Nov 26, 2022  
2021-2022 Academic Bulletin (Jan 2022 Ed) 
2021-2022 Academic Bulletin (Jan 2022 Ed) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing, RN-to-BSN (Fall 2021 full time only)

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 an accredited associate degree or diploma nursing program 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. Engage in clinical reasoning to make decisions regarding patient care.
  2. Deliver safe, evidenced-based, compassionate, holistic patient and family-centered care across the health and illness continuum.
  3. Advocate for individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.
  4. Implement population-focused wellness promotion and illness prevention strategies that consider determinants of health and available resources.
  5. Use effective communication and collaborative skills for professional practice.
  6. Demonstrate accountability for personal and professional standards of moral, ethical, and legal conduct.
  7. Evaluate quality improvement processes to optimize safe healthcare outcomes for individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.
  8. Employ leadership principles to improve patient outcomes across healthcare systems.
  9. Exhibit a commitment to continuous self-evaluation and lifelong learning.

Admission Process and Minimum Requirements (Fall 2021 Full-time only)

Applications are accepted for Fall and Spring admissions. 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:

  • The total academic performance is critically evaluated with attention given to the source, course load, and trends in performance, as well as, to the general commitment of scholarship. See table below for pre-requisite courses.
  • RN to BSN applicants are required to have a 2.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) and a 2.0 or better for science pre-requisite courses: Anatomy and Physiology I & II and Microbiology (calculation is based on the highest grade achieved on the first or second attempt); Applicants must earn a C or better on all pre-requisite science coursework.
  • BSN and RN to BSN applicants must have completed their science pre-requisites within 5 years of the application date. 
  • For practicing RN’s, there is no age limit on pre-requisite science courses.

RN’s: Associate degree or diploma from an accredited school of nursing with 60 semester hours of general education (non-nursing) college credits.

Admission Criteria: Prerequisites

Courses  Non-nurses (pre-licensure) with Bachelor’s Degree RN’s with Associate Degree or Nursing Diploma
 General Education Courses    
 English Composition 3 credits 3 credits
English Literature* 3 credits 3 credits
Humanities/Fine Arts** 3 credits 3 credits
Social/Behavioral Sciences** 3 credits 3 credits
American History*** 6 credits 6 credits
  Subtotal 18 credits
 General Education Electives    

Elective courses

(Natural Science/ Mathmatics Statistics 3 credits preferred)

31 credits 31 credits
  Subtotal 31 credits
Prerequisite courses    
Human Anatomy & Physiology I/II (with lab)**** 8 credits
(with lab)
8 credits
(with lab)
Microbiology (with lab)**** 4 credits
(with lab)
4 credits
(with lab)
  Subtotal 12 credits
Minimum total semester credits completed prior to enrollment***** Bachelor’s Degree or higher 60 (Non-nursing courses)
Required GPA 3.0 2.5

*English Composition I and II and 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.

**Students with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field are considered as having met the general education requirements, but must complete the required statistics, microbiology, and human anatomy & physiology courses.

***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.

****Pre licensure BSN applicants must have completed their science pre-requisites within 5 years of the application date. RN to BSN applicants must have completed their science pre-requisites within 5 years of the application date. For practicing RN’s, there is no age limit on pre-requisite science courses.

*****All prerequisite courses, transfer course credits, and degrees (where applicable) from US higher education institutions must be awarded from an institution accredited by one of the following accreditors:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Northwest Commission on College and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and School, Commission on Colleges
  • WASC Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  • WASC Senior Colleges and University Commission

All prerequisite courses, transfer course credits, and degrees (where applicable) from international institutions must be evaluated by an approved equivalency agency.

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.

Associate Degree PEP information see the College of Nursing Website: 

Admission to the BSN Program is competitive. Minimal requirements include a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 for practicing registered nurses, and Science GPA of 2.0 (Science grades of “D” or “F” are not accepted). Professional recommendations and the applicant’s personal statement are considered as part of the application process for all applicants. 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.

Applicants who meet minimum requirements are not guaranteed admission. Students will be notified of admission decisions by email within months of the application deadline. 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, and a successful criminal background check prior to matriculation and a successful drug screen prior to clinical experiences. 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  Any student wishing accommodations must contact the university’s Office of Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion at 901-448-5056 (email:


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 hour per credit hour ratio in courses taught in the BSN program is 2.5:1. The laboratory hour per credit hour ratio in courses taught in the BSN program is 2.0:1. Thus, 1 clinical credit hour equates to 37.5 hours of clinical and 1 laboratory credit hour equates to 30 hours of laboratory experience over the course of the term. For didactic courses, a traditional 3 credit hour course using a face-to-face or online lecture format involves approximately 45 contact hours over the course of the term.

BSN Curriculum for Registered Nurse Entry

The BSN program for registered nurses (RNs) offers both a full-time and part-time option with the program providing didactic, laboratory, and clinical experiences. Student may enroll in either the hybrid (mix of on campus and online classes) or online option. Experiential practicums  occur in UTHSC laboratory or area clinical settings. Admission occurs twice per year. Courses are offered twice per academic year. Individuals who are already licensed as RNs receive credit for previous nursing course work (30 credits). The following curriculum schema is for RNs entering the program who have either a diploma in nursing or an associate degree in nursing.

Credit by examination (CBE) can be awarded for the following three RN-BSN courses:  RN to BSN options of NSG 442 - Health Assessment Across the Lifespan RN ;  NSG 441 - Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan - RN ; andNSG 443 - Pharmacology across the Lifespan RN to BSN   .  To earn college level credit, after admission and enrollment in the UTHSC College of Nursing, the student will demonstrate proficiency on a comprehensive written exam for each course.  Additionally, for NSG 442 Health Assessment, the student will demonstrate proficiency in performing a complete comprehensive physical examination on a live person.

BSN Curriculum for Registered Nurses - Fall Entry - Full Time

Total Term Credits: 9 (9-0-0) credit hours

Total Term Credits: 12 (10-1-1) credit hours

Total Term Credits: 9 (7-0-2) credit hours

Total Program Credits: 30 (26-1-3) credit hours

Prerequisites Credits: 60 credit hours

Nursing Credits (from previous education): 30 credit hours

Total Degree Credits: 120 credit hours