Diploma Registered Practical Nurse to B.Sc.N. (McMaster)

2021/22 | Conestoga College

Program Code: 1185
Health & Life Sciences

Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

This is a companion document to the current Conestoga College Student Guide

COVID-19 and 2021-22 Program Delivery

​In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Conestoga academic plans and decisions will continue to evolve to reflect the advice of public health authorities. ​Please consult the COVID-19 Information page for the most up-to-date information on college protocols.

Expectations regarding course delivery, participation, and assessments will be communicated by your faculty member at the start of the semester and included in the instructional plan.

Program technology requirements are posted on the program web page. Students in remote and hybrid delivery courses will require a device, webcam functionality, and reliable Internet access. 

Program Handbook Guidelines

​The purpose of this handbook is to provide students with program-specific details and other important information. The material in this handbook is accurate at the date of posting, and is applicable for the current academic year. Students will be informed of handbook changes that occur, if any, through college email. Program handbooks are updated yearly and students must check their program handbook for the current edition.

Welcome

What you do out there logo

Welcome to the School of Health & Life Sciences

Conestoga’s School of Health & Life Sciences offers a range of credentials to assist you in your goal of becoming a healthcare professional. From pre-health programs, through to certificates, diplomas, graduate certificates and degrees, the School of Health & Life Sciences delivers the most up-to-date training provided by expert faculty and staff in state-of-the-art facilities. With a broad range of programs and delivery options to choose from, you can find a program that suits your needs and sets you on the path to a successful career.

Work-integrated learning is at the core of many of our programs. Whether through a field placement, clinical practicum, or co-operative education experience, you will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience with an industry partner that will put your training into practice.

The School of Health & Life Sciences has many partnerships in industry as well as the local community and beyond.

What you learn here, counts out there – the School of Health & Life Sciences provides you with:​

​​​The opportunity to become the professional you aspire to be.
  • The opportunity to learn in specialized settings with real-life scenarios.
  • The opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills in a unique inter-professional environment.
  • The opportunity to take advantage of state-of-the-art learning facilities and study spaces.
  • The opportunity to become a "preferred graduate", sought after by your future employers.

Top 5 Expectations of You

​​​​​​1. Use MyConestoga to connect to:

  • Your Conestoga Email: (e.g. John Smith, Student Number 1234567, jsmith4567@conestogac.on.ca): This is the official communication channel for everything related to your academic requirements. Communication with faculty and staff is required to happen through your Conestoga email account. Check MyConestoga regularly and respond as requested.
  • eConestoga: This is your resource for all course-based program activity and information, as well as course-based communication with the faculty.
  • Student Portal: You will find your final grade information, college tuition invoices, class schedules and absence reporting on this portal.
  • Placement Health Requirements: This service provides you with the requirements to enter into practice settings.
  • For BscN Students: CoMAC Communication Hub
    • The Hub is accessed through "My Communities" on My Conestoga.
    • The Hub provides information regarding Conestoga College and your program.
    • The Hub provides a link to Avenue To Learn: A resource for all course-based program activity and information, as well as course-based communication with the faculty.

2. Follow your academic schedule:

  • See the Orientation Checklist prior to starting your program.
  • Course Schedule: This is a timetable of all your classes for each semester.
  • The Academic Schedule: Program start and end dates, holidays and deadlines for course add/drop and withdrawal, are located on the college website. Programs with exams outside this time will be notified individually.
  • For BscN Students: Academic Year Schedule: Program start and end dates, holidays and deadlines for course add/drop and withdrawal, are located on the college website. Please cross-reference these dates with McMaster University's sessional dates. 

3. Become a health care professional :

  • Act respectfully and professionally at all times, as these behaviours are the key to your learning experiences.
  • Present in professional dress and conduct: See the Professional Conduct section for professionalism expectations for your program. Please review the Rights and Responsibilities website. ​
  • Pre-WIL Health Requirements: Pay attention to the deadlines listed on your documents. Complete the tasks as required; without these, you will not be able to progress to your work-integrated learning (WIL) and program completion will be in jeopardy. *Note: The PSW and Supportive Care program does not participate in the WIL program.
  • Social Media: Use responsibly and respectfully. See Standards of Conduct section of the Handbook.

4. Attend classes and labs to enhance your success:

  • Attendance Expectations: Attendance for class, labs and placement/WIL are in place to support your learning and experiences as a future professional. See Attendance and Student Success Strategies section in the Handbook.
  • Absence from Evaluations: Must be reported in the Student Portal before your scheduled evaluation time. See Attendance for Evaluation section in the ​Handbook.
  • Request for Accommodation for Religious Holidays: Request must be submitted to your Program Coordinator as per course schedule. See Religious Holidays sections in the Handbook.

5. Take responsibility for your academic status:

  • Student Records: For any questions concerning your student record, academic status and/or program withdrawals, please contact your Program Coordinator.
  • Fee Payments: Payment is required to attend classes. Check your Student Portal for invoices.
  • Credit Transfer/Exemptions: Conestoga supports the transferability of academic credits between programs and educational institutions through recognized transfer pathways, articulation agreements and course-to-course equivalences. Please revie the Credit Transfer & PLAR website for more information.
  • Student Forms: To access forms, please go to the Student Forms page.
  • Academic Policies and Procedures: Are found under Policies and Procedures. Please review the Rights and Responsibilities website. 
  • Student Affairs Policies and Procedures: Are found on the Student Affairs page.

Top 5 Resources for You

​​​​​1. Your teaching team 

  • Contact Information: Is posted on eConestoga and in your Handbook (Relationships section).
  • Appointments: Book appointments (in-person, phone, email) to ensure resources are available.
  • Email Inquiries: Will be answered within two business days.
  • Urgent help: Program Assistants are available to help you reach a member of the teaching team (contact information in Relationships section of the Handbook).

2. Counselling

  • College Counselling: Professional counsellors can help you achieve your educational goals, and provide support related to stress management, anxiety, depression, transition issues, family issues, and other concerns. Counselling is free, voluntary and confidential.  To make an appointment, see the Counselling services website.
  • Good2Talk: A confidential 24-hour phone line for stresses, big and small (1-866-925-5454).
  • Conestoga Security: Provides safety and security services. See the Student Guide for Conestoga's Safety and Security Services and procedures.
  • Student Financial Services: Student Financial Services provides you with options to finance your post-secondary education. Students in need of emergency financial assistance, see the link for more information. 
  • CSI Food Bank: The CSI Food Bank is an emergency food relief program for Conestoga students. Please follow this link.
  • Health Services: These services include a family doctor and a nurse. Please follow this link.
  • Facility Information: See the Student Guide for information on after-hours parking, classroom and computer labs.

3. Accessibility services

  • Students with Documented Disabilities are encouraged to book an appointment with Accessibility Services to access accommodations. Disability-related documentation will be required to book an appointment. See the Accessibility Services webpage for more information.
  • Adaptive Technology Aids and Special Facilities: Adaptive Aids are arranged through Accessibility Services. Accessible washrooms are located throughout the campus. Contact the Adaptive Technology Lab for more information on adaptive technology aids. ​​

4. Student Services

  • ONE Card: This is your official identification card designed to access all on-campus services. See the eligibility on this website
  • Library Resource Centre: Located on 2nd Floor B Wing. Visit the Library Resource Centre for more information.
  • Tech Bar: Drop by the Tech Bar for one-on-one assistance. Information can be found on the Library Services website.
  • International Education Office: Visit the website or access through MyConestoga.
  • Student Engagement: Get involved and see the Student Engagement page or connect to MyConestoga for your Co-Curricular Record.
  • MyLearning: Academic services and resources, including resources for math, writing, peer tutors and resources for APA. Visit the website or access through MyConestoga.
  • Bookstore: Your location to buy books, clothing and general supplies (A-wing). At this time, all of our campus stores will be closed and our bookstore will be fully online for the Fall 2021 semester. Our service to students remains uninterrupted as we are fulfilling orders for students Monday to Friday. Shipping for physical items is free within Canada with a minimum of $10 spent. See this link for more information. 
  • Co-op and Career Advising: Your resource for Co-op placements, summer jobs or future careers. See the Co-op and Career Services site for more information.
  • Lockers are available with your tuition. See this link to find more information.
  • Covid-19 Information and updates are available on Conestoga's website.
  • Information Technology: Provides supports and general assistance with college-related needs such as Email, Network accounts, connectivity and wireless​ printing. See the Web IT Service Desk for more information.

