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College Catalog 2014-2015


The College offers numerous degrees and career studies certificate programs at the Medical Education Campus for those who wish to pursue careers in the health professions. Many of the programs are accredited by external accrediting agencies. Each program is designed with the advice of community health professionals to include a balance of technical and general education courses. The purpose of the Allied Health and Nursing programs is to prepare caring, competent, adaptable, reflective, service-oriented health care professionals who can identify and use a variety of resources and technologies to function successfully in diverse and evolving health care practice environments.

Students are advised that NOVA's Allied Health and Nursing programs have been designed to prepare students for direct entry to health careers. However, programs may have articulated understandings with four-year colleges and universities that facilitate the partial or complete transfer of NOVA course work to four-year degree programs. Students who wish to transfer to a baccalaureate program should consult the appropriate assistant dean early in the program of study.

Allied Health and Nursing programs are based at the Medical Education Campus. Some core courses are available online or at locations other than the Medical Education Campus. Students may take general education support courses at any of the six College campuses. A prior college degree will not automatically waive English, math, science, and computer courses that may be required by a specific Allied Health program. These courses must be taken or the equivalent courses transferred in from an accredited U.S. institution, and must meet the specified grade requirement for the desired program. Science courses must have benn taken within the past of 10 years to be accepted. For more information on transferring courses, please see the current Credit for Pior Learning manual.

Because of limited laboratory, classroom, and/or clinical space, certain Allied Health and Nursing Programs have limited enrollment. Acceptance to NOVA does not constitute acceptance into a specific Allied Health or Nursing Program. External accrediting and licensing agencies may specify program requirements.

The College maintains clinical affiliate agreements with a large number of health-care facilities and community-based agencies for clinical instruction. These regulate the conditions under which NOVA Allied Health and Nursing students may obtain required clinical experience.

Admission into an Allied Health or Nursing program begins with application to the College, followed by attendance or review of an online information session. Please see desired program for admission requirements and policies. Applications cannot be submitted until all requirements are completed. Applications must be submitted during the application period for each program. Please refer to the information session for the program deadline.

Each program has specific admission, program continuation, and program completion criteria. These are described under each program. Due to the unique responsibilities involved in health careers, the College reserves the right to require that any student who is unsuited for any Allied Health or Nursing program be withdrawn and guided into a more suitable field of study.

Admission into an Allied Health or Nursing program begins with application to the College, followed by attendance or review of an online information session. Please see the desired program for admission requirements and policies. Applications cannot be submitted until all requirements are completed. Applications must be submitted during the application period for each program. Please refer to the information session for the program deadline.

Students are accepted with priority given to: (1) legal residents domiciled in the cities and counties supporting the College, (2) other Virginia legal residents, (3) out-of-state applicants, (4) and international students requiring an I-20. For healthcare programs, "counties supporting the College" (Category 1 above) may include those in which clinical affiliates have contractual agreements with NOVA or students from other VCCS service areas whose community college does not offer the specific program.

An annual criminal background check and drug screening will be required as clinical affiliates mandate this requirement in affiliation agreements. Any student who does not pass the background check or drug screening must resolve this issue directly with the agency that conducted the search. Unresolved issues presented in the criminal background checks or drug screennings may result in denial of program placement or dismissal from the program. Such dismissed students will not be allowed admission in any other healthcare-related program.

Generally, the criteria to pass the background check are:

  • No felony convictions
  • No misdemeanor convictions (except a single alcohol related misdemeanor conviction more than five years ago may be waived)


The following chart lists the Allied Health and Nursing programs and shows the program type and number of credits required for graduation from each.

Allied Health and Nursing Degree and Career Studies Certificate (CSC) Programs

Program Name Program Type Credits
*Dental Hygiene A.A.S 72
*Diagnostic Medical Sonography A.A.S 68
*Emergency Medical Services A.A.S 67
Health Information Management A.A.S 72
*Medical Lab Technology A.A.S 69
*Nursing A.A.S 69
*Occupational Therapy Assistant A.A.S. 70
*Physical Therapist Assistant A.A.S 69
*Radiography A.A.S 70
*Respiratory Therapy A.A.S 71
*Clinical Data Coding CSC 29
Dental Assisting Certificate 43
Emergency Medical Technician - Basic CSC 12
Emergency Medical Technician - Intermediate CSC 24
Health Information Technology CSC 23
Paramedic CSC 18
Medical Transcription CSC 24
Phlebotomy CSC 11

*These programs require students to successfully complete prerequisite courses prior to admission. See program description for specific details.

