General Information for All Nursing Students

 

CHANGE OF ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER

It is a student’s responsibility to keep address and other directory information current. Enrolled students may report address changes, emergency contact information, and missing person contact information via the Web by logging into YES (Your Enrollment Services) https://yes.vanderbilt.edu and clicking on the Address Change link.

Students who are on a Leave of Absence and degree candidates returning for Commencement activities should keep the Assistant University Registrar and Director of Nursing Student Records, Sara Donahoe, informed of the current mailing address and telephone number.

 

COMMUNICATING WITH THE SCHOOL OF NURSING

Contacting a member of the faculty

VUSN promotes a culture of mutual respect, including professional and timely communication. Students are expected to check email and Brightspace announcements regularly, and may expect timely communication and feedback from VUSN faculty. Students who have course-related questions should contact course faculty via email. Emails will be returned during regular business hours, and students are encouraged to follow up with faculty if a response is not received within two business days. Under most circumstances, grades and feedback on assignments will be returned within 2 weeks of the due date.  If these guidelines cannot be met, faculty will communicate an alternate plan with the student. 

Students are encouraged to stay in close contact with their faculty advisers and individual faculty. The faculty are available to help with concerns relating to course content, examinations, and writing assignments. Faculty are eager to be of assistance to students but are also involved in teaching, research and practice. Therefore, it is important that students make an appointment to see a faculty member. We suggest that e-mail or voice mail is used to arrange a time to see a faculty member. Unless it is an emergency, faculty will typically respond to messages within two business days.

Emergency Phone Calls

Please remember to give families, day cares, and babysitters your schedule each semester so that they will know where you are each day and a phone number where you can be reached. If there is an emergency and a family member tries to call you by calling the School of Nursing receptionist, she will have to make several internal calls to find out your schedule and determine whether you are in class or in clinical. She will then have to make several more calls to reach you at your clinical site. All these calls can take time which is not advisable in an emergency. It is of utmost importance that you be diligent in informing caregivers where you are each day of the week.

Faculty/Staff Mailboxes

Mailboxes for faculty and staff are in the mailroom directly across from the elevator on the first floor of the School of Nursing building in room 182.

Official University Communications

Certain federal statutes require that information be delivered to each student. Vanderbilt delivers much of this information via e-mail. Official electronic notifications, including those required by statutes, those required by University policy, and instructions from University officials, will be sent to students’ Vanderbilt e-mail addresses: (user.name@vanderbilt.edu). Students are required to be familiar with the contents of official University notifications, and to respond to instructions and other official correspondence requiring a response. Some messages will include links to the YES Communications Tool, which is a secure channel for official communication of a confidential nature.

The University makes every effort to avoid inundating students with nonessential e-mail (often called “spam”) and maintains separate lists from which students may unsubscribe for announcements of general interest.

Students will most easily reach faculty and staff by e-mail. E-mails will be returned during regular business hours, and students are encouraged to follow up with faculty if a response is not received within two business days.

Voice Mail

Most faculty and staff are on the Vanderbilt Voice Mail System. If the person you are trying to contact does not answer the phone after five rings, the voice mail system will automatically pick up your call, and you can leave a message 24 hours a day.

 

CONTINUING STUDENT REQUIREMENTS

Disclosure of offenses post-background check completion: Current full and part-time, MN, MSN, Post-Master’s Certificate, and DNP students are required to immediately report to their academic director and the Senior Associate Dean for Academics any arrest, criminal charge, or conviction occurring after their background check has been completed. Required disclosure also includes but is not limited to allegations, investigations, and/or disciplinary action from any licensing board or agency included under the Nationwide Health Care Fraud and Abuse scan; Office of Inspector General (OIG), General Services Administration (GSA), FDA Debarment Check, Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), Office of Research Integrity (ORI), and Medicare and Medicaid Sanctions.

Background Check Required for Readmission: Students returning from a break in enrollment must complete a new background check prior to registration. Instructions to complete a new background check are provided on the Current MN/MSN/Post Master's Certificate/DNP Student Requirements webpage: https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/clinicalplacement/currentstudents.php.

A new background check is not required for students returning from a VUSN approved deferment or LOA. However, returning students must submit up-to-date documentation to their VUSN compliance portal requirements prior to registration. 

Maintaining Health Insurance, TB Testing, Annual Flu Vaccination, Training, Licensing, and Certification Requirements: While enrolled, continuing full and part-time MN, MSN, Post-Master’s Certificate, and DNP students are required to update the following date-dependent documentation in their VUSN compliance portal before the requirement's due/renewal date. The student may be required to pay a fee to maintain their VUSN compliance portal.

Please note: Students who fail to maintain their VUSN compliance portal requirements with up-to-date documentation will not be allowed to begin/continue clinical course work and/or register for additional courses.

VUSN Requirements to Maintain for Registration: 

