Southern Union State Community College

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the practical nursing program offered on the Opelika Campus?

No, at this time the program is offered on the Wadley campus.

How many students are accepted to the Practical Nursing Program?

The number accepted may vary depending on clinical space. Anywhere from 24 – 32 students are accepted once each year.

What do I need to do to become a nurse?

There are two (2) applications you must complete before you can possibly start the nursing program.  Students must first apply to the College and be accepted.  Then students must apply for admission to the nursing program by the deadline date for applications. Before applying to the nursing program, the student must meet requirements that can be found for each program under “Admission Requirements”.  Not everyone who qualifies for the program will be accepted due to the competitive admission.

When can I start nursing?

You must apply by one of the deadline dates and be accepted to the program. The date you should submit your application will depend upon when you meet the admission requirements and when you decide it is the right time for you to start the program.

What prerequisites are there for nursing?

Practical Nursing applicants must have completed all developmental courses, if required, in English, math and reading.  If you are unsure about whether you will need developmental courses, you should contact the Health Sciences Academic Advisor on the Opelika Campus.

If I meet the “Admission Requirements”, will I be in the program?

Not necessarily. Admission is competitive. There are more applicants for admission than space in clinical setting allow. Applicants are rank-ordered according to their ACT test scores and grades in college MTH 100 or higher, ENG 101, BIO 201, and BIO 202. Applicants with the highest scores will be on the top of the list. We usually accept approximately 32 students from each admission ranking.

Must the health requirements/CPR be completed before I apply for admission?

No, health requirements and CPR certification will be due AFTER admission to the program. Do not submit any immunization records with your application.

How do I apply to the nursing program?

There is an application to the program available on the website or you can obtain one from the Health Sciences Admissions Office on the Opelika Campus. You must attach the admission test results and the Verification of Health Sciences Information Session attendance to the application and turn it in by the published application deadline.

Can I fax the application?

No, original documents must be received by given deadlines.

How long is the waiting list?

SUSCC does not have a “Waiting List”. Students must apply for the program to be included in the rank order for acceptance. The top students are admitted and the next 20 students are placed on an alternate list in case an opening becomes available before the program begins.

I applied a year ago and was on the waiting list. Why haven’t I heard anything?

The “alternate list” is only good for a brief time; it is used only until the program begins following the application deadline. Students must reapply if they do not get admitted.

How will I be notified about program acceptance/admission?

Only by U.S. mail. You will receive a letter of standing about 4 weeks after deadline date.

To what address will the letter be sent?

The address that is on file in the Records Office of the College. It will not be sent to the address on the application. Be sure to keep your College records updated.

My grade point average (gpa) is 4.0 but I did not get into the program. A friend was accepted with a 2.5 gpa. Why?

Admission to the nursing program is not based on the applicant’s cumulative gpa. The admission is based on a combination of a ACT test score and grades in certain courses with preference given to students who have attended Southern Union.


May I deliver my official transcripts by hand?

No. The Registrar’s office requires transcripts be mailed directly from the sending school to SUSCC Admissions Office in Wadley, Alabama.

Do I need to send an official SUSCC transcript to Health Sciences Admissions?

No, an official SU transcript does not need to be sent to Health Sciences.

Do I need to send official transcripts to Health Sciences Admissions?

No, official transcripts must be sent to the Records Office in Wadley. Transcripts received on other campuses are not stamped as received until they reach the Wadley Records Office. Transcripts which are stamped after the deadline are considered late and the application will not be considered for admission.

My last college transcript has transfer credit listed from other schools I attended. Do I have to send the other transcripts?

Yes, official transcripts must be received from EVERY school attended whether the credit applies to nursing or not.

I received a letter stating my transcripts were not received in the Records Office by the deadline but I requested them from my school over 2 (or more) weeks ago. Why was my application denied?

The nursing program has deadline date(s) published well in advance and those dates do not vary. It is the applicant’s responsibility to know about the deadline and abide by the requirements. The admission process cannot be delayed because an applicant did not allow enough time for all records to be received. Transcripts are stamped with a “Received” date as they are received by the Records Office. The nursing admission office respects this date as accurate and does not consider transcripts received after the deadline. It is recommendedthat transcript requests be made not less than 30 days prior to the deadline. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact the Records Office in advance to ensure that transcripts have been received. Neither SUSCC, nor the Nursing Program, can be responsible for the speed of the U.S. mail or the speed with which another institution mailed the transcripts.

Can I take nursing online?

SUSCC does not teach nursing courses online at the present time although computer testing and some hybrid courses may exist in the curriculum.

Can I take nursing in the evening?

Nursing courses are taught primarily in the day. Some clinicals may be late afternoon, evening, or weekend.

Do you offer a part-time option for nursing?

The nursing courses must be taken in sequence as outlined in the curriculum. Students must also take the co-requisites that are required during the semester they are enrolled if they have not previously been completed with a grade of C or higher.

If I have taken all the academics or general education courses required in the program, can I finish before three semesters?

It takes a minimum of 3 semesters to complete the program. Each nursing course must be taken as outlined in the nursing curriculum. Your course load may be lighter, but the program cannot be completed earlier.

After I have been accepted to the nursing program, how many days per week will I be in class, lab, or clinical?

On average, students in the first two semesters of the program will be in class, lab, or clinic four (4) days per week. Times for classes will vary. If you must take a general education course along with nursing courses, you may be in class more often.


When does clinical begin?

Students begin their clinical experience during the first semester of the program.

Where will I attend clinical?

A variety of clinical agencies are used within a 65-70 mile radius of the Opelika Campus. You may attend different sites during the same semester.

Can I choose where I attend clinical?

No. Efforts are made to accommodate students’ requests when possible. However the learning experiences require a variety of experiences and therefore students will experience clinical in a variety of healthcare settings.


What are essential functions?

Physical and mental requirements for performing the duties of a particular health science program.

Do I have to have Essential Functions signed by physician by the time I apply for admission?

No. Students must acknowledge the physical and mental requirements of the program before they apply. A physician’s signature is required after acceptance.

When are my health records due to be turned in?

Your health records will need to be turned in AFTER admission to the program. Instructions will accompany your acceptance letter.

Do I have to be CPR certified or have a physical exam before I apply for the program?

No, after you are accepted, you will receive directions for obtaining CPR certification and your health requirements.

Can I use Professional Rescuer CPR from Red Cross CPR?

No, most clinical contractual agreements require American Heart Association, Health Care Provider level with AED.

Where do I go for my drug screen?

You will be notified of where to go for drug screening after classes have begun. You will be given directions at that time where and when to report. You will not be given prior notice. Random drug screens may occur during the program at any time.

What happens if my drug screen is positive or my criminal background check is rejected?

You will receive notification and name of a contact person at the appropriate agency to work with to resolve the matter. If no resolution is reached, student will not be allowed to register for courses or will be required to withdraw from the program. You may find more information about the drug screen and background check in that area of the website.


Does SUSCCC have a job placement office?

No. During the program, students are attending clinical agencies where they make contacts with potential employers and during the final semester potential employers recruit students on campus.