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School of Nursing

Frequently Asked Questions

How many students are accepted?  A maximum of 45 students may be admitted per class.

Are applicants able to enroll in the program during any semester? Students are admitted into the Nursing program for the Fall term.

Is there a waiting list for admission into Nursing?  No.  Classes are filled from the ranked pool of eligible applicants.  Applicants who are not accepted are encouraged to apply for admission into the next class.

How will I know if I am eligible for admission?  Applicants are notified in writing or by email regarding their admission status.  If you are eligible for admission, your letter will ask that you notify the Nursing Program, in writing, that you wish to accept your seat in the class.

If I am eligible for admission, but do not get a seat in the class, do I have to reapply for admission?  Yes, once the class is filled, we will not keep your application active.  If you wish to be considered for the next class, you will need to resubmit a nursing program application by the published deadline and continue to maintain your grade point average at or above 2.750.

If I am accepted into Tusculum College, does that mean I am already accepted into the nursing program?  No, acceptance into Tusculum College does not guarantee admission into the nursing program; the nursing program has a separate admission application process. Pending acceptance into the Tennessee Transfer pathway for pre-nursing, students who have completed the pathway will be automatically accepted into Tusculum College; this does not provide automatic acceptance into the nursing program.

What criteria are used to determine who is admitted into the nursing program?  Admission to the nursing major will be evaluated in terms of cumulative college-level GPA; GPA in science and math courses; ACT/SAT scores; admission assessment exam scores; and additional specific admission requirements that are posted on the Admission Requirements web page.

How long will it take me to earn the BSN degree?  Students who enter on a full time basis and who are successful in their coursework should be able to complete the degree in four years; RN to BSN students should be able to complete in two to three years depending on the number of courses they need to complete to satisfy the degree requirements and the number of courses they take each semester.

When should I apply?  It depends.  If you have a good academic record, with a grade point average of 2.750 or higher for college-level courses and have completed the following courses with a grade of “C” or higher, apply during the next application period.

OREN 105 The Tusculum Experience (if a current Tusculum student)

BIOL 251 Anatomy & Physiology I

ENGL 110 Composition & Rhetoric

MATH 135 College Algebra

PSYC 101 Essentials of Psychology

If your grade point average is below 2.750, you may need to take college classes to increase your grade point average to the required 2.750 or higher.  Also, all students are required to have completed any required developmental/remedial courses (based on placement or ACT testing scores) before being considered eligible for admission.

Do I have to take all the prerequisites before I apply for the nursing program?  No, you must complete the courses listed below, with a grade of “C” or higher before you can be considered for admission into the nursing program.

OREN 105 The Tusculum Experience (if a current Tusculum student)

BIOL 251 Anatomy & Physiology I

ENGL 110 Composition & Rhetoric

MATH 135 College Algebra

PSYC 101 Essentials of Psychology

The following prerequisite courses will have to be completed, with a grade of “C” or higher, before you are eligible to start the first nursing course.

Arts & Humanities Core Course

BIOL 252 Anatomy & Physiology II

ENGL 111 Composition, Research & Rhetoric

PSYC 102 Psychology of Adjustment

Due to the nature of the BSN program, you must have all non-nursing courses listed above completed in order to progress in the nursing program.  The non-nursing courses provide a foundation of knowledge to assist you in being successful in nursing courses.  It is important that you have a strong knowledge base in the sciences, mathematics, communication and social sciences in order to understand the content of the nursing courses.

How do I submit my nursing program application?  Applications can be submitted online using the link on the “How to Apply to the Nursing Program” page.  Applications received before or after the application acceptance period will be returned to the sender.

Is financial aid available? Nursing students are eligible for the same financial assistance programs offered to other Tusculum College students.

I need to be a full-time student in order to continue receiving financial aid and scholarships. Can I do this?  Yes and no.  The traditional full-time program is designed so that students will take no less than 12 hours of coursework each semester.  Most RN-BSN students and students with other bachelor’s degrees may not need to take the full complement of courses each term, and may have difficulty in receiving full financial assistance.  Students who take less than 12 hours per semester, however, may receive financial assistance at a lesser amount, if eligible for financial assistance.

Is it possible to transfer (non-nursing) courses from another college or university?  Equivalent general education coursework may be transferred from another college. This will not shorten the length of the program since all nursing courses must be taken in sequence as outlined in the curricular plan.

