Dec 05, 2023  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mark and Huldah Buntain School of Nursing

Academic Awards Master of Science in Nursing; Bacheor 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.

Mission Statement

The Mark and Huldah Buntain School of Nursing at Northwest University prepares graduates to answer their call to serve God throughout the world and lead others by using their professional expertise as nurses.

Statement of Philosophy

An enduring part of the philosophy held by the School of Nursing is the core belief that God is the source of all truth, power, and life. Further, He is the creator of everything that has been created, and the ultimate source of knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and love. God made human beings in His own image and wholeness, and to be the highest members of His creation. He gave them the ability to balance intellect, will, and compassion, and use their capacity to learn, to be self-determined, to love, to forgive, and to be accountable to Him, themselves, and others. God proved love beyond measure through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, and provided a way for all human beings to be healed and reunite with Him. The account of God’s love and plan for the world, and the directions for all human beings to live their lives in devoted and faithful service, is found in the Biblical scriptures. God is in total control of His creation, and through the Holy Spirit, influences the perceptions of human beings about who they are, their interactions and relationships, and the larger world in which they live.

The nature of human beings

Human beings are conceived of God in four separate and innately integrated parts of body, mind, spirit, and soul. They are formed with autonomous intrinsic worth, dignity, and unique personalities yet they share characteristics of humankind: to be loved and esteemed, to retain control over decisions that affect their own lives, and to stay in harmony with intrinsic and extrinsic environments. Although human beings possess adaptive responses to normal and pathological changes within and around them, they need encouragement, guidance, and support of others to reach their potential. Human beings desire God’s relationship with them so they may continue to be whole persons throughout life.

Intrinsic and extrinsic environments, and cultural contexts

All environments are interactive systems, complex, and ever changing. They are made up of internal and external factors that ultimately determine the form and life of individuals, communities, and societies. The world environment was designed by God to have all parts work in harmony, order, and balance. Human beings are the most complicated expression of intrinsic and extrinsic environments, with a combination of intra, inter, and extra corporal units that dynamically involve one or all with each other. The way human beings interface with their environments are defined by how they perceive, interpret, communicate, and set up mutual or reciprocal actions. In this process, cultural norms and positive values are learned in healthy and caring environments, whether these settings are with small and intimate families or groups, or the mega-size organizations and societies. Human beings have some capability and capacity to manipulate the components of environments and culture. It is the demands of combined stresses that require each person to interact with other persons, and help reestablish order and balance for the total good. This energy exchange and adaptation is the process of coping that, all together, brings health and well-being.

The continuum of health, and health care systems

Health is a universal concept with multiple dimensions of understanding and appreciation. The way human beings define and value health is based upon their heredity, environmental conditions, and life styles, according to socio-cultural expectations and standards. The continuum of health is polarized with wellness on one end reflecting the optimal condition, and on the opposite end by illness and separation that occurs as a result of dysfunction, disorder, and lack of resistance. High level wellness emphasizes health promotion, health maintenance, and primary prevention, while illness care seeks to restore and bring healing. All human beings must have rights and privileges to access basic health care, to responsibly use public resources, and to practice healthy behaviors, for their own good as well as that of humanity. For these reasons, health care systems are expected to progressively advance the standards of societal health and welfare, and support the equitable use of services by all participants, in a compassionate, timely, and effective manner.

Professional nursing, and the education of nurses from Northwest University

Professional nursing is a distinctive vocation comprised of scholarly practitioners who are dedicated to helping all human beings in pursuit of holistic health. Socialization into nursing takes place through learning and experiencing a unique body of nursing knowledge, life sciences, and skilled arts that comprise the basis of nursing practice. The legacy of professional nursing is in a spirit of compassion, one steeped in sensitive, therapeutic relationships with clients and appreciation for the human condition. The primary responsibilities of professional nursing are two-fold:  collaborative leadership for health care services and quality outcomes using evidence-based practice, and the individual autonomous nursing work, such as managing client care that includes consulting, teaching, and advocating a continuing culture of excellence and innovative nursing practice. 

Education for nurses to act with expanded clinical confidence, personal integrity, and maturing professionalism requires merging together elements of superior character, leadership and nursing expertise. In all levels of nursing education at Northwest University, learners progressively internalize concepts of compassion, critical thinking, professional leadership, accountability, and respect for culturally defined relationship exchanges to systematically develop a professional nursing practice from a uniquely Christian worldview. The basis of all professional nursing education is a firm foundation built upon the liberal arts, bio-behavioral sciences, and core nursing courses, and understanding of Biblical truth.

The Buntain School of Nursing emphasizes life-long learning as a means to remain current and at mastery in professional nursing leadership and service. Life-long professional learning is required of all nurses. It begins as the learner enters nursing, and remains a strategic force throughout the nurse’s lifetime of professional practice.

