Reviewed and Revised, August 2023

Dr. Susan Raph, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Office: 126 A. P. Sherrick Hall

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 406-994-5726

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

  1. Vision of the College of Nursing
  2. Mission of the College of Nursing
  3. Values of the College of Nursing

II. Advising and Student Support Services

  1. Student Advisement
  2. Caring for Our Own Program (CO-OP)
  3. Honors Students
  4. Reserve Officer Training Core (ROTC) Students
  5. Transfer Student Advisement and Transcript Evaluation
  6. Transfer Equivalency Evaluation

III. Degree Requirements

IV. University Policies – Degree Progression

  1. Academic Dishonesty
  2. Access to the Computer and Internet
  3. Add Procedure
  4. Contact Information
  5. Drop Procedure
  6. Add or Drop for Extraordinary Reasons
  7. Final Exams Policy
  8. Graduation Audits
  9. Health Insurance and University Requirements
  10. Incomplete Grade (I)
  11. Leave of Absence
  12. Personal Withdrawal
  13. Pregnant and Parenting Students
  14. Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid
  15. Scholarships
  16. Student Review of Permanent File

V. College of Nursing – Progression

  1. Affiliating Agencies
  2. Clinical Compliance, Safety, CPR, and Immunization Requirements
  3. Confidentiality
  4. Dress Code
  5. Effective Communication
  6. Medication Errors in the Clinical Setting
  7. Malpractice Insurance
  8. National Council of Licensure Examination – NCLEX-RN Preparation
  9. Nursing Lab Courses
  10. Professional Student Behavior
  11. Removal of Students from Clinical Settings
  12. Reporting of Unusual Incidents
  13. Scholastic Appeals
  14. Student Athletes
  15. Transportation to Clinical Agencies
  16. College of Nursing Opportunities 



MSU is the leading producer of baccalaureate (BSN), masters (MN), and doctoral-prepared (DNP) nurses in the state of Montana. The undergraduate program of study at MSU Mark & Robyn Jones College of Nursing [MRJCON] has been continuously approved by the Montana State Board of Nursing since 1937 and has received continuous national accreditation since 1949. The accreditation process evaluates the college in relation to national standards of excellence in nursing education. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).accredits all aspects of the nursing program. The MSU MRJCON offers the Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) in two options: Traditional (BSN) and Accelerated (ABSN). The Traditional BSN program began in 1937.  The first class to matriculate in the ABSN option started in summer, 2011.


Vision of the College of Nursing

The Montana State University College of Nursing transforms lives and communities in the people’s interest.

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Mission of the College of Nursing

The Montana State University College of Nursing enhances the health of the people of Montana, our nation, and the global community through education, creation of knowledge, and service.

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The Values of the College of Nursing

Excellence - We pursue exceptional outcomes.

Integrity - We commit to honesty, ethical behavior and accountability.

Inclusion - We create a civil, supportive and respectful environment where difference and diversity are sources of strength.

Collaboration - We believe that working together produces better outcomes.

Curiosity - We expect inquiry, exploration, creativity and innovation.

Stewardship - We care for and conserve the human, economic, physical and environmental resources entrusted to us.

The MRJCON has approximately 1300 students enrolled in various levels of the baccalaureate program of study: pre-nursing and nursing. The main campus of Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman includes extensive library facilities and access to the full array of courses and research opportunities available through all departments at MSU.

The administrative offices of the College are in Bozeman, Montana. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs has general responsibility for the BSN and ABSN curriculum.  Additional administrative support is available for each of the College’s five statewide campuses offering the BSN program Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Kalispell, and Missoula.

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Advising and Student Support Services

Student Advisement

Advising is an integral part of the teaching and learning mission of MSU and the MRJCON. In the one-on-one advising relationship, students are guided in the kind of systematic thinking, knowledge integration and decision-making they will need throughout their college career. Upon admission to Montana State University, all students in the nursing program will be assigned a pre-nursing advisor in the MRJCON and are subsequently assigned to a faculty advisor once they achieve admission and placement.

