Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the nursing website frequently and attend an information session. The most current information and information session dates will be posted on the nursing website.

The application will be available at www.volstate.edu/nursing on March 1. The deadline is May 1 each year.

Yes, extremely competitive. The program requires a 3.5 GPA in the required general education, science and elective courses listed on the nursing website. All these courses must be completed and/or in progress at the time of application to the nursing program. Students will be ranked based on GPA and pre-admission test scores. Being eligible to apply is not a guarantee of admission. The nursing program cohort will include 24 students at the Gallatin campus and 24 students at the Livingston campus.

The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). The test covers math, science, English and reading comprehension. Although a specific cut score will not be required, the grade in each category will be part of the overall ranking of nursing applicants. The TEAS will be available at the Vol State Testing Center. Students must wait 6 months between testing dates. To take the TEAS, students must create an account with ATI testing and pay for the test (see instructions in the last three questions of this FAQ), as well as register to take the test at the Vol State Testing Center. Go to the Testing Center to register for a test date and time after you have created an ATI student account and paid for your exam.

The complete program, including pre-requisites, will take two full school years, including summers. This assumes that the student has no prior credit, starts college during a fall semester, does not need Learning Support coursework and is a full-time student during the pre-requisite year. The nursing program only starts in summer semesters. So if a student does not meet the pre-requisites in time to apply, they will have to wait until the next admission cycle the following year to apply.

Accreditation is pending from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. 

No, not at this time. Licensed practical nurses are welcome to apply, but they will not earn any credit from the coursework done in an LPN program toward the Nursing Associate of Applied Science at Vol State.

Students can do the required general education, science and elective coursework required for the program on a part-time basis if desired and/or choose to take night classes for these courses. However, once admitted to the nursing program, students will have to follow the prescribed cohort daytime weekday schedule which includes a summer (7 credit hours), fall (13 credit hours), spring (12 credit hours) and summer (7 credit hours) schedule. There could be an occasional night-time clinical required, but it is not an evening program.

The schedule is not yet finalized, but we expect it to be a full-time, weekday schedule, 4-5 days per week of classroom instruction and clinical rotations.

Both the Gallatin and Livingston campuses will have a nursing cohort of 24 students each.

You may work while completing pre-requisite courses, although advisors recommend no more than part-time work hours while enrolled as a full-time student. We do not recommend working while in nursing school taking the NRSG courses. This competitive, rigorous program requires many hours of study in order to be successful. In some cases, it can also be a safety risk to nursing students and patients if a student participates in clinical rotations after working a long night shift.

Only the required general education, science and elective courses listed in the curriculum will be used to determine GPA for consideration. The admission committee will use a GPA calculator and only enter those courses required for the program to generate a GPA for consideration for each applicant.

Students with pending courses can still apply if the current pre-requisite GPA is below a 3.5. Final spring grades will not be available until after the May 1st application deadline, so nursing program staff will wait for the final grades from spring semester to post to the transcript before calculating the GPA for consideration for each student. 

Yes, we will use the course with the highest grade. For example, if for humanities/fine arts, you have earned a B in ART 1035 and an A in PHIL 1030, we will use the PHIL 1030 grade of A in determining your GPA for consideration.

We will use your most recent attempt in any repeated course to calculate your GPA for consideration. However, in the point system for ranking applications, a point will be deducted for each math and science course that is repeated. Performance in and completion of math and science courses correlates heavily with retention in healthcare programs, so the lost point for math and/or science repeated coursework reflects that reality.

No, there is not a rule about how long ago courses were taken. However, the required pre-admission TEAS exam covers math, science, English, and reading comprehension. So if you took science courses a long time ago, you may choose to retake them for best results on the TEAS and in the nursing program. Always check with the Financial Aid Office about whether or not your aid will cover repeated coursework.

If you left a nursing program in poor academic standing (on academic probation or expulsion), you will not be eligible for admission to the Vol State Associate of Applied Science nursing program. If you withdrew and left in good standing, you would be eligible to apply if all other admission requirements are met. Please reach out to an advisor if you have questions about your ability to apply based on prior attendance in another nursing program.