  1. All students are required to be covered by health insurance either through the University’s student health insurance plan (SHIP)  https://www.vanderbilt.edu/stuaccts/insurance/health-insurance.php or by another policy while enrolled (monthly issued insurance is not acceptable). Clinical sites require students to have health insurance to cover any illness or injury that they may incur during the clinical training experience.
    Students who wish to be covered by a personal policy must complete a waiver EACH YEAR to decline the University’s student insurance plan (SHIP). To decline SHIP, the student must submit a waiver with proof of coverage at https://www.vumc.org/student-health/student-health-insurance by August 15 for the academic year. Students returning from an LOA for spring must complete a waiver by January 1 and summer returns must complete a waiver by June 1. If a waiver is not completed by the appropriate date, the student is automatically billed and enrolled in the University’s SHIP.
    Students must maintain current documentation of health insurance coverage through their VUSN compliance portal. Documentation of the University’s SHIP can be downloaded each academic year, during the first two-weeks of August at: https://www.vumc.org/student-health/student-health-insurance.  Students who change providers during enrollment must provide current documentation of their coverage by contacting the VUSN Compliance Officer at: lisa.boyer@vanderbilt.edu or call (615) 343-3294.
  1. All continuing students are required to submit an annual tuberculin skin test (PPD) or blood test (IGRA= QFT-Plus, QFT-GIT and T-Spot). If the student has been consecutively enrolled and a clear chest x-ray was submitted to the VUSN compliance portal in the year(s) prior, complete the Annual Post-Chest X-ray TB Questionnaire (https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/clinicalplacement/pdf/tbscreening_questionnaire.pdf), to confirm the absence of symptoms (health care provider signature required).
    1. If the test is positive, medical evaluation and documentation of a clear chest x-ray (lab report OR physician verification of results) are required. If there is evidence of a positive chest x- ray and/or symptoms of TB, the student must notify their Program Director and follow up with a medical evaluation and if needed, treatment. 
  2. Current American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support (BLS) CPR certification is required by all entry levels and specialties. BLS provided by the AHA is the only BLS card accepted. Providers other than the AHA cannot be accepted, even if the course "follows AHA guidelines."
  3. In addition to the AHA BLS, additional CPR certifications are required by the following specialties: AHA Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) is required by PNP-AC and ENP. AHA Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is required by AGACNP and ENP. NNP specialty requires the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certification. Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) -or- Trauma Nurse Core Course (TNCC) -or- Advanced Trauma Care for Nurses (ATCN), required by ENP. Other specialties may require additional CPR certifications at specific stages of enrollment.
  4. HIPAA and OSHA safety training is required annually by academic year through BrightSpace (VUnetID required). Instructions to complete the online training are available under the requirement’s drop-down in the VUSN Compliance portal. Additional training may be required for particular clinical sites.
  5. Copy of an unencumbered Registered Nurse’s license in the state(s) where you reside/work and will be doing clinical training (if applicable). In addition, DNP students who are an NP, CNM or CRNA are required to submit an unencumbered Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) designation in their state of residence and states of clinical practice and hold national board certification in their area of specialty as appropriate.
  6. Influenza: Annual flu vaccination is required or student must obtain an approved exemption through Vanderbilt University’s Student Health Center by submitting a request by October 1st, prior to each flu season at, https://www.vumc.org/student-health/influenza-vaccinations-students. Medical provider documentation of a contraindication to the seasonal influenza vaccine is required for exemption approval. (Note: Minor side effects, such as low-grade fever, cold symptoms, or muscle aches, are not considered a medical contraindication to the influenza vaccine.)
  7. In addition, students unable to receive an annual flu vaccination must also obtain an approved exemption (per site specifications) prior to placement at each clinical, observation or project site.

About COVID-19

The overwhelming majority of clinical placement sites require either documentation of a completed series of COVID-19 vaccinations or (in some cases) an approved exemption before allowing students to rotate at their facilities. Students are strongly encouraged to have the COVID-19 vaccine in anticipation of this requirement. VUSN will not assign clinical placement sites based on an individual student’s preference about COVID-19 vaccination, nor will VUSN reassign a student to a different site because of a student’s COVID-19 vaccination preference.

VUSN cannot guarantee students will be able to complete clinical rotations unless all agency requirements are met. You may not begin your clinical rotations until you have met all the site requirements and have received confirmation from your faculty and the Clinical Placement office that you are cleared to start.

Clearing the Continuing Student, VUSN Student Requirements Hold for Registration: The continuing student must maintain up-to-date documentation through their VUSN compliance portal by submitting the documentation specified under the requirement's drop-down. The readmitted student must have satisfactory completion of a new background check in addition to maintaining up-to-date documentation through their VUSN compliance portal. The VUSN Student Requirements Hold in Your Enrollment Services (YES) account is automatically cleared (allow 10-business days) when all requirements applicable to the student's specialty show as 'Approved'/'Complete' in their VUSN compliance portal.

Additional Clinical Site Requirements and Restrictions: Additional immunizations, titers, TB testing, drug screening, and/or additional background checks may be required by some clinical, observation and project sites. Once enrolled, the student may complete immunizations, titers and TB testing at Student Health (https://www.vumc.org/student-health/welcome). A student who plans to use Student Health should call (615) 322-2427 to schedule an appointment. The student should bring a copy of their VU Nursing Immunization and TB Testing form and any required documentation to the appointment. Students are responsible for all charges incurred in order to meet clinical site requirements.

Due to certain restrictions, VUSN is not able to accommodate clinical placements in all locations.

Accidents/Injury/Illnesses: Students are responsible for the costs of tests, treatment, and follow-up care for any accidents, injury, or illnesses that occur while enrolled as students at VUSN. Students are not entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.

 

NEW STUDENT REQUIREMENTS

Special Students, who are only enrolled in one course and are not seeking a degree from the School of Nursing, are not required to complete a background check or the new student compliance requirements unless they apply and are admitted to VUSN.

Background Check Requirement: Upon acceptance, all full- and part-time students admitted to a MN, MSN, Post-Master’s Certificate or DNP program must complete a background check as part of their VUSN compliance portal requirements. Instructions to complete the VUSN requirements are available under the New Student Compliance Requirements section of the VUSN Admitted Student webpage (https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/students/admitted/index.php) by student entry type.

Enrollment is contingent upon satisfactory evaluation of the results of the background check.

Background Check Required for Readmission: Students returning from a break in enrollment must complete a new background check. Instructions to complete a new background check are provided on the Current MN/MSN/Post Master's Certificate/DNP Student Requirements webpage: https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/clinicalplacement/currentstudents.php

A new background check is not required for students returning from a VUSN approved deferment or LOA. However, all returning students must submit up-to-date documentation to their VUSN compliance portal requirements prior to registration.

