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Western Kentucky University


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Individuals who complete a bachelor’s nursing degree receive  training in areas such as communication, leadership, and critical thinking skills, all of which are becoming more important as nursing practice becomes more complex. Supervised clinical experience is provided in the hospital departments such as pediatrics, psychiatric, maternity, and surgery. In addition to the hospital setting our students receive clinical experience in nursing homes, schools and health departments all leading to a broader knowledge based student nurse.

The WKU BSN first time attempt NCLEX passrate has ranged from 90-100% over the past 5 years. The BSN program at WKU has full approval status with the Kentucky Board of Nursing and has been on full approval status for over 10 years.  To see all KY Nursing Program NCLEX pass rates go to  Our program acceptance rate has increased with our program expansion from  but some qualified applicants may still not be accepted based on space available, particularly for students who want to start the nursing program in the Fall. Spring acceptance rates are usually higher. Overall acceptance rates into the BSN program have ranged from 70-near 100% over the past 3 years. These acceptance rates apply to qualified applicants, who meet all criteria for admission, including an overall GPA of 2.75 and Science grades of C or above, plus completion of required coursework. 

Propsective Student Information

Prospective students and second degree students who have not applied to WKU should contact the School of Nursing at or call 270-745-4379 for instructions and information about our program. Tours of our new facility at the Medical Center Health Sciences complex can be arranged also.

WKU Admission

All nursing applicants must be officially admitted to WKU by the deadline dates or your application will not be considered for admission. To obtain more information about WKU admission please visit the web at

Pre Nursing Advisement

As pre-nursing courses are not offered at the health science campus, all pre-nursing student advisement is conducted by professional advisers located in the ACE center for Excellence, Academic Complex, main campus. Pre-nursing advisors are only assigned once a student has applied and been accepted to WKU as a pre-nursing student. These advisers will help you plan your course of studies to ensure that you are ready to enter the nursing program at the start of your Junior year. Even if you are located at an extension campus, please contact the ACE advisement center for assistance to ensure that you don't skip some essential step or miss an important deadline.  (270) 745-2338.

BSN Program Curriculum  

*********PLEASE NOTE as of Spring 2015 AH 290 (Medical Terminology) is no longer required.
 Pre-Nursing Curriculum for students enrolled before Fall 2014 Pre-Nursing Curriculum for first time students beginning Fall 2014  Second Degree Pre-Nursing Curriculum Upper Division Nursing Courses

 English as a Second Language

As nursing involves public safety, requirements are in place to ensure that nursing students can understand, read and speak English well enough to safely exchange written and verbal information with other health care providers and with patients from a wide range of backgrounds. 

If you speak English as a second language please consult the nursing website for TOEFL requirements and consult with the program coordinator to be sure that you have the appropriate documentation for entry into the WKU Nursing Program.  More information regarding the TOEFL requirements.

Application to the Major - End of Sophmore Year - Deadline Dates

Applications for Spring admission must be submitted to The School of Nursing by September 1. Application for Fall admission must be submitted by February 1.  A completed School of Nursing Application and a copy of your HESI exam scores must be submitted by the deadline to the following:

Western Kentucky University
School of Nursing, MCHC 2204
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11036
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1036

This is a limited enrollment program; not all applicants that apply will be accepted.

Applicants are considered on the basis of cumulative undergraduate GPA; completion of prerequisite courses; prerequisite science grades, space availability and HESI scores. Applicants may also be asked to interview.

HESI Entrance Exam

All applicants must complete the HESI Nursing Entrance Exam prior to applying to the program. This exam is required for students seeking admission into one or both of the WKU nursing programs. It evaluates general knowledge in areas of Anatomy & Physiology, Math, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary and Grammar to assess each student’s strengths and weaknesses. Scores on this exam will be a part of the admissions process. Students may take the HESI exam one time during each application cycle. Students may not retake the SAME exam version.

Click here to register (

All applicants must submit a copy of their HESI entrance exam to the School of Nursing.

Transfer Student Applicant 

 In addition to the above requirements transfer students must have all transfer coursework evaluated by WKU by the application deadline date. Please be aware that this process can take 2-3 weeks. If you are currently taking classes at a different institution you must send a copy of your class schedule with your School of Nursing application to the department by the deadline date.

 Second Degree Applicants 

 In addition to the above requirements, students who have a bachelor's degree (or higher) not awarded by WKU must send official transcripts and class schedule (if applicable) to the School of Nursing by the application deadline date. 

