Pre-Nursing Frequently Asked Questions

Student Center


Advisement Questions
Can I earn my BSN from the University of Nevada, Reno Orvis School of Nursing in four years?

Yes, it is possible to complete your BSN in four years. Degree completion is dependent upon being accepted into the nursing 4 semester sequence.

Does OSN offer an "Accelerated BSN Program" for students with non-nursing undergraduate degrees?

The curriculum is built upon a two year pre-requisite/two year nursing major framework. Students who have completed the required course work and earn admission to our program can complete the program in four regular semesters.

Do you have a 2 year completion or "bridge" program?

Yes, we have a 4 year BSN program and a 2 year RN-BSN completion program. Students who have already completed their 2 year Associates Degree in another Nursing Program are encouraged to seek admission to the two year completion program. For more information please contact the RN-BSN Program Coordinator Dr. Glenn Hagerstrom: ghagerstrom@unr.edu

Can I go to school part time and earn my BSN at University of Nevada, Reno?

No. Completing nursing courses part time for the pre-licensure program is not an option. Students may complete the prerequisite coursework part time, however, once admitted to OSN students must progress through the major sequence with their cohort or they will lose their spot in the nursing program.

May I study abroad while enrolled in your BSN program?

While not a possibility during the nursing program students may have an option to participate during their freshman and sophomore years prior to obtaining entrance to the Orvis School of Nursing.

Can I be in progress with required prerequisites when I apply?

Yes, however you can only be in 13 remaining credits with no more than 4 of the credits being a science course. For more information, please refer to limitations and guidelines regarding what is required at the time of application and time of matriculation (enrollment) outlined on the Application Guidelines on the OSN website

Can I specialize in nursing?

True specialization in nursing takes place in graduate studies. Your initial degree in nursing will prepare you as a "generalist", eligible for entry into practice. Students in our program are encouraged to pursue graduate education.

What are the General Education requirements (CORE CURRICULUM)?

The core curriculum is designed to give you an all-around education. To make the most of your education, we've put together this walkthrough detailing the various requirements of the core. For more information please review the Core Curriculum Website.

What courses meet the social sciences requirement?

Acceptable courses include: Sociology 101, Psychology 101, Anthropology 101, or Women's Studies 101. Please review Social Science information online.

What kind of financial aid do you offer?

All financial aid for undergraduate students at UNR is administered through the UNR Financial Aid Office. To apply, complete the federal FAFSA form. All aid is need-based.

For additional information on admission and programs of study, contact the Division of Health Sciences Student Services at askDHS@unr.edu or by telephone at (775) 682-5930.

What courses meet the fine arts requirement?

Acceptable courses are determined by the University of Nevada, Reno core curriculum office. Examples of courses include: art history/appreciation, music history/appreciation, and religious studies and philosophy

What kind of advanced placement credit do you accept?

UNR does accept AP test scores. Typical AP credits include ENG, MATH, STATISTICS, PSYCHOLOGY, and US GOVERNMENT.

Do I need to meet with someone at the nursing school? Does the nursing school interview applicants?

UNR Division of Health Sciences Academic Advisors work with all Pre-Nursing students to develop a plan for prerequisite coursework and a timeline to graduation. Students are encouraged to seek advisement early to assure they are taking the necessary prerequisite courses and if transferring that they are taking courses that directly transfer from their current school. The DHS office offers weekly nursing information sessions for prospective students. For more information visit the DHS website, email askDHS@unr.ed or call (775) 682-5930.

Transfer Student Questions
I am a transfer student outside of the University of Nevada, Reno system. How do I apply to the Orvis School of Nursing?

Applicants to the Orvis School of Nursing (OSN) must be current or active students at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR).

Transfer and prospective students interested in applying to the Orvis School of Nursing must:

  1. Complete an online undergraduate transfer student application for admission through the UNR Office of Admissions. Submit the application with the $60 application fee.
  2. Submit all official copies of transcripts to the UNR Office of Admissions.
  3. Meet with an academic advisor to determine application eligibility and transferability of previous coursework.

