College of Nursing
Jeannette O. Andrews, Dean
Alicia K. Ribar, Executive Associate Dean for Academics and Accreditation; Graduate Director
Bernardine Pinto, Associate Dean for Research
Coretta M. Jenerette, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity
Rachel Onello, Department Chair, Professional Nursing Practice
Sheryl Mitchell, Department Chair, Advanced Professional Nursing Practice & Leadership
Gayenell Magwood, Interim Department Chair, Biobehavioral Health & Nursing Science
Baccalaureate Degree Program
The College of Nursing offers a four-year undergraduate program on the Columbia campus leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing (pre-licensure) and a post-licensure RN-BSN program. The baccalaureate degree programs in nursing at the University of South Carolina are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education by the State Board of Nursing for South Carolina.
BSN in Nursing Generic (Pre-Licensure) Program
All students in the lower division in the baccalaureate program are subject to the following regulations:
- Students must maintain a minimum 3.000 institutional GPA in order to maintain good standing in the nursing program. Grades are reviewed at the end of each semester. Students who have less than a 3.000 institutional GPA are placed on probation within the college for one major semester or 12 credit hours but may continue to take all required courses. If at the end of the probationary semester their institutional GPA is still less than a 3.000, students must change their major before the next semester and will not be advised by the College of Nursing. Students must contact the University Advising Center.
- All incomplete grades posted on the transcript must be removed before progression into the upper division can be considered.
- Students must earn a minimum grade of C in all required courses in the nursing program. Only one below C grade is allowed in a required science or nursing (NURS) course to remain eligible for the nursing major. Any science course that needs to be repeated must be taken within the USC System. All nursing courses that need to be repeated must be taken at USC Columbia.
Progression into upper division nursing for pre-licensure students occurs in the summer and fall. Students should be prepared to start upper division in a summer term. There is no guarantee that students will get placed in their term of preference. In addition, students are encouraged to look into their financial aid/scholarship/funding sources in preparation for their upper division start. Fifty percent of admitted students will be placed into the summer cohort. Fifty percent of admitted students will be placed into the fall cohort. Once selection has been made there will be no changes to the cohorts. GPA standing does not guarantee placement in your term of preference. Students who wish to apply to upper division nursing must have a completed parallel plan on file with their nursing advisor and submit a completed College of Nursing Progression Application by the stated fall application process for the following summer or fall semester in which registration is desired. In addition, students must also complete an interview/essay as part of their application. Progression is competitive, based on progression GPA and interview/essay. Progression to upper division is limited to a set number of qualified students based on available clinical faculty and placement sites. Factors considered in the progression decision include:
- A minimum institutional grade point average of 3.000 or better.
- A grade of C or better in all required courses in the nursing program.
- Progression GPA which includes grades on all attempts of designated courses listed on the BSN major map.
- Interview and/or essay evaluation.
Note: all applicants will complete the same evaluation metrics.
Students must have a completed application on file, provide evidence of successful completion of remaining lower division coursework, be admitted to the upper division, have completed all required clinical healthcare information, and confirmed acceptance of their seat prior to registering for their first upper division nursing courses (300 level).
A minimum grade of C is required in each nursing course. Only one upper division nursing course may be repeated once to earn a grade of C or better to remain eligible for the nursing major. All students must maintain a minimum 3.000 institutional GPA in order to maintain good standing in the nursing program. Grades are reviewed at the end of each semester. Students who have less than a 3.000 institutional GPA in all coursework are placed on probation within the college for one semester but may continue to take all required courses. If at the end of the probationary semester their institutional GPA is still less than 3.000, students are administratively removed from the nursing major.
All students must achieve satisfactory performance on selected comprehensive achievement tests to progress through the upper division.
Smart Start Nursing Program students should see previous section for progression requirements.
Students must apply directly to the RN-BSN program for admission to the university. Admission is competitive, based on GPA, RN licensure, and degree completion from an ACEN accredited institution. Other admission requirements are discussed in the previous section.
Only one upper division nursing course may be repeated once to earn a grade of C or better to remain eligible for the nursing major. A minimum grade of C is required in all other nursing courses. All students must maintain a minimum 3.000 institutional GPA in order to maintain good standing in the nursing program. Grades are reviewed at the end of each semester. Students who have less than a 3.000 institutional GPA are placed on probation within the college for one semester but may continue to take all required courses. If at the end of the probationary semester their institutional GPA is still less than 3.000, students are administratively removed from the RN-BSN program.
The College of Nursing adheres to the University's attendance policy for classroom didactic instruction: “Absence from more than 15 percent of the scheduled hours that a class meets for instructional purposes is excessive, and the instructor may choose to exact a grade penalty for absences beyond this threshold. Faculty members are not required to track students who miss only part of a class session; tardy arrival to (or early departure from) a class meeting may be counted as absence for the entire class duration. Make-up time for missed clinical nursing experiences will be determined at the discretion of the faculty and availability of clinical facilities. Faculty may require withdrawal of any student who has missed sufficient practice to prevent completion of clinical objectives.
