Frequently Asked Questions for Nursing

Can I Complete All My Nursing Courses at ISU or Do I Have to Become an RN First?

The RN-to-BSN program is available only to registered nurses who have already completed a pre-licensure program. Prior to beginning your Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), students can take general education or prerequisite classes at Iowa State. After earning your ADN you can return to ISU to complete your Baccalaureate in Nursing Science (BSN) degree. It is best to meet with an Iowa State nursing advisor to discuss your specific academic plan.

What Are the Admission Requirements and Prerequisites for the Nursing Major?

In addition to your ADN, the following requirements and courses are prerequisites for the nursing major, a minimum “C” (not C-) is required.


  • Minimum of 2.5 GPA for all college coursework
  • Licensure as Registered Nurse in Iowa or compact state if applicable
  • Evidence of a satisfactory criminal background check
  • Evidence of meeting current health and immunization requirements

Prerequisite courses: the below prerequisite changes go into effect in Fall 2021

  • Introduction to Chemistry (ISU CHEM 163 or CHEM 1T equivalent)
  • English Composition I & II (ISU ENGL 150 and ENGL 250 equivalent)
  • Statistics (ISU STAT 101 or STAT 104 equivalent)
  • Introduction to Human Nutrition (ISU FS HN 167 equivalent)
  • Introduction to Sociology (ISU SOC 134 equivalent)

How Many Credits Can I Transfer to Iowa State?

Up to 65 credits can be transferred from the community college and an additional 32 credits will be awarded as a nursing credit block upon verification of RN license.

Are the Classes Online? Will I Have to Come to Campus?

Nursing courses will be offered in a hybrid format with synchronous online and/or face-to-face class times on Tuesdays. Iowa State has worked with local employers to offer a schedule for the working adult. For a list of the nursing courses and descriptions, visit the ISU course catalog and select Nursing in the undergraduate menu or the A-Z Courses tab.