The Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies offers an excellent blend of both theoretical knowledge and clinical experience. Throughout the nursing program, students gain clinical experiences at area hospitals, Community Health and Homecare Agencies, schools, and the University's nationally recognized Health Promotion Center.
Students are admitted directly to the baccalaureate nursing program and begin with a strong foundation in the natural and behavioral sciences in the freshman year. Strong grades in the pre-requisite courses including psychology, chemistry, microbiology and anatomy & physiology are critical to success in the nursing program. Nursing courses begin in the fall of the sophomore year and progress to include an increasing number of hours providing patient care throughout the curriculum. Undergraduate students start caring for patients during the second semester of the sophomore year.
The course of study for B.S. in Nursing students reflects the school's philosophy, is organized according to a clearly articulated framework, and is designed to help students achieve the terminal objectives.
The philosophy of the Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies flows from the mission statement of Fairfield University, and gives definition to the Jesuit ideals of social responsibility, truth, and justice. The faculty views nursing as the art and science of reflective practice in caring for vulnerable populations. Individuals are biological, psychological, social, and spiritual beings who are unique members of families and of larger social systems. Interaction and communication within these systems influence health and well-being. Health is a dynamic process of physical, mental, spiritual, and environmental harmony that enables people to affirm and pursue their own life goals. Optimum health begins with nurturing and promoting one's own emotional and spiritual growth, which then extends to respect and caring for others. Health and well-being are influenced by many variables including quality of life. When recovery from illness is not possible, death itself is viewed as the final opportunity for growth.
Students are viewed as holistic individuals who are seeking to develop in multifaceted roles and who are accountable for their learning. Each student brings unique qualities that contribute to the strength and diversity of the program. Along with planned educational experiences, faculty offer support, guidance, and mentoring throughout the learning process. Students are encouraged to develop their individual strengths and identify areas of interest as they progress throughout the curriculum. Students emerge as qualified baccalaureate-prepared entry-level practitioners who integrate theory and research into their practices and use a critical approach to problem solving. Because society is rich with diverse religious, ethnic, and cultural groups, nurses are professionals who must be prepared to work with those whose beliefs and values may be different from their own. In order to be sensitive to others, it is first necessary to know and accept one's own values and beliefs. Students and faculty demonstrate mutual respect for the rights of others and appreciation of these differences.
Mission & Vision
Consistent with the mission of Fairfield University to develop men and women for others, the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies inspires students to become leaders in healthcare. These students are actively engaged with faculty in practice, research, scholarship and service. As a Jesuit institution, a central focus of our care is to improve health outcomes with particular attention given to the needs of underserved or vulnerable populations.
Our vision is to create providers who demonstrate clinical excellence. Building on a tradition of caring, our commitment is to provide evidence-based, culturally sensitive interprofessional healthcare education.
Guiding Principles for the Undergraduate Program
Ethics and Social Responsibility
Commitment to social responsibility, truth, and justice is inherent in the Jesuit ideal and underscores the need to provide care to vulnerable populations; that is, those populations that experience actual or potential threats to health or well-being. Provision of care to vulnerable populations is a particular concern to nursing. Nurses have a moral and ethical obligation to provide and advocate for optimal health care for all members of society regardless of differences in culture, race, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, and age. Nurses consider the interplay of health and social issues as they care for clients in various stages of health and illness. Students confront the range of ethical dilemmas and value conflicts inherent in care delivery, and develop an understanding and acceptance of self and others.
Human beings are unique individuals who grow in complexity throughout life. Holism is an approach to assessment and management of patient-centered care that considers the biological, psychological, sociocultural, and spiritual needs of patients, and searches for the deeper and more complex roots of ill health beyond the individual. Interactions among people and between people and the environments in which they live are considered in planning and providing quality nursing care. The holistic approach supports and relies upon the therapeutic nurse-patient relationship and a focus on wholeness, harmony and healing.
