Apr 14, 2021  
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021

School of Nursing

Dean: Holly Gadd

Associate Dean: Frances Johnson

Faculty: Kerry Allen, Nicholas J. Beaumonte Jr., Jill Buchholz, Ronda Christman, Judith Dedeker, Marla Erskine, Jennifer Fisher, Holly Gadd, Pam Gammenthaler, LaShawn Horton, Cynthia Johnson, Frances Johnson, Antonio Lazcano, Sylvia Mayer, Christine Moniyung, Linda Peoples, Rebecca Retzer, Andrew J. Richards, Cindy Rima, Elizabeth Scott, Christy Showalter, Christina Shrode, Elizabeth Snyder, Lilly Tryon, Maria Valenca, Holly D. Walker, Joelle Wolf

Director of Nursing Admissions and Progressions: Sylvia Mayer

Program Coordinators:

  • Nursing, R.N. to B.S.N., Joelle Wolf (campus and online); Sylvia Mayer (consortium)
  • Nursing, Pre-licensure B.S.N., Pam Gammenthaler and Joelle Wolf
  • Nursing, A.S., Pam Gammenthaler

Mission Statement

The School of Nursing provides a Christian learning environment that nurtures a culture of integrity and academic excellence, and prepares caring, competent professionals to serve the diverse healthcare needs of individuals, families, and communities within a global context.

Program Outcomes

The graduate will:

  1. Provide personalized, compassionate, and coordinated care for the individual, family, or community through use of the nursing process, based on the unique variables that make up the whole person (physiological, Psychological, socio-cultural, and spiritual).
  2. Manage the provision of nursing care through effective functioning within inter- and intra-professional teams through open communication, mutual respect and shared decision-making in order to achieve quality patient care.
  3. Consistently fulfill the role of member of the discipline through the assimilation of a set of nursing roles and behaviors that include integrity, accountability, civility, critical thinking, collaborative relationships, clear communication, advocacy, legal and ethical practice, community and professional involvement, and life-long learning in order to effectively demonstrate Christ-centered excellence through caring, connecting, and empowering.

Undergraduate Degrees Offered

The School of Nursing offers two pre-licensure Nursing programs, BSN and AS. A post-licensure RN to BSN degree is also offered.

The pre-licensure BSN, AS, and LPN-AS and LPN-BSN) programs are available as campus-based programs. The RN-BSN is available as a campus-based program as well as online and off-campus consortium program in Chattanooga. All programs may be taken full or part-time.

Pre-nursing students may declare the pre-licensure BSN, AS, or the AS plus RN-BSN for the Nursing Major. Declaration as a nursing major is not the equivalent of acceptance to the SON, which requires a second application and acceptance.

Student learning is supported by faculty, a well-equipped Learning Resource Center (LRC), clinical skills laboratory, simulation laboratory, and a tutorial program (Assisting Students to Achieve Professionally [ASAP]), and campus resources.

The Adventist Nursing Framework, which emphasizes whole-person health, provides the context and structure for the nursing programs.

Accreditation and State Approval

The programs in nursing (BSN, AS, RN-BSN) are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326. The nursing programs are approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing (TBN).


The School of Nursing (SON) has a comprehensive assessment program. Pre-licensure BSN and AS students are required to complete standardized competency examinations throughout the nursing curriculum. Pre-licensure BSN and AS graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). The TBN requires an annual pass rate of 85% or higher on the NCLEX-RN for a school to maintain approval.


Students admitted to nursing courses will accept personal responsibility for their learning and professional behavior. Each student contracts to abide by policies as stated in the SON Student Handbook http://www.southern.edu/nursing.

Students are expected to provide their own transportation for all clinical appointments.

The university assesses lab fees for certain courses across campus. BSN, AS and RN-BSN classes have fees which are listed in the course descriptions section of this Catalog.

Drug Screen

By enrolling at Southern, all nursing students agree to random drug testing (may include testing for illicit drugs, nicotine and/or alcohol). The SON has a zero tolerance policy with respect to illicit drug use. A drug screen will be required of any new student accepted into the undergraduate nursing programs. A drug screen will also be required for an enrollment lapse of one semester or more. Students may be screened at any other time for random testing, reasonable suspicion or evidence of alcohol or drug use. Violation and positive drug screens will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Prescription Medications

Upon admission to the SON, a student on a prescription medication is obligated to provide documentation from a Health Care Provider. Documentation is once again required upon any changes in the prescription or upon addition of any new prescription throughout the student’s time in the nursing program.

Background Check

All students are required to have a criminal background check. The SON uses Package SC87 with the vendor CastleBranch.com. The TBN and other State Boards reserve the right to deny licensure if the applicant has committed a crime other than a minor traffic violation. The SON reserves the right to deny admission to or remove students from the nursing program who have records of misconduct, legal or otherwise, that would jeopardize their professional performance.

Program and Policy Changes

The SON reserves the right to revise, add, or withdraw policies and/or courses as necessary to ensure a quality nursing program.

