Frequently Asked Questions
Nursing Q: How many students are accepted into the nursing program each semester?
A: The average class size has been 64 students per semester, with 32 students attending each campus, Columbia and Franklin.
Q: Are applicants able to enroll in the program during any semester?
A: The Nursing program starts a new class each Fall (August) and Spring (January).
Q: Can I choose which campus I wish to attend?
A: While not always possible, attempts are made to honor campus preference requests.
Q: Will I be required to attend class at any of the other campuses?
A: When at all possible, nursing students are not asked to attend classes on another campus. Occasionally, the availability of clinical sites and/or instructors requires students to be assigned to a clinical rotation based on another campus.
Q: Is financial aid available?
A: Nursing students are eligible for the same assistance programs offered to Columbia State students. A few scholarships are available to nursing students once they have completed the first nursing course.
Q: Is it possible to transfer credits from another college or university?
A: Equivalent general education coursework may be transferred from another school. This will not shorten the length of the program, however, since all nursing courses must be taken in sequence.
Q: Is it possible to transfer nursing credits from another college or university?
A: Nursing courses from other institutions are evaluated on a course by course basis. For more information, contact the nursing program director.
Q: I am a licensed practical nurse. Can I get credit for being an LPN?
A: Yes, if you pass the challenge exam(s). For details see “LPN to RN Bridge Program” link on Nursing homepage.
Q: What about job placement for program graduates?
A: There is no formal job placement program; however, for the past several years, a high percentage of program graduates who have sought employment in the field have found jobs either prior to or within six months of graduation.
Q: When should I apply?
A: It depends. If you have a good academic record, with a GPA of 2.5 or higher for college-level courses, apply during the next application period. If your previous or current GPA is below 2.5, you may need to take college classes to increase your GPA to the required 2.5. You must have a college-level GPA. Also, all students are required to have completed any required Learning Support courses (based on placement or ACT testing scores) before being considered eligible for admission.
Q: Are students able to work while enrolled in the program?
A: Many students work while enrolled in the program. Class and clinical schedules are set at the beginning of each semester, allowing students to give notice to employers. Work schedules must be arranged around class/clinical requirements. Each student should consider the possible impact of work on the potential for program performance and success.
Q: The catalog states that the Columbia State nursing program is “designed for the student who does not intend to transfer to a baccalaureate degree program.” Does this mean that I cannot apply the coursework I do at Columbia State towards the completion of a bachelor’s degree in nursing?
A: Not at all! The statement in the catalog is based on the Tennessee Board of Regents designation of the nursing program as a “terminal degree” program, which means that graduates are prepared for professional licensure. The program was designed so that upon graduation, students can take the registered nurse licensing examination (NCLEX-RN). Once a graduate has passed the licensing examination, he or she will be able to obtain work as a registered nurse. Many of our graduates pursue advanced degrees in nursing and receive credit for courses taken at Columbia State. Most colleges/universities have articulation agreements that provide credit to licensed RNs who first obtained their associate degree in nursing at a community college.
Q: What happens if I need to defer admission to nursing?
A: Students who do not accept admission will have to re-apply to the program.
Q: Do I need to purchase malpractice insurance?
A: While you will be required to have malpractice insurance, the college obtains this in a group policy paid for by a fee that is assessed annually as a part of registration.
Q: Where do I purchase books?
A: There is a bookstore on both the Columbia and Franklin campus where books can be purchased.
Q: What type of uniform do I need?
A: The Department of Nursing Student Handbook covers all information regarding dress code, uniforms, lab coat and patch placement. A name pin/ID must be purchased through the nursing office. This must be printed with your legal name (not a nickname). The badges will be printed at orientation (the date of which is communicated with acceptance letters).