Nursing - Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
- WHAT IS THE COST OF THE NURSING PROGRAM?
The current cost is approximately $11,000 to $13,000 for six quarters. This does not include the tuition for any prerequisites. A breakdown of specific costs and additional fee’s are included in the application packet.
- IS THIS AN LPN OR RN PROGRAM?
Pierce College awards an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), which qualifies graduates to take their NCLEX-RN licensure exam. Any student only seeking practical nurse training will be referred to an LPN Program within the area.
LPN’s with an unencumbered Washington State Practical Nurse license, or students in their final quarter of their practical nurse training, are eligible to apply to our LPN-ADN Bridge program. Please contact our office for more information on the LPN-ADN Bridge Program.
- ARE THE PRE-REQS THE SAME AS OTHER 2-YEAR NURSING PROGRAMS IN THE PUGET SOUND?
The majority of the requirements are identical, especially in the sciences. The differences are:
- Completion of Statistics (Pierce College Math& 146) – (Transfer-Ready Requirement)
- Foreign Language 121 and 122, or 2 years of High School foreign language, or native language speaker - (Transfer-Ready Requirement)
- Recommended: Completion of Organic and Biochemistry (Pierce College CHEM& 131) & Nursing Assistant Certified. No requirement for Speech or additional Social Science.
- DO YOU HAVE PRE-NURSING CURRICULUM PLANNING SHEETS AVAILABLE FOR PLANNING OUT MY CLASSES?
Advisors at any of the Pierce College campus sites have information sheets available for advising/class planning purposes. We encourage you to work closely with a trained pre-nursing advisor to map out an Education Plan for the recommended sequence of your pre-nursing classes.
- WILL ADMISSIONS BE DECIDED SOLELY ON GRADES?
Because space is limited, a selective admission process based on a point system will be used. The application will be a combination of several factors. Grades and courses taken will be a qualifying factor. Other criteria will be reviewed for application points. After completing a research paper (2pgs) and a Kaplan entrance exam, components for points will include: a functional resume, two recommendations and a personal statement that incorporates evidence of potential to succeed as an RN. These experiences must be relayed to the selection committee in the form of a writing piece. Additional documentation may accompany the Recommendation forms. Each factor will be a % of a total so each applicant will be awarded a specific score. Qualified applicants will then be interviewed by a team of interviewers from Pierce College, our nursing department, industry partners and the broader community and out of that group 30 will be offered admissions. The Bridge Program process is the same – but about 10-15 applicants are invited to interview and the number of admissions currently varies from 5-10.
- WILL THERE BE A WAITING LIST?
No. A wait list will not be established. Individuals are selected based on the criteria outlined in Question #5 above. An alternate list will be established to fill in possible vacancies for each class start, but this list will NOT be carried over to the next year. Non-accepted applicants will need to re-apply.
- WILL IT HELP TO HAVE YOUR AA COMPLETED?
No. Any ADN graduate planning to enroll at UW-T or St. Martins University to complete the BSN will be encouraged to finish their AA or the new Associate’s Degree in Pre-Nursing, but admission to the Pierce College ADN or LPN-ADN Bridge Program will only require the pre-requisite courses listed.
- WILL TAKING ALL OF MY PRE-REQS AT PIERCE COLLEGE GIVE ME AN ADVANTAGE?
As long as applicants have completed the equivalent of all the nursing pre-requisites, it doesn’t matter where they were taken as long as all the coursework is transferable to Pierce College. A Pre-requisite Course Equivalency Chart is included in the information packet and in the application packet when that is available.
- HOW MANY TIMES CAN I REPEAT A PRE-REQ COURSE?
Students will be allowed ONE repeat of each course during the past seven (7) years and the highest grade will be used as a qualifying factor. Courses with a “W” (withdrawal) will be counted as a “take” in our repeat policy.
- IS THERE A MINIMUM GPA REQUIREMENT?
