Nursing FAQ


Preparation and Admission

What steps do I need to take for acceptance into the BSN Program?

How many students are accepted into the nursing program?

What pre-requisite nursing courses are required?

May I take pre-requisite courses at another college?

Is an entrance exam such as HESI or TEAS required?

What are the admission requirements for international students?

Why should I pursue a BSN rather than an ASN?

How long will it take to complete the BSN program?

Where do I take the CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) course?

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

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

I have taken nursing classes at another school. Will those courses transfer to St. Ambrose University?

I was denied admission, can I appeal that decision?

I have been convicted of a felony. Can I still go to nursing school, attend clinical, get a nursing job, and obtain a nursing license?

After Admission

Do I need to buy a nursing uniform?

Where do St. Ambrose students complete clinical experiences?

What are the compliance requirements for clinical experiences?

What grades are required during the nursing program?

Post-Graduation

What degree will I have when I graduate?

I am graduating from a nursing program this year. Can I take the NLCEX-RN® in a different state?

Can I work in multiple states as an RN?

Where are nurses employed?

What is the job outlook for Registered Nurses?


What steps do I need to take for acceptance into the BSN Program?

Please visit the Admission and Application page

How many students are accepted into the nursing program?

  • Fall semester: 56 students admitted into the traditional BSN program, 24 into the BSN Accelerated program
  • Spring semester: 32 students admitted into the traditional BSN program
  • There is no summer admission.

What pre-requisite nursing courses are required?

Please visit the Admission and Application page

May I take pre-requisite courses at another college?

Yes; however, priority for admission is given to students who have completed 5 or more of the 9 pre-requisite courses at St. Ambrose University.

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.

What are the admission requirements for international students?

International students will be required to provide TOEFL or IELTS score, passport, VISA and proof of funding.

When a student's primary language is not English, the student must meet the required test proficiency set by the Iowa Board of Nursing:
TOEFL iBT minimum of 84 with a speaking score of 26
TOEFL PBT minimum score of 560
IELTS minimum of 6.5 with a spreaking score of 7.0

Why should I pursue a BSN rather than an ASN?

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is 4-year degree that takes four 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.

How long will it take to complete the BSN program?

  • From start to finish, our traditional program takes 4 years, full-time, to complete.
  • For transfer students with an AS or AA degree, it takes two years, full-time, from the time of transfer.
  • For students who have earned a BA/BS, the BSN Accelerated program takes only 16-months to complete (Fall-Spring-Summer-Fall).
  • The nursing program is designed for full-time students. We do not offer a part-time program.

Where do I take the CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) course?

This can be taken at a local community college in any state. The course is not offered at St. Ambrose University.

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

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

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
  • Click here to check St. Ambrose's Transfer Course Equivalency

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.

I was denied admission, can I appeal?

Appeal for Applicants of the SAU Nursing Program

If a student does not meet the criteria for admission to the SAU Nursing Program, they may submit a letter of appeal to the Nursing Department Admission and Progression Committee at nursing@sau.edu explaining the circumstances related to not meeting the criteria.

PROCEDURE:

  1. A written appeal must be received by the Admission and Progression Committee within two weeks of the dated Admission Decision letter.
  2. Letter must specify extenuating circumstances that would request the Admission and Progression Committee to alter their decision based upon departmental policy.
  3. The Admission and Progression Committee will meet to review appeals for admission during the next scheduled meeting.
  4. A decision letter will be sent to the student within a week following a committee decision.

I have been convicted of a felony. Can I still go to nursing school, attend clinical, get a nursing job, and obtain a nursing license?

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®) and any offer of employment in a health care setting.

After Admission

Do I need to buy a nursing uniform?

Yes. Uniforms are required and purchased the first semester of your junior year. Uniforms can be purchased at the St. Ambrose University bookstore. Phone number 563-333-5751.

Where do St. Ambrose students complete clinical experiences?

Clinical sites are all located within a 15-minute drive from campus. In the final semester, students have the option of completing their nursing preceptor at a further location like the University of Iowa.

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, and outpatient mental health sites.

What are the compliance requirements for clinical experiences*?

  • CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) course required, active certification or employment documentation of equivalent CNA skills, within last three years
  • Complete documentation of health information including, but not limited to:
    Health Form - history and physical exam report
    Proof of health insurance showing student's name
    Vaccination/Immunization Requirements
        QuantiFERON Gold TB blood test
        Hepatitis B Vaccination (series of 3)
        MMR Immunization (series of 3) 
        TDaP Immunization (within past 10 years)
        Varicella immunization or titer
        Seasonal Influenza Vaccination
  • American Heart Association BLS Certification
  • Criminal and Child & Dependent Abuse Background Checks
  • Training Documentation for: OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Mandatory Reporter
  • Signed acknowledgement of the Department of Nursing Core Performance Standards stating they can perform the standards with our without reasonable accommodations to policies and practices
  • Signed Civility Contract
  • Signed Student Disease Statement and Consent Form
  • Core Performance Policy

*We use CastleBranch to assist in tracking student requirement documentation before and during student enrollment in the St. Ambrose Nursing Program. CastleBranch is a safe, secure website that provides background screening and immunization record management for our nursing students, but may also be used to store educational, professional, and personal information. All documentation is accessible to you anytime, even after you've graduated from the nursing program.

What grades are required during the nursing program?

Students must achieve a grade of C or above in ALL nursing courses and a minimum of 74% average on all course exams. A student who receives one unsatisfactory grade (C- or lower, or Withdraw) may repeat the course one time. A student who has two unsatisfactory attempts in nursing courses at any time during the program, in either the same course or in separate courses, will be dismissed from the nursing program.

Post-Graduation

What degree will I have when I graduate?

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). 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 Iowa (or the state where you took the exam).

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.

Can I work in multiple states as an RN?

Yes. An RN can be licensed in multiple states through the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).

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.

What is the job outlook for Registered Nurses?

The job outlook for nursing is projected to be excellent. Read more here.

Contact


Deb Frankie-Lasher, Advisor/Recruiter

Nursing
Center for Health Sciences Education
1320 W. Lombard St.
Davenport, IA 52804
563-333-6076
Nursing@sau.edu

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