Undergraduate Nursing Program Admission

The Undergraduate Nursing program has a competitive admissions process for the Pre-Licensure Nursing major. 

There is also an admission process for the RN-BS Completion Program.

Pre-Licensure Nursing Program Admission Process

Admission Criteria

Students must meet all requirements before applying to the WSU Pre-Licensure Nursing program

There are two admissions routes: Direct Admission and Holistic Admission. Most students go through the Holistic Admission process. 

Undergraduate Nursing Department policies and requirements are subject to change.

Direct Admission Criteria

Direct admission guarantees admission to the nursing major for students with exceptional ACT/SAT scores who earn excellent college grades.

Students who meet the eligibility requirements may apply no earlier than their first semester at WSU to begin the major in their second semester.

  • Have a composite ACT of 27 or above, or SAT of 1280 or above
  • Be a new entering first semester student
  • Declaring a pre-nursing major (PNDA) when enrolling at WSU

The Direct Admission Agreement must be completed within the first 2 weeks of your first semester as a degree-seeking student at WSU.

Direct Admission status guarantees admission when these requirements are maintained:

  • Cumulative college GPA of at least 3.75 at time of application to nursing major
  • Earn a grade of C or better in all nursing prerequisite classes
  • No withdrawal from or repeat of nursing prerequisite classes once enrolled at WSU
    • If you completed grade-bearing college credits while in high school and received a grade of W, D, or F in a nursing prerequisite course, you may repeat the course prior to your first day of class as a new entering first semester student at WSU without invalidating your eligibility for Direct Admission
  • Complete at least 10 hours of community service work per semester while a degree-seeking student at WSU
  • See assigned WSU nursing advisor every semester
  • Complete an interview about interest in nursing with assigned advisor prior to application
  • Meet all eligibility requirements for application to the major no later than the end of the your third semester at WSU

If you do not maintain direct admission status, you may apply through Holistic Admission.

You must first complete the Declaration of Major/Minor Form to change major code to “Nursing Candidate Holistic – PNHA” to apply through Holistic Admission.

Holistic Admission Criteria

This route is for students without direct admission status and transfer students. Most students take this application route. 

Holistic Admission applicants may qualify for the interview process based on their scores on the Academic Achievement and Personal Achievement criteria.

  • Cumulative college GPA of at least 3.0
  • ACT/SAT score at time of first course as new entering first semester student at WSU
  • Meet requirements for completed prerequisites and college credits

If you haven’t taken the ACT or SAT within 5 years, you can use ATI TEAS scores instead.

  • Volunteer/Community Service: 10 hours a semester
  • Personal Statement: including motivation to be a nurse, influences for this decision, and experiences in healthcare
  • 2 references

Choose people who can reflect on your growth and development over a period of time as your references:

  • One reference must be from a professor. This cannot be your nursing advisor.
  • One reference should be from an employer or someone who knows you well enough to comment on your personal qualities. This cannot be your family members or friends.

Candidates must complete the Undergraduate Nursing Candidate Reference Request.

Be prepared to fill in names, email addresses, and phone numbers for your references. Be sure to enter information accurately.

When you submit your form, your references will receive an email with a link to a reference form to complete. All references must be submitted through the reference form and received by the application due date.

You’ll receive a confirmation email when your references are submitted and may track completion under the My Submitted Forms tab in WarriorSpace.

Prerequisite Courses 

Pre-nursing students must complete prerequisite courses to be eligible to apply to the Pre-Licensure (Generic Option) nursing major. 

When applying, you must have a grade of C or better in:

  • At least 4 of 5 Natural Sciences (at least 3 lab courses, not including Nutrition). If a student chooses to complete CHEM 212 and 213, the student may apply after completing 4 of 6 natural sciences.
  • At least 3 of 4 Social Sciences
  • English 111 or equivalent
  • Statistics 110 or equivalent

Any remaining prerequisites must be completed before starting the major. 

