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1. What steps do I need to take in order to be accepted into the BSN Program?

  • A cumulative college GPA of 3.0 or higher is required
  • Complete all pre-requisite courses with a "C" grade or higher
  • Complete CNA course & hold active status on state registry prior 
  • Healthcare Provider CPR (American Heart Association or American Red Cross)
  • Apply to the program during the appropriate application period
    Fall application deadline: Jan. 5 of the same year 
    Example: Fall 2014 - deadline is Jan. 5, 2014
  • Spring application deadline: July 1 of the previous year
    Example: Spring 2014 - deadline is July 1, 2013
  • Upon acceptance, initiate certified background check process

2. Is there a waitlist if I missed the deadline for application?
Yes. Applications will be accepted for the waitlist.

3. What pre-requisite nursing courses are required?


St. Ambrose University Course Equivalency:    Credits   
Principles of Biology (or higher level Biology) BIOL 101 4
Human Anatomy and Physiology BIOL 202 4
Advanced Human Anatomy and Physiology BIOL 204 4
Microbiology BIOL 211 4
Principles of Chemistry (or higher level Chemistry) CHEM 103 4
Statistics STATS 213 3
Introductory Psychology PSYC 105 3
Life-Span Developmental Psychology PSYC 212 3
Introduction to Sociology SOC 101 3


4. May I take pre-requisite courses at another college?
Yes, however, priority for admission is given to students who have completed pre-requisite coursework at St. Ambrose University. Admission is currently competitive, meaning between internal and external students, more students apply than are available spots.

5. How many students are accepted into the nursing program?
Fall semester: 54 students admitted
Spring semester: 32 students admitted
There is no summer admission.

6. How long will it take to complete the BSN program?
From start to finish, it takes 4 years, full-time, to complete. See BSN Plan of Study

For transfer students with an AS or AA degree, it takes two years, full-time, from the time of transfer. The nursing program is designed for full-time students. We do not offer a part-time program.

7. Where do I take the CNA (certified nurse aide) course?
This can be taken at a local community college in any state. The course is not offered at St. Ambrose University.

8. If I am already an RN, do you have an accelerated BSN program?
Yes. This program is offered through the St. Ambrose RN-BSN ACCEL program. Please contact 563.333-5700 for further information or

9. Is an entrance exam such as HESI or TEAS required?
No. The St. Ambrose University Nursing department does not require any formal entrance testing at this time.

10. If I already have a bachelor's degree in another field, what options are available?
St. Ambrose University offers a Bachelor of Nursing program for students who already hold a bachelor's degree. Each individual should have his/her official transcript evaluated for completed coursework.
See BN Plan of Study

11. Which high school courses will help prepare me for the nursing program?

  • Biology
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Chemistry
  • Math (algebra, statistics)
  • Psychology
  • English

12. If I take Advanced Placement (AP) or dual credit college courses in high school, which courses are the best to take?

  • English Composition I & II (both must be taken) 
  • Communications (speech)
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Sociology
  • We prefer college science courses be taken at St. Ambrose University

13. If I have taken nursing classes at another school, will those courses transfer to St. Ambrose University?
Nursing courses will be evaluated by the Chair of the Nursing Department. Pre-requisite coursework will be evaluated by the registrar's office. In order to begin this process, please apply online to St. Ambrose University. Official college transcripts must be submitted.

14. Do I need to buy a nursing uniform?
Yes. Uniforms are required and are purchased the first semester of your junior year.

15. Where do St. Ambrose students complete clinical experiences?
A variety of inpatient and outpatient sites are utilized within Scott county, IA. Inpatient sites include Genesis East and West. Long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities and home health agencies provide clinical experiences as well. Other community health experiences include community schools, outpatient mental health sites, and the Scott County Health department.

16. What are the compliance requirements for clinical experiences?

  • Current physical examination and health history
  • Complete CNA (certified nurse aide) course & hold active status on state registry
  • Healthcare Provider CPR (provided by the American Heart Association)
  • Immunization Requirements:

    Hepatitis B (series of 3)
    MMR (series of 3)
    TDaP (within past 10 years)
    Varicella immunization or titer
    Seasonal Influenza

  • TB test (Either 2-step skin test or Quantiferon Gold blood test)
  • Proof of health insurance coverage showing student name
  • Criminal Background Check
  • Child & Dependent Abuse Background Check
  • Completion of Mandatory Reporter training for Children and Adults
  • Forms to be read and signed:

    Code of Conduct
    HIPAA Policy
    Confidentiality Statement

  • Forms to be read and signed after in-class training:
    Physical Abuse and Compliance
    OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens

17. Can I still go to nursing school, attend clinical, get a nursing job and obtain a nursing license if I have been convicted of a felony?
Upon completion of the criminal background check, the nursing department submits any reported criminal record results, along with clarified information from the student, to the Department of Human Services. The Department of Human Services makes the determination if the student may or may not participate in clinical experiences. Even if the student is cleared to participate in clinical experiences, the Iowa Board of Nursing has the right to decline licensure.

Criminal background checks are repeated prior to taking the nursing licensure examination (NCLEX-RN®), as well as, any offer of employment in a health care setting.

18. What grades are required during the nursing program?
A minimum grade of 74% in all nursing courses is required.

19. What degree will I have when I graduate?
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree will be completed. After completing this degree, you are eligible to take the Registered Nurse exam provided by the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®). After successfully passing this exam, you are licensed as a nurse in the state of IA (or the state where you took the exam).

20. I am graduating from a nursing program this year. Can I take the NCLEX-RN® in a different state?
The NCLEX-RN® can be taken in any jurisdiction. However, graduates applying for a license who legally reside in a compact state can only apply to their home state board of nursing. This means that the applicant cannot apply for a compact license in a compact state other than the one in which he/she is declaring as their primary state of residence.

21. Can I work in multiple states as an RN?
Yes. A RN can be licensed in multiple states through the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC allows a nurse to have one compact license in the nurse's primary state of residence (the home state) and to practice in other compact states (remote states).

A compact license permits nursing practice (physically, and telephonically/electronically) across state lines in NLC states. A nurse whose primary state of residence is a noncompact state is not eligible for a compact license. A nurse whose primary state of residence is a noncompact state who applies for a license in a compact state is issued a single state license. Read more here for states included in the NLC 

22. Where are nurses employed?
Nursing is a career with endless job opportunities that include places of employment such as: hospitals, home health agencies, hospice agencies, doctor's offices, specialty clinics, research facilities, public schools, state health departments, insurance companies, correctional facilities, call centers, pharmaceutical companies, military bases, law firms, colleges and universities.

23. What is the job outlook for Registered Nurses?
The job outlook for nursing is projected to be excellent. Read more here.

24. Why should I pursue a BSN rather than an ASN?
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is 4 year degree that takes 4 years to complete and includes:

  • thorough coursework including leadership and community health
  • lays the foundation for graduate school if you choose to continue education 
  • preferred by most employers today, some hospitals have policies to only hire BSN prepared nurses

An Associate of Science in Nursing degree (ASN) takes three years to complete because of the increased volume of undergraduate coursework. Laws may require additional formal education (BSN) for all RNs in the future.

For further information about the St. Ambrose University Nursing program, please contact our academic advisor/recruiter Kerry Much, RN, MHA, at 563.333.6082 or by email at