Student Policies and Procedures

Student Handbook

Curriculum Plan / Progression Policy

Students must meet all course requirements to progress to the next course. Courses are sequential and have pre-requisite and /or co-requisite non-nursing course requirements. All course requirements must be successfully completed in the prescribed order according to the curriculum plan. It is the student's responsibility to submit official transcripts immediately upon completion of all required non-nursing courses to the Financial Specialist/Registrar. For non-nursing college courses, a grade of "C" or higher must be achieved (a C minus is not transferable). Students who are not compliant with the progression policy do not meet the criteria for promotion. This will result in action up to and including dismissal.

The curriculum plan for the nursing program outlined on BHSN's website, "Curriculum at a Glance" illustrates the required sequencing of courses. Each course is a pre-requisite to the next course in the sequence. Pre- and co-requisites must be taken at an accredited college/university. A minimum grade of "C" is required for ALL pre- and co-requisites. All science courses (A & P I, A & P II, Microbiology) must be taken within seven (7) years of the program start date. ONLY traditional classroom and hybrid courses are acceptable.

Traditional classroom, hybrid, CLEP, and online courses are acceptable for non-science courses.

A Student Education Plan, outlining the accepted transfer of non-nursing courses is initiated for nursing students at orientation and assists the student in planning their progression throughout the curriculum. An assigned faculty advisor is available for academic guidance and program progression. Students must comply with the curriculum plan including submission of official transcripts to the Financial Specialist/Registrar in order to progress in the program.

Any student who is completing a non-nursing co-requisite course that ends later than the BHSN nursing course will be allowed to enter the next nursing course. However, the official transcript of the non-nursing course must be submitted to BHSN by a date determined by Administration or the student will not be allowed to:

  • Take final course exam or
  • Receive clinical evaluation or
  • Receive course credit

If the student is noncompliant with the curriculum plan and progression policy, the student will not be allowed to progress in the program.

Grading Policy

The average of all numerical grades must be 75% or greater to pass the course in all programs. Individual components making up the final course grade are not rounded separately. Final course grades of 75% or greater are rounded up to the next number if the decimal point is at or above 0.5. Final course grades below 75% are not rounded.

Grade reports for nursing are given at the end of each semester. Grades are recorded in letter grade on the transcript. Grades are withheld for those students who have not completed course or program requirements such as make-up assignments, official transcripts, and/or outstanding fees.

The academic standard grade of pass/fail is used for Sterile Processing Technician Program; no letter grades are assigned.

Value of Letter Grade and Quality Points (QP)

Grade Points QP
(Student Nurses Only)
A+ 97-100 4.0
A 93-96 4.0
A- 90-92 3.67
B+ 87-89 3.33
B 83-86 3.00
B- 80-82 2.67
C+ 77-79 2.33
C 75-76 2.00
(minimum passing grade)
F Below 75 0.00

Cumulative Quality Point Average (CQPA)
Quality points are calculated by multiplying the number of points of each grade by the total number of credit hours assigned to that course. The Quality Point Average (QPA) is obtained by dividing the total number of quality points earned in the semester by the total number of credit hours taken in the semester. The CQPA is determined by the total number of quality points accumulated in the program divided by the total number of credit hours completed. The student transcript will reflect all course grades required for completion of BHSN’s curriculum and will be used for computation of CQPA. The academic standard grades of A-F are used in calculating the QPA. A “Pass” or withdrawal “W” will be excluded from QPA calculation.

Criteria for Promotion

The following criteria must be met to be promoted to the next course:

  1. A minimum course grade of 75 (C)
  2. Satisfactory completion of all course work
  3. Satisfactory classroom/clinical laboratory performance (see note below)
  4. Completion of required clinical hours
  5. Completion of required standardized testing in the nursing program
  6. Receipt of official transcript verifying the successful completion of required college co-requisites, if applicable (see note below)
  7. Financial obligations to BHSN & Bridgeport Hospital have been satisfied

Note (#3):
If a student's classroom/clinical laboratory performance is unsatisfactory and the clinical educator has reason to believe that a student is not meeting course objectives, a team meeting is held. The student will be informed of the faculty's impending meeting. The student has the option to attend the meeting and make a verbal or written statement relating to his/her clinical performance. In the event the student chooses not to attend the meeting, he/she is encouraged to submit a written statement prior to the meeting. The clinical educator presents to the team a summary of the student's performance. The faculty considers all information when deciding whether or not the student meets all of the clinical objectives. Course faculty (excluding the clinical educator) then makes a decision regarding a student's promotion.

