Admission Requirements

Columbia State’s nursing program has enrollment limitations. This necessitates the screening of applicants, utilizing selection criteria that have been established for the program. General criteria for consideration are stated below. These requirements apply to all nursing applicants, including licensed practical nurses applying for the LPN to RN Bridge program.

Note: applicants who have been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation may be ineligible for licensure as a registered nurse. Any felony convictions must be reported to the nursing program director. Criminal background checks may be a requirement at some affiliated clinical training sites. Based on the results of the criminal background check, an affiliated clinical site may determine to not allow your presence at their facility. This could result in your inability to successfully complete the requirements of a specific course and your program.
  1. Meet all College general requirements for admission as a degree-seeking student as stated in the catalog.
  2. Applicants must satisfy all mandatory assessment and placement requirements prior to submitting an application to the Nursing Program. This includes the completion of all required Learning Support (LS) course work.
  3. Pass college-level Anatomy and Physiology I with a “C” or better within five years prior to submission of an admission application to the Nursing Program.
  4. ACT or SAT exam results are required of all applicants, regardless of educational experience or age. Applicants must have a composite score of 19 or higher (900 or greater for SAT) to be considered for admission. In keeping with the college’s placement policy, individuals with a composite ACT below 19 who have taken all required Learning Support courses will receive a composite score of 19. Likewise, students holding bachelors or higher degrees without an ACT score will be given a 19. (NOTE: while a composite ACT score of 19 is the minimum accepted, the competitive nature of the admission process encourages having higher scores.)
  5. Earned a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale for all college course work. You must have a college-level GPA.
  6. If the applicant has been enrolled in another Nursing Program within the past three years of the date of application, the applicant will be considered a transfer student. The nursing courses will be evaluated for transfer credit on an individual basis.
    • A grade of "C" or better is required for all transferred nursing courses.
    • A letter from Dean/Director of previously enrolled nursing program stating eligibility for readmission is required.
    • Transfer students are accepted on a space available basis.  (Note: see Transfer Application for complete requirements.)
  7. If three or more years have elapsed since enrollment in a nursing program, the nursing courses must be repeated.
  8. If five or more years have elapsed at the time of applying to the program, the following requirements apply:
    • Anatomy and Physiology courses must be repeated.
    • All current application/enrollment requirements apply.
  9. 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 outlined below in the Core Performance Standards of Admission and Progression developed by the Southern Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing and adopted by all Nursing Programs in the Tennessee Board of Regents system (TBR Policy 2:03:00:00 II B 6).
    • Communication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal, nonverbal and written form.
    • Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds.
    • Critical thinking ability sufficient for appropriate clinical judgment and utilization of the nursing process.
    • Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces.
    • Strength to perform patient care and assist with patient mobility.
    • Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective nursing care.
    • Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs.
    • Visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary to provide safe and effective nursing care.
    • Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment and intervention.
    • Ability to be responsive within appropriate time periods.

Additional Requirements (After Admission)

Once admitted, students are required to submit documentation of the following entry requirements:
  1. Health Requirements: All nursing students must submit evidence of good health by returning a completed Physical Examination form. Forms are given to the students once admitted into the Nursing Program. It is essential that all documentation be submitted before or by the deadline date given. If the documentation is not completed by the stated date(s), students will not be permitted to start the Nursing Program.
    • All students must have a:
      • Documented negative TB Skin Test and/or Chest X-Ray yearly. TB Skin Tests must be within three months of the start of the Program. Some affiliates require a two-step TB skin test within the past 12 months as a condition of participation in clinical rotations. After the initial TB skin test another TB skin test is required within two (2) to three (3) weeks. If the second TB skin test is positive, a baseline chest X-ray will be required. Thereafter, TB skin tests are required annually.  
      • Evidence of Immunity for:
        • Rubella (positive titer).
        • Varicella Zoster (chicken pox) (positive titer).
        • Rubeola titer (positive titer).
        • Mumps (positive titer).
        • Tetanus/diphtheria booster within the past ten years.
        • Hepatitis B (positive titer).
        • Influenza immunization.
      • Other vaccinations may be required by specific clinical affiliates.
  2. Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) Requirements: All students must submit evidence of a current BCLS certification (must include two-person CPR) for the health care professional. BCLS certification classes are offered by Columbia State Community College or the American Heart Association.
  3. Malpractice Insurance: Malpractice insurance is required for all clinical nursing courses. A group policy is available. The fee is assessed annually as a part of registration.
  4. Health Insurance: Students are responsible for all costs incurred related to health problems, including injuries occurring during clinical experiences. Students must provide evidence of health insurance coverage to be eligible to participate in clinical activities.
  5. Criminal Background Checks are a requirement at most affiliated clinical training sites. Based on the results of the criminal background check, an affiliated clinical site may determine to not allow your presence at its facility. This could result in your inability to successfully complete the requirement of a specific course and your program. More information is available from your program director. Applicants who have been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation may be ineligible for licensure. For more information, contact the program director of nursing. Any felony convictions must be reported to the program director of nursing.
  6. A 10-panel drug screen and urine alcohol screen are required. These items are ordered through Truescreen with results available to Columbia State's Health Sciences Records Clerk electronically. Clinical agencies may deny a student access to the facility based on the results of the background check or the drug screen. This could result in a student being unable to successfully complete the requirements of a course or the program.

  • Hepatitis B (positive titer).

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