergraduate policies section.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

Patient confidentiality at the facilities used by the University at Buffalo, State University of New York School of Nursing is considered to be of primary importance. In addition to each facility policy, a federal law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires patient health information to be kept confidential. Patients and their families have a right to deal with their health information use in a private and secure manner, trusting that their privacy will be maintained. In order to protect this right to confidentiality and to comply with federal and state laws, students must agree to hold all information (including, but not limited to, patient names, their medical information and relevant agency information) gained through their clinical assignments at any facility used by the University at Buffalo, State University of New York School of Nursing in strictest confidence. Confidentiality includes, but is not limited to, not discussing patients or their medical conditions with persons who do not have a need to know and not removing any documents with individually identifiable patient data from the facility.

Students need to understand the terms of this Confidentiality Policy and agree to abide by the above requirements. Students also need to understand that any breach of a patient’s confidentiality may result in disciplinary action against them and possible removal from the clinical site to which they have been assigned.

The privacy rule of HIPAA requires that all agencies be able to demonstrate that they have trained their employees and others who do business with them so that they understand all the privacy procedures required by this rule. Clinical agencies require that we provide evidence that faculty and students have met this requirement. Students must complete the HIPPA tutorial provided by the School of Nursing. Clinical agencies require documentation of orientation to their facilities as well as completion of content related to HIPAA regulation.

Uniform Code

Undergraduate students are expected to maintain a professional appearance in the Clinical Skills Lab, Health Assessment Lab and clinical settings. Students are also expected to comply with agency policy, which includes such items as:

  • Clothes: clean, neat and appropriate length
  • Hair: clean, and off collar, color within naturally occurring color tones
  • Nails: clean and short, no artificial nails or tips, conservative nail polish
  • Jewelry: should be restricted to small pierced earrings (one per ear) and wedding band; no other visible piercings (e.g., nose, eyebrow, lip)
  • Tattoos: covered except when in conflict with sight specific hospital policy
  • Beards must be short, clean and neat; non-bearded men must be clean shaven
  • Students must wear their nursing ID badge and UB pin during all clinical experiences as well as in the Clinical Skills Lab

Hospital Settings

The complete student uniform consists of the following:


  • UB blue scrubs: straight leg and v-neck top. Only plain white t-shirts can be worn underneath the embroidered v-neck top. Scrubs are available at the University Medical Bookstore. Please note: UB School of Nursing scrubs should only be worn during assigned educational clinical experiences on or off campus. UBSON scrubs may be worn during travel to and from clinical experiences; however, they should not be worn when working for pay in a community agency, when engaged in social activities in commercial settings or other public venues.
  • Shoes: totally white closed-toe, closed-heel shoes or sneakers that may be wiped clean, to be worn exclusively in clinical setting (no canvas)
  • White or neutral socks
  • Nursing ID badge
  • UB Pin: provided to students during the UBSON pinning ceremony at the beginning of junior and senior level classes
  • UB black jacket purchased from the Student Nursing Organization with UB logo

Some clinical agencies may require students to wear an agency ID badge in addition to the Nursing ID. In the event a cost is associated with an agency ID badge the School of Nursing will pay a one-time fee for the badge. Students will be responsible for any replacement cost in the event an agency ID badge is lost.


  • Watch with sweep second hand or digital second readout
  • Bandage scissors
  • Pen
  • Stethoscope and sphygmomanometer

Community Setting

The complete student uniform consists of the following:


  • Blue UB polo shirt: embroidered UB logo on the left front with “School of Nursing” under the logo. Available from the University Medical Bookstore.
  • Full length black pants that sit at the traditional waist, plain or front pleat that are neatly pressed. Black capri pants or black Bermuda shorts no more than two inches above the knee may be worn during the summer semester or the fall/spring semesters when temperature is above 75 degrees. Suggested retailers are Land’s End and LL Bean.
  • Shoes: closed-toe, closed-heel shoes that are clean and in good repair
  • Black socks
  • Nursing ID badge and UB pin

Clinical Rotations (Undergraduate)

Students will receive specific information, from the course coordinator, regarding day and time for clinical placements prior to the start of each rotation. Clinical placements may occur any day of the week (including weekends) and shifts will vary, but will not interfere with other required learning activities.


Clinical assignments are arranged in several community agencies and settings. These placements require individuals to have access to transportation (car or public). Students are responsible for their transportation to assigned clinical settings and any parking fees on site. Carpooling is recommended when possible.

