The South College Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program is designed to build a knowledge base and clinical expertise for the generalist in nursing practice. The faculty supports the commitment to lifelong learning in a dynamic and culturally and ethnically diverse health care environment, promoting client advocacy, achieving, and maintaining clinical competency, and providing service for the community and the profession.
The South College Associate of Science in Nursing Program aspires to become an associate degree program of distinction through an integrated and student-focused curriculum. The program is committed to providing an education that values excellence in ethical patient care and professional growth and integrity.
The Associate of Science in Nursing program at South College is designed to promote a strong academic and clinical foundation including the fundamental skills required of a nurse generalist, including the basics of medical care, critical thinking, interpersonal skills, and technical competence required for taking required certification/licensure exams.
Participants in the ASN program will be provided opportunities to learn key aspects of collaboration, participation in interdisciplinary care, and patient communication. To deliver the highest-quality education, we use tools such as case studies, presentations, Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) resources, and other creative teaching approaches.
The knowledge gained in this program is foundational for registered nurses pursuing additional undergraduate and post graduate educational programs.
Program Outcomes and Student Learning Outcomes
The program outcomes for the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program are to provide undergraduate students with the:
- Critical thinking, interpersonal, and technical skills of a nurse generalist.
- Academic foundation necessary to pursue post licensure education.
Upon completion of the ASN program, the graduate will meet the following student learning outcomes:
- Utilizes critical thinking skills to provide holistic nursing care to patients.
- Validates theoretical knowledge of health practices.
- Adapts and utilizes therapeutic communication.
- Supports other health care disciplines in coordinating holistic health care.
- Integrates information technologies when assessing, planning, intervening, and evaluating care.
- Summarizes and applies the current trends, issues, ethical dilemmas, personal, and cultural values and practices which affect the health care of patients.
- Anticipates and adapts the principles of teaching/learning in providing care to facilitate patient autonomy.
- Uses and applies the nursing process through clinical judgment: assessing, planning, intervening, and evaluating care of patients, families, communities, and populations.
- Integrates evidence-based practice.
- Demonstrates professionalism in nursing practice, encompassing accountability, integrity, and respect for the uniqueness of persons.
Minimum Academic Requirements for Admission
Cohorts will begin depending upon enrollment and approvals from the associated state board of nursing. All students must meet the requirements for general admission to South College in order to pursue core/general education courses. General admission to South College does not guarantee admission to the nursing program. Application deadlines are available in the School of Nursing and the Admissions Department.
Admission decisions will be made based on a holistic review of academic qualifications, previous educational experiences, and standardized test scores. The School of Nursing reserves the right to update or modify admission criteria as deemed necessary.
Applicants must meet the following requirements to be admitted without stipulation:
- Meet General Admission requirements to South College.
- Complete the following prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better:
- Submit a School of Nursing application by the application deadline.
- Entrance Exam:
- Achieve a minimum ATI TEAS Assessment score at the academic preparedness level of BASIC or equivalent score on the HESI A2*.
- Scores below this threshold will not be considered for admission.
- After completion of all pre-requisite courses, students will be considered for admission into the nursing program if they meet the following criteria:
- Achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.5 for science prerequisite courses (A& P I and II, Microbiology, and Pathophysiology).
- Achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.5 for all required prerequisite courses.
- Achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.5.
* HESI A2 Entrance Exam will be accepted at as an equivalent passing score.
Applicants who are not in good academic standing from a previous nursing or allied health program (e.g., Medical Assisting, Dental Assisting, EMT, etc.) or who have been dismissed from such a program must submit the required School of Nursing Mitigating Circumstances Form and provide supporting documentation of the mitigating circumstances to be considered eligible to apply to the South College School of Nursing. Admission is not guaranteed, and the School of Nursing may require a letter from the former program explaining the circumstances.
Applicants who are not in good academic standing from two previous nursing or allied health programs (e.g., Medical Assisting, Dental Assisting, EMT, etc.) or who have been dismissed from two such programs will not be considered for admission or readmission to the South College Nursing program.