The student and their advisor are required to meet at least once a semester to review their plan of study. Advisement notes of MSU enrolled students shall be posted to DegreeWorks for both the student and faculty to view.

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Caring for Our Own Program (CO-OP)

The Caring for Our Own Program (CO-OP) is a support program for Native American and Alaska Native students pursuing their nursing degree at Montana State University.

CO-OP’s goals are to increase the enrollment of American Indian nursing students in the MRJCON at Montana State University and build a strong pool of American Indian and Alaska Native nurses who are prepared for practice, management, and leadership to serve Indian Country.

Students apply to CO-OP for support.Acceptance to CO-OP does not equate to acceptance for placement in the nursing program. This is a separate application process. Students should work closely with the CO-OP advisor as they apply for admission and campus placement. The MRJCON works with the CO-OP program for placements each year in the traditional and ABSN programs of study.

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Honors Students

MRJCON works closely with the Honors College and Honors students to assist in creating plans of study that are congruent to each program.

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Reserve Officer Training Core (ROTC) students

MRJCON works with the MSU-Bozeman Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC program to advise ROTC students.

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Transfer Student Advisement and Transcript Evaluation

  1. Students who have been enrolled as nursing students at any other institution (have nursing courses on the transcripts) must provide a letter from their Dean or Director regarding their eligibility for reinstatement at the time they left the previous nursing program prior to enrolling in nursing courses at MSU.
  2. In order to facilitate transcript evaluation, all transfer students must provide an unoffical copy of the original transcript(s) from all institutions of higher education they have attended to their pre-nursing advisor. In addition, at application time, students will need to submit official transcripts to the MSU Admissions Office.
  3. Out-of-state transfer students must also provide a catalog or course descriptions and course syllabi as requested from their former institution(s), if possible, to facilitate the course evaluation process.
  4. Students who plan to transfer to MSU for nursing (in either the traditional or ABSN program), should not presume campus selections, and move to a community based on that presumption. Campus selection is determined through the application process for the ABSN and Traditional programs of study. Students rank their campus preference during the application process. Placement is determined through ranked application scoring. 

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Transfer Equivalency Evaluation

Montana State University generally awards credit for liberal arts courses completed with a passing grade at regionally accredited universities and which have been evaluated as equivalent. Prospective and transfer students should review the transferequivalency site before making appointments for advisement.

If nursing pre-requisite course work does not appear on the transfer equivalency site at MSU, it must be evaluated to determine if the course is a suitable match to pre-requisite courses descriptions and activities of the same course offered at MSU.

  1. In consultation with faculty evaluators from Colleges at MSU that offer the pre-requisite nursing courses, MRJCON admissions team reviews each submitted course syllabus, and official transcripts, individually to determine if the course in question is either equivalent to MRJCON pre-requisite courses, or could serve as a suitable substitute.
  2. In the event the pre-requisite course evaluation requires outside consultation, the student’s challenge materials will be sent to a faculty evaluator in the MSU school or college that offers a similar
  3. Acceptance of a given course as a suitable substitute for the MRJCON pre-requisites does not guarantee acceptance of the course for another program of study at
  4. MSU students must still meet MSU CORE 2.0 requirements; courses approved as suitable substitutes, may require the student still complete a CORE 2.0 course to fulfill those requirements. (e.g. Inquiry into the Natural Sciences (IN) courses, Quantitative Reasoning (Q) courses, Inquiry into Social Sciences (IS) courses).
  5. If it is determined the transfer courses is not a suitable substitute, nor equivalent, the student will be required to complete the pre-requisite
  6. Exceptions to the MRJCON pre-requisite course challenge are: WRIT 101, & CORE 2.0 These course challenges must be addressed through a CERC appeal .
  7. Courses within the MRJCON nursing curriculum (NRSG courses) must be challenged via the progression variation process through Scholastic Appeals.

