Pre-Nursing FAQ

Pre-Nursing Information for OSU students

Information and FAQs for Oregon State University students interested in becoming a nurse.


Does Oregon State University have a nursing program?

No, OSU does not have a nursing program.

However, we offer the prerequisite courses that will allow you to apply to nursing schools in Oregon and elsewhere.


Can I get a bachelor’s degree in Pre-Nursing at OSU?

No. Students are encouraged to major in a subject that interests them and add in general prerequisites.

Schools in Oregon vary, let alone across the United States, so it will require some investigation into specific schools to make sure you are getting the courses need for the program(s) you are interested in. Although it is possible to simply do the prereqs to get into nursing school, the admissions process is highly competitive, and students should have a major they will enjoy pursuing should they not be accepted on the first or second try.

College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and College of Liberal Arts have majors that incorporate many of the prereqs:



Do I need to take OSU bacc core courses if I want to go to nursing school?

Many of the prerequisite courses for nursing school also fulfill OSU bacc core categories. Students who intend to complete a four-year degree at OSU before pursing nursing school should choose courses that will meet both the pre-nursing requirements as well as the Bacc Core.

Students who hope to transfer to nursing school after two or three years at OSU do not need to focus on additional bacc core courses; however, many of the prereqs can easily fulfill categories of the bacc core simultaneously. Students who complete their degree at another institution will have to meet that school’s general education requirements, not OSU’s.


If I complete my undergrad degree at OSU, can I apply to both direct-entry MSN and ABSN programs

Yes, both ABSN and direct-entry MSN programs are appropriate for people with a bachelor’s degrees in other areas. The American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN) states that "the demand for nurses with a master’s degree or doctoral degree is a great deal higher than the supply. As of 2008, 13% of nurses in the U.S. had a master’s or doctoral degree." By not requiring a BSN be obtained first, more highly trained MSN nurses will be able to start working sooner.


What are the BSN programs in Oregon?

Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) offers programs at its Portland campus as well as its partner universities in the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE) around the state (see below).

  • Eastern Oregon University (La Grande)
  • Western Oregon University (Monmouth)
  • Southern Oregon University (Ashland)
  • Oregon Institute of Technology (Klamath Falls)


Several community colleges in Oregon are partners in the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE) and in addition to the ADN offer the OHSU bachelor’s degree on their campus with similar prerequisite and entry requirements.

  • Clackamas Community College (Oregon City)
  • Mt. Hood Community College (Gresham)
  • Lane Community College (Eugene)
  • Southwestern Oregon Community College (Coos Bay)
  • Rogue Community College (Grants Pass)
  • Umpqua Community College (Roseburg)
  • Portland Community College (Portland)
  • Blue Mountain Community College (Pendleton)


There are four private nursing schools in Oregon, all in the Portland area:

  • George Fox University
  • Linfield College
  • University of Portland


Can I complete my OHSU prerequisites in one year at OSU?

As noted above, the structure of OHSU and its partner universities in the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE) is unique. Students are expected to complete at least 45 credits of prerequisites and then three years in the nursing program, instead of the more traditional 2+2 model. However, this prerequisite requirement does not account for courses that must be completed before taking some of those nursing prerequisites. A good example is that students must typically have sophomore standing to take Human Anatomy and Physiology.

Additionally, OCNE schools require students to complete at least 30 college credits of prerequisite courses by the end of fall term during the year they apply. Therefore, unless first-year college students have at least 15 college credits earned in high school that fulfill OCNE prerequisites, they must wait to apply to OCNE programs until their second year in college.


What are my options if I don’t get into nursing school?

Because of the competitive nature of nursing school admissions, it’s possible that even a strong applicant may not be admitted on their attempt. It’s a good idea to have a back-up plan in case this happens. For most pre-nursing students, this means completing a bachelor’s degree at OSU and then trying to go to nursing school. See above for some of the more common majors that students have chosen. A bachelor’s degree can provide a broader educational background and more maturity before nursing school, as well as an opportunity for students to raise their GPA and gain more work or volunteer experience.


Do out-of-state BSN programs accept Oregon residents?