TEAS Assessment requirements and procedures:
- Applicants are required to take the ATI TEAS Assessment as part of the application process. The TEAS Assessment schedule and additional information is available in the Admissions Department, Student Services Department, and/or School of Nursing.
- Applicants have three attempts within 12 months to achieve the required score of BASIC or higher on the ATI TEAS entrance exam.
- For applicants seeking readmission, a retake of the entrance exam is not required.
Readmission eligibility will be assessed based on previous academic performance and adherence to the school’s policies.
Competitive Admissions and Ranking Criteria
Admission to the School of Nursing is competitive and dependent upon class size. Applicants will be ranked based on an approved ranking system that includes, but not limited to, GPA and TEAS score.
Requirements for Admission (Other Than Academic)
Prospective students must meet the following requirements to be admitted without stipulation. Stipulations must be met as described below or the offer of admission may be withdrawn:
- Take the required drug test by the application deadline*.
- Complete the background check application by the application deadline*.
- Attend the nursing orientation on the scheduled date in its entirety.
*Prospective students who fail either the drug test or background check will be canceled.
In addition, each prospective student must provide proof of ability to perform the skills needed to practice nursing effectively. Health care facilities must meet federal guidelines, and students must also meet these requirements in order to be allowed to gain clinical experience. All nursing students must comply with communicable diseases/blood-borne pathogen requirements that the clinical agencies require. Therefore, proof of the following are minimum requirements for the nursing applicant (additional requirements may apply depending on clinical agency requirements):
- Health history and physical exam certifying ability to function in the required capacity prior to admission to major courses.
- Common communicable disease immunization or immunity, including MMR (2 in series if born after 1957), TDaP (booster required every 10 years) and Varicella vaccine (2 in series). Some clinical facilities may require titers for MMR, HBV, and Varicella even though you have proof of previous immunization.
- Hepatitis B immunization (3 in series) or HEPLISAV-B (2 in a series one month apart.) or completed Declination Form for Hepatitis B Vaccination depending on the requirements of the clinical affiliate. The Declination Form must only be used for medical reasons and must be documented by student’s primary care provider. A vaccine titer test showing immunity is also acceptable.
- Annual Flu immunization or completed Declination Form for Influenza Vaccination depending on the requirements of the clinical affiliate. The Declination Form must only be used for medical reasons and must be documented by student’s primary care provider.
- Annual screening for tuberculosis.
- Acceptable drug screen.* Students may be required to obtain more than one acceptance drug screen per year depending on the requirements of the clinical affiliate. In any case where a drug screen is positive and no authorized prescription is produced to validate the presence of the drug in the individual’s system, continuation in the program will be denied. Upon notification of the drug screen results, the student will have 5 working days to provide prescription validation. Students are responsible for costs associated with any required testing.
- Acceptable criminal background check for a minimum of past 15 years. Students may be required to obtain more than one acceptance criminal background check per year depending on the requirements of the clinical affiliate. If the background check reveals previous criminal convictions, admittance into the program will be made on a case-by-case basis. Students who are denied clinical experiences due to past convictions may be unable to progress in the program which will result in failure to complete the required courses for the program.
- Proof of health insurance coverage throughout the entire nursing program.
- Annual training on blood-borne pathogens.
- Valid American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers** Course Completion Card or Certificate.
* Marijuana, or its metabolite, is not an accepted substance in drug screens and will result in a positive drug screen. Prospective students whose drug test results are positive for marijuana, or its metabolite, will be offered one additional opportunity to reapply for admission into the next admission cohort after the initial positive results. Prospective students whose repeat drug test results are positive for marijuana, or its metabolite, will be denied admission indefinitely.
**American Red Cross Course accepted on select campuses based on clinical affiliation guidelines; you can reach out to your clinical coordinator to make this determination.
Additional immunizations (such as COVID) and or Titers may be required per clinical facility. Students who choose not to meet the requirements of clinical sites will not be able to participate in clinical experiences as a student at those sites. This includes students who have received partial vaccinations but who are not fully immunized or students awaiting action on a clinical facility exemption request, if applicable. This may seriously impact ability to progress, graduate on time, or graduate at all.