Clinical/Laboratory Student Evaluation

Based on direct observation, records will be utilized by individual instructors to formulate an evaluation of the student's performance at the completion of each laboratory experience. Evaluation is as follows:

  1. Evaluation of student performance and achievement will be written. These evaluations are based on course objectives.  
  2. Evaluation summaries are to be seen by the student and signed and he/she is given the opportunity to add his/her written comments.
  3. Such evaluations will be done via conferences between students and faculty members having clinical contact with students.
  4. Summaries of student progress will include evidence of growth and accomplishment as well as areas needing improvement.
  5. Evaluation summaries for clinical courses will be kept on file in the Office of Student Services in the School of Nursing.
  6. According to FERPA, students have the right to inspect contents of records kept on them for administrative and advisement purposes unless they waive the right of access.

Graduate Coursework for Undergraduate Credit

Minimum Grade Policy (Undergraduate)

A student must achieve a minimal final course grade of 75% (C+) for successful completion of all undergraduate courses in the nursing program. A student must achieve an 83% (B) for all graduate level courses taken in the nursing program.

Minimum Exam Grade Policy

A student is required to achieve a 75% average on all exams in a nursing course. 

Rounding Policy for all Grading in Undergraduate Program

Individual assignments and test grades will be carried to the second decimal place throughout the semester.


Exam 1 = 74.27; Exam 2 = 83.49; Exam 3 = 79.16; Final = 80.26

Individual grades are then added and weighted for a final grade.


74.27 + 83.49 + 79.16 + 80.26 = 317.18/4 = 79.25

Only the final grade is rounded to the nearest whole number using standard mathematical rounding.


79.25 = 79

Standard mathematical rounding requires the first digit after the decimal to be at least 0.5 to round up.


74.6 would be recorded as 75 and 74.49 would be recorded as 74.

Policy and Procedure for Progression of Undergraduate Nursing Students

Students must maintain the required nursing grade point average of C+ or higher. They must also adhere to these policies relative to successful completion of required nursing courses:

  1. Students must achieve final grades of C+ or higher in all upper-division nursing courses.* Grades of “C” or below are failures.
  2. Students who fail one upper-division course will be placed on academic probation and are not considered to be in good standing with the School of Nursing.
  3. The upper-division nursing curriculum must be completed in sequence. In many cases it may be necessary for the student to take a leave of absence until the course is offered again. Failure (grades of "C" or below) of the same upper-division nursing course for a second time will result in automatic dismissal from the undergraduate program.
  4. If an undergraduate student fails a clinical course, he/she will not progress to another clinical course the following semester. A review process must be conducted by the faculty of the failed course to provide guidance to the student and to avoid safety concerns with client care.
  5. All students who fail either the clinical and/or didactic components of a chained upper-division nursing course must repeat both segments when remediating any of the following: NSG 371/373, NSG 374/375, NSG 470/474, NSG 478/481.
  6. A failure of two or more upper-division nursing courses in the same or separate semesters will result in automatic dismissal from the undergraduate program.
  7. Failure of the same upper-division course twice will result in dismissal

*Upper-division nursing courses are those required for graduation, taken by a student following acceptance as an approved nursing major.

Program Specific Cohort Guidelines

While some courses satisfy the requirements of multiple programs, students must enroll in the course sections specified for their official program. While the course description and learning outcomes are the same, in some cases the planned learning activities are specific to a population’s educational plan and experience. In particular, online RN to BS sections are geared toward the licensed professional nurse while the seated section is for pre-licensure nursing students (traditional and ABS programs). Pre-licensure ABS students may petition the Undergraduate Program Committee to take a section not designated for their official program but for another pre-licensure program if the course is not full. Traditional students will not be permitted to take summer ABS accelerated format course.

Professional Behavior

Progression is also dependent upon acceptable professional behavior. All rules of the Board of Trustees of SUNY, and all of the laws of the City of Buffalo, the Town of Amherst, the State of New York and the United States of America apply on campus and are considered part of the Student Code of Conduct. Additionally, students must immediately notify the assistant dean for undergraduate programs of all criminal arrests and convictions. While criminal proceedings will not automatically bar a student from participating in clinical situations, the academic field assistant dean must assess each individual set of circumstances to determine if the student will be allowed to participate in such clinical situations. In some circumstances, a student with a pending criminal matter may be required to refrain from participating in clinical situations until the criminal matter is resolved.

Professional behaviors such as accountability, responsibility and promptness are expectations of all nursing students. These behaviors are monitored by faculty in each course and consistent patterns of unprofessional behavior will be documented and addressed with students through an action plan for improvement. Failure to meet professional behavior expectations may affect progression and retention in the nursing program.

