Jun 22, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Academic Catalog-UNDER REVIEW 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Academic Catalog-UNDER REVIEW

Mark and Huldah Buntain School of Nursing

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Academic Awards Master of Science in Nursing; Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Dean Erin-Joy Bjorge
Program Outcomes Admission to BSN Direct Freshman Admission to BSN

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

  • NU BSON prepares leaders in healthcare.
  • NU BSON graduates professional practice ready nurses.
  • NU BSON graduates culturally sensitive nurses.
  • NU BSON graduates nurses who answer their call to serve God by engaging in service.

Graduates with a degree in Nursing are able to:
  1. Integrate Christian faith into professional nursing practice to serve individuals, families, and populations.
  2. Plan compassionate and culturally sensitive care with the guiding principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  3. Apply clinical judgement to deliver safe person-centered care across the lifespan and health-illness continuum.
  4. Utilize patient care technologies and informatic processes to deliver quality, safe, and effective nursing care.
  5. Integrate evidence-based practice and scholarly inquiry into clinical decisions for quality patient care.
  6. Practice leadership behaviors, ethical decision making, and communication skills in collaboration with interprofessional teams.
  7. Articulate problems in complex healthcare systems to contribute to a culture of safety.
  8. Examine solutions for population health within the frameworks of health promotion, policy, and health systems.
  9. Create a professional identity inclusive of personal well-being, professional growth, and career-long learning.

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).
  • Submit a complete application to the School of Nursing using a centralized online application service. Applications are made available in October and due in 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.

Direct Freshman Admission

Direct Freshman Admission allows high school seniors with superior academic achievement to secure acceptance in our competitive BSN pre-licensure program.

BSN Direct Freshman Admission Application Process:
  • The Northwest University application and the BSN Direct Freshman Admission addendum must be submitted to the Admissions Office on or before January 15th.
  • Applicants will be notified of acceptance to Northwest University by January 31st.
  • Applicants will be notified of Direct Admission to the School of Nursing by February 15th.
  • Applicants will accept or decline the Direct Admission offer no later than March 15th. A $100 deposit is due at time of the applicant’s acceptance of Direct Admission.
BSN Direct Admission Criteria:
  • Admission to Northwest University.
  • First time full-time freshman.
  • Follow President’s Scholarship Criteria.
  • College prep courses including science (biology and chemistry with labs), English (4 years), and math (3 years). Anatomy and Physiology is highly recommended.
  • Resume (school activities, community service, leadership positions).
  • Supporting essay describing how the student’s Christian faith, personal strengths, experiences, and aptitudes will contribute to their success in nursing school and career in nursing.
Criteria for Progression into the School of Nursing Upper Division Major:
  • Maintain continuous full-time enrollment in the traditional undergraduate program at Northwest University (12 credit hours or more per semester).
  • All pre-nursing core courses and core curriculum requirements must be taken at Northwest University.
  • Complete all core curriculum requirements and be eligible for the nursing major within 2 years of initial enrollment.
  • Complete the following pre-nursing core courses: Survey of Chemistry II, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, and General Psychology, with a minimum grade of B- (2.7 on a 4.00 scale).
  • If the student’s cumulative GPA at the end of spring semester freshman year and going forward, falls below a 3.5 or if a grade of less than B- (2.7 on a 4.0 scale) is received in a pre- nursing core course, the student will lose Direct Admission status.
  • Complete the School of Nursing online application via NursingCAS by January 31st of the student’s fourth semester at Northwest University.
  • Student conduct issues will be taken into account for progression into upper division nursing coursework.

Sequence of Course Work and Professional Nursing Practice

Pre-nursing students are assigned a university advisor 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 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 rigorous routine of classroom studies with clinical practice. The schedule may include evening, night, or weekend learning experiences 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. Each semester students must achieve a GPA of 3.0 (this is not the cumulative GPA). 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. 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 the nursing major is subject to space availability and it is only possible to be readmitted once. A nursing course may only be repeated once.

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, 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 distinctive of the program is NURS 4963 Nursing Practice as Ministry course in the final semester of the senior year. The student is required to participate in a nursing and ministry 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 an online 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)
  • COVID-19
  1. A two-step TB test or TB IGRA at time of entry into the program. 
  2. Current AHA healthcare provider-level CPR card.
  3. 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. Any criminal incidences occurring during the nursing program must be reviewed immediately with the dean.
  4. A current and valid passport which expires no earlier than October 31st after graduation.
  5. Proof of health insurance.
  6. A valid driver’s license.
  7. Students may be required to undergo drug screening and/or fingerprinting for selected agencies as a prerequisite to clinical. It is the student’s responsibility to pay for this screening.

Registered Nurse Licensure in the State of Washington

After successful completion of the nursing program, students are awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) and are prepared to take the National Certification Licensure Examination – Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN).

The Buntain 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 since this may jeopardize the application for Registered Nurse licensure.


Nursing Department


Bachelor of Science in Nursing