2021-2022 Catalog and Student Handbook 
    Jun 21, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Nursing, A.A.S.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

Major in Nursing (A.A.S.)

Sample Academic Plan - Total Credit Hours: 67

Only in-program Nursing students are eligible to register for NRSG courses.  Students in the Pre-Allied Health Nursing track may take non-NRSG course work.  Additional Pre-requisites for the Career Mobility Tract for LPNs include Foundations of Nursing LPN Challenge Exam within three (3) years prior to the semester seeking entry.  Program Requirements - The courses below are applicable to degree requirements. Students may be required to take additional Learning Support courses.

Second Semester - Credit Hours: 16 (LPNs Bridge into 2nd Semester)

Pre-requisities to Be Completed prior to LPN to RN Bridge Admission:

LPN Bridge Option - Credit Hours: 11 (Courses must be completed prior to admission to LPN to RN Bridge)


*BIOL 2010 and BIOL 2020 must have been completed no more than five years prior to program entry.  Students must earn a grade of "C" or higher in all Biology courses.

**Students must earn a grade of "C" or higher in the Mathematics course.

2Humanities/Fine Arts Requirement - Select from ART 1035 , ART 2000 , ART 2020 , ENGL 2160 , ENGL 2860 , HUM 1010 HUM 1020 MUS 1030 PHIL 1030 PHIL 1040 PHIL 2200 THEA 1030 . Literature Options: ENGL 2055 , ENGL 2130 , ENGL 2235 , ENGL 2310 , ENGL 2320 .

Requirements for Graduation Include:

  1. Earn 25% of total program credits in residence at Columbia State.
  2. Earn a GPA of at least 2.0 in program courses.
  3. Earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  4. Take the Exit Exam required by Columbia State.

This degree program is in compliance with the Common Course Curriculum Library for the A.A.S. in the Nursing program as delivered by the Tennessee Board of Regents community colleges.

Students and advisors should run a degree audit from myChargerNet each semester to confirm classes are applicable to the program of study.

For more information contact:
Dr. Amy Huff at ahuff4@columbiastate.edu or 931.540.2609
Health Sciences Division office at healthsciences@columbiastate.edu or 931.540.2600 or 931.540.2599
Detailed information is available via www.columbiastate.edu/nursing

General Information

Registered Nurses (RN) assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. RNs administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients and advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or management. Registered nursing is a profession that requires licensing by a state board of nursing. The RN is required to observe professional standards or practice and adhere to a code of ethics.

The purpose of the Nursing Program at Columbia State Community College is to prepare entry level nurses, with the mindset of a life-long learner, in a collegiate environment of academic rigor, who will demonstrate the knowledge and skill to provide safe, competent, patient-centered care as a registered nurse (RN).  Students who successfully complete the planned learning activities in the Nursing Program's curriculum earn the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree as a Graduate Nurse.   The Columbia State Graduate Nurse is eligible to apply to the Tennessee State Board of Nursing (TBON) for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). 

Nursing is the application of knowledge and skills to help individuals, sick or well, adapt to their health needs.  The individual is a unique being of intrinsic worth and dignity, a unified whole, possessing an interrelatedness of experiences derived from biological, psychological, sociocultural and spiritual needs in response to the environment.  The practice of nursing is an art and a science.  The registered nurse extracts from a knowledge base comprised of evidence-based and intuitive knowledge to select nursing actions.  Nursing actions are directed toward assisting individuals to attain and/or maintain optimum health throughout the life span.

The Columbia State Nursing Program:

   •  Offers entry into the practice of Nursing by preparing students for taking the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) in order to obtain the title of Registered Nurse (RN).
   •  Offers the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills to function in a beginning staff nurse position.
   •  Offers courses on the Columbia & Williamson County campuses.