Note (#6):
For non-nursing co-requisite courses where the college semester ends later than the nursing course e.g. NU 201, the student who is actively taking the college course is allowed to enter this nursing course. However, if BHSN Financial Specialist/Registrar has not received the official transcript of the non-nursing course within a reasonable timeframe, student will not be allowed to take final course exam, receive clinical evaluation, or receive course credit for NU 201. If the student is noncompliant with the promotion policy, the student will not be allowed to progress in the program.

Attendance Policy

There are no “excused absences” for mandatory attendance.


Mandatory attendance for academic-related activity includes:

  • Clinical laboratory
  • Post-conferences
  • Classroom laboratory
  • Competencies
  • Simulations
  • NU 205 class seminars
  • ATI NCLEX-RN review course
Student attendance at academic lectures is highly recommended. 

Students are expected to be ready at the beginning of the scheduled class/laboratory. Tardiness is disruptive to those who make the effort to be on time and to the lecture/discussion in progress. The course syllabus will define the length of time for tardiness and the effect on the student’s course work/grade.

Classroom and clinical laboratory absences place a student in jeopardy of failing the course. In order to meet the course outcomes, all of the required clinical hours must be fulfilled. A student who has been absent because of prolonged illness/condition (more than three consecutive clinical days), is required to have clearance from the student’s Health Care Provider and the Industrial Medical Center before returning to class/clinical.

If a student’s health status should change, such as limitations related to pregnancy, post-partum, or a sprained ankle, etc., the student must notify the Associate Director or Director of the program. The need for medical clearance will be determined by the school at that time.

In the event of a clinical absence, all students are required to leave a message on the clinical educator’s voice mail and call the clinical unit or agency at least 60 minutes prior to scheduled clinical hours. If, for any reason, a student needs to leave a clinical lab or clinical observational experience prior to the scheduled time, the educator must be notified. Failure to do so is grounds for dismissal.

Sterile Processing

Attendance at all classroom lecture, classroom laboratory, clinical and experiences is mandatory. In the event of an absence, the student must leave a message on the educator’s voice mail and if applicable, contact the clinical unit. Make-up assignments are given for classroom and classroom laboratory absences.

Code of Conduct

Students in the BHSN programs are expected to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the high standards of the profession and in accordance with the Bridgeport Hospital Employee Conduct Policy (Intranet/Bridgeport/Policies/Bridgeport Hospital Policies and Procedures/search Bridgeport and YNHHS documents/search Substance Abuse/ Section B-5 Substance Abuse).  Students are entering a profession that requires a high level of personal integrity.  Any violation of conduct will be dealt with promptly and appropriately.  Students will be subject to disciplinary action and/or dismissal from the School.  

Incivility, Harassment and Discrimination Policies

Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing is a community of students, faculty and staff that are committed to a respectful, safe and protected environment. Our belief is that learning and work can exist when the environment is free from any type of uncivil acts. Acknowledging that uncivil acts may fall on a continuum ranging from lack of respect up to and including physical violence, the School of Nursing requires that all members of our community value and respect each other. Any type of uncivil act will be taken seriously and will be dealt with promptly and appropriately.

Harassment on the basis of protected class is strictly prohibited. Harassment includes:

  • Verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, ancestry, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, marital status or any other class protected by applicable law; and
  • That has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's school performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment.

Any form of sexual harassment of or by a student, be it physical, verbal, or implied will not be tolerated. Every effort will be made to prevent such harassment from occurring at BHSN. Sexual harassment is defined as "Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature." Sexual harassment in any form is grounds for dismissal.

Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing does not discriminate, nor will it tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, national/ethnic origin, religion, age, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation, or with regard to the bases outlined in the Veterans Readjustment Act and the American's with Disabilities Act in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs and other programs administered by BHSN.