Letter to Students

​Dear RPN-BScN Nursing Students,

Welcome to RPN-BScN Nursing at the Conestoga Site of the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga BScN Program. We are very proud of our BScN Program at Conestoga College and are proud of our students and graduates.  You have worked very hard to get to this point and are now beginning the next stage of your journey to reach your career goals. This is a very exciting time.

The material in this handbook has been prepared to provide further information about academic standards, regulations, procedures, and processes specific to the Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BScN) Program.  Please note that general information about the College can be found in the Conestoga College Student Guide, which applies to all students regardless of program.  Academic Standards and regulations can be found in the McMaster University, Undergraduate Calendar, as well as program specifics in the McMaster University Undergraduate Nursing Education Program Handbook, which will be referred to throughout this handbook.

Please take time to familiarize yourself with this material.  Use the index in this handbook as your guide and the contents as your continuous reference as you proceed through the program.  The BScN faculty and staff will refer to the handbook often, but the responsibility for knowing the program standards is ultimately yours.  If you do not understand, ask your program team members, professors, level coordinators​, or Program Chair for an explanation.

On behalf of the Nursing Faculty and staff at the Conestoga Site, I wish you much success and many rewarding experiences with us in the RPN-BScN Program!

All the very best to you in your studies.

Sincerely,

Heather Cross Signature.PNG

Heather Cross, Chair of Nursing

BScN Coordinators and Faculty

Program Overview

​​​Program Description

For students entering from high school and/or living at home, you are now attending a post-secondary educational institute and are considered an adult learner. As such, information about your academic achievements, health care or educational concerns will only be discussed with you personally. You are expected to be responsible for your own problems and resolve them on your own. Your Faculty are here to support you. Please feel comfortable approaching any professor or coordinator for assistance as needed. 

You are now a BScN Nursing Student in the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga BScN Program (Conestoga Site). Therefore it is important that you become very familiar with the information in the McMaster University Undergraduate Nursing Education Program (UNEP) Handbook that is found on the McMaster Learning Management system, 'Avenue to Learn', under the "Student Resources" tab in each course.

The UNEP Handbook provides a complete overview of the BScN Kaleidoscope Curriculum, a summary of the program and teaching-learning methodology, the philosophy and beliefs about nursing and nursing education, and the goals that students must meet before they can proceed to the next level.

Please refer to the UNEP Handbook and familiarize yourself with the contents. Your professor will be referring to the handbook frequently in your Level 1 Nursing courses because it provides the foundation for nursing education in the BScN Program.

Provincial Program Quality Standards - Program-specific Context

The McMaster Mohawk Conestoga BScN Program at the Conestoga Site offers an integrated plan of learning over three years in which the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values critical to your goal of becoming a Registered Nurse are presented in a logical sequence which builds on itself and your previous nursing experience, and provides the opportunity to integrate increasing knowledge with opportunities to apply theory to practice in more complex ways. Important milestones in your program are as follows:

In Level One you will concentrate on learning communication skills, nursing assessments, humanistic and professional caring, and beginning evidence-informed decision making (EIDM) skills and relating the biological sciences to nursing practice. 

In Level Two you will be entering the Professional Practice environment and caring for medical and surgical clients. You will continue to learn a variety of hands-on skills, and apply the communication and assessment skills you learned in Level One. Your EIDM skills will expand as will your knowledge and use of statistics. The sciences will include pharmacology and microbiology, both applicable in the professional practice setting.

In Level Three you will look after clients with more complex needs and in a variety of settings such as Maternal Health, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Oncology, and Cardiology plus medical and surgical settings.
Your practice in the community setting will increase as will your ability to critique articles and apply theory to practice. 

In Level Four you will be able to practice under the guidance of a Nursing Preceptor in the Professional Practice setting. You will learn more about research as well as system issues and preparation for Professional Practice.

RPN-BScN In your first year of study, RPN-BScN students deepen their understanding of science, statistics and research as well as revisit their nursing knowledge with a new lens and deeper level of analysis. You will also expand your nursing role to include community practice focused on population health and public health concepts. Your second year of your program will involve a clinical placement in acute care along with clinical learning on campus that is focused on application of advanced clinical knowledge and critical analysis of situations. In your final year, you will further expand your practice knowledge under the guidance of a Nursing Preceptor as well as focus on research and health systems issues.

External Recognition

We are very pleased that the quality of your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree has been recognized by external bodies and employers. The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing has given this program their highest level of accreditation which is 7 years. Conestoga College was in the first number of colleges to obtain funding to integrate a simulation center into their curriculum. Conestoga nursing graduates have been employed in many different areas and specialties in Ontario, Canada and internationally.

Program Quality Standards – Curriculum Content

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Performance Indicators

This Program provides you with:       

  • Skills and abilities specific to your chosen career. Curriculum within the program is based on current nursing theory and practice. Professional practice courses will ensure that students are employable in the nursing field immediately upon graduation and eligible to write the Ontario Registration Exams
  • Learning/ topics relevant to your future success. Course curriculum is developed based on national program standards as well as the Entry Level Competencies of entry-level Registered Nurses in Ontario. Topics within each course will relate directly to the development of students' values, knowledge, and skills requisite to professional practice.  Your instructor will share real-life examples of how course content is directly related to the work of the nurse in a variety of areas
  • Teachers and staff who help you to understand your chosen career. All faculties within the program have a Master's degree or Doctorate in nursing or other related field as well as practical experience. Faculty and staff will incorporate real life examples, case studies, and guest speakers into the curriculum that illustrate the role, responsibilities, challenges and rewards of nursing
  • Faculty and staff have been chosen for their passion, and professional experience as well as their aptitude and credentials for education. 
  • The development of your writing skills: The ability to write well will be important in your work. There are opportunities to grow in your scholarly writing skills implemented in the junior years of the program. Feedback from Faculty on essay assignments throughout the program will suggest ways to improve writing abilities. Professional practice courses will implement writing skills that you will use on a daily basis in the practice setting
  • The development of your speaking skills: There will be opportunities through presentation assignments to speak to both small and large groups. Feedback on presentations will include comments on student speaking skills and suggest ways to improve. In several courses, small group discussion related to a care scenario will give you the opportunity to practice your speaking skills and receive feedback about your contributions to the group discussion
  • The opportunity to use your ability to solve problems using math techniques. You will be using math techniques to solve problems surrounding administration of medications to your clients. There will be ample amount of time to practice these skills in the practice setting
  • Opportunities to develop your ability to work with others. This is a hallmark of successful employees in every organization.  The problem based approach that we use in the program will help students learn effective ways of working with others.  Students will have many opportunities each semester to develop their abilities to work with others through collaboration with their classmates on presentations, essays, and weekly in their Person Based classes
  • Opportunities to develop your abilities to solve problems: Problem-solving frameworks will be addressed through course curriculum—as part of becoming the nurse whose role is to work with clients and situations constantly requiring creativity and problem solving.   Case studies, ethical dilemmas, simulations and practice examples will challenge students' abilities to problem-solve in areas that relate to professional practice
  • Enhancement of your computer skills: Your use of on-line resources plus your ability in advanced literacy research skills will demonstrate your capability with computers and will provide evidence to future employers of your capability to work with advancing health software and documentation systems
  • Opportunities to further your education after graduation: There are many opportunities for the BScN graduate to further their education.  These opportunities include pursuing a Masters or PhD in Nursing, Nurse Practitioner or certifications in a number of categories, to name a few. The curriculum has a 7-year accreditation by CASN which is the highest that is given
  • Experience that will be useful to your future life outside of work: Course curriculum and assignments provide information regarding self-awareness and personal development, professionalism, family relationships, healthy lifestyles, health teaching, community and political awareness, leadership, problem-solving skills and teamwork.   The ethics and values needed to be successful in nursing have applicability to many aspects of a student's personal life
  • Overall--knowledge and skills that will be useful in your future career. The program curriculum provides information and opportunities for skill development that relate directly to the knowledge and skills required of a Registered Nurse.

The breadth and depth of the curriculum will be consistent with the Entry to Practice Competencies from the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and the standards that Canadian Association of the Schools of Nursing (CASN) puts forth.