Nurses diagnose human responses to actual and potential health problems, identify individual strengths and nursing care needs, and plan and deliver culturally sensitive care that promotes, maintains or restores health. Nursing practice integrates scientific problem solving with holistic caring. Reflective practice emphasizes a combination of rational and intuitive processes that allow students to discover the links between theory and practice, help them to develop their skills in creating holistic, individualized, and flexible plans of care, and enhance their acceptance of professional responsibility. It incorporates approaches such as reflection-on-action, reflection-in-action, and reflection-before-action. Reflective practice leads to greater awareness of individual beliefs, biases, and existing knowledge base, development of creative and critical thinking processes, changes in perspectives, attitudes, and behaviors, and enhanced personal and professional identity development. The establishment of a pattern of reflective practice encourages lifelong learning and ultimately advances the discipline of nursing through greater knowledge production and opportunities for leadership.
Characteristics of professional nursing practice include critical thinking, clinical reasoning, decision-making, and accountability. Behaviors integral to professional nursing’s role are advoÂcacy, politica activism, effective communication, collegiality, commitment to life-long learning, scholarship, and the upholding of standards as defined by the profession. Nurses are integral members of interprofessional teams and collaborate with other health care providers, patients, family and community members; their role involves responsibilities for teaching, making referrals, and strategizing to shape health policy at local, state, national, and international levels. The purpose of this collaborative, interprofessional activity is to improve care and address quality and safety issues through education, consultation, and management. Professional nursing practice combines holistic care with evidence-based practice. Nursing research is viewed as the investigation of issues of concern in nursing practice with the aim of answering complex questions and developing knowledge to improve care and potentiate health. Leadership and management skills are essential to shape the future of health care, and help others attain goals and facilitate change. Participation in professional organizations and groups, role modeling, patient advocacy, political activism, and fostering a learning environment by mentoring others is expected.
Undergraduate Programs - Baccalaureate Program Outcomes
Second Degree and RN/BSN Students
Upon satisfactory completion of 6 credits at Fairfield University, RN-BSN students are required to matriculate in order to continue in the nursing curriculum. Second Degree students matriculate after completion of 15 credits. Students are expected to complete the application process online through the Part-time and Continuing Studies Admission Office.
Adult learners must meet the University's core course requirement. Course requirements in the liberal arts and required supportive courses can be met by challenge examinations, transfer credits from other academic institutions, or enrollment in specific courses. Courses are accepted in transfer from other accredited colleges and universities on the basis of a satisfactory academic record and course equivalency.
A minimum of 60 credits must be completed at Fairfield University. In addition, the last 30 credits for the degree must be taken at Fairfield University.
Credit from International Programs
Students completing coursework outside the United States must submit certified English transcripts and course-by-course evaluation of all academic records. Information may be obtained from World Education Services (800-937-3895)
Policy Regarding Transfer Credits
In accordance with Fairfield University policy regarding transfer credits, students in the Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies may transfer credits from another University under the following conditions:
At Fairfield University Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, students are required to successfully complete clinical practica involving direct patient care. By accepting admission in the Egan School, the student understands the program eligibility and progression requirements.
I. Disability Statement
Consistent with its mission and philosophy, Fairfield University Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies does not discriminate on the basis of disability. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the University will assist students in making reasonable accommodations that allow an otherwise qualified student with a disability to meet essential eligibility requirements in order to participate in its programs. Candidates for the nursing program must be able to meet minimum standards for clinical practice, with or without reasonable accommodations. To receive accommodations on the basis of disability, the student must self-identify, provide documentation of the disability, and request accommodation from Disability Support Services. The decision regarding appropriate accommodations will be based on the specifics of each case. Accommodations must specifically address the functional limitations of the disability. An accommodation will not be made in those situations where the accommodation itself would fundamentally alter the nature of the program, cause undue hardship on the school, or jeopardize the health or safety of others. For further information, refer to the Fairfield University .
II. Eligibility Requirements
The curricula leading to degrees in nursing from Fairfield University requires students to possess essential non-academic skills and functions required to engage in clinical practice. It is within the sole determination of Fairfield University and the Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies to assess and determine whether a student meets these skills and functions. Eligibility Requirements for participation and completion in the nursing program shall include, but are not limited to, the following six capabilities:
Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment; student must be able to examine, interpret, analyze, and synthesize material for problem solving and evaluation of patient situations and own performance.
Interpersonal & Communication
Relationship & communication abilities appropriate for interacting sensitively with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds. Ability to accurately and clearly communicate appropriate information regarding patient status and response to care, both orally and in writing.
