Aquinas College Nursing Program Review

Aquinas College (AQ, AQC) in Nashville, Tennessee, which was founded in 1928, was originally named Saint Cecilia Normal School. Its mission was to provide training for prospective teachers. At first, the training was limited to members of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation, a Roman Catholic order of nuns.  Over the years, the college has held onto that mission of training educators within the context of the Roman Catholic faith, while also expanding into additional fields (business, nursing, and the liberal arts) and opening up to students who are not members of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation. Aquinas College now offers two nursing programs, both of which are approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

Associate of Science in Nursing

Aquinas College accepts students for its Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program each fall and each spring. The curriculum, which takes two years to complete on a full-time basis, includes thirty credits of general education courses and forty-one credits of nursing courses. While students are welcome to transfer the general education courses from another college, they must complete all nursing coursework at Aquinas College. The program emphasizes clinical practice; students begin their first clinical rotation at a local healthcare facility six weeks after beginning the program. Nursing courses are offered during the day only, but students do have the option of completing general education courses in the evening. After completing the ASN program, a graduate is eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). If successful, she may begin working as a Registered Nurse (RN). She also has the option of beginning Aquinas College’s RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN to BSN Program

In order to apply to the RN to BSN degree program, an RN must either have worked in the nursing field two out of the last four years, or have graduated within the last year from an associate-degree or diploma program. If he is accepted to the RN to BSN program, he must start the nursing course sequence with a three-credit transition class. If he successfully completes this course, Aquinas College will award him thirty advanced placement credits, in recognition of his previous nursing education and his competency in the field. On top of the thirty advanced placement credits, he must earn thirty-two credits of upper-level nursing coursework. In order to graduate, the RN must also complete all the required general education classes (fifty-five credit hours). He may do this before beginning the nursing coursework or while taking the nursing courses, and is welcome to transfer credits from another college for most of the classes. (He must take Ethics and a moral theology class at Aquinas College.) Since most RNs continue working while enrolled in the RN to BSN program, Aquinas College offers the nursing classes in the evenings, in an accelerated format. In the accelerated format, each class takes four to eight weeks to complete. The RN to BSN program does include a clinical component.

Aquinas College
4210 Harding Pike,
Nashville, TN 37205