Academic Regulations for Nursing

To earn the B.S.N. degree a student must satisfy the prerequisite, co-requisite, and nursing course requirements for the B.S.N. degree as specified in the UH Hilo Catalog and B.S.N. brochure in effect at the time of the student’s initial enrollment in the Nursing program. Once admitted into the upper-division Nursing program, students are expected to complete the Nursing program in two years. Students who do not graduate within this period will be subject to review. The student is directly responsible to assure that all requirements are met for graduation.

Admissions Policies

Students qualify for admission into the upper division of the Basic Baccalaureate Nursing program after completing prerequisite courses. Admission is on a competitive, space-available basis.

The criteria for admission to the Nursing program are as follows:

  1. Timely submission of UH Hilo Common Application Form for newly entering students or “Change of Program” form for continuing students. (Designate NURH for the major.)
  2. Timely submission of nursing application form
  3. A 2.7 cumulative college grade point average (GPA)
  4. A 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA for all courses listed as a Natural Science degree requirement including NURS 203 General Pharmacology (3) and NURS 348 Human Pathophysiology (3) for the BSN program
  5. Completion of all college prerequisite courses (Note: Biology, chemistry, NURS 203 General Pharmacology (3) and NURS 348 Human Pathophysiology (3) classes must be passed with a “C” or better grade. Students transferring from outside the UH system must submit course descriptions for all non-nursing courses and course syllabi for nursing courses.)
  6. Only 16 credits of nursing prerequisite courses can be outstanding with a maximum of 8 credits in the required sciences by the end of the semester prior to application. The following courses are included under sciences:
    • BIOL 243-243L Human Anatomy & Physiology I (3), Human Anatomy & Physio I Lab (1)
    • BIOL 244-244L Human Anatomy & Physiology II (3), Human Anatomy & Physio II Lab (1)
    • BIOL 275-275L Fund Microbiology (3), Microbiology Lab (1)
    • CHEM 141 Surv Organ Chem & Biochem (3)
    • NURS 348 Human Pathophysiology (3)
    • NURS 203 General Pharmacology (3) .
  7. Basic students will take a pre-entry examination, with students expected to meet minimum performance standards set forth by the program. This is not a requirement for RN/BSN students.

Fall admission only: Applications to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program must be made by November 1st for Fall entry. Contact the School of Nursing for application forms or visit the SON Website

Exploratory Health Sciences (EXHS) Status

Prior to formal admission into the upper-division Nursing program, students following the course of study to qualify for admission will be considered Exploratory Health Sciences students. Newly entering students should indicate EXHS as the major on their Common Application Form. Continuing UH Hilo students who have not done so should submit a "Change of Program" form to indicate EXHS as the major. There are no special requirements for the EXHS major. Students should seek regular advisement from their assigned nursing faculty adviser regarding academic planning.

Academic Status and Progression Policies

The nursing faculty of UH Hilo are held responsible to the UH Board of Regents and the Hawaiʻi State Board of Nursing for the quality of its nursing education. Inherent in this responsibility is the assessment of individual progression based upon academic and professional ethical standards. All UH Hilo policies are in effect and may be found in the academic regulations in the UH Hilo Catalog.

Dean's List and Honors

School of Nursing (SON) students in the BSN program who have earned 9 or more semester credits in courses providing a letter grade at UH Hilo and achieved a GPA of 3.5 or above and a "Credit" grade from all remaining BSN courses in the preceding semester will appear on the Dean's List.

Undergraduate Honors at Graduation

Honors in the School of Nursing shall be determined in accordance with the cumulative GPA upon graduation in courses taken at UH Hilo in the following manner:

  • Honors: UH Hilo GPA of 3.50 to 3.69
  • High Honors: UH Hilo GPA of 3.70 to 3.84
  • Highest Honors: UH Hilo GPA of 3.85 to 4.00

Only undergraduate students who have earned at least 60 semester hours at UH Hilo, all of which are applicable toward a baccalaureate degree, are eligible for graduation with honors. In addition, at least 35 of the 60 applicable semester hours must be taken for a letter grade. The award of an honors diploma follows the commencement exercise and is subject to the final review of all grades and credits earned.

Academic Suspension and Dismissal

A student failing to achieve a “C” or 2.0 grade in nursing courses at any point in progression through the program will be dismissed from the program after the review and recommendation of the Nursing Admissions, Progression, and Retention Committee. Students are eligible for re-admission according to the guidelines in the School of Nursing re-admission policy. A student may be re-admitted only once into the BSN nursing program.

A student may be subject to immediate suspension or dismissal from clinical activities, when, in the judgment of the nursing faculty, the welfare of the client, the public, or the University requires such action.

Students have the right to participate in the UH Hilo grievance protocol. Reasonable cause for suspension or dismissal includes but is not limited to the demonstrable behaviors contrary to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the American Nurses’ Association, the International Council of Nurses, and the rules and regulations of the Hawaiʻi Board of Nursing (Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes, Chapter 457). Students are responsible to be knowledgeable regarding these aforementioned codes, rules, and regulations.

Policy on Nursing Courses

Nursing courses are listed in blocks and are restricted to students admitted to the upper-division Nursing program, with a major designation of NURS. All courses within a block must be taken concurrently. Students may not proceed to the next block until all course requirements for the preceding block have been met. See Nursing Requirements section. (Students in the R.N. to B.S.N. program take courses within the block as determined by their program of study.) A course with an associated lab must be taken concurrently.

Nursing elective and co-requisite courses do not require admission into the upper-division Nursing program and may be taken with instructor and/or departmental approval, as required.


All nursing didactic courses must be taken for a letter grade. Only full letter grades will be used (no plus or minus grading). All nursing practicum courses will be “credit/no credit.”

Students must achieve a passing grade of “C” (2.0) for didactic nursing courses and CR (credit) for practicum nursing courses in order to progress in the program.

Special Requirements

Students must meet all health and professional requirements for clinical, including the following:

  1. T.B. and immunization clearance;
  2. Healthcare Provider’s CPR (includes CPR for Adults, Children, and Infants) certification;
  3. liability insurance;
  4. health insurance.

Compliance with supplemental training required by an agency will be the responsibility of the student. Students may need to obtain background checks and drug testing as required by the clinical agencies and in conformance to program expectations.

Notice to Students

Health care students are required to complete University prescribed academic requirements that involve clinical practice in a University affiliated health care facility setting with no substitution allowable. Failure of a student to complete the prescribed clinical practice shall be deemed as not satisfying academic program requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to satisfactorily complete affiliated health care facility background checks and drug testing requirements in accordance with procedures and timelines as prescribed by the affiliated health care facility.