The nursing curriculum combines general and nursing education courses to provide students with scientific knowledge as well as technical and interpersonal skills. The Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing is designed to provide a graduate who will:

  1. Practice within the ethical, legal and regulatory frameworks of nursing and standards of professional nursing practice.
  2. Communicate effectively using verbal, nonverbal, and written techniques including information and technology.
  3. Analyze subjective and objective assessment data to identify actual or potential health alterations.
  4. Evaluate outcomes of clinical decisions implemented to provide safe and effective evidence-based nursing care.
  5. Evaluate the effectiveness of caring interventions that incorporate principles of dignity, diversity, safety and knowledge.
  6. Evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented teaching plan to meet the learning needs of patients, families and/or groups.
  7. Collaborate when planning, implementing, and evaluating care.
  8. Manage care through effective use of prioritization, delegation, informatics and resources.

Students gain nursing experience in clinical facilities at area hospitals and various health agencies throughout the community.  The length of the Nursing Program is four academic semesters.     


The course of study involves a curriculum that is approved and implemented in accordance with requirements set forth by:

Tennessee Board of Nursing (Rules and Regulations 1000-01-.09 - .12)
State of Tennessee
Department of Health
Health Related Boards
Tennessee Board of Nursing
665 Mainstream Drive, 2nd Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 532-5166

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing  (ACEN)
3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400
Atlanta, Georgia 30326
Phone: 404-975-5000, Fax: 404-975-5020

Admission and Continuation/Retention Requirements

How do I apply to the Nursing Program?

All nursing program candidates must first complete all Columbia State admission requirements.

Students seeking admission to the traditional program must additionally:

  1. Complete and submit an application to the Nursing Program (Applications accepted in February for fall admission and August for spring admission)
  2. Attach copy of ACT/SAT composite score
  3. Possess a minimum cumulative GPA 2.75 from all college credit (on 4.0 scale). Attach unofficial copies of transcripts of all previously attempted college credit to the nursing application.
  4. Submit a high school transcript IF fewer than 12 college credits have been earned.

LPNs entering via the Career Mobility Track Must:

  • Pass the Challenge Examination for Nursing (Foundations) successfully.
  • Possess a minimum GPA 2.75 from all college credit (on 4.0 scale) including pre-requisite general education courses.

Admissions Requirements

These requirements apply to all nursing applicants.

  1. Meet all College general requirements for admission as a degree-seeking student as stated in the catalog.
  2. Review "Programs with Special Admission Requirements" in the Columbia State catalog.
  3. Exemption from or satisfaction of Learning Support competencies in reading, writing, and math as determined by college placement standards prior to submitting an admission application to the Nursing Program.
  4. Applicants must have a composite ACT score of 19 or higher (900 or greater for SAT) to be considered for admission. In keeping with the college's placement policy, individuals who have satisfied all required LS deficiencies will receive nursing admission points equivalent to an ACT composite score of 19. Likewise, students holding bachelors or higher degrees without an ACT score but with passing transferable English and Math credit on a college transcript will receive nursing admission points equivalent to an ACT composite score of 19.(NOTE: while a composite ACT score of 19 is the minimum accepted, the competitive nature of the admission process encourages higher scores.)
  5. Earned a cumulative college-level grade point average of 2.75 or above on a 4.0 scale for all prior college level course work.  The high school GPA is used for students who have fewer than 12 college credit hours.  An applicant with no college level credit that has no high school GPA must have an actual ACT composite score of 19 or higher.
  6. If the applicant has been enrolled in another Nursing Program within the past three years of the date of application, the applicant will be considered a transfer student. 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. A letter from Dean/Director of previously enrolled nursing program is required verifying that student is in good standing and eligible to continue in program.
    3. Transfer students are accepted on a space available basis.
  7. In cases of transfer or re-admission, 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 as outlined in the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) system and the Southern Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing.  Please read the following Nursing Core Performance Standards for all TBR nursing programs (TBR policy 2:03:00:00).
    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.

Once applications are screened, students will be notified of admission/declination status in writing.

Enrollment Requirements for Accepted Applicants

All students accepted into the nursing program must meet the following enrollment requirements.

