Frequently Asked Questions about the Nursing Major

Find out more about the Undergraduate Generic Option BS in Nursing.

What courses are required before applying to the Nursing major?

Students must complete the following prerequisite courses to prepare for the upper division nursing major.  Students may apply to the major once they have completed 4 of 5 natural sciences, 3 of 4 social sciences, English and statistics.   All prerequisites must be completed before beginning upper division nursing courses.

 5 Natural Sciences

BIOL 206 Normal Nutrition or HERS 205 Nutrition for Lifetime Wellness
BIOL 209 Microbiology
BIOL 211 Anatomy & Physiology I
BIOL 212 Anatomy & Physiology II
CHEM 210 General, Organic & Biochemistry 
        or CHEM 212 & 213 Principles of Chemistry I & II

 4 Social Sciences

PSY 210 Introduction to Psychological Science
PSY 250 Developmental Psychology
SOC 150 Introduction to Sociology
SOC 212 Sociology of Families

 2 additional requirements

ENG 111 College Reading and Writing
STAT 110, 301 or 305 or PSY 231

Students should also complete university General Education requirements before beginning upper division nursing courses.

Can AP credits, PSEO credits and transfer credits count toward nursing prerequisites?

AP credits, PSEO credits and transfer credits can count toward nursing prerequisites or General Education requirements.  You can check AP equivalencies at www.winona.edu/admissions/credit.asp  You may be able check course equivalencies for PSEO and transfer credits at www.uselectmn.org

When can I apply to the Nursing program?

You will be eligible to apply to the upper division nursing program once you have completed 4 of 5 natural science prerequisites, 3 of 4 social science prerequisites, English 111 and statistics.  You must also have completed at least 45 credit hours.  Students typically apply after their third semester, in order to start the nursing major in their fifth semester.  You must have a cumulative college GPA of at least 3.5 for the Preferred Admission Contract, or at least 3.3 for the General Admission Application.  Meeting minimum eligibility requirements for application does not guarantee admission.

Applications are available from August - October 1 for spring admissions and from November - February 1 for fall admissions.  All applicants must complete the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) as part of the application process.

What is the TEAS test, and how do I register?

The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) is a multiple-choice assessment of basic academic knowledge in reading, mathematics, science, and English and language usage.  The TEAS must be completed prior to the application due date when you apply to the Nursing program.  The TEAS may be taken only once, and should be taken the semester of application to the nursing program.  Sessions are scheduled on the WSU campus.  Testing is available in September for students applying to begin the major in spring semester and in January for students applying to begin the major in fall semester.  You may also take the TEAS at other locations.  Register on the ATI website at https://www.atitesting.com  You are responsible for payment of the test fee.  View TEAS FAQs for more information.

How are applications to the Nursing program evaluated?

All applications are scored and ranked based on the following Admission Criteria:  60% GPA in nursing prerequisite courses (calculated on the 3 most recent natural sciences, not including nutrition, 3 most recent social sciences, English and statistics), 20% TEAS score, 15% starting coursework at WSU, 5% not repeating or withdrawing from any nursing prerequisite course.

What is the Preferred Admission Contract?

The Preferred Admission Contract is for the new entering first year student declaring nursing as his/her major on admission to WSU.  The student must be ready for college level courses (no 050 or 099 courses) and have an ACT score of 22 or higher.  In order to retain preferred admission status, the student must:

  • have a cumulative college GPA of at least 3.5 at the time of application to the nursing program
  • have received a grade of C or above in all nursing prerequisite classes
  • not have repeated or withdrawn from any nursing prerequisite
  • earn a Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) score of proficient, advanced or exemplary
  • complete an average of 15 credits per semester (at least 45 credits at the time of application to the major)
  • see a WSU nursing advisor every semester 

What is the General Admission Application process?

The general admission application process is designed for students without preferred admission status, transfer students, and WSU students who have changed their major to nursing.  To be eligible to apply to the Nursing major through the general admission application, the student must:

  • have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 at the time of application to the Nursing major
  • have completed at least 45 credits
  • have completed all nursing prerequisite classes with a letter grade of C or higher.  Natural and social science classes must have been completed within the last 5 years.  English and statistics must have been completed within the last 10 years.
  • complete the TEAS test at the time of application

Does the Preferred Admission Contract guarantee that I will get into the Nursing program?

Admission to the Nursing program is very competitive, and enrollment is limited.  The Preferred Admission Contract does not guarantee acceptance to the Nursing program.  However, students who sign the Preferred Admission Contract as first year WSU students and meet contract requirements at the time of application to the major will have first priority for admission to the Nursing program. 

All applications are scored and ranked based on the following Admission Criteria: 60% GPA in nursing prerequisite courses (calculated on the 3 most recent natural sciences, not including nutrition, 3 most recent social sciences, English and statistics), 20% TEAS score, 15% starting coursework at WSU, 5% not repeating or withdrawing from any nursing prerequisite course.

If I have PSEO or AP credits, can I still qualify for the Preferred Admission Contract?

Your PSEO or AP credits are completed while you are in high school, so you are counted as a new entering first year student and can qualify for the Preferred Admission Contract, provided that you are ready for college level courses and have an ACT score of 22 or above.

What if I lose the Preferred Admission Contract?

If you do not qualify for the Preferred Admission Contract when you apply to the Nursing major, you may apply through the General Admission Application process.  See "What is the General Admission Application process?" for more information.

What if I am a transfer student?

Transfer students may apply through the General Admission Application process.

To find out if credits you have already earned will need the nursing prerequisites at WSU, visit www.uselectmn.org to check for course equivalencies.  Please be aware that nursing prerequisites in natural and social sciences must have been completed within the last 5 years, and English and statistics must have been completed within the last 10 years.

Please note:  Transfer students are not eligible to receive points in the Admission Scoring criteria for having started coursework at WSU. 

I started at WSU with another major, but I want to change to Nursing. How do I apply?

You must complete a Declaration/Change to Major/Minor/Licensure Program form to change your major, complete required prerequisite courses, and apply through the General Admission Application process.

Clinicals--what, when, where?

What are clinicals?

  • Clinicals give nursing students hands on experience in hospitals and other healthcare settings
  • Students go to their assigned clinical once a week in a small group, with an assigned faculty member
  • Students have the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned in providing patient care

When do students do clinicals?

  • Clinical rotations are part of the nursing curriculum in each of the four semesters of the nursing major.
  • Students begin clinicals within the first few weeks of their first semester in the major.

Where do students do clinicals?

  • Students assigned to the Winona campus do their clinicals primarily in Winona and La Crosse, WI.
  • Students assigned to the Rochester campus do their clinicals primarily in the Rochester area.

What does it mean if I am accepted to the Nursing program for the Rochester campus?

If you are assigned to the Rochester campus, you will attend classes and complete your clinicals in Rochester.

Do I need my CNA before enrolling at WSU?

You do not need to have your CNA when you begin as a pre-nursing student.  At the time you begin upper division nursing courses, you must be certified as a nursing assistant and be listed as active on the Minnesota Department of Health's Nursing Assistant Registry.  For more information, including information about transferring your CNA from another state, visit www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fpc/profinfo/narinfo/aboutnar.html

For more information about the CNA requirement, please read CNA and CPR FAQs.

How can I arrange a tour of the Nursing Department?

Contact the Nursing Department at 507-457-5120, or 1-800-342-5978 (DIAL WSU) for the WSU switchboard, or email nursing@winona.edu to arrange a time to visit.  If you are planning a campus visit, you may also want to contact Admissions for a campus tour and housing tour.