School of Nursing

Lucille Krull, Dean; Trudy Klein, Associate Dean; Rosemarie Buck Khng, Emilie Butler, Debbie Lampson, Mary McClay, Michelle MacLachlan, Michaelynn Paul, Karen Tetz, Jan Thurnhofer, Lynn Wagner.

The School of Nursing offers a four-year program leading to a baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing. The purpose of the program is to prepare professional nurses to function in a variety of settings and to provide a foundation for graduate study.

The freshmen and sophomore years of the nursing curriculum are taken on the College Place campus and include a combination of general studies, nursing cognates, and nursing courses. The junior and senior years are taken on the Portland, Oregon campus. A limited number of students who have completed the required prerequisites and admissions procedures can take sophomore nursing courses during the summer term on the Portland campus.

The Portland campus is located adjacent to the Adventist Medical Center. The nursing education building houses teachers' offices, classrooms, and the library. The Howard F. Hansen Hall is the residence for students on the Portland campus.

The School has contractual agreements for student clinical experience in a variety of settings, including community hospitals, service agencies, home-care and extended care facilities, and schools.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to apply for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in the jurisdiction of choice. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) serves as an additional resource for information regarding required tuition, fees, and length of program.


The School of Nursing is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. The program is approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission and the Oregon State Board of Nursing.


Applicants must first apply for admission online to the University through Marketing and Enrollment Services. See the admission requirements to the University. Additional requirements are listed below for each student category.

Once admitted to the University and prior to entering the first clinical nursing course (usually before beginning the sophomore year), each student must be accepted to the School of Nursing as a nursing major. A separate online nursing application must be submitted. Priority will be given to qualified applicants with 24 or more credits from WWU including past and current enrollment. Applicants must have been enrolled at WWU within the past two quarters at the time of application to be given this priority.

  1. Have an acceptable grade point average (see categories below) and submit all official transcripts. Credits in Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, and Microbiology that are more than five years old will not be applied as cognates.
  2. Submit the completed online School of Nursing application.
  3. Submit two additional letters of recommendation besides the one required for admission to the University (prefer teacher, employer, or co-worker).
  4. Have a passing score on the required entrance tests; reading comprehension, critical thinking/reasoning, and math. Schedule with adviser. See the Financial Bulletin for required testing fee.
  5. Have a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper test) or 213 (computer based test) for those whose native language is not English. This must be passed before taking the reading comprehension, critical thinking/reasoning, and math tests.

After acceptance into the School of Nursing, the following are required:

  1. A fee is required to secure a place in the program. The fee will be applied to tuition. If the applicant does not enroll in the program, the fee is not refundable (See Financial Bulletin for fee amounts).
  2. Each nursing student is subject to a security check. The School of Nursing reserves the right to deny admission or remove students from the nursing program who have records of misconduct, legal or otherwise, that would jeopardize their professional performance. State licensure boards reserve the right to deny licensure in their states if applicants have a criminal history.
  3. Have required immunizations and TB testing. Submit immunization records to Campus Health and Wellness Office for the College Place, Washington, campus or to the School of Nursing for the Portland, Oregon, campus.
  4. Obtain health insurance. Provide necessary information on the WWU health care insurance plan form, required yearly, or whenever health insurance is changed.
  5. Prior to taking clinical coursework, a student must obtain current American Heart Association cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification for health care providers. Submit a copy of your CPR-health care provider card to the School of Nursing. Current CPR certification must be maintained while enrolled in the nursing program
  6. Purchase the standard School of Nursing uniform, available at the School of Nursing office. (The uniform is the same for both campuses.)

Additional admission requirements must be met for each of the following categories in the nursing program.

Category 1, Fall Nursing Applicant: College Place, Washington, campus. In addition to the admission requirements above, applicants must have successfully completed prerequisite courses and have a GPA of 2.75 or above. The School of Nursing begins reviewing applicants on April 15 and continues until the class is full. Applicants will be notified of their status by the School of Nursing.

Category 2, Summer Entry Applicant; Portland, Oregon, campus. In addition to the admission requirements above, applicants must have a 3.25 GPA or above and have successfully completed at least 85 credits of the required cognates, general studies, and electives that apply to the nursing major. The School of Nursing begins reviewing applicants on February 1 and continues until the class is full. Applicants will be notified of their status by the School of Nursing.

Category 3, Transfer Student from Another Nursing Program. In addition to the admissions requirements above, the applicant must:

  1. Be a current student or a student within the past two years of an accredited school of nursing. The applicant must be in good standing with the previous institution with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 and no grade of C- or below in nursing classes or cognate courses.
  2. Submit a letter of recommendation from the dean of the school of nursing from which the applicant is transferring.
  3. Submit nursing class syllabi as requested for evaluation. Placement in nursing courses will be determined by review of syllabi from completed nursing courses. The previous nursing school may be consulted concerning their curriculum content and sequence. General studies and cognate courses will be transferred according to WWU policy. Transfer students will be evaluated individually to determine program placement and accepted on a space-available basis.

