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Admissions

The BSN program in nursing combines the unique resources of the UT campus with health care agencies in a manner that enables both faculty and students to participate fully in all facets of the health care delivery system.

Facilities at the College of Nursing include a human patient simulator, a clinical practice laboratory, and technology-enhanced classrooms. Students have access to excellent clinical experiences at major hospitals, community clinics, health departments, schools, and other health care facilities in the region.

The baccalaureate nursing curriculum is guided by the following assumptions:

  • Persons and their health and well-being are the focus of nursing.
  • Nursing is a caring practice profession, an art, and a scientific discipline.
  • Persons are influenced by a complex environment (both internal and external) that affects their health and well-being.
  • A goal for nursing is to modify environmental factors to promote, maintain, and restore health.

The curriculum integrates the themes of holism, diversity, and caring and emphasizes critical thinking, communication, and leadership and management principles and skills.

A broad base of general education, a thorough study of human behavior; an emphasis on health maintenance, promotion, and restoration; and a strong family and community orientation are all essential components of baccalaureate nursing education.

Maintaining a high-quality relevant program responsive to the increasing complexity of health care delivery, the changing health needs of society, and the changing and expanding role of the nurse, enables graduates of the program to:

  • assume beginning leadership positions in a variety of settings
  • work collaboratively with other health professionals
  • function as socially conscious and contributing citizens
  • pursue advanced education on either a formal or informal basis

Students can apply to the program as freshmen (direct freshman admission to the nursing major) or apply through the change of major/transfer application process after their sophomore year. Both routes of entry are highly competitive.

Incoming Freshman Applicants

We are pleased that you are making the decision to apply to the University of Tennessee College of Nursing’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. The College of Nursing is committed to providing a top-ranked nursing program to our students. Admission into the nursing major is based on the number of available clinical positions. The College of Nursing must limit enrollment in upper-division nursing courses in order to ensure access to adequate clinical facilities and maintain required faculty-to-student ratios.

High school students apply for direct admission to the nursing major though the Undergraduate Office of Admissions. Freshman direct admission to the nursing major is a highly competitive application process. Applicants are holistically reviewed using criteria such as high school GPA, ACT or SAT test scores, a personal statement, an essay, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, honors, award recognitions, leadership roles, work and volunteer experiences, etc.

The final deadline for high school students applying as a freshman to the nursing major is December 1 of the applicant’s senior year. Space for the nursing major is limited, so high school students are encourage to apply as early as August and September. Applications received after December 1 will not be considered for admission to the nursing major. Freshman applicants must indicate the major code of Nursing when applying through the UT Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Applications may be obtained from the admissions office or by calling 865-974-2184.

Note: Freshman applicants who anticipate earning more than 45 hours of dual enrollment credits or earning an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree upon high school graduation must contact the College of Nursing Student Services Office once they have submitted a freshman application to the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Students who are admitted into the program as freshmen are eligible to continue into upper-division nursing courses if they meet the following criteria:

  • completion of all required courses in the freshman and sophomore curriculum prior to the fall semester of the junior year
  • minimum 3.20 cumulative grade point average at the conclusion of all required lower-division coursework (Excess elective credit will not be counted toward this GPA requirement.)
  • minimum grade of C or better in all courses
  • maintain full-time study at UT
  • completion of intent to progress form and $250 College of Nursing admission fee by January 20 of the sophomore year

Failure to fulfill these requirements will make a student ineligible to progress to upper-division coursework.

What are my chances for admission into the College of Nursing?
Admission to the College of Nursing is highly competitive. The number and the quality of applicants will determine the competitiveness of the applicant pool.

What factors are considered in the freshman application review process?
The faculty admission committee seeks to enroll students who, beyond meeting the university’s eligibility requirements, demonstrate high academic achievement, evidence of integrity and personal maturity, and significant school and community involvement and leadership activities, and who represent a broad diversity of cultural, racial, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

While there is not a minimum GPA or minimum test score necessary for admission consideration, the admitted student profile for fall 2015 included the following GPA and test score averages:

High School GPA: 4.19

ACT Composite: 28.5 (Math and Science subscores: 25 and above)

Are preferences given to any population in the admissions process?
No. Faculty are concerned that students have established the academic foundation that is essential for success in our program.

Does the university accept credit for AP or IB or CLEP exams?
Yes. The scores necessary for credit for each exam are outlined on the University Registrar’s website.

