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Traditional & 2nd Degree Programs

How do I apply to the Nursing Program at UNC?

Your first step towards applying to the School of Nursing will be to apply to the University of Northern Colorado and be accepted as an undergraduate student.  You can apply here:  http://www.unco.edu/admissions/apply/.  The process of applying to the University, along with evaluation of previous coursework can take 2-4 weeks so you will need to plan accordingly.

If you have coursework that you will be transferring in from another institution, you will need to apply to the University as a transfer student “Seeking Nursing”.  It is required that all transfer students submit official transcripts from each institution that they have previously attended.   

If you have questions about admissions, or if you applied to UNC in the past and did not attend, please contact the Admissions Office at (888) 700-4UNC or at (970) 351-2881.

After you’ve been accepted into the University and have your Bear Number (Student ID) and a completed Transfer Equivalency Report, please call the School of Nursing Office at (970) 351-2293 to schedule an advising appointment with the Pre-Nursing Advisor to review nursing prerequisites and complete an advising plan for remaining coursework.

Applications for the Nursing Program are available on our website in November of each year, and we begin accepting applications in January. Applications to the School of Nursing are due by mid-January.  (NOTE: The individual due date varies from year to year so please refer to the application for more details.)

I have attended UNC in the past - will I need to re-apply to UNC?

No, you will not need to re-apply to the University - Once a Bear, Always a Bear!  If it has been more than one year since your last course at UNC, you will need to complete the Student Information Form that is on the Registrar’s website and allow two business days for your account to be re-activated.  After your account has been re-activated, please call the School of Nursing Office at (970) 351-2293 to book an advising appointment with our Pre-Nursing Advisor.

How can I have my transcripts/previous coursework evaluated?

After being accepted into UNC, students will be assigned a Bear Number (student ID) and will be able to access a Transfer Equivalency Report in their Ursa account to see how courses have transferred in. 

If you would like to get an idea of how your coursework may transfer in, before officially applying to UNC, you can set up a free account on www.transferology.com and you should be able to find some information on equivalencies (provided that the courses have been previously evaluated). 

Unfortunately, due to the demand and complexity of transfer coursework, we are unable to provide unofficial evaluations of unofficial transcripts/coursework and require that all interested applicants go through the Admissions procedure through the University.

What are the required pre-requisites that are needed to apply?

  • All prerequisite courses must be completed with a "C" or higher, "C-'s" are not accepted. All prerequisite courses must be completed by the end of the Spring semester of the year you are applying for:
    • BIO 110 Principles of Biology (not required for 2nd Degree applicants)
    • BIO 245 Introduction to Human Anatomy & Physiology
    • BIO 246 Advanced Human Anatomy & Physiology
    • BIO 251 Allied Health Microbiology
    • CHEM 281 Fundamentals of Biochemistry
    • ENG 123 College Research Paper
    • FND 250 Principles of Nutrition
    • NURS 326 Pathophysiology
    • PSY 230 Human Growth & Development
    • STAT 150 Introduction to Statistical Analysis
  • All science courses (BIO and CHEM) must include lectures and labs
  • The School of Nursing requires that all applicants have completed a Nurse Aide Training Course prior to our application deadline in January. If admitted to the Nursing program, proof of licensure is required by mid-April. It is our recommendation that applicants have an active CNA license prior to applying.

How many students usually apply each year and how many are accepted?

This number varies from year to year, and by program:

  • Traditional Program: Generally we will have 150-180 qualified applicants and we accept 72 students.
  • Second Degree Program: Generally we will have 60-80 qualified applicants and we accept 36 students.

How is admissions determined for the Nursing Program for 2017?

  • Two Letters of Recommendation (one from an academic reference and one from someone that has had direct oversight over the applicant)
  • A Personal Essay
  • GPA
    • WHen we calculate the School of Nursing (SON) GPA, we factor in two GPAs.
      • First we calculate a GPA based upon your most recent 45 college credits (excluding technical and remedial coursework) from the different accredited institutions that you've attended.  You must have a 3.0 or higher to be eligible to apply.
      • In addition, we calculate another GPA based upon all of the Nursing prerequisites that have been completed at the time of applying to the program (excluding the BIO 110 grade).
      • All Nursing prerequisites must be completed with a "C" or higher (C-'s not accepted) and it's important to note that these courses can affect the SON GPA twice if they were courses that were also completed during an applicant's most recent 45 college credits.
      • The two GPAs are then combined into a weighted GPA (as it is not an average of the two GPAs above), and that's what is called our SON GPA.

