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College of Nursing

Mission and Policies

  College of Nursing Mission, Vision and Values

 Important College of Nursing Policies

All students at the University of South Carolina College of Nursing are required to adhere to the following school-wide policies:

Academic Integrity

We oppose intolerance by promoting integrity within our campus community. Our common values are formed upon the foundation of our creed, which emphasizes openness and civility. Carolinian Creed

Our Code of Conduct outlines students' responsibilities to themselves and the Carolina community.

Our Honor Code describes the university's expectations for students' academic integrity. Students found guilty of academic dishonesty may receive a zero for their course grade and/or be removed from further study in the CON.

Ethics for Nursing

Nursing is a profession, and as such, nursing students are expected to behave ethically. Ethical behavior applies to colleagues, peers, supervisors, subordinates, and clients. Click link for complete Code of Ethics for Nurses developed by the American Nurses Association (ANA).

1. The nurse practices with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and unique attributes of every person.

2. The nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group, community, or population.

3. The nurse promotes, advocates for, and protects the rights, health, and safety of the patient.

4. The nurse has authority, accountability, and responsibility for nursing practice; makes decisions; and takes action consistent with the obligation to promote health and to provide optimal care.

5. The nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to promote health and safety, preserve wholeness of character and integrity, maintain competence, and continue personal and professional growth.

6. The nurse, through individual and collective effort, establishes, maintains, and improves the ethical environment of the work setting and conditions of employment that are conducive to safe, quality health care.

7. The nurse, in all roles and settings, advances the profession through research and scholarly inquiry, professional standards development, and the generation of both nursing and health policy.

8. The nurse collaborates with other health professionals and the public to protect human rights, promote health diplomacy, and reduce health disparities.

9. The profession of nursing, collectively through its professional organizations, must articulate nursing values, maintain the integrity of the profession, and integrate principles of social justice into nursing and health policy.


Source: American Nurses Association, August 2015

Civility and Professional Conduct

As students’ progress through the curriculum, they are preparing for transition into professional life. Some behaviors expected in the classroom/clinical setting parallel many behaviors expected in the workplace.

Classroom Expectations

  1. Notifies professor when unable to submit assignment on time prior to the deadline.
  2. Completes reading all assignments.
  3. Engages in class discussion.
  4. Maintains appropriate demeanor during in line class activity.
  5. Refrains from the use of online discussion forum for posting of non-academic material (i.e. advertisements for jobs, products or services).

Core Performance Standards

The USC College of Nursing requires all applicants and continuing students in all nursing programs to meet certain standards based on the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing (CCEN) Core Performance Standards. These standards describe requirements in the six dimensions of ability/performance. These are critical thinking and related mental abilities, communication and interpersonal abilities, physical abilities, hearing, vision, and smell.

The USC College of Nursing requires all applicants and continuing students in all nursing programs to meet the following standards based on the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing (CCEN) Core Performance Standards.

Standard 1. Critical Thinking and Related Mental Abilities: Must have critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment. Examples of necessary functional abilities associated with this standard include (not an all-inclusive list): Has the ability to interpret, investigate, communicate, and comprehend complex situations; identify cause and effect relative to clinical situations under varying degrees of stress; must be able to read and comprehend detailed charts, reports, journal articles, books, etc.; and capable of performing all arithmetic functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, ratios, and simple algebraic equations).

Standard 2. Communication and Interpersonal Abilities: Must be able to read, write, speak, and comprehend English with sufficient skill to communicate effectively verbally and non-verbally. Must have interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds. Examples of necessary functional abilities associated with this standard include (not all inclusive): Has the ability to establish rapport with clients and their families, peers, agency personnel, and faculty; explain treatment procedures, initiate health teaching; and document and interpret nursing actions and client responses.

Standard 3.  Physical Activities: Must have physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces with gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective nursing care. Examples of necessary functional abilities associated with this standard include (not all inclusive): Able to move around a client’s room, work spaces, treatment areas and administer CPR; calibrate and use equipment; position and transfer clients; capable of pushing up to 200 pounds independently; capable of reaching 18 inches above head without the use of mechanical devises to elevate themselves; capable of sitting, standing, walking for extended periods of time; experience no limitations when bending, stooping, sitting, standing, walking (i.e. uses no mechanical devices to assist themselves which would impede the safety of a client), ability to move to and respond to an emergency situation in a timely manner, and able to document in a clear, legible manner.

Standard 4.  Hearing: Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs. Examples of necessary functional abilities associated with this standard include (not all inclusive): Able to hear auscultatory sounds, monitor alarms and emergency signals; able to tolerate loud noises for extended periods of time. Assistive devices must correct hearing to this degree and must be worn at all times during practicums.