Disclosure of offenses post-background check completion: Current full- and part-time MN, MSN, Post-Master’s Certificate, and DNP students are required to immediately report to their faculty adviser and the senior associate dean for academics any arrest, criminal charge or conviction occurring after their background checks have been completed. Required disclosure also includes but is not limited to allegations, investigations and/or disciplinary action from any licensing board or Abuse scan: Office of Inspector General (OIG), General Services Administrations (GSA), FDA Debarment Check, Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA), Office of Research Integrity (ORI), and Medicare and Medicaid Sanctions. 

New Student Compliance Requirements: The State of Tennessee requires certain immunizations for all students (including distance graduate and professional students) prior to registration. The University’s Immunization Hold on registration is automatically cleared from Your Enrollment Services (YES) account (allow 10-business days) after the student has satisfactorily met the state-mandated requirements through the Student Health Portal. 

In addition, all full- and part-time MN, MSN, Post-Master's Certificate, and DNP students are required to meet the VUSN requirements for registration through the VUSN compliance portal. The VUSN Student Requirements Hold on registration is automatically cleared from Your Enrollment Services (YES) account (allow 10-business days) after all requirements applicable to the student’s entry type and/or specialty show as 'Approved'/'Complete' in their VUSN compliance portal.

Students should use the process indicated on the VUSN Admitted Student webpage (https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/students/admitted/index.php) under New Student Compliance  Requirements to meet the state mandated and VUSN student requirements for registration.

Please note: If the new student fails to provide acceptable documentation of requirements, she/he will not be allowed to attend orientation and/or classes.

How to Meet the VUSN New Student Compliance Requirements:  The student must complete all requirements applicable to their entry type and/or specialty in the VUSN compliance portal. Instructions to complete the VUSN immunization, testing and certification requirements are provided on the VUSN Admitted Student webpage (https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/students/admitted/index.php) by entry type. Select the New Student Compliance Requirements drop-down. 

Newly admitted students will use the Exxat platform to complete the VUSN background check and submit the immunization, certification and licensing documentation required prior to registration. Exxat provides students, faculty, and staff with one platform to access clinical site information, contractual agreements, clearance requirements and the ability to document clinical hours and proficiencies through all phases of the student's clinical experience. Students must submit the immunizations testing, training, certifications and licensure documentation required for their entry type and/or specialty, as outlined under their Exxat Compliance portal requirements. The documentation submitted to the requirements must be approved prior to registration. (July 1 for fall and December 1 for spring.) The student must select the drop-down for each requirement in their VUSN compliance portal to view instructions and download required forms. The file submitted to each requirement must frame only the student's original document(s) and all dates and information must be clear and readable.

Complete the VU Nursing Immunization and TB Testing Form (https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/clinicalplacement/pdf/health_questionnaire.pdf) to meet the requirements listed below. Documentation of previously completed immunizations, titers and TB testing must be from the following sources for approval: official medical, state, county, or international immunization records (English required).

Non-RN entries (Newly admitted PreSpecialty and MN Program students) must also complete a drug screen prior to registration as part of their VUSN compliance portal requirements.

VUSN Immunization/Titer, TB Testing, CPR Certification, Health Insurance, Licensure, and Certification Requirements for Registration:

  1. Physical examination within six months of acceptance to the program, authenticated by a physician, an APRN, PA, or a DO documenting evidence of the student’s physical and mental capability to carrying out assignments in a nursing school program. Use the VU Nursing Immunization and TB Testing form at (https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/clinicalplacement/pdf/health_questionnaire.pdf). (Also, downloadable from the requirement’s drop-down in your VUSN compliance portal.)
  2. Measles, Mumps, Rubella: Two (2) MMR vaccinations given at least 28-days apart OR if no vaccination records available, lab evidence of immunity (positive titer results) for each Measles (Rubeola), Mumps, and Rubella. At least one of two MMR booster vaccinations are required prior to registration following a negative or equivocal titer result.
  3. Varicella: Two varicella vaccines given at least 28 days apart OR if no vaccination records available, lab evidence of varicella immunity (positive titer). At least one of two Varicella booster vaccinations is required prior to registration following a negative or equivocal titer result.
  4. Hepatitis B: A Hepatitis B vaccination series completed following the guidelines for dosing intervals published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) OR if no vaccination records available, lab evidence of immunity (positive anti-HBs or HBsAb surface antibody). The student must provide complete documentation of a full Hepatitis B vaccination series or a positive titer result prior to participation in observation or clinical.
  5. Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap): Documentation of vaccination within last ten years. (DTP/DTaP and Td/TD vaccines do not meet this requirement.)
  6. All newly admitted students are required to submit a tuberculin skin test (PPD) completed within 12-months of program start. In addition to a PPD completed within 12-months of start, all students admitted to the PreSpecialty and MN Programs (non-RN entry) are required to submit a second PPD completed within 3-months of program start. Alternatively, all newly admitted entry types may opt to complete one TB blood test (IGRA= QFT-Plus, QFT- GIT and T-Spot) in-place of the PPD(s), completed within 3- months of program start.
    • If reading(s) is/are negative, repeat one- PPD or TB blood test annually.
    • If positive, medical evaluation and documentation of a clear chest x-ray completed within 3-months of program start (lab report OR physician verification of results required). If there is evidence of a positive chest x-ray and/or symptoms of TB, the student must notify their Program Director and follow up with a medical evaluation and if needed, treatment. For each consecutive year of enrollment after completing a chest x-ray, the Annual Post-Chest X-ray TB Questionnaire   (https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/clinicalplacement/pdf/tbscreening_questionnaire.pdf), must be completed and signed by a health care provider.
  1. Influenza: Annual flu vaccination is required or the student must obtain an approved exemption through Vanderbilt University’s Student Health Center by submitting a request by October 1st, prior to each flu season at, (https://www.vumc.org/student-health/influenza- vaccinations-students). Medical provider documentation of a contraindication to the seasonal influenza vaccine is required for exemption approval. (Note: Minor side effects, such as low-grade fever, cold symptoms, or muscle aches, are not considered to be a medical contraindication to the influenza vaccine). In addition, students unable to receive an annual flu vaccination must also obtain an approved exemption (per site specifications) prior to placement at each clinical, observation or project site.
  2. All students are required to be covered by health insurance either through the University’s student health insurance plan (SHIP) or by another policy while enrolled (monthly issued insurance is not acceptable). Clinical sites require students to have health insurance to cover any illness or injury that they may incur during the clinical training experience. Students who wish to be covered by a personal policy must complete a waiver EACH YEAR to decline the University’s student insurance plan (SHIP). To decline SHIP, the student must submit a waiver with proof of coverage at: (https://www.vumc.org/student-health/student-health-insurance) by January 1 for spring admits, June 1 for summer admits and August 15 for fall admits. If a waiver is not completed by the appropriate date, the student is automatically billed and enrolled in the University’s SHIP. Newly admitted VUSN students must also submit documentation to their VUSN compliance portal of either the University’s SHIP coverage (proof available the first two-weeks of August at: https://www.vumc.org/student-health/student-health-insurance or of their personal health insurance once the SHIP has successfully been waived with a copy (front & back) of their insurance card or a letter verifying coverage. More information on the University’s SHIP is provided at https://www.vumc.org/student-health/student-health-insurance
  3. Current American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support (BLS) CPR Certification is required by all entry levels and specialties. BLS provided by the AHA is the only BLS card accepted. Providers other than the AHA cannot be accepted, even if the course "follows AHA guidelines." 
  4. In addition to the AHA BLS, additional CPR certifications are required by the following specialties: AHA Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) is required by PNP-AC and ENP. AHA Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is required by AGACNP and ENP. NNP specialty requires the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certification. Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) -or- Trauma Nurse Core Course (TNCC) -or- Advanced Trauma Care for Nurses (ATCN), required by ENP. Other specialties may require additional CPR certifications at specific stages of enrollment.
  5. Copy of an unencumbered Registered Nurse’s license in the state(s) where you reside/work and will be doing clinical training (if applicable). In addition, DNP students who are an NP, CNM or CRNA are required to submit an unencumbered Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) designation in their state of residence and states of clinical practice and hold national board certification in their area of specialty as appropriate.
  6. HIPAA and OSHA safety training is required annually by academic year through BrightSpace (VUnetID required). Instructions to complete the online training are available under the requirement’s drop-down in the Exxat Compliance portal. Additional training may be required for particular clinical sites.
  7. Honor Code and Plagiarism Tutorial. Read letter regarding plagiarism from the Senior Associate Dean for Academics (https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/students/admitted/pdf/plagiarism.pdf) and follow instructions under the requirement’s drop-down in the Exxat Compliance portal to complete the latest version of a tutorial developed by Indiana University Bloomington.

About COVID-19

The overwhelming majority of clinical placement sites require either documentation of a completed series of COVID-19 vaccinations or (in some cases) an approved exemption before allowing students to rotate at their facilities. Students are strongly encouraged to have the COVID-19 vaccine in anticipation of this requirement. VUSN will not assign clinical placement sites based on an individual student’s preference about COVID-19 vaccination, nor will VUSN reassign a student to a different site because of a student’s COVID-19 vaccination preference.

VUSN cannot guarantee students will be able to complete clinical rotations unless all agency requirements are met. You may not begin your clinical rotations until you have met all the site requirements and have received confirmation from your faculty and the Clinical Placement office that you are cleared to start.

Clearing the VUSN Student Requirements Hold for Registration: The newly admitted student must satisfactorily complete all of the requirements with a July 1st Due Date in the Exxat Compliance portal. Additionally, students admitted to the PreSpecialty and MN programs (non-RN) must satisfactorily complete a drug screen through their Exxat compliance portal. Once the requirements for the student’s entry type and/or specialty are satisfactorily completed, the VUSN Student Requirements Hold is automatically cleared from Your Enrollment Services (YES) account (allow 10-business days).

Additional Clinical Site Requirements and Restrictions: Additional immunizations, titers, TB testing, drug screening, and/or additional background checks may be required by some clinical, observation and project sites. Once enrolled, the student may complete immunizations, titers and TB testing at Student Health (https://www.vumc.org/student-health/welcome). A student who plans to use Student Health should call (615) 322- 2427 to schedule an appointment. The student should bring a copy of the VU Nursing Immunization and TB Testing form 

(Website:https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/clinicalplacement/pdf/health_questionnaire.pdf) and any required documentation to the appointment. Students are responsible for all charges incurred in order to meet clinical site requirements. Due to certain restrictions, VUSN is not able to accommodate clinical placements in all locations.

Accidents/Injury/Illnesses: Students are responsible for the costs of tests, treatment, and follow-up care for any accidents, injury, or illnesses that occur while enrolled as students at VUSN. Students are not entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.

How to Meet the State-Mandated Immunization Requirements for New Students at Vanderbilt University: Follow instructions on the Vanderbilt Student Health Center’s Immunization Requirements webpage (https://www.vumc.org/student-health/immunization-requirements-new-students) to enter dates and submit documentation of the following state-mandated requirements through the Vanderbilt Student Health Immunization Portal  (https://vanderbilt.studenthealthportal.com/Account/Logon?ReturnUrl=%2f). Acceptable forms of documentation include; official state/county immunizations, official signed or certified medical records, Yellow Book/immunization card from country of origin (English required), or the VU Nursing Immunization and TB Testing form (https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/clinicalplacement/pdf/health_questionnaire.pdf) completed and signed by a health care provider. 