Does the university accept credit for dual enrollment courses?
The University of Tennessee will accept transfer credit of similar content from any two- or four-year accredited institutions, normally institutions with regional accreditation status in the United States. Students from non-US colleges or universities should consult the transfer evaluators in the Office of the University Registrar for transfer eligibility. College transcripts are evaluated after a student is admitted to the university and typically are completed several weeks after the student is admitted. Credits that are not acceptable for transfer include courses that are remedial, occupational, technical, noncredit, or career coursework used for the applied science degree from career and technical programs. For more information regarding dual enrollment and transfer credit transfer, see Transfer Credit Policies and Procedures.

Note: Freshman applicants who anticipate earning more than 45 hours of dual enrollment credits or anticipate earning an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree upon high school graduation must contact the College of Nursing Student Services Office once they have submitted a freshman application to the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Does the University of Tennessee accept the SAT or ACT exam?
Either exam is acceptable; the university does not have a preference for one over the other. The ACT college code for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is 4026. The SAT college code is 1843.

How long does it take to receive a decision on applications?
Applications for direct admission to the nursing major will be sent to the College of Nursing once the application is complete (with all transcripts, test scores, recommendation letters, etc.) and then will be reviewed by the Nursing Faculty Admission Committee. The Nursing Faculty Admission Committee meets on a rolling basis from September through December to review the freshman pool of applications for nursing. Once the application has been received by the College of Nursing, decisions are generally made in four to six weeks.

How can I check the status of my application to the College of Nursing?
After you apply, check your application status online through your VIP account. Your VIP account will also list any documents such as official transcripts or test scores that UT hasn’t yet received. Keep in mind that transcripts and other documents might take a while to show up in the system. Please direct all follow-up questions and concerns to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 865-974-2184.

Can I schedule an individual meeting with an advisor in the College of Nursing Student Services Office to discuss my application?
Due to the volume of applications received, the advising staff is not able to meet individually with potential freshman applicants to answer questions about the program. Freshman applicants are encouraged to attend a High School Open House to learn about the College of Nursing and the competitive admissions process.

I was admitted to another college within the University of Tennessee but would like to change my major to nursing. How can I request this change?
Before the final freshman application deadline of December 1, a student who was admitted to another college within the University of Tennessee but decides to apply to the Nursing major can do so by making a written request to their undergraduate admissions counselor. Students will be asked to compose a nursing statement. Once the written request and nursing statement are complete, the application will be sent to the College of Nursing for review by the Nursing Faculty Admission Committee. Please note that nursing is a competitive major and the change of major and admission to nursing are not guaranteed.

After the final freshman application deadline of December 1, a student admitted to another college within the University of Tennessee who decides to request a change in major to nursing will need to apply through the change of major/transfer application process.

What if I am not admitted into the nursing major?
It is possible for students who have applied to the nursing major to be admitted to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, but not the College of Nursing; if this happens, students will be evaluated for admission to their second-choice major. Students not admitted to the program as a freshman can reapply through the change of major application process during spring semester of their sophomore year. See Change of Major and Transfer Student Admissions for more information.

Is there a wait list for freshman direct admission?
No, the College of Nursing does not maintain a waiting list for freshman direct admissions.

Other Questions? Please contact us:

College of Nursing Student Services Office
1200 Volunteer Boulevard, Room 203
Knoxville, TN 37996-4180
Telephone: 865-974-7606
Fax: 865-974-3569
Email: CONadvising@utk.edu

Change of Major and External Transfer Students

Current UT students and transfer students from other institutions can apply for an open position in the nursing program. The change of major and transfer student application is the secondary route for entry into nursing after the student has completed the required lower-division coursework and is ready to begin the junior upper division of nursing courses. Application to the College of Nursing follows this process:

  • Current UT students must submit a change of major/transfer student application to UT’s College of Nursing Student Services Office by January 20 for fall admission.
  • Transfer students must submit the change of major/transfer student application and the transfer application through Undergraduate Admissions.
  • Attend an interview with College of Nursing faculty.
  • Complete all required courses in the freshman and sophomore curriculum prior to the fall semester.
  • Meet the required minimum 3.2 cumulative grade point average at the conclusion of all required lower-division coursework. (Excess elective credit will not be counted toward this GPA requirement). Please note that meeting the minimum GPA requirement does not guarantee acceptance.

Important dates

Application deadline: January 20, 2017, for fall 2017

Notification of admissions decisions: Mid-March

Enrollment: Fall entry only

Selection Criteria

Students are selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Cumulative GPA for courses completed (minimum 3.20 GPA required to be eligible). Please note that meeting the minimum GPA requirement does not guarantee acceptance.
  • Cumulative GPA for required science, social science, math, and English courses
  • Number of course withdrawals and repetitions
  • Grade improvement over time
  • Probability of completing all required courses in the freshman and sophomore curriculum prior to fall semester
  • Interest in and commitment to nursing
  • Availability of space

The admissions process is highly selective, with more qualified applicants than spaces available. The number and competitiveness of applicants have increased dramatically; therefore, students are encouraged to continue to progress in their current major while completing prerequisite courses, and to apply to more than one nursing program. It is possible that all seats could be filled and no seats would be available for any change of major/transfer student applicants in a given application year.

