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Admission/Graduation Requirements

1. Professional Major Admission Policy

Admission into the professional component of the program is selective, based on University, College and agency resources and College of Nursing admission criteria.  Please note that admission to UW Oshkosh as a pre-nursing major does not guarantee acceptance into the professional component of the nursing curriculum.  Based on space availability, educational facilities, resources of the College of Nursing and clinical learning opportunities, it is possible that some qualified students may not be admitted. 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.

Each student has 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 at 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 

If the date falls on a weekend, the deadline is extended to the next regular business day.

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 four weeks for this application to be processed once submitted and fee paid.
  • College of Nursing Professional Major Admission Application.
    • Complete according to deadlines above. The College of Nursing application is available online at

Students applying for BOTH the traditional and accelerated nursing majors:
Students applying and accepted for the Traditional Nursing Major and the Accelerated Nursing Major must choose ONLY one major 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 majors.            

Qualifications For Admission To Professional Nursing Major

Required Criteria:

  • Admission to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

  • Sophomore standing (30 credits completed)

  • Minimum of 3.0 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).

  • Standardized nursing entrance test, the adjusted individual total score and all subject scores at or above the program means, (cost assumed by student).  Please note that the testing company adjusts means periodically.

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

  • Completion of nursing assistant course with clinical component AND CURRENT CNA certification (all states' certifications are accepted for admission purposes).

  • Results of criminal and campus background checks comply with standards required for clinical placement.

Preferred Criteria:

  • Nursing GPA of 3.25 or above.

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

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

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

An interview is typically required.  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:
Prenursing students are expected to meet with an advisor each semester. 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.
4 out of the 6 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 
English Composition WBIS 188 OR ENG 101 OR 110 OR 300 or 310 or 312
Growth and Development Nursing 200 OR Psych 391 OR Ed Foundation 377 
Psychology Psych-101 OR 102 OR 104 OR 110
University Studies  Six credits 

Select any University Studies Program (USP) courses or College of Nursing approved nursing elective, but NOT include the prerequisite courses listed above.

Pre-Nursing GPA:
A student’s admission GPA will be calculated on the above courses (3.00 minimum). If more than 4 science courses are completed, the GPA will be calculated on the best 4 grades. The GPA is calculated to three decimal points.

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

Speech Comm 111 
Introduction to Professional Nursing Nursing 105 
Health Practice with Diverse Population   Nursing 215

Remaining 2 science courses from required list above.

Other Requirements

Computer Competencies
Health agencies use sophisticated computer systems. It is imperative that students are prepared to use computers in nursing practice.  In the nursing major, computer concepts and skills are integrated into courses. Prior to entry into the clinical portion of the nursing major, students must have experience with technology-driven communication including word processing, online searches, email, power point, etc.

Students must purchase a laptop and hand-held computer device for use in the clinical major. Until that time, students may use the computers in Halsey, Polk, Radford, Sage and Swart computer labs.  Information about technology, recommended computer standards, discounted software, and tutorials are located under the technology at:

Health, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (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 follow agencies' policies. New requirements may be added without prior notice. All health and CPR requirements are mandatory to attend clinical courses. For questions, please contact (920) 424-1028 or Fees for immunizations, titers, TB tests, 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.  

Students will be notified about health requirements and deadlines upon admission into the clinical program.  All immunization information must 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 ( 

Students must provide evidence of immunity to: 

  • 2 measles, mumps and rubella immunizations or titers which prove immunity,
  • 2 varicella immunizations or titer (chicken pox),
  • hepatitis B series or titer. (A minimum of 2 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.)
  • An annual influenza immunization
  • an adult Tdap. 

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

TB skin tests and CPR certification are mandatory and are scheduled through the College of Nursing. Students accepted for admission are notified regarding dates scheduled for mandatory TB tests and CPR certification. CPR certification through any other source is not acceptable. The College of Nursing schedule ensures that the requirements are complete for the maximum duration of clinical coursework.

Criminal Background Check
To comply with the State of Wisconsin Caregiver Law, each applicant must complete and submit, along with the application, a criminal history disclosure form.  Students are notifies when they must complete the background check at their own expense through Certified/  Additional background checks may be required.   

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.  The admissions personnel will be guided in part by the provisions of the Wisconsin Caregiver Law and the requirements of the healthcare agencies providing clinical experience.  Certain violations of the law prohibit individuals from working in agencies used for clinical experiences during the nursing program.  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.  Students are encouraged to discuss questions with the Assistant Director of Student Academic Affairs regarding any police contact, to include but not limited to ordinance violations, campus violations, OWI/OUL, pending charges, criminal convictions (misdemeanor and felony).

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 3 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 Traditional Nursing 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 all Undergraduate Student Nurses in all Majors

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.

After admission into the professional major, students must complete all degree requirements within a 5-year time period. Failure to do so may result in being dropped from the program or remediation. 

A student earning a "C-,” "D" or "F" grade in any course of the clinical major cannot progress to subsequent courses in the curriculum.  In order to be considered to repeat the course, an appeal must be submitted to the Undergraduate Academic Standing Committee of the College of Nursing (refer to the College of Nursing Appeal Policy Procedure and an Appeal Form.) Additionally, documents reflecting unprofessional conduct will be considered as part of any appeal.  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. 

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, successful appeal 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 (Pre-Licensure Director).

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.  

3. The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education For Professional Nursing Practice

The 2008 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 lifespan 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 lifespan 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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