The purpose of the South College School of Nursing Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program and Post-Graduate Certificate (PGC) programs are to provide professional nurses with academic and clinical practice opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills at the master’s level that are essential to meet the demands of today’s healthcare environment. The School of Nursing at South College offers professional and career-focused curricula designed to cultivate students’ successful learning and the ability to apply knowledge, think critically, and communicate effectively.
The Post-Graduate Certificate programs are designed for nurses who have already earned a graduate degree in Nursing who wish to pursue a new specialty area offered by South College. RSLOs must be achieved in their chosen concentration.
The wellness-illness continuum of care provides the overall organizing framework that serves as the philosophical structure for the nursing curriculum at the South College School of Nursing, with students introduced to a variety of nursing theoretical frameworks. Related concepts emphasized in the nursing curriculum include ethical decision-making, critical thinking, effective communication, leadership, and management.
- Person: A person is a unique, holistic, adaptive, open system. Persons, either alone or in groups, families, or communities, have inherent basic rights and choices. Each person is multi-dimensional with variables such as age, gender, culture, race, religion, socioeconomic status, and lifestyle choices.
- Environment: Environment is a complex, open system functioning in a dynamic state of change. The environment is both internal and external, uniquely perceived by each person, either alone or in groups, families, or communities.
- Health: Health is a dynamic phenomenon encompassing physical, emotional and spiritual parameters. Health is individually perceived and influenced by internal and external factors.
- Nursing: Professional nursing is an art and a science with caring as the core concept. The role of the nurse is to facilitate optimal independent functioning of persons, alone or in groups, through the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health. The professional nurse will utilize critical thinking and the nursing process to plan and implement care.
- Professional Nursing Education: Nursing education is an interactive process. The MSN faculty of the South College School of Nursing embraces the concepts of professional nursing education as described in the Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing (AACN, 2011) and the Graduate-Level QSEN Competencies Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (AACN, 2012).
Student Learning Outcomes
Family Nurse Practitioner
- Perform comprehensive health assessments that incorporate diagnostic reasoning and the interpretation of diagnostic procedures.
- Engage patients and families in planning for health promotion, prevention of disease or disease progression, and symptom management.
- Apply critical thinking in the diagnosis and problem identification of complex issues related to clinical practice, individuals, populations, and systems of care.
- Provide ethical, patient-centered care based on best evidence, clinician expertise, patient preference, and circumstances.
- Evaluate outcomes of care using individual and aggregate data.
- Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with professional and non-professional individuals
- Implement the role of an FNP in a professional, respectful, and ethical manner.
Those pursuing the Post-Graduate certificate program are advised by the Coordinator for the specialty area or a faculty advisor. After meeting with an admissions representative, an advising appointment is scheduled with the Coordinator or a faculty advisor. This can be completed in person or via telephone/virtual conferencing. The Coordinator/faculty advisor assists individual students in determining eligibility for admission to the nursing program. The Coordinator/faculty advisor works with each student in developing a plan of study and serves as his/her advisor throughout the program. The Coordinator/faculty advisor also provides additional direction and offers encouragement throughout the program of study via phone calls, e-mail messages, and/or virtual conferencing.
Minimum Requirements for Admission
All applicants to a South College Post-Graduate Certificate in, regardless of concentration or track, must meet the current entry requirements as stated in the South College Catalog (available at catalog.south.edu).
Students who present transcripts indicating failure from two nursing programs will not be considered for admission or readmission to the South College Nursing program.
Any applicant that does not meet the stated admissions requirements may request a review by the Admissions, Progression, and Retention (APR) Committee for conditional admission. These reviews are completed on a case-by-case basis. The APR Committee takes many factors into consideration when reviewing these requests, including but not limited to:
- Applicant’s resume or curriculum vitae showing accomplishments in their profession;
- Amount of time that has transpired between the applicant’s undergraduate degree completion and application to South College; and/or
- Grade point average in graduate work at other accredited academic institutions.
The program operates in compliance with the nondiscrimination policies established by South College. A student must possess abilities and skills in five areas that must be performed with or without accommodation: I) observation; II) communication; III) motor; IV) intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative; and V) behavioral and social.
- Observation: The candidate must be able to accurately make observations at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation and is enhanced by the functional use of all the other senses.
- Communication: The candidate must be able to communicate effectively, efficiently, respectfully, and sensitively in English in both oral and written form and be able to perceive nonverbal communication with other healthcare providers and patients of all ages.