Standard 5.  Visual: Must have the visual ability sufficient for observation, assessment, and intervention necessary for nursing care. Examples of necessary functional abilities associated with this standard include (not all inclusive): Observe client response, accurately read equipment, gauges, and monitors, vision correctable to 20/40, normal depth perception, and ability to distinguish colors and ability to tolerate offensive visual situations.

Standard 6.  Smell: Smelling ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs. Examples of necessary functional abilities associated with this standard include (not all inclusive): Having ability to differentiate between various types of smells, and ability to tolerate offensive odors.

*Standards may be changed at any time

Copyright Policy

The Nursing Programs seek to aid enrolled students by offering electronic presentations and recordings of lectures to improve student engagement and to better meet individual learning needs. With the growing use of technology, students and faculty have the responsibility to understand and observe copyright law including educational fair use guidelines, obtaining written permission, and to follow the corresponding campus University policy.

As supplemental tools, all material found in lectures is owned by the University of South Carolina College of Nursing or its faculty and is protected by United States Copyright laws.

Lecture material is only available to students enrolled in the course where the content is available, and use is not permitted outside the scope of the course. Recorded lectures will only be posted to Blackboard. Material found in the lectures may not be photocopied, screenshot, duplicated or distributed by any student without the express, written permission from the faculty member who created the material. Video, audio, or photographic recordings of course material are strictly prohibited. Recordings, course material, quizzes, tests and lecture notes may not be reproduced verbatim nor uploaded to publicly accessible web environments. Recordings and course material may not be exchanged nor distributed to a third party for compensation. Recordings and course material may not be used for any purpose other than personal study and may not violate any policies herein. An individual may individually print copies of lecture material solely for personal use under the scope of the course.

Duplication or dissemination of lecture materials without authorized use may violate federal or state law and USC University policies.

Failure to adhere to these policies is a violation of the College of Nursing Professionalism Policy and may result in disciplinary action under University guidelines.

Program of Study

The Graduate School Master's Program of Study (MPOS) is a binding agreement between The Graduate School and the student that must be on file and approved prior to graduation. Students must follow courses in the order and as outlined on the program of study. Modification to the Master’s Program of Study may be made only in consultation with the appropriate Program Directors. Any changes must be submitted prior to beginning any change to The Graduate School on the Program of Study Adjustment Form (GS-43 (POSA)), which is submitted by the student’s Graduate Advisor. Forms are found at Graduate School Forms Library.

For State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and State Board of Nursing Regulation Information

In addition if a current student is considering relocating to another state after being admitted into the program, the student must contact the program director to discuss how the move may impact their ability to participate in academic courses (distributed learning) and clinical practica (experiential learning) opportunities in a different state.

As professional nurses, students are responsible for protecting the privacy and confidentiality of patients and research participants. The following guidelines are intended to minimize the risks of using social media:

  1. First and foremost, nurses must recognize that they have an ethical and legal obligation to maintain patient privacy and confidentiality at all times. 
  2. Nurses are strictly prohibited from transmitting by way of any electronic media any patient-related image. In addition, students/nurses are restricted from transmitting any information that may be reasonably anticipated to violate patient rights to confidentiality or privacy, or otherwise degrade or embarrass the patient. 
  3. Do not share post or otherwise disseminate any information, including images, about a patient or information gained in the nurse-patient relationship with anyone unless there is a patient care related need to disclose the information or other legal obligation to do so. 
  4. Do not identify patients by name or post or publish information that may lead to the identification of a patient. Limiting access to postings through privacy settings is not sufficient to ensure privacy. 
  5. Do not refer to patients in a disparaging manner, even if the patient is not identified. 
  6. Do not take photos or videos of patients on personal devices, including cell phones. Follow employer policies for taking photographs or video of patients for treatment or other legitimate purposes using employer-provided devices.
  7. Maintain professional boundaries in the use of electronic media. Like in-person relationships, the nurse has the obligation to establish, communicate and enforce professional boundaries with patients in the online environment. Use caution when having online social contact with patients or former patients. Online contact with patients or former patients blurs the distinction between a professional and personal relationship. The fact that a patient may initiate contact with the nurse does not permit the nurse to engage in a personal relationship with the patient. 
  8. Consult employer policies or an appropriate leader within the organization for guidance regarding work related postings. 
  9. Promptly report any identified breach of confidentiality or privacy. 
  10. Be aware of and comply with employer policies regarding use of employer-owned computers, cameras and other electronic devices and use of personal devices in the workplace. 
  11. Do not make disparaging remarks about employers or co-workers. Do not make threatening, harassing, profane, obscene, sexually explicit, racially derogatory, homophobic or other offensive comments. 
  12. Do not post content or otherwise speak on behalf of the employer unless authorized to do so and follow all applicable policies of the employer. 

*All guidelines apply to students. Student should also not make disparaging remarks related to their clinical site, faculty or school. The College of Nursing has adopted the NCSBN position statement:

NCSBN (2011) White Paper: A Nurse’s Guide to the Use of Social Media

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.