Health Requirements

All Nursing students must provide evidence of good health by submitting the following to the Health Sciences Records Clerk prior to the enrollment in any nursing courses: (a) results of a completed Physical Examination and (b) these items:

2 step TB Skin Test
(date and results)
An initial two-step process to screen for previous exposure/infection from tubercle bacillus. Students must obtain an intradermal injection of purified protein derivative (PPD) with a negative reading 48-72 hours after the injection.  Students must follow the same process within 2 - 3 weeks following injection #1.
Chest X-Ray
(date and results)
If any part of the initial 2-step TB skin test result is positive, a chest X-ray is required.  A radiologist must analyze the X-ray and provide the report to the student or Health Sciences Records Clerk.
Influenza Immunization Influenza season runs 10/1 - 4/1 each year. You must have an influenza immunization.
Tetanus/Diphtheria Booster You must show proof of having had this booster within the past 10 years.

Documentation of immunity with vaccinations or titers as follows:

MMR vaccinations x2 OR

Rubella (IGG) Titer (German Measles)
Rubeola (IGG) Titer (Measles)
Mumps (IGG) Titer

Varicella vaccinations x2 OR Varicella Zoster (IGG) Titer
Hepatitis B series OR Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Titer

Students without a completed Hep B series must begin the series and provide documentation.  Continued enrollment in the program is contingent upon scheduled completion of the Hepatitis B immunization series as follows:

   •  Dose #1  Day 0
   •  Dose #2 Day 30
   •  Dose #3 six months after the first dose 

Students who fail to complete each dose in the series as directed and/or fail to provide documentation to the Health Sciences Record Clerk are

   •  Unable to attend clinical rotations
   •  Unable to continue in the program. 

Students are encouraged to follow the series with a Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Titer completed at 60 days after dose # 3 to confirm immunity. 

Students who decline vaccinations for medical or religious reasons must provide written documentation.
Drug and Alcohol Screen Students must undergo a minimum 10 panel drug screen with an additional alcohol screen within 90-days of the first clinical day. This can only be completed by obtaining a code from the Records Clerk.

Students with incomplete health records are unable to attend clinical and will earn an unsatisfactory.

All current, readmitted and transfer students must submit proof of an annual TB skin test.  Some clinical affiliates require 2 TB skin tests within 3 months of participating in clinical activities in their facility.

Basic Life Support (BLS) Requirements

All students must submit copies of current Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider certification from the American Heart Association (AHA) or the American Red Cross.  BLS Certification must include in-person, on-site, 2-person CPR.  100% online courses do not meet requirements.  BLS classes are available through numerous providers and are periodically offered by Columbia State through the Workforce and Continuing Education Department office.  Students must maintain certification continuously for the duration of program enrollment.  

Criminal Background Check and Drug & Alcohol Screening

Affiliated clinical training sites require each incoming nursing student to undergo a criminal background examination and a drug screen.  Any of the affiliated clinical sites may deny a student clinical access due to the results in the criminal background check and/or drug screen.  A student prohibited from an affiliate healthcare facility entrance is subsequently unable to complete the mandated clinical hours for the Nursing Program.  Thus, a student, without the ability to fulfill the clinical elements of the nursing courses, is unable to meet the standards for nursing education in accordance with those of the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), the Tennessee Board of Nursing (TBON), and the Columbia State Nursing Program. More information is available from the Nursing Program Director.   

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 High School Equivalency Diploma - HSE (GED® or HiSET®).
    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 (www.columbiastate.edu/nursing). 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 business day of the month (February or August) for the term that the student is seeking admission. Faxed applications are rejected. 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 indicating intent to accept admission 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 the 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 eligibility from the dean/director of the previous Nursing Program, to be mailed to the Nursing Program director.

Continuation Requirements

All students must maintain the following to remain eligible for progression throughout the Nursing Program:

  1. Maintain a score of 75% (grade of C) or better in all nursing courses.
  2. Maintain satisfactory performance in clinical laboratory assignments.
  3. Earn a grade of "C" or better in each science and math requirement.
  4. Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.00 for the semester.
  5. Maintain professional conduct in the classroom and clinical settings.
  6. Complete all co-requisite courses each term.