Evidence of any of the following behaviors, which will be documented and kept in the student's file, may result in verbal admonition, action plan for improvement, reduction in course grade, failure and/or dismissal from the program. Those behaviors with an asterisk (*) are especially serious and can result in immediate suspension from the course and/or dismissal from the program.

  1. Unsafe practice (i.e., acts of commission or omission that place a client in serious jeopardy)*
  2. Being under the influence of any substance that impairs performance*
  3. Use, possession or distribution of narcotics, controlled substances and/or related paraphernalia except as expressly permitted by law*
  4. Falsification of records (academic, clinical medical records or records documenting attendance and completion of course objectives)*
  5. Willful harassment, abuse or intimidation of a client, peer, faculty, clinical agency personnel or staff either physically, verbally or non-verbally*
  6. Academic dishonesty (e.g., cheating, lying, plagiarism, falsification of records)
  7. Stealing*
  8. Violation of confidentiality as outlined by HIPAA: Discussion of clients in public areas, accessing client health records not assigned to their care, sharing/disclosing confidential health information*
  9. Consistent pattern of lack of preparation for clinical laboratory
  10. Persistent lateness or absence for clinical laboratories without prior notification
  11. Failure to attend course at beginning of semester or to attend clinical orientations without a valid reason and prior notification to the course coordinator
  12. Lack of courtesy and decorum in the classroom, clinical practicum or community
  13. Inappropriate dress in the clinical laboratory and on-campus clinical laboratory
  14. Poor personal hygiene in the clinical laboratory and on-campus clinical laboratory
  15. Rudeness or disruptive behavior during class sessions, clinical practicum or on-campus clinical laboratory
  16. Classroom Expectation Cell Phone Use: Students who bring cell phones to campus should place them on “silent / vibrate” mode while engaged in classroom or on-campus laboratory learning experiences. Students should not access their cell phones for messages while engaged in learning activities. Students may access their cell phones in these environments at faculty direction to fulfill specific learning activities.  Other cell phone access is restricted to breaks. Students in violation of this policy will be asked to leave the classroom or on-campus laboratory learning environment.
  17. Clinical Expectation Cell Phone Use: Students who bring cell phones to the clinical learning environment (hospital or community) should keep them secure in their purse, back pack or automobile. Students are prohibited from accessing cell phones in any clinical environment except during breaks in a break room, the cafeteria or non-patient care areas. Hospital/agency policies forbid personal cell phone use in patient care areas. Computer resources in the clinical agencies can be used to access medication and evidence-based practice information. Students in violation of this policy in the clinical learning environment will receive an unsatisfactory grade for the clinical day regarding “professionalism” and will have a faculty-student contract provided to outline necessary steps need to achieve a satisfactory grade.
  18. Failure to keep appointments with faculty

Student Consultation Report Action Plan for Improvement Contract

A form will be utilized to document faculty concerns related to unsatisfactory professional behavior and/or inadequate performance. The form is to be signed by the student and the faculty member and placed in the student's file.

The course coordinator and assistant dean for undergraduate programs will be notified of documented behaviors. The assistant dean for undergraduate programs in consultation with the course coordinator and faculty may dismiss a student from a course and/or the nursing program if behavior is especially serious and flagged with an asterisk (*) in the Professional Behavior section.

Unsatisfactory Academic Progress

A student who does not fulfill one or more of these requirements at any time will be notified in writing by the appropriate administrative officer of the School of Nursing:

  1. The course coordinator informs the student if there is a failure in meeting course requirements with a copy of the letter sent to the director of student services, the assistant dean for undergraduate programs and the associate dean for academic affairs.
  2. The director of student services informs the student when his/her status in the School changes as a result of the failure.
  3. The director of student services notifies the student of dismissal from the School of Nursing.
  4. The director of student services will drop the student from any subsequent coursework that cannot be cannot be started due to the student’s academic status.
  5. Students are responsible for any financial ramifications associated with dropped, resigned or failed coursework.

Dismissal Appeal Process (Undergraduate)

A student who is dismissed may petition (in writing) the Undergraduate Program Committee through the director of student services within 45 calendar days from the date of dismissal. Petition procedures are as follows:

  1. The student will submit a petition through the director of student services no later 45 days following the dated dismissal notification. The  statement to the Undergraduate Program Committee should include the student’s perception of the factors that contributed to his/her present status as well as a detailed plan for removing obstacles to his/her successful progression in the School of Nursing, if the appeal is granted.
  2. The related course faculty will also submit statements to the Undergraduate Program Committee that include his/her perception of the factors that contributed to the student’s present status and a recommendation, with rationale, to grant or deny readmission of the student to the School of Nursing, within 10 academic days of the department’s receipt of the student’s appeal statement.
  3. These statements, along with the academic record of the student, will be evaluated by the Undergraduate Program Committee. If the need arises, any one of the parties may be requested to submit additional information to the Committee, in writing or in person.
  4. The decision of the Undergraduate Program Committee will be forwarded to the student, the assistant dean for undergraduate programs, and the associate dean for academic affairs by the director of student services, within 25 academic days* of receipt of the student’s appeal statement. Late appeals may be considered at the discretion of the Undergraduate Program Committee.
  5. If the appeal is granted, notice of that will include the terms and conditions of continued progression in the School of Nursing. Students who are granted continued study will be permanently dismissed, without opportunity for appeal, following an additional failure of any upper-division nursing course.
  6. Appeal decisions are final. Students who are dismissed from the School of Nursing are not eligible to re-apply, per our admissions policy.

*Academic days are defined as weekdays when classes are in session, not including the summer or winter sessions.

In making decisions regarding progression of students who are out of sequence in the nursing program, individuals will be allowed to continue on a space-available basis.Please see Program Specific Guidelines policy for details. Students in good academic standing within the School of Nursing who maintain continuous registration in required nursing courses will receive first priority. The remaining students may be given priority on the basis of their cumulative and upper-division nursing GPAs at the time the decision is made.

Math Competency for Safe Administration of Medications and IV Therapy Policy


The competent and safe practice of medication calculation and administration is a critical component of professional nursing practice. The UB School of Nursing has the responsibility to prepare graduates to safely and competently calculate and administer medications and intravenous fluids in a variety of health care settings.


Each undergraduate student is required to pass a medication calculation/IV therapy examination comprised of 10 test items for each of the following clinical courses: NSG 373, 375, 474 and 481. A passing grade of 90% is required to pass the course. Students not successful after the initial attempt will be given a second opportunity to meet the 90% proficiency. Students who do not achieve 90% after a second attempt will not pass the course.

To further evaluate students’ proficiency with medication calculation, each corresponding theory course (NSG 371, 374, 470 and 478) will include medication, math and IV therapy test items (3 to 5), which are relevant to the course content, on each examination given in the course.


To facilitate student achievement, the following activities are provided:

  1. During the pre-matriculation orientation(s), students are informed of the policy.
  2. Practice test items, tutorials and remediation will be provide during orientation or incorporated in the pre-matriculation online requirements.
  3. Upon matriculation, all students are provided a practice test that is subsequently graded to identify students who are not meeting the established competency level.
  4. The respective course coordinator in NSG 373, 375, 474 and 481 will provide specific remediation opportunities for all students. Following remediation, all students are provided a second practice test.
  5. The medication/calculation/IV therapy assessment test is given at mid-term or at the discretion of the course coordinator. Students who meet the passing grade of > 90% will meet the requirement for passing.
  6. Students who do not meet the passing grade of > 90% will be provided an opportunity to remediate.
  7. A second medication/calculation/IV therapy assessment test is given prior to finals week for students who did not achieve a 90% on the first test. Students who achieve < 90% will not meet the requirement for passing the course.

Student Assignment Drop Boxes for Paper Assignments (Undergraduate)

Student assignments will be turned in to the faculty using the assignment drop boxes located outside 220 Wende Hall and outside 316 Wende Hall.

The drop boxes outside 220 Wende Hall will be designated for specific courses:

  • NSG 370/371, NSG 410, NSG 374/375
  • NSG 470/474, NSG 475
  • NSG 478/481, NSG 311, NSG 447
  • NSG 393/472, NSG 479

The drop boxes outside 316 Wende Hall will be designated for:

  • NSG 348, NSG 309
  • All other items for faculty that are non-course related or not listed for designated boxes

Students are required to follow these guidelines when placing material in the drop box:

  • Place name on each sheet of assignment
  • Staple assignment
  • Place assignment in a white/gold 9”x12” or 10”x13” single clasp envelope. Students are responsible for providing their own envelopes.
  • Close clasp
  • Place name, course number, and date and time of submission on outside of envelope

Assignments not in an envelope and meeting the above guidelines will not be accepted. Assignments designated to be submitted through UBlearns will not be accepted if placed in the drop box.

Leave of Absence Policies and Procedures

Students requesting leave from the University should meet with the director of student services prior to the leave period to assure proper advisement. Please review the University’s leave of absence policy for important details.

