The Montana Tech Associate of Science in Nursing Program is accredited by:
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 580
Atlanta, GA 30326
and fully approved by:
Montana State Board of Nursing
301 South Park
PO Box 200513
Helena, MT 59620-0513
Phone: (406) 841-2340
The baccalaureate program at Montana Tech is accredited by:
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036, 202-887-6791
The nursing faculty at Montana Tech of The University of Montana appreciates your interest in nursing education and hopes this information will answer your questions about the profession of nursing in general and Montana Tech’s nursing programs in particular. After you review this material, you may still have questions or need more information. Any of the nursing faculty would be happy to visit with you personally. Please refer to the above for contact information to schedule an appointment. If you are interested in nursing education at Montana Tech, it is essential to work with a nursing faculty advisor for selection and sequencing of appropriate courses.
Montana Tech of the University of Montana Nursing Department is dedicated to preparing generalist nurses by exposing them to a diverse array of nursing roles through a variety of community settings.
The Nursing Department stresses the importance of being an intellectual leader and role model in the profession of nursing.
Montana Tech Nursing Department Philosophy
- Nursing and nursing education are essential for the promotion, maintenance and restoration of health, along with the prevention of illness.
- Nursing and nursing education will become more complex as health care evolves. This continually changing health care environment mandates the role, function and educational preparation of the nurse.
- The profession of nursing is best served through highly educated members who continually strive to broaden their knowledge and expertise to meet the increasing demands of the health care environment.
- In a holistic approach to nursing education, including sensitivity to the physical, psychological, spiritual and sociocultural needs of the individual, family and community.
- Acquisition of nursing knowledge and skill is best achieved through a combination of class room requirements and clinical experience in both simulated and actual care environment.
- In a continually evolving curriculum that reflects best practice.
Core Concepts of Conceptual Framework
The following concepts are considered to be the foundation for the nursing program’s conceptual framework and will be threaded throughout the ASN, and BSN curricula.
Caring is a human response to needs that is articulated through commitment, knowledge, experience, and therapeutic use of self. Caring occurs when the nurse/client interaction transcends physical care and reflects respect for the client and his or her unique circumstances and health beliefs.
Communication is an interactive process that involves the nurse, the client, and health care team members. Communication consists of both verbal and non-verbal and electronic exchanges that encourage the expression of needs, support coping behaviors, and facilitate decision making.
Professionalism is a set of behaviors that all nurses are expected to exhibit as members of the nursing profession. These behaviors foster the nurse-client relationship while supporting the integrity of the profession. Expected behaviors include, but are not limited to, unconditional positive regard, efficiency, responsibility, accountability, fairness, trustworthiness, honesty, confidence, and competence.
Critical thinking is an active, purposeful reasoning process that is used to continually modify and improve individual nursing practice. It involves ongoing reflective analysis of data accumulated through assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of nurse/client interactions.
Clinical judgment is an autonomous problem-solving process that is derived through evidence based inquiry, critical thinking, and decision making, while responding to clients as unique individuals who have the right to self-determination.
Montana Tech began offering a degree in professional nursing in 2000, with its first group of 17 students graduating in May 2001 with an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree. This first group completed a “bridge” program designed for currently Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN’s) who wanted to become a Registered Nurse.
After the first year, the vast majority of students seeking nursing education at Montana Tech were new to nursing and wanted to become a Registered Nurse. In response, Montana Tech’s Nursing Department replaced its “bridge” program with a “direct entry” 72 credit ASN and added a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) completion degree component to the program in 2003.
In May 2005, the Montana State Board of Regents approved a “statewide” three year curriculum for LPN/RN education. The curriculum includes one year of pre-nursing coursework that is appropriate for both the LPN/RN credential. The model identified an exit point or stop-out where students graduate with an Associate of Applied Science degree and can sit for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-PN) after one year of nursing course work. A second year of nursing coursework allows students to receive an Associate of Science Degree and apply for the NCLEX-RN exam.
Fall 2006, Montana Tech became the first school to implement the “statewide” curriculum following approval by the Montana State Board of Nursing. In Spring 2008, three students chose to “exit” out of the model and complete requirements in order to receive an Associate of Applied Science Degree. All three passed the NCLEX-PN examination and became Licensed Practical Nurses in Montana. These three students continued into the third year of the curriculum and graduated with an Associate of Science Degree in May 2009. The students took the NCLEX-RN examination and are now Registered Nurses.
In July 2008 due to Montana State Board of Nursing requirements relating to Practical Nursing course objectives and curriculum, Montana Tech made the decision to eliminate the ability to exit from the ASN Program. Today, Montana Tech offers both the 72 credit Associate of Science and Bachelor Completion degree.
In 2009, Montana Tech’s Nursing Department graduated the first cohort from the three year “statewide” curriculum. The NCLEX-RN passage rate was 96.15% for 2009-2010.