If a student is selected for admission as a change of major or transfer student but then fails to successfully complete all required courses in the freshman and sophomore curriculum (with exception of Arts & Humanities and Cultures & Civilizations) prior to the fall semester and/or does not meet the minimum required cumulative grade point average, the student will not progress and must submit another application the following year.

Note: The timing for applying as a change of major or transfer student will depend on whether or not the student has completed the bulk of the required lower-division courses. Student applications should have three of the four semesters of coursework completed at the time of application, with the fourth semester of lower division courses in progress during the spring semester preceding fall admission.

Note: Students not enrolled at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who are applying to nursing must also complete a transfer undergraduate application to the University of Tennessee and the College of Nursing change of major/transfer application. Transcripts sent to Undergraduate Admissions are not available to the College of Nursing, so students must also attach unofficial copies to the online change of major/transfer student application. Admission to the University of Tennessee through Undergraduate Admissions does not guarantee admission to the College of Nursing BSN program.

Transfer Credits

Students may transfer course credit for required lower division courses with a grade of C or better. Students may also transfer elective course credit with a grade of C or better. Students may not transfer any required nursing courses. The University of Tennessee will accept transfer credit of similar content from any two- or four-year accredited institutions—normally institutions with regional accreditation status in the United States. College transcripts are evaluated after a student is admitted to the university and typically are completed several weeks after the student is admitted. Credits that are not acceptable for transfer include courses that are remedial, occupational, technical, noncredit or career coursework used for the applied science degree from career and technical programs. For more information regarding credit transfer, see Transfer Credit Policies & Procedures.

If the student wishes to transfer credit from an international college or university, the transcript should be evaluated by any evaluation agency that is a member of NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services). UT is able to process an application only after receiving the necessary report from the evaluation company.

Companies offering these evaluation services include:

Academic Evaluation Services

Educational Credential Evaluators

World Education Services Inc. (WES)

Josef Silny & Associates Inc.

Residency Requirements

Of the 123 credits required for graduation, a minimum of 30 must be earned in residence at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Once the student has been accepted to the School of Nursing, all upper-division courses for the BSN degree must be taken at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The last 30 credit hours must be taken in residence at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

US History Requirement

Effective July 1, 1978, and afterwards, all students receiving a bachelor’s degree must have completed one unit of American history on the high school level or 6 semester hours of collegiate American history as required by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee (Tennessee Code Annotated Section 493253). At UT, History 221-222 can be utilized to fulfill this requirement if it was not completed at the high school level.

What are my chances for admission into the College of Nursing?
Admission to the College of Nursing is highly competitive. The number and the quality of the applicants will determine the competitiveness of the applicant pool. Historically, students who have built a solid science foundation, who demonstrate the ability to communicate clearly, who have an understanding of professional nursing practice, and who have excelled in the prerequisite coursework have had the highest probability of earning admission.

What factors are considered in the change of major and transfer  application review process?
The college utilizes a holistic application review through the Faculty Admissions Committee. The committee seeks to enroll students who, beyond meeting the university’s eligibility requirements, demonstrate high academic achievement, evidence of integrity and personal maturity, and significant school and community involvement and leadership activities, and who represent a broad diversity of cultural, racial, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Change of major and transfer students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.20 to apply to the College of Nursing. Admitted students for fall 2015 had an average 3.65 cumulative GPA for all collegiate coursework.

Are preferences given to any population in the admissions process?
Current UT Knoxville students applying to change their major to nursing are given priority for open seats in the junior upper-division courses. After internal applicant admissions are made, the Faculty Admissions Committee reviews applications from external transfer students for any remaining open seats in the program. There is no guarantee for any specific number of seats during any application cycle. It is possible that all seats could be filled and no seats would be available for any change of major/transfer student applicants in a given application year.

Does the College of Nursing require the TEAS test?
No, the College of Nursing does not require this test as part of our admissions process.

How long does it take to receive a decision on applications?
Applications are due by January 20 for fall admission. Initial review of completed applications will determine a pool of applicants who will be invited to complete a nursing faculty interview. The Faculty Admission Committee typically meets in late February and early March and completes a final review and decision on admissions. Admission notifications are generally made by mid-March.