Students returning after a leave of absence from clinical that exceeds six months will be required to complete a competency assessment to ensure students are prepared to provide safe, quality nursing care. The competency assessment will be scheduled by the course and laboratory coordinators with the student prior to the start of the semester. The competency assessment will include:

  1. Successful demonstration of Safe Skill Performances (SSPs) for any clinical course completed prior to the leave of absence
  2. Completion of two simulation experiences
  3. Provide the certificate of completion of all Institute of Health Care Performance (IHI)Modules required in the program progression up until the request for return from leave
  4. Completion of medication calculation assessment

Based upon each student’s performance on the above assessments, an individual action plan for improvement will be developed, if necessary, to assist the student to successfully re-integrate into the undergraduate program; all students are expected to fully comply with any individual action plan.

Return of Examination and Written Assignments to Students

Objective type examinations (true/false, multiple choice, etc.) are primarily evaluation tools. Because the items on these examinations are constantly being evaluated for reliability, difficulty level and discrimination ability, with appropriate refinements being made, it is essential that these examinations be retained by the faculty. Along with this right to retain all copies of the examination go certain responsibilities:

  1. Faculty review the pscho metrics for each test question for clarity, correct item construction and accuracy.
  2. Provision must be made for students to review the examinations and their answers, and to clarify with appropriate faculty members not only which questions were answered correctly or incorrectly, but how and why they were correct or incorrect. If an examination has any potential for student learning, it is probably at this point of review and discussion with faculty.
  3. The faculty must keep on file for at least two years not only a copy of the original examination, but all student answer sheets. In the event that a grievance is filed by a student during this period, the faculty member involved must be able to produce the student's examination paper.

Students also have corresponding rights and responsibilities related to the review of objective examinations:

  1. They have the right to review and discuss the examination, and the right to challenge and redress.
  2. They have the responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of the examination by not copying or photographing actual questions and answer options from the examination.
  3. They are responsible for making appointments with those faculty members whom they wish to see regarding an examination and for leaving written messages when faculty are unavailable. It is impossible to mesh the busy schedules of students and faculty to allow for sufficient discussion time when an informal "drop-in" arrangement is employed.

Essay type examinations, term papers, written care plans, etc., have significant potential for student learning and students can often utilize these long after the particular assignment has been completed. These examinations and assignments, which often contain the faculty member's written critique, should be returned to the students. This does not interfere with the students' right to discuss the examination or assignment with faculty nor relieve students of the responsibility for making appointments with faculty for these discussions.

NSG 447 Academic Policy

Students taking NSG 447 may do so out of town only with approved clinical agencies if they have achieved an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher and are not currently or previously been on contract for academic or behavioral concerns. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the course coordinator, based on student clinical performance evaluations and clinical faculty support.

For all out-of-town placements, the School of Nursing must enter into a formal contractual agreement with the cooperating agency and an adjunct faculty. This is a time-consuming process and because of legal constraints imposed either by SUNY, the State Education Department or by the out-of-town agency, a satisfactory and timely contract cannot always be negotiated. Informal agreements between students and staff of the agency are not sufficient and do not constitute a guarantee that a student placement can be made.  Students intending to go out of town for this course should keep these factors in mind and consult with the course coordinator of NSG 447 in the semester prior to enrolling in the course.

Student may only be allowed to start NSG 447 if all other nursing coursework is complete with grades of C+ of higher. A student who fails a course in their final semester will be dropped from NSG 447 prior to the course start date. Students should note that should this action drop their spring registration below 12 credits, there may be financial aid ramifications. Students are responsible for any financial ramifications associated with dropped, resigned or failed coursework.

NSG 499 (Independent Study) Guidelines

Independent study is meant to allow students an opportunity to engage in individualized learning outside required curriculum, under the guidance of an appropriate faculty member. In some cases, an independent study may address a special topic area that the student in interested in developing, or may be related to an internship opportunity in the community. In order to participate in such an experience, the student must have a prior agreement with a faculty member who is willing to sponsor and supervise his/her work.

  • Independent study is primarily intended to assist students in pursuing depth in an area of concentration; therefore, it is most appropriately carried out by, but not limited to, students in the junior and senior years.
  • Independent study credit is variable (1-3) in any one semester. This credit is free elective and cannot replace any required nursing or general education coursework.
  • Approval for any independent study proposal is always contingent upon availability of faculty and facilities.
  • The students must use the Undergraduate Independent Study Proposal (NSG 499) form (available in UBlearns) to obtain the written consent of the faculty member or members who will supervise his/her project.
  • Any student proposal involving utilization of human subjects must be reviewed, prior to implementation, by the Human Subjects Review Board. The faculty project advisor should be consulted about the necessary procedure.
  • The Undergraduate Program Committee may be consulted by either the student or the faculty project advisor concerning overlapping with or duplication of required or elective nursing courses, depth of presently offered courses, etc.


