Jul 14, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mark and Huldah Buntain School of Nursing

Academic Award Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Master of Science in Nursing
Dean Carl Christensen

The Mark and Huldah Buntain School of Nursing at Northwest University graduates scholarly professional nurses who practice from a uniquely Christian worldview and are dedicated to helping all human beings in pursuit of holistic health. Upon successful completion of the four-year pre-nursing courses and nursing curriculum requirements, students are prepared to sit for the national licensure examination leading to the Registered Nurse (RN) status in the State of Washington. This licensure allows graduates to practice professional nursing in health care systems across Washington State and seek reciprocal licensure in all states and territories of the United States of America or any nation in the world.

Program Clinical Requirements

Nursing students make application for admission into the nursing curriculum following completion of their designed pre-nursing courses that include required foundational sciences and general courses to meet the Core Curriculum requirements of the University. The unique clinical situations in the Nursing Program require applicants to submit the following records before entering the clinical nursing sequence:

  1. Health history and physical examination that includes immunization and vaccination documentation and titer levels, conducted and signed by a licensed medical doctor or nurse practitioner:
  • Immunizations
    • DPT series and any subsequent Boosters.
      • One booster after age 19 must be a Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis) vaccine.
    • Hepatitis A series
    • Hepatitis B series & proof of positive titer
    • MMR series or proof of positive titer
    • Polio series
    • Varicella series or proof of positive titer
  1. A two-step TB test or TB IGRA done at the time of entry into the program according to instructions provided by the School of Nursing. An annual TB test is conducted each year to demonstrate eligibility to participate in clinical experiences;
  2. Current AHA provider-level CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) card;
  3. A national background check is required at the applicant’s expense. A signed permission form (supplied in the application packet) allowing the Buntain School of Nursing and any clinical site to order a criminal background check, for example, Washington State Patrol Criminal Background Check. Background checks must indicate no criminal history;
  4. A current and valid passport which expires no earlier than October 15th after graduation;
  5. Proof of health insurance for personal costs of health care;
  6. Annual flu immunization is required each year to be eligible to participate in clinical experiences; and
  7. A valid driver’s license.

Students successfully completing the Nursing Program of studies are awarded a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree with a major in Nursing. Entry into professional nursing practice occurs after successfully passing the RN licensure examination.

Summary Criteria for Admission into the Nursing Courses

  • Successful completion of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree’s Core Curriculum requirements with a grade point average (GPA) of at least “B” (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) and a grade of at least “B-” (2.7 on a 4.00 scale) in each of the following courses: College Chemistry II (organic chemistry and biochemistry), Anatomy & Physiology I and II, and General Psychology.
  • Meet test score expectations as determined by nursing faculty on entrance competency exams for oral and written communication, reading, computation, and science.
  • Assessment of applicant’s potential for success as a registered professional nurse by faculty and other credentialed professionals using data from interviews; a written self-analysis and essay answering specific questions; two reference letters speaking to the applicant’s character, leadership activities, and service commitment; Test of Essential Academic Skills; official transcripts documenting the applicant’s previous academic work; and an application fee. (See the Tuition & Fees  page for additional fees associated with the School of Nursing.)
  • Transfer students. Complete the same requirements for admission to the Nursing Program as other students of Northwest University. [Acceptance to the University is the first step but does not guarantee admission into the nursing curriculum. Questions regarding transfer status, acceptance of previous nursing courses completed outside of the Northwest University Nursing Program, and admission to the Program are managed by the Dean of the School of Nursing (hereafter, “the Dean”) or designated faculty].

Sequence of Course Work and Professional Nursing Practice

Pre-nursing students are identified upon application and entry to the University in order to assist them into the required courses of the Nursing Program. A University advisor is assigned to advise these students and carefully plan their sequential and orderly completion of the foundational course work and other requirements. The University advisor becomes acquainted with advisees and recognizes individual qualifications that can enhance the students’ potential for successful professional nursing practice. Pre-nursing students are required to complete the Nursing School Application for admission during the sophomore year, and must meet all admission requirements in order to be accepted into the nursing major.

Students begin their nursing courses as a cohort group and quickly immerse into a vigorous routine of classroom studies with clinical practice. The courses may include evening, night, or weekend learning experiences that a student is required to attend. At this time, students are recommended to reduce any outside employment to one shift per week that does not conflict with their clinical schedules. During the senior year, especially the final semester of intense clinical work that may be conducted abroad, students should plan to drastically reduce hours or take a leave of absence from their outside employment. When enrolled in nursing coursework, nursing students are not permitted to enroll in Northwest University non-nursing courses.

An overall GPA of 3.00/4.00 must be maintained each semester throughout the sequence of nursing courses, and the minimum passing score for any nursing course is 2.70/4.00. A student not meeting the minimum requirements of a lecture course may not be allowed to participate in a related practicum course if faculty deems the situation to pose a safety concern.