The applicant may also be required to provide a course syllabus or catalog description of degree coursework. Second degree students must show completion or equivalency of the following courses: Biol 131-231-207-208, Chemistry 109, Math 116, Psychology 199, Human Nutrition FACS 211, AH 290 Medical Terminology, Nursing 102, and a 3 credit hour undergraduate statistic course.

Core Performance Standards for Admission and Progression

Prior to applying for the program, please review the Core Performance Standards for Admission and Progression.


Students who graduate from the BSN program must pass National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to obtain a nursing license. For more information about licensure in Kentucky please visit the website to the Board of Nursing in your state.

Other Admission Considerations

Before your application to the BSN program will be considered for admission all applicants must meet the minimum requirements.

  •  A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75.
  •  Have attained a minimum of a "C" in all required science course. Anatomy and Physiology must have been completed no more than 5 years prior to application to the nursing program. Students who have obtained a minimum grade of "C" in Anatomy and Physiology more than 5 years prior to application to the nursing program must either retake the courses, or demonstrate current competency by passing a challenge exam prior to application to the nursing program.
  •  Completion of 45-48 hours (3 semesters) of the required prerequisite courses by the application deadline date.
  • Applicant must have completed 11 of the 16 hours of prerequisite science courses by the application deadline date.
  • Applicant must be enrolled in the last semester of prerequisite courses by application deadline date.

Accepted Applicant Information 

Acceptance letters and acceptance form will be sent to the email address provided on the School of Nursing application. Acceptance form must be returned to the School of Nursing by the required deadline date or your position will be given to an alternate applicant.

Admission is provisional. The accepted applicant must successfully complete the current semester coursework. If the student receives a science grade below the required C, or if the cumulative GPA falls below the required 2.75, the student will no longer be eligible for admission. All prerequisite course work must be complete before an accepted student can begin the nursing program. If the accepted student was enrolled in a required course during the selection process and withdrew from that course, the student will no longer be eligible for admission. Current WKU student transcripts will be reviewed at the end of the semester. Accepted transfer students will need to send official copies of current semester grades to the Office of the Registrar and to the School of Nursing as soon as they become available.

Admission to the nursing program does not guarantee that an applicant will be eligible for specific clinical agency placement or for licensure in the State of Kentucky. Acceptance of students by clinical agencies is at the discretion of the agency, based on agency polices. In addition, the State of Kentucky is free to deny applicants who do not meet their specific guidelines. Students may be denied admission into the program and/or clinical placement based on criminal background check, medical status, drug-screen or basic inability to meet program requirements.

In addition to tuition and course fees, a $400.00 program fee is accessed each semester while in the nursing program. The fee will be billed with your tuition.

All accepted applicants are required to complete the following before beginning nursing classes:

Medical History, medical records release, medical exam, proof of immunizations, Mumps, Measles, Rubella and Varicella titers, annual TB skin test, chest x-ray if necessary, TD, negative urine drug screen, criminal background check, liability insurance, CPR certification. All expenses are the student responsibility. Information and deadline dates will be included in the acceptance letter. Students whose files are incomplete will be dropped from the program.

Additionally, there may be certifications, training seminars, or other requirements specified by the program, facility, or agency that students must meet in order to be eligible for a clinical experience. Students will be responsible for purchasing uniforms described in the student handbook and any necessary supplies. Students are responsible for program, testing and course fees each semester in addition to the regular tuition. 

Denied Applicant Information 

The number of available spaces is limited and competitive. Not all applicants who meet the minimum qualifications can be admitted. If you are not successful with your first application, please consider the following options:

Reapply for admission for the next semester. A new nursing application must be submitted to the School of Nursing, AC 112 D by application deadline date. 

Consult your Nursing Academic Advisor to determine an appropriate academic plan of action to increase your chances for admission.

Apply to the Associate Degree Program at the WKU South Campus. Upon graduation and successful completion of the NCLEX (National Certification Licensure Examination), you may then consider returning to WKU for our RN to BSN Completion Program. Information can be found on the web at:

Select another major that suits your interest and abilities, while building on your completed coursework. The College of Health & Human Services exploratory advisor would be happy to assist you. You mail email: or by calling 270-745-2338 for assistance. 

Nursing students must be able to meet the essential functions for nursing, with or without accommodation. Please review the attached Core Performance Standards for nursing students and speak with a nursing advisor or the student disabilities office if you have any questions or concerns about your ability to meet these performance standards.

For more information please visit our Frequently Asked Questions Page!

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 Last Modified 7/14/15