5 Nursing School GPA Requirements: Do Nursing Schools Look at Cumulative GPA?

What is the expected Nursing School GPA? In recent years, nursing programs have increasingly become competitive. The availability of enough nurse instructors and clinical training locations and enough classes are the key obstacles to increasing the nursing workforce.

Nursing programs are also screening their applicants carefully. The associate degree (AND), baccalaureate (BSN), and graduate (MSN) levels have admission standards that institutions seek to maintain.

BSN and MSN programs are incredibly competitive and have GPA requirements for one to qualify for admission. Most nursing programs also ask applicants for references, personal statements, and resumes.

What is needed besides the Nursing School GPA? The nursing school’s grade point average (GPA) depends on the school, the admission standards, and the degree plans. The nursing school GPA requirements are also different for graduate and undergraduate nursing programs.

While some nursing schools’ emphasis is on undergraduate coursework for one to qualify for a graduate program, others mostly focus on science or prerequisite courses. 

Nursing School GPA requirements for Undergraduate Programs

The minimum Nursing School GPA requirements for getting into a nursing school are not standard. A study about the nursing programs in reputable universities demonstrates the differences and similarities regarding the GPA requirements for individual institutions.

In most cases, the students who pursue the BSN degree have to complete their general education requirements by attending the initial two years of college. One gets admitted to the nursing program after completing the undergraduate courses successfully.

Some of the prerequisite courses include an introduction to microbiology, chemistry, anatomy and philosophy, statistics, and lifespan development.

The minimum GPA requirements for BSN programs for most nursing schools are 3.0. For instance, Western Illinois University’s requirements for the cumulative GPA is 3.0 out of 4.0 for the coursework.

The Western Illinois University also requires a minimum of 2.33 grade in general elementary statistics, introduction to microbiology, introduction to life span development, general chemistry I and II, and human anatomy and physiology I and II.

The GPA requirement of 3.0 is not a standard because some schools like the University of North Carolina have a cumulative GPA of 2.8 out of 4.0. The cumulative GPA for students an associate degree but seek to enroll for a degree at the University of North Carolina is 3.

The GPA requirements for the BSN program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is 2.75 out of 4.00 cumulative transfer GPA and 2.5 out of 4.0 natural science GPA and completing 3 out of the five prerequisite science courses.

The general GPA requirements for most nursing schools are between 2.5 and 3.0, but some nursing schools accept applicants whose GPA is lower than 2.5.

Before applying for a nursing program, you should always check the GPA admission requirement of the respective school to establish whether you meet the requirements.

Nursing School GPA Requirements for Graduate Programs

There are some differences between the GPA requirements for admissions in undergraduate and graduate nursing programs.

Students with BSN or those who are entering from a different field via a direct-entry program like the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) have a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 for an MSN program.

Top nursing schools, such as the University of Washington School Of Nursing, also have a 3.0 minimum GPA requirement for applicants seeking admission in the MSN programs. The MSN GPA requirement at Sacred Heart University is 3.2 out of 4.0.

Minimum GPA Expectations in Nursing School

Apart from the nursing school’s GPA requirements before admission, many nursing schools also have their expectations regarding the minimum GPA while attending school.

At Western Illinois University, the nursing students are expected to maintain a GPA of 3.0 after enrolling in the nursing program.

The expected GPA in other nursing schools is even higher. For instance, the University of North Carolina has a standard cumulative GPA of 3.4 out of 4.0 that the nursing students should maintain on all their coursework in undergraduate nursing.

The most prominent nursing programs mostly maintain higher standards regarding the GPA expectation compared to the less noticeable programs.

Raising your Overall GPA in Preparation for Nursing School

Most students disqualify themselves from attending a nursing school if their average GPA is below the school’s minimum GPA requirements. Such students can use different methods to increase their GPA and make them better candidates for the nursing program.

For instance, you can use the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) prerequisite courses to increase your GPA and increase your chances of getting into nursing school.

Consult the admission counselor to establish if you meet the criterion for the ABSN program. You will be guided on how you can meet any more requirements for the ABSN program.  

You will then take the prerequisite courses that will increase your qualifications for nursing school. When you take your prerequisites seriously, it can jump-state your GPA to meet the nursing school’s GPA requirements.

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