When does the Nursing program begin and how long is it?

The Nursing Program includes five semesters of Nursing coursework.

  • Traditional Program: 36 students begin in the Summer semester, and 36 students begin in the Fall semester.
    • Summer start will attend: Summer, Fall, Spring, Summer (off), Fall, Spring
    • Fall start will attend: Fall, Spring, Summer (off), Fall, Summer
  • Second Degree Program: All 36 students begin in the Summer semester and will attend: Summer, Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall.

Can any of the courses in the Nursing program be taken online?

No, all of our courses for both the Traditional and Second Degree Programs are either on campus or at clinical sites.

Is there a part-time option available?

No, our Nursing Program is a full-time commitment and we do not have a part-time track available.

Can I work while in Nursing school?

While we do not have a policy in place that restricts students from working while they are in Nursing school, we do caution students to find an acceptable balance of school and work.  We recognize that many of our students need to work, but we do require that courses, clinicals, and homework are scheduled first.  Many of our Nursing students do not work more than 20 hours per week.

What is the NCLEX pass rate?

The NCLEX pass rates vary from year to year, UNC graduates always exceed national pass rates.

Is the UNC School of Nursing accredited?

Yes.  There are several levels of accreditation to be aware of.  The first level is institutional accreditation.  The University of Northern Colorado is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).  In addition, our Undergraduate Nursing programs are accredited by the Colorado State Board of Nursing, as well as by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).   Attending a Nursing school and institution that is accredited is important for potentially attending graduate school down the road.

Can I study abroad while in the Nursing program?

While we strongly encourage our UNC students to become global citizens, students would need to consider study abroad options while they are still pre-nursing (prior to acceptance into the Nursing program).  At this time, there are not any international collaborations in place for our current Nursing students. 

If a pre-nursing student is considering studying abroad, it is recommended that they go during their Spring semester of their Sophomore year, and do not try to study abroad before applying to the Nursing program due to different grading standards.

Where are clinicals located and how many clinical hours are included in the program?

Most clinicals will be completed in Northern Colorado, with the exception of some that will be in the Denver/Metro area.  There are 1005 hours completed between clinical and laboratory coursework as a part of the Nursing program curriculum.

Do you accept graduate coursework?

Per University policies, we cannot apply any graduate coursework towards the completion of an undergraduate degree.  Please contact the advisor if you have any questions about this.

How much will nursing school cost?

Traditional Nursing Program:  The Undergraduate tuition is set by our Board of Trustees and can vary from year to year.  The best place to check on the current rates for in-state and out-of-state tuition is through our Bursar’s Office at http://www.unco.edu/acctservices/bursar/.

2nd Degree Nursing Program:  The tuition for the 2nd Degree Nursing Program can be located through our Extended Campus Office at:  http://extended.unco.edu/programs/nursing/bachelors-second-degree/index.asp

Additional expenses for the program may include, but are not limited to:  health clearances, background check, transportation to/from clinical agencies, uniforms, and textbooks.  In addition, all courses with a NURS prefix will be charged differential tuition. 

What do I do if I don't get accepted?

This is definitely a personal decision to make and there is no right or wrong answer.  In the past, students have changed their majors to another degree that they are interested in pursuing and then re-applied the follow year.  Some students will consider applying to our Dual Enrollment programs that we have in place with Aims Community College, Front Range Community College, Morgan Community College, and Northeastern Junior College.  We do not have a limit on how many times a student can apply to the Nursing Program at UNC.

I'm an Active Duty Military member that is stationed in Colorado. Is it an option to attend your Nursing program and do you give preferential admissions to Active Duty Members or Veterans of the Armed Forces?

First and foremost, we sincerely thank you for your service to our country.  We do not have a track that will accommodate Active Duty Members that have military commitments during the week.  Our Nursing program is a full-time commitment and there is unfortunately no flexibility with the courses and clinicals that are required.  We currently do not offer preferential admissions to any groups or populations.

UNC has a Veteran’s Services Office that is designed to support the military affiliated community by assisting in the transition process and providing a stand alone space with a strong inclusive community.  UNC participates in the Yellow Ribbon program as well as other VA Education Benefits such as the Post 9/11 and Montgomery GI Bill’s.