Prospective students or students who do not comply with all communicable disease/bloodborne pathogen requirements and accurately maintain their records in the institution’s clinical tracking portal will be canceled or withdrawn.
Functional Capacities (Technical Standards)
Prospective students must demonstrate the following functional capacities. Prospective students who believe that they will not be able to meet one or more of these requirements without accommodation or modification must notify the Dean/Associate Dean of the School of Nursing, and a determination will be made on a case-by-case basis whether reasonable accommodation may be made. In no instance will an accommodation be made which will compromise nursing care, or that will put patients or other students at risk. Accommodation granted when a student is generally admitted to South College are not guaranteed to apply to admission to the nursing program.
Examples of Tasks For
Adequate to ensure safety of self and others in classroom and clinical settings.
Patient assessment; response to treatment; medication preparation and administration; reading of patient charts and physician orders.
Adequate to allow effective communication with patients and others in person and by electronic means, and to ensure safety of self and patients.
Face-to-face communication with patients, families and the health care team; telephone consultations; heart tones; breath sounds; bowel sounds and other assessments.
Adequate to allow effective evaluation and therapeutic intervention related to nursing care, and to ensure safety of self and others in providing care.
Palpation used in assessment; vital signs; medication administration, IV starts.
Gross motor strength and coordination
Adequate to ensure safety of self and others in class and lab sessions and clinical activities.
Patient positioning and transfer; walking, standing, bending, and/or stooping for extended periods involving patient care; moving of equipment/beds.
Fine motor strength and coordination
Adequate to allow mastery of activities requiring detailed movements.
Multiple skills in patient care; treatments; medication preparation and administration.
Critical thinking ability
Adequate to allow mastery of basic course content and to demonstrate sound judgment in simulated and real life nursing situations.
Effective use of nursing process; planning and implementation of the nursing care plan; identification of cause and effect relationship in order to modify nursing care plan; determination of unsafe situations; planning course of actions to meet needs of patient, family, community and nursing profession.
Adequate to allow establishment of effective working and/or therapeutic relationship with patients, families and professionals.
Establishing therapeutic relationship with patients and families; working with health care team; collaboration with other disciplines.
Adequate to allow completion of course work and effective verbal and written communication with patients, families, communities, peers, and others.
Class activities; therapeutic communication; writing/research at the bachelor’s level; documentation of patient care; education of patient/family/community.
Minimum Requirements for Progression
- A numeric test average of 80% or better is required in all upper division nursing courses in order to continue in the nursing program. This grade is calculated based on written/online tests and the final exam, equally weighted.
- An overall course average of 80% or better is required in all upper division nursing courses in order to continue in the nursing program. This grade is calculated based on the grading criteria in each course syllabus. Students who achieve less than an 80% overall course average in any course are ineligible to enroll in subsequent courses.
- Students are required to pass both the clinical and laboratory components associated with the didactic content. Failure in any component of a nursing course requires the repeating of all components of that course. No credit will be given unless all components of a course are successfully completed. Final grades are not rounded.
- Students requesting or receiving a grade of incomplete (“I”) in any nursing course(s) may not enroll in subsequent courses. Continued progression in the nursing major is contingent upon successful removal of the grade of “I” as described in the South College Catalog.
The grading scale used by the School of Nursing for all administered courses is as follows:
Percentage Score Range
Clinical Conduct and Evaluation
Clinical performance is an integral component of the educational process in nursing. Satisfactory clinical performance is an overriding concern in professional practice. Clinical objectives and student behaviors for evaluating these objectives are defined for each clinical nursing course and are located in the course syllabus. A student’s clinical performance is evaluated by the clinical faculty in each course.’
Professional behaviors expected of the student are confidentiality, respect, accountability, valuing of people’s differences, preparation to ensure safe clinical practice, and adherence to South College and agency policies and procedures. All nursing students are accountable and responsible to report unsafe and/or unprofessional behavior of other students to their clinical faculty.