CategoryCourse CodeCourse TitleNotes
Natural SciencesBIOL 211Anatomy & Physiology I
Natural SciencesBIOL 212 Anatomy & Physiology II
Natural SciencesBIOL 209Microbiology
Natural SciencesCHEM 210General, Organic & BiochemistryIf CHEM 210 is taken, CHEM 212 and 213 are not required.
Natural SciencesCHEM 212Principles of Chemistry IIYou must also take CHEM 213. If both CHEM 212 and 213 are taken, CHEM 210 is not required.
Natural SciencesCHEM 213Principles of Chemistry IIYou must also take CHEM 212. If both CHEM 212 and 213 are taken, CHEM 210 is not required.
Natural SciencesHERS 205Nutrition for Lifetime WellnessIf HERS 205 is taken, BIOL 206 is not required.
Natural SciencesBIOL 206Normal NutritionIf BIOL 206 is taken, HERS 205 is not required.
Social SciencesPSY 210 Introduction to Psychological Science
Social SciencesPSY 250Developmental Psychology
Social SciencesSOC 150Introduction to Sociology
Social SciencesSOC 212Sociology of Families
OtherENG 111 College Reading & Writing
OtherSTAT 110, STAT 210 or equivalentFundamentals of Statistics

Community Service Hours 

All Direct Admission (PNDA) and Holistic Admission (PNHA) candidates must complete at least 10 hours of volunteer service per fall and spring semester while a degree-seeking student at WSU (PNDA or PNHA) or RCTC (PNHA only). 

Learn more about volunteer/community service hours (PDF).

Additional Requirements

You must complete the following requirements before you begin the upper division nursing major:

  • Be certified as a nursing assistant, and be listed as “active” on a Nursing Assistant Registry within the United States
  • Be certified in CPR for One & Two Person, Infant, Child and Adult (only American Heart Association or American Red Cross Basic Life Support (BLS))
  • Provide a copy of CNA & CPR certifications to the Department of Undergraduate Nursing through the Student Passport system (students receive access to the Student Passport system once admitted to the nursing major)
  • Pass Minnesota and/or Wisconsin and National background checks to be eligible for clinical experiences
  • Complete Health Information forms required by the Undergraduate Nursing Department

Find details about health requirements in the Section IV.B.1 of the Undergraduate Pre-Licensure BS Nursing Student Handbook (PDF). Health information is submitted through the Student Passport system.

See CNA and CPR FAQs (PDF) for more information.

Apply to the Pre-Licensure Nursing Program

Applications are available from Aug 1. – Oct. 1 for spring admissions and from Nov. 1 – Feb. 1 for fall admissions. You will start Term 1 Nursing programs in the following semester once you are admitted.

We will contact applicants after the application deadline with information about the Holistic Admission interview date.

Apply the Undergraduate Nursing Program

RN-BS Completion Admission Process

Before you can be considered for admission into the Undergraduate Nursing Department, you must first apply for admission to WSU.

Apply early to secure a seat in the RN-BS Program for the semester you want to begin.

Get Admitted to the RN-BS Program

Once you receive your acceptance notification from WSU, contact the RN-BS Program at 507.285.7349 or email rn-bscompletion@winona.edu to set up an appointment with your academic advisor.

You will be provided with your academic advisor’s name and contact information to schedule a time to discuss plan of study and orientation to the program.

Student advising is done on a rolling basis, and seats are limited each semester.

Admission Criteria

A DARS cumulative GPA of 2.5 is required for admission into the RN-BS Completion Program. A 2.5 cumulative grade point average is required.

If a student has less than 2.5 GPA, then the most recent 50 credits are counted to determine if a 2.5 has been met.

Students whose GPA is less than 2.5 are encouraged to meet with the Nursing Department Chair.

An RN license is required within the first semester (determined by advisor).

Applicants who received associate degrees in nursing prior to 1985 and graduates of diploma nursing programs should contact the Nursing Department Chair.

Complete Remaining Requirements

You will receive your official acceptance letter from the Department of Nursing with the next steps, such as:

  • Sign up for Student Passport
  • Complete all the necessary requirements for clinicals including immunizations, RN License, CPR and other important documents
  • Register for classes

You can enroll in necessary electives or statistics, if needed prior to starting nursing courses.

If you have any questions or need help, connect with your Nursing Advisor or the Administrative Assistant.   

Contact the Department of Undergraduate Nursing
Winona Campus
Stark Hall 303

Winona, MN 55987


Email the Undergraduate Nursing Department at Winona
Rochester Campus
WSU-Rochester Center

859 30th Avenue SE

Rochester, MN 55904


Email the Undergraduate Nursing Department at WSU-Rochester