Apr 16, 2024  
2017-2018 Academic Bulletin (Catalog) (Jan 2018) 
2017-2018 Academic Bulletin (Catalog) (Jan 2018) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing, BSN


Program Description

The BSN program prepares students for initial licensure as registered nurses and entry into professional practice. Graduates provide care throughout the lifespan; design, manage, and coordinate care across environments. In addition to providing care to those who are ill, graduates are involved in health promotion and clinical prevention, and population based healthcare. As the first professional degree in nursing, the BSN also provides foundational knowledge for advanced studies at the master’s or doctoral level. The BSN program also provides a means for registered nurses who have graduated from accredited associated degree or diploma nursing programs to obtain knowledge and skills for professional nursing practice at the bachelor degree level.

BSN Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the BSN Program, the graduate will be able to:

  1. Use verbal, nonverbal, written, and emerging technology methods to communicate and collaborate effectively with all members of the healthcare team, including the patient and the patient’s support network.
  2. Deliver safe, spiritually and culturally appropriate evidence-based, patient-centered health promotion and disease and injury prevention interventions.
  3. Integrate evidence, clinical judgment, interprofessional perspectives, and patient preferences in planning, implementing, and evaluating outcomes of patient-centered care.
  4. Demonstrate professional standards of moral, ethical, and legal conduct.
  5. Assume accountability for personal and professional behaviors.
  6. Apply socio-cultural, economic, ethical, legal, and political factors as a basis for nursing practice.
  7. Demonstrate continuous self-evaluation and lifelong learning. 

Admission Process and Minimum Requirements

Admission is twice per year for non-nurse (pre-licensure). Applications are due January 15th for regular consideration of admission into the Fall admission and August 15th for Spring admission. All applicant materials must be submitted by the application deadline in order for students to be considered for admission. Applications are submitted through Nursing CAS: http://nursingcas.org/.

Admission to the BSN Program is competitive.  Minimal requirements include a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (2.5 for practicing registered nurses), GPA of 2.6 or better for science pre-requisite courses (sciences with grades of “D” or “F” are not accepted), and for non-nurse applicants, a composite score at or above the national median on the ATI TEAS https://www.atitesting.com. The TEAS assessment is NOT required for prospective transfer students who are currently enrolled in good standing in a nursing program OR those who have completed a bachelor’s degree. Professional recommendations and the applicant’s personal statement are considered as part of the application process for all applicants. An interview to assess personal qualities such as professionalism, strong commitment to providing quality care, advanced critical thinking and problem solving skills, and the ability to communicate effectively and engage in effective working relationships is required. If native tongue is not English, evidence of proficiency in English is documented through the submission of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. Minimum proficiency scores: 550 on TOEFL paper version, 213 on TOEFL computer version, and 80 on TOEFL Web-based version. TOEFL scores must have been earned within two years prior to application. Applicants may request exemption from the TOEFL examination requirement, for example, an earned high school degree from a U.S. secondary education institution. Requests must be submitted before the application deadline to the Director of Student Affairs, (901) 448-6125.


Prerequisite courses, including courses that meet general education requirements, are listed in the following table.

Admission Criteria: Prerequisites


Applicant Status

Minimum Total Semester Credits Completed prior to Enrollment5

Required GPA

  • English Composition and Literature 1 6 credits
  • Humanities/Fine Arts2 3 credits
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences2 3 credits
  • Natural Science/Mathematics 3 credits
  • American History6 credits
  • General Education Electives 28 credits
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I/II(w/lab)4 8 credits (w/lab)
  • Microbiology (w/lab)4 3/4 credits (w/lab)

Non-nurses with 60 or more college credits

60/61 (Non-nursing courses)


Non-nurses with Bachelor’s Degree

120/121 (Bachelor’s Degree or higher)


RNs with Associate Degree or Nursing Diploma

60/61 (Non-nursing courses)


