DESCRIPTION OF THE CURRICULUM
The curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program has an organizing framework from which course objectives and learning activities flow in a logical progression over the length of the program. The process of curriculum construction was deliberate and guided by educational principles and standards for professional nursing practice. Outcome objectives are derived from the philosophy and organizing framework. Objectives are leveled across the curriculum in a logical sequence moving from simple to complex. The conceptual framework reflects three central concepts of professional values (caring and diversity), communication, and role development (provider of care, coordinator of care, and member of the profession). Critical thinking is used to inculcate these concepts.
The nursing curriculum has a foundation in the liberal arts and sciences, and its design reflects congruence with the School of Nursing philosophy, conceptual framework, standards of professional nursing practice, BSN outcome objectives, and course progression.
ABOUT THE TRADITIONAL BSN TRACK
This program is approved by the South Carolina State Board of Nursing and is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Graduates of this program are prepared to practice professional nursing in a variety of settings and have the necessary background for graduate nursing education.
All students interested in applying to any USC Aiken nursing program are required to be admitted to the University of South Carolina Sumter prior to submitting an application for the nursing program. Students are advised to do this at least 8 weeks in advance of the SON application deadline to prevent delays when applying to the program or in progression to degree completion.
Students intending to apply to School of Nursing need to be admitted to USC Sumter before applying to the School of Nursing. Students should plan ahead and allow at least 8 weeks for this process to be completed. Transcripts from all colleges or universities and, when applicable, high school records of Advanced Placement or dual enrollment courses need to be sent to the USC Sumter Registrar for evaluation. Students are required to complete 9 core courses before they are eligible to apply. Pre-nursing majors should refer to the Sample Program of Study-Traditional Track to identify the necessary courses and the sequence in which they should be taken.
Completion of all general education requirements is not mandatory prior to admission to the USC Aiken traditional track nursing program. Students typically need to complete 1-2 humanities courses while in the nursing program.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to fulfill as many general education requirements as possible prior to beginning the nursing program to prevent delays in progression to degree completion. Please see the general education requirements in the academic bulletin for a complete listing.
- Students need to demonstrate academic preparedness for the rigors of the program by completing 30 semester hours. The hours are accrued by completing 9 courses referred to as the prerequisite core courses. Please see the BSN Program of Study for a listing of core courses.
- To ensure students’ academic readiness, all transcripts need to display final course grades for these courses at the time of application.
Students may apply to the USC Aiken at Sumter Nursing Program if they meet the following GPA requirements:
- All general education courses are completed with a C (2.0) or better.
- The GPA for prerequisite core courses must be 3.0 or higher. No exceptions.
To calculate your GPA for prerequisite core courses:
- Assign a grade value to secondary education courses.
- AP courses: A = 5; B+ = 4, B = 3
- IB courses: A = 7; B+ = 6; B = 5
- CLEP: A = successful score
- Calculate GPA for the 9 prerequisite core courses using a GPA calculator.
- Regardless of how credit hours were assigned for these courses, all science courses are valued as 4 credit hours and non-science courses are valued as 3 credit hours.
- All grades from repeated courses must be included in the GPA calculation.
- Any D, F, or WF received at institutions other than USC Sumter must be included in the GPA calculation. Attach an explanatory letter for any final grades appearing as D, F, or WF.
Nursing faculty are available to assist pre-nursing majors as they navigate the application process. Appointments are required for all students seeking academic advising or transcript review. Please contact Tina Simenson to schedule an appointment to get advised or take a tour of our nursing lab and campus. Transcript reviews are not conducted in February and March.
124 credit hours are required to complete the traditional BSN track. Prospective students can begin their academic planning by looking at the course requirements in the academic bulletin. The sample program of study linked below also provides an idea of the course-load BSN students can expect to take.
The USC Aiken School of Nursing at Sumter Campus offers academic advising assistance and support to prospective traditional track nursing students. Please contact Tina Simenson to schedule an appointment to meet. Walk-in advisement sessions are not available.
Official copies of all transcripts are reviewed during the application process.
Students who have completed courses at colleges and universities other than USC Sumter are encouraged to have their transcripts evaluated by the School of Nursing Student Services Program Coordinator to ensure all requisite core courses meet established parameters. Interested students should submit documents at least 2 months in advance of the application deadline.