Program Quality Standards – Teachers and Learning Resources      

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program Performance Indicators

This Program provides you with:       

  • Teachers with in-depth knowledge of their subjects' Faculty within the program have a Master's or Doctoral degree in nursing or other related fields. as well as practical experience
  • Teachers and staff who are up-to-date/current in their fields. Faculty and staff ensure that they are current in the field through professional development, research, volunteer work and/or part time employment within the field. They will bring examples from the workplaces and literature to make their teaching meaningful
  • Teachers who are effective in their presentation of the subject material. The curriculum is taught using a problem based approach in the nursing courses.  Teachers do not "teach" in the conventional sense; they facilitate learning by posing questions, encouraging critical thinking, suggesting avenues to pursue as well as clarifying information.
  • Teachers and staff are evaluated on their facilitation techniques and effectiveness on a regular basis and provided with feedback on enhancing their skills
  • Teachers and staff who are helpful outside of class. Students requiring help outside of class have a responsibility to ask for the help they need. All faculties have time to meet with their students
  • Student requests for meetings will be responded to as quickly as possible
  • Student emails and voice messages will be returned as soon as possible but no later than two working days after receipt
  • Feedback about your progress. Written feedback will be given on all returned assignments (graded and ungraded). Students will also meet with their tutor's one on one in Professional Practice at midterm and at final, plus receive a written feedback form at that time.  Feedback for the Person based courses will occur during the course setting at midterm and final, with written confidential reports also given at that time.  Students who wish further feedback about their progress may request a meeting with any Faculty member for that purpose
  • A high quality classroom learning experience is most effective in an environment of respect and cooperation.  Problem based learning involves students to listen, prepare, participate, ask questions and engage in discussion
  • Classes will begin and end on time (Your cooperation and respect for others is key to making this happen)
  • A high quality of lab learning. Students will be using the Clinical Learning Center as well as the Clinical Center for Simulation during their Professional Practice course
  • A high quality of other learning experiences. Students may be engaging in things such as field trips, seminars, and guest speakers
  • Field placement, clinical experiences or co-op work terms. Clinical experiences occur in regional agencies including those in Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge, Stratford and beyond
  • Current and relevant course materials (books, software, handouts). Faculty will ensure that texts and supporting material are current and relevant. Individual course material will be posted on Avenue to Learn for students to use as needed.  Feedback will be elicited from students regarding the quality of course materials
  • High quality Lab facilities and equipment. The Clinical Learning Center and the Clinical Center for Simulation have been set up to mimic actual professional practice environments.  Equipment is constantly reviewed to make sure that it is similar to that used in the agencies and working correctly.

Essential Competencies

The College of Nurses of Ontario (2020) provides a list of entry-to-practice competencies. The McMaster Mohawk Conestoga BScN​ – Conestoga site program provides education to cover all these competencies.  See College of Nurses of Ontario (2020). Competencies for Entry Level Registered Nurse Practice.  Retrieved June 17, 2020.

https://www.cno.org/globalassets/docs/reg/41042_entrypracrpn-2020.pdf

​  

​​Pathways and Further Post-Secondary Education Opportunities

Conestoga pathways enable students to build on their academic achievements in order to earn a degree or additional credentials. Pathways are formed through agreements between the Conestoga program and partner institutions. View the transfer agreement opportunities.

There are several different opportunities available to students who wish to continue studying at Conestoga. Whether you wish to transfer to another program or apply to a new program after graduation, Conestoga has established pathways to help you meet your goals. Conestoga Pathways information is available on Conestoga's website.

​   ​

Relationships

​​Communication and Contact Information

The Program Faculty members are here to support you in acquiring an excellent education, a broad skillset, and the confidence to move out into the workforce upon completion of the program. Ultimately, your success in this program rests on you; however, your faculty are committed to doing their best in supporting you throughout your studies.

To ensure your success in the program, it is important you become familiar with those who are here to support and help you. If you have any day-to-day questions about your program, courses or schoolwork, please contact your Faculty, Program Coordinator, or Chair.

Contacting Program Faculty members
When contacting program staff (via email or by phone) outside of class time, your message should include the following information:
  • First and last name, student ID #
  • Course and semester or level
  • Brief description of the reason for contact
  • Telephone number where you can be reached
Student Email

All students are supplied with a Conestoga e-mail address. Communications from program team members will be via your Conestoga e-mail address or posted on Conestoga's online Learning Management System – eConestoga. Official Conestoga communication via e-mail will use only your Conestoga e-mail address. Use only your Conestoga e-mail address when communicating with program team members. Students are expected to check their Conestoga e-mail regularly. You can forward emails from here to a personal email address for notification, but you must respond using your Conestoga email address.

If you are having problems accessing your Conestoga e-mail contact the Information Technology (IT) department at 519-748-5220 ext. 3444 as soon as possible. Students are accountable for ensuring a functioning e-mail account.

Program Faculty Member Availability
Students are encouraged to connect with individual Program Faculty members to discuss course work, assignments, or other matters related to their success at Conestoga. At the beginning of your program, a faculty member will explain how you can contact them outside of class time. 

Procedures for Meeting with Program Faculty Members

To schedule a meeting with Program Faculty members please contact the individual by email. Meetings may be held virtually or by telephone.

​Communication and Contact Information

Coordinators
Name Extension Email
Dianne Dal Bello, 
Coordinator, Level 1
Ext. 3971 ddalbello@conestogac.on.ca
Andrea Miller, 
Coordinator, Level 2
Ext. 3974 amiller@conestogac.on.ca

Erin Patterson, 

Coordinator, Level 3

Ext. 3912 epatterson@conestogac.on.ca
Susanne Bush, 
Coordinator, Level 4
Ext. 3914 sbush@conestogac.on.ca
Paula Smyth, 
Coordinator, RPN to BScN
Ext. 3110
psmyth@conestogac.on.ca

Administration

Heather Cross, Chair
Nursing Programs
Ext. 3434 hcross@conestogac.on.ca
Ada Harrison, 
Academic Advisor
Ext. 3689 aharrison@conestogac.on.ca
Krisden Galloway,
Program Assistant
Ext. 3437 kgalloway@conestogac.on.ca

Contacting Program Staff

When contacting program staff outside of class time it is advisable to use e-mail.  Your message should include the following information:

  • First and last name
  • McMaster Student Number
  • Course and level
  • Brief description of the reason for contact

Student E-mail

All students are supplied with both a Conestoga College and McMaster email. When communicating with Faculty please use McMaster/Avenue to Learn email ONLY, Avenue to Learn can also be used to communicate with your tutors. Non-college e-mail addresses (e.g. Hotmail) are not acceptable. Students are expected to check both their college and university e-mail regularly as official communication will be via this method.

Faculty Availability

a. Procedures to Enter into Faculty & Staff Work Spaces

Faculty/staff offices are located on 4B and students are welcome to see individual Faculty and staff to discuss course work, assignments, or just to say hello. Telephones for internal use are located outside the entry to Faculty workspaces on 4B.  Beside the phone is a directory with extension numbers and office locations.

During the first several days during the start of the semester Faculty and staff will explain how you can contact them outside of class time.  As Faculty and staff have diverse schedules, it is best to make an appointment to ensure they are available.  If you have an appointment with a Faculty/staff member, please call to confirm that you have arrived and please do not enter until you have confirmation that they are at their pod.  If you do not have an appointment, please call the person you wish to meet with to confirm that they are present and can see you; if you do not reach them, please leave a message. In the interest of respecting the work environment for everyone in this area, please do not wander into these work spaces looking for them.​

MUNSS (The McMaster University Nursing Student Society)

  1. Purpose is to foster in its members' the ideals and interests of McMaster University, Mohawk College and Conestoga College, as an interdisciplinary and collaborative community
  2. To promote a spirit of unit and fellowship among students of the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. Program
  3. To promote opportunities for professional, personal, and social development for Nursing Students in the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. Program
  4. To be the recognized means of communication between the nursing student body, the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. Program, the McMaster Students Union   (MSU), the Mohawk Students Association (MSA), the Conestoga Students Incorporated (CSI), and national and provincial nursing and nursing student associations
  5. To stimulate professional and educational growth in the nursing community; and
  6. To advocate for the needs of the students in the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. Program and to build capacity and empower them throughout their student career

​​Student Engagement

The McMaster University Student Society (MUNSS) is the connection point for B.S.c.N. students.

MUNNS aims to foster the ideals and interests of McMaster University, Mohawk College and Conestoga College, as an interdisciplinary and collaborative community and to promote a spirit of unit and fellowship among students of the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. Program. 

Furthermore, MUNSS aims to promote opportunities for professional, personal, and social development for Nursing Students and aspires to be the recognized means of communication between the nursing student body, the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. Program, the McMaster Students Union (MSU), the Mohawk Students Association (MSA), the Conestoga Students Incorporated (CSI), and national and provincial nursing and nursing student associations. 