RN-BSN students must also comply with the attendance policy. Attendance is evaluated based on active engagement in the online classroom. RN-BSN students are required to attend a face-to-face clinical capstone experience at an approved clinical site in their local community or Columbia, SC.
A student who has been suspended or has withdrawn from the College of Nursing and subsequently readmitted will be subject to the current College of Nursing academic standards and available space in courses.
Waiver of academic standards
Any student seeking relief from academic standards shall petition the College of Nursing to waive specific standards or regulations. Information on procedures may be obtained from the College of Nursing Office of Academic Affairs.
Grade forgiveness does not apply to GPA calculation for admission to upper division in the nursing program. Any forgiveness grades will be reentered into the GPA calculations. The College of Nursing does not recognize grade forgiveness in determination of College of Nursing academic standing. This policy also applies to the RN-BSN degree program.
University Grade Forgiveness Policy
Clinical Health Requirements
In addition to the regulations of the University as a whole, the following requirements apply to students in the nursing program. Please also refer to the College of Nursing BSN Handbook for specific requirements.
Information on all clinical requirements is available in the College of Nursing Office of Academic Affairs. Current clinical health information must be on file with approved vendor by specified deadlines. Admission and matriculation into the upper division in the College of Nursing is contingent on successfully passing a drug screen and background check in addition to other clinical requirements. Students are not eligible to register for classes and cannot participate in practice activities at clinical sites until this information is on file. Students are encouraged to have health insurance coverage throughout the course of their studies.
Special Requirements and Associated Expenses
Students enrolled in nursing courses with a lab or practicum must carry professional liability insurance purchased in conjunction with the courses; one-time expenses include nursing uniforms and clinical equipment and supplies. Maintenance of current CPR certification during enrollment in clinical courses is required. All students shall complete selected achievement tests, primarily in the upper division, and an NCLEX review course during the final semester.
Transportation to clinical practice sites
Each student should have a valid driver’s license and is responsible for transportation to and from hospitals and other clinical practice sites in both urban and rural areas. Sites used for clinical experiences are usually confined to the eleven-county Greater Midlands area of the state.
Application for Licensure in Professional Nursing
Prior to completion of the second semester of the senior year, students are expected to apply for the professional nursing licensing examination, which is administered by the State Board of Nursing for South Carolina or its counterpart in the jurisdiction where the student will seek initial employment after graduation. Students in the College of Nursing are also bound to conduct themselves according to the professional standards set forth by the American Nurses Association Code for Nurses. Conviction of a crime other than a minor traffic violation could result in ineligibility for professional licensure. Under these circumstances, early notification to the Board of Nursing is recommended to clarify mechanisms related to eligibility determination.
BSN in Nursing Generic (Pre-Licensure)
The baccalaureate curriculum provides for eight semesters of study in general education and professional nursing. Upon admission, students are assigned an advisor to guide planning throughout the program. Students should obtain guidance in the selection of courses as early as possible.
Computer skills are required throughout the curriculum. Skills required for class assignments and clinical practice include: word processing, computerized assisted instruction, e-mail, Web access, Internet searches, database searches, computerized patient documentation, and computerized medical equipment.
The upper division focuses on clinical practice and requires full-time study. Clinical practice is supported by concurrent classroom study. Students practice in a variety of settings such as hospitals, extended-care facilities, nursing homes, clinics, schools, and other community agencies.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree requires a minimum of 120 hours. These credits are distributed between general education requirements and electives, and professional nursing requirements. All lower division requirements must be completed before progressing to upper division courses. Upper division courses must be taken in sequence as outlined in the Undergraduate Student Handbook.
RN-BSN Program (Post-Licensure)
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (RN-BSN Completion) requires a minimum of 120 hours. These credits are distributed between general education requirements and electives, and professional nursing requirements. Lower division pre-requisite course requirements can be completed before progressing to upper division RN-BSN courses.
After admission to the RN-BSN program and completion of all BSN degree requirements: Students awarded an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from an accredited (ACEN, formerly NLNAC) program or Students with an Diploma in Nursing from an accredited (ACEN, formerly NLNAC) program will be awarded up to 38 credits towards meeting educational competencies for their degree (RN Licensure). Number of credits awarded will be determined after careful review of student transcript and program of study degree requirements (RN Licensure). Additional coursework may be needed to satisfy outstanding credits not met by ADN or Diploma degree. Education competency credits are held and will be awarded upon successful completion of all BSN degree requirements.
USC Residency requirements for BSN Graduation:
The last 25% of a students’ degree must be completed in residence (meaning through USC Columbia coursework or other USC campus), and at least half of the hours in the student’s major and minor courses (if applicable) must be taken at the University, i.e. (120 credits = 30 hours). Advanced placement exam credits or transfer credits do not meet this requirement. Students must meet these requirements to be eligible for BSN graduation.