A student who leaves the cohort group for any reason, such as, but not limited to, personal or academic, and desires to return is required to meet with the respective faculty advisor to propose a new plan to the Dean for re-admission to the Nursing Program or consideration of other options.

Clinical nursing practice is conducted every semester of the nursing curriculum, always under the supervision of nursing faculty, and frequently in concert with professional nurse clinical mentors. The purpose of this tandem clinical practice with theory courses is to:

  1. progressively develop proficiency in the applied science of professional nursing;
  2. meet State licensure requirements; and national standards; and
  3. build learner confidence in clinical nursing care management and leadership.

A fee, which is assessed on a per-credit basis and which supplements tuition, is charged for practicum courses that provide clinical experience. (See the Tuition & Fees  page for additional fees associated with the School of Nursing.)

Nursing students must be committed to maintaining professional standards while in the practicum setting. Respect is an underpinning value of professional behavior. Demonstrating respect will uphold the trust that patients, clients, health care workers, faculty, and fellow students place in each nursing student. These other parties will continually evaluate each student’s professional behavior as expressed in such ways as positive initiative, teamwork, conservative and clean appearance, reliability, excellent attendance record, punctuality, and timely and accurate communication.

Transportation to local practicum experiences is the responsibility of the student. Many local clinical experiences are available within five miles of campus; however, some may require traveling up to 35 miles. If a student does not have a personal vehicle, we recommend being prepared to carpool with other students, use public transportation, arrange for a taxi, or rent a vehicle for specific practicum experiences. Faculty will not make clinical assignments based on carpool requests or geographic location of student residence.

A hallmark of the nursing program is a capstone, cross-cultural course taken in the final semester of the senior year. The student is required to participate in a month-long nursing and ministry immersion experience that requires effectiveness in a cultural setting different than one’s own. Sites will vary from year to year. (See the Tuition & Fees  page for additional fees associated with the School of Nursing.)

Registered Nurse Licensure in the State of Washington

After successful completion of the Nursing Program at Northwest University, students are awarded a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree with a major in Nursing. Entry into professional nursing practice occurs after successfully passing the RN licensure examination.

This program includes an appropriate pre-testing program, to prepare the nursing graduate to take the Registered Nurse licensure examination in the State of Washington. A one-time, non-refundable testing package fee is charged for pre-testing sessions and covers the official grading, access to results, and a set of content-specific test review modules. The Dean and faculty advisors assess the composite results of all official pre-tests (or practice tests) to identify areas for further review and study. Throughout the nursing program, students are expected to work closely with their Dean and faculty advisors to prepare to pass the RN licensure examination with high scores. Such preparation includes taking advantage of computerized pre-tests, content review modules, and study group sessions.

Students are advised to take the Registered Nurse (RN) licensure exam in the State of Washington. The graduate may, if desired, apply for RN licensure by endorsement from any other U.S. state following initial licensure in Washington State. The Dean provides a signature authorization for Northwest University that each graduate has officially completed the professional Nursing Program and is eligible to apply for Registered Nurse testing and licensure. The nursing graduate is responsible for final preparation and mailing of the application for testing and RN licensure, transcript requests, all RN testing and application fees, results, and license maintenance.

Students seeking admission to the Nursing Program must be aware that the State of Washington or any other State may withhold the Registered Nurse license application if the applicant has a record of criminal conviction or committing a serious crime. Students should discuss this matter with the Dean before making final application to the Nursing Program since application materials include a National Criminal History form. Any criminal incidences occurring during the nursing courses must be reviewed immediately with the Dean, and may cause immediate dismissal from the Nursing Program and/or jeopardize the application for Registered Nurse licensure.

Nursing Program Objectives

Graduates with a degree in Nursing are able to:

  1. Practice critical thinking using logical and sequential reasoning, tempered with creative, aesthetic, and intuitive processes.
  2. Apply the nursing process to plan and deliver care that is holistic, compassionate, culturally competent, and client centered autonomously and collaboratively with interprofessional teams.
  3. Provide nursing care in the framework of organizational leadership and systems management processes.
  4. Integrate health care policies and economics to accomplish equitable access to health care and continuity of care for diverse populations.
  5. Apply research methods in the investigation of clinical nursing problems and health care delivery.
  6. Evaluate quality indicators, evidence, and outcomes of health care planning and implementation.
  7. Design health care for diverse populations and communities considering limited resources and environmental impact.
  8. Demonstrate the use of nursing informatics, patient care technologies, and interprofessional communication strategies.
  9. Articulate the unique characteristics of professional nursing and the role of professional nurses in direct and indirect client care.
  10. Proposes a plan for formal academic and life-long education that enhances personal and professional growth.
  11. Practice professional nursing from a Christian worldview, demonstrating personal integration of faith, service, and cultural competence.

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Science in Nursing*


Nursing Department


Bachelor of Science in Nursing