Lastly, MUNNS achieves to stimulate professional and educational growth in the nursing community; and advocates for the needs of the students in the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. Program and to build capacity and empower them throughout their student career

PAC (Program Advisory Committee)

Each program at Conestoga has a Program Advisory Committee (PAC), which consists of industry and academic representatives, as well as current students. The PAC meets several times a year to discuss the future priorities of that industry and any adjustments that can be made to keep the college program.

At the beginning of each academic year, the Program Coordinator will invite students to volunteer on the PAC. Student attendees are important members of the PAC and are expected to be present at the meetings, and prepare and submit a report based on guidelines provided by the Program Coordinator.

A student who participates in PACs will receive credit on their Co-Curricular Record (CCR). Your CCR is an official document, complementary to your academic transcript, which recognizes and records learning that you have achieved through approved co-curricular experiences at Conestoga College.

​​Student Feedback

​Student feedback is an essential component of our continuous improvement process. Our opportunities for student feedback include:

Key Performance Indicators

All college programs in the province are evaluated using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU). This Student Experience Survey is conducted each academic year in select classes. Strategic goals to improve the programs are developed from these results. This data and other data specific to the campus and the program/school are collected so that Conestoga College can continually improve quality.

Student Appraisal of Teaching (SAT)

The Student Appraisal of Teaching (SAT) allows direct feedback from students on teaching for a particular course. Completion of the SAT forms give teachers and academic managers valuable information to use for the improvement of teaching at Conestoga.

The SAT process has two components: the Early Course Check-in and Full-SAT. The Early Course Check-in is 5 questions, occurs during week 5 of classes and provides early feedback to faculty about the student experience within their classroom. The Full-SAT is 44 questions and occurs late in the semester; a summary of the results goes to the faculty menber and their academic manager. Typically about one-quarter of the faculty is appraised per term. All full-time faculty have a SAT review at least once every two years. Part-time faculty may be reviewed more frequently. Continuing Education students may have an opportunity to complete a SAT form during their Continuing Education course.

​​​Class Cancellations

Class cancellations due to faculty absence

Class cancellations due to Faculty absences will be posted on Avenue to Learn. 

Class cancellations due to inclement weather

College closure due to inclement weather will be announced on local radio stations and posted on the College's website. A message will be recorded on the campus phone after office hours. 

Personal notifications of class cancellations

Students have the option of receiving special emails or SMS text messages notifying them of class cancellations due to Faculty absences. To receive these notifications, students must subscribe to this service. Please visit the Student Portal, and select notifications. 

Standards of Conduct and Professional Practice

​Code of Behavior

Students are expected to behave in accordance with both Conestoga College and McMaster University policies in regard to behaviour. These policies can be found in your BScN Program Handbook and Conestoga College Student Guide. Each BScN student is responsible for ensuring that her or his practice and conduct meet legislative requirements and the standards of the Nursing profession. (College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) Professional Standards, 2002).

Each Student:

  • Is accountable and responsible for own actions
  • Ensures practice is consistent with current legislation and the standards of practice as defined by the College of Nurses of Ontario
  • Has the knowledge, skill and judgment needed to practice in her or his setting while striving to improve the knowledge, skill and judgment needed to practice in specialized settings
  • Students are expected to work in partnership with their Professor/Clinical Tutors who are Nurses in an Educator role
  • Will be provided learning opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills and clinical experience needed to practice
  • Will be evaluated on their ability to meet the required learning outcomes for each course experience

College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) Standards include:
Conestoga College has been given the mandate to prepare Registered Nurses.  The Province of Ontario expects the College to graduate Nurses who meet the standards that have been established for the profession.  The College of Nurses Standards for Practice include continued competency, professional service to the public, current and relevant knowledge, application of this knowledge, professional behaviour, responsibility/accountability, and upholding ethical standards.  The College of Nurses Ethical Standards value client well-being, client choice, privacy and confidentiality, respect for life, maintaining commitments, truthfulness, and fairness.

Registered Nurses function in an independent and interdependent environment.  The majority of the time, the practitioner's involvement at the care recipient's side is of an independent nature, when direct supervision of an action is not possible.  There is an implicit trust by the client that the Registered Nurse is an ethical, moral and competent person.  The Standards of Practice from the College of Nurses of Ontario, the Regulated Health Professions Act and other program legislation governing professional behaviour focuses on the protection of the public.

As students preparing to become health care professionals, it is imperative that your behaviours and attitudes reflect the professional, ethical standards that are embraced by your chosen profession.  We believe that a value system incorporating high moral and ethical integrity is of vital importance, and regard the absence of such values as critical and dangerous to practice.  We believe integrity to be a quality that includes sound moral principles, sincerity, honesty and self-respect.

The College of Nurses of Ontario Guidelines for Professional Behavior state: 
"Nurses have a duty to participate in and promote the growth of the profession, and to conduct themselves in a manner which is becoming to the profession." Nurses need to care for one another and respect their colleagues.  They need to work collaboratively with other Nurses, trust in the expertise of one another, and refer to others when they do not have the necessary knowledge and expertise themselves;

A nurse needs to:

  • Contribute to positive team functioning and supporting colleagues;
  • Conduct oneself in a way which promotes respect for the profession;
  • Cooperate with regulatory functions.

The CNO also has requisite skills and abilities for all nurses; all students are encouraged to review these to ensure they will be eligible to practice under CNO.   This document can be found here.

Conestoga Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (ITAL) has a policy on Standards of Conduct in the Learning Environment.

If a student's behaviour/conduct interferes with the learning process or in any way jeopardizes the safe environment of the classroom or clinical setting, the student will be required to leave the class or clinical session.

"Inappropriate Behavior" or unsafe practices may require the withdrawal of the student from the course prior to the end of the course.  Consequently, the student will receive a failing grade for the course.

As a Conestoga-McMaster BScN student you are also required to behave according to the academic policies of McMaster University, include following the academic integrity policies. Please see: the BScN Handbook and Academic Integrity at McMaster.

Program Standards for Professionalism

Professional Appearance Policy (see BScN Handbook)

As a Nursing student in the clinical or community setting your patients and their families see you as a member of the health care team.  Your appearance can inspire confidence in your ability to care for them.  Neatness, cleanliness, conservative makeup, jewelry, and safety considerations all help to create a look of competence, commitment and professionalism.  It is your responsibility to maintain this appearance.  If you choose not to do this, your Professor/Clinical Tutor may ask you to leave the clinical area. Specific hospital/agency policies may vary from McMaster policy.  Student uniforms must conform to the uniform policy of the institution in which students are placed. Please note that this policy also applies to the Clinical Learning Centre and the Simulation Lab.

Cellphones/Smartphones

Cellphones and/or smartphones for personal use are not permitted in the clinical setting/lab and community agencies.

Cowan Health Sciences Centre

Clinical/Lab Dress Code for all students

The Clinical Lab areas of the Cowan Health Sciences Centre (CHSC) are comprised of clinical bed labs, the Cross Centre for the Advancement of Patient Care Simulation and the Open Access Lab.  In order to maintain these as safe professional spaces, appropriate dress must be worn.  The purpose of this dress code is to ensure the safety of the student, Faculty and staff and also to prepare for the clinical environment.   The dress code is designed to comply with infection control procedures, workplace health and safety considerations and professional safety.

All lab areas are covered by this policy for all programs in the School of Health & Life Sciences.  Non-compliance with this dress code will result in the person being asked to leave the lab area. (If during scheduled lab time, this may result in a missed lab)

Dress Requirements

  • Lab coat, scrubs or clinical dress as set forth by the program (should be neat and clean)
    • Note: the Cross Centre for Simulation Learning requires full clinical uniform to be worn as per BScN Handbook.
  • Closed toe, closed heel shoes as per Occupational Health & Safety requirements
  • Hair tied back, if hair is long, then it must be up and secured.
  • No rings, necklaces or dangling earrings
    • A pair of studs may be worn; one in each ear
    • A plain wedding band may be worn
  • Nails should be kept neat and short; artificial nails and nail polish are not allowed
  • No hats to be worn (exceptions related to the Human Rights Code)
  • No denim or sweat pants
  • Nametags must be worn

    Please be reminded that the labs are a clinical setting and, as such, the requirement for proper hand washing/hygiene is in effect.

