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Admission/Graduation Requirements

1. Professional Major Admission Policy

If the admission class is not filled in any given semester, the Academic Standing Committee will provide notice via the CON website of a second admission cycle.

All students have the responsibility for knowing university and college academic policies as they affect his/her status.

Please note the deadlines below and ensure that the application is the current edition for the admission cycle. Applications are generally made available by early July and early December.

Students unsuccessful being admitted in a given semester must submit a new written application in subsequent semesters to be considered for admission.

 Deadlines (by noon):

     August  30                                             

     January 30 

Current University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Students:

Students eligible to apply to the clinical major (see criteria below) must submit the College of Nursing Professional Major Admission Application obtained online at Transcripts are not necessary for current UW Oshkosh students unless courses were taken elsewhere while still progressing at UW Oshkosh.

Prospective University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Students:

Transfer students seeking admission directly into the clinical major must complete two applications:

Undergraduate Admission Application for UW Oshkosh with transcripts.

Application is available online at or at the UW Oshkosh Admission office in Dempsey 135. Please allow a minimum of two weeks for this application to be processed once submitted and fee paid.

College of Nursing Professional Major Admission Application according to deadlines above. The College of Nursing application is available online at

Students applying for BOTH the traditional and accelerated nursing options:

Students applying and accepted for the Traditional option and the Accelerated Nursing Option must choose ONLY one option at a minimum of one week prior to the start of the regular 14 week University semester. Failure to comply with this request will result in the student’s name being removed from the list of accepted students for BOTH options.            

Qualifications For Admission To Professional Nursing Major

Required Criteria:

  • Admission to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

  • Sophomore standing (30 credits completed)

  • Minimum of 2.75 GPA on the completed pre-nursing requirements (see courses listed below)

  • All of the required courses and a total of 45 credits must be completed with a minimum "C" grade by the end of the semester in which you are applying. (CD or C- are not acceptable grades)

  • Standardized nursing entrance test (cost assumed by student)

  • Written statement demonstrating values appropriate for professional nursing (see application)

  • Completion of nursing assistant course with clinical component AND CURRENT CNA certification. 

Preferred Criteria:

  • Nursing GPA of 3.0 or above

  • Certified Nursing Assistant work experience or other relevant health care experience

  • Activities reflecting a service orientation (i.e. community or health care volunteer work, student athlete, etc.)

  • Experience with diverse populations (i.e. varying age groups, developmentally disabled, ethnic groups, individuals with special needs, etc.)


Faculty typically request an interview in addition to the application and additional criteria above. The topic, format and evaluation methods are determined by academic standing committee; forms and additional information can be found on the College of Nursing website.

Required Coursework:

Please note all courses must be completed with a minimum “C” grade (CD or C- are not acceptable grades).

Pre-Nursing Coursework:

These courses must be included in Nursing GPA for application.
Four out of the six required science courses (all include lecture and laboratory):

Biological Concepts Bio-105 OR 230 
Anatomy Bio 211 
Physiology Bio-212 OR 319 
Microbial Survey Bio-233 OR 309 
Chemistry  Chem-101 OR 105 
Biochemistry  Chem-102 OR 106 
College English I  WBIS 188 OR ENG-101 OR 110 OR 202
 Growth and Development Nursing 200 OR Psych 391 OR Ed Foundation 377 
Psychology Psych-101 
University Studies  Six credits 

(Courses selected may be in any University Studies Program course or any nursing elective, but must NOT include the prerequisite courses listed above.)

Pre-Nursing GPA:
A student’s admission GPA will be calculated on the above courses (2.75 minimum). If more than four science courses are completed, the GPA will be calculated on the best four grades. The GPA is calculated to three decimal points.

Additional Pre-Nursing courses:
(These courses must be completed prior to starting in the clinical major.)