- Motor: Candidates must be able to coordinate both gross and fine muscular movements, maintain equilibrium and have functional use of the senses of touch and vision. The candidate must possess sufficient postural control, neuromuscular control, and eye-to-hand coordination to perform anesthesia specific skills and tasks, including airway instrumentation and management, administration of regional anesthesia, and establishment of vascular access.
- Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: The candidate must be able to problem solve, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, record, and synthesize large amounts of information in a timely manner. The candidate must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand spatial relationships.
- Behavioral and Social Attributes: The candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the consistent, prompt completion of all responsibilities and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. The candidate must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, effective interpersonal skills, willingness and ability to function as an effective team player, and the interest and motivation to learn are all personal qualities required during the educational process.
NOTE: Reasonable accommodation will be considered and may be made to qualified students who disclose a disability, so long as such accommodation does not significantly alter the essential requirements of the curriculum and the training program, or significantly affect the safety of patient care. Students who disclose a disability are considered for the program if they are otherwise qualified. Qualified students with a disability who wish to request accommodation should provide appropriate documentation of disability and submit a request for accommodation to the Director of Student Affairs, Online, Phone: (865) 392-4733.
Certain admission restrictions may apply to non-Tennessee residents. Please contact the School of Nursing (865-288-8411 or firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to submitting your application to determine any restrictions that may apply for residents of your state.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) have developed nationally recognized competencies for the educational preparation of advanced practice nurses. The respective board certification examinations are competency-based examinations that provide a valid and reliable assessment of the entry-level clinical knowledge and skills for nurse practitioners. Certification aligns with the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, and Education. Once exam-takers complete eligibility requirements to take the certification examination and successfully pass the exam, they will be awarded a nationally recognized credential, which can be maintained by continuous licensure and satisfying the specific renewal requirements in place at the time of certification renewal. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies and the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification accredits this certification. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board (AANPCB) also provides a valid and reliable program for entry-level nurse practitioners to recognize their education, knowledge and professional expertise, as well as a process for validation of an advanced practice nurse’s qualifications and knowledge for practice as a nurse practitioner. The AANPCB offers the FNP certification examination, which is an entry-level competency-based examination that tests clinical knowledge in family/individual across the life span (prenatal, pediatric, adolescent, adult, elderly, and frail elderly primary care. State License for Advanced Practice Nurses is regulated by the state Boards of Nursing.
Transfer of Credit
No more than three (3) graduate level courses will be accepted for transfer credit towards a graduate level Nursing program. In order to be considered for transfer credit, a course syllabus, an unofficial transcript with the course grade, and a written request must be submitted to the School of Nursing Associate Dean of Nursing. The Associate Dean of Nursing will evaluate the information to determine course equivalency and make a recommendation regarding transfer credit for each course to the Dean of the School of Nursing. The Dean of the School of Nursing will approve or deny the recommendation. Official credit will be awarded for those approved once the official transcript is received by the Registrar’s office.
Associated Program Costs
Nursing students are responsible for all costs associated with required clinical practice experiences.
Minimum Requirements for Progression
The Director/faculty advisor reviews each student’s scholastic achievement record at the end of each quarter. The academic standards that must be met by each student are outlined in the Academic Participation section. If a student fails to meet academic standards, the Director/faculty advisor meets with the student in question. Depending on the nature of the academic deficiency, the Associate Dean of Nursing or the Academic Dean will determine the status of the student’s academic standing, which may include warning, probation, or dismissal from the program. The Categories of Academic Standing are:
Status of a student who has met course requirements in a satisfactory manner and has demonstrated good professional behavior.
Status of a student whose performance in an academic course places him/her in jeopardy of falling below the minimum stated standards or who has exhibited questionable professional behavior.
Status of a student whose performance in an academic course has fallen below the minimum stated standards or who has exhibited unacceptable professional behavior.
Action whereby a student will be dismissed from the MSN Program or Post Graduate Program due to failure to adhere to academic standards. Dismissal will occur after review of the student’s academic deficiency by the Associate Dean/Academic Dean and following approval by the South College Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement and Effectiveness.
The causes of and consequences for receiving a Warning, Probation, or Dismissal are:
A student who receives a grade of less than 80% on any key course assessments will receive a warning and must meet with the respective Program Coordinator. Warning for Key Course Assessments: Students placed on an intervention are provided a written plan that details learner outcomes to be remediated and a timeline for completion. The Program Coordinator will prepare the plan and work with the candidate to ensure its completion. Successful completion of the intervention plan is required before approval is granted for enrollment in coursework the following quarter. Failure to complete the intervention plan may result in the candidate receiving an unsatisfactory final grade.