Cowan Health Sciences Centre/Open Access Lab

Human Resources

  • The Interprofessional Resource Nurse are Nurses who work in the Cowan Health Sciences Centre
  • The Interprofessional Resource Nurse act as a resource in introducing users to the lab, maintaining the lab environment/supplies, and assisting students with practicing and evaluation of skills related to client care
  • The Interprofessional Resource Nurse are also available to students requiring remedial assistance

Please note:
WHILE EVERY EFFORT IS MADE TO MAINTAIN A LATEX-SAFE ENVIRONMENT IN THE CLINICAL LEARNING CENTRE, STUDENTS MUST BE AWARE THAT THE CENTRE AND CLINICAL PLACEMENT AREAS ARE NOT LATEX-FREE ENVIRONMENTS.

Some modifications will be made to processes for Fall 2021 based on COVID-19​. Students will be provided up-to-date information as the situation evolves.

Accessing the Clinical Labs

1. Procedures for booking Lab practice during normal hours

Booking practice time/and or materials may be done in person with one of the Interprofessional Resource Nurse or by telephone 519-748-5220 ext. 3457 or by email openaccesscentre@conestogac.on.ca. All materials borrowed for use outside the lab must be signed for and returned to the lab in good condition within the specified time.

2. Procedure for booking after-hours and weekend Lab practice

  • It is preferred that the booking be done at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Contact one of the Interprofessional Resource Nurse to book the time.  The following information will need to be provided to the Interprofessional Resource Nurse:
    1. Day, time and duration of practice
    2. Full names of all persons in attendance
      1. This allows the CHSC team to notify security appropriately.
      2. You must have at least one other person (in the program) with you for this practice
      3. Persons outside the programs in the School of Health & Life Sciences will not be admitted to the Open Access Lab
      4. Appropriate lab attire must be worn while in the Open Access
  • On the day of practice, please check in with Security with your Conestoga ID.  Security will unlock the lab
  • When you are finished practicing please contact Security to have them lock the door
  • You will not be allowed to use the medication cart during unsupervised practice

All students must leave the lab by 2200 hours.  THE CENTRE MUST NOT BE LEFT UNATTENDED DURING AFTER-HOUR USE.

User Responsibility regarding Clinical Learning Centre Maintenance

Supplies for injection practice will be available ONLY during regular lab hours.
All users will maintain the environment in a safe, clean and tidy manner:

  • All equipment must be cleaned, re-stocked and re-wrapped as necessary.
  • Beds in low position, neatly made, furniture positioned appropriately.
  • Handle manikins carefully.
  • Chairs are to be stacked safely in designated areas when not in use.
  • Students will be responsible for cleaning and tidying up.
  • All materials borrowed by teachers and students for use outside the Clinical Learning Centre must be signed for and returned to the centre in good condition within the specified time.
  • Purses, coats, knapsacks and extra books are to be left in your lockers.
  • Students are responsible for the replacement of damaged or lost equipment in Clinical Learning Centre or community agencies. e.g.: student dropping IVAC thermometer.

Academic Offences and Plagiarism

Academic honesty is expected and required of all Conestoga students. It is critical that you familiarize yourself with the Academic Offences Policy found in the k. The Academic Offences Policy provides a detailed description of the following:

  • Scope of academic integrity,
  • What academic integrity means,
  • What types of behaviours constitute a br​each of academic integrity, and
  • The penalties associated with breaching academic integrity.

Please speak with a faculty member or your Program Coordinator if you have any further questions after reviewing the policy. Please note that maintaining academic integrity is very important and that it is your responsibility to know the Academic Offences Policy.

Below are a few examples to help you avoid breaching academic integrity.

  • Whenever you refer to material from another source, whether book, journal article, video, newspaper or electronic publications, you must acknowledge your source using proper citations and references. See the Student Success Services website​ for assistance with the formatting and referencing.
  • If you work collaboratively with others on an assignment, make sure that you do not copy words or ideas from others intentionally or by accident.
  • Read the Academic Offences Policy located in the Conestoga Student Guide, and that you fully understand it. The policy describes additional behaviours that represent a breach of academic integrity.

​​Copyright – What you need to know

Photocopying and scanning at Conestoga College are governed by the Copyright Act, an agreement with Access Copyright, and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges' Fair Dealing Policy.

Under the terms of Conestoga's Access Copyright, you can photocopy or scan the following:

  • Up to 10% of most published works.
  • One chapter that is greater than 10%, but no more than 20% of the book.
  • One article, short story, play, poem or essay from a book, magazine or journal issue containing other works.
  • One newspaper article or page.
  • One entry from an encyclopedia, dictionary, annotated bibliography or similar reference work.
  • One drawing, sculpture, painting, print, architectural work of art or work of artistic craftsmanship from a larger volume containing other works.

Cumulative Copying

Cumulative copying consists of copy more than 10% over time. This is not allowed. The copy limits apply to an entire academic year, so once you reach the limit for an item, you can not copy from this source anymore until the next academic year.

You cannot copy or scan the following:

  • Workbooks or study guides that are intended for one-time use.
  • Instruction manuals.
  • Sheet music and original artistic works including photographs or prints.
  • Advertisements.
  • Business cases.
  • Full textbooks.
  • Any of the items on the Access Copyright Exclusions list.

You can find this information and more on the Copyright for Students web page.

​​​​Safe Practice

Safe practice is a hallmark of professional practice. It is an expectation of everyone who aims to become a healthcare professional.

There are several policies and procedures associated with practical ​training that has been developed to ensure your safety and the safety (physical and emotional) of those around you. These policies will be reviewed during your program.

The following basic procedures are outlined for your attention:

  1. Your safety begins with the use of professional attire and footwear and with your attention to the health and safety expectations that may be identified throughout the college.   
  2. Please help us create a safe and pleasant environment by wiping up spills, ensuring laptop cords do not snake across walking areas, and reporting equipment or facility problems when you notice these.  
  3. Specific dress codes, personal protective equipment and specific codes of behavioural conduct may apply to certain programs; failure to follow these may result in your inability to participate in a lab, class or experiential learning activity.   
  4. Safe work practices are to be followed during all training. Follow the direction of your instructors. If you have a placement, your instructor will ensure that you know safe practices and safety precautions and procedures. This includes problem-solving by the instructor and Program Coordinator with the college's Occupational Health & Safety Department as required.  
  5. All safety-related accidents, incidents, and near misses must be reported to the Instructor-in-Charge immediately. ​​

​Student Protection Acknowledgement

A Student Protection Acknowledgement confirmation pop-up will appear when a student logs into the Student Portal on a yearly basis. This will direct students to policies and procedures relevant to their academic responsibilities. All Conestoga College wide academic policies and procedures are listed on the college website under "About Conestoga", "Policies and Procedures". 

Students are advised to review and comply with all policies and procedures, including the following:         
  • Academic Dispute and Resolution Policy & Procedure
  • Academic Offences Policy & Procedure ​
  • Clearance of Academic Deficiency Policy & Procedure
  • Convocation Procedure
  • Co-operative Education Policy
  • Discontinuance Procedure
  • Evaluation of Student Learning Policy & Procedure
  • Grading Procedure
  • Program and Course Withdrawal and Refund Procedure/International Student Withdrawal and Refund Procedure
  • Readmission Procedure
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy & Procedure
  • Student Feedback Policy
  • Student Fees Policy & Student Fee Invoicing and Payment Procedure

Students must follow all of the policies and procedures for Conestoga College and it is expected that faculty will accept, fulfil and enforce these standards.​​ 

​​​Professional Conduct - Use of technology

To support a respectful learning environment both in the classroom and in field placements, the use of technology for social networking can only occur during break times, before and after class, and during formal break time in field placement.

Social Media Policy

  • As a student and future professional, it is essential to maintain your professional boundaries in all communication, including social media.

According to the Ontario College of Teachers (2011), "Electronic messages are not anonymous. They can be tracked, misdirected, manipulated and live forever on the internet." The same organization also indicates "Online identities and actions are visible to the public and can result in serious repercussions or embarrassment.

  • Assume the information you post or send can be accessed or altered by anyone.
  • Consider whether any posting may reflect poorly on you, your school, or your profession.
  • Avoid online criticism of other students, colleagues, faculty or field placements.
  • Avoid impulsive, inappropriate or heated comments.
  • Pictures should not be taken, posted to social media sites or shared without the expressed permission of all individuals involved.
  • Make sure your on-line name and email reflect professionalism.
  • Maintain privacy of all care and service activities when in practical work experiences.
  • Do not take or post any pictures while on placement or involved in lab activities.
  • Maintain client-provider relationships and boundaries. The addition of a client to a 'friendship" status online is unacceptable.