Each required prerequisite course (ENGL& 101, PSYCH & 200, BIOL&241, BIOL& 242, CHEM& 121, BIOL& 260) must be completed with a grade 3.0 (B) or better. Transfer-Ready/Recommended courses must each be completed with a minimum grade 2.0 (C) or better.
- WHY DOES THE PIERCE COLLEGE NURSING PROGRAM RECOMMEND A STATISTICS COURSE?
Research has shown that the biggest reason students fail nursing school is weak math and science aptitude – integrally linked to the high levels of critical thinking and reasoning which nurses have to use on the job every day. We will also be encouraging students to go on for their BSN, which requires statistics.
- WILL YOU HAVE A TIME LIMIT ON THE PRE-REQUISITES?
Yes, coursework cannot be older than seven (7) years. Exception: if a student has completed a two or four-year academic degree, some non-science credits earned as a requirement for that degree may have the time limit waived. Applicants who qualify for this type of waiver must obtain waiver approval through the nursing program PRIOR to the application deadline. Please contact the Pre-Nursing & Allied Health Advisor to complete the proper waiver paperwork.
- HOW MUCH TIME WILL ENROLLMENT IN PRE-NURSING AND NURSING COURSES REQUIRE?
Each chemistry, biological science, or nursing course requires approx. 20 hours a week per 5 quarter credits which includes time in lecture, lab or clinical site, plus study time. Some of the non-science classes require approximately 15 hours per 5 credits. Students, who work more than 20 hours per week, have significant responsibilities for parenting, and/or other commitments should plan to take no more than one science at a time. The Associate Degree in Nursing program itself is a full time program. No part time option is currently available. All on-campus nursing classes will be held during the day; clinical rotations may be scheduled in the day or evening. Students must not work more than 20 hrs. a week while in the nursing program to allow for adequate study time.
- WILL PIERCE COLLEGE BE OFFERING ANY NURSING INFORMATION SESSIONS TO GET GUIDANCE REGARDING THE APPLICATION PROCESS?
Monthly nursing information sessions will be offered throughout the year in Puyallup. Check the program website for specific dates, times, and locations. A Workshop specifically tailored for students planning to apply in June (or March for the Bridge Program) will be scheduled for the first Friday afternoon of the corresponding month. That information will be available on the website and also on the front page of the application.
- WILL MY CREDITS FROM TECHNICAL COLLEGES TRANSFER TO PIERCE COLLEGE?
Prospective students need to be very careful about where they take their prerequisite courses. With the exception of a few academic core courses, most technical college credits will not transfer to Pierce College. Please refer to the last entry on the Course Equivalency Chart or contact your advisor for details on transferable credits.
Students who plan to earn their LPN license and apply to the Bridge program may take their LPN coursework at a technical college. Please see the list of Washington State Nursing Programs on our web site for LPN programs and contact information.
- IS THE PIERCE COLLEGE NURSING PROGRAM ACCREDITED BY ACEN?
Yes, we have received full national accreditation from Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN), as well as approval from the Washington State Department of Health Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission.
- WHY IS THE NURSING DEPARTMENT LOCATED AT THE PUYALLUP CAMPUS?
Since Pierce College at Puyallup already had a Nursing Lab for teaching the nursing assistant course, it was much more cost-effective to simply add the equipment needed to teach RN students. The Puyallup campus also filled the need to have an Associate Degree in Nursing available in eastern Pierce County.
- CAN I WORK WHILE GOING THROUGH THE ACTUAL NURSING TRAINING PHASE?
We encourage all nursing students to plan ahead so they can focus all their efforts for six quarters into nursing school. Even though some students must still work to keep benefits or support their families, it is critical that they inform their employer that they can only work a maximum of 20 hrs. a week. The classes, and especially the clinical rotations, cannot be arranged around work schedules or childcare needs. The quality of learning and retention definitely suffers when students are trying to function on little sleep and little time to study. The inability to build critical theory foundations could jeopardize not only passing one of their nursing classes, but possibly the NCLEX for their RN licensure.