Admission into some out-of-state public institutions is more competitive than in-state schools. For example, many public universities in the University of California/California State University systems do not accept applications from out-of-state residents. Private nursing schools usually give out-of-state students the same admissions consideration as in-state students. OSU students have recently been accepted to out-of-state nursing schools at Johns Hopkins University, Hawaii Pacific University and Nevada State College (among others). The requirements listed for Oregon nursing schools will meet MOST of the prerequisites for out-of-state schools. Students are responsible for checking the requirements of any school to which they wish to apply.


How much does nursing school cost? (Tuition + Fees)

*based on 2019-20

OHSU School of Nursing

  • ABSN (5 quarters): Non-resident ~$59,157.50 Portland; $54,666.09 Ashland
  • Resident ~$46,053.50 Portland; $41,562.09 Ashland


Linfield College

  • BSN (2 yr TR) ~ $121,520
  • ABSN (15 mo) ~ $118,451


University of Portland

  • Undergrad BSN (2 yr TR) *unavailable at this time. Next cohort entry is not until summer 2022 (applications open Sept. 1, 2020)


George Fox University

  • Undergrad BSN. Must first be admitted to undergrad non-nursing program to apply (2 yr TR) ~ $125,000


There are other factors to consider beyond “sticker price.” First of all, most private school nursing students receive financial aid. Many of OSU’s pre-nursing students in recent years have received private school scholarships totaling $10,000 or more. Additionally, while the private schools’ tuition is higher, their programs are all one year shorter than OHSU’s, which means that private school students are out in the nursing workforce one year earlier than OHSU students.

Due to the nursing shortage, some hospitals and medical facilities will give scholarships or forgivable loans for part of your nursing school education in return for a work commitment for a specified period of time (most notably the Providence Scholarship through the University of Portland). The state of Oregon also has loan repayment programs for nursing school graduates who can commit to a few years of nursing in designated critical healthcare shortage areas (such as some counties in Eastern Oregon). However, these arrangements are binding, and students who can’t fulfill these commitments will be expected to repay the loan or scholarship money awarded to them.

Because of these factors, it is important for students not to decide where to apply based on “sticker price” alone! Students who are seeking financial aid should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon after January 1 as possible.


When are the application deadlines?

Application deadlines for most Oregon schools are in January or February for fall and/or spring enrollment dates. George Fox University typically has an October 1st application deadline for a January enrollment date. Out-of-state application deadlines will vary. Students are responsible for checking the deadlines and other requirements of any school to which they wish to apply.


Is there an admissions test I need to take?

Most schools do not require it, but George Fox and some other schools require the HESI A (Health Education Systems Incorporated Exam) and covers material on reading comprehension, vocabulary and general knowledge, grammar, math, biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology.


Oregon Nursing Program Requirements

Oregon Health & Science University


  • > 45 credits completed
  • Apply to program and rank five campuses (Portland, WOU, SOU, OIT, and EOU)
  • 3.0 min. GPA in prerequisites with no grade lower than a “C”
  • Applications are only available online for Fall entry; deadline is typically February 15
  • Application essay (Proctored)


(Portland/ Ashland only)

  • 3.0 minimum GPA in prerequisites with no grade lower than a “C”
  • Applications become available online in the fall for a summer entry
  • Entrance Essay – part of the online application

OHSU Community College Pathway’s/ Associates Degree Program’s

  • Enroll in community college and complete Associates Degree in Nursing
  • Students in one of the community college OCNE programs are eligible to transition directly to OHSU to     complete the bachelor degree in nursing
  • OCNE Partners: Blue Mountain, Clackamas, Lane, Mount Hood, Portland, Rogue, South¬western, and     Umpqua Community College


University of Portland

Not accepting applicants until 2021 for 202 admission

Transfer only

  • Apply to UP and School of Nursing with one application
  • Seats in the fall semester are reserved for UP continuing students. Transfer students typically are accepted into the spring semester only.
  • Must transfer at least 90 credits


George Fox

Transfer only

  • Preference given to George Fox continuing students
  • Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)
  • Two essays, two recommendation and appraisal forms



Transfer and Accelerated

  • Priority given to Linfield students meeting prereqs
  • Summer term entry for students who hold a bachelor’s degree at the time of application
  • Fall or spring for students with and without a prior bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum cumulative 3.0 in prereq sciences; 2.7 in A&P; only ONE repeated A&P course
  • Apply through
  • Insight résumé