The deadline to apply to UNR for the Fall 2016 semester is:

  • April 7th for incoming freshman
  • July 1st for transfers and second baccalaureate applications
  • August 15th for graduates or second degree seeking students

The deadline to apply to UNR for the Spring 2016 semester is:

  • December 1st for all students

Additional deadlines:

  • February 1st for undergraduate scholarship consideration
  • February 1st for WUE consideration, if eligible
When is the application deadline for the Orvis School of Nursing?

Once admitted to UNR, students may be eligible to apply to the Orvis School of Nursing. Students are only eligible to apply once they have completed all of the necessary prerequisite coursework. See the OSN website for application guidelines.

Applications to the Orvis School of Nursing are typically accepted during the August/September months for the following spring start and January/February for the following fall start.

How do I know if I can apply as a transfer student?

Transfer students must adhere to the following criteria:

  1. Have at least a minimum of 24 transferable semester credits
  2. Have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA
  3. Have completed all prerequisite courses required by OSN (both CORE and MAJOR) with 3.0 or better. See the OSN website for application guidelines and required courses.
  4. Have transfer courses evaluated by an academic advisor
  5. Meet the course completion timeline requirements
I have attended UNR in the past as a degree seeking student, or am currently enrolled as a degree seeking student. Do I need to reapply to UNR?

Please note: Students who are currently enrolled, or who have been previously enrolled at UNR as non-degree seeking students, must also complete an application to the University of Nevada, Reno

How will my credits transfer?

Prerequisite coursework must:

  • Have the same course content as UNR
  • All coursework is subject to review by the Office of Admissions and Records
  • Advisors can assist students in understanding prerequisite courses and determining equivalency of major prerequisite courses
I am in a current BSN nursing program, can I apply?

Yes, however, you will be required to submit an application to the University of Nevada, Reno as well as the Orvis School of Nursing program to obtain entrance into the first semester.

Do you transfer in coursework from other nursing courses?

The Orvis School of Nursing will evaluate nursing courses ONLY for those admitted into our program. This review is conducted only after you are admitted, not before. We require final official transcript as well as course syllabi from each nursing course. There is no guarantee your credits will transfer. To have your nursing courses evaluated please contact OSN directly

What are your admission statistics?

Typically, OSN receives approximately 120 – 140 applications. There are 64 spots available in the OSN-BSN program. Preference is given to Nevada High School Graduates. The average prerequisite GPA is about 3.5 or higher but the GPA varies each application cycle depending on the pool of applicants.

What are my chances of earning admission into the Orvis School of Nursing?

Admission to the Orvis School of Nursing is a competitive process; thus, meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not guarantee admission. A cohort of 64 students will be selected from the pool of qualified applicants for study beginning each fall and spring session. The number and the quality of the applicants will determine the competitiveness of the applicant pool. Historically, students who have built a solid science foundation, who demonstrate the ability to communicate clearly, who have an understanding of professional nursing practice, and who have excelled in the pre-requisite course work have had the highest probability of earning admission.

Do I have to have all of my non-major requirements completed in order to begin nursing courses?

Yes. All prerequisites (core and pre-major) must be completed prior to starting the nursing major.

Will my courses transfer from a community college or other university?

Many courses from accredited colleges or four year institutions transfer to our University. We also have transfer agreements with several four year institutions and community colleges. Students can access our Course Equivalency Table to identify and see how a course will transfer: TES College Information. For further information you can contact the transfer coordinator Kari Emm. Visit the transfer student website

I have a bachelor's degree. Do you offer an accelerated BSN program? Can I apply as a transfer student?

No, we do not have an accelerated BSN program for students with a previous bachelor's degree. Yes, students may apply to the Orvis School of Nursing as a transfer student as long as they have completed all of the UNR Core Curriculum and Nursing Major prerequisite courses. If you are a student seeking a second bachelors degree please contact Julie Woodard at the Orvis School of Nursing.

How do I know if the courses offered at my present college will meet the required prerequisites?

