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Nursing (B.S.) FAQ

Admissions

How do I apply?

To apply to the NIU Nursing Program, first apply to the university and select nursing as your intended major. Once accepted to the university, students will be reviewed for admission to the School of Nursing. All documents must be received by the Office of Admissions prior to the deadline to be considered for review.

Current on-campus students should submit a paper application through the College of Health and Human Sciences in Wirtz 227.

Contact the Office of Admissions for more information.

Can I apply for the spring semester? Do you permit students to begin nursing courses in spring semester?

Applications are accepted once a year regardless of which semester you will begin nursing courses.

Students may begin taking nursing courses in either the fall or spring semester at the discretion of the Nursing Program Admissions Committee. Admission to each term is based on factors such as prerequisite GPA, completed prerequisites and overall GPA.

Students who are admitted directly from high school will typically begin nursing coursework during the spring semester of their sophomore year.

What are the freshman admission requirements?
  • Completed application for admission with nursing listed as area of academic interest.
  • An official high school transcript or an official GED score report.
  • An official ACT or SAT score report
  • An ACT Reading score of 24 or higher
    OR a reading comprehension score in compliance with School of Nursing standards (Contact the NIU Office of Testing Services for more information)

Applicants with less than 24 semester hours of college credit will apply as freshmen.

What are the transfer student admission requirements?
  • Completed application for admission with nursing listed as area of academic interest.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended. If taking courses at another institution during the fall term prior to the deadline, send final transcripts with grades posted.
  • An ACT Reading score of 24 or higher OR a 570 or higher on the SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Exam OR an ACCUPLACER reading comprehension score of 79 or higher in compliance with School of Nursing standards (Contact the NIU Office of Testing Services for more information)
  • At least five nursing prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better by the application deadline. All prerequisites must be completed before beginning nursing courses.)

Applicants with more than 24 semester hours of college credit will apply as transfer students.

What are the current NIU student requirements?
  • A minimum of 12 hours at NIU applied toward their major, minor or general education requirements
  • An application for admission to the School of Nursing. Pick up and submit application at the College of Health and Human Sciences, Wirtz 227 or the Nursing Building, Room 190.
  • An ACT Reading score of 24 or higher OR a 570 or higher on the SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Exam OR an ACCUPLACER reading comprehension score of 79 or higher in compliance with School of Nursing standards (Contact the NIU Office of Testing Services for more information)
  • At least five nursing prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better by the application deadline. All nine prerequisites must be completed before beginning nursing courses.
When is the application deadline?

Nursing applications are accepted between September 1st and January 15th.

Applications are accepted once a year regardless of which semester you will begin nursing courses.

How many students apply to the program?

The number of applicants varies year to year; however, we received approximately 1,200 applicants for the 2016/2017 academic year.

How many students are accepted?

We admit about 175 students; half of the students begin in the fall and the other half in the spring.

Is there a minimum GPA?

There is no established minimum GPA; however, admission to the NIU School of Nursing is competitive and extremely limited. There is no guarantee of admission. Students should work with an academic advisor regarding the competitive nature of the program.

Admitted nursing majors must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75.

When will I find out if I am admitted?

Acceptance or non-acceptance letters are mailed out near the beginning of April.

Is there a waitlist?

Yes, you will be notified in your acceptance letter if you were put on the waitlist. You may call the School of Nursing at 815-753-1231 in early June to find out where you are on the waitlist.

Coursework and Tuition

What courses other than nursing are required?

B.S. requirements outside of the nursing major can be found in the NIU Catalog. These include general education requirements and prerequisite courses. Students should work with an academic advisor to determine remaining degree requirements.

Can I take the prerequisite courses at a community college?

Yes, prerequisite courses may be taken at your local community college. For further information, review course articulation information.

Can I start the nursing courses even though I haven't finished all of the prerequisite courses?

No, all prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of C or better before beginning nursing classes.

Do you have online courses?

There are very few online nursing courses available for the traditional undergraduate nursing student. The majority of courses for the B.S. degree program are on the DeKalb campus.

Where do classes meet?

Nursing classes meet in the Nursing Building, 1240 Normal Road, DeKalb IL. Classes are typically offered Monday through Friday during the day. The nursing program is a cohort-style program so students should expect to be in classes 3-5 days per week.

How long is the nursing program?

The NIU nursing program is a five semester sequence of courses. Students are typically enrolled in 12-15 credit hours per term.

Will I be a Registered Nurse (RN) once I complete this degree?

No, receiving a Bachelor's of Science in nursing does not automatically make you an RN. However, upon completion of the degree, you are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN. Our nursing program provides students with the knowledge needed to pass this exam.

I work full-time. Can I go to school part-time for nursing?

The traditional NIU nursing program is a full-time program. Students are typically enrolled in 12-15 credit hours per term so students are not advised to also hold a full-time position. Students should expect to be in courses or clinicals 3-5 days per week.

When do I start clinicals?

Students begin clinicals their first semester in the program in the Simulation Lab on campus and at a local clinical site. In the second semester, students begin clinicals in various healthcare settings.

Where are clinical sites located?

NIU works with a large number of clinical sites in northern Illinois. Students usually have about 5-6 choices per clinical to pick from. Students should expect that not all clinical placements will be at the same agency or in DeKalb. Students are required to provide their own transportation to and from clinical sites; however, many students carpool to various sites.

Where can I get additional information?

To get additional information about the traditional undergraduate nursing program or to speak with an academic advisor, please e-mail HHSAdvisingHelp@niu.edu or call 815-753-1891.

For applicants who are already registered nurses or have a B.S. degree in nursing, contact the School of Nursing about our RN-B.S. program and Master of Science in Nursing degree at nursing@niu.edu or 815 753-1231.

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Contact Us

School of Nursing
1240 Normal Rd.
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-753-1231
nursing@niu.edu