Jan 28, 2023  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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The Division of Nursing and Health Professions at Rivier University has prepared students to meet the rapidly changing demands of the healthcare environment for almost three decades. Rivier University continually builds on its strengths, offering programs that provide students with individual attention, a quality education, and numerous opportunities for clinical experience. The Division of Nursing and Health Professions offers a part-time evening Associate of Science Degree, a full-time, four year baccalaureate degree, and a flexible RN-BSN online program for registered nurses. The Division also offers  graduate education in advanced clinical family and psychiatric nursing, nursing leadership, and nursing education, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice.  The curricula reflect current professional standards and provide for a seamless progression from simple to complex through all levels of the Rivier University Nursing curricula. Benner’s (1984) work on Novice to Expert practice provides the framework for the progression through all of the DON programs. Learning competencies / outcomes move from simple to complex, are inter-related, and reinforced throughout the programs.

Mission and History

The nursing program, in accordance with the mission of Rivier University, regards as its purpose the education of men and women who seek flexibility in the educational process and career mobility in nursing. The Division prepares its graduates to care for all persons with respect, valuing their personal worth and dignity. In pursuit of academic excellence, the Division bases its curriculum on a strong foundation of science and liberal arts. The Division prepares its graduates for practice at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degree levels in Nursing.


Nursing faculty are committed to preparing students for entry into the nursing profession and equipping them with the skills required for career mobility. They can advance to graduate work in Rivier’s graduate nursing programs or transition to new career opportunities as healthcare needs evolve. Faculty are academically prepared, holding master and/or doctoral degrees, and are clinically current in their specialty areas. Faculty get to know their students, provide individual attention, and help create a supportive environment that promotes growth and facilitates student learning.

Philosophy and organizing framework 

The curriculum is designed to develop student’s knowledge and skill sets within six well-defined competencies. Current trends in healthcare are reflected within these competencies and are consistent with the mission of Rivier University and the ANA Code of Ethics. The ultimate goal of nursing education is to prepare the student to think critically, communicate accurately, and perform appropriate therapeutic nursing interventions in patient care situations. Additionally, students are prepared to exhibit the caring behaviors inherent in nursing actions, apply an ethical perspective in clinical decision making, and function effectively as a team member within the organizational structures surrounding the delivery of safe patient-centered care.

The Division of Nursing and Health Professions Program Outcomes seek to advance student knowledge regarding evidence- based professional nursing practice, encouraging students to continue to pursue advanced education, both formally and informally. The integration of theoretical nursing concepts as described by Sister Simone Roach (2002) provides for the functional and ethical manifestations of caring. 

The integration of the core concepts, supporting concepts, and competencies provides the basis for description, explanation, and prediction of human behavior and the foundation for nursing activities in the curriculum. Caring is viewed as a total way of being, relating, and acting and reflects the qualities of engagement with, and investment in another person, which is the very essence of nursing practice. Caring within the profession of nursing involves the formation of a holistic value system, the development of sound clinical judgment, and the therapeutic use of self. In essence, nursing is both the professionalization and the application of the human capacity to care (Watson, 1988). 

The curriculum and instructional processes reflect educational and nursing theory throughout all levels of programs. Coherent organization of educational practices integrates general education concepts through the widespread use of powerful, active, and collaborative instructional methods. Nursing education has grown through innovation and the Rivier University Division of Nursing and Health Professions emphasizes flexible high quality programs that are on the cutting edge.


The ultimate goal of nursing education is to prepare the student to think critically, communicate accurately, and perform appropriate therapeutic nursing interventions in patient care situations; exhibit the caring behaviors inherent in nursing actions; apply an ethical perspective in clinical decision making, and function effectively as a team member within the organizational structures surrounding the delivery of safe patient-centered care. The clinical and simulation laboratory is the place where much of this learning occurs. 

Student clinical experiences reflect current best practices and nationally established patient health and safety goals. Students implement safety principles and work with others on the interprofessional health care team to create a safe environment for care delivery. A variety of clinical agencies is utilized to meet student learning and program outcomes/competencies. Experiences are provided in skills labs, simulation labs, hospitals, community-based settings, hospital-based clinics, private offices, home care agencies, schools and public health departments. Students have the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of health care professionals while providing care to a broadly diverse patient population. The Undergraduate Pre-licensure programs’ learning environments also meet the New Hampshire State Board of Nursing regulations, which have stringent standards for curriculum requirements in nursing programs.  

Many methods are used to enhance student engagement in didactic nursing education courses and innovative strategies are introduced as new technologies become available. Innovative teaching strategies range from simple to complex and are based on both learning outcomes and student learning needs. Instructional aids, technology, software and hardware and technological support supplement classroom teaching at Rivier University. Smart Classrooms are equipped with sympodiums. The Canvas learning platform is extensively used by nursing faculty to provide and augment program instruction. In addition to real world clinical experiences gleaned through clinical placements. The Division of Nursing and Health Professions Resource also provides opportunities for development of Nursing competencies.  Rivier University nursing faculty have responded to the call for action by developing an education experience utilizing high and low fidelity simulation as well as simulated standardized patients. Simulation research indicates that this method is a valuable learning tool, which allows the student the opportunity to apply critical

Simulation using high fidelity mannequins is an alternative, holistic, innovative learning environment that enhances critical thinking and self reflection, promotes psychomotor skill development, promotes communication skills, enhances self confidence, requires team work, and evaluates students’ level of competency. Through the use of high fidelity human simulators and task trainers students are able to participate in nursing care activities from listening to heart and lung sounds and inserting catheters to caring for a simulated patient with multiple concerns. These simulated patients allow the Nursing faculty to ensure experiences with a range of patient problems that might be experienced in the clinical setting.

All nursing programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN)
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Student Learning Outcomes are clearly defined at the program level and the difference between course and program assessment is clear. Learning Outcomes assessment refers to direct and indirect measures of student learning. This is different from the measure of individual student performance to evaluate the student. Instead, student learning assessment consists of collecting data on student learning in the aggregate to determine how effective the programs and courses are. The DNHP uses a number of direct measures of student learning in their various programs, to include course quizzes and examinations; standardized exams, such as the Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI); portfolios; pre- and post-tests; writing samples; presentations; demonstrations and evaluations of clinical and preceptorship performances, to provide formative assessment data. Other measures, such as the NSSE, student surveys and course evaluations, offer indirect measures that can support direct measures. 

Student learning is assessed at the completion of the program to provide summative data by which to determine the effectiveness of the program. Program level outcomes are not just an accumulation of course learning outcomes. Rather, they reflect a synthesis, or a holistic picture, of what is expected of students completing the nursing program(s). The ATI Comprehensive Predictor administered at the completion of the AS and BS pre-licensure curriculum, the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and national certification pass rates, program completion rates and job placement rates  all provide a wealth of data, and demonstrate that Division of Nursing and Health Professions programs provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality nursing care in this complex and dynamic health care arena.


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