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Degree Requirements 

The Traditional Baccalaureate Degree is well suited to students with no prior nursing experience who are seeking their first degree in nursing. The traditional program provides learning opportunities for undergraduate students in a variety of classroom and clinical settings at one of our five campus locations: Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Kalispell, and Missoula. The program prepares students to take the National Council Licensure Examination Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN®) to secure licensure as a professional registered nurse.  The Baccalaureate degree (BS) in Nursing requires students to earn 120 credits completed over a minimum of four years.

Students take general education courses—including MSU CORE 2.0 —and nursing prerequisite courses their first three-four semesters (depending on individual student’s pace). Next, students apply to the BSN program to complete their nursing coursework. Traditional students utilize NursingCASCentral Application System to apply to the BSN program.

The (ABSN) undergraduate degree is for individuals who have a bachelor's degree in another discipline and wish to make a career change. This program is three semesters in length starting in the fall and is available on all the campus locations: Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Kalispell, and Missoula. Prospective students are required to have completed the same prerequisite courses as the traditional students EXCEPT for WRIT 101 and MSU Core 2.0 requirements. ABSN students utilize NursingCAS Central Application System to apply to this program.

The ABSN program provides learning opportunities for undergraduate students in a variety of classroom and clinical settings. The program prepares students to take the National Council Licensure Examination Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN®) to secure licensure as a professional registered nurse (RN).

The BSN curricula use transformative learning theory, which emphasizes critical reflection, self-reflection and dialogue, and the AACN Essentials (AACN, 2021).  First degree BSN students complete MSU CORE requirements, ensuring a solid foundation in the arts, sciences, and humanities.  A competency-based educational approach in the MSU undergraduate curricula ensures students graduate with the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes necessary to provide evidence-based, competent, compassionate, and culturally sensitive nursing care for individuals, families, and communities. Students will achieve these through diverse clinical experiences within the spheres of health promotion/disease prevention, chronic, acute, and palliative care.  

Curriculum and level learning outcomes are adapted from the AACN Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education (2021) and provide a strong foundation of the nursing discipline, liberal education, and principles of competency-based education.  The established outcomes assess student learning and program effectiveness across four spheres of care (prevention/promotion of health and wellbeing, chronic illness care, critical/trauma care, and hospice/palliative care), throughout the lifespan, and with diverse patient populations. 


Degree Progression.

To earn an undergraduate nursing degree from MSU, a student must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or higher in the major and a minimum of a grade of C is required in all nursing courses.  Select university progression policies are below.  See the MSU Catalog for complete description of progression policies. 

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University Policies (Listed in alphabetical order)

To earn an undergraduate nursing degree from MSU, a student must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or higher in the major and a minimum of a grade of C is required in all nursing courses.  Select university progression policies are below.  See the MSU Catalog for complete description of progression policies.   


Academic Dishonesty

Academic integrity is expected of all individuals in academic settings. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and fabrication. MRJCON faculty comply with the MSU Code of Student Conduct regarding sanctions for academic misconduct.  Students seeking to grieve an academic decision work with their faculty advisor or designee and campus director in conjunction with Section 500 of the code. 

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Access to Computer and Internet

Students are responsible for having access to a computer and reliable Internet. Students are required to routinely check electronic course materials to meet course requirements. It is expected students will have a computer with an operating system no older than 3 years and basic computer literacy skills to complete online coursework and tests. MSU provides multiple campus-wide software licenses free to all MSU enrolled students. Please review the MSU Student IT Services page to get an updated list of available software prior to purchasing. 

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Add Procedure

All MRJCON courses are restricted entry.  Administrative staff registered students for all their required courses.  For any students who would like to add courses outside the nursing curriculum, that can be done by following the instructions available here: https://www.montana.edu/registrar/adddropcourse.html.

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Contact Information

It is the student’s responsibility to keep their email, phone and street address current and available to the MRJCON. The student should notify the administrative staff at their campus and update their MYINFO profile for name and status changes.

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Drop Procedure

Students may drop classes online before the 15th day of classes by following the instructions available here: https://www.montana.edu/registrar/adddropcourse.html. After the 15th day of class, any student dropping a course will receive a “W” (withdrawn) grade.