In 2011, re-accreditation of the ASN program by the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and approval by the Montana State Board of Nursing through 2018.
Spring 2012, the nursing department relocated to the newly renovated Health Science Building on the north campus. The decision was made to convert the BSN-Completion program to an on-line delivery format.
Fall 2012, seven of the ten BSN-Completion courses will be available on-line. Enrollment in the BSN for fall has increased from 4 to 20 students.
Montana Tech Nursing applied and was accepted as a candidate for initial accreditation of the Bachelor of Science program through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The site-visit is scheduled for spring 2013.
Available Nursing Programs
- Nursing (Pre-Licensure) B.S.
- Nursing BSN Completion (Post-Licensure) B.S.
Montana Tech’s College of Letters, Sciences, & Professional Studies offers two nursing degrees: Bachelor of Science Nursing (Pre-Licensure) and Nursing BSN Completion (Post-Licensure). Students pursuing BSN degrees must meet minimum program requirements and complete a formal acceptance application to be accepted into the programs. Students pursuing the BSN completion program must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to continue into the BSN curriculum. Students who initially do not demonstrate academic readiness will need to complete additional courses to be adequately prepared for the required nursing and non-nursing classes in the curriculum.
Academic readiness for the required prerequisite courses for acceptance into the Professional (ASN) Nursing Program can be demonstrated in any of the following ways:
- ACT® score or;
- SAT® score or;
- Compass test scores or;
- Prior completion of M 121 and WRIT 101 (or their equivalents).
The BSN Pre-Licensure program is designed to produce a registered nurse after 4 years. The online Bachelor of Science in Nursing Completion Program is designed to build upon the knowledge of the registered nurse and afford them the opportunity to continue their education at a professional level.
BSN Program Outcomes
Montana Tech’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program curriculum provides additional education that will prepares the graduate to:
1. Provide nursing care to individuals, families and communities utilizing interprofessional communication, collaboration and a holistic framework.
2. Design, manage, and evaluate comprehensive plans of nursing care in a variety of structured and unstructured settings including vulnerable populations.
3. Function as a leader, change agent and resource manager in the health care system to promote patient safety utilizing information technology.
4. Critically appraise current research to promote understanding of the production of knowledge and application of evidence-based nursing practice.
5. Actualize a commitment to professional accountability and ethical standards in practice.
Admission to Montana Tech does not guarantee acceptance into the BSN pre-licensure program. Students entering Montana Tech with the intent to become a registered nurse may declare a major in pre-nursing upon admission to Tech, but are not accepted into the nursing Program until after a formal application and selection process occurs.
Students must meet the minimum Nursing Department requirements to be eligible for application to the Nursing Program. Acceptance into the Nursing program is competitive and based on: a selective grade point average (GPA) calculated from grades received for the required prerequisite courses below, and a standardized test (Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS V)). The cost of the exam is approximately $40. Review materials for this exam are available at www.atitesting.com. The selection will be made based on 60% GPA and 40% TEAS V score. Minimum selective GPA for application to the nursing program is 3.0 (out of a 4.0 scale). Minimum acceptable TEAS V score is 68.3%. The selection process will take place twice yearly. There is a fall application available in April and a spring application available in November. Specific dates are announced at the beginning of each semester at our Pre-Nursing Orientation.
The Nursing Department Advising Fact Sheet, which both the student and advisor sign, outlines requirements for acceptance into and progression through the Professional Nursing Program. Since the Professional Nursing Program is continually evolving, information in the Advising Fact Sheet is updated from semester to semester. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure he or she is familiar with the most current Nursing Department policies.
Completion of a degree in nursing is costly. In addition to tuition and fees, nursing students should be aware that required nursing textbooks/reference materials are expensive and that many courses require several texts. The student should also plan for a number of out-of-pocket expenses related to clinical supplies and course/program requirements. Once accepted into the nursing program, both ASN and BSN students are assessed a program fee each semester ($550.00 per semester).
BSN Pre-Licensure Application Requirements
Students must complete with a grade of “C+” or higher for all nursing courses (and be currently enrolled in and complete with a grade of “C-” or higher) in the first three semesters of coursework prior to formal application to the BSN Pre-Licensure program.
Admission to the BSN Pre-Licensure Program
- Submit formal application. (Contact Nursing Department for application dates) 496-4390.
- Meet all nursing admission requirements
- The selection will be made based on 60% GPA and 40% TEAS V score.
- Minimum selective GPA for application to the nursing program is 3.0 (out of a 4.0 scale). Minimum acceptable TEAS V score is 68.3% proficiency.
- There is a fall application available in November and a spring application available in April.
- Specific dates are announced at the beginning of each semester at our Pre-Nursing Orientation.
Requirements for acceptance into the BSN Pre-Licensure program are:
- Completion of the required prerequisite courses (first three semesters of the program).
