Nursing Program Frequently Asked Questions
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- When does the nursing program begin?
The program begins once a year in the fall quarter.
- What do I need to complete to apply to the program?
Students must complete 45 prerequisite credits before starting the program. To apply, 30 of the 45 prerequisite credits must be complete by the end of fall term in the year prior to application. BI 231 and the math competency must be included among the 30 credits. Please refer to the Nursing Admissions page for more information.
- How competitive is PCC's Nursing program?
PCC’s Nursing Program is highly competitive. We typically receive 500–800 applications each year for up to 80 spaces.
2014 Statistics for applicants invited to the proctored essay:
- Average prerequisite GPA: 3.93
- Percent complete with A and P sequence: 98%
- Percent complete with all 45 prerequisites: 89%
- Percent with a prior degree: 61%
- Percent with some health care experience (including volunteering): 87%
- Are there any time limits on the prerequisite courses for the nursing program?
The following courses must be current within seven years of application to the program: Anatomy & Physiology I, II & III (Bi 231, 232 & 233), Food and Nutrition (FN 225), Human Development (PSY 215), AND Math (MTH 95 or higher). There are no time limitations for writing and general education elective courses.
Microbiology (BI 234) is no longer a prerequisite for the nursing program. However, it is a required course in the program curriculum. Students are encouraged to take Microbiology before starting the program. Microbiology needs to be current within seven years of application to the program and students who took it more than seven years ago will need to repeat it.
- Can I send official transcripts with my Nursing application, or does the college I attended have to send them?
Transcripts, other than PCC, must be submitted with your program application, even if previously submitted to PCC. Students who applied to the program the previous year do not need to submit new transcripts unless they completed new coursework at an institution other than PCC. Official transcripts must be in a sealed envelope from the institution. Do not open official transcripts or they will not be accepted. Please note that official transcripts are required from all institutions attended, other than PCC.
- Can I use my placement test scores to substitute for taking a course in the Nursing program?
For admissions purposes, placement scores may only be used to update or substitute the Nursing program’s Math 95 requirement. Please visit the Admission page for more details. For all other requirements, placement test scores are only used to determine which course you should take. We will not use placement test scores in place of the required course.
- How can I earn health care experience points for my military medical training?
- Military Medical experience will be considered as a licensed certification with supporting documentation. Please submit any & all documentation regarding military title, job duties and length of service in that role, honorable discharge papers (if applicable). Documentation may come from formal discharge papers or a commanding officer on letterhead from the respective military branch. For more information, please follow up with the Health Admission Office.
- Can I get a Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN) after I get my Associate in Nursing?
Yes. PCC’s Nursing Program joined the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE), a partnership with Oregon Health Sciences University that allows students who have completed the ADN to transition to OHSU to complete a BSN after one additional year. Please visit the Admissions page to find out more details regarding the OCNE partnership.
There are also several programs in the Portland area that are designed for students who have earned an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and want to complete their BSN. You may view Oregon Nursing Schools that have BSN programs on the University Transfer site. If you click on Sort by Major, and scroll down to Nursing, you can view a side-by-side comparison of the Nursing schools. Please note: Requirements listed at PCC’s transfer website may vary from the RN to BSN completion requirements. Please contact the university of interest for advising and counseling.
If you would like to enter a BSN program without completing PCC’s ADN program, please contact a general academic advisor or counselor.
- Is a Nursing Assistant Certification (CNA) required to get into the PCC Nursing program?
No. A CNA license is not required to apply or be admitted to PCC's nursing program. However, additional points may be earned on your application for experience as a CNA, EMT, Paramedic, or LPN. Although it is not a program requirement, students are encouraged to gain direct patient care skills and experience that may be applicable to any nursing program.
- Can I take some non-nursing courses before I am admitted to the Nursing Program?
Yes. Some courses may be completed prior to beginning the nursing program, including Microbiology and Technical Writing. Please meet with a health admissions advisor in the Health Admissions Office for detailed academic planning.
- Do I need to take a computer literacy test or course before applying to the nursing program?
PCC does not require students to complete a computer literacy course or test to apply to the Nursing program. However, to be successful in the nursing program students must possess computer skills including use of word processing, spreadsheets, internet and email. Students who need to improve their computer literacy should meet with an advisor to discuss ways to increase computer skills.
- Can I repeat courses for higher grades? Is there a limit to the number of times I can repeat them?
- There is no longer a “two attempt rule” for prerequisites and there is no limit to the number of times students can retake classes for higher grades. We will use the most recent grade for prerequisite GPA calculation. Students looking to retake classes should be aware that repeated courses may not be eligible for financial aid.
- Does PCC’s nursing program still select its students by lottery?
- No. Selection is based on a competitive points system involving prerequisite GPA, work experience, and other criteria. Please refer to the Nursing Admissions page for more information.
- Do you have an LPN-RN program?
- PCC does not currently have a LPN to RN bridge program. Students with an LPN do earn additional points on their application to the RN Nursing program but they will not be eligible for advanced placement. Please refer to the Nursing Admissions page for more information.
- Does PCC assist in job placement once students graduate from the Nursing Program?
No, PCC has a student and graduate employment office which can assist students in sharpening their job hunting skills. For more information about accessing services through the student and graduate employment office please visit the Student and Graduate Employment Services page.
Another helpful resource is CampusRN. For job search assistance please visit the CampusRN Registered Nurse Jobs page.
- Does PCC have Nursing specific scholarships and grants?
Yes. PCC offers a variety of scholarships and grants to students interested in our healthcare programs. Please visit the PCC Financial Aid homepage to see a comprehensive list and directions which will assist in your search.
There is another national scholarship resource for students called CampusRN. To access their scholarship search services, please visit the CampusRN Nursing Grants page.