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Add or Drop for Extraordinary Reasons

It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of and meet all academic deadlines as published in the Registration Handbook. Adding and Dropping courses after published deadlines are only permitted for extraordinary reasons. Instructor, advisor, and the Associate Dean must grant approval after the published deadlines. For approval, the extraordinary reason must be documented and provided to instructor, advisor, and Associate Dean with your request. For more information on how to request an Add or Drop for Extraordinary Reasons, please follow the instructions available here: https://www.montana.edu/registrar/adddropcourse.html.


Dropping or adding a course could significantly impact your bill and financial aid. Contact Student Accounts or the Office of Financial Aid Services if you have questions.

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Final Exams Policy

According to University policy, the examination period is instructional time, and it is expected that instruction occurs if a final examination is not given. MRJCON final exams occur the last instructional week of the semester. See detailed policies related to final exams

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Graduation Audits

All nursing students in the S1/T3/A2 semester (semester before graduation) will meet with their faculty advisor to evaluate their DegreeWorks worksheet and readiness for graduation and complete an application for graduation online via MyInfo.  The application will be audited by the Registrar’s Office who will notify the student of any discrepancies.  The deadlines for undergraduate applications are October 1 for spring graduation and March 1 for fall graduation. For more information, see Graduation Process.

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Health Insurance University requirements

All MSU students are required to have health insurance. Students must upload verification of this at application and annually to the clinical compliance tracker. 

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Incomplete Grade (I)

Instructors may assign a grade of "I" (Incomplete) when students have been unable to complete their academic obligations because of circumstances beyond their control.  The university takes the position that when students register, they commit themselves to completing their academic obligations as their primary responsibility. Therefore, the instructor may assign an “I” grade only in cases when students have suffered extreme personal hardship or unusual academic situations.

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Leave of Absence

Students who wish to explore leave of absence or withdrawal options should confer with their Campus Director, Associate Dean, the Office of the Dean of Students and their academic advisor. Students should discuss their situations and tentative plans with the following offices, where applicable: Office of Disability Services, Office of the Registrar, the Office of Financial Aid Services, Student Accounts, the Office of Intitutional Equity, and the Office of International Programs. The university also offers reasonable accommodations to qualifying students through the Office of Disability Services that may complement or affect the need for a leave of absence.

The university offers different options for a leave of absence including medical leave and a retroactive University withdrawal.

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Personal Withdrawal

Students may withdraw from the nursing program at any time due to personal needs. Readmission is dependent on available space. The student needs to be in contact with the Campus Director, Undergraduate Program Manager and the Associate Dean in advance of anticipated reapplication to the MRJCON to evaluate the possibility, process, and status of readmission to the nursing program.

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Pregnant and Parenting Students 

Pregnant students are referred to and encouraged to work with the Office of Institutional Equity to ensure awareness of resources and assistance in seeking accomodation. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid

Federal regulations require that Montana State University establish a policy to monitor the academic progress of students who apply for and/or receive federal, state, and institutional aid. Students must be making satisfactory academic progress toward their academic degree program to maintain their eligibility for financial aid.

To qualify for, receive or maintain financial aid, students must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in a program of study that will lead to a degree or teaching certificate and must be in good academic standing at the University. Whether or not a student is receiving Title IV aid, a student’s academic progress is evaluated each academic semester. Having a violation(s) will result in a loss of financial aid eligibility. For more information, see the Financial Aid website

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Montana State University and the MRJCON are fortunate to have generous donors. All students should consider applying for scholarships via MSU’s Cat $cholarship portal. The priority application deadline is February 1st for the following academic year. During the application, Cat $cholarships will automatically link students to all scholarships for which they are qualified, so there is no need for students to actively search for MSU or MRJCON Scholarships.

We encourage all students applying for scholarships to complete their FAFSA, even if they are not planning to accept any financial aid. The FAFSA is reliable source of student need available when reviewing scholarship applicants. For students placed in the nursing program on one of our five campuses, there is a MRJCON Scholarship Committee member on each campus to answer any specific questions. Please see the  Scholarship website for the most up to date information.

