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Nursing Frequently Asked Questions

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Does CWU Have a Nursing Major?

No, but we do offer all of the necessary prerequisite courses for entry into nursing school. Students may pursue any bachelor's degree they wish while completing their nursing prerequisites, but many choose Biology or Public Health, which has specializations in Community Health Education and Pre-Nursing. Students should pursue the course of study they feel best fits their goals, interests, and financial considerations. Seeking academic advising early in the program can help students determine their best course of action. It is important for students to understand that they must transfer to another school to earn their nursing credentials.

How Do I Become a Nurse?

There are many paths interested students can take to earn their nursing credentials. We recommend that students seek advising early to talk about possible options and create their best plan for success.

The two most common paths students take are 1) pursuing a major at Central and graduating with a bachelor's degree before transferring to a nursing program, or 2) completing only their prerequisite courses here before transferring to a nursing school. Students may choose to seek their RN credentials through completing an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), or in some cases, a direct-entry Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. For those students who complete a bachelor's degree at CWU, the University of Washington offers an accelerated BSN programs.

Students must carefully weigh their options to map their ideal path. Considerations should include costs, financial aid limits, career goals, and time to degree completion.

Regardless of which path pre-nursing students take, it is essential for them to complete their prerequisites as soon as possible. There are firm prerequisites for certain courses. For example, students must successfully complete CHEM 113 (which has prerequisites of CHEM 111 and 112) prior to enrolling in BIOL 220. Likewise, BIOL 220 is a prerequisite for BIOL 322. Classes are offered on a somewhat limited basis. For this reason, we strongly encourage students to seek advising as early as possible in the program.

Why Should I Pursue a BSN Degree?

By 2020, it is recommended that 80% of all nurses have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Institute of Medicine. "Future of Nursing." National Academy of Sciences, October 2010). Job opportunities may be more limited for someone without the BSN distinction.  For students who are unsure about whether to pursue a bachelor's degree at CWU before earning the BSN, there are several considerations. Students with a bachelor's degree are often given preference for spots in nursing school and can choose to do an accelerated BSN program. In addition, a bachelor's degree will give qualified students employment opportunities even if they are not successful at earning a highly competitive spot in a nursing program.

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