The School of Nursing (SON) offers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program. Baccalaureate graduates are prepared for a variety of beginning positions in hospitals, community health care agencies, private offices, the military, industry, and schools. A baccalaureate education also establishes the basis for further learning in graduate programs.

The BSN program accommodates students in three tracks: the basic generic track, the accelerated BSN track, and the RN-BSN track. The basic generic track is designed for students without an earned degree in nursing. The accelerated BSN track is an 18-month program designed for non-nurse college graduates. The RN/BSN track is for individuals educated at the diploma or associate degree level and already licensed as registered nurses. The SON supports the Georgia Articulation plan to facilitate educational mobility for registered nurses.

The BSN program has full approval from the Georgia Board of Nursing (237 Coliseum Drive; Macon, GA, 31217-3858; 478.207.1640). The School of Nursing is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (61 Broadway, 33rd Floor; New York, NY, 10006; 212.363.5555).


The mission of Georgia Southwestern State University School of Nursing is to prepare professional nurses for the 21st century who can work with diverse populations in multiple practice settings. In a caring community of learning, we are preparing future leaders with our focus on helping students learn.


The faculty of the School of Nursing at Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) believes that nursing is a practice-oriented discipline focused on the promotion of health of human beings in interaction with their environments. Human beings are unique and individual in their responses to health and illness, and represent a variety of socio-economic and educational perspectives, ethnic backgrounds and lifestyle patterns.

We believe that health can be viewed as a personal commitment and a social commitment. We believe that health should be seen as a community and societal obligation rather than only as a personal responsibility. From this perspective, health is influenced by biological, social, cultural, spiritual, political and psychological factors.

We believe that because nurses are being challenged to care for patients who are socially, politically and economically disadvantaged, they must move beyond a psychological conceptualization of the environment into a sociopolitical-economic and cultural conceptualization. Through this reconceptualization, nurses can see that human responses to health and illness are related to the structure of the social world, the economic and political policies that govern the structure, and the human, social relationships that are produced by the structure and the policies.

We believe that nursing education should be based on critical analysis and synthesis of facts, concepts, principles, and theories from nursing, in addition to the social, educational, behavioral, humanities, natural, medical, and basic sciences. We believe that basic and applied research generated knowledge should be included throughout the nursing curriculum. We believe that the goal of baccalaureate education is to prepare persons to provide professional nursing care to all people in a variety of settings. In addition, we believe in the need to ensure that curriculum content and models, teaching-learning practices, and evaluation methods should be responsive to the actual needs of society and consistent with evolving health care and education reforms.


The sequencing of content and major learning experiences in the undergraduate program is based on the progression of the student through increasingly complex and diverse health care settings. The major consideration is the progression of knowledge acquisition, knowledge application, and analysis and synthesis of knowledge required for the practice of professional nursing. The curriculum reflects current health care trends and the role of the RN in today's health care system. Introductory nursing courses are offered at the Freshman level and students can declare nursing as their major and begin building a relationship with the School and nursing advisors. In the sophomore year, students complete prerequisite nursing courses: Introduction to Health Care, Concepts of Professional Nursing, Clinical Therapeutics, and Human Pathophysiology and these courses must reflect a passing grade before acceptance into the upper division courses. The admission requirements provide a foundation for the nursing major.

The upper division nursing curriculum for the BSN program is divided into four semesters to provide continuity, sequence and integration in the learning experiences. Clinical nursing courses are taught in a sequential manner; therefore clinical nursing courses in one semester may not be taken without completion of the clinical courses in the preceding semester.

To provide learning experiences for the students, a variety of institutions and agencies are utilized. The small rural hospitals as well as larger metropolitan hospitals provide the student an opportunity for clinical nursing practice. The School utilizes numerous community agencies to broaden the student's clinical experiences. In the clinical area, the student applies theoretical nursing concepts to patient care. The nursing process is applied in every clinical area as a framework for acquiring new information, identifying patient needs, assisting the patient in meeting needs, and in evaluating the end product. By utilizing the nursing process at increasing levels of complexity, each individual student can integrate concepts of the curriculum into nursing practice.

The goal of baccalaureate education is to prepare competent, self-directed generalist nurses (Registered Nurses) who can assume increasing responsibility and leadership in the delivery of evidence-based nursing care. Nursing is a socially determined profession whose practice evolves in response to the needs of persons. These needs provide direction for future roles of professional nursing practice, and curricular innovations. Thus, the need to ensure that curriculum content and models, teaching-learning practices, and evaluation methods are responsive to the actual needs of society and consistent with evolving health care and education reforms.