Ability to observe, identify, and obtain information in order to assess, plan, provide and evaluate nursing interventions; student must possess adequate sensory abilities or be able to demonstrate appropriate and safe compensation for deficits.
Motor Skills and Mobility
Sufficient mobility, including the gross and fine motors skills needed to provide safe and competent nursing care, both routine and emergency.
Emotional stability for providing care safely to patients and their families within a rapidly changing and often stressful healthcare environment; the ability to monitor and identify one's own and others' emotions, and use the information to guide thinking and actions.
Physical Health and Abilities
Physical health and stamina sufficient to provide care to diverse patient populations.
The Faculty of the Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies believes that a strong advisement system is a critical component of a student's educational experience and an integral part of the faculty role. In light of this belief, each student is assigned to one of the Egan School's full-time faculty members for advisement.
Students are encouraged to use their advisors effectively. Advisors can help students do long-range program planning, pre-register for upcoming semesters, understand the curriculum design and course pre-requisites, and clarify career goals. Students also should meet with their advisors to discuss the practicum/clinical courses; advisors can explain deadlines and procedures related to these courses and can help students complete any applications that may need to be submitted prior to enrolling in them. Students must meet with their advisors early in their last semester of enrollment to be sure all requirements for graduation are in order.
The following registration policies and procedures apply to all students in the Egan School. Nursing students must consult with their advisors to ensure curriculum planning. All faculty are accessible through voice mail and e-mail.
Grading Policies: Undergraduate Students
Nursing students must follow all University educational policies and general regulations including those regarding academic progress.
The science and psychology courses are sequential and are prerequisite to designated nursing courses. Strong foundational knowledge in the science courses is critical to success in the nursing program. Thus, students may not progress with an incomplete in a prerequisite course. BI 107-108 Human Anatomy and Physiology, BI 151 Microbiology, CH 84 Chemistry and PY 111 Developmental Psychology must be completed successfully with a minimum grade of C (73) for students to progress in the course sequence for the nursing major. Students unable to complete these courses successfully are expected to repeat coursework in the next semester or the summer session immediately following. Students unable to progress in the nursing major will be placed on Academic Warning and may be dismissed from the Egan School. Students who do not obtain a grade of C or better in a prerequisite course may repeat the course once. A grade of less than C in three or more prerequisite courses will result in dismissal from the nursing program in the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies.
Minimum Passing Course Grade
The minimum passing grade for all nursing courses is C+ (77%).
Nursing courses are sequential, beginning with foundational courses and progressing to increasing levels of complexity and challenge throughout the program. As students move through the curriculum, new content is integrated and builds upon previously learned material. Thus, all students must earn the minimum grade of C+ (77) in all nursing courses to progress to the next semester and continue in the program. Students who do not obtain a grade of C+ or better in a nursing course may repeat the course once. A grade of less than C+ in two nursing courses (including a repeated course) will result in dismissal from the Egan School. The clinical component of all clinical nursing courses is graded on a pass/fail basis. Students must pass the theory and clinical component of a course to pass the entire course, regardless of their grade in the theory component. Students who fail to earn the minimum grade in either component of a clinical course must repeat the entire course.
Students who wish to seek a waiver from scholastic standards or academic regulations must submit a written appeal to the Dean and the Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies Faculty. Formal appeal procedures are found in the University catalog.
Use of Student Work for Assessment Purposes
As part of course requirements, students in the Egan School will be asked to produce scholarly papers and projects. The Egan School reserves the right to use these documents as sample work for program assessment purposes. Students who do not wish their work to be shared need to inform the professor in writing prior to the last day of class.
Fairfield University's primary purpose is the pursuit of academic excellence. Teaching and learning must occur in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Such trust and respect can be developed and maintained only if truth and honesty prevail in the academic community. Moreover, it is the shared responsibility of all members of the University community to maintain this climate of honesty. Administrators, faculty, and students all benefit from the pursuit of academic excellence in an environment characterized by integrity, honesty, and mutual respect. Such community integrity is fundamental to, and an inherent part of, Jesuit education.