Students, who fail to meet the continuation requirements as stated, must withdraw from the Nursing Program and drop all nursing courses.  Withdrawn nursing students may continue non-nursing courses at Columbia State.  Withdrawn nursing students are unable to register for nursing courses without readmission to the program.

It is the student's responsibility to officially withdraw from nursing course(s).  Students who withdraw and desire readmission into the Nursing Program are required to follow the readmission requirements as designated in the current College catalog, including the completion of an Exit Interview.

Students who fail/withdraw from any nursing course must complete an Exit Interview no later than 6 weeks following the end of the semester or the date of withdrawal.  This exit interview is required for any student who is seeking readmission into the Nursing Program.  It is the student's responsibility to schedule this interview with a course instructor or Nursing Program Director.   

Readmission Procedure

Students who exit the program prior to second semester (Nursing II) are ineligible for readmission to the Nursing Program.  A formal appeal based on extenuating circumstances will be considered for readmission into the first semester.

Only one readmission into the nursing program is permitted. Readmission to the program is unguaranteed, regardless of the reason for exit.  Students are readmitted on a space available basis for each nursing course.  Students, who withdraw/fail from the nursing program and are seeking readmission within three years, may be readmitted into the course in which they were enrolled at the point of exit. If three years or more elapse enrollment in nursing courses, all nursing courses must be repeated.  An Exit Interview Form must be on file to be eligible for readmission. All extenuating circumstance appeals must be presented within one semester after the semester of exit.

Readmission Requirements:

  1. A minimum cumulative college-level grade point average 2.0 or higher.  Students on academic probation are ineligible for readmission.
  2. A completed Exit Interview on file in the Health Sciences/Nursing Office completed no later than 6 weeks following the end of the semester of enrollment.
  3. Enrollment and repetition of all co-nursing requisite courses as delineated for the specific semester's academic plan.
  4. Readmission procedures as aligned in the College Catalog.

LPN to RN Bridge 

The LPN to RN Bridge option is an articulation plan for the licensed practical nurse (LPN). Qualified LPNs can complete the Associate of Applied Science degree in nursing requirements in three semesters of study. LPNs are admitted on a space available basis.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the admission requirements for the Major in Nursing, licensed practical nurses seeking admission through the LPN to RN Bridge option must meet the following admission requirements.

  1. Meet all College general requirements for admission as a degree-seeking student as stated in the catalog.
  2. Successfully pass the Foundations of Nursing challenge examination for nursing within three (3) years prior to the semester seeking entry.
  3. Complete prerequisite course requirements prior to the semester requesting entry.
  4. Earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or above on a 4.0 scale for academic subjects.

Admission Process

  1. Submit the following to the Admissions office:
    1. Official college transcripts
    2. High school transcripts or High School Equivalency Diploma - HSE (GED® or HiSET®).
    3. ACT or SAT exam results (Applicants should have a composite score of 19 or higher. In keeping with the college's placement policy, individuals who have satisfied all required Learning Support deficiencies will be credited as having the equivalent of a composite score of 19. Likewise, students holding bachelors or higher degrees without an ACT score but with passing transferable English and Math credit on a college transcript will not be required to submit ACT or SAT exam results.)
  2. Submit a completed Nursing Program LPN Mobility 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 (www.columbiastate.edu/nursing).
  3. Copy of their valid driver's license.
  4. Copy of current LPN license.
  5. Complete an interview with the Nursing Program director or designee, if requested.
  6. Complete prerequisite courses successfully; "C" or better required for sciences and mathematics.
  7. The same Additional Requirements for Applicants Offered Admission apply to newly-admitted and LPN Bridge students regarding clinical access clearance. Documentation for health screening, vaccinations/immunity, CPR, malpractice insurance is required prior to the first day of nursing classes. If documentation is not completed prior to the first day of classes, the student will not be permitted to bridge into the Nursing program.

Continuation Requirements

The same continuation requirements apply to all students in Nursing. These are stated under "Continuation Requirements" listed above.

Students are recommended to review the content in the Nursing Program Student Handbook. 

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study