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Frequently Asked Questions

General | Selection Process | Program Information

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General Questions

Why should I choose an Associates Degree Nursing Program at Motlow State Community College (MSCC)?
  • Highly qualified, experienced faculty dedicated to promoting student success
  • Curriculum designed to prepare graduates to work in today's health care industry
  • Excellent reputation in the community for the quality of the graduates it produces each year
  • Comprehensive student support services provided by nursing and college personnel
  • Consistently high state licensing pass and job placement rates

How many students are accepted into the program each year?
Currently 80+ Generic Nursing Students are accepted pending budgets funded by the State of Tennessee Currently 20 LPN Transition Nursing students are accepted every summer pending budgets funded by the State of Tennessee.

How do I get started?
The first step is to apply to Motlow College - send any college earned credits on official transcripts to the Admissions office for the college by January 31st of the year you plan to enter the nursing program! You must meet all college application criteria. Be sure to follow up with Admissions and Records that all your transcripts and admission requirements are received and there are no holds. Our Program Application process is found on the second link of our Nursing Program front webpage. Yes, you can apply electronically to the Nursing Program if you haven't taken the HESI (entrance exam) yet. You will need to register for the exam by January of the year you plan to enter the nursing program. The link is available on the front Nursing Education Department webpage. Nursing Education Department will wait until after the February and March test dates to calculate total points for the Fall cumulative GPA and the HESI exam points before ranking each applicant numerically by total points. You can begin taking the general education courses in the program of study see: Program of Study Links on Nursing Education Department webpage.

When should I turn in my Nursing Application Form?
As soon as you decide you are definitely interested in the Nursing Program, submit the application form. (Deadline is January 31st of the year you plan to enter the Nursing Program). You do not have to wait until the "deadline" to turn it in. In fact, it is really important to turn it in before you take the HESI Entrance test. So. . . the sooner the better! Don't forget you must apply to the college as well.

Will non-nursing classes I have completed elsewhere count toward the Nursing Program requirements?
Any course that is required in the nursing curriculum that has been completed at an accredited college or university should transfer to MSCC to meet the curriculum requirement. Motlow's transcript analyst will review all official transcripts submitted to the college.


  • It is the student's responsibility to be sure the official transcripts from all previous colleges AND high school are sent to the Records Office for evaluation at Motlow. You will need to submit a high school transcript or GED to the admission's department with your college application.
  • Anatomy and Physiology I and II and Microbiology must have been completed within 5 years of entry into the program.
  • No matter how many courses you have completed prior to entering nursing, the required clinical nursing courses will have to be completed in sequence.

What are the program prerequisites? Generic to RN? LPN transition to RN?
A prerequisite is something that must be done before something else can happenThe prerequisites for the Nursing Program must be completed prior to enrolling in the first clinical nursing course. All other courses can be taken once enrolled in the nursing program.

Prerequisite Required


BIO 2010



PSYC 1030

BIO 2230

Generic Student







LPN - RN Student







Selection Process

What are the minimum requirements to be included in the applicant pool for the Nursing Program?
  • Acceptance to Motlow College - admission file complete.
  • Submit a nursing program application form and previous HESI admission test scores prior to the nursing application/ HESI entrance exam registration deadline. (January 31st)
  • Score at least 75 composite percent on the HESI test
  • Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.3 or higher for all college level work by the fall semester preceding the fall semester you want to enter.

How are the points for admission calculated?
Acceptance into the nursing program is a competitive process as there are usually more applicants than there are slots in a class. Because of this, an objective points system is used to identify the individuals who will be accepted. Points are awarded for your score on the HESI entrance exam and for your cumulative GPA the Fall Semester prior to Fall entry. Based on the points awarded, candidates will be placed on a selection list in numerical order. Those candidates with the highest summed scores will be selected to fill the class. After the class has been filled, the selection list automatically converts to an alternate list. As the need arises, candidates will be selected from the alternate list in numerical sequence until the fall class is filled. The higher your points are, the better your chances of gaining acceptance. Students with an entrance exam score below the minimum requirement or with a cumulative GPA below the minimum requirement at the time of selection will be classified as ineligible for the current class. To see how points are calculated, click here to see the complete information packet.