Responsibilities of the Applicant
- Ensure that transcripts for all course work completed at other institutions have been received and uploaded to the USC Sumter SSC system.
- Provide references from two professors from prerequisite core courses only. These instructors need to write legibly on the reference form. References may be mailed or scanned to the School of Nursing:
- Ensure reference form waiver is signed prior to requesting references.
- Mail: Professor needs to sign the form and also sign name over the adhesive seal of the envelope.
- Fax: Professor needs to scan form directly to Tina Simenson.
- Staple all elements of the application together except for essays. The essays should be submitted with the application form but without being attached to the other documents. Two-sided printing is acceptable. Please do not submit the page of instructions.
- Sign and date the application form prior to submitting to validate the application.
- Ensure that all prerequisite core courses and general education courses are completed, that TEAS scores are available to USC Aiken, that references have been received, and that any written essays adhere to the specified guidelines.
Note: Applicants will not be notified when all elements of the application are received. Applicants are encouraged to contact Tina Simenson at 803-938-3712 prior to the application deadline to verify that all necessary elements have been received.
If accepted into the USC Aiken BSN program at the Sumter campus, please be advised that a mandatory background check and drug screening are required prior to beginning the program.
If information is needed in an alternative format or for questions concerning the application process, please refer to the information found on the School of Nursing website first. If you do not find the information you are looking for here, please email Tina Simenson.
Preparing for your exam is crucial! Passing the TEAS is a key component of getting into nursing and allied health schools.
Applicants to the Nursing program are required to recruit references from two college-level instructors of prerequisite core courses. If more than two references are submitted, only the first two received will be included in the application. References from family members, friends, employers, coworkers, or advisors are not appropriate and will be discarded.
Both references are to be submitted on the Reference Form for the Traditional BSN Program after students review and initial the waiver at the top of the form. Application status is not affected if an applicant elects to maintain the right to obtain and review the completed document.
Please provide the instructors with the following items:
Applicants are encouraged to confirm that the completed reference forms have been received in the School of Nursing building prior to the application deadline.
Essays are assessed for specific criteria, including spelling and grammar; organization (including unity coherence, transitions, and clarity); language and style (clarity and proper usage of vocabulary/diction, syntax); and mechanics of style (agreement, punctuation, and spelling). The full essay, inclusive of all three questions, is limited in length to one single page. Essays in excess of one page will be disqualified.
- Prepare the document with 1 inch margins.
- Use Times New Roman 12 point font.
- Use single spacing for all content.
- Do not rewrite the actual questions on your document.
- Number your responses to align with the corresponding question (1, 2, 3).
- Print your name legibly in the margin at the top of the page.
- Sign your name and note the date in the margin at the bottom of the page.
- Why would you be the best candidate for the USC Aiken Nursing Program?
- If you witnessed a classmate who was cheating, what actions would you take?
- If you realized you were not passing a course at midterm, what actions would you take?
In addition to tuition and fees, students will have some other expenses while completing the BSN program, including the following items:
- Lab supplies
- Reliable transportation for travel to and from clinical sites
- Laptop computer
- Privacy screen for laptop computer
- Office supplies
- BLS certification
- Tuberculosis skin test
- Physician attestation of physical readiness for nursing activities
Many supplies are available through the USC Sumter Bookstore and are eligible for purchase with scholarship monies. Please check with your scholarship provider to determine which items are eligible.
Frequently Asked Questions
To be eligible for consideration, all interested persons are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the prerequisite core courses. Applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0 for these courses are not considered for admission to the School of Nursing.
The Admissions Committee also gives additional consideration to a subset of the prerequisite core courses GPA, looking closely at applicants' performance in the science courses.
In some situations, the School of Nursing will consider applications of students who do not have the required minimum GPA because of previous academic missteps. These students have since demonstrated their academic ability and, in some circumstances, may be eligible to apply. Students who are interested in exploring this possibility should contact Tina Simenson.
This GPA varies from one admission cycle to the next. Because admission is a competitive process, applicants need to demonstrate academic excellence.
All applicants are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 for consideration.
Only one failed science course may be repeated. Students with 2 or more failures of required science courses are not eligible to apply.
The School of Nursing does not notify applicants if portions of the application are missing. Applicants are encouraged to contact Tina Simenson 803-938-3712 for confirmation that all portions of the application are present.