Ontario College of Teachers. (2011). Professional Advisory-Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media. Retrieved May 12, 2015, from https://www.oct.ca/resources/advisories/use-of-electronic-communication-and-social-media

Cell Phone Policy

Students should respect their instructors, faculty and staff by not using their cell phones for personal use during class time.

Students can not bring their cell phone or technology device(s) into a test or examination, unless required for the examination and approved by the faculty. 

In the event of an urgent need to keep your cell phone with you during a test, please speak to your faculty as soon as you enter the examination room. 

 

Attendance and Student Success Strategies

​Attendance

In view of the learning complexities of the BScN Nursing Program, it is imperative that students attend classroom, lab, clinical, and community experiences as scheduled. Health Science Programs are based on competency-based curricula with defined learning outcomes, which place a great deal of emphasis on the minimum theoretical and practical competencies required to enter the profession. Therefore, students who are absent from class, lab, clinical, and community experiences place themselves in academic jeopardy in meeting the learning outcomes as stipulated by the Program.

The nature of the program requires students to engage in weekly classroom discussions and small group learning. Please note that in many courses, students cannot meet course outcomes or the related College of Nurses of Ontario Entry to Practice Competencies related to application of learning and team competencies if they do not attend class and complete required group work in a professional manner.

If extenuating circumstances require students to miss a learning experience, please note that it is the student's responsibility to share this information with Faculty and to acquire any missed information. 

Student Absence for Test/Examination or Due Date of an Assignment:

Please see the BScN Handbook for current policies and/or your Level information.

Clinical Practice Attendance

Atten​dance at Clinical Practice and college laboratories is mandatory.

Punctuality:  In order to be respectful to both fellow students and to Faculty and staff, students are expected to arrive on time for classroom, lab, clinical, and community experiences.  Repeated late arrivals may result in the student being denied access to the class or clinical experience.

Cancellation of lab or clinical: The campus will make the cancellation decision, sometime between 0515 and 0545hrs. If Conestoga College Doon Campus is closed for any reason, such as weather, all classes are cancelled. If McMaster University is closed but Conestoga, Doon Campus, remains open, classes continue.

Faculty and students should listen to the local radio stations which will broadcast the cancelation of College activities.

Required Skills and Abilities to Attend Professional Practice

Professional practice or clinical practice is part of each level of the RPN-BScN Program at Conestoga College. The expectation is that students attend 100% of their clinical experience and fully participate in providing patient care. A primary responsibility of the Program is consideration for the health and safety of patients/clients/residents in the clinical setting and of students. The Program, in keeping with requirements set out by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and reflected in the entry-to-practice competencies, requires that students meet the requisite skills and abilities as defined by the College of Nurses (2012).

The components necessary for nursing practice have been placed in the following 7 categories:

  • Cognitive
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal
  • Behavioural
  • Psychomotor
  • Sensory
  • Environmental

The Program requests practice placements for our students from our clinical partners. This relationship is formalized through affiliation agreements which define responsibilities of both parties. Students are guests in these practice environments who must abide by the policies and procedures of the site and ensure principles of infection prevention and control are maintained.

If a student cannot meet the requisite skills and abilities and/or requires the use of assistive devices that may contribute negatively to infection prevention and control practices, the student will not be permitted to participate in professional practice activities. Each case will be considered individually and evaluated by the Placement Office and the Level Coordinator. In order to return to placement, medical documentation is required that clearly indicates the student is able to resume full duties without any restrictions. 

Reference: College of Nurses of Ontario. (2012) Requisite Skills and abilities for nursing practice in Ontario. Toronto, Ontario: College of Nurses of Ontario, p.1-3 .  We encourage all students to also consider the document from the Council of Ontario University Programs in Nursing.  These requisite skills can be found on the following link:  https://nursing.mcmaster.ca/prospective-students/admission/ontario-requirements-for-bscn-study

​​​Religious Holidays

Students are permitted by Conestoga policy to be absent from class to observe a recognized religious holiday. Any student who is unable to attend classes or participate in an examination, study, or work requirement on some particular day(s) because of religious beliefs will be given the opportunity to make up the work that was missed or complete alternate work/examinations subject to timely notification.

Conestoga recognizes all religious holidays as defined by the College Employer Council.

It is your responsibility to:

  • Plan ahead and be aware of the dates of all examinations and other course obligations;
  • Advise the faculty member that you will be seeking accommodation to observe a recognized religious holiday. You will also make a request in writing to your Program Coordinator within the first three weeks of the semester and prior to the date of assessment that falls on the religious holiday. Exceptions based on extenuating circumstances must be approved by the Program Chair.

 

 

Academic Progress Through the Program

​​Academic Standing

Students completing the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga BScN program must refer to the Undergraduate Nursing Education Program Handbook as well as the current McMaster course calendar for academic policies and grading criteria.

You can find the McMaster Undergraduate Calendar on the website under the registrar's office. 

Specific policies for students enrolled in the BScN program regarding achievement criteria, academic probation, discontinuance, withdrawal, appeals, clearance of academic deficiencies, and process for resolution of student concerns may be found in the two publications mentioned above.

Progress Record

This document will be completed at the discretion of the faculty, coordinators or Program Chair when a student's practice and/or classroom performance or behaviour is:

  1. of concern
  2. unacceptable
  3. unsatisfactory

The identified goals will indicate clearly to the student what action must be taken if they are to be successful in the semester.

After viewing and signing this form, a copy is:

  1. Given to the student
  2. kept in the student's file

Clinical Remediation Process

Clinical instructors are committed to providing students with clinical experiences that enhance learning as well as ensure the safety of patients in the clinical setting. The program is designed to certify that students are equipped with optimal theoretical and practical knowledge in order to provide safe care to patients. Students who are deemed by their clinical educator as not meeting safety and/or clinical outcomes may be removed from the clinical area. To facilitate student success a student may be entitled to remediation, with the goal of returning to the clinical setting and completing the course. While this process is meant to support student success, it does not guarantee a pass in the course.

​​​Graduation

Students are expected to respond to their invitation through their Student Portal. Convocation ceremonies are held in the winter, spring, and fall of each academic year. Students, who take longer than the advertised program length, are responsible for completing any new or additional courses due to a program design change. Students who complete their program are required to fill out an Application to Graduate form and submit it with payment to the registrar's office. Students who are discontinued or have withdrawn and then return to the college will be placed in the current program design and must meet all requirements to graduate.

​General Education / Interdisciplinary Electives

School of Interdisciplinary Studies

The purpose of diploma General Education electives and Interdisciplinary electives is to provide graduates with the skills and knowledge to succeed not just in their chosen career fields, but in all life paths. Working collaboratively with your program,  diploma General Education and degree Interdisciplinary​ elective courses cultivate critical and creative thinking skills, civic engagement and knowledge of the broader world of arts, culture and science that helps make you more reflective, creative, and effective in your own life.

All Ontario College Diploma, Ontario College Advanced Diploma, and Degree programs at Conestoga require students to complete general education electives / interdisciplinary breadth.

More information on these courses can be found at www.conestogac.on.ca/electives

​​Process for Resolution of Student Concerns

Refer to BScN McMaster Handbook

​​​Maintaining Student Files

  1. Official records of each student's education are maintained electronically by the Registrar.
  2. Administrative records related to your experience in the program are maintained to demonstrate compliance with external and college requirements. The information is as follows:
Administrative Records
Student Information (if applicable)File Location and Student AccessRetention

Pre-Placement Health Requirements

  • Copies of information received from student.

In H.S Trax, by individual student access, accessed through My Conestoga

  • Each student has their own information on the Passport for provision to placement agencies.
  • For the duration of a student's stay in the Program.

Acknowledgement of WSIB understanding.

  • Signed electronically by student prior to the first field placements.
  • By Program, online.
  • For the duration of a student's stay in the Program.

Student Consents signed on admission electronically.

  • Student Consent for Release of Information.
  • Student Understanding of Professional Standards.
  • Student Understanding of Safety Requirements.
  • Filed electronically.
  • For the duration of a student's stay in the Program.
  1. Academic Files are set up as required for a student to document important matters relevant to a student's progress or to document and monitor resolution of concerns.
Academic Records
Student InformationFile Location and Student AccessRetention

Documents related to academic progress

  • Correspondence regarding course equivalencies.
  • Correspondence regarding supplementary examinations.
  • Learning Contracts.
  • Disabilities Information and plans.
  • In Student File, maintained by the Program Coordinator, initially, and then filed during the student's stay in the Program – maintained by Program Assistant.
For 1 year following graduation or as required by accrediting body.
Records of Competency AttainmentAs above.As above.