In keeping with this need for community integrity, students are expected to be honest in their academic work. The University reserves the right to penalize any student whose academic conduct at any time is, in its judgment, detrimental to the University.Students are sometimes unsure of what constitutes academic honesty. In all academic work, students are expected to submit materials that are their own. Examples of dishonest conduct include but are not limited to:
In the event of such dishonesty, professors are to award a grade of zero for the project, paper or examination in question, and may record an "F" for the course itself. When appropriate, expulsion may be recommended. Moreover, a notation of the event is made in the student's file in the Academic Dean's office. Any faculty member encountering an academic offense such as, but not limited to, those listed above will file a written report with his or her Dean, indicating reasons for believing the student has committed an academic offense, and indicating the proposed academic sanction. The student will receive a copy. (If the student is in a school other that of the faculty member, a copy will be sent to the Dean of the student's school.) The student may, within 30 days following receipt of the faculty member's letter, request that the Dean investigate the allegations and meet with the (parties) involved. The Dean will issue a written determination within two weeks of the meeting, with copies to the student(s) and to the professor. If the student requests an appeal to the Academic Vice-President, an Academic Dishonesty Advisor Committee will be convened.
For students in the Egan School, the following policies apply in addition to the more general ones noted above:
The clinical agencies with which the Egan School affiliates require documentation of various professional and health information for all students who have clinical experiences in the agency. Because of the nature of the nursing practice role, these requirements serve to protect students, faculty, and clients. Therefore, all documentation must be submitted to Castle Branch in order for students to register for classes and attend clinical. Students are responsible for the cost of using the package.
All nursing students are required to have a complete physical examination. Annual physical forms should be submitted each academic year. Failure to comply will result in debarment from the clinical area.
The following immunizations/titres are required from all nursing students to remain in compliance with Federal OSHA regulations, Connecticut state law, and local clinical agency requirements. Evidence of disease is not acceptable, regardless of student age. Date of immunization or titre must be provided.
Students who are hospitalized or students who have had a contagious disease, must submit a written statement from their physician before returning to the nursing program. This statement should include fitness for return and/or specific limitations regarding both class and clinical participation.
Evidence of current certification in CPR for Health Professionals which includes 2-man CPR for adult and child with special techniques. Acceptable CPR courses are BLS for Healthcare Provider from the American Heart Associationor CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers and Health Care Providers from the American Red Cross. Community CPR is not acceptable.
All Undergraduate nursing students are covered by the Fairfield University general liability policy for activities performed in their role as student nurses. This requirement serves to protect the University, the Egan School, the clinical faculty member, and the individual student.
All RN-BSN students are required to carry their own professional liability insurance in addition to the University policy. This requirement is due to the mandate from the clinical agencies with which we have contracts. RN-BSN students are covered by the University policy only for their work as a student in relation to course objectives.
Policy on Accidental Exposure to Blood or Body Fluids
In case of accidental exposure to blood or body fluids, students and faculty members are expected to follow the procedure outlined below. The Fairfield University Egan School's Incident Report form will be completed.
Accidental Exposure to Blood or Body Fluids
Verify that the student follows the above steps. Immediately report the incident and the procedure followed to the course coordinator and to the Office of the Dean.
Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the various facilities used for the practice of nursing, as well as any parking expenses incurred. Car pooling is a common practice with students.
This policy is formulated to ensure standards of dress and appearance that reflect professionalism and represent Fairfield University to area hospitals and community settings. The following is considered to be neat, professional, comfortable, and congruent with the dress of nursing practitioners. Faculty will ask students to leave the clinical area if appearance is not appropriate.
Male students should be clean shaven or have neatly trimmed beards or moustache.
Students are responsible for purchasing uniforms.
Students must have the following equipment:
Transition provides you with the opportunity to synthesize previous learning, solidify strengths, address weaknesses, and prepare for NCLEX. It helps you to follow your interests as well as goals for employment as you move from the role of student to professional nurse. It is important that you have the best possible experience that will meet your learning needs for this final clinical rotation. You will complete 168 clinical hours for NS 332; this includes clinical conference time which will count toward your hours. You must also complete nationally standardized testing as assigned to complete the course.
