The Nursing program provides a quality nursing education to the geographically large and rural service area of East Tennessee. The Nursing program prepares individuals to apply to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) given by the State Board of Nursing to become registered nurses and assume positions in the healthcare industry.
This program is designed for the student who does not intend to transfer to a baccalaureate degree program.
Degree: Associate of Applied Science
General Admission Requirements
Any student desiring to pursue an Associate Degree in Nursing must:
- Apply, meet admission requirements and be accepted by Walters State Community College.
- Indicate Nursing as the desired major on the WSCC application form.
- Follow college policy for advising prior to registration.
- Successfully complete all required developmental courses prior to the selection process. (Note: Career Mobility students see Career Mobility section for requirement deadlines.)
- Successfully complete BIOL 2010 and 2011, BIOL 2020 and 2021 prior to the selection process. A grade of “C” or better must be achieved in all science courses. Biological science courses previously taken must have been completed within the last 10 years. (Note: Career Mobility students see Career Mobility section for requirement deadlines.)
- Complete computer competency requirement.
- Students cannot audit any nursing course without the approval of the dean of Health Programs/director of Nursing and/or chair of the Nursing Admission and Progression Committee.
Any exceptions to the above admission policies must be approved by the Admission and Progression Committee.
Consideration is given to Tech Prep students.
Clinical Nursing Program Application Requirements
A student who has completed the above referenced requirements and has maintained an overall 2.5 GPA, excluding developmental education courses, is eligible to apply for admission to the clinical nursing program. To apply for admission into the clinical nursing program, the student must complete and submit the “Request for Admission into Clinical Nursing” form to the nursing department prior to the designated deadline (Fall admission - January 31; Spring admission - October 1). The student must attach to the form a current transcript of all college courses taken.
Selection to the Clinical Nursing Program
- Selection of each class will be made by the Admission and Progression Committee whose membership consists of:
- Dean of Health Programs
- Director of Nursing
- Four nursing faculty (rotating)
- Vice President for Academic Affairs (ex officio)
The Admissions and Progression Committee will rank each student on the basis of predetermined criteria. The criteria include but are not limited to: (a) first grades received in the required biology courses; (b) number of successfully completed courses beyond those required for admission to the clinical nursing program, and (c) overall grade point average in required college courses excluding developmental course grades. Additional ranking points can be obtained for either 1) ACT/ACT Residual score of greater than 19 or 2) A defined score on a pre-nursing assessment exam. (Specific exam information is available on the nursing web page, in the health programs office, or on the clinical nursing application.) All test scores must be less than 3 years old.* The committee may also require a personal interview and conduct reference checks. The top ranked applicants will be selected for each class. Decisions made by the committee are final.
- Transfer Students - Individuals who have attended other colleges and desire to transfer into the WSCC clinical nursing program will be considered on an individual basis. Transfer requests should be submitted to the director of Nursing. Transfer students must meet the same standards and criteria as others desiring to pursue an associate degree in nursing at WSCC. A student may be required to audit a designated nursing course.
- Transfer and Returning Students - Credit for nursing courses must have been earned within the past five years to be considered. Credit for biology courses must have been earned within the past 10 years to be considered.
- WSCC and transfer students selected for admission will be notified in writing.
- Students notified of admission into the clinical nursing program must return the following by the date specified on the form: (a) a signed and dated acknowledgment of the Drug/Alcohol Abuse Policy and consent forms, and (b) a comprehensive health exam with complete hepatitis series. Students who do not respond or who do not plan to attend will have their positions filled by other applicants selected by the director of Nursing from the list recommended by the Admissions and Progression Committee.
- Students not selected for admission may reapply for admission.
- Contact the director of Nursing, TECH 106D for additional information.
*ACT RESIDUAL and pre-nursing assessment exams can be scheduled through the counseling and testing office at WSCC.
To remain in good standing once admitted to the clinical nursing program, the student must:
- Adhere to all WSCC, nursing department, and clinical agencies policies.
- Earn a “C” or better in each required nursing and biology course and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0.
- Satisfactorily complete the theory, clinical and/or skills requirements of each nursing course. A grade of “D” or “F” in theory will result in a grade of “F” for clinical. An unsatisfactory in clinical will result in a grade of “F” for the entire course.