  1. Work with your supervising faculty member to complete the Undergraduate Independent Study Proposal (NSG 499) form (available in UBlearns).
  2. Submit the completed, signed form to the assistant dean for undergraduate programs prior to the first day of the semester for which you wish to register.
  3. If approved, the assistant dean will sign and forward to the Office of Student Services and you will be automatically registered for NSG 499. You will see the update in your HUB Student Center.
  4. The Office of Student Services will submit paperwork for a partial fee waiver for summer and winter off-campus internships providing the student is not taking other on-campus courses at that time.

NSG 495 Supervised Teaching (3 credits)

Outstanding undergraduate students can enrich their education and gain personal recognition through participation in a supervised teaching experience with a nursing faculty member. In concert with the faculty member, student teachers will have an opportunity to develop their leadership, management, teaching, technology and presentation skills in a course previously completed. Typically, instructors recruit students when they are in need.


Eligible students are those who previously completed the course and earned a grade of A or A- or have prior experience in the subject and have a GPA of 3.0.

Course Outline

Required student teacher activities:

  • A minimum of 3 hours per week of class or class support activities
  • Effective communication skills and enthusiasm about sharing knowledge with others
  • Preparation for individual and group student activities
  • Organization and presentation skills
  • Organization and tracking of course activities and communication with students

Other Requirements

Competent skills:


A letter grading system will be used. Grading will be based on an established contract/rubric for the specific course.

The faculty mentor has the right to terminate the mentorship based on student teacher’s attendance, participation, dependability, quality of work and academic standing.

NSG 497 Honors Research

Provides an opportunity for outstanding undergraduate students in nursing to enrich their education and gain personal recognition through participation in the scholarly work of a faculty mentor. In concert with the faculty member, a student conducts a research project that culminates in a senior thesis of publication quality. 

Course Description (6 credits)

An opportunity for outstanding undergraduate students in nursing to enrich their education and gain personal recognition through participation in the scholarly work of a faculty mentor. In concert with the faculty member, the student conducts a research project that culminates in a senior thesis of publication quality. (Fall semester: 3 credits and Spring semester: 3 credits)

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the Honors Research Program, the student will be able to:
  1. Apply the scientific process in conducting a small research project.
  2. Write succinctly an overview of a research project.
  3. Present research findings and answer questions in a public forum.
  4. Demonstrate ability to communicate research findings in written and verbal forms.


  • Full-time with completion of 90 credits
  • NSG 348 Introduction to Nursing Research
  • Minimum nursing GPA of 3.50 on a 4.00 scale is required
  • Permission of instructor

Additional Eligibility Requirements

Submit all required documents to son-cnr@buffalo.edu for approval by the associate dean for research and scholarship no later than four weeks prior to the start of the semester.

  • One-page personal statement describing how participation in the Honors Program will promote your educational goals and enrich your education at UB
  • Brief description of the proposed research idea
  • Written consent from a faculty member who will supervise the research project
  • One letter of reference from a School of Nursing faculty member (excluding the faculty supervisor) who can attest to your academic qualities.
  • Maintain a nursing GPA of 3.50 on a 4.00 scale throughout the senior year

Required Student Activities

  • Three credit hours (an average of six hours per week) each semester of the senior year, supervised by a member of the School of Nursing faculty
  • Development and execution of a research project that is encompassed within the faculty mentor’s program of research
  • Regular meetings between the student and faculty mentor
  • A written progress report submitted to the faculty mentor at the end of the fall semester
  • A senior thesis of publication quality (a final report following the usual conventions of scholarly writing (15-20 pages), or a manuscript that is submitted to the advisor by March 15)
  • A written abstract to accompany the presentation
  • Presentation of the research at a public forum in the School of Nursing
  • Reading List: Readings will be done as agreed upon by the faculty mentor and student


  • The letter grade system will be used. A grade will be given each semester.
  • The student must receive a grade of B+ or higher for the thesis to graduate with School of Nursing honors.
  • The faculty advisor has the right to terminate mentorship of the student if the student does not meet expectations of the Honors Research Program.

Honors will be noted on transcripts as highest distinction (GPA of 3.85-4.00), high distinction (GPA of 3.70-3.84) or distinction (GPA of 3.50-3.69).

A Culture of Safety: Misses and Near Misses

Errors in health care have been identified as the third leading cause of death in the US (Makary & Daniel, 2016). To promote student awareness and engagement in creating and promoting of an ongoing culture of safety, the following guidelines will be used when a student is involved in a miss or near miss.

Near Miss

A near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage – but had the potential to do so. Only a fortunate break in the chain of events prevented an injury, fatality or damage; in other words, a miss that was nonetheless very near.