Is there a wait list for change of major and transfer student applications?
Yes, students will be notified by email if placed on the wait list. Wait lists are reviewed by the Faculty Admission Committee in early June based on the number of open seats available in the program.

Can I schedule an individual meeting with an advisor in the College of Nursing Student Services Office to discuss my application?
Generally, walk-in advising sessions for change of major and transfer students are available the first 10 days of each semester to answer questions about the program. Applicants are also encouraged to attend a Change of Major/Transfer Student Information Session to learn about the College of Nursing and the competitive admissions process. Applicants who attend an information session are given priority for individual advising sessions.

Other Questions? Please contact us:

College of Nursing Student Services Office
1200 Volunteer Boulevard, Room 203
Knoxville, TN 37996-4180
Telephone: 865-974-7606
Fax: 865-974-3569
Email: CONadvising@utk.edu

Accelerated BSN

The accelerated BSN program’s objective is to offer individuals with non-nursing baccalaureate or higher degrees the opportunity to complete a nursing program in less time than a traditional baccalaureate program. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) defines accelerated BSN programs as those that can be completed in 12 to 18 months. The UT College of Nursing program is a 12-month accelerated program, not an abbreviated program. For those individuals who have the right balance of intellectual ability, time management skills, emotional fortitude, and personal and financial support, an accelerated BSN program can be the ideal entry into practice.

Unique features of our program:

  • 12-month program (August to August) completed in three full-time semesters
  • Direct transfer of previous baccalaureate degree credits
  • Minimum prerequisite course requirements
  • Excellent clinical experiences at major hospitals, community clinics, health departments, schools, and other health care facilities in the region.
  • Highly qualified faculty who are experienced teachers, researchers, and leaders in nursing and health care.
  • State-of-the-art classroom, learning resource center, and simulation laboratory facilities.
  • Outstanding preparation for the NCLEX, the national licensing exam for RNs—UT College of Nursing graduates consistently exceed both the state and national pass rates.

Students applying to the Accelerated BSN program must:

  • Apply to the College of Nursing through NursingCAS for the Accelerated BSN program. NursingCAS is a centralized application service for nursing programs. The application will open in mid-October 2017 for the entry into the fall 2018 ABSN program. After an initial review of the applicant pool has been made, students will be selected to continue in the application process and be scheduled to complete an interview with College of Nursing faculty. The deadline to submit applications through NursingCAS is December 15, 2017. Applicants who fail to submit their application by December 15, 2017 will be ineligible for consideration.
  • Applicants must also apply for admission to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Applicants should choose nursing—accelerated BSN as their first choice of major. Applicants who do not complete the initial application through NursingCAS will not be reviewed for admission to the College of Nursing. Admission to the University of Tennessee does not guarantee admission into the Accelerated BSN program.

Prerequisite Courses

  • All prerequisites must be completed, in progress or planned at the time of application.
  • Prerequisites must be completed before the program starts in the fall.
  • It is not possible to complete any prerequisites concurrently with the upper-level nursing science courses.
  • All prerequisite coursework can be completed at any accredited institution. Student with questions about acceptable institutions should contact UT’s Office of the Registrar.
  • There is no time limit on prerequisite course completion date; however, if you have science prerequisites dating back more than seven years, it may be beneficial to repeat these courses in preparation for the accelerated curriculum.
  • Contact the College of Nursing Student Services if you have questions regarding course equivalency. Use the transfer equivalency tables to find equivalent courses at other colleges/universities.
Chemistry I and II 8 semester hours with labs
Human Anatomy 4 semester hours with lab
Human Physiology 4 semester hours with lab
Microbiology Minimum 3 semester hours with lab
Statistics 3 semester hours
Human Development or Developmental Psychology 3 semester hours
Nutrition 3 semester hours
Bioethics/Medical Ethics

(or another acceptable ethics course)

3 semester hours
Applicants must also meet the Tennessee statewide US history requirement for a bachelor’s degree One unit of high school level US History

or

6 credit hours of college level US History

The deadline to submit your application through NursingCAS.org for fall 2018 is December 15, 2017. Please be advised that this process takes time to complete, so you should apply as soon as possible—we recommend starting your application in October. The following requirements will take time to complete within NursingCAS:

Transcripts

Transcripts submitted to NursingCAS must include grades in all college courses. Send a transcript from each college and university you have attended to NursingCAS as early as possible. If you are taking courses at the time you apply, you must submit a second updated transcript to NursingCAS once those grades have posted at the end of the term.

