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 Aiken 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.
For transfer students:
Students intending to apply to School of Nursing need to be admitted to USC Union 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 aplicable, high school records of Advanced Placement or dual enrollment courses need to be sent to the USC Union Registrar for evaluation. Transfer students are required to complete 9 prerequisite 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 a final course grades for these courses at the time of application.
- All science courses need to be completed no greater than 10 years prior to the application.
Students may apply to the USC Aiken Union Campus 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 Union 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 Courtney Pinnell to schedule an appointment to get advised or take a tour of the nursing building. Transcript reviews are not conducted in February, March, September, and October.
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 Union Campus offers academic advising assistance and support to prospective traditional track nursing students. Please contact Lynn Edwards or Courtney Pinnell 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 Union 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 Union 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 Courtney Pinnell.
- 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 the School of Nursing at 864-424-8030 prior to the application deadline to verify that all necessary elements have been received.
If accepted into the USC Aiken BSN program at Union 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 Courtney Pinnell.
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.
Holistic Admission Essay Questions
- Some of the core values in nursing are integrity, human dignity, social justice, and altruism. Describe one or two life experiences which demonstrated these values and prepared you for a career in nursing.
- How do you strive for consistent success in college courses and what do you do when you are not meeting personal academic goals?
- If you could choose any superpower to assist you in life or as a nurse, what would it be? Link your choice of superpower to a person, incident, or experience in your life.
Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)
All applicants are required to take the TEAS. Applicants do not need to achieve or exceed a specific score to be eligible to apply to the BSN program.
- Students are expected to make all testing and reporting arrangements on the Assessment Technologies Institute® (ATI) website.
- Applicants may take the TEAS no more than 2 times within a 2-year period.
- Students should select U of SC Aiken as their reporting site.
- Students who have already taken the exam but did not select U of SC Aiken as the primary reporting site are responsible for notifying ATI and paying any additional fees to have the results forwarded to USC Aiken.
For questions about the TEAS, please review the information on the ATI website to determine the most convenient method to contact ATI.
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 Union Bookstore and are eligible for purchase with scholarship monies. Please check with your scholarship provider to determine which items are eligible.
Being admitted into the School of Nursing is an exciting step in your journey to becoming a healthcare professional. Study in the School of Nursing is contingent on all students meeting additional requirements after admission. Failure to meet these requirements will result in dismissal:
- Complete microbiology, developmental psychology, and statistics with a C (2.0) or better
- Clear a background check
- Must receive yearly flu vaccination
- Complete a drug screening test with negative results
- Obtain American Heart Association BLS provider status
- Obtain physician attestation of physical readiness
- Obtain tuberculosis skin test (Note: positive results on the skin test do not necessarily disqualify students from the BSN program; please consult with your provider and with the SON to determine how to proceed in the event of a positive skin test.)
- In accordance with government regulations clinical sites may require COVID vaccination for students. Some sites may accept religious or medical exemptions on a case-by-case basis. It is the student's responsibility to request any necessary exemptions in lieu of COVID vaccination. If a student is unable to participate in a clinical rotation due to COVID vaccination, they will not be able to proceed in the program.