College of Nursing and Health Sciences


All students interested in nursing must first apply for admission to the university following the regular university admission procedures and are assigned an academic adviser by the university.  Application for admission to the nursing program is a subsequent step and depends upon meeting specific admission requirements.

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences welcomes the opportunity to give guidance in program planning to students in high school who have chosen nursing or are considering it as a career. These students are encouraged to include courses in high school which provide the best foundation for study at the university and in the major field. Recommended are:

English4 units
Chemistry1-2 units
Physics1 units
Biology1-2 units
Foreign Language 12 units
Algebra2 units
Geometry1 units
History1-2 units
Social Studies3 units
Speech1 units

Two units of one language, e.g., French, German, Spanish.

Admission to the Traditional Undergraduate Pre-licensure Nursing Program

Formal application to the traditional undergraduate pre-licensure nursing program must be made. A student must first be admitted to UW-Eau Claire as a pre-nursing student and be in good standing before applying to the nursing program. Students are encouraged to apply to the nursing program during the semester in which 30 credits will be completed. The deadlines for filing applications to the College of Nursing and Health Sciences nursing program are May 1 and December 1 for the Eau Claire campus; May 1 and December 1 for the Marshfield Site.

In order to be considered for admission to the nursing program, one must have (also see notes):

  1. been accepted as a pre-nursing student in the University in good standing.
  2. completed at least 30 semester credits, not including courses for nursing assistant certification, with a total cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.
  3. completed at least three of the five required natural science courses, two of which are laboratory science courses, with a GPA of at least 2.50.
  4. earned a grade of C or above in all courses required for nursing.
  5. completed and submitted all application materials including but not limited to quality essay and nonrefundable application fee(s).
  6. completed all clinical and health record, CPR certification, background check, and other related requirements upon admission to the program.

Notes: Evidence of certification as a Nursing Assistant must be submitted prior to registration for sophomore nursing clinical courses (NRSG 267) following admission to the Nursing Program. Remedial coursework (e.g., MATH 20) does not count towards the 30 required credits. CHEM 105 and CHEM 106 together constitute one course for the purpose of the nursing admission criteria; must achieve a grade of C or better in both CHEM 105 and CHEM 106 (not an average of the two). See Academic Standards.

Other data utilized by the Admissions Committee are derived from a variety of sources including but not limited to applications for admission to the University and the nursing program, high school transcript showing rank in class, previous collegiate records, and standardized tests such as ACT or SAT. International, non-native speakers of English applying to an undergraduate nursing program must have a TOEFL score as follows: TOEFL Written >560 (or IELTS score of 6.5); or TOEFL (CBT) >220; or TOEFL (iBT) >83.

The College may find it necessary to deny admission to a qualified applicant because of enrollment limits in the professional program. Depending on the number of qualified applicants, it is likely that the GPA required to be competitive for admission may be well above the 3.00 minimum cumulative GPA.

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Marshfield instructional site is not approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to issue I-20s or host F visa holders.

The Nurse Scholars Program provides conditional admission to the nursing program for those high achieving pre-nursing students who have been invited to enter the Nurse Scholars and University Honors programs (see University Honors) at the time of admission to the University. Students eligible for the Nurse Scholars Program are identified at the time of admission to the University and must accept the offer when invited. Students switching majors from or to nursing are not eligible. The Nursing Dean’s office contacts the students who are eligible for the program. Eligibility is determined by identified major, high school class rank, ACT score, and admission to University Honors. To maintain Nurse Scholar eligibility for admission to the nursing program, the pre-nursing student must continue to major in nursing (cannot switch majors) and meet specific UW-Eau Claire credit, GPA, and Honors course criteria, as well as additional admission requirements as applicable to all pre-nursing students. Further information is available from the Associate Dean for the college. Pre-nursing students participating in University Honors who believe they mistakenly may not have received a Nurse Scholar invitation must contact the Associate Dean no later than mid-August, prior to starting courses at UW-Eau Claire.

Admission to the BSN Completion Program

The BSN Completion Program is for practicing registered nurses with an associate degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited nursing program who wish to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Formal application to the BSN Completion Program must be made in the semester prior to enrolling in nursing courses.

To be considered for admission to the BSN Completion Program, students must have (also see notes):

  • Graduated with an associate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited nursing program with a minimum grade point average of 2.50.
  • A current Wisconsin or Minnesota RN license.
  • Been admitted to UW-Eau Claire in good standing.
  • Completed at least 30 credits of transferable liberal education/general education courses with a total grade point average of at least 2.50.
  • Completed at least three of the five required science courses, with a grade point average of at least 2.50.
  • Earned a grade of C or above in all courses required for nursing.
  • Completed and submitted all application materials (including but not limited to: application, nonrefundable application fee(s), official transcript from associate degree or diploma program, evidence of Wisconsin or Minnesota RN licensure). 

Notes: Examples of national accreditation for nursing programs include NLN, NLNAC, and ACEN. CHEM 105 and CHEM 106 together constitute one course for the purpose of the nursing admission criteria. If completed courses at UWEC, resident GPA must be at least 2.50 or better (a requirement to be in good standing in nursing). Wisconsin or Minnesota RN licensure required for full admission and must be maintained throughout the program. Appropriate RN licensure required for clinical placement.

Health/Clinical Requirements

Admitted students must present evidence of having met current health requirements, such as immunity against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, varicella, rubeola (measles), mumps, rubella, and hepatitis B, annual influenza vaccination, and tuberculin skin testing (evidence of two-step TB skin test is required if the student has never been tested for TB). Please refer to the specific health requirement information delineated on the College website. Additional vaccinations and testing including laboratory titers and medical follow-up may be required. To secure admission acceptance, all health requirements, evidence of CPR certification, background check information, etc. must be submitted, along with the appropriate fee(s).

