Nurses promote health, prevent disease, and help patients cope with illness. Nurses are hands-on healthcare professionals who provide focused and highly personalized care. The field has a wide range of career opportunities, ranging from entry-level practitioner to doctoral-level researcher.  (Citation: Explore Health Careers)

Academic Expectations

Specific admission requirements vary per nursing program. Consult with schools of interest to determine their specific admission requirements. A list of generally accepted prerequisite courses for the UNMC College of Nursing, with specific UNL courses that fulfill each requirement, is available by downloading the program checklist above. UNMC and Union College are the only Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs in Nebraska that require coursework to be completed prior to acceptance. For all other BSN programs, all requirements can be completed within the BSN program.

Suggested academic preparation:

  • Undergraduate course work- Nursing programs vary in the amount of coursework that is required prior to entrance. While some programs require the bulk of the coursework to be completed prior to applying, other programs allow students to start the nursing program right after high school without completing any college coursework prior to admission.
  • A competitive application to nursing school is based heavily on the GPA in college courses. UNMC's nursing program typically accepts students who have earned an undergraduate GPA of 3.6. Other competitive GPA's vary per program, but students applying to nursing programs will need to have GPA's of at least 2.5 to be competitive.
  • No UNL major required- Students will earn their degree from the nursing program.
  • CNA registration-Some nursing programs require CNA registration.
  • Some programs accept nursing students to start in spring, summer, and/or fall semesters.

We recommend you meet with an Explore Center advisor once a semester to ensure you are progressing with the correct academic coursework.


Pre-Health students

Professional Degrees

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Although an entry-level nurse can find a job with a three-year RN degree, there is a growing national movement to require all nurses to hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). (Citation: Explore Health Careers). Therefore, the BSN is becoming the entry-level degree for the nursing profession. An increasing number of nursing schools are offering accelerated bachelor's degree programs, which can be completed in one year if a student already has a bachelor's degree.

Traditional BSN programs in Nebraska include: the University of Nebraska Medical Center  (UNMC), Bryan LGH College of Health Sciences, Clarkson College, Union College, Nebraska Methodist College, Midland University, Creighton University, and College of Saint Mary.

Accelerated BSN programs are offered by UNMC, Nebraska Methodist College, and Creighton University. Students applying to accelerated nursing programs must first earn a bachelor's degree.

Because program length and requirements vary among different nursing programs, you are encouraged to research the programs you are interested in. Generally, a student can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 4-5 years of full time study.

After earning a BSN, professional nurses can pursue advanced nursing degrees in Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Registered Nursing (APRN), Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD), and many other advanced nursing degrees.


Pre-Health students

Application Information

University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Nursing

UNMC accepts students once per year to start in the fall semester.

Students can only have 4-5 prerequisite classes left at the time of application to UNMC. Applying is a competitive process, and therefore students are encouraged to consider other schools in addition to UNMC.

Students applying to UNMC must submit their complete applications by February 1st for the following fall semester. UNMC uses a centralized application service called NursingCAS.

Other Nebraska Nursing Programs

Some BSN program in Nebraska use NursingCAS, while others require an application to be submitted directly to the school. Please refer to individual nursing programs for specifics on their application procedures (see Professional Programs section)

You should check with the individual programs, but most nursing schools do not currently require a standardized entrance exam.


Explore this Career

Nebraska Professional Schools

UNMC College of Nursing
Bryan College of Health Sciences
Union College
Clarkson College
Midland University
Creighton University
Nebraska Methodist College
College of Saint Mary