Speech Comm 111 
Introduction to Professional Nursing Nursing 105 (UW Oshkosh course only) 

Remaining two science courses (see required list above)

Effective with those entering as Freshmen Fall 2011 and all others applying to Clinical major in Fall 2012 and beyond in addition will be required to complete:

Health Practices with Diverse Population Nursing 215 

Other Requirements

Computer Competencies
Health agencies have been employing increasingly sophisticated computer systems. It is imperative that nursing students be prepared to use computers in their practice.  In the nursing major, you will find computer concepts and skills integrated in your courses. Prior to enrolling in Caring and the Foundations of Nursing, you will be expected to have some experience with a word processing program to aid in completing written work.  

There are computers available to students on the second floor of the Nursing/Education building, Clow computer lab, Swart computer lab and Halsey Science computer lab. Students must purchase a hand-held computer device and laptop for use in the clinical major. You may check the UWO Hardware/Software standards online at:  http://www.acs/

Health, CPR and Criminal Background Check Requirements

The College of Nursing students and faculty are guests when assigned to area clinical agencies for practical experiences. Health, CPR and background check requirements are passed on to students in accordance with agency policies. New requirements may be added without prior notice. All health and CPR requirements are mandatory for eligibility to attend clinical courses. For questions, please contact Deb Talkington at, (920) 424-1028 or Fees for immunizations, titers, TB tests and CPR class and background checks must be paid by the student. 

The requirements must be met prior to beginning the Sophomore II clinical course and maintained throughout the clinical program.  Documentation must be uploaded into student’s account by the deadline, or the student will be removed from the clinical course.  

The health requirements and policy will be sent to accepted students along with information about deadlines. All immunization information will be uploaded into the students account with

Acceptable documentation of immunizations/immunity include a: a) copy of the clinic health record with agency name/address and student name clearly identified -health professional’s signature also preferred, b) clinic or health professional’s letterhead with immunizations recorded and signature, c) lab report of titer results, or d) copy of the Wisconsin Immunization Registry ( 

Documentation from a health care provider must be supplied as evidence of immunity:

  1. Two measles, mumps and rubella immunizations or titers which prove immunity,

  2. Two varicella immunizations or titer (chicken pox),

  3. hepatitis B series or titer. (A minimum of two hepatitis B immunizations are needed by the Sophomore II level with completion of the three shot series completed by the start of Junior I semester.)

  4. An annual influenza immunization e) tetanus-diphtheria (Tdap within the last nine years).  

Immunizations and titers may be obtained through the UW Oshkosh Student Health Center (920) 424-2424.  


TB skin testing and CPR certification are mandatory and will be scheduled through the College of Nursing. Students accepted for admission will be notified regarding dates scheduled for TB testing and CPR certification. CPR certification through any other source is not acceptable. This will ensure that the requirements are complete for the maximum duration of clinical course work.

Criminal Background Check

In compliance with the State of Wisconsin Caregiver Law, each applicant must complete and submit, along with the application, a criminal history disclosure form and sign a release form authorizing the University to conduct a criminal background check on the applicant. The cost of criminal background checks must be paid for by the applicant.  

The results of the criminal background check will be reviewed by the Undergraduate Academic Standing Committee. In determining the effect the results of a criminal background check will have on an applicant’s qualification for the program, admissions personnel will be guided in part by the provisions of the Wisconsin Caregiver Law. This law applies to licensed health care facilities and identifies certain criminal violations that may prohibit individuals from working in these facilities. Information about crimes that constitute a bar to employment under the Wisconsin Caregiver Law and the effect of criminal history on licensure requirements is available through the College of Nursing.  See also, the College of Nursing Policy on Criminal History Search. This policy is subject to revision without prior notice. This requirement is mandatory for eligibility to attend clinical courses.  

Drug and Alcohol Testing
Random drug screening of students may be required by some clinical agencies or the College of Nursing. If required, the cost of the test is the student’s responsibility. 

