2022-2023 Catalog and Student Handbook 
    
    May 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Nursing, A.A.S.


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study (A-Z)

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-requisites 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)

Note(s):


*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 using Degree Works in ChargerNet 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 of practice and adhere to a code of ethics.

In accordance with the mission statement of the College, the Nursing Department serves humanity by providing a basic nursing education program that prepares graduates to become successful registered nurses who are compassionate, professional, self-motivated critical thinkers, able to assess their own strengths and weaknesses and gain the respect and support of their communities.  In carrying out this mission, faculty continually strive to practice what they teach. 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 and 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.     

Accreditation

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
www.acenursing.org

Admission and Continuation/Retention Requirements


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. STUDENTS PREVIOUSLY ENROLLED IN ANOTHER NURSING PROGRAM:  If the applicant has previously been enrolled in another Nursing program within the past three years of the date application, the applicant is considered a transfer applicant.
    Transfer applicants seeking advanced standing and credit for prior nursing coursework are evaluated for transfer credit on a case-by-case basis.  Eligible transfer applicants may be accepted to the nursing program on a space-available basis.  Nursing course credit must be within 3 years and a grade of "C" or better is required for all transferred nursing courses.  Eligible transfer applicants may be asked to validate clinical skills and/or knowledge obtained from previous nursing courses.
    To be eligible for entry into the Nursing Program, transfer applicants must:
  • Apply for admission to Columbia State and be eligible for admission as a degree-seeking student OR be admitted/currently enrolled at Columbia State (including official transcripts from all colleges attended).
  • Complete all required Learning Support classes (or be permanently exempt from all Learning Support requirements).
  • Have a combined, cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher based on all prior college work attempted.
  • Have a grade of "C" or better in all required science and math courses.
  • Complete a Nursing Program Admission Application for Transfer Nursing Students (provided upon request by the Nursing Program Director).
  • Request a letter to be sent from the Dean/Director of the nursing program in which the student was previously enrolled directly to the Columbia State's Nursing Program Director, stating that the student is in good standing and eligible to continue in or return to the previous program.
  • Submit transcripts from all colleges attended, including Columbia State, attached with the transfer nursing application.
  • If nursing courses are older than 3 years, transfer applicants may seek traditional admission to Columbia State's nursing program.
  • Transfer applicants who are not seeking advanced standing or credit for prior nursing coursework, but have nursing credit from another program within the past 3 years, may seek traditional admission to Columbia State's nursing program.  In this situation students are still considered transfer students and must request a letter to be sent from the Dean/Director of the nursing program in which the student was previously enrolled directly to the Columbia State's Nursing Program Director stating that the student is in good standing and eligible to continue in or return to the previous program.
  • The standard admission/readmission requirements, rating criteria, and selection processes are used for those seeking traditional admission to the nursing program.
    • Students who exit any nursing program prior to the second semester for any reason (voluntary or academic) are not eligible for admission/readmission to the Columbia State Nursing program.  The possibility of a formal appeal based on extenuating circumstances, if applicable, may be discussed with the Nursing Program Director.
    • Students who have 2 attempts in any nursing program(s) are ineligible for admission/readmission in the Columbia State's Nursing Program.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 via email.

Admissions Procedure

  1. Submit the following to the College 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. Program Applications are accepted between August 1-31 for entry into the Spring nursing class and February 1-28 for entry into the Fall nursing class.  Before beginning the nursing application, be sure to have electronic copies of 1) unofficial transcripts of ALL prior college work including Columbia State Community College and 2) screenshot/copy of best ACT/SAT scores.  PDFs or clearly legible images/photos are acceptable.  These documents must be uploaded within the online nursing application form.  Each transcript and exam score document must show the applicant's first and last name.
    1. Complete the online Nursing Program Application.
    2. Applications are only accepted in February and August and must be completed electronically before 4 p.m. on the last day of the application period.  Applications received before the first day or after 4 p.m. on the last day of the application period will not be accepted.  Faxed, mailed or emailed applications are not accepted.
  3. Admissions decisions are made based on applicant's total earned admission points within the admission period with weighted average cumulative GPA as a tie-breaker for applicants with the same admission score.
  4. If an applicant does not meet the admission criteria, he/she will be notified via email.  If the eligibility requirement is later met, the applicant must resubmit his/her application.
  5. Applicants who are admitted will be notified via email.  Applicants are required to respond to the Nursing Program via email indicating intent to accept admission by the deadline date in the admission letter.
  6. Applicants will be removed from consideration for admission if the acceptance response is 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 application process.
  7. Applicants who have previously been enrolled in other nursing programs within the past 3 years are considered transfer applicants.  Transfer applicants must:
    1. Apply for admission to Columbia State and be eligible for admission as a degree-seeking student OR be admitted/currently enrolled at Columbia State (including official transcripts from all colleges attended).
    2. Complete and submit a Nursing program Admission Application for Transfer Nursing Students (provided upon request by the Nursing program Director). Copies of transcripts (official or unofficial) must be submitted with the application.
    3. Request a letter to be sent from the Dean/Director of the nursing program in which the student was previously enrolled directly to the Columbia State's Nursing Program Director, stating that the student is in good standing and eligible to continue in or return to the previous program.
    4. Submit transcripts from all colleges attended, including Columbia State, attached with the transfer nursing application.
    5. Provide catalog descriptions and syllabi of successfully passed nursing course(s).

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) verification of health insurance, and (c) these items:

ANY/ALL requirements set forth by clinical partners as a condition of facility access. Clinical partner policies will be followed for all access requirements.  Exemption requests MAY be an option for vaccines, including but not limited to the COVID vaccine.  Program officials will provide instructions for requesting clinical partner approval of a vaccine exemption request, if required and available.
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. 

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.

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 stated above are academically unsuccessful in the nursing program and ineligible to continue.  Students who are academically unsuccessful in the program may be qualified to continue taking courses at the College but are not permitted to register in nursing courses unless readmitted 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 not guaranteed, 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. 
  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.

LPN to RN 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). LPN to RN Bridge Application Forms are available in the Health Sciences/Nursing Office or on the Nursing Program web page (www.columbiastate.edu/nursing).
  3. Copy of a valid driver's license.
  4. Copy of current Tennessee 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. "Enrollment Requirements for Accepted Applicants" apply to LPN Bridge students regarding clinical access clearance.  Documentation for health screening, vaccinations/immunity, CPR, and 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.  

LPN to RN Bridge Continuation Requirements

The "Continuation Requirements" listed above apply to all students in Nursing, including LPN Bridge students.

Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review the Nursing Program Student Handbook for an understanding of program policies and expectations.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study (A-Z)