For example, penicillin was ordered for a patient allergic to the drug; however, the pharmacist was alerted to the allergy during computer order entry, the prescriber was called, and the penicillin was not dispensed or administered to the patient. Or the wrong drug was dispensed by pharmacy, and a nurse caught the error before it was administered to the patient.

Steps to address:

  1. During each clinical practicum, the student will:
    • Self-assess environment and nursing practices for events that are identified as a near miss.
    • Report the near miss for review and recommendations.
    • If the student is directly responsible, the behavior will result in one or more of the following actions:
      • Verbal counseling or written contract
    • Complete an error analysis describing the near miss in detail and outline an action plan to prevent future occurrence.
  2. The faculty will:
    • Review the written error analysis, initiate verbal counseling or written contract.
    • Complete the UB School of Nursing Incident Report.
    • Forward copies of the analysis, contract and incident report to the assistant dean for review.
  3. A copy of all documents will be placed in the student record.


A miss (error) is an unplanned event, situation or error that occurred (completed in that the patient was the object of the error). An injury, illness or damage may have occurred but had a high potential to occur.

For example, a patient is at high risk for falls and is placed on fall precautions (yellow blanket, yellow booties, bed alarm engaged and bed in low position). The patient got out of bed unassisted and fell resulting in a fractured hip. The bed alarm was not engaged.

Steps to address:

  1. The student and faculty will follow the clinical site policy and procedure for reporting of errors (miss).
  2. If the error resulted in injury to the student (needle stick), the will be sent to the ED for evaluation and subsequently report to Michael Hall for further evaluation.
  3. The student behavior will result in the following:
    • Student will complete an error analysis describing the near miss in detail and outline an action plan to prevent future occurrence.
  4. The faculty will:
    • Review the written error analysis and initiate a written contract.
    • Complete the UB School of Nursing Incident Report.
    • Forward copies of the analysis, contract and incident report to the assistant dean for review.
  5. A copy of all documents will be placed in the student record.

Makary, M., & Daniel, M. (2016). Medical error – the third leading cause of death in the US. British Medical Journal, 353, i2139. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i2139 

Technical Standards for Admission, Academic Progression and Graduation

The mission of the University at Buffalo School of Nursing is to foster an environment of academic and scholarly excellence that develops nurse leaders who will improve the health and wellness of local, national and global communities. The UB School of Nursing baccalaureate programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Our highly competitive programs are designed to prepare students for the expanding role of professional nurses and the challenging work environments of contemporary nurses. Therefore, the faculty has determined that certain technical standards are requisite for admission, progression and graduation from the nursing programs.

In addition to classroom learning, clinical learning occurs throughout the program and involves considerations (such as patient safety and clinical facilities) that are not present in classroom environments. For this reason, any applicant or student who seeks accommodations prior to or immediately after enrolling in the nursing programs, in order to meet the technical standards set forth below, must present a complete plan for completion of the standard(s) with accommodations to the Undergraduate Program Committee for approval. Applicants and students may consult with UB’s Office of Accessibility Resources for assistance in identifying reasonable accommodations and engaging in an interactive process with the School of Nursing to determine the plan for alternative completion. Reasonable accommodations may not fundamentally alter the academic program, pose a direct threat to health or safety, or significantly interfere with the essential functions of clinical performance. Please note that our Traditional and Accelerated programs are offered as full-time cohort programs only.

An individual must be able to independently, with or without reasonable accommodation, meet the following technical standards of general abilities and those specifically of (1) observation; (2) communication; (3) motor; (4) intellectual, conceptual and quantitative; (5) essential behavioral and social attributes; and (6) ability to manage stressful situations. Individuals unable to meet these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, will not be able to complete the program and are counseled to consider alternative programs.

In order to achieve appropriate learning outcomes and connect complex concepts, our Traditional and Accelerated Programs are offered in a full-time format only.

General Abilities

The student is expected to possess functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing and smell so that data received by the senses may be integrated, analyzed and synthesized in a consistent and accurate manner. A student must also possess the ability to perceive pain, pressure, temperature, position, vibration and movement, which are important to the student's ability to gather significant information needed to effectively assess and evaluate patients. A student must be able to respond promptly to urgent situations that may occur during clinical training activities and must not hinder the ability of other members of the health care team to provide prompt treatment and care to patients.

Observational Abilities

The student must have sufficient capacity to make accurate visual observations and interpret them in the context of laboratory studies, medication administration and patient care activities. In addition, the student must be able to document these observations and maintain accurate records.