Admission Guidelines (for basic generic applicants)

  1. acceptance in good standing by the University;
  2. application to the School of Nursing by the published deadline;
  3. all general education/core classes from Areas A, D, and F completed;
  4. completion of Concepts of Professional Nursing (NURS 2600), Clinical Therapeutics (NURS 2700) and Human Pathophysiology (NURS 3150). Minimum grade of "C" required;
  5. both parts of Regents' Test passed;
  6. no more than nine (9) hours of general education classes from Areas B, C, and/or E and PEDS 1010 (Life-time Fitness) to be completed;
  7. completion of anatomy and physiology (BIOL 2030 and 2040) and microbiology (BIOL 2050) within five years of projected admission. Minimum grade of "C" required. Testing is required of those applicants who completed these courses five years ago or longer. Remediation may be required; and
  8. an overall grade point average of at least a 2.8/4.0 for consideration. The grade point average is taken from the transcript of the most recently attended institution from which the student earned at least 30 semester hours of credit.

Admission Guidelines (for RN-BSN applicants)

  1. acceptance in good standing by the University;
  2. application to the School of Nursing;
  3. all general education/core classes from Areas A and D completed. These courses completed from Area F: BIOL 2030, 2040, 2050 and PSYC 2103;
  4. both parts of Regents' Test passed;
  5. completion of Human Pathophysiology (NURS 3150). Minimum grade of "C" required;
  6. no more than nine (9) hours of general education classes from Areas B, C, and/or E still to be completed;
  7. an overall grade point average of at least a 2.5/4.0 for consideration. The grade point average is taken from the transcript of the most recently attended institution from which the student earned at least 30 semester hours of credit; and
  8. results of validation testing and remediation, if required.

Admission Guidelines (for Accelerated BSN applicants)

  1. a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university;
  2. a minimum of a 3.00 gpa;
  3. 8 credit hours in human anatomy and physiology;
  4. a course in microbiology;
  5. three letters of reference (employers, teachers, professionals);
  6. short essay on the decision to pursue professional nursing; and
  7. interview

As part of the application process, students submit two letters of recommendation from employers or teachers with whom the student has had contact within the last two years and an essay on reasons for choosing nursing. Faculty review this information along with the students' SAT or ACT scores, grades in science courses, and grades in courses designated NURS taken to-date.

For students who are accepted, the following items must be addressed prior to the start of the semester:

  1. the student must hold current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the minimum level of basic life support for health professionals;
  2. the student must hold professional liability insurance;
  3. the student must hold health insurance;
  4. the student must submit a completed health form, including evidence of current status of immunizations; and
  5. (for RN students), current licensure as a registered nurse in Georgia.


Critical Thinking Exam - Entrance
(Juniors - Fall semester)
Exam Grading CriteriaCritical Thinking Exam - Exit
(Seniors - Spring semester)
Entrance Exam (TEAS)
Students can buy a Study Guide
Use of Standardized Tests
  • Nursing of Adults II
  • Pharmacology
  • Obstetrics & newborn
  • Pediatrics
Use of Standardized Test
  • NCLEX Predictor Exam
GPA - minimum of 2.8
cumulative & required nursing prerequisites
Exemption to the GSW reexamination policy for seniorsNCLEX-RN Review Course
All College Preparatory Requirements and Regents ExamExam Absences 
Grades in science coursesDrug Calculation Tests 
Repeats of Science and Nursing courses* Writing across the curriculum 
Patterns of withdrawals;
Ds and Fs
Evaluation of applicant's essay or answers to questions  
References - at least one from faculty who has taught student within the past two years  

*To be developed during 2006-07 academic year


Students are considered for admission by the Admissions and Progression Committee based on a number of factors including, but not limited to:

  • Availability of space in clinical sites
  • Availability of faculty resources
  • Grade Point Average - minimum of 2.8
  • Entrance Exam - ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills
  • Critical Thinking Exam - entrance score
  • Grades in Science courses - minimum of B is preferred
  • Pattern of withdrawal from courses/schools
  • Grades of Ds and/or Fs
  • Written communication ability
  • References (at least one from faculty who taught student within the past two years)

There are two types of admission:

  1. Full acceptance is offered when all criteria are met
  2. Contingent acceptance is predicated upon successful completion of unmet criteria

Transfer Students

Students transferring to GSW from other institutions must meet the transfer guidelines of GSW. The Registrar's Office evaluates courses taken at other institutions for comparability to GSW curriculum requirements.

Applicants not admitted may reapply for the following academic year. Repeat applicants must meet the same criteria as first time applicants.

Standardized Testing

As part of the SON ongoing assessment plan, students are tested throughout the program for mastery of course content. Students are responsible for the cost of the tests.