Vanderbilt University’s State-Mandated Immunization and/or Titer Requirements for Registration:
  1. Measles, Mumps, Rubella: Two (2) MMR vaccinations given at least 28-days apart OR if no vaccination records available, lab evidence of immunity (positive titer results) for each Measles (Rubeola), Mumps, and Rubella. At least one of two MMR booster vaccinations are required prior to registration following a negative or equivocal titer result.
  2. Varicella: Two varicella vaccines given at least 28 days apart OR if no vaccination records available, lab evidence of varicella immunity (positive titer). At least one of two Varicella booster vaccinations is required prior to registration following a negative or equivocal titer result.
  3. Hepatitis B: A Hepatitis B vaccination series completed following the guidelines for dosing intervals published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) OR if no vaccination records available, lab evidence of immunity (positive anti-HBs or HBsAb surface antibody). The student must provide complete documentation of a full Hepatitis B vaccination series or a positive titer result prior to participation in observation or clinical. 
  4. Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap): Documentation of vaccination within last ten years. (DTP/DTaP and Td/TD vaccines do not meet this requirement.)
  5. All newly admitted students are required to submit a tuberculin skin test (PPD) completed within 12-months of program start. In addition to a PPD completed within 12-months of start, all students admitted to the PreSpecialty and MN Programs (non-RN entry) are required to submit a second PPD completed within 3-months of program start.

Alternatively, all newly admitted entry types may opt to complete one TB blood test (IGRA= QFT-Plus, QFT-GIT and T-Spot) in-place of the PPD(s), completed within 3-months of program start.

    • If reading(s) is/are negative, repeat one- PPD or TB blood test annually.
    • If positive, medical evaluation and documentation of a clear chest x-ray completed within 3-months of program start (lab report OR physician verification of results required). If there is evidence of a positive chest x-ray and/or symptoms of TB, the student must notify their Program Director and follow up with a medical evaluation and if needed, treatment. For each consecutive year of enrollment after completing a chest x-ray, the Annual Post-Chest X-ray TB Questionnaire  (https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/clinicalplacement/pdf/tbscreening_questionnaire.pdf), must be completed and signed by a health care provider.
  1. Influenza: Annual flu vaccination is required or student must obtain an approved exemption through Vanderbilt University’s Student Health Center by submitting a request by October 1st, prior to each flu season at: https://www.vumc.org/student-health/influenza-vaccinations-students. Medical provider documentation of a contraindication to the seasonal influenza vaccine is required for exemption approval. (Note: Minor side effects, such as low-grade fever, cold symptoms, or muscle aches, are not considered to be a medical contraindication to the influenza vaccine).
    In addition, students unable to receive an annual flu vaccination must also obtain an approved exemption (per site specifications) prior to placement at each clinical, observation or project site.
  2. All students are required to be covered by health insurance either through the University’s student health insurance plan (SHIP) or by another policy while enrolled (monthly issued insurance is not acceptable). Clinical sites require students to have health insurance to cover any illness or injury that they may incur during the clinical training experience.
    Students who wish to be covered by a personal policy must complete a waiver EACH YEAR to decline the University’s student insurance plan (SHIP). To decline SHIP, the student must submit a waiver with proof of coverage at: https://www.vumc.org/student-health/student-health-insurance by January 1 for spring admits, June 1 for summer admits, and August 15 for fall admits. If a waiver is not completed by the appropriate date, the student is automatically billed and enrolled in the University’s SHIP.
    Newly admitted VUSN students must also submit documentation to their VUSN compliance portal of either the University’s SHIP coverage (proof available the first two-weeks of August at: https://www.vumc.org/student-health/student-health-insurance or of their personal health insurance once the SHIP has successfully been waived with a copy (front & back) of their insurance card or a letter verifying coverage. More information on the University’s SHIP is provided at: https://www.vumc.org/student-health/student-health-insurance.

Clearing the State-Mandated, VU Immunization Requirement Hold for Registration: The University’s Immunization Hold is automatically cleared from Your Enrollment Services (YES) account when a message of compliance is received through your Student Health Immunization Portal (allow 10-business days).

 

EXPOSURE TO CONTAGIONS OR HEALTH EMERGENCIES

Blood and Body Fluids

If a student has an exposure to blood or body fluids (i.e., a needle stick, splash to eyes or mouth, or contact with non-intact skin) during a clinical rotation, these are the steps that should be taken.

  1. Immediate Student Actions Following Exposure
    • Wash the exposed area immediately with soap and water.
    • Flush eyes or mouth with tap water for 15 minutes.
    • Remove contacts immediately if eyes are exposed.
    • Obtain the name, medical record number, and location of the patient source of the exposure. You will give this important information to the Occupational Health Service practitioner at the clinical agency.
    • Notify your clinical supervisor and clinical course coordinator immediately.
    • File a report in the Origami Risk Management System. (https://www.vanderbilt.edu/riskmanagement/) and click on “Report a University Occurrence” on the right Quick Links. 
  1. Important Notification and Documentation Procedure

When On Campus:

    • Report in person immediately to the Vanderbilt Occupational Health Clinic (OHC) Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., 6th Floor, Suite 640 of the Medical Arts Building (MAB).
    • When the Vanderbilt Occupational Health Clinic is closed, report immediately to the Vanderbilt Adult Emergency Department for the initial assessment and treatment. Notify OHC by calling 615.936.0955 to report the exposure. This phone is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    • All exposed students will be referred to the OHC for further evaluation and/or treatment on the next OHC business day. No appointment is necessary.
    • Notify your clinical supervisor and clinical course coordinator immediately.
    • File a report in the Origami Risk Management System. (https://www.vanderbilt.edu/riskmanagement/) and click on “Report a University Occurrence” on the right Quick Links.

