By Alaynna K. McCormick
Recently Tennessee Wesleyan has changed the requirements for students who are applying for Tennessee Wesleyan Fort Sanders Nursing Department program located in Knoxville, Tenn. Boasting a 98 percent passing rate of those who have completed the program as of 2008, it is no surprise pre-nursing students at the main campus in Athens, Tenn., put acceptance to Wesleyan’s nursing program at the top of their list. Especially when the nursing field is inarguably one that is increasing in its competitive nature. For this reason, many students chose Tennessee Wesleyan because of its emphasis on excellence and the way that it challenges those who aim to be nurses to start off their first semester strong.
With all of this in mind, however, some students are curious as to what caused faculty to reconsider the application process. In past years in order to be considered, students not only had to have exemplary grades in all science and math courses, but were also required to pass a math test with a 90% or above, and had to undergo an interview process. Both of these requirements have been scratched, however. In place of the math test, an average of applicants’ grades for Statistics and Algebra will be used.
Many students are disappointed to hear this. They feel that these two requirements for admission were more aligned with the competitive spirit required for success in the nursing field these days. Not to mention how important it is to have more than just the grades when it comes to a field that requires the sort of emotional and personable qualities that the medical field does. Straight A’s in all related courses does not necessarily mean that a student has the right attitude and passion to be able to face the difficulties and, at times, downright unpleasant tasks required of those who look after the sick.
The interview process gave an opportunity to review more than a prospective students’ intellectual abilities, but their personality as well. In fact during his orientation speech prior to the start of the 2013 spring semester, Dr. Robert Cornette, TWC associate dean and associate professor of nursing, emphasized that many who possessed lower GPAs in pre-requisite courses were chosen in years passed over high GPAs based on their projected personalities during the interview process.
Despite these reasons against the changes to the admission process, however, nursing students should feel comforted knowing that the medical math test they were required to pass with a 90 percent or above will still be given, just admission will not be contingent upon it. Students will take the test after being accepted. Students will also be able to use the time they would have spent preparing for the interview to concentrate on getting the high grades required for their field. In addition, the professors and program that has given Tennessee Wesleyan nurses the outstanding reputation they possess still have a dedication to excellence that is not in any way altered by this new motion. Those behind it simply wish to streamline the previously lengthy admission process and open the door for more successful admissions processes for prospective nursing students. In order to accomplish the latter, they have added more spots to the wait lists for applicable students.