Each student will submit a request form that allows you to indicate your preferences for location, and type of unit. Every effort will be made to accommodate your preferences. Students requests will be considered using overall G.P.A. and Nursing G.P.A., beginning with the highest overall average. To qualify for working in a specialty unit, defined as any unit beyond the medical-surgical unit, you must have:
The Egan School encourages students to become involved in professional, academic, spiritual, social, and athletic activities to enhance their growth throughout their educational experiences. Among the activities available in the Egan School are the Student Nurse Association (SNA) and Mu Chi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. Each of these organizations provides a unique opportunity to nursing students to become involved in professional nursing activities.
Student Nurse Association
The primary goal of the SNA is to foster social and academic opportunities for nursing students. There is an emphasis on leadership, community service, and recreational activity that enhances interpersonal relationships for members of the Egan School community. The organization offers a diverse array of activities that serve as a gateway to the academic world and the professional world of nursing.
Some of the activities sponsored by the SNA include:
Sigma Theta Tau
Sigma Theta Tau is the only international honor society in nursing. The Mu Chi chapter was established at Fairfield University in 1991 to recognize superior achievement, leadership, high professional standards, creative work, and commitment to the high ideals of the nursing profession among nursing students. Research grants, conferences, publications, films, exhibits, and awards are extended nationally by Sigma Theta Tau. At Fairfield University, membership is an honor conferred on students by invitation, following a committee review of qualifications.
Undergraduate candidates must:
Center for Nursing and Health Studies
The Egan School moved into a new building in fall 2017. The new Nursing and Health Studies Center represents a comprehensive response to the need for expanding the continuum of program integration across Fairfield's Schools and Centers.
This complex consists of the current Egan School building (renovated) and a new 54,000 square foot, four story state-of-the-art building. This building includes academic collaboration, state-of-the-art simulation, integrated learning classrooms, clinical learning environments, a task training laboratory space and additional classrooms to support the Integrated Health Studies program. It is adjacent to the Rudolph F. Bannow Science Center and the School of Engineering and together establishs a cohesive center of scientific excellence on the Fairfield University campus. The new Nursing and Health Studies building was a part of the strategic plan for the capital campaign to accomodate the growing needs of the Egan School. This building reflects the interdisciplinary collaboration on campus of both faculty and students, and provides opportunities for enhanced collaboration through think-tanks, research initiatives, and shared teaching spaces. Learn more about the Center for Nursing and Health Studies.
Learning Resource Center (LRC)
The Learning Resource Center (LRC) in the Egan School provides materials that will augment and enrich student learning. The LRC is located on the second floor of the Egan School Building. The LRC is staffed by a full time Director as well as supportive student assistants. Hours of operation, include evenings and weekends, and are determined each semester and posted in the Egan School.
The LRC includes rooms that can be used interchangeably as laboratory or classroom space with furniture and equipment that is mobile and easily rearranged to meet the needs of different courses. In addition, some rooms house specific equipment or simulators used to teach health assessment and specialized skills, such as Intensive Care, Anesthesia, Obstetrics, Neonatal Intensive Care, Pediatrics, and Home Care. Three interconnected rooms provide a fully stocked intensive care unit (ICU); a control room from which to operate the Human Patient Simulators in either of the two adjoining rooms; and an operating room with anesthesia, oxygen, and other equipment necessary within that setting. Media upgrades connect these rooms to two near-by larger classrooms where students can view the actions of small groups participating in a scenario in either the ICU or the Operating Room.
Health Promotion Center (HPC)
The Health Promotion Center (HPC) provides faculty and students with an oportunity to clinically practice within our neighboring communities in the Greater Bridgeport area. Through the HPC and the development of strategic partnerships, students and faculty provide preventive and chronic care services with community organizations and agencies that share a common goal of improving the health of people and the community in which they live. Health promotion activities include education, screening, referral, and follow-up services for cardiovascular and diabetes risk reduction, violence prevention, parenting issues, and spiritual/emotional wellness. By providing preventive and chronic care services in community settings, access to care improves and we are better able to tailor health education to the concerns of individuals and groups.
The HPC has been operating in Bridgeport since 1994. Each year, the HPC staff and faculty work with hundreds of individuals and families in the Greater Bridgeport area. The HPC is a visible extension of the mission of Fairfield University and the Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies. It serves as a clinical practice/service learning opportunity for nursing students and interprofession collaboration with our community partners.
Funding for the HPC comes through grants, subcontracts, contracts, and donations. Faculty research at the HPC also provides opportunities for students to become involved as research assistants.