Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to start my studies in a nursing assistant program?

No. An entry point for nursing studies is the Traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at UNMC. You begin by taking prerequisite courses. Nurse assistant certification is now a requirement for admission.

Are prerequisite courses offered by UNMC College of Nursing?

No. You may take these through the University of Nebraska (online or on campus in Lincoln, Omaha or Kearney) or at any accredited community college, 4-year college or university.

Does UNMC offer Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Certified Medication Assistant (CMA) or two-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs?

No. Those programs are offered at many community colleges. Some course credits from such programs may transfer to the UNMC College of Nursing as prerequisites. UNMC nursing programs begin at the bachelor degree level (BSN).

What makes a nurse an RN?

A registered nurse is known as a RN. To become registered, you first get a nursing degree then pass a national nursing license exam after you graduate. Both associate degree (ADN) and bachelor's degree (BSN) graduates earn the same RN designation, but there are important differences between the two in training, types of care and career range. 

Where and when should I apply?

You apply online through NursingCAS. Your application should NOT be submitted until you have completed almost all prerequisite courses. If you are uncertain when to apply, contact a Student Services coordinator.

Do I need to apply to the nursing campus I want to attend? (Omaha, Lincoln, Norfolk, Kearney, Scottsbluff)

No. A single online application (above) includes a campus preference section, so you need only apply once even if you're considering two or more campuses. Note: campus flexibility may aid admission if you meet all requirements but your first campus preference is already filled.

When are application due dates?

Admission is once a year in the fall. Applications open Oct. 1 and all application materials must be received by Feb. 1 for consideration for the following fall start of the nursing program.

Does UNMC accept College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits?

UNMC accepts a maximum of 12 hours of pass/fail and CLEP credits. Excluded are anatomy, physiology, chemistry, nutrition, statistics, microbiology and math - all of which must have assigned letter/number grades meeting minimum requirements. You must have received college credit for each CLEP instance.

How do I know if credits for my previous coursework will transfer?

Course credits will generally transfer if they meet three conditions: 1) your course listings meet prerequisite description, 2) your grades meet minimum admission requirements, and 3) your previous college or university is accredited.

Where do I have my transcripts sent?

Send all official college/university transcripts to NursingCAS when you apply.

What about scholarships and financial aid?

The UNMC financial aid office will help you get the best available financial aid package, including scholarships, grants and loans. There are many nursing scholarships available through the federal government, private foundations and the UNMC College of Nursing. The link to the application for UNMC scholarships is sent to you via email following your acceptance to the College of Nursing. The deadline to apply is April 1 or within 30 days after acceptance if accepted after April 1. One application is used for all scholarship awards made by the College of Nursing. Limited scholarship money is available for academic merit, financial need, and specific donor criteria. Scholarships are awarded annually and are not guaranteed for following years. You are strongly encouraged to apply each year. Multiple forms of financial aid are available through UNMC. All students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 1 or within 30 days after acceptance if accepted after April 1.

Is student health insurance available?

Health insurance - and many other support services and resources - are available through UNMC student services.

How do I qualify for Nebraska resident tuition rates?

You must have established a home in Nebraska for one year before applying for resident status.  More details on Nebraska residency are located on the UNMC student services website (

Is there any tuition assistance for out-of-state residents?

Students who are not Nebraska residents should be prepared to pay the non-resident tuition rate.  UNMC has a limited number of Non-Resident Tuition Scholarships (NRTS). These scholarships do not cover the full difference between resident and nonresident rates. NRTS are awarded annually and are not guaranteed for following years. Questions about financial assistance should be directed to the UNMC financial aid office.

Is student housing available?

Kearney Division nursing students are eligible for UNK Campus Housing. Upon notification of acceptance, please contact the UNK Office of Residence Life and email with the dates needed for housing and the type of housing interested in. A link will be provided to your UNMC email address to fill out a housing contract.

How new are your nursing education facilities?

The Kearney division moved into the new Health Science Education Complex in 2015. The 48,000 square building is located at 2402 University Drive, right along west Highway 30. The building features state-of-the-art classrooms, assessment labs, simulation suites and exams rooms, plus numerous study areas for students and ample parking.

What is your faculty-student ratio?

There is approximately one faculty member for each 10 students - another UNMC advantage for your nursing education.

What is the profile of current successful applicants?

Most accepted applicants have completed nearly all prerequisite coursework with a GPA of 3.0 or above. You must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered. Please see BSN Admission Requirements for more information. Admission is competitive and capacity is limited. Applicants with strong academic backgrounds have higher likelihood of admission.

What factors besides academics are considered in applicants?

We look for well-rounded candidates - including extracurricular activities, leadership roles, community service, life/work experience, certifications, honors, awards and other distinguishing characteristics. In cases where applicants have similar academic/GPA qualifications, these factors can make a difference in admission decisions.

What supplies and equipment will I need?

For clinical training, you'll need basic health-profession uniforms, sometimes called scrubs, and your own stethoscope. A student services coordinator can provide more information and cost ranges. Supplies are available online through the UNMC bookstore. At your induction ceremony, you'll be presented with an alumni-sponsored white lab coat - yours to keep - as a symbol of your entry into the nursing profession. For all BSN coursework, having your own laptop/netbook computer is required. 

How long does the program take to complete?

Traditional BSN nursing courses are completed over 4 semesters or 2 years. Prerequisite courses must be satisfied first. Including prerequisites, you may finish comfortably in 4 years. But you can go at your own pace, completing prerequisites faster or slower as your time and resources allow.

Are all nursing courses offered every semester?

No. Students take Traditional BSN courses in a certain progression over 4 semesters. 

Are Traditional BSN courses online?

The College offers multiple online and web-based resources, including the Canvas Learning System, for course materials, assignments, interactive learning, discussion boards, testing, grades and more. Class attendance is required, with digital resources as 24/7 on-demand learning support tools.

Are there summer classes?

There are no summer classes in the Traditional BSN Program. You may take prerequisite courses from any accredited college or university (on campus or online) over the summer.

Where will I do my clinical training?

You'll get learning lab/clinical instruction through the College's state-of-the-art clinical training facilities/simulators. You'll also do clinical rotations at area medical centers, hospitals and other health facilities. While faculty make every effort to notify you well in advance of your clinical schedules, things do sometimes change due to circumstances outside our control. Please plan some flexibility in your schedule to allow for unforeseen changes in your clinical rotation schedule. A student services representative can provide information about specific clinical sites for the campus you attend.

Can I work during the Traditional BSN Program?

Yes. Many Traditional BSN students work on weekends and during the summer. We recommend that you work part-time only during semesters in order to devote adequate time and energy to your nursing studies. Please understand that clinical rotation schedules may sometimes change so we recommend asking your employer if you can have some schedule flexibility if needed.