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Comprehensive Exam

I. Objective
To evaluate the student’s knowledge related to program outcomes in a professionally written document.

II. Policy
A comprehensive examination is required of all Tanner Health System School of Nursing doctoral candidates. It will require the student to perform a critical analysis on a specific topic in nursing education. The comprehensive exam is scheduled in the student's final semester of coursework and is evaluated by a panel of graduate faculty. Students will either pass or fail according to criteria set fourth in the Ed.D in Nursing Education Comprehensive Examination: Comprehensive Exam Rubric form. Students will be notified via university e-mail of their comprehensive exam results by their dissertation chair. Students unsuccessful on the first comprehensive exam will be required to retake the exam prior to continuing in the program. On no occasion may the student take the comprehensive exam a third time. An unsuccessful second comprehensive exam attempt will result in dismissal from the program.

III. Procedure

The comprehensive exam will consist of three questions. Based upon the questions, the student will write an APA style/25-30 page (excluding references) paper. Students are expected to demonstrate a strong grasp of content salient to the topic including research findings and methodological considerations. The students are expected to demonstrate mastery of relevant literature. Papers should be well written with clarity, specificity, relevance, integration, and application of knowledge. Graduate faculty panel members will evaluate each paper with the use of the Ed.D in Nursing Education Comprehensive Examination: Comprehensive Exam Rubrics form.

IV. Time frame

Students will be given three questions the first week of their final semester of coursework. Completed comprehensive examination papers will be submitted electronically to the Ed.D Program Director (swelch@westga.edu) by August 1st. No extensions will be allowed for the comprehensive examination papers, and plagiarism is an automatic failure. Students who fail their first comprehensive exam will retake their second comprehensive exam within approximately either weeks of the first comprehensive failure with a due date of November 1st.