Nursing is a profession for individuals interested in a lifetime of challenge. As a critical part of the health-care system, nurses use skills in critical thinking, problem solving and effective communication to assist individuals, families and groups in retaining, attaining and maintaining optimal levels of health. Nursing requires a genuine interest in people combined with the ability to pull together knowledge from several disciplines and the physical stamina necessary to meet fast-paced demands.
The B.S.N. nursing curriculum is a four-year program which combines general education and nursing, with nursing content beginning in the sophomore year. Students majoring in B.S. Nursing take 72 semester hours of nursing courses and 48 semester hours of required and elective non-nursing courses. Upon successful completion of the B.S.N. program, the graduate is awarded the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (B.S.N.) by the University of Tennessee. Graduates with the B.S.N. degree demonstrate the competencies necessary for entry into nursing practice and are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for licensure as a registered professional nurse. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program has full approval of the Tennessee Board of Nursing and full accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) (3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30326, telephone 404-975-5000).
A national need for professional nurses with a wide variety of practice options allows great flexibility and mobility for graduates. Graduates with a baccalaureate in nursing can choose from provision of direct patient care, teaching, administration, research, case management and marketing positions in hospital, community, educational, military, government, industrial and expanded-practice settings. Graduate degrees at the master’s and doctoral levels allow greater specialization and further expand job opportunities.