A list of the approved and commonly transferred prerequisite courses can be found on the UNR Transfer Agreements Webpage. This list is not exhaustive; please contact askDHS@unr.edu if you have further questions about a course that is not on this list. ALL students interested in applying to the Orvis School of Nursing are required to attend an informational session prior to meeting with a Division of Health Sciences Academic Advisor. We have weekly information sessions, click Nursing Group Informational Sessions Schedule. For students seeking their first bachelor's degree, it is required you attend one of these sessions prior to advisement. Advisors will be available to meet with after the information session.

Which of my courses will transfer to UNR?

Some courses that fit our general education guidelines will transfer to UNR as long as they have been completed with a grade of C or better and were taken at an accredited college or university. Typically, if UNR offers a similar course, there is a good chance the credit will transfer. If you have questions about transfer of credit, please refer to the CollegeSource Transfer Articulation Webpage.

How do I get my transcripts evaluated?

The University of Nevada, Reno Admissions and Records Office completes an evaluation of a students' transcripts following their admission to the University. Their office determines whether or not courses are found to have UNR equivalencies.

Students may request their transfer work be evaluated by a Health Sciences Transfer Advisor. The Admissions and Records Office is the official evaluator and the Health Sciences advisor along with the Orvis School of Nursing advisors make the final determination regarding what courses are applicable to the nursing curriculum. Evaluations processed by the Division of Health Sciences Student Center are subject to change until they are determined to be official.

ALL students interested in applying to the Orvis School of Nursing are required to attend an informational session prior to meeting with a Division of Health Sciences Academic Advisor. We have weekly information sessions, click Nursing Group Informational Sessions Schedule. For students seeking their first bachelor's degree, it is required you attend one of these sessions prior to advisement. Advisors will be available to meet with after the information session.

We highly encourage prospective transfer students to use the CollegeSource Transfer Articulation Webpage. to compare how courses they have taken transfer to UNR.

How long will it take to complete the nursing program once I transfer in?

It takes approximately 2 years for second year transfer students to complete the program, regardless of the number of credit hours that are transferred in.

Admissions Questions
How competitive is the program?

This is a very competitive program. Applicants are first reviewed for the minimum eligibility requirements. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 average on selected prerequisite courses. Applicants with the highest GPA on the selected courses will be contacted for an in person interview.

What are the BSN program eligibility requirements?

In addition to the above requirements, at the time of application, applicants must have completed, or have in progress, all of the University core curriculum requirements and nursing major prerequisite courses with the ability to complete all remaining prerequisites with a C or better before entering the program.

  • Applicants must have a nursing prerequisite GPA of at least 3.0
  • All coursework must be completed with a C or better.
  • English language proficiency (SPEAK TEST), if applicable: 55 or better
  • Please review our BSN Pre-Requisite Summary for more details.
  • Provisional acceptance requires that all in progress coursework be completed with a C or better prior to beginning the nursing sequence.
Are applicants required to have healthcare experience?

While health care experience is not a requirement, if selected for an interview, it may help in distinguishing you among other candidates. Additionally, your educational background is reviewed in detail. We look for strong academics. We also highly recommend that candidates have leadership, diversity, and work experience.

Are preferences given to any population in the admissions process?

Yes. Preference is given to Nevada High School Graduates.

How and when do I apply?

Students apply for admission to our School of Nursing in one of two ways.

  • Competitive Admission
  • University of Nevada, Reno students will complete the application to the University of Nevada, Reno
  • Interview process
  • Application Questions? Contact the University of Nevada, Reno - Orvis School of Nursing Admissions. Please refer to the information posted in the Admissions and Prerequisites sections of the OSN website for more details regarding application guidelines and deadlines
Are there additional requirements for international applicants?

We encourage all international applicants to contact the Office of International Students and Scholars to inquire about additional requirements.

I was charged with a misdemeanor/felony. Will I be able to be licensed to practice nursing?

The Nevada State Board of nursing requires copies of sentencing orders with all applications for licensure. Specific requirements pertaining to a criminal record and the effect on RN licensure in Nevada can be found at the Nevada State Board of nursing website. Students interested in licensure in a state other than Nevada should contact that particular state Board of Nursing to identify policies and regulations.