female student smiling in clinical uniform
Male nurse checking the blood pressure and pulse of a female

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the first step in order to gain admission to Pellissippi State Nursing Department?

  1. Apply to and be accepted at Pellissippi State Community College
  2. Complete all Pellissippi State registration requirements
  3. Submit online application to Pellissippi State Nursing Department by application deadline
    (Traditional = February 28, Spring Bridge = September 15, Summer Bridge = January 31).

What is the difference between the programs offered by Pellissippi State’s Nursing Department?

Traditional Pathway:
22 Months, 4 or 5 semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall, Spring) 
No prior medical certifications required
Offered at Blount, Magnolia, and Strawberry Plains Campuses                                         

Summer Bridge:
12 Months, 3 semesters (Summer, Fall, Spring)
Must have current and active LPN or Paramedic license
Must have A&P I, A&P II, ENG 1010, & PSYC 1030 completed prior to admissions
Only offered as a Hybrid Online/Land Program at Strawberry Plains Campus    

Spring Bridge:
18 Months, 3 or 4 semesters (Spring, Summer, Fall, Spring)
Must have current and active LPN or Paramedic license
Must have A&P I, A&P II, ENG 1010, & PSYC 1030 completed prior to admissions     
Only offered as a Hybrid Online/Land Program at Strawberry Plains Campus

What courses along with the Nursing curriculum are required to earn my AASN (Associate of Applied Science in Nursing) degree?

A&P I (BIOL 2010)
A&P II (BIOL 2020)
General Psychology (PSYC 1030)
English Comp I (ENGL 1010)
Public Speaking (COMM 2045) –or- Fundamentals of Communication (COMM 2025)
Microbiology (BIOL 2130)
Probability & Statistics (MATH 1530)
Humanities Elective    

There is a total of 27 hours of General Elective credits required.

I took Lifespan Psychology (PSYC 2130) or Human Development (PSYC 2100).  Will that be credited the same as General Psychology (PSYC 1030)?


General Psychology is the required course for the Nursing A.A.S.N.

Lifespan Psychology and Human Development courses do not meet the program criteria.

What are the acceptable Humanities courses I can take?

ART 2010 - Art History Survey I
ART 2020 - Art History Survey II
ENGL 2035 - Introduction to Fiction
ENGL 2055 - African-American Literature
ENGL 2110 - Early American Literature
ENGL 2120 - Modern American Literature
ENGL 2150 - Appalachian Literature
ENGL 2210 - Early British Literature
ENGL 2220 - Modern British Literature
ENGL 2310 - Early World Literature
ENGL 2320 - Modern World Literature
ENGL 2510 - Introduction to Poetry
ENGL 2520 - Introduction to Drama
ENGL 2860 - Introduction to Film
MUS 1030 - Introduction to Music 
MUS 1035 - History of Jazz
PHIL 1030 - Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 1040 - Introduction to Ethics
PHIL 1300 - Critical Thinking
PHIL 1500 - Philosophy & Film
PHIL 2200 - Introduction to World Religions
PHO 1200 - History of Photography
THEA 1030 - Introduction to Theatre

More information about these can be found in the College Catalog.

What if I don’t have all my general education requirements complete.  Can I still apply?


For consideration in the Traditional Pathway, there are no official pre-requisite courses. However, the application ranking system used by the Pellissippi State’s Nursing Department does award points based on completed general education coursework and it is recommended that as much general education coursework be completed prior to applying to the nursing program as possible.

For consideration in the Bridge Pathway, four (4) course must be completed before application submission. Those courses are: A&P I, A&P II, ENG 1010, & PSYC 1030. Remaining general education course may be completed once enrolled in Bridge pathway. However, it is strongly encouraged that all coursework be completed before starting Nursing courses

The Nursing Department scores application immediately following the submission deadline. Any course that has not been completed and on an academic transcript by time of scoring will not be factored into the application decision. 

I took all my general education requirements at another institution, will those courses transfer to Pellissippi State?

In order to determine exactly how previous coursework will be transferred, students will need to officially apply to Pellissippi State and submit all previous institutions transcripts to Pellissippi State’s records department.  The records department will evaluate the transcripts and decide how transfer credits will be applied.

What is the deadline for turning in my application?

Traditional Program: February 28
Spring Bridge: September 15
Summer Bridge: January 31

How does the Pellissippi State Nursing Department score applications?

