Catalog and Student Handbook 2010-2011 
    Aug 15, 2018  
Catalog and Student Handbook 2010-2011 [Archived Catalog]

Nursing (A.A.S.)

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Major in Nursing (A.A.S.)

(Designed for the student who does not intend to transfer into a baccalaureate degree program.)

Nursing is the application of knowledge and skills designed to assist people, sick or well, to cope with their health needs. The associate degree nurse is a generalist who gives direct nursing care to people with common health problems in a variety of health care settings. The associate degree nurse works within the framework of the health care system and is expected to adhere to professional codes of conduct and ethics.

The practice of the associate degree nurse encompasses the interrelated roles of provider of care, coordinator/manager of care and member within the discipline of nursing. The associate degree graduate of this program will demonstrate basic competencies necessary to assume the role of a beginning practitioner of nursing, as outlined by the National League for Nursing. The graduate will be eligible to write the National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX) for licensure as a Registered Nurse. This educational program can serve as a base for future formal study.

The faculty of the department of nursing are committed to achieving the following goals:

  1. To prepare an associate degree graduate to practice within the three roles of the associate degree nurse as identified by the National League for Nursing.
  2. To provide a curriculum which qualifies the student to receive the Associate of Applied Science degree and be eligible to write the NCLEX for registered nurses.

The nursing curriculum is a combination of general and nursing education courses designed to provide students with scientific knowledge and technical and interpersonal skills needed to function effectively as a professional nurse. In order to facilitate the achievement of the program goals, the following program outcomes have been identified. The Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing is designed to provide a graduate who will:

  1. Communicate with others using appropriate verbal and non-verbal methods.
  2. Plan and revise nursing care using the nursing process.
  3. Implement/facilitate nursing care with safety and skill.
  4. Demonstrate acceptance of professional responsibility.
  5. Function as a contributing member of the health care team.

All nursing clinical experiences/laboratories are under the supervision of the nursing faculty who select, guide, and evaluate the learning experiences of the students. Clinical facilities at health care agencies throughout the service and surrounding areas are utilized. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from clinical agencies.

The Nursing Program has full approval from the Tennessee Board of Nursing. The program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).

National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc.
3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30326

Once applications are screened, students will be notified of admission status. If an application is determined not to meet minimum admission criteria, the student will receive a “not eligible for admission” letter. Nursing applicants are admitted twice a year (during Fall and Spring terms) into the Nursing Program.

To remain eligible for admission, applicants must maintain a grade point average of 2.500 or better.

Criminal background checks (including finger printing) and routine drug screens are required by most clinical affiliate sites as a condition of participation in clinical education. Based on the results of the criminal background check, a clinical affiliate may determine to not allow a student's presence at their facility. This could result in your inability to successfully complete the requirements of a specific course and the program. More information is available from the program director.

Applicants who have been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation may be ineligible for licensure. For more information, contact the Nursing Program director. Any felony convictions must be reported to the Nursing Program director.

Admissions Requirements

These requirements apply to all nursing applicants, including licensed practical nurses applying for the Career Mobility Ladder, Options A and B.

  1. Meet all College general requirements for admission as a degree-seeking student as stated in the catalog.
  2. Completion of all required developmental studies (DSP) courses in reading, writing, math, and learning strategies prior to submitting an admission application to the Nursing Program.
  3. Complete Anatomy and Physiology I (BIOL 2010) prior to submission of an admission application to the Nursing Program.
  4. ACT or SAT exam results are required of all applicants, regardless of educational experience or age. Applicants should have a composite score of 19 or a minimum SAT score of 900. Lower composite scores will be considered for admission if all required remedial and developmental courses are completed.
  5. Earned a cumulative college-level grade point average of 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale for academic subjects.
  6. If a Nursing Program applicant has been enrolled in any another Nursing Program within three years of the date of application, the nursing courses will be evaluated for transfer credit on an individual basis.
    1. A grade of “C” or better is required for all transferred nursing courses.
    2. Transfer students are accepted on a space available basis.
  7. If three or more years have elapsed since enrollment in a nursing program, the nursing courses must be repeated.
  8. If five or more years have elapsed the following requirements apply:
    1. Anatomy and Physiology courses must be repeated.
    2. All current application/enrollment requirements apply.
  9. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, all applicants and admitted students must be, with reasonable accommodation, physically and mentally capable of performing the essential functions of the program outlined below in the Core Performance Standards of Admission and Progression developed by the Southern Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing and adopted by all Nursing Programs in the Tennessee Board of Regents system (TBR Policy 2:03:00:00 II B 6).
    1. Communication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal, nonverbal and written form.
    2. Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
    3. Critical thinking ability sufficient for appropriate clinical judgment and utilization of the nursing process.
    4. Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces.
    5. Strength to perform patient care and assist with patient mobility.
    6. Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective nursing care.
    7. Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs.
    8. Visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary to provide safe and effective nursing care.
    9. Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment and intervention.
    10. Ability to be responsive within appropriate time periods.

Admissions Requirements for Applicants Offered Admission

Once admitted, students are required to submit documentation of the following entry requirements prior to the first day of nursing classes. If the documentation is not completed prior to the first day of classes, students will not be permitted to start the Nursing Program.