Assessment and Treatment of Your Exposure

The Occupational Health Service and/or the Vanderbilt Adult Emergency Department will:

    • Document, assess and treat your exposure.
    • Order screening tests from the source (patient) for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and, if appropriate, other labs as needed.
    • Occupational Health will follow-up on all lab studies, advise you of the results and provide recommendations for any further treatment.

When Off Campus:

    • Should an exposure occur off campus, follow the agency/facility protocol for OSHA blood borne pathogen emergency treatment.
    • Immediately contact the Vanderbilt Occupational Health Clinic at 615.936.0955 for further instructions and follow-up care. This phone is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Respiratory and Other Non-Bloodborne Pathogens (such as TB, lice, meningitis, measles, COVID-19, and others)

When On Campus:

    • Report to Vanderbilt Student Health for an assessment or guidance. Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Saturday, 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 615.322.2427.
    • Notify your clinical supervisor and clinical course coordinator immediately.
    • File a report in the Origami Risk Management System. (https://www.vanderbilt.edu/riskmanagement/) and click on “Report a University Occurrence” on the right Quick Links. 

Assessment and Treatment of Your Exposure

Student Health will:

    • Document, assess and treat your exposure.
    • Order screening tests from the source (patient) for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and, if appropriate, other labs as needed.
    • Student Health will follow-up on all lab studies, advise you of the results and provide recommendations for any further treatment.

When Off Campus:

    • Student should call Vanderbilt Student Health to speak with a provider at 615.322.2427. This phone is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Occupational Exposure Charges

    • If charges are incurred from Occupational Health or a hospital other than Vanderbilt, students should allow their personal health insurance to be billed. Students are not eligible for worker’s compensation.
    • The Vanderbilt School of Nursing will pay for any charges that are not covered by insurance. Invoices for remaining balances should be sent to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs for payment.
    • Students should not pay the invoices directly.
    • Notify Feylyn Lewis, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at feylyn.m.lewis@vanderbilt.edu or by phone at 615.343.3334 or Allie Noote, Associate Program Manager at allie.noote@vanderbilt.edu or by phone at 615.322.2814.

In The Event Of A Serious Health Concern Or An Emergency

For life-threatening emergency call 911 immediately.

    • For non-life-threatening health situations, report to Vanderbilt Student Health for an assessment or guidance. Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Saturday, 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 615.322.2427. If closed, report to the Vanderbilt Adult Emergency Department for the initial assessment and treatment.
    • Notify Feylyn Lewis, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at feylyn.m.lewis@vanderbilt.edu or by phone at 615.343.3334 or Allie Noote, Associate Program Manager at allie.noote@vanderbilt.edu or by phone at 615.322.2814.

 

FORMS FOR ENROLLMENT CHANGES

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing forms may be found on the VUSN Web site at https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/students/current/enrollment/student_forms.php.

 

LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATION

Registered Nurse (RN) Licensure

Students are eligible to apply to the National Council on Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®) to become a Registered Nurse (RN) upon meeting the requirements specified by the Tennessee State Board of Nursing and upon recommendation by the faculty and the Dean. The following requirements must be met: (a) completion of the PreSpecialty portion of the curriculum; (b) good academic standing (semester and cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above); and (c) no final course grade below a B-, and no Incomplete grades. Students who are ineligible to take the NCLEX-RN® after completing the appropriate sequence of courses will not be allowed to enroll for specialty-level courses. For more information go to TN Board of Nursing (https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/health-professional-boards/nursing-board/nursing-board/about.html).

Students who are not Registered Nurses are required to take examinations to prepare for the NCLEX-RN®. An assessment test is administered to students during the last semester of the PreSpecialty level.

Students who are not successful on the first writing of the NCLEX-RN® are subject to withdrawal from specialty level courses with a clinical component. The student cannot attend clinical practica until the R.N. license is obtained. The program of study for full-time students will be altered because of a delay in being able to participate in clinical courses. Additional semester(s) will be required to complete clinical courses.

Reporting NCLEX-RN® results: Students must notify their Specialty Director and Senior Associate Dean for Academics of their NCLEX-RN® results within 48 hours of receiving results (pass or fail). A copy of their RN License must be submitted to their VUSN compliance portal. Students who fail the NCLEX-RN® will not be allowed to participate in any specialty-level clinical courses until after they have successfully passed the NCLEX-RN®. Failure to notify the Specialty Director and Senior Associate Dean for Academics of failure of the NCLEX-RN® within 48 hours of receiving results will result in immediate dismissal from the school. Students who fail must make an appointment with the Senior Associate Dean for Academics or Assistant Dean for Academics and must submit a plan of study for preparation for the NCLEX-RN® second taking.

Preparation for the NCLEX-RN® includes but is not limited to:

  1. NCLEX-RN® style exam questions and strategies for success are incorporated throughout the curriculum.
  2. All students will complete the NCLEX-RN® Review Course at the end of semester three.
  3. All students will complete a cumulative curriculum assessment exam. Students not achieving the benchmark score on the assessment exam are considered high-risk for not passing the NCLEX-RN® on the first attempt. For these students, individualized counseling and study plan development will occur based on personal learning preferences, content strengths and weaknesses, and confidence taking standardized exams.

Students who have test anxiety when taking standardized exams are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the University Counseling Center for evaluation and planning well before taking the NCLEX-RN®.

The PreSpecialty curriculum engages students with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience necessary for success on the NCLEX-RN®. However, it is each student’s responsibility to determine their mastery of the information and appropriately prepare to take the NCLEX-RN®.

Each summer, a mandatory session is held by the Senior Associate Dean for Academics for students who anticipate taking the NCLEX-RN® during the fall semester. This session reviews student eligibility for taking the NCLEX-RN®, advises students regarding preparation, and provides students with all necessary forms for registering for NCLEX-RN®.