Complaints of any form of harassment or discrimination should be submitted by the student to the Director of the School. Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation. Individuals who commit acts of retaliation, any form of harassment, or discrimination will be subject to disciplinary action and/or dismissal from the School. Complaints should be submitted in writing, if possible.

Complaints and Grievances

Informal Complaints/Informal Grievances
BHSN defines a "complaint" as a verbal expression of dissatisfaction. Open and appropriate channels of communication among students, faculty and administration are encouraged.

If a situation occurs that results in disagreement or difficulty between a student and a faculty/staff member, a thorough exploration of all possibilities for resolution or compromise should occur. To ensure proper channels of communication, BHSN recommends that the student follow these steps:

  1. The student first discusses the issue with the involved person rather than uninvolved faculty members or administration.
  2. If resolution is unsuccessful, the student is encouraged to meet with the appropriate Program Coordinator or Associate Director.
  3. If the student still feels the need to discuss the situation further, the next step is to meet with the Director of BHSN for final resolution.

For questions or concerns directly related to a course, the nursing student is expected to discuss the issue with the course leader. The nursing student will meet with the level Associate Director if the course leader determines it necessary or the student does not feel the issue was resolved. Sterile processing students meet with the Program Coordinator for questions, concerns, or resolution of issues and if unsolved, then the Associate Director.

For any questions or concerns directly related to Program dissatisfaction, all students should directly meet with the appropriate Program Coordinator or Associate Director. When the student still feels the need to discuss the situation further, the next step is to meet with the Director of BHSN for final resolution.

Formal Grievance
BHSN defines a "grievance" as a written (letter, survey, fax, or email) dissatisfaction. It is the policy of BHSN to identify and address causes of student dissatisfaction and to ensure that all students receive fair and equitable treatment. In accordance with this policy, BHSN adopted grievance procedures which students may use to seek a solution to problems involving academic, clinical, discipline, dismissal or any other situation that the student feels to be an unfair application of BHSN policies and procedures.

Grievance Procedure
When issues involving academic, clinical, discipline, dismissal or any other situation that cannot be resolve through the established channels of communication, the student may use the formal grievance procedure. The student initiates the grievance process as follows:

    1. The student should meet formally with the appropriate Associate Director to seek resolution; a written grievance is recommended.*
    2. If a student is dismissed and continues the grievance process, the student must submit a written request to meet with the Director of BHSN within 48 hours following dismissal. The student may be allowed to return to class and clinical only with permission from the Director. The student may bring a support person to the meeting. This person, however, is not allowed to participate in the discussion. After considering background material and facts, the Director's decision is presented to the student in writing within 5 business days.
    3. A student's appeal of the Director's decision must be submitted in a formal letter to the Sr. Vice President (VP) for Patient Care Operations within 48 hours of the decision or the student loses the right to appeal. The Sr. VP for Patient Care Operations then makes the decision in writing. This decision shall be final.

* When the Associate Director is not available, the initial resolution process will start with the appropriate committee, e.g. for curriculum issues, the Curriculum Committee; for admission issues, the Admissions Committee.

Official Complaints/Inquiries Regarding Program Operation
BHSN does not prohibit any student from filing an inquiry or complaint regarding the Program's operation. Students should meet with the appropriate Program Coordinator or Associate Director for questions, concerns or resolution of issues.

After following appropriate channels of communication and/or the school's grievance policy, sterile processing students would direct inquiries with the Executive Director of the Office of Higher Education 39 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT 06105. (860) 947-1816.

Nursing students would direct inquiries regarding program dissatisfaction (program quality and non-compliance with accreditation standards) to the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (formerly NLNAC), 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Georgia 30326. (404) 975-5000. (at website refer to Accreditation Manual/Policies/#20, Complaints Against an Accredited Program)


Students who never attended any classes and did not complete any course work are required to repay 100% of the financial aid received for the semester.