Students complete approximately 62 hours of general education classes and about 62 hours of courses specific to the major. A typical full-time sequence of upper level courses is listed below. The student may elect to attend on a part-time basis. Full-time RN-BSN students may combine Semester 1 and Semester 3 courses as well as Semester 2 and Semester 4 courses. The program must be completed within five years of taking Health Assessment.

Various facilities in Americus and the surrounding communities are used for clinical experiences. Students must provide their own transportation.

Semester 1Semester 2
Nursing of Adults INursing of the Family
Health Assessment*Gerontological Nursing*
Health Promotion* 
Professional Nursing Practice** 


Semester 3Semester 4
Nursing of Adults IICommunity and Public Health Nursing*
Leadership*Research in Nursing*
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing
Pharmacology II
Nursing Practicum in Nursing*

* courses required of students in the RN/BSN program.
** course required only of students in the RN/BSN program.

Georgia Articulation Model
The Georgia Southwestern State University School of Nursing supports the Georgia RN-BSN Articulation Model. The purpose of this model is to facilitate the educational mobility of registered nurses who elect to pursue a baccalaureate degree in nursing. RN/BSN students are awarded 32 nursing credit hours after successfully passing the Health Assessment course. [contact the SON office for details: 229.931.2275]



A program of progression testing and evaluation is in place at the School of Nursing to assist faculty and students in identifying areas of student knowledge that require attention in order to successfully complete the nursing program, as well as for BSN graduates to successfully pass the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.

In addition to successful completion of coursework, students are required to participate in the Total Testing Program. The Total Testing Program includes standardized testing prior to initial enrollment; critical thinking testing during the first semester and last semesters of study; course exam testing; standardized testing within selected nursing courses throughout the program of study; and a comprehensive NCLEX-RN readiness test during the final semester (refer to section on Graduation). There is a fee associated with these tests. Students are responsible for paying testing fees at the end of the first week of each semester. Failure to pay testing fees will result in administrative withdrawal from the course.

Exam Grading Criteria:

Students must achieve an overall average of 75% or better in all exams and quizzes before other graded items will be included in the final course grade.

Standardized Testing:

Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)

The ATI TEAS is utilized as a component of admission decision-making. For students admitted to the program, the results of this exam are reviewed by the faculty advisor and student during the first two weeks of the first semester of program to determine academic skills that need improvement. It is the student's responsibility to schedule a meeting with the faculty advisor for the review.

Critical Thinking Exam

This test is administered during the first semester of the junior year and the last semester of the senior year. The results of the first exam are reviewed by the faculty advisor and student during the first two weeks of the junior year. It is the student's responsibility to schedule a meeting with the faculty advisor for this review. The results of the critical thinking exam are utilized as part of the total program evaluation.

Content Mastery Testing (ATI - RN Content Mastery Series 2.1):

Students must achieve the identified target score or above for successful completion of the following courses:

NURS 4100Nursing of Adults II62 Score
NURS 3750Obstetrics & Newborn41 Score
 Pediatrics40 Score
NURS 4630Pharmacology42 Score


If the target score is not achieved on the first attempt, students may repeat the test once by the end of the final exam week of the semester only if they scored within 10 points of the minimum target score on the first attempt. Students who not score at the minimum target score on the second attempt will receive an F in the designated course. Students who score 10 points below the target minimum score on the first attempt may not re-test and will receive an F in the designated course. All students have opportunities to take non-proctored exams during the academic year.

Drug Calculation Proficiency Examination:

  1. All students must take and pass a drug calculation test with at least 90% accuracy at the beginning of each semester before they are allowed to progress into clinical.
    1. If a score of 90% or higher is not earned on the first attempt, the student will be allowed two (2) additional attempts.
    2. If a student does not earn a score of 90% or higher after three attempts, the student cannot progress into the clinical courses in which the student is enrolled that semester.
    3. The last day to take the third exam is the last day to add/drop courses for that semester.
    4. Each student who is unsuccessful on the third attempt will meet with the Dean and course faculty to determine action to be taken.
  2. Each test will be composed of 20 items. Students will have one (1) hour to complete each test. Calculators will be allowed.
  3. Each test will contain the MINIMUM number of questions, as indicated below, in each listed category. Faculty is free to have five (5) questions from any of the categories, dictated by the level of the students and the demands of their clinical settings. Faculty may state the questions as they wish: i.e., there is no format for each question.
    3Conversions (metric to and from apothecary systems)
    3I.V. drip rate in gtt/minute or volume/hourep
    2Liquid and oral dosage
    2I.M./S.C. injections-volume and/or dosageep
    2Dosage based on weight of patient
    2Tablets/capsules per dose (scored or unscored)ep
    1Heparin or Insulin injection
    5Instructor's choice
    20Questions Total
  5. Equivalent tests will be administered to students at all levels.
  6. Faculty teaching students at the same level during the same semester may collaborate with the development of dosage calculation tests.
  7. For those students who are unsuccessful on the first attempt, a structured review will be mandatory prior to administration of the second dosage calculation test. (This review session may be an independent study review session or an instructor led review session). The three tests will be completed during the first week of each semester.