- Minimum selective GPA of 3.0 in the first three semesters of coursework.
- Completion of the TEAS V exam with a Proficient score of 68.3% proficiency or higher. Proficient scores generally indicate a moderate level of overall academic preparedness necessary to support learning of nursing-related content.
- Proof of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination or immunity.
- Evidence of Hepatitis B vaccination (series of three shots) or seroimmunity (demonstrated with a positive titer).
- Current evidence of freedom from tuberculosis (TB skin test or chest x-ray).
- CPR – evidence of current completion of an approved CPR course, must have adult and infant. (American Heart Association Health Care Provider or American Red Cross Professional Rescuer).
Fulfillment of the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the Nursing Program. All candidates who meet application requirements will be considered for acceptance. The number of students accepted into the nursing program is limited. If the number of qualified applicants exceeds available spaces, not all qualified applicants will be accepted and GPA & TEAS V will be used as selection criteria.
Admission to the BSN Completion (Post-Licensure) Program (Online)
1. Admission to Montana Tech
2. Acceptance requires minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
3. Submission of official transcripts from all colleges/universities must be evaluated by Enrollment Services.
4. Evidence of current licensure as a Registered Nurse (for the state where clinical hours will be completed) or proof of scheduled NCLEX exam date.
5. Prior to starting clinical courses, the following documentation must be on file in the nursing department:
a) current unencumbered RN Licensure in state where clinical hours will be completed
b) health insurance
c) CPR-evidence of current completion of an approved CPR course, must have adult and infant (American Heart Association Health Care Provider or American Red Cross Professional Rescuer)
d) current evidence of freedom from tuberculosis (TB skin test or chest xray).
e) proof of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination or immunity
f) evidence of Hepatitis B vaccination (series of three shots) or seroimmunity (demonstrated with a positive titer)
6. HIPAA Policy: Student nurses are legally accountable under the Health Information Privacy and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 to insure the confidentiality of patient health information.
7. Students must have access to a computer with Internet as all nursing courses are offered online.
8. *The BSN Completion Program may be completed in one academic year if the following pre-requisite courses are completed PRIOR to taking nursing courses:
9. Background checks are required by some clinical affiliates and clinical hours are a mandatory component of the BSN curriculum. Students who are denied access to a clinical affiliate are generally unable to meet course and curriculum objectives and are unable to progress through the program.
10. No students residing outside the state of Montana can be accepted.
Completion of a degree in nursing is costly. In addition to tuition and fees, nursing students should be aware that required nursing textbooks/reference materials are expensive and that many courses require several texts. The student should also plan for a number of out-of-pocket expenses related to clinical supplies and course/program requirements. Once accepted into the nursing program, both ASN and BSN students are assessed a program fee each semester ($550.00 per semester for 2012-2013).
1. To continue in the program without interruption, the student must maintain the following:
a) a grade of “C+” or higher in all nursing courses and a grade of “C-” or higher in the following pre-requisite/ co-requisite general education courses:
2. Students receiving a grade lower than a “C+” or 78% in any required nursing course may only repeat the course one time. If a student receives a grade lower than a “C+” or 78% in the same course twice or accumulates two grades of “W” that student may not continue in the program and is ineligible for readmission.
3. BSN Completion students must complete the program within five (5) consecutive years of being admitted.
4. BSN students must provide their own transportation to and from clinical areas.
Clinical practice is a mandatory part of Montana Tech of the University of Montana Nursing Programs. To ensure the safety and well-being of all patients, many employing institutions in health care have increasingly stringent requirements and background checks as conditions for providing patient care by students. Therefore, it is required that all students within the nursing program complete an annual background check each August following admission to the clinical portion of the program. The involved clinical affiliate receives and reviews the background check to determine if each student may complete clinical hours within the agency. Since clinical practice in actual (not simulated) health care settings is a mandatory component of Montana Tech’s nursing curriculum, students who are denied access to a clinical affiliate are generally unable to meet course and curriculum objectives and therefore are unable to progress through the program.
Complete instructions on how to complete the background check will be provided to the newly admitted students during orientation.
Latex sensitivity is a concern in the laboratories and clinical settings that you will experience in the Nursing Program at Montana Tech. We are unable to provide a latex-free environment. Although we provide nitrile gloves, you will still be exposed to latex from lab specimens, equipment and models. It is important that you fully understand the risks of repeated latex exposure, particularly if you are a person with latex sensitivity. If you have questions or concerns about exposure to latex, you should contact Karen Vandaveer, Director of Nursing (406) 496-4392.
If a student does not wish to be immunized due to a religious belief, they must provide the clinical facility with a written explanation, including the specific religion that they practice, the reason(s) that the religion does not permit immunizations, and supporting documents that would establish their membership in an established religion which holds a bona fide religious belief opposing immunization. The clinical facility will evaluate any such request upon receipt of the above mentioned information..
ProgramsBachelor of Science