Documents related to areas of concern

  • Interview records, supporting email documentation.
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities.
  • Incident reports.
  • Letters/emails of significant concern and replies.
  • Appeals.
As above.As above.
  1. Students may review the contents of their academic file by:
    • Requesting this in writing to the Program Coordinator.
    • Reviewing the file in the presence of their Program Coordinator.

​​Additional Information for Students

  • Add/drop dates for courses:  Please refer to dates in the McMaster Undergraduate calendar.
  • Not attending a course does not constitute an official dropping of a course and will result in a grade of "F".  If you have missed that time period please see the program coordinator and they will advise you as to your options.
  • For further academic advisement, e.g. enquiries about potential course credits from another university, please consult the Conestoga McMaster BScN Academic Adviser for the BScN program.  The office is on 4B, Conestoga College. You may also speak with the program/level coordinator.
  • Locate the Conestoga Student Guide for further information

Change of name, address and telephone number

Change of name, home, temporary residence address and telephone numbers must be reported immediately in writing to the Registrar's office.  Forms for reporting changes are available from the Registrar's office. Failure to report these changes could seriously hamper relevant communication between the college and the student.

Guidelines and expenses incurred relating to clinical practice

Students will assume responsibility for expenses incurred while assigned to affiliating agencies, such as meals, lockers, keys, parking, travel expenses and uniforms.

Part-time work

While students are enrolled in the BScN Nursing Program:

  1. Assigned functions and responsibilities within any clinical agency in which they are employed will not be recognized by the College in any form or fashion.
  2. The College does not assume responsibility for student performance while they work part-time in a clinical agency.
  3. Students are not to wear the crest or name bar showing Conestoga College or McMaster logo.
  4. Students should realize that historically students who work a lot of part-time hours are less successful in the program.
  5. If an outbreak occurs in our community, and a student is employed in a health care agency, their employment hours and/or clinical placement hours may be directly affected dependent on the agency's Infection Control Policy. It is also possible that with the current COVID-19​ situation students will not be able to work in another health care facility during the period in which they are completing a professional practice placements. Students will be updated on current requirements each semester.

Please see BScN handbook for more detail on part-time work, while in the Program. 

Work-Integrated Learning Experiences

​​​​​Student Consent Forms

Students are required to complete program specific consent forms if applicable. To access the forms, students need to visit the WIL Document Services Community in myConestoga and see Consent Forms tab. 

Pre-WIL Health Requirements

Mandatory work-integrated learning (WIL) health and safety requirements must be completed by students prior to student WIL experiences. Successful WIL completion is required for students to progress to program completion.  To qualify for WIL experiences, students must present the following at the start of the program in accordance with pre-admission information provided by the College:           
  • A complete immunization record including MMR, Tdap, Varicella, Polio, and Hepatitis B.  Covid-19​ immunizations are strongly encouraged, as this may be a requirement of your WIL site. Seasonal flu vaccination is required during flu season (October – March).
  • TB Testing: Evidence of current 2-step or previous 2-step + current 1.
  • Standard First Aid and CPR – BLS level
  • Respirator Fit Testing
  • An annual Police Check including Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS).  Police Checks must be clear of any unpardoned criminal offences. An unclear criminal record may result in the inability to participate in WIL experiences which will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for WIL is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request students to provide a VSS completed within six months of WIL start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability.

​​​​Safety in the Workplace Course (OHS1320)

All students who participate in unpaid work-integrated learning (WIL) experiences during the course of their program will be required to successfully complete the mandatory Safety in the Workplace course prior to going out on WIL.  The course will provide students with an introduction to workplace hazards and general safety awareness. Students will receive a Record of Completion to provide evidence of this training to WIL experience sites and will consent to their workplace insurance coverage.

WSIB

Prior to your first WIL experience, you must electronically sign a Declaration of Understanding of WSIB Coverage related to Unpaid Clinical placements indicating you understand that WSIB coverage will be provided through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) while you are on training WIL experiences. This Declaration will be placed in your student file. It is your responsibility to ensure that the Declaration of Understanding for WSIB Coverage has been electronically signed, in the Safety in the Workplace Course - OHS1320, and visible on your H.S. Trax home page to be eligible to attend your WIL experience.

Additional Requirements-AODA Training

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is to ensure that all Ontarians have fair and equitable access to programs and services and to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities.

All students must complete AODA training in the first semester.

Basic Safety Training

All students must achieve 100% on WHMIS test in first semester.

Conestoga College is committed to establishing and maintaining a healthy and safe work and study environment.

General safety consideration will be provided in the Orientation in the Cowan Health Sciences Centre. Throughout your course of study, your teacher will guide you through the use of safe work practices.  Safety considerations and the safe handling and use of equipment in the Cowan Health Sciences Centre are incorporated within the learning outcomes of your program.

It is the student's responsibility to follow guidelines for safety once they have been taught and to ensure that they have had training on the use of any equipment prior to its use.

Any person who fails to comply with Health and Safety regulations or handles equipment in an unsafe or abusive manner will be asked to leave the Cowan Health Sciences Centre.

The Practice Application Specialists and Clinical Simulation Educator have the authority to ask any person who fails to comply with Health and Safety regulations or handles equipment in an unsafe or abusive manner to leave the Cowan Health Sciences Centre.

Concerns Regarding Student Safety or the Safety and Care/Service for Clients

WIL experiences provide the opportunity to demonstrate and enhance your learning in the practice environment.  These WIL experiences have been organized by your Program in partnership with the organization where you have been placed.

The following procedures have been developed to make it easier to identify and address any concerns or issues regarding your safety or the safety and care of clients that may come up during the WIL experience in a way that supports both a solid learning experience and a constructive partnership with the WIL site.

A. Communication of General Concerns regarding Your Safety or The Safety and Care/Service for Clients

  1. Students will be provided with an Orientation to their WIL site on the first day of their WIL experience.  The Orientation may include details of the WIL site's policies and procedures related to communication about the safety of the work environment and /or the safety and care of patients/residents/clients.
  2. If a student has any concerns about the safety of the work environment and/or the safe/appropriate care/service for clients:

a. The student must immediately report these concerns to the College individual associated with the WIL experience (Clinical Instructor, Faculty responsible for your WIL experience, WIL Supervisor).

b. The Clinical Instructor /Responsible Faculty/WIL Supervisor will discuss this concern with Site Management

c. For concerns of a serious nature (e.g. concerns impacting a total student group; a serious care/service situation), the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Supervisor will discuss the situation with the Program Coordinator and, potentially, the Department Chair. The Coordinator or Chair will immediately contact WIL site management to determine next steps.

Should facility policies require that WIL experience students report safety or care/service concerns immediately to WIL site management, the student should report to the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Officer immediately afterward.

B. Reporting of Incidents of Student Injury during a WIL Experience

  1. Should students experience a personal injury of any kind, this must be reported immediately to the WIL Employer and Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Supervisor. The WIL Employer will provide first-aid that may be necessary, including arranging for transportation to emergency medical services if required.  The Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Supervisor will notify the Program Coordinator and Chair and complete an Unpaid Work/Education Placement-Accident Report (UWEP-04) and will send this to the College's Occupational Health & Safety Office.  Where necessary, the Occupational Health & Safety Office will complete a WSIB 7 form, a Letter of Authorization to Represent Placement Employer and a Work/Education Placement Agreement Form.

C. Reporting of Student Involvement in Situations of Possible Injury to Clients during a WIL Experience or Student Damage to Facility Property

  1. Should students be involved in care/service situations where there the care/service results in a potential concern/injury to patients/residents/clients of the WIL site, this concern must be immediately reported to the WIL Site in order that care can be given.  This situation must also be reported immediately to the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Supervisor.  The Faculty member will discuss this immediately with the WIL site and ensure that an incident report is completed.  The Faculty member must also inform the Program Coordinator and the Department Chair for a discussion of program expectations and implications.  It is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that all documentation is obtained regarding the incident and to inform College officials accordingly.
  2. Should students be involved in situations where there is alleged damage to resources/physical property at the WIL site, this concern must be reported immediately to the WIL Site and to the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Officer.  The Faculty member will inform the Program Coordinator and Department Chair for a discussion of program expectations and implications.  It is the responsibility of the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/WIL Officer to complete an incident report with the Chair accountable to ensure all documentation is obtained and to inform College officials accordingly.