NCLEX-RN Predictor Exam:

For the comprehensive NCLEX-RN Predictor Exam, students are required to obtain a minimum of 65th percentile (national) on the test after two attempts. Students who do not achieve the 65th percentile on the second attempt will receive an F in the NURS 4900 Practicum course.

Standardized Test Remediation:

Test of Essential Academic Skills and Critical Thinking Exam (at program entry)

Students are required to meet with the faculty advisor during the first week of first semester of the Junior year to review the results of the tests. There is no score required for the Critical Thinking Exam - the test is administered to measure critical thinking skills upon entry and exit from the nursing program. The data assist in the determination of the impact of the nursing program on students' critical thinking abilities.

For the Test of Essential Skills - a written learning prescription for improvement, if indicated by test score results, will be generated at the conference, signed by both parties. A copy of the prescription will be placed in the student folder. The student is responsible for providing written evidence each semester of compliance with the learning prescription.

Content Mastery Exam Remediation:

Students eligible for a second attempt of the content mastery exam are expected to review the content areas and topics for review provided the student after completion of the first exam by ATI. A variety of learning resources may be used in the review process, including selected components of ATI Content Mastery Series review modules, non-proctored online practice assessments, the ATI PLAN DVD nursing review disk, and course material.

NCLEX-RN Predictor Exam Remediation:

Students failing to obtain a minimum of 65th national percentile rank on the first exam must remediate prior to taking the second exam. Students are expected to review their performance profiles, meet with the Practicum course advisor to discuss the results and to develop a written remediation prescription to be signed by the student and Practicum advisor.

The student is expected to follow the prescription, and, prior to the last week of the semester, to retake the examination at a date and time scheduled by the School of Nursing.

The remediation prescription will include, but is not limited to: a) review of selected components of the ATI content Mastery Series review modules; b) complete nonproctored ATI online comprehensive assessments; c) utilize the ATI PLAN DVD nursing review disks; d) review of prior course texts and content; and, e) review current NCLEX-RN review text, including sample tests. It is the student's responsibility to complete the remediation process and to provide documentation of completion of the review to the Practicum course faculty advisor.

Exemption from GSW Policy on Re-Examination for Seniors:

The Vice President of Academic Affairs has given the School of Nursing an exemption from following the University policy on reexamination for seniors. Progression in and graduation from the nursing program is dependent on meeting the conditions as listed in the most recent version of the School of Nursing progression policy.

General Progression Guidelines:

  1. All pre-and co-requisites for courses must be met before the student progresses to the next specified course.
  2. Students are required to have a grade of "C" or better in each nursing course, with the exception of NURS 4900, in which a minimum of "B" is required. A grade of WF counts as a failure.
  3. A failure in any nursing course numbered 3xxx or 4xxx is considered a failure in the nursing program. A student failing a course for the first time may repeat it once in the subsequent term that the course is offered, as space is available.
  4. A student obtaining a second "D" and/or "F" in a nursing course numbered 3xxx or 4xxx is not eligible to continue the program of study and will be dropped from the School of Nursing.
  5. The student must maintain an institutional grade point average of 2.5 to progress to the next term. Any student whose GPA falls below 2.5 must meet with the academic advisor to develop a written plan for academic improvement. In the case that a student does not improve the GPA to a 2.5 within the next semester, the student will not be allowed to continue in the nursing program.
  6. Students must complete all clinical nursing courses within three years of admission to the program. Records of students who do not meet this requirement will be subject to review by the Admissions and Progression Committee to determine future matriculation in the School of Nursing.
  7. In clinical nursing courses, the student must achieve a satisfactory (or passing) grade in the clinical learning experiences and a "C" or better in the theory (didactic) portion of the course in order to pass the course.
  8. All legislative, general education requirements, and the swimming requirements must be completed prior to taking Practicum in Nursing (NURS 4900)
  9. Maintain current certification in CPR for health professionals.
  10. Maintain current malpractice insurance with minimum coverage of $1,000,000/claim; 6,000,000 aggregate.
  11. Have a yearly tuberculosis skin test (TST) or evidence of negative chest X-ray.
  12. Show evidence of current health insurance policy that meets the University requirements.
  13. Maintain an up-to-date immunization record.
  14. After admission to the nursing program, the student must take all nursing courses at Georgia Southwestern State University.
  15. A student who has been out of the program for a calendar year or more must apply for readmission. Readmission is not guaranteed. Prior to readmission the student will be evaluated for basic clinical skills proficiency. Remediation may be required.