Time Commitment
The nursing curriculum is challenging, labor intensive and requires commitment and more time than most other courses of study. The curriculum is a full-time course of study. There are multiple courses each semester, including clinical courses which require a minimum of three hours of direct clinical experience per credit hour. This does not include time required for travel, preclinical visits to the clinical agency, or preparation/study prior to and after the clinical day. Clinical hours may be scheduled days, evenings, nights and weekends. Course requirements may include testing during non-scheduled class hours. Students in the College of Nursing are therefore strongly advised to limit their hours of work and/or other non-student commitments during the academic year.  

Nursing is a professional discipline, and students enrolled in the nursing program must anticipate some additional costs that are directly related to the nursing program. These include uniforms, laboratory supplies, nursing textbooks and nursing resource software, standardized tests, criminal background check and associated record costs if court documents are needed, CPR, health requirements and transportation associated with clinical experience. In addition to the costs indicated above, students are expected to have a watch with seconds indicated, nametag, penlight, pocket scissors, stethoscope, sphygmomanometer, hand-held computer device and laptop computer.

Students in the professional nursing program must provide their own transportation to and from clinical experiences. Many clinical experiences will require travel to communities outside the city of Oshkosh.

Some of the above requirements may change. For more information, please contact the College of Nursing Undergraduate Program Office, UW Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Boulevard, Oshkosh, WI 54901, (920) 424-1028.

Nurse Scholars Program

The Nurse Scholars Program is designed to directly admit academically gifted students into the clinical major as freshman. 

Participation in the Nurse Scholars Program provides early admission into the major for qualified students. The Nurse Scholar application must be in coordination with the student's application to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. The link for the application is provided upon request from or

Nurse Scholars Program Requirements: 

Composite ACT score of 28 or higher and ranking in the upper 5% of high school graduation class,


Composite ACT score of 29 or higher and ranking in the upper 10% of high school graduation class,


Composite ACT score of 30 or higher and ranking in the upper 15% of high school graduation class.

To maintain Nurse Scholar eligibility, the student must meet the following requirements during the first two semesters in the pre-professional year:

Maintain a credit load of at least 15 credits per semester


Earn 30 credits by the end of the second semester


Maintain at least a 3.30 grade point average during the freshman year.

The College of Nursing reserves the right to limit enrollment numbers in the Nurse Scholars Program.

2. Progression Policy for Student Nurses

The standards for retention/progression in the College of Nursing are consistent with the University Standards. In addition, the College of Nursing has the following policies. A student must achieve satisfactorily in all aspects of a nursing course to receive a satisfactory grade, i.e., both classroom and clinical. A grade of "C" or better must be obtained in each course in the major field of study in order for the student to continue in the nursing program. It is also required that students earn a "C" or better in all required non-nursing courses.

Five-year limit for completion of CON curriculum

After admission into the professional major, students must complete all degree requirements within a five-year time period. Failure to do so may result in being dropped from the program or remediation.

Clinical nursing major courses

A student earning a "CD,” "D" or "F" grade in any course of the clinical major cannot progress to subsequent courses in the curriculum.  In order to repeat the course, an appeal must be made to the Undergraduate Academic Standing Committee of the College of Nursing (refer to the College of Nursing Appeal Policy and Procedure). The committee will decide whether or not the appeal merits approval. Upon a successful appeal, a student may repeat a failed course based upon the space available. The student must request registration through the Undergraduate Program Assistant.

Progression based upon space available

A student whose curriculum progression has been interrupted for any reason (failure, drop/withdraw, illness, etc.) will only be allowed to continue in each level of the curriculum (following the Academic Standing Committee’s decision) if there is space available. Priority will be given to students who progress without interruption. Students’ placement in course/clinical sections will be the decision of the Undergraduate Program Director.

Effective with incoming Fall 2011 Freshmen and everyone applying for the clinical major Fall 2012 and beyond will follow repeat policy outlined below. Policy currently in place for students submitting an application in Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 permits two repeats of pre-nursing courses without limiting to a maximum of one science repeat.