NOTE: Accepting a scholarship may affect a student’s financial aid. Please contact the Financial Aid Office at (406) 994-2845 for further information.

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Student Review of Personal Permanent File

A student has the right to review the materials in his/her file. The MRJCON requires students to make an appointment with the student's advisor and the advisor to review the file.  The MRJCON will comply within 10 working days of the student's request.

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College of Nursing - Progression

Affiliating Agencies

In all agencies where students have clinical learning opportunities, the MRJCON has an affiliation agreement/contract that allows students and faculty to participate in all aspects of care to the clients.  Students may not participate in clinical learning experiences in facilities in which there is no affiliation agreement. Students must comply with facility-specific safety and education requirements. Course coordinators address the facility requirements during orientation. Students are expected to participate in clinical experiences in a variety of community agencies and at variously scheduled times. Therefore, students may need to accommodate an irregular academic schedule that may include evening and weekend hours.

Clinical learning experiences are provided in a variety of health care settings through the cooperation and support of administration and staff in these agencies. The administration and staff who work in these facilities are valued and appreciated for their support of MRJCON students. Please take the time to thank the administrators and staff who assist with clinical learning activities and remember, we are guests in these agencies.

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Clinical Compliance, Safety, CPR, and Immunization Requirements

Clinical practice is a valuable part of your nursing education at Montana State University. Hands-on nursing experience brings nursing education to life for each student in our program.

It is a privilege for Montana State University nursing students to work with our many community health care facilities in Montana. To ensure the safety and wellbeing of all patients, background checks, urine drug screening, and immunizations to prevent communicable diseases, have become standard requirements for employment in health care today. This has likewise become a requirement of our valued clinical agencies. In order to gain access to health care facilities, students must meet the same background checks, drug screens, and immunization requirements as employees.  It is therefore important that MRJCON students complete a background check, urine drug screen, and healthcare compliance (including immunizations) before beginning clinical practice each year. 

The MRJCON utilizes an external clinical compliance-tracking vendor. MRJCON students upload evidence of clinical requirements prior to admission to the nursing program and maintain the currency of these requirements while enrolled in the program. See policy for current requirements and immunization details. 

The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Academic Program staff track urine drug testing and background check results to determine continuation in the program or processing of applications.  The Associate Dean, Campus Director, or assigned administrative personnel may contact a student directly for further information and/or clarification about background check findings. Due to the confidential nature of the background check findings, the results of the background check and urine drug screens are not placed in the student permanent file.

Any student who experiences criminal charges while enrolled in the MRJCON is required to notify his/her advisor and applicable faculty within ten (10) working days of such charges that may affect his/her ability to function in the academic or lab setting. Criminal charges include, but are not limited to, misdemeanors, felonies and convictions, such as assault, shoplifting, drug charges, driving under the influence (DUI), reckless driving and suspended license. These activities do not include legal matters regarding divorce, custody issues or parking tickets. The records may also be reviewed by the Dean of Students office. 

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Due to the personal nature of nursing and nursing education, students are bound to strict confidentiality expectations under clinical circumstances. Confidentiality is defined as private or secret information confined to persons or groups or providing privacy. Violation of the standards of confidentiality can put the MRJCON and Montana State University at significant legal risk; therefore, consequences for breaching confidentiality can include dismissal from the nursing program.


  1. All information relating to a client's health and/or personal status per the Health Information Privacy and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is confidential.
  2. All nursing students will complete HIPAA training prior to clinical contact with client or clinical agencies at application and annually thereafter.
  3. Students may need to have additional training as part of the orientation to clinical sites. Students are required to sign a confidentiality Agreement Acceptance of Responsibility for Access to Protected Information prior to beginning the nursing program. This is part of the clinical compliance tracking.
  4. Inclusive in the standards of confidentiality regarding HIPAA is the understanding students do not use electronic or online communication systems to share any information relating to a client’s health and/or personal status.