Exam Absences:

Attendance for all examinations is expected. Students who are absent for an examination will receive a zero (0) for that exam. In extreme extenuating circumstances, a student may submit a formal request for exception to this policy as follows:

  • Submit formal letter of request to course faculty (Course Coordinator)
  • Include in letter of request the specific exam and a detailed rationale for the request.
  • Attach official documentation of extenuating circumstances.

The course faculty will make the decision to grant or deny the request based on a case-by-case review of individual circumstances. If permission to take a make-up exam is granted, the time and type of examination will be determined by the teaching team. Make up exam items may be of any type including short answer and essay. Students who arrive late for an exam may or may not be admitted to the exam, BUT if admitted, will have only the remaining time to complete the exam.

Extreme, Extenuating Circumstances:

Occasionally, unforeseen, uncontrollable extenuating circumstances cause tardiness for class or clinical laboratories; however, a pattern of tardiness shows a lack of respect for others, irresponsibility, and is unacceptable. Below are listed some circumstances which might lead to an isolated incident of absence or tardiness. When making a request for an exception to policy, students must attach the required documentation to the letter of request.

  • Illness of student or immediate family member requiring the student's care. Documentation will consist of medical statement with date, letterhead, and signature of care provider.
  • Death of a family member. Documentation will consist of the newspaper obituary, death certificate, or funeral home documents.
  • Unforeseen emergencies preventing the student from attending class or lab (e.g. house fire, vehicle collision, jury duty). Documentation will consist of a signed statement from the appropriate agency or office.

Attendance Policy:

Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes and to arrive promptly. If the student is late and class has begun, the student may enter only at the break session. All electronic devices are to be turned off in the classroom, with the exception of laptop computers and tape recorders, with the permission of the faculty. If a student misses class, it is the student's responsibility to obtain announcements, notes, and handouts from another student. A student may be administratively withdrawn for absences accounting for more than 20% of the course (lecture or lecture and clinical).


Beginning with the Fall, 2004 semester, clinical agencies may require that nursing students who rotate through their facilities are subject to criminal background checks and urine drug screens. The School of Nursing will neither pay for nor offer these screens. The School of Nursing will not have access to the results of these checks/screens.

A facility may, because of the results of these screens, prohibit a student from engaging in clinical activities in that facility. The School of Nursing will attempt, but does not guarantee, to find alternative, equivalent, experiences.


For basic generic students and accelerated degree program students, the entire program must be completed within six semesters of successfully passing NURS 3200 Health Assessment. For RN students, the entire program must be completed within five years of successfully passing NURS 3200 Health Assessment.

Students in the School of Nursing must meet the graduation requirements and application for graduation deadlines found in the Georgia Southwestern State University Undergraduate Bulletin. It is the student's responsibility to submit the completed Application for Graduation to the academic advisor and pay the graduation application fee to the Office of the Registrar by the required date. Students are expected to be aware of and meet all deadlines for graduation.

Preparation for Licensure:

Each student is responsible for preparing adequately to take the licensing examination. The School of Nursing will assist graduating seniors in preparation for licensure and application to write the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Students are required to attend ALL review sessions made available by the School of Nursing. Students are required to pay for and complete a formal NCLEX-RN review course prescribed by the School of Nursing during the final semester of study.

During the final term of the senior year, designated faculty will meet with students to discuss the NCLEX-RN process. Applications for taking the licensing examination in Georgia will be distributed along with procedural information. Students taking the examination in states other than Georgia must acquire an application from the appropriate Board of Nursing. A list of all Jurisdictions offering the licensure examination is available on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing web site.

The completed application is then submitted to the Dean's office for the required affirmation and signature. The Dean is not authorized to sign the application until after documentation of completion of program requirements is completed. Applications can be sent directly from the Dean's office to the appropriate Board of Nursing or students can choose to mail their own applications upon receipt of their final transcript. Students are required to make a written request for an official copy of their final transcript from the Registrars Office. An official transcript must accompany the application to the appropriate Board of Nursing.

Click HERE for Curriculum Sheet and Requirements (BSN).
Click HERE for Curriculum Sheet and Requirements (RN-BSN).
Click HERE for Curriculum Sheet and Requirements (Accelerated RN-BSN).