Top 5 Requirements to Get into Nursing School

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The requirements to get into nursing school will vary, depending on the school you choose. However, getting into nursing school generally requires one or more admissions interviews, an application package that includes official transcripts, a background check, and completion of prerequisite courses.

stethoscope sitting on laptop and books

Once you’ve decided to go back to school to transition your career to nursing, you’ll need to deal with the logistical details of nursing school admissions. The issue of how to get into nursing school can be a little complicated, as you’ll need to submit plenty of documentation that proves you meet the requirements. Plus, you’ll likely have lots of questions, such as, “How hard is it to get into nursing school?” and “Do I need to pass a background check?” (The answer to the second question is “Yes.”)

The admissions process might seem a little overwhelming at first. However, getting into nursing school is far more approachable when you choose a school that offers plenty of support and guidance during the admissions process.

At CSP Global, a 16-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program with site locations in Portland and St. Paul, we are committed to making your journey to a nursing career smoother by providing comprehensive admissions support. Our admissions advisors will work one-on-one with you to help you create a plan for completing the requirements to get into nursing school.

How hard is it to get into nursing school? It’s definitely not easy, as nursing schools must ensure they only admit applicants who are academically prepared to take on the challenges of the curriculum. However, it’s well-worth the effort if you have your heart set on becoming a nurse so you can devote your career to helping other people. Here’s a look at the nursing school requirements at CSP Global.

1. Introductory Admissions Interview

At many accelerated nursing programs, including CSP Global, reaching out to the admissions advisors is one of the first steps for getting into nursing school. You can expect the first phone call with your admissions advisor to be fairly casual — almost like speaking to a friend.

To kick off the conversation, your admissions advisor will ask you a series of questions all about your goals and interests, including:

  • Why do you want to become a nurse?
  • What are you looking for in a nursing program?
  • How do you learn best?

Your admissions advisor wants to get to know you and help you in the best way they can, so it’s crucial you are transparent when answering their questions. At CSP, we focus on creating personal connections with students, and that begins before you even apply. Some students find the admissions process and enrollment support at CSP Global to be one of a kind and a reason to continue in the process.

This conversation is a good time for you to ask any questions you have about the ABSN program and the admissions process. Have a notepad and pen handy during this informal interview.

two CSP nursing students sitting and studying

One of the most common questions admissions advisors receive is, “What can I expect in nursing school?” Explore this topic here.

2. Academic Eligibility

Now let’s explore the details of academic requirements to get into nursing school. First, you’ll need to meet the prior degree or coursework requirement, which depends on the school. At CSP Global, students with a prior non-nursing bachelor’s degree or 54 college credits can apply to the accelerated nursing program. Some schools require a completed bachelor’s degree, but this is not required for CSP.

In your prior college courses, you’ll also need to meet grade point average (GPA) requirements. At CSP, we require a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and science courses.

3. Sufficient Prerequisite Courses

Each accelerated nursing program will have a set of prerequisite courses designed to prepare students to jump into a rigorous nursing curriculum. As an example, the prerequisite courses required at CSP include:

  • Lifespan Development Psychology
  • Quantitative Reasoning for Health Care Professionals
  • Chemistry for Health Sciences
  • General Biology I with Lab
  • Microbiology
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II with Lab

In addition to these science-related courses, you’ll also need general education credits. These include certain numbers of credits in the following:

  • Communication (Writing and Oral Communication)
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Sciences
  • Humanities/Arts
  • Theology (Must be completed at CSP)
  • General Education Electives
tow CSP nursing students studying at table

You can take your nursing prerequisites at CSP before the nursing program start date. Plan to have at least 80% of the math and science prerequisites finished before applying. Then make sure you’re registered for the remaining prerequisites so you can complete them before nursing school starts.

Accelerated nursing schools also have grade requirements for prerequisite courses. At CSP, you will need to have a cumulative college GPA of 3.0 and a 3.0 science GPA of combined science prerequisites (microbiology, human anatomy and physiology I and II, and chemistry for health sciences).

nurse holding clipboard with patient

Aspiring nurses can benefit from possessing certain qualities. Here, you can explore the nursing qualifications and nursing qualities you’ll need at CSP.

4. Entrance Exam Performance

Another requirement to get into nursing school at many accelerated BSN programs is passing a national entrance exam. There are many possible exams schools may require, so do your research on your top programs. At CSP, we require our prospective ABSN students to take the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam. The minimum TEAS score for consideration at CSP is 65% or greater proficiency within the year prior to applying. Only two attempts are allowed each year.

You’ll also need to demonstrate English language proficiency if English is not your native language. It’s important for aspiring nurses to be able to communicate in English with their colleagues, patients and the patients’ family members. Non-native English speakers must successfully complete an English proficiency exam.

5. Official Application Submission

Every accelerated nursing program requires an official application process. You’ll submit a package of documentation, including the application itself, and official transcripts and so on. Please ensure you submit official, rather than unofficial, transcripts from all other academic institutions you’ve attended.

For your convenience, the application for the ABSN program at CSP can be completed online. Your admissions advisor will keep you informed about the deadline for submitting your official application to the ABSN program. It’s important to submit the application as well as any supplemental documents on time.

nursing students in lab

After submitting your application package, you may be invited to schedule an interview at CSP. This is a formal admissions interview, which may be scheduled at the discretion of the admissions committee. You can expect your interview panel to include faculty members at CSP. Arrive at your interview well-prepared to answer questions about your academic achievements and your desire to become a nurse. You should bring your resume, transcript and a list of questions that you’d like to ask the panel. It’s definitely a good idea to wear professional clothing and present yourself in a formal, but personable manner.

How Hard Is It to Get into Nursing School?

If the admissions process and nursing school requirements seem a bit overwhelming, take a deep breath and remember we’re here to support you. One of the qualities of CSP that sets us apart from other programs is our commitment to your success. We will help you through the entire journey of transitioning from your past field into the new and exciting path of nursing.

As your academic plan unfolds, your admissions advisor will do everything in their power to keep you informed and up-to-date on all requirements needed to submit the best application possible. You are not in this alone, and we are always just a call away.

woman sitting at desk with laptop

Want to learn more about the admissions process? Check out these 6 tips for applying to nursing school.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Are you ready to pursue enrollment in the accelerated BSN program at CSP Global? Our 16-month hybrid program consists of a mix of online classes, labs and clinical learning experiences to prepare you to meet modern clinical challenges. We offer three start dates each year, allowing you to start at a time that works for you and finish your degree sooner than if you were to enroll in a traditional four-year BSN program.

We offer our ABSN program in three program locations, one in St. Paul, Minnesota, and two in Portland, Oregon. If you’re looking to transform your prior bachelor’s degree or 60 college credits into a BSN and enter the rewarding career of nursing, CSP is the perfect place to get started.

To learn more about starting accelerated nursing school at CSP Global, reach out to an admissions counselor today.