  1. English Composition I and II & First Year Writing coursework may be evaluated for consideration of 6 hour English Composition and Literature requirement. Courses in literature maybe used to fulfill the Humanities/Fine Arts requirement.
  2. Students without a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field must complete courses that fulfill the English, Behavioral/Social Sciences and Humanities/Fine Arts general education requirements. Examples can be found on the College of Nursing website: http://www.uthsc.edu/nursing/future-students/admissions/bsn_req.php  Students with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field are considered as having meet the general education requirements, but must complete the required statistics, microbiology, and human anatomy & physiology courses.
  3. Students lacking the required one unit (one year) of American History from high school must complete six (6) credit hours of American History or three (3) credit hours of American History and three (3) credit hours of Tennessee History to fulfill the requirements in General Education.  Students who successfully completed one unit (one year) of American History in high school will need to complete six (6) credits of elective to have thirty (30) credit hours in General Education.  These six (6) credit hours may be, but are not required to be, in American History.
  4. There is a 10-year age limit on required prerequisite science courses for non-nurses. Science courses over 10 years will not be accepted for non-nursing prerequisites or electives. For practicing RNs, there is no age limit on prerequisite science courses.
  5. The preadmission semester credit requirements represent post-high school, non-nursing, collegiate academic studies with a grade of “C” or higher, from regionally accredited colleges and universities. UTHSC College of Nursing does not offer the prerequisite courses in the tables.

All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to beginning studies at the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC), but do not need to be completed prior to application. Students who have been dismissed from another nursing program are not eligible for admission.

Applicants who meet minimum requirements are not guaranteed admission. Students will be notified of admission decisions by email within months of the application deadline, so at or before March 15. Admission preference is given to residents of Tennessee, but out-of-state applicants are also given consideration. Questions regarding residency status should be addressed to the UTHSC Assistant Director of Enrollment Services, 910 Madison Avenue, Suite 520, Memphis, TN 38163, (901) 448-5560. After acceptance of admission to the College of Nursing, students pay a $75 non-refundable admission fee to UTHSC and a guaranteed enrollment deposit of $200. The guaranteed enrollment deposit is non-refundable and the deposit is applied to the first term tuition.

Pre-Matriculation Requirements

Students must complete required immunizations, a successful criminal background check and drug screening prior to matriculation. Students must receive medical clearance to meet performance standards and provide evidence of current cardiopulmonary certification and maintain certification throughout the duration of the program. Additionally, registered nurses must have and maintain an unencumbered nursing license with authority to practice in Tennessee for the duration of the program. Background checks and drug screens may be repeated during the student’s program of study. Students must maintain health and professional liability insurance during enrollment in the program.

Technical and Performance Standards

All students admitted to the BSN program must meet the following core performance standards for admission and progression:

  1. Critical thinking sufficient for clinical judgment;
  2. Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, groups, and populations from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds;
  3. Communication abilities sufficient for verbal and written interaction with others. Speak, write and comprehend the English language proficiently;
  4. Use computer to word process, email, and access the World Wide Web;
  5. Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room, walk in hallways, maneuver in small spaces, and the strength necessary to lift and transfer patients, including the ability to exert up to 50 lbs. occasionally and 25 lbs. of force frequently. Physical activities include climbing, pushing, standing, reaching, grasping, kneeling, stooping, and repetitive motion.
  6. Gross and fine motor abilities with good balance and coordination sufficient to provide safe and effective nursing care;
  7. Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs;
  8. Visual ability, with close visual acuity including color, depth perception, and field of vision sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in nursing care;
  9. Tactile ability and manual dexterity sufficient for physical assessment and to provide nursing intervention including manipulating equipment necessary for providing nursing care.
  10. Computer literacy and adequate computer skills are required.

If a student cannot fulfill these Technical and Performance Standards, with or without accommodations, at any time in the program, the student will be ineligible for admission or continued progression in the BSN Program.  In addition to assuring that students can meet the intellectual, emotional, and physical criteria for the BSN Program, it is of utmost importance that students have the ability to provide for the safety and welfare of their patients and others. Reasonable accommodations will be provided, when appropriate, to help students meet these Technical and Professional Standards. Determination of eligibility and recommendations of accommodations must be made by the UTHSC Office of Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion http://www.uthsc.edu/sassi/.  Any student wishing accommodations must contact the university’s Office of Student Academic and Support Services and Inclusion at 901-448-5056 (email: SASSI@uthsc.edu).


The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Classroom, Clinical and Lab Hours Ratio per Credit

The clinical and laboratory hour per credit hour ratio in courses taught in the BSN program is 3:1. Thus, 1 credit equates to 45 hours of clinical or laboratory experience over the course of the term, as well as additional student effort of approximately 22 hours related to preparation for the clinical and laboratory experiences. For didactic courses, a traditional 3 credit hour course using a face-to-face lecture format involves approximately 45 contact hours as well as 90 or more hours of additional student effort over the course of the term.

BSN Curriculum for Non-Nurses Entry

The BSN program for non-nurses is a full-time, accelerated program  lasting 17 months. Didactic, laboratory, and clinical experiences are provided.

For Pre-Licensure Students Entering Fall

For Pre-Licensure Students Entering Spring