The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree prepares graduates for beginning practice as a generalist registered nurse in a variety of settings.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree prepares graduates for beginning practice as a generalist registered nurse in a variety of settings. The BSN is the professional degree that is the cornerstone of education for professional practice, career mobility and advancement. Upon completion of the four year baccalaureate program in nursing, graduates are eligible to take the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensure exam (NCLEX) to become a Registered Nurse.

The Nursing Program consists of nursing and non-nursing courses taken over four academic years. Students enter Tusculum University as pre-nursing majors and must complete the first year of the nursing curriculum consisting of general education courses that are nursing program prerequisites. Most students will apply for admission to the nursing program during the spring term of their first year at Tusculum University.  When a student applies for admission to the nursing program and is provisionally accepted, he/she is then classified as a nursing major. The number of students accepted into the nursing program is limited, making the application process competitive.


The Tusculum University BSN program provides students with the opportunity to provide nursing care in a variety of practice settings. Small classes and clinical groups allow for individualized attention. The BSN program has experienced faculty that provide mentorship and support to students.  The emphasis of the program is on use of knowledge and skills to plan and implement nursing care with an emphasis on critical thinking and decision-making skills. Upon completion of the program, graduates are also prepared for graduate study in nursing.

Pre-nursing students should maintain a minimum overall 2.750 cumulative college grade point average, a 2.750 average in all science and math courses, and are required to earn no less than a “C” in any course. (NOTE:  “C-” grades are not acceptable).

Prospective nursing students should be aware that nursing clinicals may be offered in day, evening, or weekend shifts.

Individuals desiring to pursue the baccalaureate degree in nursing at Tusculum University will complete a three-step admission process (see Admission Requirements).

Admission to the Nursing major is limited. Admission to Tusculum University does not guarantee acceptance to the nursing major.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, all applicants and admitted students must be, with reasonable accommodations, physically and mentally capable of performing the essential functions of the nursing profession as outlined in the Core Performance Standards of Admission and Progression developed by the Southern Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing.  The Core Performance Standards are located in the School of Nursing Student Handbook and are posted on the Core Performance Standards web page.

The Tusculum University Nursing Program has received Full Approval by the Tennessee Board of Nursing and has received approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The baccalaureate degree in nursing at Tusculum University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org).


The mission of the Nursing Program is to prepare qualified registered nurse professionals and graduate prepared nurses who enhance the quality of life for individuals, families, groups, and communities.



As the School of Nursing moves forward with its mission, it is guided by the core values of Tusculum University and its own values that are grounded in professional nursing practice that embraces clinical and scholarly excellence. The students, faculty, and staff will:

  1. Communicate with integrity and act with ethical values and principles.
  2. Create an environment of inclusiveness where individual, intellectual and social diversity are valued.
  3. Promote and practice life-long learning, inquiry, and critical thinking.
  4. Partner with our healthcare communities by creating relationships to promote common interests and shared values.
  5. Practice stewardship through fair and responsible management of gifts and resources.
  6. Generate commitment and passion for the practice of nursing.



The baccalaureate nursing program at Tusculum University will prepare individuals to assume entry level, generalist professional nursing positions through educational experiences that are built upon previous nursing preparation and knowledge of the arts and sciences. The program will create an atmosphere in which individuals can develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes consistent with professional values and evidence-based nursing care.



The nursing faculty affirms the mission, vision and core values of Tusculum University . In addition to the University ’s core values, the nursing faculty holds the following values and beliefs as foundational for educating master’s prepared nurses. Further, these beliefs guide interactions with students, patients, colleagues, healthcare professionals, and the public as well as providing the framework for preparing graduates to practice in the changing and complex social, political, economic and healthcare environments.

 Person: A unique individual, possessing dignity and worth, which is in constant interaction with the environment. A person is composed of physical, psychological, socio-cultural, developmental and spiritual dimensions, but when examined as a whole, is more than the sum of the parts. The term “person” incorporates the concepts of learner, self, individual, family, group, community and population.

Health: Health is a dynamic multidimensional state represented by the health-illness continuum and is affected by personal choices, values, and interactions with the environment. The physical, psychological, interpersonal and social aspects of health are inseparable in the individual. The degree of balance between the person and his/her internal and external factors determine the person’s level of health. The practice of nursing promotes an awareness of healthy lifestyles and choices. Nurses compassionately assist persons to re-establish health and cope with illness or impending death.

Environment: The environment is the collective of all conditions, circumstances, and internal and external forces. The diverse and ever-changing environment is affected by physical, psychological, socio-political, cultural, ethnic, spiritual, economic and ecological factors. It is influenced by and responds to dynamic forces including technology; education; values; and economic, geopolitical and population characteristics.

Nursing: Nursing is a professional practice discipline, which combines the science of nursing and the art of caring for others. The science of nursing is the body of knowledge generated from nursing theory and research as well as knowledge applied from the sciences, liberal arts, and social sciences. It involves knowledge, critical thinking skills, and collaboration with other disciplines to provide high quality, safe, effective patient-centered, holistic care. Nurses as caregivers, providers, teachers and patient advocates must use evidence-based practice and technology that incorporates ethical, moral and legal standards.

The art of caring is the creative and dynamic application of nursing knowledge. Caring emanates from a commitment to preserve and enhance the integrity and dignity of persons. Caring relationships begin with the self and embrace all those one touches within the environment.

Professional Values: Professional values and the behaviors they exemplify provide a foundation for the practice of nursing. Exhibiting professional values is the demonstration of high-level personal, ethical and skill behaviors that characterize a member of a profession. Nursing is an accountable, autonomous practice profession that is guided by a body of knowledge and a professional code of ethics. Professional nursing also supports research and education to expand nursing knowledge and its use.

Nursing Education: Education is a process that involves the educator and the learner in collaboratively pursuing and sharing knowledge. Learning is a deliberate and dynamic process characterized by the acquisition of knowledge, self-awareness, breadth and depth in critical thinking, and by cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills all of which change the behavior of the learner. Learning occurs best when the learner’s rights are respected and when the learner accepts responsibility for self-direction and his/her own decisions. Continuing educationis a life-long learning process that updates the learner’s knowledge regarding current research and practice developments, helps the learner specialize in a particular area of practice, or helps the learner maintain competency in their current area.

The focus of nursing education is critical inquiry that enables the learner to recognize phenomena, take appropriate actions in a variety of situations, and to interactively evaluate outcomes. The reflective process emphasizes creative insight, valuation and self-realization. The goals of liberal and scientific education must be integrated with those of professional development for students to become competent practitioners of nursing care. Thus, the integration of the principles of liberal and scientific studies with the principles of nursing care is essential to the students’ discovery of the conceptual knowledge of nursing; one that leads to lifelong inquiry and improved patient care outcomes.

The educator enters the learning environment as a facilitator, mentor, resource person, and co-learner who uses multiple methods of instruction. The educator respects and values the knowledge and experiences of students and fosters their continuing professional role development.  The educator guides students by developing, organizing, and structuring knowledge; by fostering a spirit of inquiry, a sense of discovery, and a desire for life-long learning.

Students are viewed as adult learners who engage in the educational process by assuming responsibility for their learning. The learner enters the process with a unique personal and cultural history that serves as a rich resource for the learning process. This background energizes the learning environment and provides the impetus for lifelong personal, continuing education and professional growth.

If you have any questions about the above information, submit your questions to nursing@tusculum.edu.

For information regarding course requirements, visit our catalog.