If you will be enrolled in spring courses, you must include a copy of your spring course schedule (showing each course name, credit hours, and college/university). These courses can be copied and pasted into a Word or PDF document and uploaded in the document upload section.

Professional References

Two professional references are required. References are submitted through the Supporting Information section of NursingCAS. These should be elicited from academic or professional references. Do not submit letters from personal references.

Resume

You are required to submit a current resume that includes (1) professional or work experience; (2) professional, campus or community activities; (3) academic and other honors received; and (4) volunteer activities or work experience in a health care environment.

Admission to the University of Tennessee

Admission to the university is not required before applying through NursingCAS. Students not currently enrolled at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, must also complete an application to UT Undergraduate Admissions. Deadlines for submission of the university admission application can be found on the admissions website. You will be required to submit an application fee and official transcripts to UT Undergraduate Admissions in addition to those you submit to NursingCAS.

Current UT students who wish to apply for the accelerated BSN are required to submit transcripts to NursingCAS.

Admissions Process

The College of Nursing’s Accelerated BSN Selection Committee has the responsibility of admitting candidates who best demonstrate academic achievement, emotional maturity, integrity, and commitment for the successful study and practice of nursing. Admission to the Accelerated BSN program of the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee is highly competitive and is based on the following criteria:

  • Cumulative GPA for courses completed (overall)
  • Cumulative GPA for required prerequisite courses
  • Probability of successfully completing all required prerequisite courses by the fall program start
  • Interest in and commitment to nursing
  • Availability of space

Consideration is also given to life experiences that indicate an applicant’s motivation and insight in approaching a career in nursing.

Interview

Applicants who meet initial screening criteria will be invited to participate in an interview with College of Nursing faculty sometime during February. Interviews will be conducted via Zoom video conferencing. Students will be contacted by email with interview sign-up information and a link to the Zoom interview session. Because interview times are limited, students who do not participate in their scheduled interview will not be considered for admission. In case of documented illness, serious family emergency, or inclement weather, appointments will be rescheduled.

Admissions Decisions

Applicants will be notified in writing of admissions decisions. In order to progress into the Accelerated BSN program, students selected for admission must 1) successfully complete all remaining prerequisite requirements with grades of A or B at the first attempt, and 2) maintain the overall GPA held at admission prior to the fall semester. Students who do not meet both requirements will not be able to progress into the Accelerated BSN program.

Information Sessions

Students interested in learning more about the Accelerated BSN program are encouraged to attend an information session. Open to any interested student, these sessions will cover topics including program prerequisites, typical prerequisite substitutions, the application and selection process, curriculum, costs, and scholarship opportunities. See upcoming information session dates here.

Can prerequisite courses be completed at a different college/university?
Yes, prerequisite courses may be taken at your local college or university. The University of Tennessee will accept transfer credit of similar content from any two- or four-year accredited institutions—normally institutions with regional accreditation status in the United States. College transcripts are evaluated after a student is admitted to the university and typically are completed several weeks after the student is admitted. Credits that are not acceptable for transfer include courses that are remedial, occupational, technical, noncredit, or career coursework used for the applied science degree from career and technical programs. For more information regarding credit transfer, see Transfer Credit Policies & Procedures.

How many spaces typically are available each year?
The program enrolls 40 students per year.

Does the Accelerated BSN program accept out-of-state students?
Yes, we accept out-of-state students into the program. Students must complete the following applications:

NursingCAS Application

University of Tennessee Undergraduate Admissions

Do you accept international students?
Yes, we accept international students into the program. International student applicants need to have their transcripts from international institutions evaluated by any evaluation agency that’s a member of NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services). UT is able to process an application only after receiving the necessary report from the evaluation company. Companies offering these evaluation services include:

Academic Evaluation Services

Educational Credential Evaluators

World Education Services Inc. (WES)

Josef Silny & Associates Inc.

International applicants must also complete the following applications:

NursingCAS Application

University of Tennessee Undergraduate Admissions

How long does it take to receive a decision on applications?
Normally, accelerated BSN applicants will be notified of their admissions decisions by email and within NursingCAS by mid-March.

Is there a wait list for the ABSN program?
Yes, students will be notified by email if placed on the wait list. Wait lists are reviewed by the Faculty Admission Committee in early June and based on the number of open seats available in the program.

Does the Accelerated BSN program require the TEAS test?
No, the College of Nursing does not require this test as part of our admissions process.

Is there a time limit on completed prerequisites?
There is no time limit on prerequisite course completion date. However, if your science prerequisite date back more than seven years, it may be beneficial to repeat these courses for preparation for the accelerated curriculum.

Is there a part-time option for the program?
No, the Accelerated BSN program is a full-time program.

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