The NCLEX-RN® is administered locally in Nashville at the Pearson Professional Center, Riverview Office Bldg., 545 Mainstream Drive, Suite 410, Nashville, TN 37228; Phone 615.255.8672. The NCLEX-RN® may also be taken at an official testing center in any state.

Out of State RN Licensure

It is recommended that all students receive their initial RN licensure in Tennessee. Students wishing to obtain an RN license in a state other than Tennessee will need to consult the State Board of Nursing in that state for specific application requirements. Applying in a state other than Tennessee may prolong the application approval process.

National Certification

Graduates of the MSN and Post-Master’s Certificate programs are encouraged to become certified in their specialty and should consult their specialty directors for details. Certification is offered through several professional nursing organizations. Graduates of each specialty are eligible to sit for the certification exams specific to their specialty. For more information, please visit the Web site specific to your specialty:

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Emergency Nurse Practitioner

Family Nurse Practitioner

* Informatics

* Healthcare Leadership

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Nurse-Midwifery

Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Family)

Women's Health Nurse Practitioner

* Graduates of the Nursing and Health Care Leadership and Nursing Informatics specialties are not required to obtain Advanced Practice Registered Nurse licensure.

 

LOST AND FOUND

Please see the School of Nursing receptionist in the Colleen Conway-Welch Atrium if you lost a belonging. 

 

PARKING

All Parking Services notices will be sent to admitted/current students’ active Vanderbilt e-mail addresses only. Information about parking can be found on the Office of Student Affairs webpage ( https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/students/current/studentaffairs/index.php ) or the Vanderbilt University Parking Services & VandyRide webpage ( https://www.vanderbilt.edu/traffic_parking/ ). 

 

REGISTRATION

Each semester, at a time specified in the calendar, all students are required to confer with their academic advisers and register for courses for the next semester. Registration for classes is done by computer on Your Enrollment Services (YES). Students should check carefully with their faculty advisers concerning progress toward completing degree requirements and to make necessary revisions in their program of studies. The School of Nursing requires continuous registration of all degree candidates. Responsibility to maintain registration rests with the student. To retain student status, the student must register each fall, spring, and summer semester or secure an approved leave of absence. Students who are registered for zero hours in order to satisfy requirements for an incomplete grade are considered degree candidates. Students registering for zero hours for the express purpose of completing an incomplete grade are charged $200 plus applicable fees.

Registration Hold

Students will have an adviser registration hold each semester. This hold will be released by the faculty adviser after consultation with the student and adviser review of the classes in their advisees’ enrollment cart.

How to Register

Please see the Office of Enrollment Services webpage (https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/students/current/enrollment/) for detailed instructions on how to register for courses. 

Dropping a Class 

To drop a class, the student must be within an open enrollment period. If not, contact the Assistant University Registrar and Director of Nursing Student Records, Sara Donahoe at sara.a.donahoe@vanderbilt.edu. To drop a class, simply click the red minus sign next to the class you wish to drop. The system will ask “are you sure you want to drop this class?” Choose “yes” or “no.” Once the system has dropped you from the class, it will no longer show in the enrolled classes list. To see the dropped class, select the dropped filter checkbox at the upper right of your screen, and the dropped class will appear on this list.

Grading Basis

If the student wishes to take a course Pass/Fail, it is necessary to consult the instructor and then contact the school registrar.

Enrolling in a Variable Credit Class

To edit the hours of a variable credit class, use the same blue notebook icon to the right of the class. Use the hours dropdown to select the number of hours. 

Viewing Your Schedule

To view your schedule, select “schedule” in your navigation bar.

Catalog Search: The catalog search is a digitized and searchable copy of all university courses including credit hours and course descriptions.

 

ROOM RESERVATIONS

Students may reserve space for meetings in Godchaux Hall, the Annex, School of Nursing, and Frist Hall by contacting Ellen Smogur via e-mail at ellen.smogur@vanderbilt.edu or at 615.322.4400.

 

STUDENT MEDICAL OR INJURY OCCURRENCES GUIDELINES

Responding to Student Health Events and Injuries

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) is committed to the health, wellness, and safety of all students. The following protocols were developed to provide students with guidance for responding to VUSN student medical events and injury (or near miss) occurrences on campus. These events include but are not limited to seizure, loss of consciousness, displaying at risk mental or physical health concerns, allergic reaction, slips, trips, and falls. The safety and health of the student and others should be the priority in all responding actions.

Minor Medical Events and Injuries

Step 1: Assess and Refer

In the event a student experiences a minor medical event or non-life-threatening injury, and is not at risk to self or others, the student observer or first student present should contact Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) at (615) 322-2753. VUPD can assess the occurrence and determine appropriate next steps. VUPD will likely transport the student to the Student Health Center (SHC) for minor medical events and injury occurrences. The SHC is often able to see students within a few hours. If the student experiences a health event or injury that cannot wait for a scheduled same day appointment, the student may be evaluated at the SHC’s Acute Care Clinic.

The student  observer or first student present should confirm the student’s emergency contact information and obtain consent for VUSN personnel to contact the emergency contact if necessary. If there is more than one student present, one person should be designated to confirm this information. It is also helpful to verify that the student has a mobile device and that it is in their possession for follow up communications, as applicable.

Faculty, staff, students, and student workers should NOT transport the student in their personal vehicles. Student peers are discouraged from accompanying the student, as peers should remain engaged in academic instruction.

Step 2: Complete Report to the Risk Management Office

The student observer or first student present, must complete an Origami Report to notify the Office of Risk and Insurance Management of the occurrence. The reporting system is used to report any risk, professional liability, or safety occurrence, observed by or involving a VUSN student, staff, or faculty member. The report can be found at https://www.vanderbilt.edu/riskmanagement/ 

Step 3: Notify the VUSN Office for Student Affairs

The student observer or first student present should notify the Office for Student Affairs and the Office for Academics via email at feylyn.m.lewis@vanderbilt.edu, allie.noote@vanderbilt.edu, and mavis.schorn@vanderbilt.edu. The Office for Student Affairs will contact the student’s emergency contact and provide updates as they become available. The Office will also notify the student’s Academic Director of the occurrence and provide a Dean’s Notification to excuse the student from academic obligations while undergoing medical treatment.