Communication Ability

The student must communicate effectively both verbally and non-verbally to elicit information and to translate that information to others. Each student must have the ability to read, write, comprehend and speak the English language to facilitate communication with patients, their family members and other professionals in health care settings. In addition, the student must be able to read, interpret and document in electronic or other form of patient records accurately, present information in a professional, logical manner and provide patient counseling and instruction to effectively care for patients and their families. The student must possess verbal and written communication skills that permit effective communication with instructors and students in both the classroom and clinical settings.

Motor Ability

The student must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements with sufficient coordination needed to perform complete physical examinations utilizing the techniques of inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers. A student must develop the psychomotor skills reasonably needed to perform or assist with procedures, treatments, administration of medication, management and operation of diagnostic and therapeutic medical equipment, and such maneuvers to assist with patient care activities such as lifting, wheel chair guidance and mobility. The student must have sufficient levels of neuromuscular control and eye-to-hand coordination as well as possess the physical and mental stamina to meet the demands associated with extended periods of sitting, standing, moving and physical exertion required for satisfactory and safe performance in the clinical and classroom settings including performing CPR, if necessary. The student must possess the ability of manual dexterity that would be required for certain activities, such as drawing up solutions in a syringe.

Intellectual, Conceptual and Quantitative Abilities

The student must be able to develop and refine problem-solving skills that are crucial to practice as a nurse. Problem-solving involves the abilities to measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize objective and subjective data, and to make decisions, often in a time urgent environment, that reflect consistent and thoughtful deliberation and sound clinical judgment. Each student must demonstrate mastery of these skills and possess the ability to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the nursing and medical literature to formulate sound judgment in patient assessment, intervention, evaluation, teaching and setting short and long-term goals.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Compassion, integrity, motivation, effective interpersonal skills and concern for others are personal attributes required of those in the nursing programs. Personal comfort and acceptance of the role of a nurse functioning under supervision of a clinical instructor or preceptor is essential for a nursing student. The student must possess the skills required for full utilization of the student's intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment; the prompt completion of all responsibilities in the classroom and clinical settings; and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and other members of the health care team. Each student must be able to exercise stable, sound judgment and to complete assessment and interventional activities. The ability to establish rapport and maintain sensitive, interpersonal relationships with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds is critical for practice as a nurse. The student must be able to adapt to changing environments; display flexibility; accept and integrate constructive criticism given in the classroom and clinical settings; effectively interact in the clinical setting with other members of the healthcare team; and learn to function cooperatively and efficiently in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice.

Ability to Manage Stressful Situations

The student must be able to adapt to and function effectively to stressful situations in both the classroom and clinical settings, including emergency situations. The student will encounter multiple stressors while in the nursing programs. These stressors may be (but are not limited to) personal, patient care/family, faculty/peer, and or program-related.

Technical Standards adapted from Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professionals.

Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers Policy

Students who participate in clinical experiences must maintain current documentation of having completed a course on Basic Life Support (including both adults and pediatrics) for health care providers while in the nursing program. This course, along with appropriate documentation, must be obtained through the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. Online CPR certifications are not accepted.

If the student is unable to fulfill this requirement due to physical inability to perform the procedures, he/she must provide medical documentation from a health care provider. Although the student has a disability, he/she must still provide evidence that a course was completed.  This is in case the disabled student finds himself/herself in an emergency situation in which he/she is the only health care provider available who can verbally guide another individual through the process of rendering basic life support measures.

Students are required to have a current BLS certification prior to any clinical nursing activity. Failure to provide documentation of BLS will prohibit the student’s participation in and passing of clinical nursing courses. Be sure to submit a copy of BLS card to the Office of Student Services, Beck Hall, to remain in the program and participate in clinical courses.

Fitness for Duty (Undergraduates)

Students are expected to fully participate in all classroom, laboratory, and clinical activities (collectively, “Learning Activities”) without restriction. Please refer to the Technical Standards Policy for details. A student is expected to inform (disclose) to a nursing faculty member or advisor (director of student services) any health related issue that may put either the student or client in danger.

A student may be required to provide evidence from his/her health care provider if restrictions in Learning Activities are needed due to health reasons, or if there is a concern that the student’s health may put the student or a client in danger. Depending upon the facts and circumstances, the School of Nursing may require evidence from a healthcare specialist before a student is permitted to participate or to resume participation in Learning Activities. To the extent possible, faculty will work with the student to achieve the required learning outcomes.

A student may need to withdraw from nursing courses (and all Learning Activities) in order to allow time to receive treatment and improve his/her health condition and to maintain the safety of clients. Refer to Leave of Absence  policy for additional information.