A student will be placed on probation if his/her cumulative GPA falls below a 3.00 on a 4.00 scale or upon the 1st Nursing course failure. At the end of the quarter, the student will receive notification from the Program Coordinator or Associate Dean of Nursing that s/he is on Probation. If the student fails to raise his/her cumulative GPA to 3.00 or higher by the end of the next quarter, s/he will be dismissed from the MSN Program. If the student raises his/her cumulative GPA to 3.00 or higher by the end of the next quarter, s/he will be removed from Probation. If a candidate’s cumulative GPA falls below a 3.00 a second time, s/he will be dismissed from the MSN program.
Action whereby a student will be dismissed from the MSN program due to failure to adhere to academic and program requirements. Reasons for dismissal may include (but are not limited to) a student’s:
- 2nd course failure (a final grade below 80% or exam average below 80% in any Nursing course);
- failure to raise cumulative GPA to 3.00 or higher by the end of the subsequent quarter;
- cumulative GPA below 3.00 for a second time;
- conduct that violates the performance standards set forth in the South College Academic Honor Code, the South College Standards of Student Conduct, or unprofessional behavior or criminal activity.
Students who have voluntarily withdrawn from the nursing program in good academic standing or who are unsuccessful in the South College nursing program may apply for readmission based on the following criteria:
- Eligibility requirements that allow application for readmission are as follows:
- Students who have withdrawn from the nursing program voluntarily by the drop/add date are eligible to apply for readmission.
- Students who are academically unsuccessful in one nursing course are eligible to apply for readmission.
- ‘Academically unsuccessful’ is defined as:
- voluntary or involuntary withdrawal from the nursing program after the drop/add date and who are academically failing the course at the time of withdrawal.
- earning a failing grade in a nursing course.
- Circumstances/conditions that make a student ineligible for readmission:
- unsuccessful in two nursing courses cumulatively.
- academically unsuccessful in any repeated nursing course (may only repeat a nursing course one time).
- unsuccessful due to clinical failure or documented cumulative instances of behaving in a manner that demonstrates lack of professional or clinical judgment. Occurrences are cumulative for the student’s entire student tenure at South College.
The following grades are used in the determination of a student’s grade point average unless otherwise indicated. Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (G.P.A.) of 3.00 to remain in the graduate program.
Upon successful completion of all program requirements, candidates are recommended for graduation and for the conferring of the Master of Science in Nursing degree. South College and the School of Nursing reserve the right to make necessary program changes as impacted by accreditation standards, other state or federal mandates, or need due to faculty evaluation.
If a student finds it necessary to withdraw from the nursing program, readmission into the program cannot be guaranteed. Any student wishing to apply for readmission after voluntary withdrawal must follow the current readmission policy of the School of Nursing MSN Program.
Termination from the Nursing Program
Grounds for termination from the nursing program are as follows. Some behaviors are critical to patient safety and integrity of the discipline; therefore, the following may be grounds for termination from the nursing program:
- Academic failure which is defined as earning less than a C or less than 80% calculated average of test scores and the final exam, equally weighted, in one nursing course;
- Failure to comply with rule and/or policies as written in the School of Nursing Graduate Student Handbook, the South College Student Handbook, and/or the South College Catalog;
- Falsification of any other information to South College or the School of Nursing;
- Any violations of academic integrity (cheating, plagiarism, sharing exams, obtaining unauthorized digital copies of exams, or photos of exam questions, test bank questions, etc.);
- Failure to meet attendance policy; and/or
- Nonpayment of tuition and fees.
Appeal of Dismissal
Students who have been dismissed from the program and have mitigating circumstances supported by documentation, must complete the Dismissal and Disciplinary Action Appeal Form (the form may be found in the Student Portal under Student Services) and submit the completed form to the Dean of Nursing within three days from notification of dismissal. The Dean of Nursing will review the completed Dismissal and Disciplinary Action Appeal Form and supporting documents and notify the student of the decision in writing.
A denial of readmission by the Dean of Nursing may be appealed following the South College Catalog “Process for Appealing a Dismissal or Disciplinary Action,” beginning with STEP 2. Appeals outside this time frame will not be considered.