How many points do I need to be admitted?
There is no set number of points needed to be accepted into the program. Selection is a competitive process based on total points. The applicant pool is sorted according to total points. Students scoring the highest number of points are accepted.

How do I take the HESI test?
NOTE the deadline for registration is January 31st.

How do I prepare for the HESI test?
Health Education Systems Incorporated (HESI) publishes a study guide to help you prepare for the exam. You may purchase the HESI Admission Assessment Study Guide in the Motlow College bookstore, located in Forrester Center or order online at Areas covered on the test include math, reading comprehension, vocabulary and general knowledge, grammar, and anatomy and physiology.

The best preparation for the HESI usually is to review basic math and algebra. Math is one of the subjects that you forget if you do not use it on a regular basis. So spend a little time reviewing adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing whole numbers, fractions and decimals There will be problems where you have to convert between percent, fractions and decimals. Basic algebra concepts are also included, such as solving for one unknown, distributive properties in algebra. English composition, grammar, vocabulary are also covered on the exam. You can purchase a study guide for the HESI entrance exam if you desire. Click here for more information on the HESI entrance exam.

When will I know if I am accepted?
The Nursing Program Admissions committee usually meets soon after the Entrance Exam Schedule is completed. Usually within 3 weeks, an e-mail is sent through the Motlow e-mail accounts to everyone whose application is on file and complete.

If I am not accepted, what is next? Can I reapply? Is there a waiting list for this program?
If you are not accepted for the class, you must reapply each year You will remain a General Studies major if you plan to reapply to the MSCC nursing program the next year. A waiting list from year to year is not used. Since selection into a class is competitive, it is recommended that you try to increase your points by completing more of the required courses and/or improving your HESI test scores. You may refer back to your HESI Test Student Report to see specific topics where you might need to concentrate your efforts to improve.

Program Information

If I am accepted, what is next?
Following notification of acceptance, you must submit an Intention Form that lets us know that you accept placement in the class and plan to enter. This form will be mailed to you with your acceptance letter. Following receipt of this Intention form, an enrollment packet will be made available to you. The packet includes detailed information about the nursing course and things that you will need to do to be ready to enter the first nursing class plus the summer orientation dates.

When are the classes held?
Day Program - Day classes usually require all or part of four days each week. Clinical will occur on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays for 8-10 hour shifts. You will have skills labs scheduled throughout the week. The schedule varies somewhat each semester.
LPN Transition - Nursing Transition courses are scheduled in the summer session, 3 days a week during the day.

Where are the classes held?
The nursing classes are located in the Marcum Technology Building on the Moore County Campus, Room 111 on the Smyrna Campus, and Room 102 on the McMinnville campus. The Smyrna campus has 35 seats available for Nursing, the McMinnville campus has 30 seats and the Moore County campus has 70 seats. All classes are instructed through the use of ITV format. Each campus has faculty offices as well as nursing classrooms, and a skills practice lab. A Resource Room with access to nursing literature and a computer lab for independent student use is available on each campus.

Where are the clinicals experiences held?
Motlow College encompasses an 11 county service area. Clinicals are supervised, learning experiences in a hospital or health care setting. Clinical sites must be accredited and certified by state regulatory agencies for students to attend. Geographic location of the student is taken into consideration when clinical placement is performed.