Upon completion of degree requirements, each student must make application to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Professional nurses are prohibited in all states from practicing nursing until the examination is successfully completed and licensure has been granted. Specific information regarding licensure will be provided to the student during the last quarter of the nursing program. State Boards of Nursing have the responsibility and right to deny licensure to persons who have been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation. Persons having a criminal record should consult the Rules and Regulations of the Tennessee Board of Nursing available online at https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/rules/1000/1000-01.20210630.pdf or other applicable state nursing board.
Background Check: Students are required to sign an acknowledgment form that they understand that our school background check may not reveal potential barriers to licensure in each state. Each Board of Nursing conducts extensive background checks upon application for licensure with that state. Graduation from this program, does cannot specifically guarantee licensure in each state.
The “SAVE Act” requires Tennessee Department of Health (including all Boards, Commissions, and contractors), along with every local health department in the State, to verify that every adult applicant for a professional license is either a U.S. citizen, a “qualified alien,” or a non-immigrant who meets the requirements set out at 8 U.S.C. 1621.
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 (excluding NSG 1500, NSG 1510, NSG 1520, & NSG 1530 ;
- Failure of quarterly drug calculation competency exam on the second attempt;
- Failure to comply with rules and/or policies as written in the School of Nursing Undergraduate Student Handbook, the South College Student Handbook, and/or the South College Catalog;
- Falsification of application or 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.);
- Unsafe, illegal, incompetent, unprofessional or unethical clinical behavior;
- Failure to meet attendance policy; and/or
- Nonpayment of tuition and fees.
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 South College School of Nursing.
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.
The following criteria apply only to nursing courses taken while an admitted student to the ASN program. A maximum of 3 attempts is allowed for prerequisite nursing courses (NSG 1500, NSG 1510, NSG 1520, NSG 1530) to meet the 80% passing as required of nursing courses.
- 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 (grade of D or F) in one nursing course are eligible to apply for readmission.
- Ineligibility requirements that do not allow application for readmission are as follows:
- Students earning a failing grade in two or more nursing courses cumulatively are ineligible for readmission.
- Students who have voluntarily withdrawn from the same nursing course twice are ineligible for readmission.
- Students who are academically unsuccessful in any repeated nursing course are ineligible for readmission (students may only repeat a nursing course one time).
- Students who have been unsuccessful due to documented cumulative occurrences for lack of professional or clinical judgment may not be eligible for readmission. Occurrences are cumulative from quarter to quarter throughout all course work and clinical experiences at South College.
The School of Nursing reserves the right to consider mitigating circumstances affecting any of the above situations.
Students who have been unsuccessful in one nursing course and are eligible for readmission must submit a written Letter of Intent to the School of Nursing Admission, Progression and Retention (APR) Committee if interested in requesting readmission. The letter should detail the reasons that are believed to have led to the lack of success, as well as changes that have been put in place to ensure success if readmission is granted. Documentation of any personal mitigating circumstances must also be submitted to the APR Committee.
Factors, including but not limited to, such as grade point average, faculty evaluation, and space availability are considered in readmission decisions by the APR Committee. Requests for readmission will be reviewed on an individual basis.
Students who are eligible for readmission must apply for readmission at such time that granting of readmission will occur to allow for classes to be resumed within one calendar year. The faculty reserves the right to require any student offered readmission to repeat courses or portions of courses in cases where a significant time has elapsed, and skills/knowledge must be refreshed.
The APR Committee will make readmission recommendations to the Associate Dean of the School of Nursing at the associated learning site for final approval. The Associate Dean may accept or reject the recommendation of the Committee. A denial of readmission may be appealed to the Dean of the School of Nursing for review within five business days of the notification. A continued denial of readmission may be appealed to the South College Academic and Conduct Appeals Committee within five business days of the notification. Appeals outside of this timeframe will not be considered. Documentation of any personal mitigating circumstances must be submitted at each level of appeal.
Students who have previously been unsuccessful in the South College nursing program, or other nursing programs, will be reviewed on an individual basis. Students who present transcripts indicating failure from two nursing programs will not be considered for admission or readmission to the South College Nursing program.