Category 4, Registered Nurse (RN) Applicant. In addition to the admission requirements above, applicants must:

  1. Hold an associate degree in nursing from a regionally accredited college and have at least a 2.75 GPA.
  2. Have an unrestricted registered nurse license in the State of Oregon. Submit a copy of this license to the School of Nursing. License must remain unrestricted throughout the program.
  3. Submit to the School of Nursing a letter of recommendation from the director of the school of nursing from which the applicant graduated; or from the employer if applicant is more than five years from graduation.
  4. Complete validation process. The School of Nursing does not directly transfer in nursing courses from another school of nursing, but uses a process of validation of previous nursing education to give advanced placement to RN's with an associate degree in nursing. Placement in the program is determined by completed cognates and general studies courses and by validation examination on a space-available basis.
    1. The licensed RN who completed an associate degree in nursing and passed the NCLEX-RN more than five years prior is required to pass a standardized examination to validate nursing knowledge. (Fee Applies). After passing the validation exam, the student will receive credit; see course description NRSG 291 and NRSG 391.
    2. The licensed RN who completed an associate degree in nursing and passed the NCLEX-RN within five years is not required to take a validation examination. Upon providing proof of licensure in Oregon and an official A.D. transcript, the student will receive credit; see course description NRSG 291 and NRSG 391.

Category 5, Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). In addition to the above admission requirements, the LPN applicant must:

  1. Have an unrestricted LPN license in any state. Submit a copy to the School of Nursing. License must remain unrestricted throughout the program.
  2. Have at least a 2.75 GPA with no grades of C- or below in prior nursing courses or cognate courses.
  3. Have completed 85 transferrable credits of required cognates, general studies and electives that apply to the nursing major. Applicants are accepted on a space-available basis.
  4. Take a standardized examination to validate nursing knowledge and receive advanced standing as a junior level student. (Fee Applies.) After passing the validation exam, the student will receive credit; see course description NRSG 290.

Progression and Graduation Requirements

Any student with a WWU grade-point average less than 2.75 will be placed on conditional progression status and be limited to 12 credits for the following quarter. If after one quarter, the student has not achieved a 2.75 GPA, he or she may not enroll in another clinical nursing course until the GPA is above 2.75. Clinical courses may be repeated to improve the GPA if space is available.

Students who receive a grade lower than a C or withdraw because they are failing in a required nursing course cannot enroll in further nursing courses until approved to register by the School of Nursing Dean. A written request for approval to register and a written plan for improvement must be submitted. Approval to register is granted or denied on a case-by-case basis by the nursing faculty. If a request is denied, the student is dismissed from the nursing program.

Readmission to the School of Nursing is also contingent upon meeting the following criteria: 1) meet all admission requirements and 2) complete all outstanding work including standardized examinations. Readmission is not guaranteed and space for re-entering students may be limited.

A passing grade in a course cannot be achieved without the successful completion of the clinical portion. An unsatisfactory clinical grade or a grade below C in the theory portion of any clinical course requires that the total course be repeated, both theory and clinical, prior to further progression in the program. Students with an incomplete in a clinical nursing course, NRSG 211, NRSG 212, NRSG 213, NRSG 321, NRSG 331, NRSG 344, NRSG 421, NRSG 437, NRSG 441, cannot begin the next clinical course until the incomplete is removed.

Standardized examinations are given after completion of designated sophomore and junior nursing courses. Students who fail to achieve a satisfactory score must enroll in remedial courses. Students who do not pass a standardized examination in three attempts must stop progression in the nursing program. Exam material must be reviewed by auditing the theory component of the course connected with the exam. After auditing the class, students have one more chance to take the exam. If students still do not pass the exam on the fourth attempt, they may not continue as nursing majors. All sophomore and junior level standardized tests must be passed prior to entrance into any senior nursing classes.

Students must earn a grade of C or better in every required nursing course within a level of course work before progressing to a higher level.

During the last quarter of the senior year, two standardized comprehensive nursing examinations are given. A passing score must be achieved on one exam to graduate. Graduation will be delayed and the student will not be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN until a satisfactory score is achieved.

Students who are judged to be unsafe practitioners will be removed from the clinical area and are subject to dismissal as nursing majors.

Students must graduate within two years of completion of nursing courses to be recommended to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

Student Responsibilities

The School of Nursing Student Handbook is given to all nursing students. Students have the responsibility to acquaint themselves with its contents and are held accountable for all policies therein.

Students are responsible for their own transportation to agencies used for educational experience. The use of a car is essential for each student to reach clinical sites. Transportation costs, including auto insurance, are the student's responsibility.

Some clinical agencies require an additional background security check and a drug screening. Students are responsible for any fee.

Any student missing class or lab time during the first week of a quarter for any reason, is required to make up that time with the instructor. The student will be charged a fee for each instructor hour of this make-up time. See Financial Bulletin. Students electing not to make up the time missed must withdraw from the course.