What will I need to participate in Clinical?
All nursing students must submit evidence of good health by returning a completed Motlow Physical Examination Form. Forms are given to students once admitted to the Nursing Program. In order to participate in the clinical settings, students must:
  • Meet documented health requirements of a TB skin test or x-ray for positive skin tests. Skin tests are required annually
  • Show immunity for:
    1. Varicella Zoster
    2. Rubella
    3. Rubeola titer
    4. Mumps
    5. Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertusis booster within the past 10 years.
    6. Hepatitis B
  • Other vaccinations may be required by specific clinical affiliates. i.e., influenza
  • AHA CPR Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) certification. Classes are offered by Motlow Nursing Faculty in the summer prior to fall entrance or an AHA BCLS certified instructor.
  • Malpractice Insurance. Malpractice (liability) insurance is required for all clinical nursing courses.
  • Personal Health Insurance. Students are responsible for all costs incurred related to health problems, including injuries occurring during clinical experiences. Students must provide evidence of health insurance coverage to be eligible to participate in 2nd level nursing clinical activities.
  • Criminal Background Checks is a requirement at affiliated clinical training sites. Based on the results of the criminal background check, an affiliated clinical site may determine to not allow your presence at their facility. This could result in your inability to successfully complete the clinical requirement of a specific course and our program. Students with positive Criminal background checks must seek permission from assigned clinical site directors each semester to participate in clinical for that semester. For more information, please see the Motlow College Nursing Student Handbook link.
  • Drug Screening is now required. The drug screen must be a 10-panel drug screen and it must be obtained at a certified medical drug testing facility contracted by Motlow State Community College Department of Nursing. Information provided at orientation. All drug screens are sent electronically from the certified lab to the Director of Nursing. For more information, please see the Motlow College Nursing Student Handbook link.
** Clinical agencies may deny a student access to the facility based on the results of the background check, or drug screen checks. This could result in a student being unable to successfully complete the requirements of a course or the program. **

If I have been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation, can I be licensed as a registered nurse?
T.C.A. 63-7-115 reads The Tennessee Board of Nursing has the power to deny a license . . . to practice nursing . . . upon proof that the person:
(A) Is guilty of fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice nursing;
(B) Is guilty of a crime;
(C) Is unfit or incompetent by reason of negligence, habits or other cause;
(D) Is addicted to alcohol or drugs to the degree of interfering with nursing duties;
(E) Is mentally incompetent;
(F) Is guilty of unprofessional conduct; or
(G) Has violated or attempted to violate, directly or indirectly, or assisted in or abetted the violation of, or conspired to violate, any provision of this chapter or any lawful order of the board issued pursuant thereto.

Licensure decisions are made on an individual basis by the Board of Nursing only after receipt of an application.

How much does it cost?

Is financial aid available?
All financial aid programs offered at Motlow State are available to students enrolled in the Nursing Program. Check with the financial aid office for more details. In addition, there are hospitals in the surrounding area that are providing various types of scholarship programs for students enrolled in the nursing program. Information for these programs can be obtained from the Nurse Recruiter at the major hospitals or information will be provided once enrolled in the nursing program.

Can I have a job while I am a nursing student?
Nursing is a very intense program. Students may find working, even part-time, very difficult. However, many students do work while enrolled in the nursing program. Nursing classes/clinical will usually require all or part of four days or evenings each week. Keep the following in mind: Work schedule will need to be worked around the program requirements. Committed time for most courses will be 17-20 hours each week plus time for reading and studying. Attendance in nursing classes is strongly recommended; attendance in clinical is mandatory.

Do I need to be able to use a computer?
Yes. All students admitted to MSCC are required to demonstrate computer competency and utilize email to communicate with the college. Courses in the nursing curriculum are delivered through a variety of methods, including on ground, online, and hybrid (a combination of on ground with online components). Nursing students must be able to use a computer to participate in various courses in the nursing program.

What will I use a computer for in the nursing program?
Courses in the nursing curriculum are delivered through a variety of methods, including on ground, online, and hybrid (a combination of on ground with online components). Nursing students must be able to use a computer to participate in various courses in the nursing program. All communications from Motlow College to students will occur in electronic format to their MSCC email.

Do I need to purchase a computer and special software or have internet access in order to be able to attend your program?
Students must have access to a computer in order to be successful in the program. All students have access to computers with Microsoft Office and internet on all campus sites. Although not mandatory, students may find it beneficial and convenient to have personal computers and internet access at home.

If I have more questions, how can I contact the office?
Email: Nursing Education email
Phone: 931-393-1628 or toll free 800-654-4877 ext. 1628
Motlow State Community College
Department of Nursing Education #270
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500