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Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing

The Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing prepares individuals to apply to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) following approval by the State Board of Nursing to become registered nurses and assume positions in the healthcare industry. Settings such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, and clinics are just a few of the career options available to Walters State nursing graduates.

The Nursing degree program is offered at WSCC campuses in Morristown, Greeneville, and Sevierville.

A.A.S. in Nursing Curriculum and Admission Requirements

A revised curriculum will be adopted by the WSCC nursing program beginning:

—Fall Semester 2018
for traditional students

—Summer Semester 2019
for the Career Mobility option (LPN to RN)

Updated pre-requisites for program application are listed below:

  • Successfully complete all required Learning Support courses prior to the selection process.
  • BIOL 2010/2011 - Human Anatomy & Physiology I with lab (A grade of “C” or better must be achieved in all science courses. Biological science courses previously taken must have been completed within the last 10 years).
  • ENG 1010 – English Composition I.
  • MATH 1530 – Probability & Statistics.
  • PSYC 1030 – General Psychology.
  • Completion of computer competency requirement.
  • Grade point average of at least 2.5 in required courses.

*Students are encouraged to complete additional general education requirements prior to program admission. Students should seek advising to plan their academic schedule.


The WSCC Nursing Program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and/or ACEN
3343 Peachtree Road NE
Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326
P: (404) 975-5000

The Tennessee State Board of Nursing reviews and approves the nursing program annually. WSCC is a member of the Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing, an affiliate of the Southern Regional Education Board.

Curriculum FAQ

What courses should I take first?
You need to complete BIOL 2010/2011, BIOL 2020/2021 (with a grade of "C" or better), and all required learning support courses. You must also complete computer competency during first 30 hours of coursework and before applying to nursing.
What courses do I need to get into nursing?
You must 1) complete BIOL 2010/2011, BIOL 2020/2021 (with a grade of "C" or better in all science courses) 2) complete all required learning support courses 3) complete computer competency. For career mobility, students will be ranked on classes completed through fall semester. Students applying for fall clinical admission will be ranked on classes completed at the end of spring semester. Students applying for spring clinical admission will be ranked on classes completed at the end of fall semester.
Do I need to take micro?
Microbiology BIOL 2230/2231 must be completed before the beginning of the third semester of clinical nursing. When BIOL 2230/2231 is taken, a grade of "C" or better must by achieved for admission or progression in clinical nursing. Completion of BIOL 2230/2231 with a grade of "B" or better will be considered in your ranking score for admission.
Do I have to take Math?
Yes, nursing majors must complete MATH 1530 or an approved General Education math course.
Do I need to complete the general education requirements before I apply to nursing?
The required courses are BIOL 2010/2011, BIOL 2020/2021 and completion of the computer competency. After completing these courses, you certainly are encouraged to begin taking the required general education courses.
When do I apply?

The application is available online and must be submitted by the designated deadlines:

For Fall Semester admission - January 31st of the year the student elects to participate in the selection process. (Courses taken through Spring semester of the year the student elects to participate will be considered.)

For Spring Semester admission - October 1st prior to the Spring the student elects to participate in the selection process. (Courses taken through Fall semester prior to the Spring will be considered.)

For Career Mobility admission - January 31st of the year the student elects to participate in the selection process. (Courses taken through Fall semester prior to the application deadline will be considered.)

Estimated Expenses

(excluding tuition and maintenance fees)

Textbooks (approximate cost for nursing books only) $850.00
Comprehensive Testing Program $400.00
Professional Liability Insurance (for both years)*** $80.00
Clinical Uniforms (1 uniform & 1 labcoat) & shoes $125.00
Background Check and Drug Screen for Clinical
(Some clinical facilities may require students to repeat during program)
Community Clinical Uniform (1 WSCC Nsg Polo and Khaki Pants) price varies
Skills Lab Kit $60.00
Physical Exam (approximate cost) $200.00
Hepatitis B vaccination (3 doses) $150.00
Graduate nurse pin price varies
Pictures for State Board Exam ID $40.00
State Board Application Fee $100.00
Background Check for Licensure $45.00
NCLEX - RN fee $200.00
CPR price varies
TNF (Tennessee Nurses Foundation) $10.00
Flu Shot price varies
Clinical Supplies price varies
Comprehensive Review Program (recommended) $400.00