BSN and AS Nursing Pre-licensure Programs: Overview

Admission to nursing is competitive. Meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance into clinical nursing courses. The SON makes the final decision on acceptance and progression in nursing.

BSN Nursing Degree (Winter Start)
The student is eligible to take NCLEX-RN® following the pre-licensure BSN degree, which is a generic, 4-year program with admission to clinical nursing second semester sophomore year (3 semesters pre-nursing + 5 semesters of nursing).

In keeping with recommendations for the BS/BSN as the entry level for practice (IOM, Future of Nursing, AACN, NLN, etc.), completion of a BSN Program enhances professional opportunities through study in theoretical and clinical nursing.

AS Nursing Degree + RN-BSN Articulated Program (Fall & Winter Start)
The student is eligible to take NCLEX-RN® following the AS degree (2 semesters pre-nursing + 4 semesters of nursing). The AS graduate transitions seamlessly to senior RN-BSN nursing courses (2 semesters) which leads to a 4-year baccalaureate degree (BSN) in nursing.

Students seeking the AS degree are encouraged to declare both the AS and BSN degree when applying to the University making a double AS Nursing/BSN major. In addition to other benefits, from a financial perspective, there is a benefit to declaring both majors. When graduated from AS Nursing, the major will convert to BSN.

LPN-RN (Pre-licensure) The Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) may bridge to RN via either the BSN or AS program. Both degrees prepare students to pass the NCLEX-RN® licensure exam and move into entry-level RN positions. Equivalent general education and cognate courses from regionally accredited schools transfer into the LPN-RN Program.

LPN-BSN Upon acceptance into the LPN-BSN nursing program (See Admission Requirements), the LPN takes a bridge course, LPN-RN Perspectives, and all nursing courses, except Fundamentals of Nursing. After satisfactorily completing at least 10 credits, Fundamentals of Nursing (7 credits) is placed on the transcript ($280 transfer fee). After completing required nursing and non-nursing courses, the successful LPN-RN student receives a BSN degree and is eligible to write the NCLEX-RN® exam and become a registered nurse. Total of 5 semesters of nursing courses, plus, general education and cognates.

LPN-AS Upon acceptance into the LPN-AS nursing program (See Admission Requirements), the LPN takes a bridge course, LPN-RN Perspectives, and enters the second level (semester) of the four-level AS nursing program. After satisfactorily completing at least 10 credits, Fundamentals of Nursing (7 credits) will be placed on the transcript ($280 transfer fee). The successful LPN-RN student receives an AS degree and is eligible to write the NCLEX-RN® exam and become a registered nurse. Total of 3 semesters of nursing courses, plus, general education and cognates.

Admission Requirements

Pre-licensure BSN and AS Programs
Including LPN-RN

  1. Completed SAU application (See SAU admission checklist)
  2. Submit SON application (nursing.southern.edu)
    –Winter admission (BSN and AS) - September 15
    –Fall admission (AS only) - February 15
  3. GPA: minimum cumulative university GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
  4. Pre-Admission Exam
    –Pre-Admission Exam (PAX) (required for pre-licensure BSN and AS applicants)
    –Nursing Acceleration Challenge Exam (NACE) I: (required for LPN-RN applicants)
  5. Prerequisite Sciences: Survey of Health Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology I & II with grades of “C” or better.
  6. Interview: personal admission interview
  7. Required coursework
    –BSN & LPN-BSN: Approximately 40-45 credits (3 semesters)
    –AS & LPN-AS: Approximately 20-30 credits (2 semesters)
  8. Complete courses
    –English: Critical Thinking in Academic Reading & Writing 1 (English Composition I)
    –English: Critical Thinking in Academic Reading & Writing 2 (English Composition II) recommended.
    –Math (pre-licensure BSN only): ACT ≥16. ACT of 15 or below must complete MATH 081 with a grade of C or better
  9. References or additional information may be required.
  10. Transfer students will be individually reviewed once an official transcript is received. Acceptance will be on a space available basis.
  11. The Admission Committee may grant “Provisional Admission” to applicants who demonstrate academic potential to successfully complete the program, but whose GPA or test scores do not meet or only minimally meet the academic admission requirements.
  12. Students with disabilities, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, are given reasonable accommodation, if physically and mentally capable of performing the essential functions of the program. See SON Undergraduate Handbook for the SON policy based on “The Core Performance Standards developed by the Southern Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing”. http://www.southern.edu/academics/academic-sites/nursing/handbooks.html

Upon admission into the nursing program, the following requirements apply.

  1. A signed commitment form to secure admission to nursing.
  2. Current American Heart Association (AHA) Healthcare Provider CPR certification that must be maintained throughout the nursing program.
  3. A background check.
  4. A urine drug screen.
  5. Submission of a Health Verification Form documenting completion of all health requirements, including immunizations, which may not be waived, confirming the student is in good health and free from communicable diseases.

Progression and Readmission Requirements

Complete and detailed policies are found in http://www.southern.edu/nursing

Students who have taken all general education and cognates for the AS and RN-BSN programs may take BSN completion nursing classes early if approved by BSN faculty and student adviser as follows. 