Repeating Pre-Nursing Courses

Students cannot repeat more than two of the required pre-nursing courses with a maximum of one repeat of any required science course. Students cannot repeat the course more than once. Students exceeding these limits will be removed from the nursing major.


  • The student who has been advised he/she may not continue in the College of Nursing and who believes circumstances warrant an appeal, may do so in writing to the Undergraduate Academic Standing Committee. Refer to the College of Nursing Appeal Policy and Appeal Form.  

  • Faculty will submit their recommendation to the Undergraduate Academic Standing Committee at the time semester grades are submitted.

3. The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education For Professional Nursing Practice

This Essentials document serves to transform baccalaureate nursing education by providing the curricular elements and framework for building the baccalaureate nursing curriculum for the 21st century. 

These Essentials address the key stakeholders’ recommendations and landmark documents such as the Institute of Medicine's recommendations for the core knowledge required of all healthcare professionals. This document emphasizes such concepts as patient-centered care, interprofessional teams, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, patient safety, informatics, clinical reasoning/critical thinking, genetics and genomics, cultural sensitivity, professionalism, and practice across the life span in an ever-changing and complex healthcare environment.

Essentials I – IX delineate the outcomes expected of graduates of baccalaureate nursing programs. Achievement of these outcomes will enable graduates to practice within complex healthcare systems and assume the roles: provider of care; designer/manager/coordinator of care; and member of a profession. Essential IX describes generalist nursing practice at the completion of baccalaureate nursing education. This Essential includes practice-focused outcomes that integrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes delineated in Essentials I – VIII. The time needed to accomplish each Essential will vary, and each Essential does not require a separate course for achievement of the outcomes.

The nine Essentials are:

  • Essential I: Liberal Education for Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice

    • A solid base in liberal education provides the cornerstone for the practice and education of nurses.

  • Essential II: Basic Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Care and Patient Safety

    • Knowledge and skills in leadership, quality improvement and patient safety are necessary to provide high quality health care.

  • Essential III: Scholarship for Evidence Based Practice

    • Professional nursing practice is grounded in the translation of current evidence into one’s practice.

  • Essential IV: Information Management and Application of Patient Care Technology

    • Knowledge and skills in information management and patient care technology are critical in the delivery of quality patient care.

  • Essential V: Health Care Policy, Finance and Regulatory Environments

    • Healthcare policies, including financial and regulatory, directly and indirectly influence the nature and functioning of the healthcare system and thereby are important considerations in professional nursing practice.

  • Essential VI: Interprofessional Communication and Collaboration for Improving Patient Health Outcomes

    • Communication and collaboration among healthcare professionals are critical to delivering high quality and safe patient care.

  • Essential VII: Clinical Prevention and Population Health

    • Health promotion and disease prevention at the individual and population level are necessary to improve population health and are important components of baccalaureate generalist nursing practice.

  • Essential VIII: Professionalism and Professional Values

    • Professionalism and the inherent values of altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity and social justice are fundamental to the discipline of nursing.

  • Essential IX: Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice

    • The baccalaureate graduate nurse is prepared to practice with patients, including individuals, families, groups, communities and populations across the life span and across the continuum of healthcare environments.

    • The baccalaureate graduate understands and respects the variations of care, the increased complexity and the increased use of healthcare resources inherent in caring for patients.

Learning opportunities, including direct clinical experiences, must be sufficient in breadth and depth to ensure the baccalaureate graduate attains these practice-focused outcomes and integrates the delineated knowledge and skills into the graduate’s professional nursing practice. Clinical learning is focused on developing and refining the knowledge and skills necessary to manage care as part of an interprofessional team. Simulation experiences augment clinical learning and are complementary to direct care opportunities essential to assuming the role of the professional nurse. A clinical immersion experience provides opportunities for building clinical reasoning, management and evaluation skills.

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