The confidentiality agreement in the clinical compliance tracking encompasses confidentiality in clinical, simulation, post conference, and lab learning. All observations made during the performance of other participants in the MRJCON simulation, learning and testing environments is confidential. All events, procedures, and information are always confidential during the simulation, learning, and testing and after it has ended, including patient history information obtained prior to the actual simulation experience, as well as information obtained and used in the pre-briefing sessions. Students do not share information about a simulation, content, learning, or testing process with others. The consequences of violating the confidentiality agreement are dependent on the circumstances and severity of the violation.

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Dress Code

Appearance influences the level of confidence that our clinical partners and clients have in us. A neat appearance and appropriate attire convey a professional attitude of excellence that has become synonymous with MSU Mark & Robyn Jones College of Nursing. These standards for professional appearance are minimum requirements; the clinical agency may have further requirements by which we will abide as guests in these agencies. A dress code is required to ensure the safety and control of infection for both students and clients. MRJCON students adhere to an appropriately moderate and professional dress code in all clinical settings.

Clinical faculty will make the final judgment on the appropriateness of student attire and of the corrective action for dress code infractions. Corrective action may include sending the student home for correction.  The Professional Student Behavior Policy addresses repeat unprofessional dress.   

Dress requirements in clinical settings vary by campus and clinical agency. Faculty review expectations during course orientation. 

In general, the following expectations and guidelines apply: 

  1. Students always wear the identification (name/picture badges). The College provides a photo nametag to enrolled students in their first clinical course. If students change their name or lose their nametag, they will be responsible for replacing the nametag at their own expense. It is a professional responsibility to ensure patients can adequately identify a caregiver.
  2. Clinical uniforms are appropriate for most clinical settings. Colors may vary by campus. A white lab coat with the MSU MRJCON logo patch worn on the left sleeve is appropriate for some settings or while gathering patient care prep data. Students may wear a white shirt under the scrub
  3. For personal and patient safety, student secure hair, limit jewelry, maintain personal hygiene, and avoid artificial nails due to potential for fungal exposure.
  4. Use of tobacco and vaping is prohibited on campus and in clinical settings. Gum, drinks, and food is limited to staff breakrooms.
  5. Students with religious or cultural concerns contact their clinical faculty, in writing, prior to client contact.

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Effective Communication

Effective communication is foundational to student success, the professional practice of nursing and is a thread in the nursing curricula.  It is defined as the ability to exchange information between individuals with the use of verbal, non-verbal, written, and electronic communication strategies. Use of effective communication strategies enable students to facilitate professional and therapeutic relationships with peers, faculty, staff, clients, families, communities, and other health care professionals. Confirmation of effective communication involves demonstration of understanding through verbal, non-verbal, written, and electronic responses by the recipient(s).

The key concepts essential for the development of effective communication include advocacy, client education, collaboration, information literacy, human interface, and health literacy.

Effective communication is also key in delivering safe patient care (AACN Essentials, 2021). Patients must be able to understand information and directions provided by the nursing student through verbal, non-verbal and written communication methods. Examples include patient education, interdisciplinary teamwork, and professional exchanges with faculty and staff. 



Academic Appeals

Student Academic Grievance Procedure

The current academic grievance procedure is available and is coordinated with the Dean of Students office.  Students are encouraged to work with faculty and their advisors if concerned. 

Non-Academic Grievances 

A formal written non-academic complain may be submitted to the Campus Director and Associate Dean via a PowerForm in a DocuSign and should include the following information: 

  1. A description of the complaint 
  2. Date of occurance(s)
  3. Why the decision or occurance was unfair
  4. Attemps at previous resolutions 
  5. Solution sought to complaint
  6. Any relevant documentation that would confirm or strengthen grievance 

The Non-Academic Grievance Process includes the following steps: 

  1. Informal Meeting: Initiated by the student or other member of the community of interest, typically with the Campus Director, as soon as possible after the cause of the grievance. 
  2. Formal Grievance: A formal grievance can be filed only if the Campus Director and student cannot reach an agreement. The grievance should follow the format outlined above, should be sent to the Campus Director and the Associate Dean, and should be filed no more than 15 days into the following semester. 
  3. Campus Director response: The Campus Director has 5 business days to respond to the student and Associate Dean after the receipt of the grievance. 
  4. Dean/Associate Dean's Review: The Dean or Associate Dean will review evidence, conduct interviews if possible, and produce a written decision to the student and Campus Director within 5 business days of receipt of the appeal. 