  • Overall GPA in general education courses required for the A.A.S.N. degree (minimum of 2.5 GPA ). 
  • Total number of non-nursing courses completed (___ / 27 total hours).
  • Extra weight will be given for required math and science courses completed with a grade of B or higher.
  • HESI A2 Math, Reading, and Vocabulary scores.
  • Extra weight will be given for any higher education degree earned (e.g., A.A.S., B.S. M.S.).
  • Extra weight will be given for licensure as LPN or EMT-P.

What can I do to give me the best chance at admission to the Pellissippi State Nursing Department?

  • Complete all the general education requirements before application deadline.
  • Complete Math and Science general education course with letter grade of B or higher.
  • Prepare for and achieve high scores on the HESI A2 Exam.

What are my chances of being admitted to the Pellissippi State Nursing Department?

Due to the limited number of roster spots available and the high number of submitted applications, admission to Pellissippi State Department of Nursing is a highly competitive process. 

How many students are accepted into the Traditional Pathway each year?

Each year the number can vary due to several factors.  Recent classes range from 95-105 students.

How many students are accepted into the Bridge Pathway each year?

Each year the number can vary due to several factors.  Recent classes range from 20-25 students.

What is the timeline for application decisions?

Applications are scored and ranked immediately following the application deadline. Our goal is to have decisions made within 2 weeks after the deadline.

Do I have to take any exams prior to admission?

Applicant will be required to take the HESI A2 exam (Math, Reading, and Vocabulary portions) prior to the deadline for the specified application period. If HESI exam was taken previously at another institution, it is the applicant’s responsibility to have exam transcripts sent to Pellissippi State Nursing Department by contacting Elsevier directly at 1-800-222-9570.

I’ve taken the TEAS, does that fulfill the HESI requirement?


All applicants must take the HESI A2 in order to be considered for admissions to Pellissippi State Nursing Department. 

Is there a passing score on the HESI A2 exam?


HESI scores are not pass / fail. For each section (Math, Reading, and Vocabulary) where you score a 90 or greater, you will earn extra points on your application ranking.

Can I take the HESI more than once?

Pellissippi State Nursing Department will only count the first exam score during each application cycle. 

How long are HESI score good for?

Pellissippi State Nursing Department will accept HESI scores taken within the last 5 years. The 5 year time limit is counted backwards from current year’s application deadline.

If selected for admissions, how will I be notified?

Applicants will be notified via Pellissippi email address. Due to FERPA regulations, information will not be given via telephone. Please refrain from calling the nursing office for admissions information. Notification letters will not be mailed to your home.

If selected for admissions, when will my program begin?

Traditional: Classes begin in August (beginning of Fall Semester)
Spring Bridge: classes begin in January (Beginning of Spring semester)
Summer Bridge: classes begin in May (Beginning of Summer semester)

What will my schedule be once enrolled at Pellissippi State Department of Nursing?

Each nursing pathway is constructed of 4 components: Lecture, Lab, Simulation, and Clinical hours.

  • Lecture will be two (2) days per week, 3 hours per meeting
  • Lab will be one (1) day per week, 4 hours per meeting.   Lab days and time will be determined at beginning of each semester when you register for your courses.
  • Clinical hours are either in one (1) 12 hour shift or two (2) 6 hour shifts.  Clinical hours will be divided between concentrations of Obstetrics, Med Surgery, Pediatrics, and Psych.

Where are the locations of clinical sites?

Pellissippi State Nursing Department uses as many clinical locations as possible to better understand the needs of the public. Clinical affiliates used in the past include:

  • East Tennessee Children’s Hospital
  • Parkwest Hospital
  • Tennova Physicians Regional Medical Center
  • Sweetwater Hospital
  • Tennova North Medical Center
  • Blount Memorial Hospital
  • Tennova Turkey Creek
  • Fort Loudon Medical Center
  • Cornerstone Recovery Center
  • Select Specialties Hospitals                 

Can I still work full-time hours while in school at Pellissippi State Nursing Department?

A large number of current Pellissippi State Nursing Department students do work full time hours, but it is highly recommended to limit your work hours. Time management is a critical component to being successful in the nursing program.

I was enrolled at another institution’s nursing program. I was not successful with that institutions requirements. Can I transfer to Pellissippi State Department of Nursing?

Yes, with certain exceptions.

If you have not been successful in another institution’s nursing program more than once, admissions to Pellissippi State Nursing Department will be evaluated by the Dean of Nursing. An additional interview may be requested by the Dean of Nursing.