Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What do the acronyms LPN, BSN, RN, PN mean?
The acronyms listed all over this Web site are the types of nursing degrees offered:


Degree type

Time for completion


Licensed Practical Nurse to Bachelor's of Science in Nursing

121-122 Credit Hours


Registered Nurse to Bachelor's of Science in Nursing

121-122 Credit Hours


Bachelor's of Science in Nursing

4 years

PN Practical Nursing Certificate 45 Credit Hours

What are the pre-nursing requirements?
CH 109 Chemistry       4
BI 201 Human Anatomy           4
BI 202 Human Physiology        5
PY 100 Psychology      4
SO 101 Sociology (or AH 102-see timeline)        4
BI 203A Medmicrobiology          3
HN 301A&B Nutrition for Health Professionals

Must all pre-nursing courses be completed before admission to the nursing sequence?
Yes. The pre-nursing program was designed to meet specific needs in the nursing curriculum.

Does a bachelor's degree in another field enhance an applicant's chances of being accepted?

What is the deadline for application?
February 1 for fall entrance; October 1 for winter entrance.  April 1 (PN Program Only).

How many entry points are there per year into the School of Nursing?
Two. Fall and winter semester.
One (PN Program Only). Fall semester

Are letters of recommendation required?
Not at this time.

Does work experience in a health-care facility better an applicant's chances of being selected?
No. It is more important that you get a good college preparation program in high school. Frequently students take nurse aid-type courses in high school at the expense of getting chemistry, algebra and other critical science and math courses. Work experience may help you better decide about your nursing career, however, proper academic preparation in math and science will result in greater success in college.

When will notification of acceptance or rejection be made?
Normally not later than the beginning of the pre-registration period, provided application is complete and current when submitted.

Are applicants selected strictly according to cumulative GPA (grade point average)?
No. The admission criteria scoring grid will be used to determine admission to the BSN Program starting with applications submitted by Feb 1st 2012.

How many spaces are available in each class?
Approximately 40-50 per semester.

What will happen to the remaining qualified applicants?
Those qualified applicants who were not admitted will be held on a reserve list until the first week of the semester. Applicants from this list will be admitted (in rank order) should any vacancies occur. Following the first week of the semester all lists will be invalidated and those wishing to be considered for future classes must reapply.

Who makes up the Admissions Committee?
Faculty and the department head.

What is a provisional acceptance?
When a student is notified of a provisional acceptance, this means that a space has been reserved for him/her in the School of Nursing for the following class. This becomes a full acceptance upon successfully completing any remaining prerequisites and/or maintaining grade point averages.

Once admitted to the nursing program, how long will it take to complete nursing course requirements?
Approximately two and a half years.

Can a student accelerate and graduate in less than five semesters?
Not when admitted into the traditional program.

Will I have to attend school during the summer?
The traditional curriculum does not incorporate summer school sessions in the program of study, however the fast track does. Many students, however, choose to take some non-nursing courses during the summer so that they have a lighter course load in the regular academic year.

Can a student take nursing courses without being enrolled in the School of Nursing?
A student must be accepted into the nursing program to take nursing courses.

What is the status of freshmen students?
Freshmen and others completing the pre-nursing requirements are classified as "pre-nursing" students and, as such, are assigned an adviser from the School of Nursing.

How can students get an application for admission to the nursing major?
Applications are available from the School of Nursing office and online.

What courses from other institutions will transfer?
All non-nursing courses in which a passing grade was received and that are collegiate level are usually acceptable for transfer credit. Completed nursing courses from another nursing school will be reviewed by nursing faculty. Please contact the Admissions office for further information.

Is there a Student Nurses Association at Northern?
Yes -- contact the School of Nursing for meeting times and places. Freshmen or new students are encouraged to join.

Are there student loans available to help with my education?
Yes. In fact, there are several loans available specific to nursing students. Check with the Financial Aid office for more specific information.

Are scholarships available for nursing students?
Yes. Scholarship information is available from the Financial Aid office or

Once I've been admitted to the nursing major, must I always maintain a cumulative grade point average?
Yes. While you are in the Nursing Major, you must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.25.

How do I keep up with changes that might occur?
The SNA (Student Nurses Association) is the official communication system between students and faculty. Representatives of the SNA serve as members of various departmental committees. Changes may also be discussed in special meetings or in classrooms, and will be reflected in advising materials and the student handbook, which is available online.

What if I fail a nursing course?
You must immediately discuss your problem with your nursing adviser and reapply for placement into the course. Note: you may repeat a nursing course only once.

What rights and responsibilities do I have as a student?
Two publications, Student Code and Student Rights and Responsibilities, are available from the Dean of Students Office or online. They detail NMU's rules and regulations and also describe the grievance procedures that students may utilize.

What is the testing sequence and why is it required?

Each semester students take a national standardized test (HESI) in the content area they are studying. They receive written feedback on their test results and a study plan is provided for them if their performance on the exam indicates they need this.

In addition to the content exams each semester of the BSN program, the HESI exit exam prepares students to be successful on the RN licensure exam after graduation. Students will also participate in a three-day pre-RN review course.

The purpose of this review-testing package is to assist students in their progression through the BSN nursing program and to be successful on their RN licensing exam after graduation. Many nursing programs are using this method to ensure success of nursing graduates on the NCLEX-RN.

Course (Test Package) No.

Course Title

Enroll semester you are in:

NE 002

Review Test

NE 204

NE 003

Mental Health Nursing Review Test (2 exams)

NE 301/302

NE 004

Medical/Surgical Review Tests

NE 311/312

NE 005

Pediatric Nursing Review Exam

NE 371/372

NE 009


NE 381/382

NE 007

Community Health Review

NE 420/421

NE 010

Pharmacology Review Test

NE 422

NE 012

Exit Exam

NE 435