Non-attendance or non-completion of coursework is considered a withdrawal. Students may elect to withdraw from a program. If the withdrawal occurs while the course is in progress, withdrawal must occur prior to the administration of the final exam and prior to the final evaluation of the student’s clinical performance (including prior to course team meeting regarding student performance) to receive a grade of “W” on the transcript. Withdrawal date will be based on the last date of verifiable attendance. For financial reimbursement, refer to refund policy.

Official Withdrawal
Withdrawal from the school is a matter of major importance. If the student is considering withdrawal from school, the student meets with the appropriate Program Coordinator or Associate Director to discuss factors precipitating withdrawal.

When a student withdraws, the student should follow the process below:

  1. Notify or submit a written letter of intent to the Program Coordinator, Associate Director, or the Director of BHSN.
  2. Schedule and complete an exit interview with the Director/Associate Director and the Education Finance Specialist for completion of the Student Clearance Form.

Withdrawal procedures must be fully completed before a withdrawal becomes official.

Unofficial Withdrawal:
A withdrawal is considered unofficial if the student leaves the program without notification or fails to complete the above exit process or fails to meet obligations to the school. At this time the student record is considered incomplete.

When the student file is incomplete, the school will follow the process below:

  1. Send a written letter to the student requesting verification of student’s status and process to complete if student is withdrawing
  2. If the school does not get verification from student within 1 month of last day of attendance, a final notification is sent via registered or certified mail.

The last date of attendance is used for those students with federal and state aid whom are assumed to have unofficially withdrawn from the school and is used to determine the Return of the Title IV Funds calculation. Those students receiving financial aid who failed to complete an exit interview and counseling, the Financial Specialist/Registrar will follow up and send appropriate exit information.

Leave of Absence

A student considering a Leave of Absence (LOA) must address concerns with the appropriate Associate Director. The student withdrawing must be in good academic and clinical standing in order to be eligible for a LOA (refer to section on Academic Policies). The approved LOA, combined with any additional leave of absence, may not exceed 180 days in any 12-month period starting with the beginning of the LOA.

If eligible, and prior to the leave, the student must provide to the Director for approval a written, signed, and dated request that includes the reason for the request for a LOA. There are no additional financial charges to the student for an approved LOA. 

If unforeseen circumstances prevent a student from providing a prior written request, the Director of BHSN may grant the student’s request for a LOA provided that the Director documents her/his decision. The student must submit the written request at a later date as agreed upon by the student and Director.

Prior to granting the leave of absence, students receiving Title IV, HEA program loans meet with the Education Finance Specialist/Registrar.  The Specialist explains to the student the effects that student’s failure to return from a leave of absence may have on the student’s loan repayment terms, including the exhaustion of some or all of the student's grace period.

At the time of the LOA, the student is required to attend an exit interview with the Director/Associate Director and the Education Finance Specialist/Registrar, and to complete a Student Clearance Form. If the LOA is requested during a course, a grade of “W” will be assigned to the student’s transcript. Upon return, it is the student’s responsibility to write a letter of intent and contact the Admissions Chairperson at least 45 days prior to the start of the course to discuss re-admission requirements. The student also meets with the Associate Director to discuss of plan of action to assist in a successful transition back into the program. 

Because BHSN is closing in May 2017, as of June 6, 2016, the Leave of Absence policy will only pertain to students in the Accelerated track of the nursing program. A one-time leave is granted for those students leaving an accelerated course and returning to the next scheduled traditional course in less than 180 days. 

Students who are granted a leave of absence and are unable to return on the next scheduled traditional course start date will be considered to have withdrawn from the program and will not be eligible to return to the program because of school closure.

Maintenance of Student Records

Active nursing student records are kept in locked, confidential files in the Admissions Office. Active Sterile Processing student records are kept in the Allied Health Faculty Office. The Registrar/Education Finance Specialist maintains financial records for all students and official college transcripts for nursing students.

An active file is a record of a student who is currently enrolled or on an official leave of absence. An inactive file is a record of a student that has graduated, has withdrawn or has been dismissed from the program.