Student Awards

​​​Conestoga has more than 400 awards, bursaries, scholarships and academic grants available to Conestoga students. These funds are made available to our students through the partnerships we have established with local businesses, industry leaders, and generous donors. To be considered for an award, complete the General Application form available through your Student Portal. Notifications and instructions to complete the application are sent to all full-time students’ email accounts in the fall semester (Deadline: First Friday in October) and winter semester (Deadline: First Friday in February). For more information, visit Student Financial Services.​​​​

The finance office contains a list of all bursaries and scholarships available for students. On a regular basis, they email all students which bursaries have come due for application. At any time, students may check the College web site for relevant financial aid. 

RPN-BScN students may apply for any eligible scholarships or bursaries they are eligible for from the 3 collaborative sites: Conestoga, McMaster, and Mohawk. Please see Awards website from appropriate sites for more information or contact the Financial Aid offices.

Academic Delivery Plan and College Hours

​​​Academic Delivery Plan Fall 2021

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Conestoga has developed an academic delivery plan for the Fall 2021 semester. The safety and well-being of our college community remains our highest priority. Our academic plans and decisions continue to be based on the advice of public health authorities. 

Some programs will be delivered in a hybrid format (a combination of remote and on-campus learning). Other programs will be delivered in a remote format only. Courses in which remote delivery is not possible will be offered entirely through on-campus delivery.

For the Fall, only students who have classes scheduled on campus will be pre-approved to be on-campus. Students need to complete a mandatory pre-approval process before they can attend their class.  Students who do not have scheduled activity are not permitted on-campus. Support services for students will continue to be available remotely.

College Hours

For the Fall 2021 semester, to support physical distancing on campus, full-time courses at Conestoga are delivered Monday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Effective January 2022: Full-time courses at Conestoga are typically delivered Monday to Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. *

*In some instances, classes will be scheduled outside of this time frame and may include Sunday, to accommodate course, program and college requirements.*​​

Web-based Tools

​Program courses may use web-based services with data centres outside of Canada. Students may be expected to complete assessments where information is transmitted outside of Canada. Students who do not wish to submit their information to other countries have the right to opt-out. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the instructor if they, in the first week of term or at the time assignment details are provided, wish to submit an alternate assignment.

Course examinations may be administered through a remote proctoring service to assure academic integrity. Ensure that you meet the system requirements that will allow the recording of your computer screen, webcam, and microphone.

Attendance at Evaluations

Working Together to Plan Your Success

Your success matters! As an emerging professional, it is important that you demonstrate the same professional attitude to your program that you will be required to demonstrate to your future workplace. Regular, punctual attendance, and active participation in scheduled classes, field and clinical placements, labs and any on-campus and off-campus activities scheduled by your program will help you to understand and master the learning complexities of your program.
If extenuating, unplanned circumstances require you to miss a class, please note that it is your responsibility to follow up with individual faculty members and to acquire any missed information.

Attendance for Evaluations

Evaluations are critical components of each course and your overall success in your program. An evaluation is defined as a test, exam, presentation or any other formal assessment that contributes to your course mark that requires your presence, in class or on-line. Please note that in many programs across the College, every field placement, clinical day, and lab/shop day is considered crucial to your overall learning and success and the expectation is that you attend.  If you are in a program that includes field or clinical placements, labs/shops, or any other on or off campus activities, it is essential that you discuss attendance requirements with your program faculty in order to understand expectations and consequences.

Your attendance for all evaluations is a requirement. If there is a concerning pattern of absence from evaluations across your program, you may be asked to meet with the Program Coordinator and/or Student Advisor to discuss strategies for success.

While circumstances such as religious holidays and academic accommodations may necessitate rescheduling of evaluations and will be accommodated, please note that there will be no special arrangements made for rescheduling evaluations due to personal conflicts such as work or vacation plans.  

In order to facilitate a smooth implementation for all scheduled evaluations, both you and your program faculty have responsibilities which are listed below:

Faculty Responsibilities

  • To communicate all course obligations to you at the beginning of each semester through the Instructional Plan, including evaluation and presentation dates.
  • To communicate, in writing, any unplanned extenuating circumstances involving the college, the program or the faculty members that may require changes to the course schedule.
  • To provide alternative evaluation arrangements for missed evaluations/work due to recognized religious holidays as defined by the College Employer Council and documented accommodations through the Accessibility Office.
  • To accept alternative evaluation requests in good faith and examine based on the unique circumstances and students' individual needs.
  • To facilitate alternative evaluation arrangements as described below.

Student Responsibilities

  • To be informed about all course obligations and due dates.
  • To inform your faculty member in writing of the need to reschedule evaluations due to a religious holiday as defined by the College Employer Council.
  • If you have to be absent from any scheduled evaluation, report your absence on the Student Portal using the procedure below. You must do this prior to the start of the evaluation or risk receiving a mark of zero.

How to Report Absences on the Student Portal

  1. Log into the Student Portal and click on the 'Absence tab'.
  2. Indicate whether or not there is an assessment scheduled on that day by clicking 'Yes or No', as well as the reason for the absence (illness or other).
  3. Click 'Continue' to report the absence.
  4. Click 'I agree' to confirm the absence.
  5. You will receive a confirmation email that your absence has been recorded.

Important! Please note the following:

  • The earliest you can record an absence for a particular day, is after 8:00 p.m. the day before. You must report each day you are absent.
  • The Absence Recording System will show you as being absent for the day, starting from the time that you recorded the absence. For example, if you record your absence on a specific day at 11:00 a.m., the system will show you as being absent for all classes starting after 11:00 a.m. that day.
  • If you are going to be present for any other classes on the day for which you recorded an absence, please let the faculty member know by attending or following up by eConestoga or college email.
  • When you return to campus, make eConestoga or email contact immediately with the faculty member associated with the evaluation you missed in order to arrange appropriate follow up.

Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations Less than 20%

Conestoga recognizes that unexpected circumstances such as brief illness do arise during the semester and that a visit to a health practitioner may not be necessary. A valid absence from a scheduled evaluation worth less than 20% of the final grade which is not documented through the Accessibility Office or previously arranged due to religious holidays, will be accommodated once per course during the semester, subject to proper communication as described in the Student Responsibilities section above. If the evaluation cannot be rescheduled, (for example an experiential activity, lab or participation in a group presentation) reallocation of marks to another evaluation item will be determined by faculty and communicated to student via email to their eConestoga or college email address, or documented on an interview record and signed off by both faculty member and student.

Absence from additional scheduled evaluations worth less than 20% in the same course may require documentation for verification.

Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations 20% or More

Absence from scheduled evaluations worth 20% or more of the final grade that are not documented through the Accessibility Office or arranged due to religious holidays, will require appropriate documentation for verification, subject to proper communication as described in the Student Responsibilities section above.

Alternative Evaluation Arrangements

  • Faculty members will determine alternative evaluation arrangements as appropriate. During the pandemic, on-campus Test Centres will be closed.
  • Students will complete any necessary forms. 
  • Students are required to complete the alternative evaluation as scheduled. If an evaluation cannot be rescheduled (for example an experiential activity or participation in a group presentation) reallocation of marks will be determined by faculty and communicated to student via eConestoga or college email or documented on an interview record and signed off by both faculty member and student.

Program Handbook Revision Log

​Last Revised
By Whom
​June 18, 2015Jillian Grant
June 23, 2015Lynn Voelzing
May 17, 2016Shelley Sager
June 28, 2016Jillian Grant
June 28, 2016Lynn Voelzing
​June 14, 2017​Krisden Galloway
May 31, 2018Krisden Galloway
​July 16, 2019
​Julia Rodricks
​July 20, 2020
​Beth Davidson
​July 13, 2021
​​Beth Davidson

Accommodation Disclaimer

​Conestoga College provides an equitable environment where all students have the opportunity to participate in College life. In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the Ontario Human Rights Code, Conestoga recognizes its responsibility and legal obligation to provide education, information and services in an accessible manner.

Conestoga's Accessible Learning services provide support for students with permanent and temporary disabilities who feel they are encountering barriers to learning. They work with students to understand the impact of a disability in the college environment and will help develop a success plan that considers student goals and required academic accommodations. Accessible Learning will also communicate necessary accommodations to professors on behalf of the student. 

To consult with an Accessibility Advisor about accommodations please make an appointment by emailing accessibility@conestogac.on.ca or calling 519-748-5220 ext. 3232.

Exceptions for non-accessibility focused issues need to be consulted on with your professor. Final approval for exceptions unrelated to academic accommodations rests with the program chair.

Diploma Registered Practical Nurse to B.Sc.N. (McMaster)