Significant Medical Events and Serious Injuries

 Step 1:

In the event a student finds a student peer unable to breathe normally, appearing to struggle to breathe, unconscious (or has been unconscious), or unresponsive, basic life support should be initiated. An Automated External Defibrillator is in the Godchaux Hall Nursing Annex lobby, adjacent to the restrooms.

If it is suspected that a student has experienced a significant injury (such as a broken bone or head injury), the student should not attempt to move the student and make the area as safe as possible. They should immediately call 9-1-1 and request an ambulance for safe transport of the student to the Emergency Department. If possible, the student should confirm the student peer’s emergency contact information and obtain verbal consent for VUSN personnel to contact the emergency contact. If there is more than one student present, one person should be designated to confirm this information. It is also helpful to verify that the student has a mobile device and that it is in their possession for follow up communications.

Faculty, staff, students, and student workers should NOT transport the student in their personal vehicles. Student peers are discouraged from accompanying the student, as peers should remain engaged in academic instruction.

Step 2:

The student observer or first student present, must complete an Origami Report to notify the Office of Risk and Insurance Management of the occurrence. The reporting system is used to report any risk, professional liability, or safety occurrence, observed by or involving a VUSN student, staff, or faculty member. The report can be found at https://www.vanderbilt.edu/riskmanagement/

Step 3:

The student observer or first student present should notify the Office for Student Affairs and the Office for Academics via email at feylyn.m.lewis@vanderbilt.edu, allie.noote@vanderbilt.edu, and mavis.schorn@vanderbilt.edu. The Office for Student Affairs will contact the student’s emergency contact and provide updates as they become available. The Office will also notify the student’s Academic Director of the occurrence and provide a Dean’s Notification to excuse the student from academic obligations while undergoing medical treatment.

 

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AND AFFINITY GROUPS

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing offers a variety of student nurse organizations. For more information, go to the following webpages.

VUSN Student Organizations

https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/about/diversity/vusn_resources.php

https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/advantage/organizations/

 

STUDENT VOLUNTEER WORK

Opportunities outside of Vanderbilt may arise for students to volunteer in the community. These opportunities will give you hands-on experience. Please be advised that volunteer participation at activities not affiliated with or endorsed by Vanderbilt University is at your personal discretion and risk.

 

TRADITIONS: COMPOSITES, GRADUATION, INVESTITURE, AND PINNING

Class Picture – Composite MN, MSN, & DNP

Students who intend to graduate from an academic degree program in August, December, or May of the current academic year will be eligible to have their pictures taken for the master composite which hangs in the Nursing Annex.

A photographer will be on campus between mid-November and January to take individual photographs. A notice via e-mail will be sent advising you when and where to sign up. The cost is approximately $27.00 (subject to change) for your picture proofs and an 11 x 14 copy of the master composite. It is important that every effort is made to schedule an appointment when the photographers are on campus, as makeups are difficult and costly. You will have the opportunity to purchase additional photographs if you wish. Regalia will be provided for the purpose. For additional information, contact Dr. Feylyn Lewis in 179 School of Nursing or by calling 615.343.3334.

Graduation, Investiture, and Pinning at VUSN

The Dean of the School of Nursing purchases an official School of Nursing pin for each MN and MSN graduate and a pin guard for each DNP graduate. MSN pins and DNP pin guards will be awarded in May, August, and December at the pinning ceremonies. Students who complete the DNP program in August or December have the option to attend the May pinning if they will be traveling to campus for commencement.

Students completing the Post-Master’s Certificate do earn academic credit that is reflected on a VUSN transcript, but they do not receive an Academic degree or a Vanderbilt University School of Nursing pin. The pin is presented only to those students who complete a MN or MSN at VUSN, and the pin guard is presented only to those students who complete a DNP at VUSN.

Graduation and Commencement

To participate in the Commencement ceremony, degree candidates must have satisfactorily completed all curriculum requirements, have passed all prescribed examinations, and be free of all indebtedness to the University. The University holds its annual Commencement ceremony on the 2nd Friday in May at the end of the spring semester. A student completing MN, MSN or DNP degree requirements will officially graduate at the close of the semester in which the degree is earned with the graduation date recorded on the student’s permanent record. Graduations are posted on diplomas three times per year: May, August, and December. Students who graduate at the close of summer semester (August) or the fall semester (December) join spring graduates in the next graduation ceremony (May). Those unable to participate may receive their diplomas by mail.

Investiture

The School of Nursing Investiture Ceremony immediately follows the University Commencement ceremony in May. It is at Investiture that each graduate is adorned or "invested" with the academic hood signifying completion of the master’s degree. A reception for all the graduates and their families and friends follows the Investiture ceremony. Specific instructions concerning Commencement and Investiture are mailed to August, December, and May graduates during the month of March.

Graduates will receive information from both the School of Nursing and the University Commencement Office. For further information regarding Commencement and Investiture, contact Dr. Feylyn Lewis, room 179, School of Nursing 615.343.3334 or the Commencement Office at http://www.vanderbilt.edu/commencement/.

Pinning Ceremony

At the end of each semester, students who complete their academic requirements are invited to attend a pinning ceremony. MN and MSN graduates receive a VUSN pin, DNP graduates receive a pin guard and students who complete a Post-Master’s Certificate receive a framed certificate. DNP + Post-Master’s Certificate graduates attend Pinning at the end of their DNP program of study and receive their pin guard and certificate concurrently.