  1. Health Requirements: All nursing students must submit evidence of good health by returning a completed Physical Examination form. Forms are given to the students once admitted into the Nursing Program. All students must have the following:
    1. Documented negative TB Skin Test and/or Chest X-Ray yearly. TB Skin Tests must be within three months of the start of the program. Some clinical facilities require a two-step TB Skin Test.
    2. Evidence of the following:
      1. Immunity of the following through positive titer:
        1. Rubella.
        2. Hepatitis B.
        3. Varicella Zoster (chicken pox).
        4. Rubeola
        5. Mumps
      2. Tetanus/diphtheria booster with the past ten years.
      3. Other vaccinations which may be required for specific clinical affiliates (for example, Influenza).
  2. Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) Requirements: All students must submit evidence of a current BCLS certification (must include two-person CPR) for the health care professional. BCLS certification classes are offered by Columbia State Community College or the American Heart Association.
  3. Malpractice Insurance: Malpractice insurance is required for all clinical nursing courses. A group policy is available. The fee is assessed annually as a part of registration.
  4. Health Insurance: Students are responsible for all costs incurred related to health problems, including injuries occurring during clinical experiences. Students must provide evidence of health insurance coverage to be eligible to participate in clinical activities.
  5. Criminal Background Check (including finger printing) and Routine Drug Screen results submitted per instructions provided. Clinical agencies may deny a student access to the facility based on the results of the background check or the drug screen. This could result in a student being unable to successfully complete the requirements of a course or the program.

Admissions Procedure

  1. Submit the following to the Admissions office:
    1. Completed Application for Admission to the College
    2. official college transcripts
    3. high school transcripts or GED results
    4. ACT or SAT exam results
  2. Submit a completed Nursing Program Application to the Health Sciences/Nursing office (William R. Walter Bldg., 112). Forms are available in the Health Sciences/Nursing office or on the Nursing Program Web page ( Applications are accepted in February for Fall admission and August for Spring admission. Applications must be received in the Health Sciences/Nursing office on the Columbia campus before 4:00 p.m. on the last day of the month (February or August) for the term that the student is seeking admission. Any applications received after the 4:00 p.m. deadline will be returned to the person submitting the application.
  3. If an applicant does not meet the admission criteria, he/she will be notified in writing. When the eligibility requirement is met, the applicant will have to resubmit his/her application.
  4. Applicants who are admitted will be notified in writing. Applicants are required to respond to the Nursing Program in writing of their desire to accept their position by the deadline date listed in their letter.
  5. Applicants will be removed from consideration for admission if their responses are not received in the Health Sciences/Nursing office by the deadline date. Students are responsible for promptly notifying the Nursing Program office of any change in name, mailing address, phone number, etc., in order to facilitate contact during the application process.
  6. If applicant has been enrolled in another Nursing Program, the following requirements also apply.
    1. Submit a Nursing Program Transfer Request Application in lieu of a Nursing Program Application.
    2. Submit official transcripts with appropriate course descriptions to the Nursing Program director.
    3. Request a letter of recommendation from the dean/director of the previous Nursing Program, to be mailed to the Nursing Program director.
  7. Admissions decisions are currently made based upon final course grades in A & P I, ACT/SAT composite scores, and cumulative GPA on all attempted college credits.

Continuation Requirements

After admission to the program a student must meet the following conditions to remain eligible for continuation:

  1. Maintain a passing grade of “C” or better in all nursing courses.
  2. Maintain satisfactory performance in all clinical laboratory assignments.
  3. Earn a grade of “C” or better in each required science course.
  4. Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.00 for each semester.
  5. Maintain professional conduct in the classroom and clinical laboratory.
  6. Maintain BCLS certification.
  7. Submit annual TB skin test results to the Health Sciences/Nursing office.

Note: If a theory or clinical course must be repeated, students will be required to register for both theory and clinical courses regardless of the grades previously earned.

Students who fail to meet these continuation requirements stated above will be dismissed from the Nursing Program. Students dropped from the program may be qualified to continue taking courses at Columbia State, but will not be permitted to register in nursing courses without readmission to the program.

Readmission Requirements

A student who exits the program prior to beginning the second semester (Nursing II) is not eligible to seek readmission to the program. A formal appeal based on extenuating circumstances may be considered for readmission into the first semester.

Only one readmission into the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th semesters of the Nursing Program is permitted. Readmission to the program is not guaranteed, regardless of the reason for dismissal. Students are readmitted on a space available basis for each nursing course. Students who seek readmission within a three year period may be readmitted into the course they were enrolled at the point of exit. If three years or more have elapsed since enrollment in nursing courses, all nursing courses must be repeated. An Exit Interview form must be on file to be eligible for readmission.

  1. To be eligible for readmission, the student’s overall college-level grade point average should be at least a 2.0 or higher. Students on academic probation are not eligible for readmission.
  2. An exit interview should have been completed during the term the student withdrew or failed a course. Students who fail a course or withdraw after completing the semester must complete the exit interview no later than 6 weeks following the end of the semester in which they were enrolled.
  3. Criminal background check, finger-printing, and routine drug screening must be resubmitted prior to re-entry by any student who exits the program for any reason and is subsequently readmitted, regardless of the length of time a student is out of the program.

Readmission Procedure

  1. Complete a Readmission Application and return the form to the Health Sciences/Nursing office.
  2. Provide written documentation to the Nursing Program director stating the reason(s) for withdrawal or failure and indicate the actions the student has followed to ensure success in the program if readmitted. This documentation must be submitted before a student will be considered for readmission.
  3. The Nursing Department Admissions Committee or Nursing Program director may elect to interview students seeking readmission. Applicants will be notified by mail when and where the interviews will be held.
  4. If eligible, students will be placed on a waiting list for an available seat in a specific nursing course.
  5. Students who are readmitted may be asked to validate clinical skills and/or knowledge obtained from previous nursing courses as outlined by the faculty.
  6. The Nursing Program director will notify students seeking readmission of their status.


Required Courses

Prerequisite: 4 credit hours

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

Third Semester - 17 credit hours

  • Humanities/Fine Arts Elective Credits: (3).
    (See Elective Options below)

Total Credit Hours: 66

Elective Options

Elective options are listed on the Associate of Arts & Associate of Science Degree Requirements page.

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