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Medication Errors in the Clinical Setting

Medication administration is a systematic process involving complex clinical judgement.  Students receive education that includes validation of the “rights” of medication administration that may vary by clinical agency. Faculty supervise student during the medication administration process and advance the independent role of the student as appropriate.  If a medication error occurs, students and faculty follow the process as outlined below:

  1. Student reports medication error to clinical instructor and supervising
  2. Student and clinical instructor follow facility protocol and MRJCON course protocol regarding medication
  3. Student meets with clinical instructor as soon as possible to discuss the medication error and debrief as needed by the Faculty and student review, complete, and submit a Report of Unusual Incident, a copy of which is stored in the campus electronic folder, student’s electronic record, and sent to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

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Malpractice Insurance

The university provides malpractice insurance coverage for all students while in clinical experiences. This is included in the nursing program fee each semester.  Client and student safety are the primary concerns in all learning environments.

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National Council of Licensure Examination - NCLEX-RN Preparation

  1. Predictor testing occurs during the final senior semester. Students are encouraged to create a study plan for success, based on those results and advisement from the NRSG 487 faculty, NCLEX Faculty Champions, and their academic
  2. Students participate in a NCLEX prep course prior to graduation.
  3. Upon successful completion of all requirements of MSU and the MRJCON, the student will apply in the state in which he/she wishes to take the national nursing licensure
  4. Students order an official transcript from the Registrar's office as part of the licensure application process.  The Montana State Board of Nursing authorizes NCLEX testing once the education verification is processed. This usually occurs within 2-3 weeks of graduation. Students provide authorization for the release of NCLEX results to the MRJCON upon entry into the program.  Please visit the Montana State Board of Nursing for further information.
  5. If a student is interested in licensure in another state, they are responsible to contact that state’s Board of Nursing office for information. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the MRJCON of the requirements for licensure, and to submit the required documents to the Associate Dean for approval and verification. 
  6. Students requiring accommodations will refer to the Montana State Board of Nursing

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Nursing Lab Courses

There are a significant number of hours required to complete practice courses in the nursing program. Students must attend all assigned simulation, lab, practice or related activities as directed by the clinical faculty. Clinical absences due to illness or extraordinary circumstance must be rescheduled. 

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Professional Student Behavior

The nursing discipline is guided by regulatory [Montana State Board of Nursing Code of Conduct 37-1-316] and professional standards derived from ANA and the ANA Code of Ethics; the violation of which may result in loss of employment or licensure.  AACN further delineates professional nursing education and amplifies the student expectations found in Montana State University Student Conduct Code. Professional standards hold the discipline accountable for professional behavior.  The intersection of individual MRJCON course policies, program level policy and university policies support the development of professional behavior. 

Montana State University MRJCON prepares graduates to competently practice nursing in preparation for professional licensure. The education of a nurse at all levels requires assimilation of knowledge, acquisition of skills, and development of judgment through patient care experiences in preparation for independent, semi-autonomous, and appropriate decision making required in practice. The practice of nursing emphasizes collaboration among medical providers, nurses, allied health care professionals, and the patient. The curricula require students to engage in diverse, complex, and specific experiences essential to the acquisition and practice of essential nursing skills and functions. Unique combinations of affective, psychomotor, physical, and social abilities are required to satisfactorily perform these functions. In addition to being essential to the successful completion of the requirements of the degree, these essential behavioral functions are necessary to ensure the health and safety of patients, fellow candidates, faculty, and other healthcare providers.

