Missouri State University

BSN Frequently Asked Questions


General Information

1. What is a competitive entry major?

For many majors with a hands-on component, the number of spaces is limited in relation to the number of students who are interested in completing the major. Due to the clinical nature of nursing we fall under this category. Therefore, beyond declaring a major a student must also apply and be accepted before taking certain course work for the major.


2. How many times a year does MSU accept applications and what is the deadline?

Applications are accepted once a year with a deadline of Jan. 31 at 5 p.m.


3. How many students can be admitted each year?

61


4. When will I know if I have been accepted?

Applications are accepted in January of any given year and students are notified of their acceptance status in February or early March of the same year.


5. Do I have to start classes the summer after I am accepted?

Yes, the nursing program begins in the summer and everyone in the new accepted cohort must be present. The summer semester is 8 weeks in duration. During the second summer of the program students will stay and complete 1 week of pediatric clinical rotation. The rest of that summer they can use for a nursing internship or additional course work needed for graduation.


6. What is the minimum cumulative GPA to apply?

A cumulative GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale for all college course work including transfer credits and high school dual enrollment is required.


7. What is the average cumulative GPA of those accepted to nursing?

The average is around a 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Students who meet the minimum GPA requirement above are encouraged to apply as the average could change.


8. Does the Admissions, Promotions and Graduation Committee who evaluates the applications, consider letters of reference or interviews in the selection process?

No, admission selection is based PRIMARILY on cumulative college GPA. Additional preference will be given to current MSU students; those individuals with Health care, community service, and leadership experience; and those with high first attempt grades in chemistry, anatomy and University math requirement (college algebra).


9. How many applications does the department receive each year?

The number of applications can never be anticipated. The range is usually around 75-140.

10. When do students typically apply to nursing?

Students are eligible to apply once all pre-nursing coursework is completed or in progress by the time of application to the Generic BSN program. Students may enter the program with no more than 3 credits of general education courses outstanding and NUR 472 to be incorporated into their Generic BSN course scheduling if accepted into the program. For many students this is during their sophomore year on campus.


11. Can I take additional course work not listed on the BSN Curriculum page?

Yes, the page only lists the minimum course work to apply.


12. Where do students complete their clinical hours while in the nursing program at MSU?

During the BSN program at MSU students complete a total of 624 clinical hours in Springfield and surrounding communities. The focus of clinical at MSU is 40 percent acute care in hospitals including Mercy, Cox, and Select Hospital. The other 60 percent of the hours is spent in community settings such as nursing homes, clinics for underserved populations and non-profit organizations such as The Kitchen Inc. and Camp Barnabas.  Having varied experiences at the BSN level allows students to explore their interest areas and determine different settings and populations they would eventually like to work with or specialize in.


13. Does the nursing department maintain a waiting list and can students re-apply in the following year?

Yes and yes. The department does keep a waiting list of eligible students who rank just below students selected for admission in any given year. Students with a completed application portfolio who are not offered admission (including those on the waiting list) may re-apply the following year. However, the waiting list is not carried over from year to year so there is no advanced standing and no guarantee of admission is offered to those who re-apply.


14. What happens if I am not accepted into the program?

A waiting list is kept as described in number 13 as well as the student’s option to re-apply in a following year. However, to avoid this situation, the department of nursing recommends that all students, regardless of GPA and resume factors, apply at more than one nursing program or school to increase their chances of acceptance. Due to a shortage of space in nursing schools nationwide compared to the number of interested students, we encourage everyone to have this “Plan B” or back-up plan. At MSU we want to support students' academic goals and their desire to become a nurse. Students are encouraged to meet with other programs and learn how their admissions policies and prerequisite course work may differ from that at MSU. The academic advisor in the nursing department is happy to discuss these options with students and advise them on how to get requirements for other programs while studying at MSU.

15. Are there any automatic admission programs for nursing?

No, but we offer one provisional admission program for students in the MSU Honors College.  Pre-nursing Honors College students, Missouri State University ROTC students, and/or active duty military in certain programs will be offered conditional/provisional admission into the Generic BSN nursing program provided the following criteria are met by the application deadline. 

