Admission to the Baccalaureate Nursing Program

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The Division of Nursing works collaboratively with the Office of Admissions.  While the Office of Admissions is responsible for the admissions process, all students applying for admission to Southern Vermont College must meet the standard College admissions requirements and the Division of Nursing requirements.

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Admission Criteria for Pre-licensure BSN Track 

Division of Nursing admission requirements were revised in 2012 for entrance: High school or transfer GPA of 2.8 or above; SAT scores of 500 verbal and 500 math; Completion of high school biology and chemistry courses, or the college equivalent, with a minimum grade of “C+”.  Additionally, a minimum of two years of core math is recommended.

Prospective foreign born or foreign educated nursing students for whom English is not their first and primary language of communication must meet one of the following English testing criteria to be eligible for admission.  This criteria is based on The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) statement, “Domestic and international nurses need to be proficient in written and spoken English skills” (NCSBN, 2003). Prospective foreign born or foreign educated students who are exempt from this testing criteria include those who can document successful completion of at least four years of education (high school or college or a combination of the two) from a school district or degree granting college or university, approved by the United States Department of Education, where the curriculum was based on spoken English and written English.  Required scores for admission, based on the recommendations of the NCSBN, are as follows:

1.    The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper based test (PBT) with a minimum passing score of 560 (NCLEX, 2005); or
2.    The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) computer based test (CBT) with a minimum passing score of 220 (NCLEX, 2005); or
3.    The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet based test (iBT) with a minimum passing score of 84 plus a minimum spoken English score of 26 (NCLEX, 2009); or
4.    The Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) with a passing score of 725 plus both the Test of Spoken English (TSE) with a minimum score of 50 and the Test of Written English (TWE) with a minimum score of 4.0, (NCLEX, 2008); or
5.    The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a passing standard of an overall score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in all four of the modules (NCLEX, 2005); or
6.    The Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments (CaMLA) with a total passing score of 81 plus a minimum speaking section score of 3 (NCSBN, 2013); or
7.    The Pearson Test of English (PTE) with an academic overall score of 55 plus no sub-cores lower than 50 (NCLEX, 2010).

Students who do not meet the Nursing admission criteria may be admitted to the College with an “Exploratory: Pre-Nursing” designation. These students are enrolled in courses designed to prepare them for the Nursing major by strengthening their science, reading, and math foundation. Students admitted with an Exploratory: Pre-Nursing designation must meet the following criteria to be admitted into the Pre-Licensure BSN nursing program:  Successful completion of the required first year nursing pre-requisite courses with grades of C or better, with the exception of science courses which must be completed with grades of C+ or better; and, a GPA of 2.8 or higher.

Please note that individuals who are accepted to SVC as non-degree/exploratory students are not eligible to take Nursing (Nu) courses until accepted in the BSN program.

Transfer students and/or non-traditional students must meet the same College admission criteria and the Division of Nursing admission requirements and policies. Nursing courses completed at other Nursing programs will not be accepted as Nursing transfer credits. A minimum GPA of 2.8 in the most recently completed academic courses is required. Students who have previously attended a nursing program may be required to provide a letter from the Dean, Director or Chair of the program regarding their academic standing.

Admission criteria for RN to BSN Track 

The RN to BSN applicant must meet the same requirements outlined for the Pre-Licensure BSN track.  Additionally, admission to the RN-BSN track requires an active, unencumbered United States RN license.  Progression to the 4th semester of the nursing course sequence requires an active, unencumbered RN license in the state in which the clinical component of the nursing courses will be completed.

A transfer audit is completed on all applicants to the RN to BSN track to verify transfer credit and ultimately assure that all requirements of the BSN are met. The student should arrange for a transcript evaluation and meeting with the Chair of the Division of Nursing.

The graduate may receive up to 64 credits from the previous ADN degree.  Graduates of diploma programs may be required to take the National League for Nursing Mobility Profile II examination. SVC ADN graduates must formally apply and be accepted to the BSN Program - RN to BSN track. Students must complete all BSN program requirements within five years of matriculation into the program.

Please note that SVC ADN graduates who continue to take courses after graduation as non-degree students are not eligible to take Nursing (Nu) courses until accepted in the BSN program.

considerations prior to application 

Nursing involves the provision of direct care and is characterized by critical thinking, application of knowledge and competent performance of clinical skills. In order to successfully complete the clinical and laboratory requirements all students must possess:

•    Sufficient visual acuity such as needed in the accurate preparation and administration of medications and for the observation necessary for patient assessment and nursing care.
•    Sufficient auditory perception to receive verbal communication from patients and members of the health care team and to assess health needs of patients through the use of monitoring devices such as cardiac monitors, stethoscopes, IV infusion pumps and any other monitoring equipment.
•    Sufficient gross and fine motor coordination to respond promptly and implement the skills needed to manipulate any equipment required in meeting patient care.
•    Sufficient communication skills (speech, reading, writing) to interact with individuals and communicate their needs promptly and accurately.
•    Sufficient intellectual and emotional function to plan and implement care for patients.
•    Students and graduates are expected to:
     o    cope with a high level of stress
     o    make fast decisions under pressure
     o    cope with patient emotions in a calm manner
     o    concentrate
     o    demonstrate a high degree of mental flexibility
     o    handle multiple priorities in stressful situations
     o    assist with problem resolution
     o    work in areas that are close and crowded
     o    adapt to work at various times of day and night

time commitment

The Pre-Licensure BSN track has been designed for full-time study. The RN-BSN track may be completed on a part-time or full-time basis.  It is important to note that classes and clinical experiences may be scheduled on weekends, evenings and nights.  Clinical hours are in addition to regularly scheduled class time and require up to 150 hours a semester.  Further detail is provided in the SVC Division of Nursing Student Handbook.

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