Active Files: Nursing

Materials maintained in active student files, except for the *official college transcripts, include:

  1. All application materials: application, essay, references, proof of citizenship, high school transcript or equivalent, security background check, TEAS report and other official correspondence. References submitted in confidence and for which the student had waived their right to see are not available for student review.
  2. Program Requirements: Proof of BLS certification, Malpractice insurance, CT Hospital Association (CHA) mandatories including HIPAA, LPN license if applicable
  3. Enrollment Agreement
  4. Documents related to the student's academic progress and signed verification of receipt/understanding, e.g. student education plan, clinical performance evaluations, requests for change in status, clinical /academic warning letters, remediation plans, student nurse clinical skills checklist, receipt of course syllabus
  5. Correspondence regarding “Information for Students with Disabilities” and any documentation related to the disability

* All official college transcripts are maintained in the Registrar office.

Active Files: Sterile Processing Technician

Materials maintained in active student files include:

  1. All application materials: application, paragraph, two references, proof of citizenship, high school transcript or equivalent, security background check, and other official correspondence. References submitted in confidence and for which the student had waived their right to see are not available for student review.
  2. Enrollment agreement
  3. Program Requirements : CT Hospital Association (CHA) mandatories including HIPAA
  4. Documents related to the student's academic progress and signed verification of receipt/understanding, e.g. exams/quiz/extra credit work, clinical performance evaluations, checklist of experiences, receipt of course syllabus
  5. Correspondence regarding “ Information for Students with Disabilities” and
  6. any documentation related to the disability

Sterile processing class attendance sheets are maintained in a separate class file.

Inactive Student Files: Nursing and Allied Health (Surgical Technology and Sterile Processing)

Materials maintained in inactive student files include:

  1. All of the above materials in the active student file
  2. Student Clearance Form
  3. BHSN transcript

After 7 years, permanent records of all students will consist of the final BHSN transcript, Student Clearance Form, and any contractual agreement.

Note: Record of evidence for tuition payment is accessible from the Registrar/Finance Office. Health records on all students are maintained by Bridgeport Hospital’s Industrial Medical Center.

Procedure for Release of Former Student Records

Students must meet financial obligations to BHSN and/or Bridgeport Hospital and have completed an exit interview including the Student Clearance Form before any written information in the student’s file, grades, official transcripts, or faculty references are released. Students may have official transcripts sent to other institutions, prospective employers, authorized agencies, or receive personal copies upon completion of the "Transcript Request Form" available at the office of the Registrar. The fee is $3.00 per transcript.

Student record information is kept up to 7 years post-graduation (refer to “Maintenance of Student Records”). Requests for written information, other than transcripts, that pertain to the program must be made in writing to BHSN. The fee for obtaining such information is 50 cents per page (also refer to “Storage and Access of Student Records” below).

School Closure - Access of Former Student Records

As part of the School Closure Plan, BHSN will set up a process for access and availability of graduates records. The BHSN website will be the means of notification as to Agent and location of records and procedure of obtaining official BHSN transcripts after graduation.

Student Work Policy

All student activities associated with the curriculum, especially while students are completing clinical rotations, will be educational in nature. Students will not be paid by the clinical affiliation site during this educational experience, nor will the student be substituted for paid personnel within the clinical institution.

Graduation Requirements

Before graduation, a student must complete the following:

  • All course requirements, including submission of non-nursing official transcripts
  • All prescribed standardized tests in the curriculum
  • Exit Interview including Student Clearance form with:
    • Education Finance Specialist/Registrar
    • Associate Director, Director of BHSN or Program Coordinator 
  • Payment of outstanding financial obligations to BHSN and Bridgeport Hospital.
Upon satisfactory completion of all the graduation requirements, the nursing diploma and pin are awarded upon graduation.  Sterile processing students receive a certificate.

IMPORTANT:  BHSN official transcript, diploma/certificate, pin, and/or references will be withheld if graduation requirements are not met.  In addition, official transcripts to the State Board of Examiners are held for nursing graduates who have completed the program but do not meet graduation requirements.  Students must meet all graduation requirements by the time of school closure in May 2017.

Certification for Sterile Processing Technicians (SPT)

At SPT program completion, graduates qualify to take the national certification exam in sterile processing by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD). Certification provides evidence to employers, healthcare professionals and colleagues that the student has been educated and trained to provide safe and competent care in sterile processing.