  • Level 2 AS students may take Nursing Pharmacology (NURS 345 ) and Pathophysiology (NURS 355 ). A number of upper division nursing electives are also available throughout the program.  
  • Level 3 AS students may take Health Assessment II (NURS 315 ) and Professional Development in Nursing (NURS 335 ). A number of upper division nursing electives are also available throughout the program
  • Level 4 AS students should only take Adult Health III (NURS 400 ), Child Health (NURS 420 ), Capstone Clinical - AS (NURS 425 ), Capstone Seminar (NURS 432 ), and Preparation for Licensure (NURS 440 ). Additional nursing or general education and cognate courses are not recommended.

Pre-licensure BSN and AS

  1. A minimum grade of “C+” (2.30) is required in each nursing course for progression with a cumulative GPA of 2.30 in nursing and a 2.50 overall GPA on a 4.00 scale for graduation.
  2. Cognate courses (grade of “C” or better required) include: Chemistry, A & P I & II, Nutrition, Developmental or General Psychology, Basic Microbiology, Christian Ethics, Aging & Society.
  3. Failure of any nursing course for any reason is addressed individually per specific policies found in SON Undergraduate Handbook http://www.southern.edu/nursing.
  4. Should a student need to repeat a nursing class, or receive a C+ in a nursing class or test category, or upon recommendation of the Admissions/Progressions committee, he/she will be required to enroll in NURS 203  the following semester. This is a 0-1 credit class with the objective of assisting the student to be successful in the nursing program.
  5. Students who do not complete a semester or who do not progress through the program with the cohort into which they were admitted, cannot be assured of their placement of choice for subsequent courses.
  6. Students are required to demonstrate satisfactory performance on standardized tests. If the required performance level is not achieved, remedial work must be completed to progress in the program or be recommended by the SON faculty to take NCLEX-RN.
  7. Any cognate course taken off campus during the time the student is enrolled at Southern Adventist University (school year or summer) must be approved by the Dean of the SON.

RN to BSN Overview

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), specifically designed for the Registered Nurse (RN), provides an opportunity for any licensed RN educated at the associate degree or diploma level to achieve academic and personal goals and to develop stronger clinical reasoning and analytical skills to advance their careers.

RN to BSN tracks for completing senior BSN nursing courses.

  • RN-BSN Traditional classroom (2-3 semesters, full-time)
  • RN-BSN Online with field experience (4-5 semesters-including summer, part-time)
  • RN-BSN Consortium off-campus (6-8 semesters-including summer, part-time)

Students accepted into the SAU articulated AS Nursing Program transition seamlessly into the senior RN-BSN courses. Transfer students who are graduates of accredited Associate and Diploma Nursing Programs may apply for acceptance into the senior RN to BSN nursing courses by sending an application to the SON’s Director of Admissions and Progressions.

Upon acceptance to the nursing program, courses listed in the current catalog will be required. To complete senior RN-BSN nursing courses in one year (two semesters) on campus, all non-nursing course requirements must be completed prior to the two semesters of senior BSN nursing classes.

Associate Degree Graduates

Graduates of a state approved associate degree nursing program will be considered to have met General Education requirements for the first two years of the program with the exception of Communication and Public Speaking, English, Statistics, Fitness for Collegiate Life, and Computer Concepts provided that the GPA is 2.50 or above. If ENGL 101 , ENGL 102 COMM 135 CPTE 100 , MATH 215 , and PEAC 125  were not included in the associate degree program, they must be taken in fulfillment of the BSN degree General Education requirements.

Diploma Graduates

  • Credit is acceptable for courses comparable to those required at Southern if received from an accredited junior or senior college or by examination according to the policy stated in this Catalog.
  • All general education and cognates for the AS/BSN degree levels must be completed before graduation.

Minimum requirements for admission to the RN-BSN (all tracks) program as follows:

  1. Acceptance to Southern Adventist University.
  2. Acceptance to Nursing.
  3. A minimum grade point average of 2.50.
  4. Recommendation from nursing faculty in the student’s basic nursing program and/or employer if requested.
  5. Interview with the RN-BSN program coordinator or designee, if requested.
  6. Transfer Student Admission: Documentation of clinical experience (satisfactory work performance recommendation), and/or RN Update or additional clinical experience may be required.
  7. Transfer of RN Nursing Credits: Transfer students who are graduates of accredited Associate and Diploma Nursing Programs will have 26 credits of lower division associate degree level nursing and thirteen (13) credits of upper division nursing NURS 400 Adult Health III , NURS 420 Child Health (SERV-2) , NURS 425 Capstone Clinical - AS , NURS 432 Capstone Seminar , and NURS 440 Preparation for Licensure  placed in escrow upon entrance to the RN-BSN program. After successfully completing 10 semester hours of RN to BSN nursing courses at Southern, the thirteen (13) credits held in escrow are available to be placed on the transcript ($520 transfer fee) as required credits toward a BSN degree.