I failed or dropped a nursing class at another college; can I apply for admission to Tusculum’s nursing program?  If a student earned below a grade of “C” in a nursing course at another college, dropped a nursing course or withdrew from another nursing program for any reason, the student is not eligible for admission to Tusculum’s nursing program as a regular student.   However, the student who was enrolled in another nursing program may apply for admission as a transfer student, if and only if, he/she has not failed or dropped more than one nursing class at their previous school and can meet all of the Tusculum nursing program admission requirements.  Individuals applying for transfer admission will be evaluated on a case by case basis.  All previous nursing courses may not be eligible for transfer credit.  For more information, contact the Dean of the School of Nursing.

Note: If two grades below a “C” are earned or two nursing courses have been dropped, the student will not be eligible for admission, readmission, and/or progression in the nursing program.

Are students able to work while enrolled in the program?  Students may work while enrolled in the program.  Work schedules must be arranged around class, lab and clinical schedules and course requirements.  Each student should consider the possible impact of work on the potential for program performance.

I need all of my clinicals on one day of the week. Is this possible?  Most likely no.  Some clinical courses that have 45 hours of clinicals may be schedule one day per week.  For other courses with more clinical hours, clinicals will have to be scheduled at least two days per week in order to complete the required clinical hours.

What about job placement for nursing graduates?  Due to the need for registered nurses, graduates should not have a problem finding a job after graduation.  All of our May 2015 received and accepted registered nurse positions for a 100% job placement rate.

How is the associate degree in nursing different from the bachelor’s degree in nursing? Is one better than the other?  The associate degree is completed in two to three years while the bachelor’s degree takes four years to complete.  Both degrees prepare you to sit for the registered nurse (RN) licensure exam (NCLEX-RN) at the completion of classes.   One degree is not better than the other.  However, the difference lies in what your future career goals are in nursing.  Those interested in getting a masters degree in nursing (nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse education, etc), and those interested in nursing management within hospitals and the community, will need a bachelor’s degree in nursing; otherwise, both the associate and bachelor’s degree graduates can be RNs.  Additionally, many hospitals will pay the BSN nurse more than the associate degree nurse.

Is Tusculum’s nursing program accredited?  No, the program is new and therefore not accredited.  The program has been fully approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing and Tusculum College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.  The program has applied for initial accreditation through the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791. Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted.

Doesn’t the program have to be accredited in order for me to obtain a nursing license or get a job?  No.  Upon graduation, you are able to sit for the licensing exam since the nursing program is approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing.  To obtain a nursing job, you have to have a nursing license and be able to meet the employer’s criminal background check screening processes.

I already have a bachelor’s degree.  Must I complete or retake the general education courses to enter the nursing program, or do I only take nursing courses?  If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, you will have to meet the nursing program requirements. For any non-nursing courses required for the nursing degree, you will have had to earn a grade of “C” or better for the courses to count towards your nursing degree.  If you earned below a “C” grade, you will have to repeat the course to earn a grade of “C” or higher for the course to count towards your nursing degree.  Courses you may have to complete that you did not complete in your previous degree are anatomy & physiology, microbiology, and psychology of adjustment.

RN to BSN Track Students

An RN to BSN student is a person who has completed an associate degree in nursing and has an active unencumbered Tennessee RN license or is eligible for licensure in Tennessee.  The questions below apply only to the RN to BSN student.

As an RN to BSN student, which non-nursing courses must I have completed before starting my nursing courses?  The following courses must be complete with a grade of “C” or higher before you start the first nursing course.

Arts & Humanities Core Course

BIOL 251 Anatomy & Physiology I

BIOL 251 Anatomy & Physiology II

ENGL 110 Composition & Rhetoric

ENGL 111 Composition, Research & Rhetoric

MATH 135 College Algebra

OREN 105 The Tusculum Experience

PSYC 101 Essentials of Psychology

PSYC 102 Psychology of Adjustment

The following courses may be taken with nursing courses as outlined in the nursing program curriculum plan or can be completed before enrolling in a nursing course.

BIOL 202 Microbiology

CISC 100 Computer as a Tool

CMNS 251 Theory & Practice of Citizenship

MATH 140 Elementary Statistics

CMNS 330 Hebrew and Christian Traditions

NOTE: Students may be able to test out of CISC 100.  Please see the college catalog for more information.

If I have earned my RN license through an associate degree program, am I required to complete the same general courses as that of a student who enters the traditional program without a prior nursing background?  Yes, to earn your bachelor’s degree, you must complete all general education courses designated by the nursing curricular plan.  However, many courses that you took to complete your associate’s degree may transfer into Tusculum College.

Is it possible to transfer nursing courses from another college or university?  Yes, it is possible.  Nursing courses from other colleges and universities are evaluated on a course by course basis.  For more information, contact the Dean of the School of Nursing.


If you have other questions regarding the nursing program, please submit your questions to nursing@tusculum.edu or call The School of Nursing at 423-636-7430.