***Price of Professional Liability Insurance may vary based on additional licensure or certification.

Philosophy and Conceptual Framework of the Nursing Department

The Walters State Community College Department of Nursing shares the Vision and Mission of the College and supports the Campus Compact. The philosophy of the nursing program provides the foundation for the curriculum, reflects the beliefs of the faculty, and supports achievement of division student learning outcomes.


The purpose of the Program is to provide an affordable, high quality nursing educational opportunity for the residents of East Tennessee. The program will prepare individuals to:

  • Complete the requirements for an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing
  • Complete successfully the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
  • Provide safe and effective care for diverse populations.
  • Promote improvement in the quality of life for East Tennessee residents.
  • Maintain a spirit of inquiry through lifelong learning.
  • Access other educational institutions for higher education in nursing

Program Outcomes

The goals of the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing at Walters State Community College are summarized in the four broad program outcomes identified by the NLN (National League for Nursing, 2010). Nurses must:

  • Promote and enhance human flourishing for patients, families, communities, and themselves.
  • Show sound nursing judgment.
  • Continually develop their professional identity.
  • Maintain a spirit of inquiry as they move into the world of nursing practice and beyond.

In addition, the following program outcomes will be measured:

  1. Graduation rate of 65% or higher for students within 150% of time from admission to the clinical nursing program.
  2. Licensure rate of first-time NCLEX-RN test writers within 6 months of graduation that meets or exceeds 85% as reported by the Tennessee Board of Nursing.
  3. Job placement rate within one year of graduation of 90% or higher among graduates seeking employment as reported by the Placement Office.
NCLEX-RN Licensure Pass Rate*
2014 83%
2015 93%
2016 90%
Program Completion Rate*
Graduation Rate within 150% of time from Admission
(combined Fall, Spring, and Summer Admissions)
Admitted 2012 85%
Admitted 2013 74%
Admitted 2014 75%
Job Placement Rate*
90% or higher within 1 year of graduation
2014 98%
2015 98%
2016 100%

*Rates rounded to nearest whole number

The Practice of Associate Degree Nursing

The Associate Degree Nurse is prepared for entry level practice as a registered nurse. To achieve the outcomes of the program, graduates will demonstrate relationship-centered care based on national standards set forth by the National League for Nursing (NLN, 2010) and the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses initiative (QSEN, 2011).

The Practice of Associate Degree Nursing
Broad Program Outcomes WSCC Graduate Outcomes

(National League for Nursing, 2010)

The graduate with the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing will:

Human Flourishing

"Advocate for patients and families in ways that promote their self-determination, integrity, and ongoing growth as human beings" (p. 38).

1. Demonstrate holistic patient assessment across the life span.
2. Communicate effectively with patients, families, and communities.
3. Promote holistic health of patients within a family and community context across the lifespan.
4. Advocate for patients and families.

Nursing Judgment

"Make judgments in practice, substantiated with evidence, that integrate nursing science in the provision of safe, quality care and promote the health of patients within a family and community context" (p. 38).

5. Provide safe, quality care across the wellness continuum.
6. Demonstrate sound nursing judgment in clinical decision making.
7. Implement caring behaviors and interventions substantiated with evidence.

Professional Identity

"Implement one's role as a nurse in ways that reflect integrity, responsibility, ethical practices, and an evolving identity as a nurse committed to evidence-based practice, caring, advocacy, and safe, quality care for diverse patients within a family and community context" (p. 38).

8. Adhere to legal and ethical principles that guide professional nursing practice.
9. Manage care for diverse populations through effective use of prioritization, delegation, informatics, and resources.
10. Demonstrate professional behaviors.

Spirit of Inquiry

"Examine the evidence that underlies clinical nursing practice to challenge the status quo, question underlying assumptions, and offer new insights to improve the quality of care for patients, families, and communities" (p. 38).