Admitted students must maintain their immune status against infectious diseases. Tuberculin skin tests are offered at the Student Health Service. Any student whose skin test converts from negative to positive while enrolled in the program must have a chest X-ray and a medical evaluation, and provide a statement of the clinician’s findings and recommendations. Besides the specific health and clinical requirements delineated on the college website, students at the Marshfield Site also must follow the health and clinical requirements of Marshfield Clinic Health System to participate in those clinical rotations. Annual interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) including QFT-Gold and T-Spot results may be acceptable in lieu of TB skin test results. Students are not permitted to participate in clinical course work and experiences unless all immunizations, TB tests, CPR certification, background checks, and other health or clinical requirements are current and cleared/approved. Clinical facilities may have additional requirements, such as COVID-19 vaccinations, which must be met. Non-immune status may affect clinical placement and ability to progress or complete the program. BSN Completion program and graduate students must have current and appropriate RN licensure for admission and for clinical placement and participation; the RN licensure must be maintained throughout the duration of the program, including Wisconsin or Minnesota RN licensure for BSN Completion students and Wisconsin RN licensure for graduate students.

All expenses associated with health surveillance and care are borne by the student unless the Student Health Service specifically indicates otherwise. Students are not covered by health or accident insurance by UW-Eau Claire, the College, the practicum facility, or the practicum institution. In addition, workers’ compensation insurance does not cover students while engaged in clinical practice. If a student suffers a needle stick or is injured while in practicum, they are personally responsible to pay for all medical bills and therefore will need personal health insurance.  

Due to occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials, health care workers are at risk of acquiring Hepatitis B Virus infection and other serious infections.  Students are considered to be at increased risk for needle-stick injuries.  Such accidents can also be costly (e.g., student and patient testing, ER injury management, chemoprophylaxis, and potential illness care).  The student, not the College, University, or clinical agency, is responsible for these expenses should an accidental exposure occur during a clinical experience.

Some clinical sites require students to show proof of health insurance; therefore, students are required to maintain health insurance for the duration of their education.  Students must be able to provide proof of personal health insurance coverage if requested. Students are under a continuing obligation to notify the dean's office of the college of any lapse in personal health insurance coverage.

Students in need of accommodations are to work with the Services for Students with Disabilities Office to provide documentation and are to contact the appropriate course faculty as soon as possible, preferably prior to the start of each term.

CPR Certification

All applicants must hold Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification at the Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (American Red Cross) or Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider (American Heart Association) level. Evidence of CPR certification must be submitted at the time of admission. Admitted students must keep their certification current.

Student Background Check Requirements

Based on Wisconsin State law, clinical agencies must have completed background checks for all students. Consequently, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences requires students admitted to the nursing programs to complete background check materials which are submitted by the students to conducts Wisconsin and out of state criminal record and healthcare fraud and abuse searches, and includes the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) Background Information Disclosure (BID), a release for a Wisconsin Department of Justice Criminal Background Check. More information regarding the Wisconsin Caregiver Law can be obtained from DHFS’s Web site. Students participating in clinicals in Minnesota may be required to complete further background checks (with associated fees). Additional, including out of state background checks (with associated fees) may be required by the college and by the clinical agencies. Clinical agencies may conduct further background checks. In addition to providing student background check findings, some clinical agencies require the College to submit photo images of students for identification and safety surveillance purposes.

Final admission status to the nursing program is contingent upon return of criminal background check(s) with no findings that would prevent participation in the program. Because of background check or BID findings, clinical agencies may refuse placement of students. This may prevent progression in or completion of the program. The findings also may affect future licensure, licensure good standing, and employment. A criminal history is not an automatic bar to clinical agency placement, program progression, licensure/certification, and/or future employment. Admitted students are under a continuing obligation to notify the Dean’s Office at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences of any new or pending charges or violations of federal, state, and local laws or the campus student conduct code, or RN licensure encumbrances or status changes that occur at any future date and during their tenure as College of Nursing and Health Sciences students. Failure to notify the college may result in loss of good academic standing in the college and an inability to progress in the program.

Transfer Students

Any student anticipating transfer to the university for the nursing degree is urged to consult the university Admissions Office as early as possible for information about GPA and course requirements for admission and for the degree requirements (see specific nursing program admission requirements). Official review of the student’s academic record is made by the University Office of Admissions.

Applicants to the nursing program who have completed nursing courses in an accredited baccalaureate nursing program at another college or university setting will be considered on an individual basis, but will likely need to complete the nursing application process. Acceptance will be determined by overall quality of academic record and application, space availability, and the articulation of courses with those offered by the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Readmission to Nursing Program

Students who withdraw from the program and wish to return for completion must send a letter to the Dean requesting readmission to the nursing program at least three months in advance of the desired readmission date. Applicants must meet the current admission requirements of the nursing program. Students likely may be asked to reapply to the program, especially if significant time has passed or if curricular changes or other circumstances have occurred.

Readmission consideration will be given to the length of absence, the reasons for withdrawal, the student’s ability to achieve and academic standing, progress made to rectify any previous concerns or difficulties, and the availability of spaces in the clinical courses in which the student would enroll.  If readmission is granted, the remaining program will be planned as considered best for the student and according to the current curriculum.

College Graduation Requirements

Degree Requirements

To qualify for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the candidate must present at least 120 semester credits with a total and resident GPA of at least 2.50; must meet all university requirements for graduation; and must meet all nursing program requirements for the degree.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Policy. No course required for the degree in nursing may be taken on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. Audit enrollment is not allowed.