Responsibilities of Allied Health and Nursing Students

  1. To prepare students for the high ethical standards of the health professions, the College expects absolute academic integrity both in the classroom and in clinical practice. Therefore, cheating, attempting to cheat, plagiarizing, lying, stealing academic work which includes secured tests or related materials, submitting papers purchased or written by others, or failing to report an occurrence of academic dishonesty or any violation of this honor code may subject the student to the College's disciplinary procedures as defined in the NOVA Student Handbook.
  2. Students in Allied Health and Nursing programs incur a variety of expenses in addition to College tuition and fees. These include, but are not limited to, the cost of uniforms, accessories, and travel to clinical assignments. Students are also responsible for state licensure and national accreditation application and testing fees.
  3. In certain programs the College reserves the right to require students to obtain and maintain at their own expense liability/malpractice insurance with a carrier authorized to transact such business in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Whether or not insurance appropriate to the program is required, students are encouraged to carry such insurance on their own.
  4. A strict dress code is required in the clinical setting. Students may be dismissed if they fail to comply with this dress code.
  5. Students are required to complete learning experiences at local hospitals and/or other community-based agencies. Students may be required to attend day, evening and/or weekend clinical assignments.
  6. Students must provide their own transportation to clinical assignments. Strict attendance is required at clinical sites.
  7. Students may utilize the resources of the assigned clinical affiliate for emergency medical treatment for injuries or illness that may occur during the time period when students are assigned to the health care facility. The student is responsible for any expenses incurred for this treatment.
  8. Students must comply with all clinical agreement protocols including immunization requirements, drug screening, background checks and personal health insurance.
  9. Students must keep their CPR certifications and required immunizations current each year they are enrolled in an Allied Health or Nursing program.
  10. While enrolled in clinical courses, students may not replace or take the responsibility of "qualified" staff in affiliated facilities. However, after demonstrating proficiency, students may be permitted to perform specified procedures under careful supervision. Allied Health and Nursing students may be employed in clinical facilities outside regular education hours provided that such work does not interfere with academic responsibilities. The work must be non-compulsory and subject to employee regulations. Any exception to this policy must have the approval of the Allied Health or Nursing division dean.
  11. Students are expected to conform to the Code of Clinical Conduct as outlined in the Nursing and Allied Health Student Handbook(s). All incidents of suspected academic dishonesty will be reported to the Program Assistant Dean for review

Continuation Requirements for Allied Health and Nursing Students

  1. To pass a course students must successfully complete both the didactic (classroom) and the clinical/lab requirements.
  2. Program faculty and clinical affiliates reserve the right to recommend, through appropriate channels, withdrawal of any student who exhibits unsafe performance or non-adherence to prescribed clinical affiliate policies and procedures.
  3. Students must be able to perform all essential functions of the program in which they are enrolled.
  4. For Allied Health Students only:

  5. Each course in the program major must be completed with a grade of "C" or better before taking the next course in the sequence and to satisfy graduation requirements, unless otherwise approved by the program assistant dean.
  6. All courses in the major must be taken in the sequence prescribed in the NOVA Catalog, unless otherwise approved by the program assistant dean.
  7. Program Readmission Requirements: If a student is dismissed, the student is no longer eligible for readmission. Any student who has voluntarily withdrawn or has been withdrawn due to unsatisfactory academic and/or clinical performance must see the Program Assistant Dean within 10 business days for an exit interview or to discuss possible options for continuing in the program. Students withdrawn for academic and/or clinical conduct issues will need to refer to the NOVA Student Handbook at http://www.nvcc.edu/current-students/policies--forms/student-handbook.