11. Collaborate with other health care professionals.
12. Maintain a spirit of inquiry through lifelong learning

Inherent in the program and graduate outcomes are the core components and competencies basic to the practice of nursing as identified by the National League for Nursing (2000) and the quality and safety competencies identified by QSEN.

Core Components and Competencies:

  • Professional Behaviors
  • Communication
  • Assessment
  • Clinical Decision Making
  • Caring Interventions
  • Teaching/Learning
  • Collaboration
  • Managing Care

Quality and Safety Competencies:

  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Evidence Based Practice
  • Quality Improvement
  • Safety
  • Informatics


The Walters State Community College nursing program promotes excellence in the teaching and preparation of students for life-long learning. Each student is valued as a unique person and is guided toward development of individual potential as a contributing member of the nursing profession and as a citizen in a democratic society.

The faculty believe that learning takes place within the learner; therefore, self awareness and self evaluation are emphasized. Faculty acknowledge that learners bring a variety of life experiences, learning styles, and personal goals to the education setting. Further, faculty believe learning is:

  • Meaningful, when there are goals and objectives.
  • Enhanced, when the climate is non-judgmental.
  • Meaningful and lasting, when there is opportunity for application.
  • Enhanced, when the learner is motivated by an awareness of his or her own needs.
  • Progressive from the familiar to the new and from the simple to the complex.
  • Enhanced, when the learner is involved in the learning process.

To prepare an adaptable generalist, nursing education is best accomplished in an institution of higher learning through a curriculum which incorporates knowledge from a variety of disciplines. These disciplines include the natural sciences, social and behavioral sciences, humanities and mathematics as well as the incorporation of oral, written, and technological communication.

The combination of general and nursing education courses provides learning experiences that prepare the student to function with intellectual and technical competence, utilizing critical thinking skills in the application of the nursing process.

The nursing faculty endeavors to provide the guidance that will enable each individual to apply his or her potential in the field of nursing. The nursing faculty facilitates learning for the students while functioning as nursing experts, teachers, mentors, and nurturers.


The philosophy of the Nursing Program is a belief system held by the faculty regarding person, environment, health, and nursing. These defining concepts are interrelated and exist in a dynamic relationship.

PERSON is defined as a human being worthy of respect and dignity. Accepting Maslow's theory, each individual has a hierarchy of needs from physiologic to self-actualization. Each person makes decisions and choices based on knowledge, cultural background, experience, perceptions, values, and goals. Changes in the person occur throughout the lifespan. Each person interacts with and responds to changes in the internal and external environment. The concept of person may include individuals, families, communities, and groups.

ENVIRONMENT refers to the total of all factors and processes, internal and external, continuously impacting on the person.

HEALTH is a dynamic state of being resulting from the adaptation to the interaction of person and environment. Health is a subjective and individual perception existing on a continuum from optimal wellness through end of life.

NURSING is an applied discipline of knowledge and skills based on research. Nursing functions are dependent, independent, and collaborative. The nurse interacts with the person in the environment to promote health. As a stakeholder in the community, nursing has a responsibility to provide fiscally sound, quality care that promotes health, prevents illness, restores health, and facilitates coping across the lifespan. Nursing occurs in a variety of settings.

Nursing process is a systematic method that uses critical thinking to provide structure to nursing practice toward the achievement of positive outcomes. Through the use of nursing process, nurses diagnose and treat the person's response to actual and potential health problems. The practice of nursing includes provision for a safe effective care environment, measures to achieve physiological and psychosocial integrity, and promotion and maintenance of health.

The Conceptual Model for this associate degree program depicts the interrelationship between the central concepts of person, environment, health, and nursing. The outer circle reflects the external environment. The broken lines of the two inner circles illustrate the continuous open interaction between the internal and external environments. The inner circles, representing person and nursing, overlap to depict the role of nursing as it interacts to promote health, prevent illness, restore health, and facilitate coping. The straight line intersecting person depicts the health continuum on which each person exists.