Not yet. As with all our competitive applied healthcare programs at Vol State, there are two application steps to be admitted. As a new or transfer student, you will first apply to Vol State as a Pre-Nursing A.S. student. This concentration is for students planning to go on to a B.S.N. program as well as those who plan apply to the Nursing A.A.S. Due to financial aid rules, the college does not allow students to be under the Nursing A.A.S. pathway until they are formally admitted to the program. The second application step is applying to the Nursing A.A.S. program after completing the pre-requisites.

No, the nursing program only has one start date every year which is summer. If a student is not eligible to apply by the May 1st deadline to the program in a given year, they would have to wait for the next application cycle the following year to apply. Pre-requisite coursework can be started during any semester.

Yes, if you have completed all the needed courses to apply except for your currently enrolled courses during the spring semester. All pre-requisite courses MUST be completed prior to starting your first NRSG course, which will be in the summer.

No, if you lack even one prerequisite after the spring semester, then you will have to wait to apply to the nursing program during the next admission cycle the following year. Students can continue working on additional general education courses that are part of the Pre-Nursing A.S. degree program while waiting to apply to the Nursing A.A.S. program if desired. Many students who earn an A.A.S. degree go on later to bridge to a B.S.N. (Bachelor of Science in Nursing), so these additional general education courses may transfer to the B.S.N. Always check with your assigned academic advisor with any course selection questions and ask the Financial Aid Office to see how many semesters your aid will cover.

Yes, all students must apply to Vol State and have a completed application on file. Transfer students must request official transcripts from all prior colleges to be submitted to the Vol State Admissions Office. If a student has completed pre-requisites at another college, they must apply to Vol State and have those transcripts evaluated to make sure all the courses transfer as equivalent to the pre-requisite courses required for the program. Please see an advisor with questions about how credits transfer.

Go to the website to apply for general college admission: https://www.volstate.edu/admissions/apply
Once admitted to the college, you will receive a welcome letter with instructions on how to access your MyVolState Portal. You will also receive information on next steps such as sending high school and college transcripts (if applicable), sending test scores or taking a placement test (different than the nursing admission test), advising, registration and more. If you have never attended college before and plan to enroll starting in the fall, you will be required to attend a Campus Connect orientation session in the late spring or summer. Check your Vol State student Gmail for the invitation to Campus Connect. You will be able to register for fall classes at that time.

Each student has a unique financial aid situation depending on which grants, scholarships and loans you receive, how long you may have already been in college, when you will be eligible to apply to the nursing program, etc. It is always best to talk to someone in the Financial Aid Office each semester prior to the start of classes to see where you stand with your specific situation and if they need additional information from you. To reach the Financial Aid Office at Vol State, visit in person in the Ramer Building, suite 132, call 615-230-3456 or email financial.aid@volstate.edu 
The first step to see if you qualify for Financial Aid is to fill out a FAFSA: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa 
For those students interested in the Tennessee Reconnect Scholarship, please go here for information and the application link (scroll down to GET STARTED to find the Tennessee Reconnect Application): https://www.volstate.edu/reconnect

The upcoming information sessions will be the best place to ask questions about the program. Refer to www.volstate.edu/nursing for dates to be announced. 
Attending one of the information sessions is mandatory for any student who wants to apply to the nursing program. 
New students who still need to work on pre-requisites and plan to start in the fall will be advised at Campus Connect orientation (see #25 above). New students starting in spring or summer and transfer/returning students still working on pre-requisites can reach out to the Advising Center to discuss curriculum planning and course registration. The Advising Center (615-230-3702 or advising@volstate.edu ) is located in the Ramer Building, suite 174, on the main campus. For assistance at the Livingston Campus, stop by Student Services or call 931-823-7065. Once admitted to Vol State, you will be assigned a specific advisor who you can work with on an ongoing basis.