1. Maintain an overall 3.60 GPA or higher.

2. Be an officially declared pre-nursing major at least one year prior to their application deadline. This will allow the Department to adequately prepare for the next application year. Those who declare pre-nursing as their major less than one year in advance are not eligible for provisional admission, but may apply as a general applicant.

3. Maintain consistent advisement in the Department of Nursing for a minimum of one year prior to their application deadline.

4. Have all but one of the required Honor’s College courses completed by the start of the first semester of the nursing program. There is time to complete only one honor’s level course during the program. Any more incomplete courses will delay graduation and, therefore, RN licensure eligibility.

5. Turn in all application checklist items and a completed application form by the deadline.

6. Meet the minimum generic BSN program admission criteria for final acceptance.


16. What types of activities or experiences should I be working toward prior to submitting an application?

Several activities are recommended including, but not limited to, job shadowing of nurses and health care providers, community service, holding leadership positions in groups or clubs including sports teams, researching additional programs of nursing to make sure MSU is the right fit for you and researching other health careers to make sure nursing is the best fit as well. A great way to attain many of these experiences is by joining the MSU Student Nurse Organization (SNO).


17. Can I apply to the nursing program at MSU if I have never taken a class at MSU?

Yes, MSU accepts transfer credits from accredited institutions across the country. Please visit with a representative of the MSU admissions office at 417-836-5517 or 1-800-492-7900 for more information and explore the transfer credit website prior to application. The admissions coordinator - academic advisor for nursing is also happy to set up a visit or discuss your questions over the phone at 417-836-5310.


18. I have some questions about the 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Whom should I contact?

Please contact Kami Gollhofer, Academic Advisor - Marketing, Recruitment and Retention Specialist, at 417-836-5310.


 


Application and Admission

1. How many seats are available this year?

61


2. How many potential students generally apply?

Between 75-140


3. When can I turn in my application?

Applications are due no later than Jan. 31, at 5 p.m.; no late applications are accepted. If you are currently enrolled in fall courses at MSU or another program, please refrain from applying until you have submitted your final fall grades to the MSU Admissions Office. If you plan to take spring courses, please do not submit your application materials until you can include an unofficial spring schedule showing courses you are enrolled in.


4. Where do I send or hand in my BSN application and materials?

BSN applications must be turned in or mailed to the MSU nursing department:

Missouri State University
901 S. National Ave.
Nursing Department,
Professional Building Suite 300
Springfield, MO 65897

5. Does the Admissions, Promotions and Graduation Committee, who evaluates the applications, consider letters of reference, essays or interviews in the selection process?

No, admission selection is based PRIMARILY on cumulative college GPA. Additional preference will be given to current MSU students; those individuals with health care, community service, and leadership experience; and those with high first attempt grades in chemistry, anatomy and the University math requirement (college algebra).


6. When will I be notified of my acceptance status?

Review of all application materials begins on Feb. 1. All students will be notified via regular mail by the end of the month. In case of bad weather and subsequent closing of this University this time frame could go into March.


7. Does the nursing department maintain a waiting list and can students re-apply in the following year?

Yes and yes. The department does keep a waiting list of eligible students who rank just below students selected for admission in any given year. Students with a completed application portfolio who are not offered admission (including those on the waiting list) may re-apply the following year. However, the waiting list is not carried over from year to year so there is no advanced standing and no guarantee of admission is offered to those who re-apply.

8. What happens if I am not accepted into the program?

A waiting list is kept as described above as well as the student’s option to re-apply in a following year. However, to avoid this situation, the department of nursing recommends that all students, regardless of GPA and resume factors, apply at more than one nursing program or school to increase their chances of acceptance. Due to a shortage of space in nursing schools nationwide compared to the number of interested students, we encourage everyone to have this “Plan B” or back-up plan.

At MSU we want to support students' academic goals and their desire to become a nurse. We encourage students to meet with other programs and learn how their admissions policies and prerequisite course work may differ from that at MSU. The academic advisor in the nursing department is happy to discuss these options with students and advise them on how to get requirements for other programs while studying at MSU.


9. Do I have to start classes the summer after I am accepted?

Yes, the nursing program begins in the summer and everyone in the new accepted cohort must be present. This is the only required summer during the program.