Core course content provides specific nursing theory, performance expectations based on measurable standards of practice, and evaluation processes that include quality indicators to determine effective outcomes of nursing care. Engaging with Christian nursing faculty mentors stimulates more comprehensive ways of thinking, acting, and valuing the professional nurse’s role in health and health care delivery wherever it occurs. Together, learners and faculty use experiential learning as a way of reflecting on the meaning and interpretation of their professional nursing practice. It is this “lived-learning” and immersion into servant leadership that consistently builds appreciation of people from all backgrounds and their health needs. Therefore, the most important part of the nursing program at Northwest University is helping learners confirm and clarify the call to become professional nurses who achieve the highest possible level of practice.

Nursing Program Outcomes

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. Propose 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.

Summary Criteria for Admission into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Pre-Licensure Program

  • Successful completion of the BSN pre-nursing requirements with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of “B” (3.00 on a 4.00 scale).
  • Successful completion of the pre-nursing core courses: Survey of Chemistry II (organic chemistry and biochemistry), Anatomy & Physiology I and II, and General Psychology, with a minimum grade of “B-” (2.7 on a 4.00 scale).
  • Meet test score expectations on the Assessment Technologies Institute Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATITEAS). The ATITEAS is a pre-admittance test administered through the Nursing Education. The ATITEAS is a multiple-choice assessment measuring basic academic preparedness in reading, math, science, English and language usage. There is a maximum of three attempts for the ATITEAS test at Northwest University
  • Submit a complete application to the School of Nursing using a centralized online application service. Applications are made available in late October and due in mid-January. (See the Tuition & Fees    page for additional fees associated with the School of Nursing.)
  • Transfer students must complete the same requirements for admission to the School of Nursing as students of Northwest University. It is imperative to work closely with a Northwest University transfer counselor. Acceptance to the University is the first step but does not guarantee admission into the nursing curriculum.

Sequence of Course Work and Professional Nursing Practice

Pre-nursing students are assigned a University advisor is assigned to carefully plan their sequential and orderly completion of the founda­tional course work and other requirements. Pre-nursing students are required to complete the online School of Nursing 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 and quickly immerse into a vigorous routine of classroom studies with clinical practice. The courses may include evening, night, or weekend learning experiences that students are 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, 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.

A final course grade greater than or equal to 80% (B- or 2.70 on a 4.00 scale) is required to pass each nursing course. A final course grade below 80% (B- or 2.70 on a 4.00 scale) prevents progression and requires readmission to the nursing major. An overall GPA of 3.00 must be maintained each semester throughout the sequence of nursing courses. Students who do not achieve an 80% (B- or 2.70) in each nursing course and a 3.00 semester GPA will not be allowed to progress to the next semester.

A student who leaves the cohort for any reason, such as, but not limited to, personal issues or academic standing, is required to meet with the respective faculty advisor to initiate the readmission process. Any criminal incidences occurring during the nursing courses must be reviewed immediately with the Dean. A student must formally apply in writing for readmission to the program. A readmission application is subject to review by designated faculty members and the Dean of the School of Nursing. The student will be required to meet both program and academic performance requirements of the cohort to which he or she is readmitted and may be unique to the student’s situation. Readmission to nursing courses is subject to space availability.

Readmission to the major is decided on a case by case basis and it is only possible to be readmitted once. A nursing course may only be repeated once to continue in the program.

Clinical nursing practice is required every semester of the nursing curriculum, under the supervision of nursing faculty, and in collaboration with profes­sional nurse mentors. The purpose of combining 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 accreditation standards
  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.)

Transportation to local practicum experiences is the responsibility of the student. Many clinical experiences are local however some may require traveling further distances. Faculty do not make clinical assignments based on carpool requests or geographic location of student residence.

A hallmark of the nursing program is a cross-cultural course in the final semester of the senior year. The student is required to participate in a month-long nursing and ministry immersion experience 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.)

Program Clinical Requirements

Clinical opportunities in the nursing program require applicants to submit the following records to a data collection service at their own expense.

  1. Health history and physical examination that includes immunization, vaccination documentation, and titer levels, conducted and signed by a licensed healthcare practitioner:
  2. 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
    • Influenza (annual requirement)
  3. A two-step TB test or TB IGRA at time of entry into the program. An annual TB test is conducted each year to demonstrate eligibility to participate in clinical experiences.
  4. Current AHA healthcare provider-level CPR card.
  5. A national background check, OIG, GSA, and Washington State WATCH are required. Students seeking admission to the nursing program must be aware a record of criminal conviction may impact admission. Students should discuss this matter with the Dean before making final application to the nursing program.
  6. A current and valid passport which expires no earlier than October 31st after graduation.
  7. Proof of health insurance for personal costs of health care.
  8. A valid driver’s license.

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 degree in Nursing (BSN) and are prepared to sit for the National Certification Licensure Examination – Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN).

The School of Nursing is dedicated to helping students successfully pass the NCLEX-RN through a rigorous curriculum that incorporates an online preparation and readiness assessment program. 

Students must be aware that the State of Washington or any other state may deny the Registered Nurse license application if the applicant has a record of criminal conviction. Any criminal incidences occurring during the nursing program must be reviewed immediately with the Dean as this may jeopardize the application for Registered Nurse licensure.


  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing* (Pending state approval)


Nursing Department


Bachelor of Science in Nursing