Throughout the admissions process and while progressing through the nursing programs to graduation, all MRJCON students must conform to reasonable standards of performance and behavior related to communication, behavior and emotions, professional conduct, and technical skills.  Students who fail to conform to reasonable standards of performance and behavior in the classroom, online, in clinical agencies, as well as on campus and within the community, may be removed from the program. Students will generally be provided an opportunity to achieve professional behavior and learn from an error unless: i) the behavior continues after previous opportunities to achieve professional behavior; ii) the behavior presents a threat to the health or safety of others; or iii) the CON determines that the behavior is sufficiently severe or egregious that the student should not be permitted to continue in the program.  Decisions to remove a student are made in consultation with the Campus Director and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  See the Professional Student Behavior Policy for more information. 

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Removal of Students from Clinical Settings

A faculty member has the authority to remove a student from the clinical setting when a student fails to conform to reasonable standards of performance or behavior or when, in the judgment of the faculty member, reasonable supervision is inadequate to insure patient welfare. Reasonable standards of performance are defined in the university course bulletin and the MSU Conduct Guidelines Grievance Procedures for Students. Removal of a student from a clinical setting is a very serious matter. Each student is provided an opportunity to achieve clinical course objectives and given an opportunity to learn from an error unless the behavior is so egregious that a patient may be at risk even with clinical supervision by the faculty member. While the decision to remove a student for a single assignment period/temporarily can be made independently before notifying the Campus Director, decisions to remove a student for the remainder of the course or from all clinical settings are made in consultation with the Campus Director (or in his/her absence, the Campus Director’s designee) and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

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Reporting of Unusual Incidents

With the goal to seek a balance between accountability and creating an environment to learn from mistakes, faculty and students report significant unusual patient care, telehealth, or simulated patient incidents in a timely manner. The reporting process provides an opportunity for practice reflection, continuous program quality improvement, and curricular assessment.  Data are analyzed on an aggregate level each semester to raise awareness, identify trends, and identify areas for improvement. See the Reporting of Unusual Incidents Policy for more information.

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Scholastic Appeals

MRJCON has an appointed Scholastic Committee entrusted to consider students' appeals for waivers and substitutions of courses, variances in progression or application policies, and reinstatement into the nursing program. See the Scholastic Committee Policy for more information.  Students are encouraged to work with their pre-nursing advisor, faculty advisor, campus administration and the MRJCON Academic Program staff when seeking an academic appeal. 

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Student Athletes 

Student athlete schedules will be accommodated for travel and competitions but not practices. Student athletes are asked to work proactively with faculty on the scheduling of clinical, exams, and lab schedules prior to the start of the semester. 

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Transportation to Clinical Agencies

Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from clinical agencies throughout the region. Students should expect to travel anywhere within a 200 mile radius of their MRJCON campus. Overnight stays away from home may be necessary for some clinical experiences. When traveling as a representative of MRJCON, professionalism as outlined in MSU student code of conduct and this handbook is expected.  Course coordinators and students will adhere to the MSU travel policy

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College of Nursing Opportunities 

Mobile Health Training Program (MHTP, formerly the Rural Primary Care Track)


The MHTP is an elective program BSN students can participate in if they are interested in learning about and gaining experience in providing healthcare in rural and underserved communities in Montana. Students who choose to participate in the MHTP will complete clinicals in rural Montana, providing essential services to populations who experience health disparities. Interprofessional education and experience is also a staple of the MHTP through interdisciplinary mobile clinicals and school-based health clinics as well as participation in the AHEC (Area Health Education Center) Scholar's program. Students are not obligated to work in rural or primary care sites after graduation. 

Eligibility and expectations

MSU and BSN and ABSN students can apply to the MHTP starting in their first semester. Participation in the MHTP requires a commitment to completing the AHEC Scholars certificate program. To complete the AHEC Scholars program, 80 additional hours of didactic experience are required. ABSN students complete 40 additional hours of didactic experience. Partnership with the Montana AHEC Program Office assigns each MHTP student to an AHEC Scholars Advisor, who works closely with students to meet the didactic hours requirement. 

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