- Exhibit safe clinical behavior.
- Demonstrate professional, ethical and legal conduct.
- Maintain professional liability insurance.
- Maintain current professional CPR course completion card (healthcare provider).
- Complete BIOL 2230 and BIOL 2231 (Introducation to Microbiology and Introduction to Microbiology Lab) with a minimum grade of “C” before progressing into the third semester of clinical nursing.
- Submit to a drug test if requested by the dean of Health Programs or director of Nursing at any time during the program. A positive drug test is grounds for immediate dismissal.
- Individuals convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation could be ineligible for registered nurse licensure in the state of Tennessee even though they have successfully completed the Nursing program. (See Criminal Background Check Requirement.)
- Have a yearly comprehensive health exam and submit the required form to the director of Nursing by the designated date.
A student who has received a “D” or “F” in a clinical nursing course or who has withdrawn from the clinical nursing program may apply for readmission.
The readmission policies are:
- A student must schedule an appointment with their faculty advisor or with the director of Nursing and complete exit interview process. Failure to complete the exit interview process may render the student ineligible to pursue readmission.
- A student must request in writing to the director of Nursing to be considered by the Admission and Progression Committee according to the following schedule: (a) apply by January 31 for readmission to a fall semester nursing course; (b) apply by September 30 for readmission to a spring semester nursing course. Students will be notified by letter of the date and time they are to meet with the Admission and Progression Committee. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure the nursing program has the correct mailing address.
- A student is eligible to appear before the Admissions and Progression Committee two times. If readmission is not granted after the second application, the student becomes ineligible for readmission.
- The committee may allow a student to be readmitted without an interview under the following circumstances: obvious physical illness/disability necessitating the student’s withdrawal or student physical or psychological problems with physician documentation.
- Only one readmission to the clinical nursing program is permitted.
- If a student elects to apply for readmission, auditing a designated nursing course may be required to increase the probability of success.
- A student who fails NURS 1180/1181 (Transition to Nursing) may request admission into the first semester of Nursing. No readmission to NURS 1180/1181 will be allowed.
- A student with previous unsatisfactory clinical performance must be evaluated and recommended for readmission by a consensus of the nursing faculty.
- A student who has received two grades of “D” or below in clinical nursing courses will not be eligible for readmission.
- A student must have a cumulative 2.0 GPA or higher to be considered for readmission.
- A student repeating a clinical nursing course must repeat both the theory and clinical components of the course.
- A student may be readmitted only if space is available.
- Any exceptions to the above policies must be approved by the Admission and Progression Committee.
Health and Physical Considerations for Nursing Students
Because the college seeks to provide in as much as possible a reasonably safe environment for its health career students and their patients, a student may be required, during the course of the program, to demonstrate their physical and/or emotional fitness to meet the essential requirements of the program. Such essential requirements may include freedom from communicable diseases, the ability to perform certain physical tasks, and suitable emotional fitness. Any appraisal measures used to determine such physical and/or emotional fitness will be in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, so as not to discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability.
All Tennessee Board of Regents Nursing programs have adopted the following core performance standards. Admission to and progression in nursing programs is not based on these standards but should be used to assist the student in determining whether accommodations or modifications are necessary. The standards are:
- Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgement.
- Interpersonal abilities sufficient to effectively interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
- Communication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form.
- Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces.
- Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective nursing care.
- Auditory abilities sufficient to monitor and assess health needs.
- Visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in nursing care.
- Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment.
If a student believes that one or more of the standards cannot be met without accommodation or modification, the nursing program will determine whether or not accommodations or modification can be reasonably made. A student should contact the Director of Nursing for assistance.
Legal Limitation for Licensure
Graduates of the program will be eligible to apply to take the licensure exam to become a registered nurse. However, individuals who have been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation could be ineligible for registered nurse licensure in the State of Tennessee, even though they have successfully completed the nursing program.
The program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), 61 Broadway, 33rd floor, New York, NY 10006. Telephone: 800-669-1656, ext. 153; Fax: 212-812-0390; Internet: www.nlnac.org.