All students enrolled in the nursing program are expected to adhere to the curricular sequence as outlined in the university catalog. Moreover, all nursing students are required to sign an individual academic program contract (APC) within the first month of matriculation to the program. The academic program contract outlines the particular program of study leading to the MSN, or DNP degree; all nursing students must follow their signed program contracts. Enrolling in courses deviating from the signed academic program contract may result in delay in progression through the nursing curriculum, and possible delay in graduation and/or dismissal from the program.
The nursing programs are specialized program at PLU. The course sequence is both highly structured and rigorous, requiring commitment and intensive focus from students. The structure of clinical placement further differentiates the nursing program from other academic programs. Because clinical placements are limited, competitive, and allocated to nursing programs throughout the region well in advance of the semester, the nursing program is structured according to a cohort model. Under this model, students move through the course sequence with the same group of peers for their entire program. The number of students accepted into a cohort is determined by the number of anticipated clinical placements, and faculty are hired and scheduled accordingly. To leave a cohort and/or attempt to reenter a different cohort is a complicated process that can delay a student’s progress indefinitely. Students are expected to make reasonable effort and arrangements to complete the sequence as planned without interruptions. The school believes that any interruption of the program as structured should be on a preplanned, or when necessary, an emergency basis. Unapproved deviance from the APC constitutes leaving the accessed cohort and may result in loss of cohort pricing, increased program duration and the course sequencing is not guaranteed subject to curricular changes. Furthermore, leaving the accessed cohort and joining a subsequent cohort occurs on a space available basis. Students leaving their accessed cohort may have to wait one or more semesters before space is available. Students are required to retain and demonstrate continued proficiency upon return.